The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 14: “The Other Side” Review

Reviewed by John Hussey

I think you all know my opinion when it comes to the annoying as fuck characters within The Walking Dead this current season. They have certainly been relentless at times, making my enjoyment of the show rather hazy. But, Season Seven has been one of the strongest runs the show has seen since its debut way back in 2010. Sure it’s had its bad episodes but for the most part it has held its head up high and delivered the goods we wanted after the shocking (and brilliantly crafted) introduction from Negan at the end of the last season.

It’s a little unfortunate the show is playing the game of “building-up towards the finale”, which is a huge shame because it means we haven’t been getting many outstanding episodes, nor have we had many stand-alone stories that shine on their own. Each of them have had key scenes that make that moment shine, but overall the episode itself is quite devoid of identity, simply meshing into the ongoing narrative instead of delivering something unique and personal to its own set-up.

“The Other Side” played out just like last weeks episode, “Bury Me Here”, in which we’re simply seeing elements being set-up and this ultimately made my enjoyment feel a little awkward. I literally can’t tell you whether I would call the episode bad, good, or just devoid of life. Good stuff happened but I think the problem lies with the slow burning build-up to something exciting happening. Nothing great has happened for week’s now because everything is playing around the idea that a big “war” is coming.

But shit still needs to fucking happen. Don’t leave us hanging in limbo because we then get bored, and then anticipation rises higher and higher, to the point where if the goods aren’t delivered then the wait feels redundant, and that’s the quickest way you get hate mail (or in the more civilised world “death threats”).

Of course a lot of the episode revolved around my new favourite character that I want to see die a slow and painful death. Yes, I speak of course about Rosita. Her petty attempts to try and kill Negan have certainly pushed my button more times than I can physically count but as I stated in last week’s review, “Her reasoning is fucking stupid, and simply devoid of any real weight!” I suppose it was nice that we had a little moment this week to develop her reasoning beyond her being a complete, and utter, spaz but even then I wasn’t any wiser to her character, nor did I feel the need to give her empathy. Instead, I still want her to die at the hands of Negan because I still fucking hate her.

Selfishness isn’t something that is clever, nor is it something that people appreciate, no matter what the reasoning. Rosita is essentially putting everyone around her at risk because she wants to go on a vendetta to get revenge for something that doesn’t fully matter. As I’ve said before, “Abraham stopped loving her! When he died he was no longer with her, in which just makes me feel like Rosita is a needy bitch that doesn’t know how to take a hint, nor does she know how to fucking let go!”

But then again does Sasha have anymore right to take up this stupid as fuck quest to kill Negan single-handily. No is the correct fucking answer! I don’t recall Abraham actually hooking up with Sasha, so why does she care so much about his death like they were in a long term relationship. Yes they were close friends, and maybe feelings were being developed, but that doesn’t mean that her feelings outweigh every other fucker on the show.

Like I keep saying, “If anyone should want to take on the Saviors single-handily it should be Maggie because she watched her fucking husband being beaten to death right in front of her fucking eyes! She is now carrying his child knowing that Glen will never get to see it be born or grow up, along with the fact that the poor child is now without a father. Plus, her and Glen had known each other since Season Two and had happily grown a steady relationship since then. So, yeah, I rest my case and Rosita and Sasha can take their bullshit, selfish, and petty squabbles round the back and kindly shoot them, and themselves, in the back of the head!”

Luckily some good shit actually happened. We continued to see Gregory’s decent into his own self-absorbed oblivion. From the get-go I knew he was a troublesome character that needed to be taken out because of his arrogance, and fucking annoying attitudes towards his leadership (along with his obvious sexism). Season Seven has shown his character continue to fall and despite his annoyance it is at least interesting to watch because its a new intriguing obstacle for the characters to slowly overcome. Maggie is certainly great at putting the annoying twat in his place, along with the every-growing, and loving, Jesus growing the balls to slap the bastard clean in the jaw.

I loved how Gregory started to see his control slip as he shamefully degraded himself in order to suck up to Simon in order to stay on Negan’s good side. It’s fair to say in these moments he pretty much highlights how he’s the Saviors bitch and will happily roll on his back and grovel like the dog that he is. Also, Simon continues to be a great villain. Like Negan he’s certainly warmed up to me as being a somewhat strange likeable character and it’s always fun to see how he conveys his emotions and orders, particularly with Gregory who he constantly toys with.

But at the same time he’s a somewhat gentlemen-like in which he has a code and that code cements him as an honourable person. Unfortunately this could cause problems for Rick and his group as Gregory has been given the opportunity to stamp out any potential threats by going directly to Simon. To be honest this was obvious from the first moment I saw the weasel. He just seemed like one of those characters that would rat out those around him in order to secure his so-called happy existence. Heck, he’s already tried this once before this season and now he’s been given the tool to do it again. But, if the graphic novel is anything to go by (told to me by my fiancée) Gregory is eventually due for a satisfying conclusion, which I really can’t wait to witness.

Also, I have to bring up the sly little reference which indicates that Jesus is gay. Now, I’m not at all bothered by this revelation, merely the execution. It seemed so random, and forced, that it didn’t hold any weight and more felt like a passing phrase. Therefore, it added absolutely fucking nothing to the scene, or the grand overall perspective of the show. I find it’s become the norm now that characters are forced to become gay, or lesbians, for the sake of equality, which is becoming really fucking stupid now. It’s almost as bad as the suggestion that The Doctor (from Doctor Who) should become a woman just because. And that’s what it is across the medium. If we should have LGBT, or strong female characters, inserted into stories then do it with purpose rather than just forcing it down our throats. You’ll get much more out of your statement that way.

The highlight of the episode (for me personally) was the depressing confrontation between Maggie and Daryl. From the moment I saw him refusing to look at her when she brought him some food I instantly knew what was going on. And the thought was really tragic. I knew this moment had to eventually happen and I’m really glad it was finally addressed here because it did wonders for the character development, particularly Daryl who has undergone some of the cruellest challenges this current season.

Finally Maggie (after narrowly hiding from the Saviors search of the Hilltop) confronts Daryl and asks him to look at him. Of course this makes Daryl admit his feelings. This moment is so tear-jerky because we see the tough-guy-badass essentially breakdown in tears. He blames himself for Glen’s death, having gotten angry over Abraham’s death and provoked Negan to chose another victim, sadly being Glen. This ultimately cost Maggie her husband, and her unborn child its father, meaning Daryl couldn’t bare to look at her after such a terrible sense of failure. But of course Maggie comforted Daryl by telling him it wasn’t his fault and that she didn’t blame him, making this emotional moment have more weight and determination, showcasing the powerful character drama at the heart of this depressing series.

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