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THE WALKING DEAD Recap: Less Cowardly Mansplaining Is “Something They Need”

THE WALKING DEAD Recap: Less Cowardly Mansplaining Is “Something They Need”

Editor’s note: This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Walking Dead! Proceed with caution, survivors. For reals, if you haven’t yet watched this week’s episode, “Something They Need”, we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Let’s go.

Never send a man to do a woman’s job. That’s the lesson this week, as we saw how to convert people to your cause in the zombie apocalypse, and how not to.

But first, a nice bit of misdirection. It’s become a trope in contemporary horror that any time a character is introduced who’s a creepy perv to one of the female protagonists, it’s a build-up to her violently killing him at the climax. So it truly felt out-of-nowhere when Sasha’s would-be sexual assailant in her Sanctuary cell, David (a.k.a. “Rapey Davey,” per Negan), bought it from a neck stab by Negan. “Rape is against the rules here”? Somehow I suspect Negan has inconsistently applied that particular rule. Or maybe because he’s a popular bad guy with fans, the showrunners want to make it clear to moms who buy their kids Negan merchandise that they’re not cashing in on a rapist-protector. And speaking of merchandise, Negan without his jacket, showing off the pistol tattoo on his forearm, is bound to be a new toy variant sooner than later.

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So, cowardly mansplaining part one occurred when Eugene tried to win Sasha over by confessing his fear. And honestly? If you or I were in his shoes, we might feel the same way. One way or another, people in this world end up killing others, and you might as well be protected by the folks who are best at it. Except that because this is a TV show based on a comic, we expect our protagonists to be more heroic than that. Like Sasha, who wasn’t buying any of it.

Cowardly mansplaining part two happened back at Hilltop, with Gregory not exactly confessing his cowardice, exactly, but demonstrating, in full, why “How many walkers have you killed?” is a pertinent question for potential group members. He couldn’t kill Maggie, or a walker, but she seemed tentatively ready to hear him out, if naturally skeptical.

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Here’s how you know Rick is a smart leader: he sent a woman to negotiate with Oceanside. Namely Tara, who had been there before, and would probably have more sway with them even though her returning broke a pretty big promise. And Tara was arguably no more persuasive with Natania than Eugen with Sasha, or Gregory with Maggie, but she didn’t have to be: she exposed Natania’s own cowardice, enough to get some cooperation from some of the residents. (Rick and company setting off explosions, laying down sniper fire, and pointing machine guns at them probably helped, just a little.)

And that was a pivot to good womansplaining, as Sasha effectively turned the tables when she convinced Eugene she needed a lethal weapon to take her own life. What he gave her was unexpected (to her, not by us; the concept of poison was totally foreshadowed in a prior episode), but now she’s going to have to be extra creative in finding a way to weaponize it. And somehow, I fear, her former friend with the mullet is going to end up being put out of his misery with it.

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Undead Afterthoughts:

–How does Eugene know the pillow’s non-hypoallergenic? Did he sniff it till he sneezed?

–Anybody else notice the jet trail in the sky when Maggie went to kill that walker? The folks in post-production didn’t.

–Gregory, dude, you don’t wash the gore off your face before hitting up the liquor cabinet? What if some drips in your drink?

–The waterlogged sea zombies felt like a tribute to Creepshow.

–Speaking of…it’d probably be way too on-the-nose for them to covered in coral, and have Rick yell, “CORAL!” but you know you were thinking it. You are now, anyway.

–Next week’s the big season finale, so who do you think dies? My tentative money is on Eugene.

What are your thoughts leading into the season-ender? Let us know in comments below.

Images: AMC

 

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