REVIEW: The Walking Dead S7 E14 ‘The Other Side’ builds the tension
The Walking Dead is building the tension for an action-packed finale, and in ‘The Other Side’, we saw some of the chess places reach their final position.
‘The Other Side’ was a mixed bag as an episode. What it lacked in action and tension – something The Walking Dead‘s typical formula rarely fails to deliver on – it made up for in character backstories and stunning emotional interactions between characters. It also made some questionable directorial decisions, namely the use of uninspiring music to convey far too little over far too long a time.
We’ll start with where the episode shone, and that was in its character interactions. From Maggie and Jesus’s discussion of home, to Daryl to Maggie’s long-overdue conversation, to Sasha and Rosita’s acceptance of one another – this episode was filled with glorious interactions where usually we would only see one.
Norman Reedus was as excellent as he was in the scene with Melissa McBride a few episodes ago. We felt the discomfort between Daryl and Maggie and we felt the air clear. Quite literally in fact, as Daryl spent the episode shrouded in darkness until the confession that he felt responsible for Glenn’s death. Lauren Cohan was similarly excellent in her broken yet understanding response.
Christian Serratos and Sonequa Martin-Green also played a blinder as Rosita and Sasha built bridges and discussed their pasts, their relationships with Abraham and what happened after. These two women have been through a lot together, good and bad. The moment where they cried and embraced felt like the one journey reaching an end – and perhaps it has.
Perhaps ‘The Other Side’ will be remembered favourably for these interactions – they were rather good. However, there was nothing in the episode to remember in terms of action and excitement. There’s a brief and moderately tense moment where Daryl and Maggie almost get caught at the Hill Top, and then a brief walker diversion plan by Rosita and Sasha – but that’s it. It’s not up to The Walking Dead‘s usual standards at being interesting and original. The effort to build tension there is so little they may not have bothered with the scenes at all.
Despite this lack of excitement, ‘The Other Side’ did leave our heroes in an interesting place. Sasha is inside the Sanctuary – possibly heading to her death. Rosita has been found by someone with a crossbow, and it’s deliberately ambiguous as to whether it’s friend or foe. Elsewhere, the Hill Top are actively training recruits to fight and be ready for the oncoming attack. It’s all starting to happen, and The Walking Dead is bringing all the pieces together at the right time for one seriously good finale. We hope.