Sunday 21/07/2019 - 09:20 am

"The Walking Dead" star on Oceanside, that cliffhanger ending and "bad ass" finale

2017.03.27 06:27

Warning: Spoilers ahead from “The Walking Dead” Episode 715

Alexandrians, meet Oceanside.

In Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew visited the all-female seaside community in their latest bid for ammunition and bodies in the war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his band of Saviors. Tara (Alanna Masterson), who discovered Oceanside earlier this season and swore to keep its existence a secret, had the enviable task of informing Natania (Deborah May) that she not only broke that promise, but brought along her friends to steal all their guns.

Needless to say, Natania is none too pleased to see her, and even after Rick pleads his case and the Oceansiders and Alexandrians bond over taking out a swarm of walkers together, she refuses to align her community with their fight. Her granddaughter Cyndie (Sydney Park) — who bonded with Tara when she was last in Oceanside  – is more sympathetic to the cause, but ultimately this is an all-or-nothing decision and Rick & Co. leave with only the guns.

Back at the Sanctuary, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) is alive – but so is Negan, who is holding her prisoner after her failed assassination attempt. We see there are some lines even this baddie won’t cross when he saves her from a would-be rape by her prison guard. However, he leaves the man’s rotting corpse in her cell and gives her a choice: Let his soon-to-be zombified remains end her life, or stick a knife in his head and come work for the other side.

Sasha eventually stabs the zombie, but balks at joining the Saviors. When Eugene (Josh McDermitt), already converted to the cause, comes to check on her she begs him to sneak her something sharp to end her life (though the glint in her eye when he acquiesces tells us she may have another target in mind). When he brings her the poison pill he made earlier this season instead, her would-be plan seemingly hits a snag  – though we won’t find out what choice she made until next week.

But that wasn’t even the hour’s biggest cliffhanger. Back at Alexandria, Rick & Co. barely have time to count their new guns before Rosita (Christian Serratos) returns with a visitor in tow – Dwight (Austin Amelio). Claiming he’s abandoned the Saviors, he tells Rick he wants to help them. Rick in turn tells him to get on his knees, and then the episode cuts to black (naturally).

While viewers will have to wait until next week’s season finale to learn Dwight’s fate, The Post caught up with Masterson to talk about Tara’s big moment, whether the Oceansiders can be turned and her thoughts on complaining fans. An edited transcript follows.
Tara has known about Oceanside for a while – what made her decide to tell Rick now?

She had exhausted all efforts. She tried to see if there was some other way to find other weapons. She was just put in a place of “all right this is it, I guess this is how it’s going to have to be,” because for her, she wouldn’t be alive if it hadn’t been for Cyndie. So the moral dilemma on that was weighing on her because she’s alive because of this person. But I think that she’s looking at the bigger picture here and knowing that [if] they are able to take out the Saviors then everyone will be safer, so I think that’s ultimately why she makes the choice to go there.

How does that betrayal of trust change the relationship between Cyndie and Tara?

Cyndie says I want to fight but it has to be all of us. Tara knows that Cyndie wants to do the right thing. She feels a pressure to stay and take care of her grandma. There’s a lot of Tara characteristics in Cyndie. They align on their views of there’s a bigger picture here and we have to eliminate this threat because they’re going to find us again, they’re going to come back. At the end of the episode I think that Tara’s hoping some of the Oceansiders will change their mind and fight the war.
Do you think Tanya, and therefore Oceanside, can be convinced to join the fight?

I hope so. In order to take out the Saviors they’re going to need an army. There’s just too many of them and too many outposts. I think she’s hoping that they’ll change their minds. It will be funny because there’s no GPS and/or text messaging, so [I’m] not quite sure how they’ll find each other again, but hopefully they do.
This episode reminded me that the Alexandrians aren’t total good guys. They attack Oceanside and while they don’t want to hurt anyone, they steal their guns, essentially robbing the women of being able to defend themselves. Do you think what they did is justified?

Personally, I don’t necessarily think it’s justified, it’s a bunch of women and children and we’re leaving them relatively defenseless. I don’t think Tara is happy about that but I think Tara has faith that Rick and her and the rest of the group can eliminate these Saviors and I think she really does believe she’s going to return the guns to them. She’s not doing it to give them a death sentence, she’s doing it because there’s no other choice and this is what has to happen. I don’t think she’s super happy about it but I also think there is no option at this point and it’s got to happen.
Sasha pleads with Eugene to give her a way to kill herself, but it seems she has ulterior motives for wanting a weapon. When he gives her a poison pill instead, she’s left with no good choices. What was your reaction to reading that scene?

I don’t know really how to answer that question. Sonequa as an actor, she’s such a force and I think that [Sasha] is really smart and she has plans and she thinks on her feet. There may be an ulterior motive that we don’t know about yet.
At the end of the episode, Rosita shows up with Dwight, who says he wants to help the Alexandrians. Is there any scenario in which Rick believes him?

I don’t know, to be honest. Tara knows about being on the wrong side and believing that it’s the good and maybe there’s a possibility for Dwight to be on the good side. But at the same time, Dwight killed her girlfriend, so I don’t think Tara’s quick to be like, “oh yeah I trust you, let’s be friends.” He killed the one person she loved more than anything.
Some fan criticism this season has been that the plot has been too slow, there’s not enough development per episode. Do you think that’s fair? Did you notice a difference while filming?

Season 7, it felt obviously a little bit different because a lot of us were scattered. But at the same time, that’s story, that’s screenwriting. You can’t just give everybody what they want Episode 2. People are like, “I’m so pissed off Negan’s still alive.” All right, you want to end the season after one episode? You have to subconsciously build emotions for these characters. And maybe people are watching it thinking it’s slow, but then all of the sudden they’re going to lose someone and they’re going to realize they cared a lot more for this person than they thought they did. The end of this season is really incredible, I think it’s probably one of the best episodes to date. People need to relax a little bit with getting so angry that stuff is moving slow because that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, I guess.

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