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Walking Dead Review- The Board Is Set

Geeklings, The Walking Dead did something last night that I have been clamoring for since the second half of the season started. They finally spread out the story telling. We no longer had to stay in one location and watch as the story was partially progressed, oh happiest of happy days. Even with that though, last night’s episode didn’t change the world. It progressed the story plenty, which has been another complaint of mine, but served more as a way to set the board for the finale than anything else. And this isn’t The Walking Dead’s fault as most television shows use this episode to take a deep breath, but after last weeks stellar episode I was hoping for a little more. One thing I did learn that is if The Walking Dead had incorporated this method of story telling earlier in the season than we would be waaaaaay  further into the plot at this point which is both frustrating and understandable. It is clear that season eight will be the war with the Saviors and the second half of season seven was to get us there, but I wouldn’t have minded if we covered more ground in between. A number of these episodes felt like they were stalling until the finale when war was at the doorstep. A problem I would really like if the show worked on for next year. There has to be a way to progress the story while balancing out the progression of plot. When seasons are this short there shouldn’t be much room for filler episodes. Just this humble reviewer’s opinion.

As for the episode itself, let’s start with Rick and Company who went on a hunt for some weapons. Tara finally fessed up to knowing about Oceanside and they’re boatload of weapons (ocean pun intended) and lead the group to the hidden little city. The voice over conversation between Rick and Tara where, Rick told her she didn’t have to feel bad for what they were about to do, left me kind of scratching my head. We all knew that Oceanside was going to play an important role as soon as that episode aired, but to say that they shouldn’t feel bad for taking another groups weapons is kind of lame. How is this action any different from anything the Saviors have done? Rick and Company marched into a place they had never been before, blew up some trees, killed some barnacle walkers, and then walked away with their weapons. There was no neighborly “can we borrow some sugar” sweetness just a “hey we need these soooooo we’re going to take them”. I know we’re supposed to be rooting for our group and the fact that they’re armed and ready to rage, but I couldn’t help but feel what they were doing was pretty crappy. While some of the women want to rage against the machine too it doesn’t make what they did any better because everyone stayed behind. No one physically joined the cause. These people were robbed for our groups gain and that has been something we’ve been rooting against all season. Do any of you think that once this war is over that Rick is going to bring those guns back? This was complete bully mode. I want it and I need it so I’m going to take it. Savior mentality.

Over in Negan’s Compound there was a vacancy in closet cells since Daryl busted out and Sasha found herself in one for the ruckus she caused storming the castle. I have to admit I was bummed that we didn’t get to see this because I pictured something a little John Wick like that ultimately resulted in her being captured. Her imprisonment lead to an encounter with Rapey Dave and Negan showcasing that he’s not all douchey. As screwed up as this man is, he is frequently doing things that make you question how much you’re supposed to hate him. There is no doubt that he easily could have let Dave do what he wanted or get off with a slap on the wrist, but instead he takes action himself (the Ned Stark way) and kills him in front of Sasha. What better way to build trust than letting the person you want to recruit see you protect them. Although Negan’s statement in anti-rape raised an eyebrow for me as I’ve always thought that his collection of wives was sort of a high class version of the act. These women are there because they want to survive or are trying to protect loved ones, I highly doubt that the majority have any sexy feelings for the man. Couldn’t one argue that his actions are no better than Dave? It may not be rape in the purest definition but it certainly seems like a form to me.

Sasha is given a choice to die or join the cause, and fools Eugene into thinking that she wants to die. Eugene, who seemingly doesn’t have a big picture plan in play at the moment and has just accepted his role as universal coward, eventually agrees to help her. Although, genius that he is, Eugene doesn’t give Sasha anything sharp to do the deed but the pill he made a few weeks ago. From a story telling perspective I liked the call back to the pill but felt Sasha’s frustration and how she now actually had no choice with what she wanted to do. Negan clearly wants her to be a part of the cause, and may even have high hopes for how high she can climb, but now Sasha is going to be used as an instrument to hurt her friends. The landscape of this world is bleak, bleak enough for me to say that she was better off dead here, and now she becomes one of the biggest pieces on the board.

Well, that was until Dwight showed up in Alexandria looking to do his best Benedict Arnold (not Cumberbatch which is what I almost wrote). I totally dropped the ball last week when I mistook Dwight’s shadow for Daryl’s, and in my defense Dwight is trying to be Daryl all the way down to the way he dresses, but apparently he helped bring Rosita back home safely. What a guy. Rick on the other hand, he might be thinking otherwise. Daryl’s first instinct was to go after Dwight like a rabid dog, grunts and lack of talking include, but Rick took a much cooler route. He simply pulled his gun and told Dwight to get on his knees. Eeeeeeep. Someone better get talking fast because I’m pretty sure Rick isn’t going to have a lot of patience here. Dwight’s story arc has been a bit up and down this season. One second we sympathize the next he just comes across as a d-bag. It’s anyone’s guess to what he could be doing in Alexandria. I want to believe that he’s finally rebelling against Negan but his character has been so inconsistent I don’t know what to trust. Either way I don’t blame Rick for pulling that gun.

Some other quick thoughts-

  • Gregory is kind of the worst and can we just give the Hilltop to Maggie already? And why does he need to go to Virginia suddenly? What’s there? More tequila?
  • Negan is privy to the fact that Rick is looking to rebel and even mentions that a little birdie told him about it. Whose the mole on Rick’s side? Someone is leaking info.
  • I’m going to be disappointed if Eugene’s arc this season is just to revert back to being a coward. Although I thought his speech about being brave was quite excellent and packed in the feels. I’m still holding out the hope that him and Dwight are working together.
  • Could we agree to not put Michonne in charge of being the hidden sniper of the group? I think the chances of her killing Tara were just as high as hitting cranky Oceanside Grandma.
  • Jesus’s hair is amazing.

There you have it Geeklings. Only one episode to go before this season ends. What did you think of last nights episode? Do you agree that Rick and Tara shouldn’t feel bad about what they’ve done? Has Sasha painted herself into a corner she can’t get out of? Do you trust Dwight? Sound off in the comments below. If you’d like to continue some Walking Dead conversations you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32 or if you want more of my thoughts turn to my blog, I Am Geek. I’ll see everyone back here next week as we gear up for the finale. War is coming!

 

Images from AMC

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Kevin Carey

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Kevin Carey is an unapologetic geek who strongly believes his mind works much like an episode of Community. Has a strong love for pop culture that focuses on TV, comics, movies, and books. Kevin also enjoys writing fiction and has self published a short story to Amazon. While awaiting his Hogwarts acceptance letter, Kevin lives on Long Island with his cat and extensive Pop Vinyl collection. You can find him here on Fan Fest, at his blog I Am Geek, or the I Am Geek Podcast spreading geekiness to all.

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