The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 14 – The Other Side

Maybe it was just me, but the first few minutes of this week’s episode really had me wishing that The Walking Dead would do an entire episode without any dialogue. The opening scenes actually carried with them a certain tension, and emotion was not in short supply. Unfortunately, we couldn’t be treated to a zombie-infested version of Hush, instead being forced back into characters speaking, even in situations where those words were completely unnecessary. Alas, we’ll only have those few minutes of relative silence, and they included what certainly appeared to be a “blink and you’ll miss it” joke of sorts with Maggie’s t-shirt, as she brings Daryl food. Yes, it really does look like she’s wearing a shirt that reads “Mom’s Diner” on it.

So how did the rest of the episode play out? Well, we got to watch Gregory be even more of a general piece of garbage than we’ve seen before. Sure, he’s trying to hold on to his power and control but he has to realize how quickly things are spiraling against him. We finally got our reconciliation moment between Daryl and Maggie, where Maggie lied because it really was for the greater good. And we got to spend time with Sasha and Rosita on their grand adventure, in moments that both redeemed them as characters while conveniently (for me) making them be pretty stupid. Turns out that Rosita may not actually have any military training, instead banging her way to all of her knowledge. No, seriously, she admitted to Sasha that, with the exception of Abraham, she dated and slept with guys partially because it conveniently allowed her to learn all sorts of survival skills. Man, I’d hate to see what might have been left on The Other Side.

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Via AMC.

5. Jesus

“It’s a long life, and then it isn’t”. Look, man, I get that your nickname is taken from a man whom an entire religion is based around. However, you really aren’t the type of person who should be trying to sound deep while in conversation with someone else, especially as any sort of way to dissuade them from their potentially suicidal plans. Maybe it was this exact moment that helped Sasha decide that she needed to carry through with her mission.

4. Simon

Maybe this is all part of a convoluted trap, where you’re testing how much Gregory can be trusted (hint: only as long as the Saviors are the toughest group of survivors out there), but it just seems incredibly foolish to give the man your home address. I’m fully expecting that we’ll learn that Simon didn’t actually give Gregory what he claimed, but, until that reveal, we need to accept that Gregory was given a free pass into the Savior compound, which is about the worst thing to give to someone as spineless as Gregory is. And that’s without having any knowledge that people are starting to rally around the idea of eliminating the Saviors.

3. Gregory

Oh, you incredible suck-up. Sure, you’ve now got Simon’s note, and a sweet crate full of aspirin, but you have to be aware that any control you once held is being whittled away by the mere presence of Maggie and the others. You’re just going to keep making it worse by trying to assert small levels of control over the rest of the Hilltop community. But you think it’s all going to be fine, as was proven by your threat to Jesus. Except it wasn’t a threat. Because you just enacted Schrodinger’s Douchebag.

2. Daryl

Count your blessings that you and Maggie were able to get into the root cellar before the Saviors found you. This moment of survival allowed you and Maggie to finally have a heart-to-heart about Glenn, where you apologized, she pretended it wasn’t your fault so that she could actually move on and keep you as an ally, and then you hugged it out. Oh, but remember when Roy came down into the root cellar? When the two of you were incredibly well hidden from barely prying eyes? If it hadn’t been for Maggie being in the cellar with you, there would have been a dead Savior, and a whole lot of dead Hilltop residents. Good thing she stayed your hand, because it was about to get extra bloody.

1. Sasha

What point does Sasha get dinged for? The random car fire? The moment where she and Rosita completely bailed on Maggie, despite stating that Maggie was incredibly important for the Hilltop? Not taking the shot at Negan when she actually had a relatively clear one? Her sacrifice, after failing to spring Eugene from the Saviors’ grasp? Or how about the “everybody get just BARELY more than an arm’s length away from each other as we practice knife fighting”? Really, this was not a shining episode for Sasha, even if it was one where she was finally given moments to flesh out her current character. At least she had Enid admitting that she was going to give Sasha only 10 minutes before letting Maggie know that she was going after Negan.

That does it for this week. Only two more episodes to go before we bid a fond farewell to this group of survivors, and have to return to hate-watching Fear the Walking Dead. Maybe this will be the season where Nick finally snaps, kills off everyone, and the big reveal is that Strand and Daniel have been living peacefully in Tijuana. Hey, I can have hope, right?

The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 13 – Bury Me Here

Not going to lie to you, folks. I was waiting for this episode. Well, not necessarily THIS episode, exactly, but I was waiting for an episode where more happened than just a slow progression of character-driven story. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being able to learn more about the motivations behind these characters, but this is a show that has never really handled the quieter moments well. It was nice to see a return to form, as now there’s actual momentum pushing things forward, with people that we’ve known for slightly longer than a blink.

That doesn’t mean that the momentum spoken of wasn’t created thanks to moments fraught with stupidity. After all, we’re still talking about The Walking Dead here, and they just can’t escape completely from trying, and failing, to be clever. This episode finally gave the Kingdom the push that they needed to really start moving against the Saviors, and caused a total flip in action between Morgan and Carol. Maybe Richard was really the smartest one of them all (spoiler alert, he wasn’t). If you need to ask someone to Bury Me Here, there’s certainly other options to get there.

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Via AMC.

5. Jerry

Dude, it’s a cobbler. And people in the Kingdom seem to be pretty respectful. Just ask literally any of them to keep an eye on your cobbler while you’re gone on your delivery trip. You’ll come back, and get to finish. Or, in case you don’t come back, bam. Someone else gets half of a free cobbler. But that’s going to get all over the truck if you bring it with.

4. Gavin

Yes, as the leader of this particular recovery team of Saviors, you have to prove a point. The delivery you requested (seriously, one dozen cantaloupe? You’re going to blow through that much gas for just a little bit of fruit?) was shorted, and you can’t let this affront go by. However, instead of letting Jared shoot someone of his choosing, why not have him use the staff you stole from Morgan and just hit someone with it a few times? Jared is clearly looking to make others hurt, and, if he hadn’t shot Benjamin, maybe the line in the sand wouldn’t have been drawn. Instead, you let this situation unfold, and now the Kingdom has their backs against the proverbial wall.

3. Ezekiel

When Morgan is lashing out against Richard, there is LITERALLY no reason why he shouldn’t be trying to send members of the Kingdom to break up the fight. Sure, it can be assumed that, maybe, Gavin and his crew had trained firearms on any of the Kingdom looking to stop what was happening, but that takes a bit of a leap, and wasn’t explicitly shown. Keep in mind that, at this point, nobody but Morgan knows what Richard did. Richard has been a loyal member of Ezekiel’s guard for a longer time. Morgan is still relatively new, and his biggest contribution, aside from a staff taken by Gavin, has been to teach Benjamin how to fight, and bringing Carol to the Kingdom just so she can stay away. And yet Ezekiel sits back and not only watches, but condones Morgan’s attack on Richard. That’s the kind of action that could seriously imperil a King’s standing within his community, tiger or no.

2. Morgan

Our man with a plan is kind of all over the place in this episode, and that’s before he realizes what Richard’s done. He is visited by Carol, and first decides to keep the truth about Alexandria from her, because it isn’t his place, but then suggests that the two head to Alexandria together, so she can find out for herself. He seems conflicted in general, and, when he is getting the confession out of Richard, he even tries to sound as though he isn’t going to sway from his “no killing” rule, only to then lash out and attack Richard during the exchange of the single melon. Sure, it’s clear that, by this point, Morgan is having a bit of a breakdown, but even before that he’s making some really bad choices. Oh, and let’s not forget his proclamations against anyone heading outside of safety alone, so that he can then go it alone himself. All told, though, why wouldn’t he have taken some time to pull Ezekiel aside earlier, and tell him what happened? Why risk it all in the first place?

1. Richard

Poor Richard. Ultimately, this guy may actually have realized exactly what needed to happen to make sure that the Kingdom decided to take up arms against the Saviors. It certainly seems like his plan that Morgan is now pushing forward. But he spurred it all on by randomly stealing one melon, and then making sure that he looked supremely guilty the entire time that there was a confrontation over said missing melon? I get that nobody in the world of The Walking Dead has any ability to read facial expressions, but surely someone other than just Morgan had to see what Richard was telegraphing. Also, Richard clearly has no comprehension of the term “collateral damage”. Yes, you’ve stepped up and made yourself a target for Jared, but why on earth would you think the Savior would go for the obvious route? That isn’t how your opponents operate, and you had to know that someone else was going to take the fall for what you did. But hey, now that you’re gone, Morgan has told Carol the truth, she’s spurred into action to help mobilize the Kingdom, and Ezekiel seems open to joining forces with Rick’s group. If only there had been literally any other way to enact this plan, like, oh, finding out what happened with Negan and the people of Alexandria, and telling Carol yourself.

That wraps up another week. We’re inching towards the finale, and, at this rate, we’re probably looking at one of the bloodiest finales in a while. The big question is going to be whether or not the people behind the show learned from the outrage they received after trying to give the audience a cliffhanger, like they did last season. Just as long as they make SOMETHING happen, they’ll probably get at least a little bit of a pass.

The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 12 – Say Yes

This season, thanks to the gang being split up and sent in all sorts of different directions, has enforced a storytelling style where we see little pieces of story happening concurrently with other little pieces of story. The timeline is being moved forward, ever so slightly it seems, but we can’t precisely tell what’s happening when, because we’re getting a Daryl episode, followed by a Eugene episode, followed by a Rick episode, and all of these things are theoretically happening at the same time. This week specifically asked us to follow along with the voyage of Rick and Michonne while they were scavenging to find the Junkrats some guns, while also giving us glimpses of Rosita and Tara. The biggest problem with this particular episode? We’re being expected to accept that all of the action contained within takes the same amount of time, and it seems highly unlikely that the scenes in Alexandria would have taken anywhere near as long as the scavenging mission, especially given that we KNOW the scavenging took days.

All told, though, that’s kind of a minor gripe. The episode did some good character building for the main four featured within it, even if not all of their choices made good sense. Plus, we got to see what happens when a Walker dies while it was still carrying it’s military-issued firearm. Zombies with guns? Why, I do believe that I will Say Yes.

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Via AMC

5. Tara

Tara is clearly having an internal crisis right now, trying to decide whether or not she should tell Rick about the Oceanside survivors. She unloads her thoughts on Judith, the Lil’ Ass Kicker, while watching her for the day. Over the course of her word dump, Tara lets some inappropriate-for-kids language fly, which is understandable in the situation, but now it means that Judith is going to end up running around Alexandria just saying “ass” over and over again. Unless she ends up being that one kid ever who doesn’t repeat the bad words they hear.

4. Michonne

Standing on top of the supply-loaded school, Michonne and Rick see a carnival set up. At this point, they don’t know that the school has more goods than they can possibly carry at this point, but they do know that they have slowly been scavenging guns and ammo, so taking a moment to fire at some bottles, which could attract walkers and is definitely a waste of bullets, seems like a poor choice. That said, she was able to knock the bottles down, so maybe she can get Rick a nice stuffed elephant or something.

3. Rosita

It seems like Rosita has been broken down to one defining character trait, and everything else is being thrown out the window. Rosita wants revenge against Negan for what he did to Glenn and Abraham. There is nothing else, and anyone who suggests that maybe Rosita slow down, take a breath, and formulate a plan, is an enemy. This raises it’s head twice, once with Tara, and once with Gabriel. Again, we’ve seen indications that Rosita clearly has some sort of military experience and training, so the sheer insistence on not planning a proper mission makes it seem like either she wasn’t that useful of a soldier, or that there’s something much bigger at play that the writers haven’t clued us in to yet.

2. Rick

Staying out longer than Michonne suggested. Chasing after the deer by climbing the Ferris wheel. Tossing Michonne’s unsheathed sword to her. Hunkering down in the car and allowing it to get surrounded, instead of bailing out when numbers were on his side, and it was clear things had gone wrong. Rick is seemingly being driven on pure instinct, in much the same way that a small child can be largely instinct. There’s a shiny thing, and I want to see it. I’m doing this, and I refuse to accept that there are barriers. Here, catch. And this is the guy Michonne thinks should become some sort of uniter for the disparate survivor communities?

1. Sasha

It could always be worse than Rick, though. It could be Sasha. Admittedly, Sasha has been largely fighting against a self-destructive urge ever since Tyreese and Bob were removed from the equation, and Abraham’s death clearly hit her hard, but that doesn’t explain why she’s so completely willing to go along with Rosita’s suicide mission. Sasha has to know that, if she’s gone, Maggie’s position at Hilltop is weakened, and that both her and Rosita are far more valuable as part of a larger group, not a duo trying to strike out and take down one domino. And yet she’s just flatly going to go along with Rosita’s plan. Even odder, she’s demanding that she be the one to take the shot, which has the side effect of weakening the potential of the mission, and increasing the likelihood that something goes wrong and it gets worse for all of their friends. If only one of these women would talk to literally ANYONE with a cooler head. Like, oh, Maggie. Or even Enid.

That does it for this week. Are Sasha and Rosita going to enact their plan next week? Are the Oceansiders being brought back into the story, and potentially the fold? Will Rick relent and allow himself to become the benevolent Ricktator that Michonne seemingly wants him to be? And who’s going to get sexy time next week? We’ll just have to wait for those answers to come to light. See you then.

The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 11 – Hostiles and Calamities

Welcome back into the fold, Eugene. You were definitely missed. Well, maybe your mullet was missed. Or maybe it was just the fact that we needed a little bit of closure for one of our recurring characters after you were taken by the Saviors at the end of the first half of this season. Either way, welcome back.

Yes, this week showed us the next part in Eugene’s personal saga, as he is now living with the Saviors. However, unlike Daryl, Eugene isn’t a prisoner. He’s becoming a valued member of the community, and is definitely showcasing some of his intelligence. There’s a lurking question as to whether or not he’s doing something similar to what he did when he first hooked up with Abraham, by exaggerating what he can actually do to make himself more invaluable, but you can’t argue with the results, as of yet. It’s certainly kept him alive this far, and he definitely knows at least enough to make his stories believable.

Speaking of believable, this episode also spent a lot of time focusing on Dwight, who you knew was going to find himself in no small amount of trouble after Daryl’s escape. While we see Eugene making plays to keep himself alive, we’re seeing just how cold-blooded Dwight has become when it comes to his own self-preservation. Yes, he did work to save someone else, in a situation that will almost undoubtedly come back to bite him in the ass, but that’s the danger of living in a world with so many Hostiles and Calamities. Maybe everyone needs a protective coating of metal.

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Via AMC.

5. Eugene

For the first time in a long time, Eugene finds himself surrounded by women who are attractive AND admiring him for his intelligence. Much like with Rosita, Eugene knows that he honestly doesn’t have a chance, given that these women are some of Negan’s wives, but he still allows himself to get suckered in a bit by their flattery. But that’s not Eugene’s biggest goof. No, that sits with him asking Laura for lobster. Yes, the Saviors have more and better food than almost anywhere, but they’re still a good distance away from Maine. And don’t even get me started on Alaska.

4. Negan

Everything that Negan does is calculated, and he knows what’s expendable, and what isn’t. However, in the conflict between Dwight and Doctor Carson, Negan decides to stick with his right-hand man, instead of the man who could help heal everyone’s right hand. Negan may believe that Eugene is a perfect replacement for the good doctor, but that’s like assuming that a brain surgeon should be the one to remove a burst appendix. Even more to the point, Negan HAS to know that Dwight is lying to him, so unless he’s working a long con that will result in Dwight being put into even more dangerous situations just because he owes Negan, this seems like a truly odd choice.

3. Doctor Carson

You’ve been part of the Saviors for quite some time. You know Dwight is lying. You also know what happens to those that show weakness. Negan doesn’t take kindly to it, and you’ve been a good soldier for apparently a long time, so why would you think that Negan would go easy on you? As much as it might have sucked, maybe you should have gone ahead and gotten your face burned. Oh, you did. That’s right. Along with the rest of you.

2. Dwight

Dwight is playing an incredibly dangerous game right now, and he’s clearly going to take down anyone who might know the truth. That said, as mentioned above, Negan has to be aware of at least partial truth, which means that Dwight now has a target painted on him. He was in a bad situation with regards to Sherry, and he was clearly going to try and protect her, despite the fact that she’s vanished so quickly after Daryl’s escape, and that Dwight recognized her handwriting on the note. As for everything that happens to Dwight over the course of the episode, a lot of it comes down to one simple choice, and that choice put Dwight immediately at odds with his boss. Think of how much grief he could have saved himself by bringing the information about Daryl’s escape to Negan, instead of trying to hold it for a while.

1. Tanya, Frankie, and Amber

Because Eugene is proving himself to be so invaluable, Negan decides to reward him with some social time with a few of his wives. The ladies, more specifically Tanya and Frankie, do a good job buttering Eugene up, feigning interest in his video games, and getting him to spill some of his knowledge regarding bombs and drugs. They even are able to successfully convince him to craft them a poison, under the guise of giving Amber a quick and easy way out. However, they made the first mistake of asking for a double dose, which would serve to tip of Eugene that either Amber wasn’t the intended target, or that they didn’t actually trust his intelligence. Neither plan was set to work well, especially after Eugene witnessed what happens to those who betray the leader of the Saviors (or, at least, are perceived to have done so). They then double down by calling Eugene a coward, almost as if they believe that will sway him back to their side. Listen, Eugene knows he’s a coward. He actively embraces that aspect of his personality. And he’s still survived this far into the apocalypse. You aren’t going to sway him by calling out the trait that’s quite possibly kept him alive.

That closes out the eleventh episode of this season. Clearly next week will send us back to the grizzled arms of Rick and his crew, because we aren’t allowed to be away from them for too long, lest we forget about the driving force behind a lot of the bad decisions being made all over the place. In the meantime, we’ll be sitting on Easy Street with Doctor Smartypants. Who knew that song would come back to haunt us, and yet carry a different sort of haunting feel?

The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 10 – New Best Friends

The second half of the seventh season began with a longer, but ultimately relatively uneventful episode. Maybe there was a desire for a palate cleanse after some of the events of the first half. Maybe it’s simply a nod to people who watch in a binge fashion, who just might want to rest and recover a little bit. Or maybe, just maybe, the powers that be behind the show have decided that the slow pace (with some big shock moments) of the first half was a good blueprint for the second half, and they just decided to keep things moving in that general style.

That isn’t to say that nothing happened. After all, Rick and his crew were able to be denied by both The Hilltop AND The Kingdom. They found themselves surrounded by a new group (which I’m calling Junkrats for now) all because they were trying to reunite with Gabriel. This episode picked up pretty much where the previous one left off, with Rick and company needing to navigate their way a negotiation with the Junkrats, giving us the most awesome Walker to ever Walker yet. We also got a heart-warming reunion, and the chance to see Richard be incredibly shortsighted. It’s exactly like what happens in everyone’s life when they discover that they’ve got New Best Friends, with a smattering of apocalypse thrown in for good measure.

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Via AMC.

5. Jared

Clearly, Gavin isn’t in complete control of his particular pack of Saviors. Specifically, he isn’t in control of Jared, who was still harboring a grudge against Richard for the last time The Kingdom made a delivery. Gavin clearly sees the value in not overstepping with regards to Ezekiel and his crew, but Jared doesn’t understand that at all. By asking for Richard’s gun, he’s only making unnecessary trouble, and his actions are serving to embolden Richard and, more dangerously, Morgan.

4. Rosita

This one is a minor thing, especially because it fits completely with the character of Rosita that has been on display ever since Abraham and Glenn met Lucille. She’s a woman of action, and she wants to do something NOW. However, she clearly has some sort of military experience, as we learned last week. The fact that she doesn’t see the value in Tara’s words of returning to Alexandria and formulating a plan shows that she’s potentially too hot-headed to still be allowed as a part of the away team. Can Rick harness this fiery spirit, or is Rosita on the fast path to a quick end?

3. Rick

You’re surrounded by a group of people who you know absolutely nothing about, and certainly seem a little “off” compared to most of the other survivors you’ve previously encountered. You see the value in bringing them over to your side, because you know you’re going to need an army to take down the resident big bad traumatizing everyone around. Clearly, this is the time to show off the diplomatic skills that have allowed people to trust you, even shortly after meeting you. Or, in Rick’s case, you could point out that the Saviors are just going to gun for the Junkrats soon enough. Look, while it may have worked, thanks to your ability to take down the pointiest of the pointy, maybe lobbing an impending threat from outside isn’t the best way to go about making new friends. Especially given that the Junkrats clearly hadn’t suffered much directly at the hands of the Saviors.

2. Daryl

Okay, I get it. You’re trying to protect Carol. You don’t want to see her return to her darker path, and you know that telling her about Glenn and Abraham would definitely bring her pounding down Ezekiel’s door, to force The Kingdom’s hand. So where did Daryl actually go wrong? How about the fact that he let his own personal connections and emotion overpower Richard’s argument, which was technically the correct argument. Without taking down the Saviors, more people are going to suffer and die. One death, especially one isolated death that could be linked to a Saviors raid, would have a great chance of spurring Ezekiel to action. Daryl is basically letting his past connection overpower this information, despite what he himself suffered at Negan’s behest. Not to say that it isn’t an understandable position, just that it puts Daryl firmly on the wrong side of this particular argument.

1. Richard

Speaking of arguments, maybe Richard should just give up on attempting subterfuge at any point. He lays out his plan to Daryl, put tries to dodge around just who would be the person killed as the catalyst. This shows that he at least has an understanding that Daryl and Carol have a history, but read the room, dude. There’s no way that any of Rick’s group would willingly sacrifice any of their own, even if it did mean having a better chance of eliminating the bigger threat, unless there truly was no other way. Oh, and letting Daryl wander away at the end, heading back to Hilltop? Good job on that one, too, even if you did have hep from Morgan in this one. After all, you all know that Daryl is a fugitive from the Saviors, so letting him wander away, unprotected and alone, could certainly lead to him being captured again, and vengeance being rained down upon both The Hilltop and the Kingdom.

That wraps up this week’s episode. Looks like next week we’ll be seeing Negan gracing our screens again, and this time, he seems to be setting his sights internally. Has Dwight been a bad boy? We’ve only got a few days before we get to find out.

The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 9 – Rock in the Road

Oh boy. The last time we talked, the calendar still read 2016. Who could’ve guessed that, by the time our favorite survivalists returned to the screen, we’d be looking at something more akin to the 1950’s? But hey, when you get to kick off Valentine’s week with the dulcet tones of Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Khary Payton, it can’t be all bad. Seriously, can we just get the two of them reading the want ads at each other every week? It might actually be more logical than some of the other things we end up seeing in the show.

As for this week’s episode itself, after the mini-bloodbath of the mid-season finale, we were certain to be in for one heck of a ride when the second half kicked off. Except that the only ride we actually got was a pretty nonsensical one, even if it did lead to a pretty cool visual. It was all just one big Rock in the Road, and there are plenty of spots open on this week’s list to get filled in. Is one of them actually gold?

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via AMC

5. Gregory

Okay, we get it, Gregory. You’ve decided that you would rather lay in bed with Negan and his crew than even make an attempt at fighting back. That being said, damn, man. When you ask a rhetorical question, you shouldn’t have to call out with a sing-song “rhetorical” to let people know you didn’t want an answer. Besides, it’s pretty clear that EVERYONE saw Rick and his crew marching up towards your mansion. You can ask them to leave through the back, but there’s no way you’re keeping that meeting secret.

4. Ezekiel

The King actually has a little better positioning on wanting to keep The Kingdom out of the potential conflicts, and that’s largely based around the fact that he’s somehow managed to keep his deal with Negan secret from most of his people. That being said, one would have to think that Morgan’s argument about being somewhat surgical in the attack against the Saviors might have swayed him a little. Sure, Negan is only the head at the top, and there are a few others who could theoretically take his place, but none of them are the same kind of character. Besides, tigers eat a lot, and if things went really south while Negan was captive, Shiva could have some lunch.

3. The Ricktocracy

Or is it currently the Ricktatorship? Either way, Rick and his away team stumble on a trap set for walkers, and we all get to learn that Rosita is an explosives expert. Everyone panics when Carl sees a herd of walkers, until they are reminded that only one eye means no depth perception, so they can take their sweet time getting the last of the explosives. The escape vehicle is primed and ready to go, and the best place they can think to put it is actually closer to the oncoming herd? Really? Sure, you’ve loaded explosives into the back of it, but it still looks like you’re in an SUV, and that there’s some decent flat expanse of land just off of the road on both sides. The guard rails don’t extend the full way. Maybe you could wait for Rick and Michonne a bit further from the impending danger. But no, instead we get to see our booty knockers not only get to mow down a gaggle of walkers, but we then get to see them rush through the remaining herd to try and get to safety, thereby endangering everyone holding back for them. Good thing they have plot immunity.

2. The Saviors

Speaking of the whole mess that allowed for the fairly cool visual and the sudden need to run through a herd of walkers, can we talk about why the Saviors would have left their barricade, and specifically their explosives-and-cable connected cars with any sort of fuel? Or, and here’s a better question, why they connected the cable to cars in the first place, and not the stationary guard rails on both sides? Yes, as mentioned above, it did create a pretty visually stimulating series of walker kills (or at least severe injurings), but there’s absolutely no reason why the set up should have been left as it was. Even if the Saviors were planning on driving the cars themselves, if they didn’t take apart the explosives, it would have been a suicide mission. Sometimes, it’s better to just keep things simple, and use your surroundings, instead of giving your enemies the ability to drive at the exact same speed despite not having a clear view of each other.

1. Jesus

It’s hard to hate on Jesus. Except for the whole “shucks, that Carl kid outsmarted me” bit. And other moments of incredible stupidity. But hey, the guy was able to get one of the radios from the Saviors, giving Rick and his group the ability to listen to Negan ramble on (and on… and on). He also, after the rebuff from Gregory, is the one to inform Rick about King Ezekiel and his community. Oh, wait. Hold on a minute. Jesus has been scavenging and scouting the area for quite a while before Rick and his group even showed up. He therefore has probably known about at The Kingdom (and maybe the Oceansiders) for quite some time. Why would he wait until now to let Rick know that there were others who could help? Sure, it could be that he wasn’t sure about Rick’s intentions, but that theory goes by the wayside with how quickly Jesus trusted Rick and brought him to Hilltop in the first place. He’s known Rick wants to take down the Saviors, and he’s had to have known that Gregory would be a non-starter. By waiting so long to point out other potential allies, Jesus may have indirectly lead to every death that the Alexandrians experienced ever since they first met the Saviors. At the very least, he’s certainly slowed down any progress that could have been made against Negan, and that just doesn’t look smart in the current environment.

That wraps up this week. Next week, we’re bound to see why Rick was smiling. Maybe it’s finally the end of his journey, and it was an accidental smile by Andrew Lincoln, who can go back to holding up signs made for Keira Knightly. More likely, Rick thinks he’s found his army, and will use his incredible charisma to sway them to his side. Or get Enid to do it.

The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 8 – Hearts Still Beating

Well, folks, we’ve reached the mid-season break for this year’s run through of The Walking Dead. Pieces are starting to fall back together, after being left to their own devices for the first half of the year. With the way the most recent episode ended, it looks like I may actually be getting my wish for episodes moving forward. What is that wish? It’s really not a complicated one, and it’s one that, honestly, is long overdue.

Talk to each other.

I mean, seriously. How many of the events over the past eight episodes could have been avoided if people had actually decided to talk with someone else (or, in a few instances, with people outside of their particular dyad)? Even some of the key moments from the mid-season finale could have been avoided if there had only been a little more conversation, and a little less “I’m going to do what I want without bothering to check in with anyone else”. Look, I understand that the apocalypse leads to a bit of a need to act based off of impulse, because those impulses have lead our characters to surviving to the point that they have. But you’re trying to recreate a sense of community and civilization. You can’t do that without actively communicating with those around you. Sure, you’ve got Hearts Still Beating, but that doesn’t do a bit of good without actually bringing your concerns to someone else. That lack of a connection between people, based on discourse, is precisely what sets up our list for this week.

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Via AMC.

5. Gregory

Just so we’re clear, you’ve been spending the last couple of days making it clear that you don’t want Maggie or Sasha to stay at the Hilltop. After all, you’re fairly certain that your deal with Negan is going to ensure your longevity, and the two of them pose a risk to that deal. Why on earth would you feel the need to engage with Maggie in the slightest, least of all while she’s standing atop the wall and cosplaying her recently-deceased husband? Poking the bear is already a bad idea, but doing it while the bear is pregnant, saved your town a few days back, and is still raw from losing people she cares about? You’re lucky you only lost your fruit.

4. Rick and Aaron

I’ve got a great idea. No, just bear with me. See, when faced with a lake full of walkers, and a boat riddled with bullet holes (guaranteed to take on water) all with the hope that you find a stockpile of supplies that you can use, how about you, oh, ONLY PUT ONE ADULT ON THE BOAT? We’re shown the bullet holes in the side of the boat, and it is only because both Rick and Aaron decide that they’re going to traverse the lake that we run into the “sinking too soon” situation. That extra 200 pounds certainly didn’t help, and while there was no guarantee that one of them alone would make it across, there’s just no sense in lowering the odds by having both of them jump into the faulty boat.

3. Sasha

Remember what I said about people not communicating? Sometimes, it’s simply refusing to listen to someone else. And that’s exactly where Sasha is, especially when Enid is telling her about the fact that there are a lot more people than just her that want to see Negan removed from power. Sure, Sasha is putting together a plan to do it all on her own because she wants to protect Maggie, but Enid is speaking truths about those who want to see Negan fall. However, Sasha just doesn’t want to hear it, and is instead looking to do it all on her own. Good thing that the episode comes to a close before she can make things worse. Also, at least she isn’t Carol, who has decided she wants to be a complete isolationist.

2. Rosita

Rosita’s got a gun. And, thanks to Eugene, Rosita’s got a bullet. For moments through the episode, it even looks like she might be stepping back on her plans to use her single bullet to try and take out Negan. That is, of course, until Negan removes one of the pieces from the board during the pool game. Welcome back to the land of not communicating, Rosita! Even worse, her single bullet doesn’t do anything further than damage Lucille. That’s right, folks, Negan survives through the improbable (but completely based on the comics) moment of the bullet intended for him striking his bat instead of him. This act leads directly to the death of Olivia, and the capture of Eugene. If only Rosita could have talked to someone, and realized that her plan was bad, even if she HAD managed to take out Negan with her single shot. This is what happens when you throw away your shot. Rosita could learn a lot from Hamilton.

1. Spencer

Oh, Spencer. Spencer, Spencer, Spencer. I would say we hardly knew you, but that isn’t true. What we hardly knew was any level of effectiveness. Yes, you had a few moments throughout your time that may have saved people. But you’ve also spent an excessive amount of time being upset that Rick came and things went south. Little secret, Spence? If Rick and his group hadn’t shown up, Alexandria would’ve been overrun by walkers, except it would’ve happened without a group of people who knew what they were doing to defend. Now you’ve made it clear that you see your future by Negan’s side. You even go out of your way to butter him up, all to drop your big proposal that Negan take out Rick and install you as the leader of Alexandria, instead. This gives us, as an audience, a chance to see that Negan does have a certain twisted honor, but those living within the world should know fully well that Negan does not respect those who do not do for themselves. Maybe slicing Spencer in twain was a little excessive, but Negan DID have to find out if the man had any guts, and that was the quickest way to do so.

That does it for the first half of The Walking Dead, season seven. We’re seeing what Negan’s world looks like, and it seems largely to revolve around breakdowns of communication. The second half of the season picks up right before Valentine’s Day, so maybe, with love in the air, we’ll see people actually willing to talk again. The final scene seems to indicate that is the case, but, well, this show has pulled the rug out from under us before.