Fear It!: Season 3, Episodes 7 & 8 – The Unveiling & Children of Wrath

Remember the good times? Those hazy, lazy days back in California, where character motivations were a little more rigid, and the things that defined the heroes of our peace weren’t modified simply to fit in the next set piece? Sure, we maybe all were a little wary as to how any of these people would be able to survive after the end of the world, but at least we knew a few simple truths about them. Madison would do anything to keep her kids from harm. Nick would be the superest of SuperJunkies. And Alicia would calmly keep her head down, actually formulate a plan, and survive by being smarter and more competent than the rest of the people around her.

We’re clearly removed from those days. With Nick, it’s actually a nice move, because he’s been able to shift his character from “junkie” to “recovering junkie”, and it actually allows him to showcase how his addictive personality could get others in trouble, just as much as it gets him there. However, Alicia seems to be putting aside caution in all situations, which could easily be written off as “she’s 18”, since the show already did so. As for Madison, she seems to think that she’s still going out of her way to protect her children, but it looks a lot more like she’s willing to endanger them and anyone else around her just to be proven correct. Good thing we’re at the mid-season break, because The Unveiling of these particular Children of Wrath sure leaves a little bit of a mess to clean up.

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Via AMC

6. The Writers

There’s only so much the writers can do at this point. But it doesn’t help that they are still trying to balance all of these separate stories, and just can’t seem to actually do so. Daniel’s return in earlier episodes seemed like it would bring some decent elements, but he only appears in the mid-season as an hallucination. Strand is merely a foil for saying goodbye to the Abigail. The boat itself gets one of the most touching send-offs of any character on the series. And the cosmonaut on the other side of the radio immediately became a more interesting story than anything else we’ve seen. Maybe they needed a break, too.

5. Alicia

Alicia spends both episodes either not being cautious enough, or being too cautious. She chases after Jake before he gets to Walker and the reservation, but never once thinks about calling out to him to let him know she’s there. She talks with Ofelia about everything that happened since, expecting to be heard, but then doesn’t take a moment to listen to Ofelia’s side of the story without immediately writing it off. Most troubling about that last one is that Alicia literally had the chance to speak with Walker, and see the truth about how the man was trying to protect his people, so deep down, Alicia knows that Ofelia is telling her the truth.

4. Jake

Let’s see. You know you’re going out to face a man who has at least taken down one of the founders of your father’s community. You believe he’s ordered the death of another whole family. But you’ve beaten him in court, so you are clearly the one best destined to talk him down. Except for a couple of things. Thing one, the rule of law has gone by the wayside, so winning in court doesn’t really have the bearing it once did. And thing two, you don’t have the backing of literally anyone else from home. At best, your negotiations are going to lead to you being taken down for not holding up your end of the bargain. At worst, you’re going to end up overplaying whatever small hand you have, which could get you branded a traitor at home. Oh, and Jake? When the sick guy tells you that maybe you also need to take a break, and maybe get a nap, do so. And when you’ve got someone mostly recovered, maybe let them go, so that you’ve got an extra pair of hands and eyes, just in case another attack happens.

3. Jeremiah

Alright, you’ve made it pretty clear that you’re not a good person, but that you believe you should be forgiven because you’ve kept people alive at this ranch. Just as long as they’re white people. The undertone of racism suddenly became much more blatant in Jeremiah’s conversations with Ofelia (remember how he saved her at the end of last season? No? It’s okay, they recapped it quick in her reveal). However, one would think that, for a guy who doesn’t see too many people of color in his community, or probably in his wanderings, that maybe he’s have a better recollection of running across one that he maybe might have upset. Jeremiah literally saved Ofelia from death, so when she returns to his life as a captive, maybe he should have had an inkling of “haven’t I seen you before”? And who’s idea was it to keep Ofelia in the pantry while she was their hostage? At least his racism explains why he’s willing to die, instead of possibly think about sharing with Walker.

2. Nick

Sure, Nick. Sign up for the militia, so you can keep your enemy closer. And then, before being recruited, make a point of trying to rile the guy with all of the guns, to see if you can’t maybe get him to lash out. I get that Nick doesn’t trust Troy in any level of leadership, but there are better (and safer) ways to make your point to the ranch as a whole. It all comes to a (different) head, however, when Nick confronts Jeremiah about the body buried beneath his house, and then has to intercede to keep Madison’s hands clean of the elder Otto’s murder. Good thing that nobody at the ranch would be familiar enough with angle of entry, to determine that Jeremiah maybe was killed by the only people in the room with him (who conveniently are also the newest people at the ranch). But hey, at least Nick removed a bad person from the equation.

1. Madison

We’ve already pointed out that she’s no longer seemingly trying to keep her kids safe. After all, she’s willing to throw the ranch into a full-scale war against Walker’s people, just to prove that she’s made the right choice to hunker down there for safety. She scolds Nick for signing up with the militia, even though she’s covering for Troy every inch of the way. She blames Ofelia for having Stockholm Syndrome with regards to Walker, ignoring that she seems to exhibit plenty of the same with regards to the Ottos. True, she is the one to ultimately avoid conflict with Walker and his people for the moment, but she certainly went out of her way to try to light that spark before Nick’s actions.

That does it for this half of a season. It’s been a ride, but hopefully one that didn’t take place in a helicopter. The show is still shambling along, but it’s going to be a little bit until we see more of it again. Just like the dead themselves.

Fear It!: Season 3, Episode 6 – Red Dirt

Another week, another hour to spend with the family that just won’t die. At least, not completely. Sure, there are still questions that abound as to exactly how this particular collection of people has been able to make it this far into the apocalypse. Those questions just lead to unsatisfying answers, however. At least the doomsday preppers that we’ve started to get to know prepared for something to happen, and seem to have some level of survival training that would have helped them get to this point.

This week, we spent a lot of time fretting over Walker, and his tribe lurking somewhere outside of the walls of the Broke Jaw Ranch. This allows our characters to delve into the story aspect of humans being the true monsters for this season (face it, this metaphor is pretty much needed every year). While the reanimated are still a threat, they are definitely playing second fiddle to people that have been wronged by other people. With the mid-season finale looming, we’ve only got so much time to enjoy all of this Red Dirt. Well, maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word, when you’ve got people ignoring common sense just this frequently.

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Via AMC

5. Jake

Maybe it’s the glow of getting to sleep with the newest member of the community, and one that you didn’t spend all of your childhood growing up around, but Jake suffers from a crippling attack of dumb when he’s at the range, practicing his shooting skills. Well, he’s actually fine until the moment he knows that Alicia is there, and willing to learn. He’s got hearing protection available for both of them (do they just hang out at the range for anyone to use, or did Jake bring a second pair just in case?), but then he neglects to actually cover his ears with them before Alicia starts firing. Maybe we just don’t see that moment, or maybe Jake is just preparing himself for the inevitable gunfire without hearing protection that looms in his future, but it seems like he would have been more careful.

4. Alicia

Alicia has her own issues at the shooting range, but more troubling is what she decides to do after Jake has departed to find Walker and his people. She spends some time trying to convince him that Jake is heading on a fool’s errand, and that this is different than any situation where he confronted (and beat) Walker before. Then, after Madison, Nick, and Troy return with their news about the Trimbol family, Alicia decides she’s going to head off to the reservation after him? Because a young woman setting out on her own will totally help change Walker’s mind about the Broke Jaw Ranch.

3. Troy

You and your patrol group have just returned, limping and dehydrated, from an exploratory mission that went wrong, and where Walker sent a message to the Broke Jaw Ranch. You’ve listened to your friend Mike let the cat out of the bag regarding how dangerous Walker and his people may be. So immediately try to push to bring the attack to the man who ambushed you. I mean, at least take some time to heal your feet, and maybe think about getting some reconnaissance before launching your revenge schemes.

2. Jeremiah

On one hand, Jeremiah was able to talk Troy back from the ledge, keeping him from launching an ill-advised attack against Walker that the Broke Jaw Ranch wasn’t ready for. On the other hand, he’s seemingly willing to underestimate what Walker is capable of, and doesn’t seem terribly disturbed by watching people from within the Ranch break away from his power center. In fact, his way of reacting to the fact that he is the only founder left of the ranch is to drink, but not actively do much to change his fortunes.

1. Madison

Okay, so you’ve been spending some time getting to know Jeremiah and his family. You’ve gotten the community to start seeing you as someone who is more help than they originally believed. You’ve also got plenty of reason to try and keep Troy from exerting any level of control over the people living at the ranch. So why are you siding with Troy? No, seriously, I’m going to ask again, why are you possibly siding with Troy? Especially with all the evidence pointing to the possibility that the Trimbol deaths were not caused by Walker, but by the man you almost cost his right eye? Unless you’re planning on supplanting him yourself, which could be your gambit. Is it worth it, though, to align so clearly with a man who, mere episodes ago, almost killed your husband and family just for his experiments.

That’s it, everyone. Just one more week, until we’re fed a two-hour mid-season finale. This is the second time we’ve been delivered two episodes in the same sitting. It’s almost like even the powers that be are looking to make sure that we don’t have too many weeks to put up with these characters. Check back in next week!

Fear It!: Season 3, Episodes 4 & 5 – 100 & Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame

I was off on a vacation last week, and, because of that, I didn’t get a chance to watch the fourth episode of this season until just last night. But that meant I got to experience more joy, with binge-watching two episodes of this action-packed show back-to-back! Or it means that I had to plow through two hours of characters completely throwing aside things that previously defined them all for the sake of trying to give us something different. Take your pick.

It also means that this post is going to encompass both episodes. First up, we got to see more about Daniel’s wild ride ever since the fire that almost wrote him off of the show. But hey, a man with Salazar’s background surely wouldn’t be defeated by something as simple as fire, especially one that he set himself. It’s not like he was dancing before he set it (oops, getting somewhat ahead of myself with that comment). Anyway, let’s dive in and take a look at what happens when Daniel keeps it 100.

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Via AMC

5. Daniel

Make no mistake, Daniel Salazar is fully a character that should have a good chance of making it through the apocalypse, given his background fighting in the civil war in El Salvador. And it would be remiss to ignore that his encounters at the beginning of the episode was hampered by the fact he had recently walked away from pretty intense burns. However, when the dog ended up being the only thing that prevented the walker from deciding to dig deeper than the over-cooked leg meat, maybe Daniel should have gotten up and tried to find a different location? Instead, it’s pretty apparent that he hid underneath the car, and ended up sleeping there. He’s incredibly lucky that Efrain was there the next morning.

4. Efrain

Efrain’s actually pretty smart when it comes to gathering the water. He may not know where it came from, but he is aware that once a week, he gets to fill his buckets, and take it others who desperately need the hydration. Maybe his blaring radio isn’t the best choice, given its ability to lure looters, walkers, and Dante’s guards, but it’s also an effective way to let people know they can get a drink. However, when out scavenging, shortly after Daniel’s procedure, Efrain decides to bring the limping, cane-hobbled man with him. When you know that you’re headed into dangerous territory, and have a lot trying to take away your safety, maybe keep the guy who will slow you down tremendously at home.

3. Lola

Lola’s actually fairly lucky that Daniel is trying to protect her, and that Dante and his men aren’t great at tracking down the thief, but she really should have done more to cover her tracks. Instead, she seems to believe that she will get away with siphoning water at the exact same time every week, and sending it to the fountain for her friends to drink their fill. Heck, it still might have worked, if it hadn’t been for her jumping in to stop Efrain from suffering more torture. To think, all of it could have potentially been avoided if she had just decided to not try and cover for Daniel upon his arrival at the dam.

2. Strand

Remember when we all thought Victor was incredibly smart, calculating, and one of the few people who should survive? Yeah, those were a good couple of episodes. Now, we’ve got a Victor Strand who has literally been stripped off anything that made him the man we first met, and who can’t even keep his story straight. He actually had Daniel almost willing to spring him from the jail, until he mentioned that Ofelia was “waiting for him”. Great, buddy. She’s waiting for a guy that everyone, including her, was convinced was dead? Good thing you still had some use.

1. Dante

Oh, Dante. You got your dam. You even sussed out the truth about Daniel, all because he refused to stand for your entrance and JC wasn’t willing to let that moment slide. Maybe you should have been just a little more careful with a man you knew could kill literally any and all of your men with little provocation. Showing yourself to not be working for the side of the angels put Daniel into a tricky position, but it also snapped him out of whatever reverie he was in that allowed him to believe working for you was his best, or maybe only, option.

That was just the first episode consumed this week. Well, for me. Everyone else probably parceled out the episodes the way the network intended. Instead, now that we’ve been reacquainted with Daniel, and he and Strand start their buddy epic, we also get to go back to the Otto ranch, and check in on the Clark family. They may be Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame, but they also have a new recruit to their beliefs, or at least someone willing to pretend and help. Maybe the dancing old couple should have been put on display earlier for other potential recruits.

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Via AMC

5. Troy

Troy seems to still be insistent on proving his worth to his father. Not only is he going to lead the search for whoever shot down the chopper, but he’s going to lead the bucket brigade to attempt to extinguish the fire at Russell and Martha’s. Sure, it was a huge waste of water, but it actually showed a level of concern for others. However, Troy was also the one to lead the group to Phil’s outpost, and then straight into the trap Walker and his people had set for them. Listen, folks, in the apocalypse, if you see someone strapped to a chair, with a bird pecking out their brain, maybe don’t investigate? Just a thought.

4. Jake

Maybe Alicia just wanted to feel something. Maybe she was still in a bit of a cloud after spending the previous night at her “Bible study”. Maybe she’s taken a shine to Jake as one of the few new people she’s met who’s actually shown any kindness to her and her family. If only she’d known that shortly after sex, he would try and gift her a Charles Bukowski book. What, didn’t Jake have any Ginsberg or Frost available? Listen, Jake, even pre-apocalypse, giving a girl Bukowski after you’ve slept with her probably isn’t the best move. Just saying.

3. Strand

It was already mentioned above, in the previous episode, that Strand has difficulty holding on to his story with Daniel. The question now is why he wouldn’t have taken literally any point during the apparent day of travel to tell Daniel the truth about Ofelia. Yes, she had gone to the hotel, but then she left. Strand could have stated that at any point, and the worst-case scenario would have been being abandoned on the side of the road, where he was in the open and not surrounded by a horde. Instead, the timing of his admission led to Daniel depositing him at the hotel. To be precise, inside of the hotel, with plenty of the reanimated dead lumbering towards him.

2. Madison

Forget about Madison walking into the trap with Troy and his squad. Forget her trying to usurp control of said squad from Troy. Let’s instead just look at the early combat with the walkers, and remember that Madison has fought a great many corpses already in her adventures. Maybe she was dealing with a heavier weapon than she was used to, but why did she strike at the zombie’s neck? She failed to destroy the walker, which almost led to her facing an early demise. Thank goodness the rest of Troy’s crew thought she was worth saving, having “proven herself”, apparently by not backing away from the fight.

1. Nick

Nick doesn’t trust Jeremiah, Troy, or the rest of the people at the Broke Jaw Ranch. He is only staying until Luciana can be rehabilitated from her injuries, and then the two of them are leaving. Wait, no, scratch all of that. That was Nick before he watched Russell and Martha dancing on their porch. Suddenly, Nick sees the benefit of staying behind, and is willing to put in the extra effort to scrub clean the fire-destroyed home. He even thinks that Luciana will agree with him. You can’t say that he’s doing it to keep his family together, since that clearly stopped being a concern last season. Nope, instead Nick now wants to stay. This will surely work out well for him and everyone else.

That wraps up both of these episodes. If math is on my side, we’ve got three episodes before the mid-season finale, and maybe we’ll actually get to see more of Ofelia’s story by then.

Fear It!: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2 – Eye of the Beholder & The New Frontier

Previously on Fear the Walking Dead, there was a deliberate effort to kill off any of the reasons people may have wanted to actually keep watching the show (Daniel. I mean they killed off Daniel). After that moment, we got to watch Chris go more fully psychopathic, we witnessed Madison ignore her own declarations about how to stay safe, and we got to sit by as Travis just kept Travising his way through the post-apocalypse. With a second season like that, what could they possibly do in the third season?

Well, for starters, they could drop both of the first episodes together into a supersized season debut, giving us all absolutely no real time to adjust to the new reality before it gets stripped away again and replaced with yet another rebuild of a more successful Walking Dead set piece. They could also try and up the stakes, which implies that the audience as a whole is doing other than rooting for total destruction for these characters. Oh, and they could bring back one of the few compelling stories, and give us all a chance to once again scratch our heads at this man who seemed to start out his existence in this world playing mutli-dimensional chess, but is now apparently settled on Connect Four. When presented with the Eye of the Beholder, do we really get a New Frontier? Or do we just plod along with more of the same?

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Via AMC

Since this was a double-episode, that means I’ll be delivering a double list. Let’s start with our friends during Eye of the Beholder.

5. The Soldiers/Troy

Let’s just start with the most obvious of things. DON’T CREATE WALKERS! Sure, the soldiers may have convinced themselves that they were doing it for scientific purposes, trying to learn about how long it takes for different people in different circumstances to reanimate, but really, it all just boiled down to being a bunch of jerks, killing people, and creating a potential hazard in your own space. Something about not doing certain things where you sleep.

4. Willy

You’ve been creating walkers, and the time has come to evacuate the fortress you’ve been living in. While leaving, you hear scratching in the walls. It’s probably a good idea to just ignore the scratching, keep your head down, and leave. After all, why do you care if there are rats in the walls? You’re not going to be around to deal with it. Of course, Willy isn’t around to deal with it any longer, thanks to his odd curiosity, that lead to him being pulled into the wall by hidden walkers. Next time, dude, just leave.

3. Travis

You’ve got plenty of evidence that the people running this fort are not super-connected to reality, especially in relation to how the world used to work. You know what’s going to go strongly in your favor? How about you spend time antagonizing them, and taking the strangest route towards appeal by calling their actions “criminal”. Oh, and let’s just pretend that “criminal” means the same thing with how society has deteriorated. Travis is lucky that he didn’t get jumped to the top of the list, before he could formulate a plan.

2. Nick

Escape is imminent. You’re going to get out of this enclosure, and you’re going to get your wounded girlfriend to safety (admittedly, without knowing whether safety was really on the other side or not). Don’t be Nick. Nick didn’t really have a lot of choice about sending Luciana into the tunnels first, but he probably could have tried anything other than shouldering the gate securing the other end, so that it was broken beyond repair. Oops. Now the walkers outside have a clear path to the buffet.

1. Troy

Troy almost lost his eye during Madison’s escape effort, thanks to a well-placed spoon. The eye wasn’t lost, but it was heavily bandaged. When the dead invaded, and Troy was forced to take up arms to try and get everyone out, he made a point of aiming down the barrel, which is good for someone trying to line up the head shots needed to take out the walkers. However, his aim put the barrel and sights perfectly in line with his bandaged eye. I get not being able to adjust to your non-dominant eye on the fly like that, but maybe just try not to take the extra time to aim down a bandage?

So that was the first episode of this third season. But wait, there’s more! It was a FTWD sandwich, with episodes surrounding some commercials as the meat (well, depending on how you watched it, I guess). So what happened in The New Frontier?

5. Nick

Let’s see. You’ve made it to what appears to be something resembling a safe space. You could embrace the safety for a short time, formulate a plan, and see if their family reunites your family. Or you could be Nick, and try to head out, with no idea of the surrounding geography, or where the missing members of your family might be. Make sure to be a petulant asshole about the entire experience!

4. Jake

When looking for Charlene, Jake split from Alicia, giving her a sidearm just in case there was a need. The group had already lost Travis through no fault of their own, and there was no desire to lose any more. Jake’s personal connection to Charlene may have clouded his judgement somewhat, but the man got to the edge of a rise, looking down on where Charlene had probably gone. It’s fairly clear he knows where the edge is, right up to the point where he blindly takes one step forward and falls, almost ensuring his own demise.

3. Nick

You’re heavily outnumbered. You’re also heavily outgunned. You’ve spent your entire time in this particular encampment being upset that you have to even pretend to play nice. They see your wounded girlfriend, see that she’s wounded, and see that it’s doubtful she can pull through. She’s also another mouth to feed, and one that can’t contribute a lot in the immediate future. In a lot of ways, the ranchers had the correct idea with what to do about Luciana, and letting Nick be the one to take care of things was actually a compassionate move. Leave it to Nick to decide that, hey, I’m just going to threaten Troy, aiming the gun at him. That’s taking a huge risk, given that he doesn’t actually know how the family feels about Troy, and that the ranchers wouldn’t just immediately eliminate all of the new people in their midst.

2. Strand

Remember when we met Strand? He took Nick under his wing, because he saw a certain special something. There at least seemed to be some level of calculation in what Strand did, and, while that did backfire with regards to the entire family being brought about his boat, it didn’t really change who he was. Now he’s wandering through life, his fellow survivors having moved on, and the love of his life having succumbed to death’s final embrace, and he’s shifting his entire concept, saving people seemingly at random? Sure, the people outside of the hotel gates were likely to force their way into the hotel, taking out those who kept the gates locked as revenge. But Strand is the type of character that previously would have found a way to connive his way to safety. Well, that was before. Now, he’s the type of character that opens a balcony window for a clear suicidal, and doesn’t think to keep a close watch on either it or her.

1. Nick

“We are not civilians”. Okay, SuperJunkie. Okay.

That does it for this week’s back-to-back premiere! How will the family fare without Travis there to try and talk his way into and out of every situation? Will Alicia again be given the magic of silky, conditioned hair, just because she’s been able to rinse it off with something other than rain water? Will Nick just keep being a complete jerk to everyone around him, until even Madison can’t take any more? And will Strand continue to strike out on his own, eventually leaving for a better quality show? Only time will tell.

The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 16 – The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

That’s it, folks. Seven seasons in the bag. 99 episodes of zombie mayhem. This season began with a huge emotional impact, and then sort of meandered its way to the finale, feeding us a few extra-long episodes along the way. In many ways, season seven was all about setting the stage for what comes next. Now that war is coming to The Walking Dead, there are definitely indications that the eighth season will be bigger, louder, and messier than seasons past.

As for the finale itself, we got taken on a bit of an emotional journey over the course of it. That journey? We got to follow along with Sasha’s personal voyage, including flashbacks to her conversation with Abraham before the fateful trip to bring Maggie to the Hilltop doctor. It was nice to give Sasha such a high-impact send-off, but the way that the narrative cut back and forth between Sasha’s quieter moments and the action at Alexandria definitely slowed the story down. Also, let’s be honest. Sasha, while taking a bigger role over this season, was still truly a second-rank character. Crafting The First Day of the Rest of Your Life in such a way means that we’re bound to have a full season long goodbye should we ever see Rick, Daryl, Michonne, or a few of the others put on the chopping block. Or was this an attempt to make up for what they did to Glenn?

Please don’t be mistaken. Sasha’s final story was a great one. The episode being cut the way it did made the pacing weird, but man, is there another character who would have gone to the lengths that Sasha did, just to try and get that last shot at Negan? It may not have worked out the way she planned, but you can’t say that she didn’t eventually go out on her own terms.

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Via AMC.

5. Jadis

“I lay with him after”. Listen, Jadis, even if it wasn’t for the fact that you were totally planning on switching sides, and helping the Saviors, that just isn’t something you say to Michonne about Rick.  In fact, you don’t say that about anyone, ever. Even if they’re into it. Because it’s weird, and unsettling. Maybe you should have just said that to Farron in private, or at least sotto voce, so we could pretend Rick and Michonne were freaked out over nothing.

4. The Saviors

Guys, there’s a tiger loose on the battlefield. Sure, you didn’t know that Shiva was there before she jumped in to save Carl, but you’d think that, once you know about the fierce animal, you’d spend at least part of your focus keeping an idea of where she’d gone off to. But alas, Shiva got to make a couple of the antagonists into a quick lunch. It does go to show that Ezekiel makes some pretty good friends.

3. Morgan

I get it. You’ve basically watched as the entire creed you’ve been living by has been trashed, all because of some bad choices by others in The Kingdom. You’re angry, and you’ve turned your staff into a spear. But none of that means that you should throw everything away in a suicide mission (especially since other characters followed that same route, and did it better). Setting an ambush is a smart idea, but you know that The Kingdom has some capable fighters, and they just got tougher with Carol returning to the fold. Be a little more tactical next time, because not only did you almost get yourself killed, and The Kingdom directly attacked, but you ensured that your companions had to waste extra time, almost making them too late to make the Alexandria rescue.

2. Daryl

You’ve got Dwight at knife-point. Nobody trusts him. Tara, one of the more level-headed of your group (generally speaking) wants you to finish him off. Even Rick and Michonne seem content to sit back and let you do the dirty work. And then Dwight spins a little story about how much he wants to see Negan eliminated, which saves him? Um, okay. Look, Daryl, you have absolutely no reason to trust him, and you’ve seen with your own eyes how willing Dwight is to say and do whatever to save his own skin. Maybe this isn’t the best time to put your faith in what he’s saying.

1. Rick

Speaking of putting your faith in the wrong people, Rick is so convinced that he proved to Jadis and the rest of her people the value of his plan, that he trusts them completely. He even makes sure that his people and her people basically work in tandem. Rick is on the battlements with Jadis, and Michonne is on a rooftop with Farron. Not even the comment of “I lay with him after” gave you any sort of pause. If it hadn’t been for walkerSasha kicking everything into a chaotic gear, the saga of Rick would have been over. I mean, they forced you to fight an armored, bladed walker just for the chance to bring them guns. Why would you trust them so much? I get that you needed numbers, but that doesn’t mean you should be so willing to hinge your entire plan on a group of people that you barely know, and have already had to struggle against just to be heard.

That does it for this season. Fear the Walking Dead is just around the corner, so we’ll get to be reminded about characters that we actively root against the entire time. It’ll give us something else to do until October, when the big show returns for to break the century mark, with episode 100. See you around.

The Walking Dumb: Season 7, Episode 15 – Something They Need

If you’re going to have a big, bloody mess of a season finale, you can’t really do that without getting all of the pieces together. For The Walking Dead, it means making sure that all of the characters are starting to gather together into their different factions, and that those factions are properly armed. That was exactly what was being set up with this week’s episode, as we got to see Rick and his group take a visit towards the beach, getting the guns they desperately need to fight back against Negan. We also had a couple of side trips to the Hilltop community, to remind us all that there’s still a lot of angst between Gregory and Maggie. Oh, and the big reveal about who found Rosita at the end of the last episode? It was clearly meant to be more shocking, except it’s been telegraphed ever since Dwight took Daryl’s stuff the first time.

So how does the episode stand up, overall? Well, it was just another episode moving us towards SOMETHING happening. Sure, we got to see the Alexandrians and the Oceansiders team up to take out the threat of the water-logged walkers, and we did get to hear Negan drop the line “beach ball-sized lady nuts” a few times (because someone had to take over for Abraham’s strange turns of phrase), but it was just place-setting. After much of this season moving at a relatively slow pace, partially because of the limitations of having so many different set pieces, we should be in for an action-packed finale. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s what we’re going to get, but it’s clearly Something They Need to do, to hopefully avoid the frustrations within the fanbase they had last season.

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Via AMC

5. Negan

Alright, clearly the big boss man behind the Saviors has a plan, and it’s actually worked in his favor with regards to Eugene. But man, there’s just something that seems extremely foolish about not only taking Sasha captive, but also giving her a weapon, no matter how short of a time. This is a man who doesn’t take kindly to offenses against him, and trying to storm his stronghold completely alone, while displaying those “lady nuts”, is also a pretty big affront.

4. Carl

Our little Romeo-wannabe got asked by Enid if he’s ever thinks about the people he’s killed. Much later, Carl replies that he also thinks about the people he didn’t. I know the kid is messed up thanks to everything he’s seen and done, but at some point, we would have hoped he’d picked up a little bit of the skill of how to small talk with a love interest from his dad. I mean, there’s awkward teenager, and then there’s Carl. This is why he should’ve stayed in the house all those years ago.

3. Sasha

You’ve got a knife, thanks to Negan. You’ve learned that, no matter how evil Negan might be, there are certain acts that even he cannot tolerate. Because of that bit of knowledge, you’re also locked in a darkened room, with a body that is bound to reanimate unless you do something. Knowing that Sasha is not the type to roll over without a fight, why did she let David start to reanimate in the slightest? Heck, if she is planning on getting closer to Negan to later try and take him out, wouldn’t dropping the knife into David’s skull right away have been a better course of action? But no, take the risk that you end up not being able to find his head in the complete dark. Good plan.

2. Rick

First, Rick attempts to absolve Tara of her guilt about revealing the Oceansiders existence by taking the “greater good” route, only really successfully making it clear that the greater good is whatever serves Rick and his whims. Even that can be excusable, though, as Rick truly does believe that his plan to fight back against the Saviors will make the entire area, and the world by extension, a safer place. It’s his plan with regards to the Oceansiders that rings hollow. No, he doesn’t want to hurt them, but he certainly isn’t above scaring them, and possibly allowing some collateral damage to occur. The explosions are definitely the type to draw attention to the community that has successfully remained hidden, as was evidenced by the barnacle-encrusted walkers. But maybe give Tara more than five minutes to try and convince Natania that Rick’s group is in the right. Nobody from Alexandria is THAT convincing.

1. Gregory

Truth be told, this spot almost went to David, because he made a point of attempting to break one of Negan’s rules, without taking any precaution to keep Negan from finding out. But no, this belongs entirely to the current leader of the Hilltop. After all, this is a man who is so concerned with losing his power, he’s willing to sell out his community at the drop of a hat. In this episode, seeing Maggie outside of the walls, Gregory even made it clear that a large part of him really wanted to eliminate the woman he views, rightly so, as competition. When the walkers came upon the two of them, that was a great chance for Gregory to at least try to let that particular loose end get tied up, without having to get his hands dirty. Instead, it only served to prove just how much more capable Maggie is, and the fact that it was witnessed by members of the Hilltop just made it that much worse for him. Clearly the only thing he truly did right was to rope Kal into his planned voyage to the Savior compound.

Next week is an extra-long season finale. It needs to be extra long to tie up as many loose ends from this season as possible. It also could be the time where we say goodbye to a few of our friends from the past few seasons. Oh, and Gregory. But we can’t call him a friend. He’s just a jerk that we’ve put up with.

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.

TWD0714c

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?