Image Source: AMC
We’re starting a new era of The Walking Dead. Truly. This episode was the turning point. As a comic book fan I expected it but now we are really entering into a new age. An age where Rick will be the best leader he can be. Of course he’s going to need all the help he can get…..especially with Negan right around the corner. This episode was a sheer example of why we love this show so very much. This episode made us feel something we haven’t felt in such a long time. We felt pride in our survivors. We are so used to watching them getting lowered every episode to a darker place. We’ve seen them go to some animalistic and dark sides that we were sure they would never come back from. Even in this episode; we saw something so dark come out of Rick followed by something so strong. Rick has accepted that sometimes this world will take things from you. It will force you to do the unspeakable. But if you have the will power to carry on….that can outweigh a lot of the bad.
In this episode; we got such a treat. We got to see everyone working side by side. The Walking Dead excels at character development. It really shines on some of those episodes where we only focus on one or two members of the group. We get into the nitty gritty of what makes them tick and we are normally reaching for the tissues by the end of it. To be honest; the group has been so separated for so long that we almost forget these people have been fighting in this world side by side for so long. We forget the sheer joy we can have watching them all make a stand together. Honestly the end of this episode nearly brought me to tears….happy tears of course. Everyone makes it (well, mostly everyone) and we’re reminded of that original team that cannot be fucked with. Yes, Negan is coming and he is a formidable force against Rick’s group but please….watch that final scene again and tell me they don’t have a chance against Negan’s army.
The Moment We Were All Waiting For
Well, it was the moment I was certainly waiting for. Since the beginning of this season; I was wondering if Rick was in fact going chop of Jessie’s arm in order to free Carl and leave her to die. After the last shot of the mid-season finale; I got my answer. Now, to be completely clear I do not hate Jessie. I actually kind of like her in the show. The issue is I think she wanted to bear the brunt of this world for her children. Rick learned a long time ago that wasn’t going to cut it. As we watch this season; it’s become pretty clear that Jessie is willing to do anything to keep her kids safe. The problem is she needed to teach her kids how to be safe. Her lack of a push in regards to Sam is inevitably what got her entire family killed.
Before I get into the reason why I wanted to see this scene so much; I wanted to delve into the heartbreak of it all. Jessie was an abused woman who feared for her safety on a daily basis. A man came into save her riding a white horse…..that man is the same man who hacks her arm off while she is being devoured. Just let that entire notion sink in for a moment. It’s all tragic.
Now moving on to Rick’s big moment….there are few moments in the comics that define what kind of man Rick Grimes is. One notable one is the throat-biting moment. This one is another. We are seeing Rick get closer and closer to that edge where it’s easy for him to kill…..even a woman he did genuinely care about. Now to be fair….it’s quite possible Jessie was already dead and she didn’t even feel Rick slicing off her arm but at the same time she could have been in her final moments. What’s kind of odd in all of this is that in retrospect I think Jessie would have understood. You do anything to keep your kids alive. She knew that more than anyone. So all in all; Rick didn’t flinch. He didn’t have to. In this world you need to make quick decisions. You can deal with the consequences of those decisions later…..which I’m sure he will.
Again I’m also going to put my two cents in and say he probably wouldn’t have done that if it were Michonne…..but also Michonne would have let go of Carl. Okay….I’m done now.
Speaking of the always badass and oh so lovely Michonne…..I think I’ve said whoever kills Ron might become my new favorite. Congratulations Michonne! Well, she’s already one of my favorites but this week she gets the MVP award. This was the part of the scene I wasn’t entirely sure how it would pan out. In the comics; Carl does get shot in the eye but it is not intentional. Well I was pretty sure that Ron would definitely shoot Carl in the eye in the show….I just wasn’t entirely sure how that was going to play out. I did predict that Michonne would be the one to put Ron down and man was I glad that I was right. I did think that if anyone would bring Michonne to kill a fellow Alexandrian. It would be to save Carl. She loves Rick and Carl so much. There’s no way she wouldn’t save her family. I do wonder what this will do to Michonne in the long run. A couple of episodes ago there was a scene between Michonne and Rick where Michonne was explaining to Rick how he should treat the Alexandrians more like his people. The ending of this episode was a good sign for that in the future. But stabbing a kid through the chest has to stick with you. I’m so excited to watch Michonne grow in this season. I have a feeling she might be one to watch moving forward when it comes to strong character development.
So over these past few weeks; I spent the better part of it trying to convince my best friend that someone very unexpected was going to die. Why? Because 1) I’m a horrible person and 2) I really wanted to see if she would believe Carl was going to die. I mean….he gets shot in the fricking head. Carl has really become a great character in the past couple of seasons. His whiny nature has heavily decreased in recent years and the way he’s put Ron in his place repeatedly is just something out of a fairytale. I was fairly confident Carl was going to survive his run in with that pesky bullet. I mean come on….he’s Rick’s son. You’re going to have to try harder than that to kill him. Plus if the show follows suit he has quite a few big storylines coming up in the near future. This is all leading up to something I absolutely never thought I’d say; I’m so happy Carl didn’t die.
At the end of this amazingly epic episode….everyone came together. But there seems to be a lot of unfinished business between Carol and Morgan. I’ve talked about this so many times I’m pretty sure sound like a broken record. I think there serious frustrations with each other and directly tied with the fact that they are so similar. They’ve had very similar experiences and since those horrifying moments in their lives, they have taken different paths.
The scene between Carol and Morgan is something to pay attention to for future episodes. I don’t think this is over between them. I also don’t think this is going to end in some big epic showdown like most people may think. They both bring up amazing points. The line that stuck with me is when Carol told Morgan he didn’t keep the Wolf alive for the group….he did it for himself. She really hit the nail on the head there. And also Morgan fires back with a strong “you can’t” when Carol talks about killing him again. I do not believe that was Morgan saying he will beat her in a fight (though realistically I think he would) but I think he is actually telling Carol that she can’t morally do that.
At this point; Carol has justified every single one of her killings and we as an audience have done that too. Lizzie was crazy and she killed Mika. The Termites were cannibals. The Wolves were horrifying. All very legitimate excuses. If Carol just walks up and straight up shoots Morgan in the face? Yes there will be some Carol fans who will defend that decision but all in all that won’t sit well with most of us. Morgan is dangerous but he doesn’t deserve to be put down like a dog. I can’t wait to see this develop even further. These two characters have so much to learn from each other and the fact that the writers may explore this in the form of animosity and fury just explains why this so is so damn good.
Daryl’s New Toys
I know you got to give Daryl the big epic moments of the series and especially now that his crossbow is gone he needs something to compensate…..but if I were Abraham I’d be so pissed Daryl gets all the glory. Man, what a show off. I was really wondering at the beginning of the episode how on earth they were going to get out of that mess and knowing Negan’s men I must say I was slightly worried that Sasha or Abraham wouldn’t have lived to see another day. However I don’t think a man just popping one of them in the head is a very deserving death for either of those great characters.
There will be repercussions. Some of you people have no idea. Yes, what Daryl did is awesome and he saved Sasha and Abraham’s lives. That’s all true. He’s also about to cause a lot of death. I’m pretty sure Negan isn’t going to let someone blow a solid group in his army all to hell and live to tell the tale. Daryl may have just sealed his date with Lucille. Maybe not. More on that in another post.
Denise and The Wolf….Sitting in a Tree
What???? How on earth did these writers get me to actually care about the Wolf before he died? How?? He’s horrible. He likes to talk about killing babies. This show is insane and again I repeat really doesn’t get the respect it deserves. The dynamic between Denise and the Wolf was so utterly amazing. He needed her to survive and strangely wanted her to survive. He took a very odd liking to her and wanted to change her into a Wolf himself. That may have been a survival instinct again. It’s probably a good idea to have a doctor in your group and don’t mention the fact that he literally has no group anymore thanks to Carol. Some of it all seemed very logical but something told me there was something else. From what I can tell; the Wolves don’t really stick around to visit with the locals. They are more of the stabbing and killing type. So the Wolf being captive around civilized people may have just really held a mirror up to what he was really become. Denise being a very big part of that. In the end, he pretty much sacrifices himself for her and I am put in the very odd position of actually caring whether or not the Wolf live or died.
But let’s get back to Denise. A character who is slowly but surely becoming one of my favorites. Denise has found her confidence and her journey in this episode has really made her into a stronger woman. The Wolf takes a hold of her and says that this is really happening and she needs to be strong in the moment. That could not be a truer statement in regards to this world. Even in the last episode when the Wolf takes her hostage, Denise is terrified and calling for Tara. When she sees Carl is shot in this episode…..she doesn’t even blink and saves his life. Denise is getting the courage to move on and become a stronger character. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for her in the future.
Glenn Has Freaking Nine Lives
Oh look! Glenn had another insanely close call with death…..who would’ve guessed? Can the writers please use another character to torture fans with? Again I reiterate…..the fact that Glenn seems to keep escaping death also means that he is still on the chopping block. He is not safe. Not even in the slightest. I swear…..I’m surprised the makeup department hasn’t had Glenn and Daryl walking around with big huge targets on their back.
But for the moment everything is great and this episode really solidified the idea that Enid could really be taking Sophia’s role in the comics. After Carol is gone in the comics; Glenn and Maggie adopt Sophia like their own child and it really seems like the bond Enid has with Glenn is going to stick. She’s not going to run away anymore. She is going to maybe form a family unit with Maggie, Glenn and the baby. Oh my god the feels!
- The only thing I was thinking in the beginning scene was how much Abraham would probably be willing to die before sucking up his pride. I think the only reason he handed his gun over was for Sasha and Daryl’s sake.
- When we focus on the “Come In, We’re Open” sign on the beginning shots of Alexandria; I just think of all the writers giggling in the background.
- Jessie shows off her terrible parenting skills yet again. When your kid tells you he can do it…sometimes you need to make an executive decision and tell him he can’t. Goodbye Andersons.
- Glenn’s speech meant everything and was such an amazing nod to all of the important people we’ve lost in the past. The fact that he was reminding Enid of who needed to be because of the people she’s had to say goodbye to just punched us all right in the emotional gut. The words “They’re still here because you’re still here” keeps ringing in my head.
- Carol’s words ringing in Sam’s ears while all of the walkers are chomping and biting all around him is enough to give anyone nightmares.
- I was really curious how they were going to bring all of that emotion out in the infamous scene. Sure; if anyone could do it; it’s Andrew Lincoln but I really thought the way the producers editing the whole sequence was simply haunting and stunning.
- I really love the dynamic between Eugene and Rosita this season. I think that Rosita in an inadvertent way has given Eugene the strength he needs to carry on and be a stronger fighter.
- This is not as important in the grand scheme of things but I love how Rick still wears his wedding ring. The shows loves to put in these little tidbits of reminders of all of the people that have been lost.
- Michonne kissing Carl on the forehead before she leaves to help Rick……what? I’m not crying you are!!!
- Watching Rick lead all of the others during the epic last stand of the episode literally gave me chills. He falls so naturally into the role of a leader. The show will be truly lost if we ever lose him.
- I was way too distracted by Glenn’s impending doom to realize that Enid has some serious ninja skills to get up on that tower.
- I know Abraham and Sasha are really excellent shots but how on earth did they not hit Glenn with all that rapid fire. Also this counts twice that Sasha and Abraham have saved Glenn in a very horrible predicament involving a lot of walkers. They should start billing him.
- I could not believe Eric did all that killing with that boot still on his leg…..the man is a badass.
- All of the shots at the end with the building music was one of the best sequences the show has ever pulled off. Just brilliant.
- Father Gabriel’s words before he joins Rick’s group could possibly be the best damn quote of the episode. Who knew I could grow to like him so much in one episode?
We’ve been praying…..together. Praying that God will save our town. Well, our prayers have been answered. God will save Alexandria. Because God has given us the courage to save it ourselves.