The Walking Dead: Season 8: Episode 4: Some Guy

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I give this a 70 out of 100.

This was definitely an Ezekiel and Kingdom driven episode. I felt Ezekiel struggling with his identity and the Kingdom’s cost due to the war. I wonder if they will do one with each leader? (Maggie and Rick as well.) The Rick one is sorely needed. We still don’t really know where his brain was at before the execution of his plan; what his specific plan was (other than getting these 50 caliber guns.)

* Flashback to Ezekiel giving speech before the attacks. Not much on the strategy and what to do with Saviors during the war; just more pompous gesturing to rally morale.

* Cutback to Kingdom fighters being cut down by Saviors 50 caliber gun fire.

* The King wakes up wounded under a pile of corpses that slowly turn into zombies and go after him. Jerry is nowhere to be found.

* Carol survived and made her way inside of the building to try and grab the 50 caliber machine guns.

* She hides out in the ceiling and kills a bunch of them and has to drop back when other Saviors start firing on her.

* The Saviors need to get the guns back to the Sanctuary to help out Negan.

* Ezekiel is rescued by a Kingdom member Alvaro who hands him a cane and tries to rescue him and then he’s gunned down and a Savior captures him (aka ‘Some guy’); one we have not seen before. Like Morales, this guy seems to know all about Ezekiel to the point where he gets angry with Ezekiel and mocks him by painting his face with blood. (More over the top behavior by the Saviors: See the bad.)

* Carol follows the Saviors taking the guns outside the compound and gets pinned in back of a vehicle.

* The Savior takes Ezekiel to a locked gate and can’t progress and decides to execute him finally and Jerry shows up cutting the guy in half. Jerry tries to break the lock on the fence with his battle axe which breaks off at the handle and proceeds with the King to beat off Zombies.

* Carol takes a Savior prisoner and he dies in the gun fire and she sees Ezekiel and Jerry battling off the Zombies at the gate and makes a decision to
rescue them instead of go after the 50 caliber guns. She unlocks the gate and lets them in.

* Daryl and Rick run down the truck that has the guns and go back to see if the driver is still alive.

* Carol, Ezekiel and Jerry are overrun by zombies by a chemical spill.

* Shiva saves them and is overrun by Zombies and we say goodbye to her. Ezekiel is devastated.

* Carol, Ezekiel and Jerry make it back to the Kingdom as the sole survivors leaving all the women and children puzzled about where their loved ones have gone.Ezekiel limps back to his room in silence; not talking to anyone.

The Good:

* I loved how Ezekiel was challenged by Saviors and mainly himself (as nonsensical as their mockery was). This definitely was his episode. It would have been better I think if the Savior’s mockery was all inside Ezekiel’s head and the reality is that they just show him being walked along by the Savior.

The Bad:

* The Savior who took the King Prisoner was a little too melodramatic. As with the previous episode, I do get that the writers are trying to make the Saviors look like a collective. They act almost like a virus that is headless (‘We are Negan’; mocking Ezekiel with his lines ‘Your people? You mean all those people you rooked into thinking you’re a king?’), however to act like Negan I think is a bit on the nose. Why is it that Dwight is against Negan and he’s a Savior? Why did Saviors allow themselves to be taken prisoner if they all are Negan? Wouldn’t Negan fight to the death? It’s because they are not. So there’s an inconsistency with this idea of a collective behavior by the Saviors.

* Not much plot movement here.


* How will Ezekiel fair as a ruler without his Tiger? Has his confidence been shaking?

* Where did Carol get the key to the lock on the gate?

* What is with painting Ezekiel’s face with blood?



The Walking Dead: Season 8: Episode 3: Monsters

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I give this a 65 out of 100.

We still do not have any context for the wars due to not hearing Rick’s overall speech setting up:
1. What the overall attack plan was,
2. How to treat the Saviors (Rules of Engagement: like Fire when fired upon or Fire at Will, etc…)
3. What are the objectives of each team and the location of their targets and the importance of these targets to the Saviors and what effect taken over these targets will have on the Saviors.
4. How each character is dealing with their marching orders. Do they object to these marching orders (Jesus?), Are they taking these orders to an extreme (Morgan?), Did these characters lose personal friends or significant others and are using this situation to implement revenge? (Tara?)

We got slivers of Rick’s speech flashing back when we were given how Morgan was dealing with what he was doing with reference to Rick’s speech.

* Morales has a standoff with Rick which is brought to an end by Daryl.
* Aaron says goodbye to Eric and when the battle is over at his objective he goes back only to find that a zombified Eric has wandered off to a field nearby. We are left with Aaron in tears.
* Rick has a standoff with Todd and after establishing a trust this is brought to an end by Daryl.
* Jesus has a drag out battle with Morgan who definitely has switched back to a clear type of mode in his thinking that all the Saviors need to be cleared (killed).
* Tara agrees with him and Jesus wants to spare the folks that have surrendered. Morgan takes off on his own after his spar with Jesus.
* Aaron agrees to take Gracie (the baby) to the Hilltop.
* After several strategic take downs; where the Kingdom loses not a single man; Ezekiel suffers the hubris of loss due 50 caliber hidden gun fire when they reach their objective.

The Good:

* The only thing I liked about this show was there was more dialog. I loved Eric’s lines to Aaron.

* The zombies rolling down the hill and biting folks was so bad it was actually hilarious to me.

So you, an Alexandrian/Hilltop person with weapons; guarding a line of prisoners watches zombies roll down a hill and then pop up and bite folks? Really?

The Bad:

* We still don’t know what the overall strategy or plan was that Rick and company are now implementing.

* Morales story arc was a throw away; lost opportunity. Here is one of the rare times we have a character that spans most of the series (first season until the present) that has managed to survive as long as Rick and has undergone a similar metamorphosis to Rick. He has lost family members; he has mentally become a killer out of necessity and survival. He potentially would make the perfect foil as an arch villain to Rick, instead, he has a super long tropic monologue and he gets sacrificed to show Daryl is going too far.

* The group of Saviors fighting Aaron and Eric’s group abandoning their fight front with the Alexandrians (many people) to face off with only Rick and Daryl? Does that make sense?

* We don’t really know if Morgan or Daryl as characters are going too far because we don’t really specifically know what Rick’s marching orders were. We believe it is ‘Take No Prisoners’ based on Morgan’s recollection or flashback to a sliver of Rick’s speech to the entire group regarding the War.

* We don’t really know if Jesus is rebelling against Rick’s orders out of intention or due to the circumstances of the Savior’s surrendering because we really don’t know what the communicated position Rick has on dealing with the Saviors because we never heard his speech.

* We don’t know if Tara is vengeful while following Rick’s orders or is taking Rick’s orders too far because she is Vengeful.


* Why was Morales so angry at Rick? He talks about how screwed Rick is going to be since the Saviors have come back. (Is that the same way a child acts when their friend who is a bully is going to wail on someone they don’t like?) In the same breath he tells Rick that his orders are not to harm him, Maggie or Ezekiel. So if his point is to make Rick feel threatened his dialog defeats that purpose before anything even happens. He also hasn’t seen Rick since the outbreak. He left Rick’s group on his own accord and went through his own personal journey losing his family. That has nothing to do with Rick.

* Why did Maggie let Gregory back into the Hilltop? What is his purpose or use to the community at this point? He certainly can’t be trusted or used for direction. I can see him being used in the future by the writers to pose an internal small faction opposition to Maggie inside the Hilltop community. Sorry writers your seams are showing with directing the story-line. They could have found a more natural believable reason to allow him back into the Hilltop like he gives them a piece of information they can use to bring down the Saviors; like information on an outpost that’s critical to the Saviors that Rick never knew about. That to me was sloppy, lazy writing.

* Where is Negan in all of this?

* What is the impact these victories have over the Saviors? What is it in their network that has been compromised? As an example, do they no longer have access to food, weapons?, etc…


Walking Dead: Comments: S8:E2: The Damned:

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I give this a 55 on out of 100.

This was pure action (for the most part) and with the flashback montages between Rick and Morgan, and the moral platform being swooped up by Jesus (from no apparent origin within him), I think we are treated to another round of humanity through the sparing of Saviors versus the blood thirsty vengeance seeking pragmatism of an ‘eye for an eye’ murder mindset. This has been done in many past episodes.

A sleeping baby is thrown into the mix to throw Rick off his bloodthirsty way of thinking. He wants Negan dead and humiliated and if Saviors are all claiming ‘They are Negan’ then that includes them. However, if you think about it, Judith is a constant reminder of humanity and how the innocents have been thrown into a world of not only zombies but a constant war amongst the survivors. So how is this story-line any different? It isn’t; it’s more of the same. Are the innocents supposed to be the Damned? Or is it Rick and his group being damned for continuing to go back to this mind set of murder for control and survival?

When you add in the high lack of story-line, dialog and the murdering of many small story-line contributing characters with no major character deaths suffering consequences to affect the story, it makes for very uneventful story telling and television viewing. Rick and Daryl’s dialog are quick conversations referencing an off camera conversation with a Savior about a gun location and how they couldn’t really trust the character. They don’t even mention who that character is.

There is no context for the wars. I attribute this and the lack of context about Tara, Jesus, Morgan, Rick and Ezekiel’s mind set about dealing with the Saviors to a missing speech that Rick gave to everyone that established:
1. What the overall plan was,
2. How to treat the Saviors (Rules of Engagement: like Fire when fired upon or Fire at Will, etc…)
3. What are the objectives of each team and the location of their targets and the importance of these targets to the Saviors and what effect taken over these targets will have on the Saviors.
4. How each character is dealing with their marching orders. Do they object to these marching orders (Jesus?), Are they taking these orders to an extreme (Morgan?), Did these characters lose personal friends or significant others and are using this situation to implement revenge? (Tara?)

We got slivers of Rick’s speech flashing back when we were given how Morgan was dealing with what he was doing with reference to Rick’s speech.

Even with the reentry of Morales into the story (talk about an arc jump! S1E5 (Wildfire) was the last episode I remember seeing him) this episode doesn’t hold muster. Morales dismisses himself; not even that could save this episode.

Supposedly there are three more heavy action episodes likes this which makes any character development and interplay almost impossible and possibly more boring episodes to come.

That being said, by having four satellite outposts being overrun in this episode alone; it does put some expanse on Negan and the Savior’s empire. Was that necessarily needed though?

* Montages of Rick/Daryl; Ezekiel/Carol; Jesus/Tara/Morgan; Aaron/Eric/Tobin.
* Cut to Saviors Outpost #1: Mara in charge; checking on lookouts not calling back. Aaron’s group turns up in their corrugated protected cars.
* Credits
* Cut to mission heading to Saviors Outpost #2: Jesus/Morgan/Tara/Diane and Morgan claiming ‘I don’t die’
* Cut to mission heading to Saviors Outpost #3: Carol & Ezekiel getting into a gun battle with Saviors and Walkers. One of the saviors escapes. Ezekiel releases Shiva to find him while they make their way to the Outpost #3.
* Cut back to the gun battle at Outpost #1.
* Cut to Saviors Outpost #4 (Shepherd Office Plaza). Rick and Daryl are looking for guns mentioned by a Savior.
* Cust back to Outpost Mission #2. Morgan bangs a fence to get walker attention and apply a distraction while Jesus, Tara, Diance and crew make an assault on the compound. They use silencers to infiltrate with Morgan bringing up the rear.t
* Back to Rick and Shepherd’s Office Plaza.
* Back to attack at Outpost #2. (Inner outpost simultaneous setup and take down).
* Morgan and his group get sprayed with gunfire and he goes down.
* Back to Rick and Shepherd’s Office Plaza.
* Back to attack at Outpost #2. This was the most fully formed story-line in the episode. Tara and Jesus find a man named Dean who has wet himself and claims he’s only a hired hand. Jesus believes him which leads to a stand off where Dean grabs Jesus gun and holds it to his head against Tara. Jesus manages to subdue him and Tara wants to kill Dean, however Jesus doesn’t because his hands were up. (See the Bad)
* Back to Morgan who somehow never got shot at all (although he went down in a hail of gunfire.) He gets up and starts killing Saviors while montage to Rick in the past stating they have to do that.
* Cut back to the gun battle at Outpost #1. Tobin is shot and Mara is bitten by Saviors that are turning after being killed by gunfire.
* Cut back to mission to Outpost #3. We hear again from Ezekiel how he likes to fake it until he makes it; Carol reiterating that they may not all make it.
* Cut back to mission at Outpost #4. Daryl finds food and handcuffs. This is like when Meryl was cuffed to the roof pipe in the first season. Rick is in the hallway and finds a bedroom and is attacked and has to impale a man through the heart on a bookshelf rail.
* Cut back to mission to Outpost #2 and Morgan goes on a killing spree.
* Cut back to mission at Outpost #1 and Eric has been wounded in the abdomen.
* Cut back to mission at Outpost #4. Rick stumbles into the nursery of an innocent sleeping baby and then runs into Morales. A character who left Rick and Shane’s camp with his family back in early episodes of Season One. Rick introduces this and Morales quickly makes it clear that now he is one of the Saviors.

The Good:

* There’s not much here that’s really good except showing the expanse of Negan’s network although that could be done another way that’s more cost effective and less consuming of time that could have been used for character development like telling Negan’s back story for instance. That would have been way more entertaining then this. That being said, this is a war and we do need war scenes in a war.
* Morales survived which is a departure from the situation that most of the folks Rick and Company encounter end up being dead either from interactions with other humans or the zombies. That within itself was refreshing. (See: The Bad though because they had an opportunity they could have used that they didn’t. )

The Bad:

* Why did Morgan go down in a hail of gunfire if he has not a scratch on him? That made no sense. That was bad. I never felt he was in danger.
* I never felt Jesus was endanger or any of the major characters. Should I in a war situation?
* Morale is introduced and quickly he dismisses himself as one of the Saviors. A lost opportunity to talk about what happened to his family and build is story-line for a more impactful outcome of his character.
*Jesus saves (in this episode; pun intended). Why? What has occurred to compel Jesus to act in this manner? Not only was he wrong about the person he wanted to save, he still saved him. That was puzzling.


* Where is Morales’ family?
* Who’s baby (Gracie) is that? What will happen to the baby?
* Who are the Damned?
* What was the red thing Jerry was using on the ground to figure out direction?
* Will Morales kill Rick? Doubt it…


Walking Dead: Comments: S8:E1: Mercy:

Thoughts with summary mixed together. I give this a 70 out of a 100.

Cold Intro:

* Flash forward: Rick with beard, cane and flowers (Obviously Rick wins the War against Negan and no doubt sustains an injury which is why the cane is there.)
* Flash back to present: Rick at Sasha’s grave.
* Alexandrians fitting cars with corrugated iron
* Dwight gets an arrow message from Daryl
* Carol and Tara wait on overhead pass for walkers. They are timing them for some reason.
* Rick does a flatbed truck speech from King Ezekiel and Maggie
* This speech goes on with a montage cutting between:
-Carol and Tara timing at the bridge.
-Back to Dwight sending message to Daryl
-Ezekiel’s turn and he quotes Shakespeare’s St Crispin’s Day speech: Henry V: Act 4, Scene 3, Page 3.
‘for whoever sheds his blood with me today shall be my brother.’
* Flash forward: Weird Al, Another rides the bus
Rick with grey beard a few years in future, flowers and cane.
*Flashback to present day


* Carl rolls up to a gas station looking for gas in a van.
* A man appears talking; persuading Carl to trust him quoting the Quran.
* Rick shows up shooting over his head and the man runs off; telling Carl he was late.
* Carl tells him there’s not going to be enough hope in this world (the way Rick sees it).
* Rick and the Alexandrians take out Negan’s men different savior lookout points.
* Rick kisses goodbye Michonne, Judith and hugs Carl who stay to protect Alexandria.
* Rick and Crew make their way to a meeting place with their armored cars.
* Maggie and Ezekiel talk to their crew and Alexandrians join them and they mobilize to attack Negan.
* Ezekiel offers his obstetrician to Maggie and Rick tells her after this battle he’s following her.
* Tara and Carol time walker herds coming down the road.
* They explode a car and that draws out a couple of Saviors to investigate as a herd approaches.
* Morgan, Carol, Daryl, Tara are close by ready to implement a plan against the scouts sent out to investigate the explosion.
* The Combined crew rolls up with their armored cars to the front of the Saviors compound.
* They get out and fire three shots as a group (like a group door knock.)
* Negan comes out with Simon and Dwight and crew.
* Flash Forward: Rick bloodshot eyes (he’s obviously mourning someone’s loss; perhaps right after the war. Who died?)
* Flash forward even more: Rick with cane kisses Michonne and we see Carl.
* Flashback to present: Negan says he was in a meeting which is why he didn’t come sooner.
* Negan brings Gregory forward that says Hilltop is with Saviors and anyone who doesn’t go home will have no home to go back home too.
* Jesus says the Hilltop stands with Maggie.
* Simon is pissed and pushes Gregory off the platform.
* The two Savior cars sent to investigate the explosion get blown up by traps.
* Rick counts down to seven and then attacks.
* One minute of shooting out every window in the saviors compound; not sure if any Saviors died from that.
* The two explosions draw walkers and Daryl leads them to the compound with periodic explosions.
* The camper is exploded at the Saviors Front door and this opens up the gate and kills a number of Saviors.
* Rick has Negan pinned down and Gabriel pulls him back saying it’s not about you (and Rick takes a Polaroid to commemorate the occasion.)
* Father Gabriel goes back and tries to save Gregory. Gregory takes his car and leaves him there.
* Carl leaves food for the guy at the gas station.
* Ezekiel smiles at Maggie.
* Rick and Daryl wait for Father Gabriel then move on with their plan.
* They attack the Savior’s Phaze Research facility and overrun it.
* Father Gabriel hides in a camper at the Sanctuary that gets swarmed by walkers and Negan is in there with him.
* Flashing Forward; Rick with Judith talking about a festival they are planning on having. (Funny how Michonne looks the same and Rick has aged.)
* Flash Back: to right after the war and Rick is crying for someone.
* Flashback to Flatbed speech.

Overall, I thought this episode was Meh. I didn’t feel like anyone character was in danger.

Gimple borrowed from Vince Gilligan’s Breakin’ Bad in the areas of using flashing forward to show us the outcome like Walter White with a beard freaking out his neighbor and then flashing back to the present to play out what happens to him. In this case, it’s Rick with a beard obviously surviving the war with some injuries (the cane.)
Michonne, Carl and Judith make it okay, however a red eyed Rick looking devastated hints at the loss of a significant character (See the Unknown).

The thing lacking here that Breaking Bad does well is that the way it is shot doesn’t play as much of an effect on the whole story as it could. Shot choices could be better.

The dialog is a bit sparse in this one. The acting is fine. The story line is also very sparse here.

The Good:

* The practical effects were great. I especially loved that severed zombie head.

* I actually liked the chopping up of the story mixing present with different futures. It’s more interesting then a straight ahead story line.

The Bad:

* The huge explosions Daryl set off were a bit much.
*I was lost by what Tara was doing with Carol. I am not sure you can time the arrivals of Zombie herds on the Freeway. Honestly…Is there a rush hour for zombies? Apparently.
That was a bit silly.
*Negan and Father Gabriel are completely surrounded by hundreds of Zombies and Negan honestly believes Father Gabriel is afraid of him? More silliness.
* Weird Al’s ‘Another Rides The Bus’ was too silly,
* This was a very Rick point of view episode. Funny the dialog lines keep saying it’s not about Rick, however this episode for me was the Rick show. Where is the tension coming from Negan’s end of things to heighten the tension between the Alexandrian’s and Saviors? This is the problem with putting the war start at the end of last season. I think it lost some tension going into this episode. Did Negan forget he was forced to retreat?


* Who was Rick crying over in his red eyed scenes?
* Is the gas station dude trustworthy? Will Carl take him in?


The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 16: The First Day of The Rest of Your Life

The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 16: The First Day of The Rest of Your Life

Season 7 Overall Comments are below

Thoughts with summary mixed together. This was a long episode. I have it a 76 out of 100

This one was a mixed bag for me. The Title sounds like the name of a game show right?

Most of the episode I thought was spent building up to a trigger point and the first round of the War with the Saviors and Scavengers. (This is being called by Gimple: All Out War; just like the graphic Novels.) I didn’t feel as much tension as I thought there would be until the end of the episode when Eugene showed up with the Saviors and even that had a weird delivery.

* Episode opens with Sasha sporting ear buds in darkness listening to Donnie Hathaway’s ‘Someday We will Be Free’ and she dies. Then credits.
* Then the episode starts with Sasha with earbuds in darkness reliving her last moments with Abraham before they set off to take Maggie to the Hilltop and before they were captured by the Saviors and Abraham’s death.
* We learn she didn’t want Abraham to go with Rick although he volunteered himself to go take Sasha.
* Negan tells Sasha it’s the ‘First Day of the Rest of her life’ and presents her with pancakes on a silver platter.
* Dwight tells Rick he wants Negan dead. Tara brings up Denise and Dwight mentions he wasn’t aiming for her and Daryl lunges at Dwight putting a knife mere inches from his left eye. Tara encourages him to kill Dwight and Rick poses no objections.
* Dwight remains unaffected by Daryl as he tells them if they want to end it this way to go ahead, and he was sorry but he didn’t do what he did for him; he did it for Negan and Sherry. He helped her get away which was why he was there and so was Daryl.
* Daryl lets him go. Jesus points out they can use Dwight to bargain for Sasha. Dwight points out Negan will be coming there tomorrow with 20 men and three trucks and he can slow them down by felling some trees. If they take out Negan he can radio the Sanctuary everything is okay and then they can take the 3 trucks into the Sanctuary and
take care of the other Saviors and get Sasha. Then they could go from outpost to outpost and end the war.
* Rick agrees to the plan and lets Dwight go.
* Cut back to Sasha in the casket remembering Abraham saying he has to go and she tells him she had a dream he died.
* Cut to Negan trying to convince Sasha to do his plan. They disagree over the detail that one person had to die. This is how Negan maintains control and fear over people. (Later on Sasha decides it would be herself.)
* Cut to Maggie and Jesus at the Hilltop. They mention Gregory has gone and so she decides she wants the Hilltop to help attack the Saviors.
* Carol leads the Kingdom guards with Ezekiel towards Alexandria and encounters shopping carts along the way where Richard had placed them earlier. It turns out Morgan set them up to stop walkers and Saviors, and they convince Morgan to join them in aiding Alexandria against the Saviors.
* Jadis and the Scavengers show up at Alexandria. She realizes Michonne is with Rick and asks her if she minds if she can have sex with him after she is done. Rick and Michonne awkwardly say they work to do and Jadis just shrugs to her second in command.
* Dwight is good on his word and Negan is delayed from arriving by having to get trees out of the road in front of him. This delay gives Eugene some ideas for a Plan B for Negan.
* Rosita sets up explosives with Aaron and Daryl. Michonne sets up sniper points and arms a scavenger next to her.
* Sasha is back in darkness with earbuds in the coffin listening to Donnie Hathaway. She mentions to Abraham he drowned and she started drowning trying to find him. She still tries to convince him to stay instead of go.
* We go backwards to Sasha with Eugene and he asked her if she changed her mind about suicide and being with Negan (she says no) and in defending himself ironically brings up that they all have choices in life. She agrees. (Eugene didn’t stop her which means he has some type of fealty to Rick’s group.)
* Rick and company get into position and he has Rosita within eyesight to signal to her to set off the explosives when they are ready.
* Eugene shows up in a flatbed truck with a megaphone. In a very wordy, awkward and hard to understand way, he tells Rick he has thought of every plan they may have and asks them to surrender. Rick asks for Negan and Eugene says he is Negan.
* Rick orders Rosita to detonate the bombs and she tries however they don’t go off.
* The Scavengers turn in unison on Rick and Company and open the gates for Negan who comes out of a truck and gets up on a Flatbed truck.
* Jadis tells Rick that Tamiel had followed and met with the Saviors and made a better deal for them.
* Negan presents Sasha to Rick in a coffin wheeled out by Dwight and Simon from the back of a flatbed. He orders Rick to surrender all his weapons and anything he has cached or Sasha dies and then all of them. He asks her if she’s ready.
* Sasha back in darkness with earbuds she relives telling Abraham that the dream felt real (of Abraham and her dying) and they lost it all before it just got started (pointing to them ironically pointing out their deaths coming in the near future.) Abraham convinces her that living is laying your ass out on the line for someone else. In their case, it was Maggie and her baby. They both leave together.
* We see Sasha get into the coffin; Eugene giving her earbuds and an iPod telling her she will be in there a couple of hours. She talks to Negan and he tells her that she doesn’t have to take the trip in the coffin and she asks for a bottle of water and says she could rest in the coffin (you would think Negan would be smart enough to know no one would be able to survive in a coffin for two hours without air right?)They put a tarp around the coffin and take off. She then takes the poison Eugene gave her right after she puts on the iPod and dials in the song.
* Negan opens the coffin to be attacked by a Walker Sasha and falls off the flatbed causing a distraction and time for Carl, Daryl, Tara and Rosita to fire on the Scavengers and Saviors and take cover.
* Rosita gets shot. Rick gets shot by Jadis and pushed off the perch he was on. The Scavengers and Saviors manage to stop the gunfire by holding Rick hostage.
* Negan institutes Eugene’s Plan B. He tells Carl to look up the street because he’s going to kill him. They look up the street as there are screams and someone falls to their death in the distance. Negan tells Rick it looks like he lost someone important. Negan goes on to say he will kill Carl with one swing. Rick defiantly stares down Negan and says ‘I told you already — I’m gonna kill you. All of you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but nothing is gonna change that — nothing. You’re all already dead.’
* As Negan takes his swing, Shiva appears out of nowhere and takes out the man next to Negan and chaos breaks out as the people from the Kingdom open fire and the Hilltop people join in. The Scavengers signal each other and they retreat. Negan, Simon and Dwight manage to get into a truck and retreat with a defiant middle finger.
* Michonne ends up alive but badly beaten. Sasha and Rick were both shot but everyone we know managed to stay alive.
* At the Sanctuary, Negan questions why Sasha turned into a Walker and Eugene says the tarp caused the air in the coffin to seal and she ran out of air and suffocated which he thinks about and then turns to his flock and tells them they are going to war.
* We see a small montage of finding Sasha as a zombie and Maggie giving her mercy. Sasha and Maggie looking out over the land enjoying a sunset together at the Hilltop. Rick, Ezekiel and Maggie talking to their people. Sasha’s funeral at Alexandria where Maggie eulogizes about how Glenn put his life on the line for Sasha and how Sasha sacrificed for all of them because they look out for each other, love each other and help each other because that’s what life is all about.

The Good:

* I loved all the scenes between Abraham and Sasha. I just wish they were *also* in last season so Abraham’s death would have had more impact.
* I thought there were great messages in there about sacrificing yourself for the future of humanity; knowing no matter what you do you are putting yourself out there and you can go at anytime. All done for the love of each other and mankind.
* Sasha using herself as a Walker Weapon was pretty cool. It follows the logic of her conversation with Abraham of sacrificing themselves for the greater good. I wonder if Eugene caught onto any of this? Or did he just see her as making a choice to bow out of that world because she couldn’t deal with it?

The Bad:

* The emotional exchanges between Abraham and Sasha were great. The dialog spotty. Small talk mixed with ironic moments like Sasha trying to get him not to go and foretelling both of their deaths in her dreams.
* There isn’t a single walker in the entire episode except Sasha. Even after all the gun play with the Saviors and Scavengers there are no walkers. That makes no sense.
* A major war is kicked off with only one casualty out of the people we know? Sasha and that’s it?
* They don’t show the scavengers wiring the explosives with Rosita, Aaron and Daryl so how do they know where the explosives are and how to disarm them? If Eugene was the one who disarmed the explosives, how would he know where they were and since when did he know how to disarm bombs?
* How is Shiva able to know which of all of these people fighting she should be attacking? It’s not like she was defending Ezekiel from being harmed and she stopped that attack. She went on the attack and somehow she knew which folks were the bad guys. That was kind of silly.
* Eugene’s dialog at Alexandria is too obscure and hard to understand. I had to hear it a few times to understand he was telling Rick and company that he thought of everything they could do to defend themselves and they should surrender while they could. It lacks the suspense and emotional impact it should have had. It’s devoid of any nuance showing Eugene may be playing both sides of the field. I suppose if he’s just a straight up coward always favoring the one in charge then that’s what it should be.
* How in the heck did that negotiation with the Saviors work? Jadis wanted weapons upfront before she committed to working with Rick and with the Saviors negotiation, they wanted 12 people if the Scavengers sided with the Saviors and let them in after the fact? Why wouldn’t they want the people upfront? Since when do the Saviors negotiate with anyone? They normally take things and kill someone to get a group to comply and then order that group to do their bidding. That also doesn’t make any sense.
* The show continues to use plot twists rather then character established behavior and interactions to make things interesting: The Scavengers turning on the Alexandrians, Walker Sasha disrupting a standoff; Shiva disrupting a standoff, etc… The best parts of this episode for me were the moments between Abraham and Sasha and Maggie’s speech.
I need more of that and a story and I thought the buildup was the episode rather than the war itself.
This could be another Gimple thing with plot lines where ‘All Out War’ is its own thing so let’s just get it started with this episode and let it unfold in Season 8. I am not sure if that’s done more for sake of story or negotiating for a new season. Unclear…

* I look at the Walking Dead and the only characters that have a confidante so we get more intimate with their minds are social parings like: Rick and Michonne. Rick and Carl, Michonne and Carl, Dwight with Sherry, Daryl and Merle, Andrea and Shane, Carol and Sophia, Carol and Ed, Andrea and Dale, Andrea and Amy, The Governor and Meghan.

Maggie had that to a point with Glenn.
Daryl had that at a point with Carol.
Rick has had that a couple of times with Morgan.

One can argue Abraham and Sasha, however it’s literally right at the end of Sasha’s life.

The other characters don’t have that so they are all two dimensional to me.

However some have been trying:
Jesus with Maggie
Aaron with Eric (They are a couple and we know little of their dynamics.)
Ezekiel with Carol

The ones that tried and fell short for me:
Denise and Tara
Bob Stookey and Sasha
Abraham and Rosita
Andrea and the Governor
The Governor and Lilly (Tara’s sister)
Carol and Tobin

(BTW: This is what I think Game of Thrones always does really well with; using characters in pairings with the dialog and acting and flashbacks to make them very real where I actually feel something about them in the context of the story.)

Season 7 Comments:

I think the entire Season was a very slow buildup to this 5 minute battle at the end of Episode 16. It appears I sat through a lot of watery characterization; sketchy world expansion and little plot movement along the way during each episode. I think perhaps they ambitiously took on too many groups and characters to be able to define them all well in one season. That’s got to be hard to do when you consider they have to consistently insert some sort of, action oriented threat of zombies in every episode. (To that point, Episode 16 had no zombies either because there was just too much they wanted to achieve with characterization and buildup; or they ran out of budget.) The Savior situation is just starting to be addressed by the Alexandrians. The only changes from last season are I know more about all the players in the picture; we have added some groups; including the Kingdom, Scavengers and Oceanside to the mix. There is also a touch of courage and defiance now added to everyone in taking on the Saviors. Other than that, that’s it really…

**Characters we know with some expansion**:

Rick: The only changes are we saw solidification of his relationship with Michonne and just more confidence in his resolve to kill Negan. He wanted to kill Negan at the end of Season 6. I would say his ability to judge people has taken a dip considering what happened with the Scavengers. Rick usually is more shrewd with judging threats.

Negan: I have seen his softer side which adds to him being a grey character; when people have pushed back against him or his comments. I definitely think he has more sides to him then any villain we have met so far. However he’s far from being a Benjamin Linus (Lost) villain as far as unpredictability, calculating ability and insidiousness of manipulation.

Maggie: Started developing as a leader in Season 6 under Deanna Monroe. Gregory’s faulty leadership skills have definitely given her an opportunity to shine next season.

Sasha: They threw her life away with poor story directions. At least they gave her a few minutes of interaction with Abraham to show us how she felt about him; however it was not enough for me to care a lot about her or him.

Abraham: I do know his speech about ‘Layin’ your ass on the line for someone else, tearin’ it to shreds for ’em — You said it before. Oh, my, that is living.’ would have made me feel more for him when he was killed in the Season opener. Sasha’s sacrifice is the only thing that has me thinking about him in retrospect.

Eugene: I think probably has grown the most as a character as far as being a wildcard. Is he just following his cowardice and bowing to the people in charge at the time or is still on Rick’s side?

Morgan: Faced a relapse to his ‘Clear’ days with the death of Benjamin and somehow miraculously snapped out of it when Ezekiel needed him to go after the Saviors for the All Out War attack. I was a bit disappointed they didn’t spend more time on the coming around part to knock him back on track with fighting the Saviors.

Carol: Decided to be a hermit until she learned her friends were killed by the Saviors. Wasn’t the whole point of why she wanted to be alone was she didn’t want to hear about or be around when any of her friends were killed or die? I kind of feel like her story line meandered and I don’t really feel her inner struggle if she had one, so I didn’t feel like yeah! when I saw her come to Rick’s rescue. Does she feel anything for Ezekiel? How about Daryl? I couldn’t get a read on either of those guys as far as love interest for her.

Rosita: Decided to go rogue yet Sasha paid the price for her actions as well as Olivia. Ho hum…I couldn’t understand why she was so up for killing Negan. I never really felt like I knew her feelings for Abraham to drive her vengeful bent.

Michonne: I think Is probably one of the most developed characters out of the bunch. If you compare her to herself in Season 3, she has come a long way. She has hope in her life where there was none. I felt the most for Michonne this season.

Jesus: I felt developed a bit more. I know he’s gay and kind of an outsider although people look up to him for direction; even leaders to help lead. I don’t know what he’s passionate about, what motivates him. I do get the sense he does feel alone at times.

Dwight: Another wildcard that is looking like he will go Rick’s way. I actually loved the dialog in the letter Sherry wrote to him describing how she made him who he was and I feel like he is making choices for himself (even though he is hollow inside.) I felt his hollowness due to the Saviors and how there is a weak fragment of humanity struggling to survive inside of him.

Sherry: I loved her speech. Wow! She has had some of the best dialog in the season I think. It shows depth of understanding and compassion for Dwight and her actions. I hope they do something with that. I would like to see more of her. She has the potential to shake things up.

Simon: He seems like he enjoys his life and knows his place and treats his job like a job. He could be a wildcard if he had the right set of opportunities; I suppose. I liked his dialog and I like the actor who plays him. I would like to know more about him to feel more for him.

Tara: I loved that she had to keep a promise and then she broke it. I would appreciate that more if I didn’t have an issue with how Cyndie reacted to this. If there was more intimate relationship with Tara and Cyndie established as a dynamic to play against; then I can believe having Cyndie side with Tara against her grandmother was genuine; however there’s nothing there so that just plays out for me as a weakly handled character interaction. I didn’t like the way they handled how she dealt with her decision and the outcome. She didn’t appear to have any guilt about leaving the Oceansiders with no weapons. (Especially after Cyndie saved her from being killed on the beach by Rachel; or spying on Oceanside from other members and from Zombies when Tara was going across the bridge.) I am confused about how to feel for her.

**Characters we know with no movement**:

Heath: Has been removed from the picture temporarily. If anything he will be used for world expansion to get us to another group of people.

Daryl: I think is still Daryl, except that maybe now he sees himself in Dwight, so he’s willing to give Dwight a chance.

Father Gabriel: Seems to be the same, his actions with the Scavengers seemed justified in protecting his own people.

Carl: Did some gutsy things this season and it looks like he will end up with Enid. Why does he like Enid? Will he end up with her? It’s unclear.

Enid: Not much from her this season. It’s unclear if she ends up with Carl.

Aaron: Not much for him this season.

Eric: See Aaron. At least we know he agrees with Aaron about attacking the Saviors.

Tobin: Nothing.

**New Characters**

Gregory: I think got established more as a wildcard coward. There’s no doubt he will be with the Saviors pledging the allegiance of the hilltop to Negan which will backfire in his face. This appears to be an unfortunate tropic story plot outcome.

Ezekiel: He appears to have a thing for Carol. Maybe he just sees her as his first in command, however I get the sense they will be together.

Jerry: Comic relief although I would love it if he were a total bad-ass with the double axe. It would certainly give him more depth.

Jadis: She speaks funny and I don’t know why and I really don’t care. She has a funny way of boiling down what she wants. I was confused about the consistency of negotiating with the Alexandrians and the Saviors. I don’t see what was trust with her and Rick when I first met her and that hasn’t changed. If she’s a wildcard I would need her to show vulnerability or an offering of some kind to understand that, however I think she lacks nuance or the ability to communicate that.

Tamiel: Jadis’ second in command who helped broker the deal with the Saviors and who convinced Father Gabriel to bring them supplies from Alexandria (she has snake skin boots).

Ben: I suppose he was just there to Duane for Morgan so we can see him lapse back to his ‘Clear’ days. There wasn’t much there for me.

Henry: Ben’s younger brother. Ezekiel is raising him.

Richard: I think didn’t last long enough to appreciate what he could have brought which could have been more of Ezekiel and the Kingdom to us. Who is Ezekiel going to bounce his ideas and dialog off of or interact with so we get a better idea of what he thinks about and how he feels about things? (Especially in private.)

Natania: The leader of Oceanside.

Cyndie: Has the potential to be paired up with Tara. I see them ending up together. There is trust between them although there was broken trust. If there was a more intimate relationship with Tara and Cyndie established as a dynamic to play against; then I can believe having Cyndie side with Tara against her grandmother Natania was genuine; however there’s nothing there, so that just plays out for me as a weakly handled character interaction.

Rachel: A little girl who can kill walkers and give Tara the finger.

Beatrice: A good fighter for Oceanside; very tough.


* Who’s side is Eugene on? Was he responsible for disarming the explosives or the Scavengers?
* Does Rick and Company feel like they have someone on the inside with Eugene? I don’t think so.
* Where are the heck are you Heath?? An update is long overdue. Who are the people you are with and can they join in the war? Do they even know who Negan and the Saviors are?
* What kind of circumstances would bring the Oceansiders into ‘All Out War’ if Alexandria needed them?


The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 15: Something They Need

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I gave this a 62 out of 100. ‘The Something They Need(ed)’ was a better written episode. I hated this.

* Tara tells Rick about Oceanside and we see a montage on top of the dialog with them sneaking up to the compound.
* Maggie instructs Eduardo on being a farmer and planting crops inside the Hilltop facility as Gregory watches on.
* Eric is glad he went with Aaron and finally agrees that attacking the saviors is the only way. Jesus has regrets about letting Sasha and Rosita go.
* Sasha gets captured. (Gee, there’s a surprise. The last episode literally just lead her into this situation.)
* She’s sexually assaulted and Neegan kills her attacker (David) with a hunting knife through the throat. Negan leaves her with his big blade to kill the zombified rapist when he turns and in the total darkness of a holding cell; or to kill herself. He tries to convince Sasha to join the Saviors and makes her an offer.
* Eugene stops by to give her ‘creature comforts’ in the form of a pillow and a lantern (there goes your suspense with figuring out how to kill David). He tries to convince Sasha to take Negan’s offer like he did. He tries to convince Sasha that Abraham would want her to join him and she says no he wouldn’t and to go.
* Gregory follows Maggie outside the Hilltop walls; she’s trying to transplant a blueberry bush to the inside walls. He tries to kill her (while guarding her) but is stopped by the presence of walker he says he will kill. Maggie ends up killing the walker and also another one that attacks Gregory in the process. Gregory is caught in a lie about his abilities to kill walkers with Maggie and the other Hilltop folks; he hasn’t and he can’t.
* Rick and company set off explosives and fire off a lot of guns in the process of taking away the guns from the people at Oceanside; leaving them unprotected and setting off a huge zombie all you can eat signal. The Coup De Gras was Tara once again given the little girl the middle finger; except this time it applies to the entire community of Oceanside.
* Sasha tells Negan she will join them (He doesn’t trust her yet.) It appears Negan knows Rick is plotting something (who told him? Eugene?)
* Eugene goes to Sasha and she fakes wanting to kill herself so Eugene will bring her a weapon. He brings her the poison he had made for Negan’s wives.
* Rick and Company show up at Alexandria to find Dwight there with Rosita ready to offer his help against Negan. Daryl and Tara have to be held back. Rick tells him to get on his knees.

Best Line went to Negan: saying Sasha displayed her ‘beach ball sized lady nuts’.

The Good:

* Eugene is a coward and cowards are definitely some of the most dangerous wildcards in the show.
* Eugene bringing the poison and not knowing if it would be painless had me in stitches (especially when Sasha rolled her eyes.)

* Negan continues to show his grayness of character with his severe intolerance to rape and his tailored methods of recruitment when he offers comfortable settings to Sasha (instead of torturing her like he did with Daryl) in exchange for information on Rick’s plans.

The Bad:

* Negan says Sasha caused ‘One hell of a fracas last night’. I felt robbed of her fight displaying her ‘beach ball sized lady nuts’ with the Saviors and the zombie David. Why the heck did they give her a lantern too? That could have been the most terrifying walker scene they could have shot; a close quarters; darkness struggle with a walker. Oh well…
* Rick and Company have a plan to set off series of explosives to confuse the Oceansiders. There were some walkers that came due to the explosions, however leaving them with no weapons against what will probably be a large herd of walkers (due to all the noise) is just stupid. All the gun play taking out the walkers from the explosions will no doubt bring even more walkers. I don’t think that was well thought out.
* A lot of wasted time and dialog was spent in Oceanside on trying to convince me that all the noise; taking away the guns from the Oceansiders (who were mostly women and children) was a good idea and that they would be okay with it and join Rick and Company in their fight against the Saviors. It’s not going to be enough guns to give to the Junkyard Dogs (the Scavengers) and their leader Dieter (Jadis).
* I don’t feel any real buildup here between the Saviors and everyone else in this episode, so if a war is going to be set off the final episode of this season they will have to address that first thing in the next episode.
* I thought Tara not having any pangs of guilt about taking the guns away from the Oceansiders was cold and heartless. I do know ‘giving the finger’ was an inside joke between Tara and the Oceanside girl. We know the girl can take care of herself, however I can’t help feeling the way in which these weapons were taken could have been done without excessive unnecessary dialog; making so much noise and in a way that would compel the Oceansiders to want to help Rick when he needs them. What specifically exists now that would drive the Oceansiders to help the Alexandrians at this point? I think that is a faulty plot point for me. They could have had Rick save their leader or their group from something like a Savior attack or herd attack (that was not caused by the Alexandrian’s themselves.)  Those things are certainly more compelling reasons to help Rick and Company then what exists on the page now.


* Who’s side is Eugene on?
* Who’s side is Dwight really on?
* Where are the heck are you Heath?? An update is long overdue. Who are the people you are with and can they join in the war? Do they even know who Negan and the Saviors are?
* Does anyone mark Sasha with death?


The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 14: The Other Side

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I gave this a 72 out of 100.

* Jesus comes out to Maggie. (Jesus is gay in the graphic novels as well.) He talks about how it was tough always getting close to people and how the Hilltop needs riot gear.
* Jesus walks in on Sasha taking his bullets from his ‘Farewell to Arms’ book and tells her she can take them and tries to persuade her and Rosita not to take on Negan alone and to wait.
* Sasha gives Enid a bracelet she was working on for the baby and Enid gives them 10 minutes to leave before she let’s Maggie know what they are up to.
* Simon and his group of Saviors come there looking to take away Dr. Carson. Carson finds out his brother has been killed at the Sanctuary and he is taking his place.
* Rosita and Sasha escape Hilltop through a tunnel and wire a car to get to the Sanctuary.
* They discuss how they will get Negan. Sasha wants to shoot him from a high up spot when she has a clear shot out in the open. Rosita insists they need to shoot him up close by going in to get the job done. (So she brings a sniper rifle? How about a pistol with a silencer right?)
* Daryl and Maggie hide in the cellar of the main building from the Saviors. Enid tries to keep someone from searching there and the guy still goes down there and doesn’t find Maggie or Daryl.
* Daryl reflects on his guilt for Glenn’s death to Maggie. She says it’s not his fault and asks him to help her win against the Saviors. He agrees.
* Harlan Carson is exchanged for a pallet of Aspirin and with the promise of Cardamom Gelato.
* Rosita and Sasha reach a high point opposite the Sanctuary and see that Eugene is working with Negan. They can’t get off a shot at Negan.
* Rosita relays her explosives (and capabilities) background to Sasha through a string of past relationships and shows her how to tie knots. They bond over talking about their feelings for Abraham.
* They enact Rosita’s plan and break into the Sanctuary and try to rescue Eugene who doesn’t want to be rescued and runs away.
* Sasha tricks Rosita into going first and then runs after Eugene; someone in the shadows with a crossbow takes out a Savior who saw them. Rosita retreats into the shadows.
* Gregory whines about his situation and works on his alcoholism and stroking his huge ego.

The Good:

* I like the blurriness of allegiance they are establishing with Eugene. It’s pretty clear though he’s on Rick’s side because he would have had Sasha and Rosita captured if he was against them.

* It did feel good seeing Maggie and Daryl work through what happened to Glenn and uniting.

The Bad:

* I don’t understand what kind of hold Gregory has on the Hilltop denizens. Why haven’t they kicked him out of his position? Folks have already rallied around Maggie for saving them from Walkers and she and Sasha are training folks to fight against the Saviors. That doesn’t make any sense. Are they worried he will just out Maggie to the Saviors? It looks like he is going to do that soon anyway.

* Sasha’s plan to wait for a shot at Negan was abandoned only after sitting for Rosita’s ridiculous plan of getting inside. That didn’t make sense to me. Again, I think I am being exposed to plot threads that are poorly written or covered up. Rosita’s plan is a way for the writers to get someone like Sasha on the inside to die some tragic death in S7E16 to set off the war.


* Who’s side is Eugene on?
* Who’s side is Gregory on?
* Where are the heck are you Heath?? An update is long overdue. Who are the people you are with and can they join in the war? Do they even know who Negan and the Saviors are?
* Who did Rosita see who appeared to be holding a crossbow? Daryl or Dwight? I think it’s Dwight. Daryl I believe is still with Maggie.
* Does anyone ship Maggie with Daryl?