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?


The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 13: Bury Me Here

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I gave this a 82 out of 100.

I find that rarely in the Walking Dead does the writing, direction and acting come together to deliver an emotional feeling drama and I think Scott Gimple, Lennie James and Alrick Riley pulled an incredible synergy around Morgan’s character in this episode. I will tell you in the comics, Morgan is a flat, two dimensional character in contrast to what they have been able to deliver and achieve with Morgan in the show. I love the arc Gimple has put together for Morgan since Season 3’s episode ‘Clear’. It appears to be carefully constructed.

For me, Morgan represents the continuation of morality; the use of violence only when it’s necessary; handing down of life lessons and nurturing of the young; justice and channeling of the elements of goodness; even if they are sourced from those who aren’t all the way good (like Richard who had good intentions and leadership aspirations.)

* We jump forward to a preparation of an offering of one cantaloupe to the Saviors and then credits.

* We jump back to the present where Carol awakes from nightmares by the light of a hurricane lamp.

* Morgan trains Benjamin’s brother on the Bo Staff and manages to get him to admit he looks up to Benjamin while Benjamin walks by.

* Carol decides to go to the Kingdom to question Morgan if everyone in Alexandria is okay? She injures a walker on the way and kills five more with a street sign before entering. Morgan defers to Daryl and offers to take her to Alexandria to find out.

* On the way back Carol notices an unknown person killed the injured walker and they then show Richard digging a grave next to some shopping carts and a yellow crate. He buries the backpack of a little girl with the dirt he is piling up from the grave (this was the backpack of his daughter.)

* Nabila tells Ezekiel that the King’s garden is ridden with Weevils and has to be destroyed, however it will grow back with time (nice analogy and hopeful message about the world they live in with the walkers and civilization.)

* Benjamin goes to Morgan’s apartment. He gives Morgan a velvet painting of a bull fighter. Morgan asks who the girl was who gave it to him and he refuses to answer. He shows Morgan his Akido book and quotes the line “To injure an opponent is to injure oneself” and concludes you get injured no matter what. (Foreshadowing his future death.)

* Richard comments to Morgan that Benjamin is too young to be a father. Morgan asks him if he was ever a father and he says he was and had the perfect life. Richard takes the opportunity to acknowledge how they don’t see things the same and reflects on how Morgan will have to change his good ways because the thing with the Saviors won’t last.

* Ezekiel and Company head out for a Savior drop off with 12 cantaloupes and they are delayed from arriving on time by shopping carts blocking the road in an arrow formation. They get out to clear the road block and find an open grave the arrow points to that says ‘Bury Me Here’. Ezekiel comments that it’s luck people are not insane and Benjamin points out that the world they live in drives people insane but Ezekiel made them another world.

* The Saviors aren’t happy they are late and the Kingdom is a cantaloupe short. The Saviors ask also for their guns besides the food. The Saviors says Ezekiel needs to teach them a lesson. Richard steps up to be shot by the Saviors (as he expected) and instead they open fire and shoot Benjamin in the left femoral artery and he starts to bleed out. They tell Ezekiel to come back with the missing Cantaloupe the same time the next day.

* Ezekiel and crew rush Benjamin to Carol’s place because she’s the closest and has medical supplies, however it’s too late and Ben loses to much blood and dies. Ben repeats the line ‘To injure an opponent is to injure one’s self’ before he goes. (That may be the case if it causes Morgan to rampage against the saviors.)

* This causes a psychotic break in Morgan and he starts to relive his past in flashing montage. He nearly commits suicide by slashing his wrists in the open grave Richard had dug. He kicks the yellow bin at the height of his freakout to reveal the cantaloupe that made them short with the Saviors and cost Ben his life.

* Morgan confronts Richard about the Cantaloupe and Richard admits he set up the whole thing to have a conflict with Saviors. He was sure he would be the one who was shot because the Saviors stated he would be the first one to go if there was a problem in the past. He then tells Morgan since it didn’t go that way this was because the Kingdom has done nothing. Richard reflects back to his past where he did nothing and it cost his family their lives. He points out they can use what happened to make the Saviors understand that they get it and understand what they need to do, so they Saviors gain their trust and then they kill the Saviors. ‘Kill or you might as well kill yourself.’ He tells Morgan he will take this opportunity to lead the armies to kill the Saviors and that he will talk to Ezekiel and tell everyone what he did soon and live with that the rest of his life.

* The next day they bring the Cantaloupe (the scene we see right at the beginning) to the Saviors on time. Morgan asks Richard if he spoke with Ezekiel and he says he will do that later. (I think at that point Morgan felt Richard was lying to him and had is own motives other than what he told Morgan.) Ezekiel overhears this conversation and demands to be told then what Richard was going to tell him just as the Saviors show up. The Saviors ask about Ben and Ezekiel tells them he’s dead and the leader of the small Savior group tells the shooter of Ben to start walking back to where they came from or he will kill him.

* Richard starts to tell the Saviors they get it and Morgan snaps and strangles Richard and tells everyone Richard caused the issues from the previous day. He continues Richard’s intended speech by saying they know what they need to do. Richard’s original intention to use his own life to gain the Saviors trust is realized by Morgan. The pickups will continue after that. (Morgan has every intention to kill the Saviors when they least expect it; fulfilling Richard’s other intentions.)

* Morgan tells Ezekiel that Richard wanted to die and he thought that he had a choice in the matter, however when the Saviors chose *Duane* had to die. Ezekiel asks who is Duane? and then Morgan quickly changes that to Ben (Morgan obviously saw Ben as Duane; yet another life of a child he failed to protect that had died needlessly.) Ezekiel wants Morgan to go with him however, Morgan tells them to leave without them and finishes off Richard so he doesn’t turn and then goes to *bury him* in the grave he dug for himself. He uncovers Richard’s little girl’s backpack and buries that with Richard.

* Morgan goes to Carol and admits killing Richard because he got Ben killed and tried to start a war with the Saviors. He gives Carol the opportunity to ask him what happened at Alexandria and she does. He tells her that the Saviors killed Glenn and Abraham, Denise, Spencer, and Olivia and he’s going to kill them one at at time starting now and turns to leave. Carol begs him to stay in her house for the time being, which he does. Morgan sharpens one side of his staff at her house into a point. (It appears at least part of the hold Morgan is back; the one that can kill people and walkers very efficiently.)

* Carol goes to talk to Ezekiel about getting ready to battle the Saviors. Ezekiel acknowledges to her that they have to get ready to fight but not today and she helps him and Ben’s brother plant new crops in the King’s Garden.

* Best Lines ‘I think I just pissed myself’; ‘Leave the Cobbler’.

The Good:

* I loved the writing and blocking, especially how Morgan really listened to Richard in his speech about his plans and he carried out the plan; sacrificing Richard to get the Saviors to believe their obedience. (The part he omitted was Richard being the leader of the attacking armies.) Now he’s getting ready to fight; Richard got through to him.

* A big episode for Morgan. I really feel like I saw the break in his psyche after the loss of Ben. He now knows he has to fight to keep humanity from disappearing. The loss of Ben and killing of Richard has in some ways balanced him; he will fight and kill humans now if he has to. This is a move to the center from the leftest notion of not killing any humans anymore.

* Great montage where I really felt Morgan slip in his sanity at the loss of Benjamin.

* For me, Morgan represents the continuation of morality; the use of violence only when it’s necessary; handing down of life lessons and nurturing of the young; justice and channeling of the elements of goodness; even if they are sourced from those who aren’t all the way good (like Richard who had good intentions and leadership aspirations.)

The Bad:

* Minor things really. Some of the closeup walker kill scenes with Carol using a road sign to kill zombies looked a little funny and need to be adjusted.

* One can argue Ben’s life was a throw away (because we didn’t really know him too much), although if you think of the promise a child brings to the world (whom we nurture) and the tragedy a young death robs us all from that promise, is this any different then what happens in reality? Not really…


* Who killed the Walker Carol left in the road? Was it Richard?
* Is Morgan going to remain at Carol’s house until the war with the Saviors begins or sharpen his staff and to start killing Saviors right away?
* When is Ezekiel planning to strike the Saviors?
* Will Carol make her way to Hilltop to help synchronize the attack?
* Where are you Heath??


The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 12: Say Yes

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I have this a 75 out of 100.


Rick and Michonne go out for days trying to scavenge weapons to meet the Junkyard Dog’s deadline and weapons quota. They hit a windfall at an army encampment next to a carnival (kind of an odd pairing.) They accidentally fall through the roof of a building find Meal Ready to Eat (MREs) supplies, water and pick off walkers in the carnival area and win a prize of a few Kewpie dolls, a walker ravaged deer and about 60 weapons.

Rick almost dies in the process of trying to kill a deer falling from a fun ride and zombie swarm and this tests the bonds between him and Michonne. I felt her loss of herself (and need to live) when she thought Rick was devoured by Walkers. I can believe at this point in time they have both perfected killing thousands of walkers and handling a small herd, so a mistake in judgement is definitely the only way either of them could buy it and that’s what was delivered.

I also feel that Rick has found his equal in this post apocalyptic world with Michonne. She’s the only one as strong and as level headed as he is. Lori didn’t have Michonne’s fortiude, nor emotional, physical, or spiritual strength.

Tara debates to Judith whether she should tell Rick about Oceanside and break her vow. She gives Judith her trust bracelet from Oceanside as a symbol of passing that trust over to Rick and then she decides to tell Rick and the group.

The Junkyard Dogs tell Rick and company that they need to find more weapons. Rick negotiates for 20 weapons of those found and the cat (he took for Michonne.) They will use those to find more weapons. My guess is they need to find at least 60 more weapons. ( I don’t think Oceanside has that many weapons.)

The Junkyard Dogs with their black apparel and broken language reminds me of Dieter from Sprockets:
I was half expecting Jadis to say “Your presence intimidates me to the point of humiliation.” and then I was waiting for them to start dancing to German new wave music.

Rosita decides that Gabriel was a fool for convincing her not to kill Negan and goes Rogue. She recruits Sasha with a sniper rifle so they can take down Negan on what they call a suicide mission (See the Bad.)

The Good:

* I definitely can feel Michonne and Rick’s bond now. I think Michonne as a character has changed the most in the series from where she has come.
* The scene where Michonne thought Rick was eaten and dropped her sword was a great emotional reveal about her. I can feel how she wanted to give up living once she thought what she was fighting for (a life together with Rick) was gone.
* I loved how Rick wanted to take time with Michonne once they found their weapons and food cache; just so they can have quality time together. That’s long needed face time as a couple in this world.

The Bad:

* I really hate when I see plot threads leading action clearly in a TV series. Rosita going rogue with Sasha is an unfortunate example. The writing to me is sloppy and forced. I didn’t quite understand Rosita’s conversation with Gabriel. It made it clear though she was being irrational, although she doesn’t appear to let that sink in (when I thought she looked like she was considering what Father Gabriel said to her.) Why would they act so stupid as to think they can take out Negan on their own? They know Negan has an unknown number of outposts and heavily guarded main facility. Whether they have areas memorized or think they think they have enough Intel to make a difference it’s still reckless to me. Obviously one or both of them will either be killed or made an example of it front of Rick and company.
* Rick throwing Michonne her sword was kind of a tropic move. I have seen that in so many epic fantasy movies where the hero is thrown their weapon at the last minute to pick up the fight when they have been backed into a corner. I suppose it the Walking Dead is striving to get back to its Comic Book roots it works.
* Tara left Alexandria with Heath and she knows it looks like he was captured, so why the heck haven’t they sent out a search party for Heath?? It’s pretty obvious if he’s alive he’s with a group they have never seen before and that group could have the weapons they seek.


* Will Rosita and Sasha’s actions start the war with the Saviors? I hope it’s a series of concurrent offensive actions; not just theirs.
* Will Sasha and Rosita’s lives be thrown away for the sake of plot movement? And possibly another cast member’s life if they do not succeed at killing Negan?
* Will Rick go to Oceanside for weapons? Will they try to find Heath on the way? Perhaps that group with the ‘ppp’ labeled keycard has weapons too?



Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 11: Hostiles and Calamities

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I have this a an 80 out of 100. I like the interactions in this episode.

We leave off where Daryl just escaped due to Dwight/Negan’s wife Sherry (aka Honey) letting him out and Eugene arriving shortly later from Alexandria with Negan. Dwight immediately figured out that someone let Daryl out (and had his suspicions it was Sherry (Honey)).
Negan has him beaten up and thrown into Solitary. After that; he has his men go looking for Daryl; coming up empty Negan realizes Sherry is gone and questions Dwight. He realizes Daryl had been let out; possibly by Dwight himself or Sherry. He tells Negan he can find her and so Negan lets him out to go look for her. Eugene gets shown to some nice living accomodations where he can have what he wants.

A female Savior shows Eugene around the main floor of the sanctuary and explains the point system and how he can just take what he wants, he just has to detail and sign for it.

Negan tests Eugene’s intelligence and buys his lying (about the Human Genome Project).
Negan gives him the problem of deteriorating walkers protecting the fence and Eugene comes up with the solution of encasing their heads in metal and fixing them to the fence. This sells Negan on his brain skills.

Negan sends over three of his wives for non sexual companionship as a token of his gratitude later that night. He plays ‘Yars Revenge’ on an Atari 2600 with Amber and Frankie and Tina gets drunk and despondent about her personal situation with Negan. They try to quiz him about the Human Genome Project work he did and he uses his ‘not at liberty to discuss’ lie line on them. He shows them some tricks with yeast, peroxide and dish soap.

Dwight makes it back to his old house he had with Sherry before the apocalypse. He doesn’t find her but he does verify the handwriting in the note to Daryl is hers and now he knows she let Daryl out. He finds a goodbye note she leaves for him. She admits in the note that she is responsible for making him into what he has become (which he didn’t want to be) and that he took her back to the Saviors because she made him. He left her beer and pretzels to show her that he showed up like she thought he would in her note to him.
She loved who he was and was sorry for having made him what he was now. She even thought he might kill her at this point because he has been converted.

Amber and Frankie visit Eugene and trick him into making poison pills for Tina so she can put herself out of her misery. They ask for two pills.

Eugene grows a pair and gets the ingredients on the Sanctuary floor.
He also grabs a stuffed animal and calls it ‘Grembly Gunk’

Dwight takes the Goodbye, Honey signature off the note and cuts it off and plants it in the Dr.’s desk.
This frames the doctor for helping Honey escape. He goes back and claims he killed Sherry to Negan. Negan vows if she’s ever found then Dwight will end up dead from an iron mark on the other side of his face.
Dwight doesn’t even flinch at that this mention.
In front of all his wives, the Saviors and Eugene; Negan shoves the Dr. in the furnace as punishment for helping Honey and Daryl escape.

Amber and Frankie visit Eugene for the pills and he refuses to give those to them since he realizes they are trying to poison Negan and he wants no part of it.

The episode ends with a shared moment between Dwight and Eugene. It reveals they both are individuals, however they are fka Negan.

The Good:

* Who would have thought you would see Yar’s Revenge in the Walking Dead?
* Eugene bopping to ‘Easy Street’
* It makes sense that someone who is generally an outcast (nerd) and not good at anything who now has a purpose (making bullets, etc) is being rewarded with a nice place and companionship would convert to the dark side. However, there is a nice blurry line there where I feel Eugene is still an Alexandrian. I like those developments with his character. I also like how they used him quickly in the inner politics between Negan’s wives and Negan.
* I like Dwight’s development in this episode. Clearly he is maneuvering inside of the Sanctuary and he is stone cold. It appears part of his personality died after being inculcated with Negan and the Saviors. It does look like he is also blurry as a character with regard to being a Savior and not being a Savior. He let Honey go which means the old Dwight is still there. I have nice sense of the duality in his character.
* The exchange at the end of the show with Eugene highlights how they are both in the same place when it comes to their alignment (pretending to be Negan). However they both are coming from different directions (Dwight from the Saviors and Eugene from Alexandria.) It’s pretty clear they are both just doing what they need to do. They could become allies in future episodes within the Sanctuary.

The Bad:

* I was kind of surprised Amber and Frankie didn’t threaten Eugene they were going to tell Negan they slept with Eugene (if he didn’t given them the pills); instead they just call him a coward.


* Is Eugene just playing the fake role like he’s one of the Saviors or has he really converted over to being a Savior?
* Will Honey end up at Hilltop with Daryl?
* Does anyone ship Honey with Daryl?
* Will Dwight eventually end back up with Honey and on Rick’s side?


The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 10: New Best Friends

Thoughts with summary mixed together.

I gave this episode a 70 out of 100.

Rick and his search party encounter (lets call them) the *Junkyard Dogs* who have captured them and given them a chance to negotiate using a Trial by Combat method.

I kept thinking of the episode of Star Trek where Kirk fights the Gorn.

Rick has a cheesy uninspired non suspenseful battle with a walker wearing spiky armor whose defeat allows an agreement to take place where they will get back their food items and tools from the Junkyard Dogs in exchange for the weapons Rick and Aaron recovered from Stanton’s boathouse. Does anyone else see Fonzi jumping the shark here like me?

Richard gets Daryl to agree to attack the Saviors, however Richard was trying to lead them to Carol as the person who did them in. Daryl refuses to attack the Saviors and Richard’s information sends him to Carol’s location.

Sparks don’t fly between Carol or Daryl, however it was a moving scene. Do they have a mother/son dynamic? Platonic warriors? I think the vagueness of their relationship does help show both of them have trouble with intimacy due to their broken backgrounds. However, it’s a double edged sword isn’t it? I don’t get a strong emotional moment from them both because of that but I understand why. The overall effect for me was a warm sort of touching seen which could have been a little stronger.

Overall thoughts…Yawn…

The Good:

* I love Jerry as a character. His good natured obedience begs for me what his intensity will be when I will see him eventually fight. I am guessing he’s a pretty fierce warrior when he has to be.
* Daryl reuniting with Carol, however the dynamics for me were wimpy (SEE the bad).
* Nice easteregg. The Smokey and The Bandit Truck Trailer.

The Bad:

* More tiring wasted calls on Carol. More repetition from Ezekiel’s group. Even if it’s Jerry handing her the cobbler. Yawn…
* I think I wasn’t the only one disappointed that Carol didn’t hook up with Daryl. I suppose the nature of their individual characters is more complex than to allow for that to happen.
* Yet Another group very roughly sketched out.
I really don’t care whether they help Rick or not because I don’t care so much for those characters because I don’t know these characters. I have not seen them betray others; lie to others, dishonor an agreement. I have not heard their story on how they met each other or how the Junkyard became their home. Their words to me have no weight. I do know Rick needs them more than they need him so they do provide some suspense and motivation for why Rick needs to find more weapons. That’s about it.
* A fight to the death battle with a spiked walker. I never felt Spiky man was a threat to Rick’s life. I didn’t get any suspense. I actually starting laughing half way through the fight because the walker looked so ridiculous and piles of garbage kept falling on Rick. This was just to silly. I wish I was drunk at the time because I probably would have really laughed myself into a fit.


* Rick doesn’t want to give up the weapons cache he got from Stanton’s boat. Will Rick and company find more weapons? Will Tara lead the group to Oceanside or keep her vow?
* What is the nature of Carl and Daryl’s relationship? How does he see her? What about her seeing him?


The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 9: Rock in the Road

Thoughts with summary mixed together (I downgraded my score):

Happy Valentine’s Day and Second half of the season! I gave this episode a 75 out of 100. There is some sameness with my descriptions from my last write up. Chock full of dialog and action and story motion.

* Father Gabriel goes AWOL taking supplies in a car with another person. He has been planning this a while. He has a list of items and has written the word ‘Boat’ in his bible which leaves for the others to find. (SEE Unknown.)

* Gregory exchanges barbs with Rick and Company. My favorite line was Rosita calling Gregory a ‘Walking Ball Sack’. That’s something Abraham would say.

* Bertie and some other hilltop members pledge their help to Maggie and Rick’s group to fight the Saviors.

* Jesus takes Rick and Company to the Kingdom to meet King Ezekiel.

* Rick’s group reunites with Morgan and they tell him about the death’s of Glenn, Abraham, Spencer and Olivia. He tells everyone that Carol is off on her own.

* Rick tries to persuade Ezekiel to rise up against the Saviors. Ezekiel’s miffed that Jesus told Rick about his deal with the Saviors. Ezekiel wants them to stay overnight and he would let them know in the morning if the Kingdom will assist.

* Benjamin calls on Carol to check up on her for Ezekiel and she orders him away.

* Benjamin returns to the Kingdom and informs Ezekiel about his encounter with Carol.

* Ezekiel rejects Rick’s plea to help in the battle against the Saviors because it endangers his people.

* He offers asylum to Daryl since the Saviors have never gone into the Kingdom and he would be safe. Daryl mentions it’s just a matter of time before they will come into the Kingdom. Then they would be harboring a fugitive and they will be in trouble too. Essentially Daryl is saying you may not have a problem now, however you will in the future. (SEE the Bad) Richard wants to go with Rick (from the Kingdom.)

* Sasha says to Rosita she knew Ezekiel would say no. Rosita distances herself from Sasha with the comment ‘What the hell are you telling me for? We both had sex with the same dead guy. It doesn’t make us friends.’ (See: The Good)

* Jesus had gotten a hold of Fat Joey’s radio when rescuing Daryl and has been keeping tabs on their movements.

* Rick and company take the freeway past the Saviors place back to Alexandria and run into a road block and a booby trap setup for stopping walker herds that uses explosives.

* Jesus overhears a Eulogy on the shortwave radio for Fat Joey and Negan sends out a search party to go after Daryl.

* Rosita, Rick and company disable some of the explosives for their own use and head back to Alexandria racing against a walker herd and the Saviors setting out for Alexandria. In the process Rick and Michonne mow down a number of walkers in a highway walker herd with a cable strung between two cars driven simultaneously and then they quickly park the cars. The herd runs through the cable detonating the explosives that remained on the booby trap. This provides a great cover for any suspicions the Saviors would ever entertain of the Alexandrians having Dynamite.

* Rick and company make it back to Alexandria just before Negan’s henchmen get there looking for Daryl (I would imagine the Alexandrians have buried Rick and Carl’s guns along with the explosives in a hidden cache somewhere.) After searching the place the Saviors vow to get Daryl in the future and leave.

* Eric mentions to Rick that Father Gabriel had been missing since his watch the night before and the pantry was cleared out.

* Rick believes Gabriel is leaving them a message (see the bad) and focuses on the word ‘boat’ written inside his Bible left very conspicuously on the floor. He takes Aaron, Rosita and few others to the William Stanton’s houseboat land (Eric tries to persuade Aaron not to go before they left.) They spot footprints and that leads them to a junk yard where they are surrounded by a least fifty people. Rick smiles (credits)…

The Good:

* I liked Rick’s story about the Rock in the Road to Ezekiel. Challenges can lead to fortune or good circumstances is what I got from that.

* The walker highway cable slicing scene was cool but silly (See the bad).

* I like the dialog between Eric and Aaron because it shows some of the Alexandrian’s are still against Rick’s actions (even inside of relationships.)

* Nice friction between Rosita and Sasha. We are getting some more inner dynamics between characters. The show needs to do more of this with all the characters. Things would be so much better.

The Bad:

* More tiring wasted calls on Carol. Her story line is becoming too repetitious and dull.

* Daryl being planted at the Kingdom is for me the show making their setups very obvious. It’s pretty clear two things are probable with the Kingdom: 1. Richard will get in a fight with one of the Saviors. 2. Daryl will be discovered. Either thing puts the Kingdom on Rick’s side in the war.

* The whole bible thing with Gabriel I thought was handled poorly. It felt very Scooby Doo (Velma finding a clue). If Gabriel’s note about a Boat in his bible is an intentional clue for Rick and Company, why do that? Why wouldn’t he just tell Rick about where he is going? If he left the bible there by accident then the note about the Boat was a reminder to himself where to go. That’s just lame writing for me. He keeps a detailed list of items to take with him on his AWOL journey in his bible and then leaves his bible there?

*The more I think about the cable scene on the highway the more it doesn’t make sense. It’s got a serious plot hole. If there were still explosives on the cable, why didn’t they go off when Rick and Michonne sliced through a multitude of walkers at a fairly high speed? Instead they go off when the vehicles are parked and the walkers trip over it? It’s kind of silly.


* Is Heath still alive? Where is he? He looks like he was abducted.
* What does ‘ppp’ (or flip it upside ‘ddd’) mean on the security card? Is this a different group? My hope for years has been for a group of nerds to still be alive that have processor power at their finger tips. Perhaps this is who took Heath? More likely Negan eh??
* What is going to happen when Negan finds out Maggie is still alive?
* Who is this new group of survivors? Is William Stanton amongst this group (this is the guy with the wordy signs that had a lagoon and houseboat full of guns and perhaps the snakeskin boots?
* Who is riding shotgun with Father Gabriel? Is it the guy with the snakeskin boots?
* Why is Rick smiling? Is it because he sees someone he knows; like Father Gabriel? Is it because he may be able to use these people against the Saviors?
*If there was only one cable used for the highway walker stunts, wouldn’t the dynamite have detonated as soon as they started cutting walkers in half with it?