In the season 7 mid-season finale, The Walking Dead continues where it left off last week with Negan revisiting the Alexandria Safe Zone with Carl. As he waits for Rick to return with the contribution of supplies that he is currently on a run for, Negan continues to exert his dominance, and the Alexandrians continue to suffer great losses.
After a long first half of the season, it seems that The Walking Dead has finally found their footing. There were several stand-alone episodes this season, and the constant breaking from the current story arc to focus on individual characters was sowing the seeds of discontent for this season among many of the fans. Finally, an episode that didn’t disappoint me as a viewer. I laughed, I cried, I hid my face behind my blanket, and I yelled at my TV. These are the reasons that I watch The Walking Dead.
We had two main character deaths in this episode (and one minor, #RIPFatJoey). Comic book fans, and even those that are just fairly observant of foreshadowing within the episodes were not surprised with Spencer’s death. In fact, with the way that he has been acting leading up to his death, most people were actually waiting and wanting this death. His conversation with Negan during the ill-fated pool game was the nail in the coffin – literally. Don’t think that you can take the place of Rick Grimes. Not you, Spencer. Not even close. As for Olivia, I think that she earned a lot of respect after the “slap heard around the world” in last week’s episode. But now she is gone.
My heart skipped a beat when Aaron was on the losing end of a severe beating by Negan’s lackeys, and when Arat was pointing that gun around erratically at our Alexandrians while a gutted Spencer lay bleeding out on the ground. While this episode was a bloodbath, it could have been much worse, and our death toll of recurring characters even longer than it already is.
Also worth noting, it’s always cool to see the characters that we have gotten to know meet their demise and then turn into zombies. It’s almost a badge of honor for the actors. If you are going to go out… at least be given the honor of being changed into the undead by Greg Nicotero and his FX team.
Oh, Rosita. What were you thinking? Ever since she asked – rather, bullied – Eugene to make that bullet for her, everyone knew this was not going to end well. When she couldn’t hold her anger in anymore, and she took that shot at Negan and missed (bet you wished you would have asked for more than one bullet now, don’t you, Rosita?), it was a little too convenient that she missed him and hit Lucille instead. Negan’s response that Lucille’s “injury” was almost as severe as the fact that he was actually shot at, which adds to the tedious portrayal of this character.
And let’s talk about that shot for a minute… Rosita fires the gun at nearly point blank range, and the bullet misses Negan, but hits the bat. The bullet becomes lodged into the bat – it doesn’t splinter, it doesn’t fly out of his hand from the force of the bullet strike – he is still holding it in his hand, barely moving an inch. Hmm… seems a little far-fetched to me.
While it was nice to see Rosita stand up and do something pretty awesome and brave, it was pretty stupid as well and did not come without repercussions. Much like Daryl has to live with the fact that he might have been responsible for Glenn’s death by acting out, Rosita very well could be to blame for Olivia’s death, as well as Eugene being taken as a hostage for his bullet-making abilities.
While I have high praises for this episode, it still pales in comparison to many others in the series. It’s the comparison to other episodes of this half-season that makes it rise to the top. I have hope for the back half of the season. The band is back together. The previews promote the “Rise Up” to fight Negan. Maybe we will finally see Carol learn what happened to the people she once loved and protected (remember that she was one of the original Atlanta crew, with Glenn since the start). How is this going to impact the now peaceable Carol?
All of these are good things to look forward to. So the “ugly” has to be the wait… new episodes will not be upon us for another two months. The Walking Dead officially returns on February 12, 2017.