On last week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” Team Rick put the group in jeopardy when Carol and Daryl decided to take matters into their own hands. Now Carol is missing, Daryl’s been shot and, Dwight has the upper hand. Will Glenn make it home? Will Maggie lose the baby? Will Negan kill tonight and, if he does, who will it be?
Before I start with tonight’s review I have to say that over the years, the cast of “The Walking Dead” have become more like family not only to me, but to the millions of fans out there. We’ve grown to care about everyone on Team Rick. When someone dies on the show, the fans take it hard. We know the actors and actresses in real life are doing fine, but we still grieve.
Why are we so invested in this show? I guess future generations will also ponder this question, but I think I know why. Our friends on Team Rick have taught us to survive the ultimate worst case scenario; the apocalypse. I’m positive that we’ll be savvy enough to survive a big disaster when it hits us and, we have Team Rick to thank for this… now to the review…
The town of Alexandria is getting ready for a battle. They’ll be fighting for their very lives. Enid wants to go, but Carl locks her in the closet to keep her safe. Gabe is now in charge of Alexandria and baby Judith and, I’m not feeling as optimistic as I should because our best players are on that RV. Maggie is sick, but on the way to the Hilltop doctor, the RV is blocked from going further by a few Saviors who mistreat a librarian.
Rick and a Bad-Ass-Savior (Steven Ogg) exchange challenges on who is more prepared for this war. The Saviors are not afraid of Rick and even Rick’s comment that this might be their last day on earth doesn’t faze them. While this goes on, we are shown snippets of a man whistling and muffled voices that only serve to push our anxiety buttons through the roof.
Negan’s men are well organized. We aren’t used to this type of enemy and Team Rick may have met their match with the Saviors. Every route that Eugene maps out for them is blocked by the Saviors. How long does Maggie have before it’s too late? Every road is blocked and one road is even blocked by a walker chain gang wearing clothing that belongs to Daryl and Michonne. While the RV is involved in a shooting gallery attack, Rick hacks through the chain gang to escape. Rick is still confident that he’ll succeed
I love that there are still animals left in the world of “The Walking Dead.” I thought they’d been all eaten by now, but Lennie James as Morgan finally got his wish to ride a horse, especially since there aren’t that many horses roaming the streets of London. There is something about the relationship between Morgan and Carol that reveals how much they mirror each other’s thoughts and actions. They are at different ends of the prism when it comes to killing, but maybe not that far apart.
Not everyone can be a Ninja. It takes a special type of person to be able to switch into killer mode at the drop of a hat. Morgan was a killer until he realized that, except for walkers, all life was precious. Carol seemed to be enjoying the role of Master Ninja until she realized that her kill list of humans had gotten too long for comfort.
I never expected Carol to beg that Savior for death, but she did. Death was a possibility because of her previous wound and the bullets her stalker put into her arm and leg, but Carol is a survivor and she would have lived. She taunted her stalker and he was pissed off enough to give Carol her wish, but Morgan foiled her plans. And, it appears that the men with the spears are the good guys and they want to help.
Best laid plans of mice and men… Rick began this episode with a lot of confidence. Rick’s parting message to Gabe was classic and cocky. He had already killed a lot of Negan’s men. He would kill more if need be, but Negan is a mirror image of Rick. Both are guilty of horrendous acts and while Rick committed those acts to protect his people, they were still horrendous.
Negan didn’t get where he was without causing fear in others. His weapon of choice is outright frightening in its simplicity. Lucille is only a baseball bat, but you add some barbed wire and the intent to use it on something other than a baseball… well, you get the point.
Every move that Team Rick made was countered by a more organized Savior move. Every road chosen on the map by Eugene was blocked, forcing Rick to retreat. Even Eugene’s plan to divert the enemy with the RV while Rick and the others went on foot, turned disastrous. In war, a savvy general will use strategic military maneuvers to force his enemy to lose hope on the battlefield. It is the ultimate chess game with the purpose of a checkmate that forces the opposing player to yield, surrender and fall to his knees.
Rick in is his boldness went against a man that was accustomed to winning. After Negan’s men lined up the captured members of Team Rick and forced them to kneel before him, Negan brought up a good point. Team Rick killed a lot of Saviors. Someone had to pay for this affront. Rick will be working for Negan just like the people in Hilltop do. They will give Negan what he wants, when he wants it. This is what happens when there is no government or any semblance to law or order? This is what happens in war.
Rick’s people are loyal to Rick and, Negan’s men are loyal to Negan. As much as we want to deny what we see, the mirror doesn’t lie. Rick could easily be Negan and vice versa. But, I don’t think Rick would use a bat to beat to death another human. He did kill those Saviors in their sleep, but would he use that bat like Negan did in the season finale? Jeffrey Dean Morgan did an awesome job of making Negan the most hated man on television. Greg Nicotero did an outstanding job directing the finale and especially having the viewers experience Lucille in action from the receiving end.
We don’t know who died tonight. We won’t know until next October when “The Walking Dead” returns for season seven. In war, we don’t always get the luxury to mourn our dead. See you in October, my little walkers.