Previously on The Walking Dead: A very long and seemingly ineffective gunfight between Rick and company and The Saviors. Rick ended up killing a Savior in hand-to-hand combat, only to find out that he was just trying to protect his infant daughter, Morgan’s killswitch was turned all the way on as he declared war on The Saviors, and Rick found himself staring down the barrel of a gun held by one of the Saviors, who just happened to be Morales from Season 1.
If you did the Scooby-Doo Head Tilt Of Confusion due to your not knowing, remembering, or caring who Morales is, take some small comfort in knowing you’re not the only one.
THE STORY SO FAR: The very long and seemingly ineffective gunfight continues, as numbers fall on both sides, including Eric, Aaron’s boyfriend. King Ezekiel and Carol, meanwhile, are using stealth and ambush tactics to take down The Saviors. Morgan and Jesus continue to butt heads, both literally and figuratively, over whether The Saviors they’ve overpowered and taken prisoner should remain alive, which leads to Morgan leaving everyone behind until he can get his mind right. Morales, still holding Rick at gunpoint, explains how he lost his entire family and ended up joining Negan and The Saviors in order to feel whole again. And also calls Rick a monster who is no different from Negan or anyone else out here in the Zombie Apocalypse. The large and powerful machine guns that Rick and Daryl have been looking for are actually being put to use by a couple of the Saviors, who decide to use them on King Ezekiel, Carol, and their rest of their squad and ambush them in return…with incredibly bloody results.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE: Morgan briefly losing hold of his morality and peace of mind and going after Jesus. Jesus, as much as he’s willing to defend himself, pretty much treats Morgan the same way a parent treats their child who is throwing a temper tantrum for the sole purpose of trying to get what they want and just keeps asking him…
Daryl taking down Morales with one of his trusty arrows, despite Rick trying to convince him to do otherwise. Daryl makes it clear that he knew who Morales was and yet that changed nothing about his need to take down someone who was standing and fighting with the enemy. Which just makes Rick seem to question what kind of person this All-Out War is turning him into.
Maggie making it very clear to Gregory, who has come running back to the Hilltop after abandoning Gabriel and leaving him to die, that despite his begging for mercy and his proclamations that he’s a changed man, that she does not trust him and will pretty much kill him if and when it’s necessary.
Gregory, besides being a coward and a turncoat, also has a habit of stealing other people’s pancakes.
Aaron and Eric’s tearful goodbye to one another, followed by Aaron’s breakdown over seeing Eric as a Walker and his willingness to look after Gracie, the baby left orphaned as a result of Rick’s fight with her father.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE: Strangely enough, as much as I’ve been wanting this show to pick up the pace and make things happen in order for this story to move forward, nothing that happens in this episode feels all that consequential. Which is also how I felt about last week’s episode, as I’m not given much reason to care about anything outside of these gunfights.
Like Enid, I also don’t get why Maggie felt like letting Gregory back into the Hilltop. He can’t possibly be that useful.
(I also learned last week that Katelyn Nacon, who plays Enid, was also one of the many, many, many cast members from Adult Swim’s short film Too Many Cooks, which was ten times more scary and disturbing than anything you’ll see on The Walking Dead. And not just because of Lars Von Trier’s performance as “Pie.”)
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: No, he is not. Apparently, he’s still holed up with Gabriel and talking about pants that need shitting or something. So you may all continue (dips) doing (dips) your (dips) celebratory (dips) Cabbage Patch.
IS MICHONNE IN THIS EPISODE?: No, she is not.
IS CARL OR JUDITH IN THIS EPISODE?: Let’s keep it 100, people. Do you really care all that much if either Carl or Judith makes an appearance?
(Those of you who feel differently about Carl and/or Judith can and most certainly will express your feelings in the Comments section below)
DOES NEGAN KILL ANYONE ELSE?: No idea, as he doesn’t appear in this episode.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF HE’S NOT, THEN WE RIOT: Yes, he’s still alive (though judging from the comments for last week’s recap, there’s a growing number of you who really couldn’t give a fuck whether Daryl stays alive or not)
DID YOU SEE THOR: RAGNAROK THIS WEEKEND? DID THOR & LOKI FINALLY MAKE OUT? 1) Yes, I saw Thor: Ragnarok and it was very entertaining. 2) SPOILER ALERT: No, they do not make out and if that’s what you want so badly to happen, may I suggest you put Google and/or Tumblr to work and start looking for your Thor/Loki slashfic of choice. I guarantee that you will find something that will tickle your particular fancy.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to wrap this up so I can continue getting (even more) weak in the knees at the very thought of Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie…
TO SUM IT ALL UP: The fact that, as much as I love a good gunfight, I’m not given much reason to care about any of the gunplay seen in this episode or last week’s. And as much as the show wants me to be as conflicted as Rick and company are about whether or not to let the Saviors die and risk sacrificing their humanity, as much as the actors are doing their best with what they’re being given, none of the writing is making me care or feel the same level of emotional pain and conflict as they do about what kind of effect this All-Out War will have on them all. I can only hope that the rest of this season changes that. (crosses fingers)
This episode of The Walking Dead is brought to you by “Somebody’s Gotta Die” by The Notorious B.I.G.