Previously on The Walking Dead: Tara fell off of a bridge while battling Walkers and ended up at Bitch Planet.
THE STORY SO FAR:
Carl’s attempt at killing Negan ends up failing miserably as he is taken hostage by Negan and escorted around the home base of The Saviors. Rick and Aaron are still out scavenging for Negan. Rosita reads Eugene to filth and tells him to make her the bullet that she asked for. Spencer is still a dick, and even Father Gabriel is willing to point this out.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THE EPISODE:
The show finally remembering that you can do an episode where you can follow more than one group and one storyline at a time.
The scenes between Carl and Negan. Carl reminds us that despite his determination to kill Negan once and for all, despite everything that he’s seen and experienced, he’s still a teenage boy, and one who hates the humiliation that Negan forces him to undergo by revealing what his missing eye looks like. Negan reminds us (as if we could possibly forget) what an absolute bastard he is, but what little humanity he has left allows him to express some regret over hurting Carl The Little Serial Killer’s feelings, as well as that of Olivia’s. And however one feels about Negan since his arrival, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is still having quite a ball with the character, and it shows.
Michonne getting her Omar on and slaughtering a couple of Walkers before forcing another Savior to take her directly to Negan.
Jesus kicking himself for letting Carl get the best of him, before he resumes to infiltrating The Saviors’ home base.
Father Gabriel, of all people, calling out Spencer for his thoughts about Rick and his leadership, and for possibly plotting to have him killed so that he can take over.
Rick and Aaron coming across a sign that reads this …
“My name is Leslie William Stanton and I am armed with a Ruger 10/22 (crack shot: can hit targets 70 yds+), ARS 157, (I s—- you not!), AK-47, grenades (try me) and several handguns and rifels of antiquity (collector/enthusiast). You are not smart to have not listened to the first sign. You have been warned. I will not hesitate to protect my home, my food, my supplies, my ammo … The only way that you have possibly read this far without being shot is if I am dead. Have at it, assholes.”
… followed by the aquatic measures that he uses to protect his home in a way that makes the paranoia of Morgan from Season 3 look downright normal.
Negan cradling Judith on the porch, and leaving Carl and the audience to wonder what he could possibly do next … and what Rick will do when he sees the two of them together.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THE EPISODE:
Yet another episode of The Walking Dead spending so much time on Negan and The Saviors and not showing or telling us anything new. (Unless you count seeing a Savior have one side of his face nearly melted for breaking the rules to be something new)
If you’re tired of seeing Negan, this episode is not for you.
If you already hate Negan for everything that he’s said and done since he first appeared, then seeing him make a half-blind teenage boy and a plus-sized woman cry from embarrassment and anger because of his tendency to say ridiculously over-the-top statements to insult and offend whoever it is talking to will either make you hate him more, or just make you wonder why this had to be seen in the first place to prove his villainy. Or both.
There was no reason for this to be a 90-minute-long episode. Especially when you nearly end your episode with a brief montage of Negan taking a guided tour of Rick, Michonne, and Carl’s house, taking his boots off and making fists with his toes as if he’s John McClane’s seatmate, and playing a game of darts before finally setting his eyes on Judith.
On the plus side, seeing Negan cradle Judith and be affectionate towards her is still the least disturbing this I’ve ever seen when it comes to a grown-ass man and his interaction with a baby.
DOES NEGAN KILL ANYONE ELSE: No.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF HE’S NOT, THEN WE RIOT: Yes, and he’s clearly not happy about Carl being on his own and being in the presence of Negan all by himself. Fortunately, he has Sherry (Dwight’s ex-wife), slip him a key to escape from his cell and hopefully from the entire compound, if only so that Norman Reedus will have something to do other than silently waddle around in a filthy sweatsuit while waiting for the director to yell “Cut!” so he can shoot another episode of Ride with Norman Reedus.
ANY TIME-TRAVELING ALIENS IN THIS EPISODE: No, and if there are any, I’m sure that those are being saved for the mid-season finale as well.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: Other than placing everyone into their necessary positions for whatever happens in the mid-season finale next week and preparing them for whatever happens, there really wasn’t much else to this episode, other than to serve as a 90-minute-long advertisement for the following episode. At this point, if Negan and The Saviors are going to stick around (and they clearly will), then something interesting really needs to happen, and hopefully that will involve Rick and company finally doing something to strike back against them, to set the plot in motion, and to make us all give a shit about what happens next when it returns in February.
This episode of The Walking Dead was brought to you by “Private Eyes” by Hall & Oates: