This week’s episode was a little longer than normal. There didn’t seem to be a huge reason for it, the episode dragged a little for me, but overall it wasn’t bad. We saw a lot of Negan and Carl this episode, and some of other characters too. However, I’m glad most of the story line went to Carl. It’s been a long time coming, but Chandler Riggs is too good of an actor, and Carl is far too interesting, for there not to be a story line specifically for him.
First, let’s talk about the characters who got some screen time, but weren’t really the main focus. The first we see is Michonne. She’s out by herself, clearly up to something. It seems like what she was doing in this episode will lead into something later on. In this episode we get glimpses. We see her luring Walkers, and by the end of the episode we’ve seen her create some kind of roadblock with the Walkers so that she can ambush a Savior and force them to take her to Negan.
Also during this episode we have Carl going after Negan, Jesus trying to find out where Negan is staying, and Rosita planning on going after Negan. So far it didn’t work for Carl, so I feel like they’re building up to all these characters being unable to single handedly take down Negan which will then prompt them into putting more effort into joining forces with other communities like Hill Top and the Kingdom. We don’t get to see whether Michonne is successful or not, but again, that’s something we’ll probably see in a future episode.
With Rosita we see her plan is somewhat working out. She convinced Eugene to make her a bullet, but we still don’t know how she’s going to get to Negan or if she’ll be successful. If Michonne gets there and fails, and/or Rosita finds out about Carl failing, then it’ll either spur her on to do a better job or she might back down, at least until a bigger plan can be put into motion.
After we’re introduced to Michonne’s part of the story line we’re shown Rick and Aaron. Over the course of the episode they come across a gate with a warning not to go any further, they then find a bigger sign that says if they’ve managed to get read the whole thing then the person who wrote it is dead and their supplies are up for grabs, then we see where the supplies are being kept, a boat in the middle of a lake filled with Walkers. Again, we don’t see if they’re successful in obtaining it, but that’s most likely for a future episode. Hopefully we get to see them cross the water to the boat, because it feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve had the group in a situation where they have to be strategic like Aaron and Rick will no doubt have to be.
As well as all of this we have Carl and Negan. They by far have one of the most fascinating dynamics that is just so interesting and even easy to watch, because they work off each other so well. Seeing those moments where Negan apologises for upsetting Carl (when talking about his eye) or when he’s holding Judith, you can see moments of weakness. Now, I don’t doubt Negan, I know he would kill Carl or Judith if he needed to or even wanted to, however, in those moments we get to see a more human side to Negan, no matter how small, and that to me indicates that he’s beatable. He’s not some impossible enemy. Which again I think adds to the growing idea that he will be defeated at some point.
In this episode we got to see Negan be cruel and assert his power, but as always we see him in a very relaxed and calm mood too. Along side that we see Carl be very human (in the way he gets emotional about his eye), but also a person who is clearly hardened by the apocalypse and the things he has to do. Of course Carl wasn’t going to be able to storm in and kill Negan, it was obviously going to fail, but it was played out so well. Carl was clearly prepared for the idea that he might be killed by Negan, but he took the risk anyway. It showed a lot of Carl’s character, how much he’s grown, but also how far he’s got left to go.
With Jesus breaking into the Saviors camp at the end, it genuinely feels like they’re doing all these solo attempts to get at Negan in order to build for a huge fight between the Saviors and basically everyone else. It seems to me that Jesus and Daryl will cross paths, which connects them. Eventually someone is going to cross paths with Morgan or Carol and find out about the Kingdom, and both are them are respected by Ezekiel so they might be able to convince him to team up with Alexandria. Everyone knows that Maggie and Sasha are at Hill Top, but now Maggie is going to (presumably) step up as leader, Alexandria has connections to them so they will most likely join the fight, and if they can build an army Tara might be able to convince the women she met in her solo episode to join too. More and more it seems like these solo attempts are to build to something bigger.
Overall this week’s episode wasn’t bad. Although a lot of the story lines seem to have barely started by the time the episode ended, it’s clear from the promo for the mid-season finale that they’re going to continue on. It’s hard to tell with promos, but once again it doesn’t seem like it’ll end well. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get another character death, but hopefully they’ll surprise us and instead present someone at Alexandria, Hill Top, or the Kingdom with a huge helping hand on how to bring down Negan.