Be warned! This review will cover aspects of the episode. Spoilers will lurk like groaning walkers..
Aside from visits to Alexandria, Hilltop and the junkers) this week, The Walking Dead was primarily taken up with The All-Rick And Michonne Variety Adventure Hour. Yes, the show’s favourite(?) lovebirds are off on a foraging mission and we get to watch them battle walkers, steal from unsuspecting Saviours, ponder the future and bonk. So if you’ve been hoping for a more rounded look at their relationship, then you’ll likely have been pleased. It did at least offer a chance for Andrew Lincoln to smile more once again, and allowed Danai Gurira to bring more joy to Michonne than she’s had the chance to for a while. There’s no denying the easy chemistry between these two, and director Greg Nicotero is certainly able to deliver on the quiet character front, while not denying his zombie gore side.
The action portion of the episode swung wildly between the fun (seeing Rick and Michonne’s joy at working together to take down walkers) and utter stupidity (mostly Rick’s misadventure with the zombies and the two idiots not realising that the building’s roof might be compromised).
Back at home base, there was largely just time for a couple of combative heart-to-hearts as Rosita sparred with Tara over whether they should be fighting the Saviours now and with Father Gabriel on a similar theme. Neither of them were exactly effective, and mostly seemed designed to push the plot along rather than revealing much more than a few tiny elements of the not-always-so-good priest. And then we see Rosita heading to Hilltop to talk to Sasha about her brand new plan to somehow take Negan down with a sniper rifle. Well, we suppose they could wait until he takes a morning stroll with that damn baseball bat…
But back to people who were present this week: Judith! L’il Ass-Kicker was back, and growing like a weed, though she didn’t actually say anything. Kids today, eh? Not developing primary language skills… What are they like?
Well, at least there were some funny moments. A sometimes frustrating episode of the show again, albeit more entertaining than last week. Rick and Michonne made a great team, but did we really need the endless, repetitive battles against walkers in the disused fun fair (shades of Zombieland‘s big theme park finale there)? And dear Team Walking Dead (which this week included writer Matthew Negrete) – you really don’t want to be making people think about the worst excesses of the show’s attempts to fool the audience. No matter how much you might want us to think Rick has perished (after an act of supreme stupidity, no less), no one is fooled.
Still, when the scenes between our heroes worked, they really worked. The slightly haphazard plan to block off one section of walkers so they could be taken out, which threatened to descend into farce, was an enjoyable tense take on the series’ usual action beats that still found time to poke fun. The quieter scenes between the paired layered in some healthy relationship developed, and we learned more about how Rick and Michonne are figuring out themselves and what might happen next. The plot also got pushed thanks to that convenient (well mostly) batch of weapons and supplies they just happened to stumble upon, and Rick was able to hash out a deal with Jadis and her Junkers. As for the minor subplot about Rosita and Sasha’s big plan to kill Negan? We figure that has about as much chance of working as Carl has of becoming king of the Kingdom, but good luck to ’em. Say Yes wasn’t a classic episode of the series, but it offered something that blended enough lighthearted moments and weighty emotions into one satisfying MRE stew.
Can the junkers be trusted?
Jadis and her moody bunch seem to change deals about as quickly as Darth Vader, but at least they’re willing to negotiate. Will they actually step up when it comes time to fight the Saviours? We can but hope.
Won’t The Saviours Respond to someone robbing them?
You’d think Negan would investigate – and he probably will. More importantly, we still have to wonder why he and his goons don’t have the other communities under surveillance (beyond lack of resources to do so). You’d think he’d want to know if they’re gathering weapons!
Is Tara finally ready to tell everyone at Oceanside?
There is that little moment where Tara wants a word with Rick… And despite their resistance to Strangers From The Outside, they’d certainly be handy in a fight with the Saviours. So that’s our guess.
Read this season’s previous reviews below…
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC in the States and Mondays at 9pm on Fox UK.