Spoiler Alert. Yes, it’s a recap and review. So yes, there will be spoilers. Read at your own risk.
After the two best episodes of the season, The Walking Dead took a step back with a pretty slow-paced episode that was a bit light on excitement, and a bit heavy on Rick being an idiot. Granted, this episode was more about setting up later episodes, and it did have a guy get blown up with a rocket launcher, so it definitely had its redeeming moments.
Not among them was Rick’s boneheaded decision at the start of the episode to try to enlist help from the Scavengers, aka the garbage people who talk like Yoda and who betrayed Rick the last time he asked for their help. Hopefully this actually pays off (possibly with the Scavengers getting wiped off the show) but all it serves to do in this episode is give us a long speech by Rick, who then is immediately stripped naked and put in a cell.
Much of the action takes place in the Hilltop, where the question of the Savior prisoners (who will definitely break out and kill a bunch of people at some point) dominates the conversation. Maggie keeps the prisoners, but only because they could be used in trades later on, while Jesus keeps trying to play the “we’re better than the bad guys” card to an annoying degree.
The episode focuses on two Saviors. One is Jared, the a-hole prisoner who currently only exists to be the worst, and the other is a new guy who seems like an okay guy. No doubt Jared is going to cause a problem, and the okay guy is going to die because of it. Oh, and Maggie also decided to put Gregory, the scumbag former mayor of Hilltop, into jail with the Saviors, which we’re okay with. Gregory is the worst.
Elsewhere in the episode, Rosita and Michonne foil a Saviors plan to use the “Fat Lady” (or a truck filled with speakers) to drive away zombies from The Sanctuary, and Carl makes a new friend, Siddiq, who was last seen being driven off by Rick in the first episode of the season. And we get some scenes of Carol and Ezekiel as the King wallows in self-pity over the people he got killed.
All in all, a lot of this felt like a bit of a filler episode, though hopefully the various set ups pay dividends over the next few weeks. This one gets a Dad Grade: B-.
Unnecessary Philosophy Rating: 8/10
We get a lot of preachy speeches, both with Jesus about the prisoners of war, as well as between Carol and Ezekiel.
Zombie Gore Rating: 5/10
We only have one good old-fashioned zombie fight, with Carl and Siddiq, which involves a solid “watching a zombie head get rammed into a tree until it bursts” moment.
General Gore Rating: 5/10
Again, we only get one fight in this episode, and nothing about it is particularly gory, but any fight that has a rocket launcher gets a boost from us.
Any “Oh Hell Yeah!” Moments?
A DUDE GETS BLOWN UP WITH A ROCKET LAUNCHER, SO, UM, YEAH THERE ARE A FEW. Also, Rosita blows up said dude with a rocket launcher, the second Savior almost escapes with the Fat Lady, only to be suddenly sideswiped by Daryl in a truck, which came out of nowhere but definitely elicited a “hell yeah!”
What Comes Next?
We’ve been saying Gregory is going to die so often we’re pretty sure it’s never going to happen now. But as much as we want to think that they’ll deal with busting Rick out of the garbage people’s prison, part of us suspects that we’ll have to wait a few episodes to see his fate. Next week likely will go back to the Saviors as they try to regroup, though we wouldn’t be surprised if things begin to heat up at Hilltop between the good guys and the prisoners over there.
And we’re guessing that Aaron, who left the Hilltop to “get a win” at the end of the episode, will be featured pretty heavily as well. Either way, we’re hopeful for a bit more action next week, though we would not mind an equal amount of rocket launchers.