There Are Spoilers In Our The Walking Dead – How It’s Gotta Be Review – Post Episode Discussion
So the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead aired this week and in this episode we witness what Negan’s response is to Rick’s attack on his group which has been going on for the entirety of the season so far.
In last week’s episode we saw it end with quite the cliffhanger, Rick had returned to his siege area with the support of Jadis and her group. But there was a problem, Negan had escaped and Rick had no idea what had happened.
In this episode, I had actually expected it to focus back on Negan and Eugene and their escape. But actually after watching it all we learn that, somehow Eugene was able to do it, but we get no details for how he was able to do it. At first, I didn’t like this because I wanted to know how it was done and for much of the episode, with the information missing, I felt a little lost with it all.
But upon reflection and watching the episode for a second time, I realised that actually this was a good way to present the story for the mid-season finale. I myself as the viewer was just as lost as Rick and his group were as to how Negan got out and how he and his group of saviours were now everywhere. Keeping the Eugene escape out, put us in the shoes of Rick and his group, we as the viewers were just as lost or as stunned as to what was going on. This helped give the feeling that what was happening or what could happen in this episode truly was unknown.
Basically Negan’s response is along the lines of what he’s been saying all along, he wants to capture Rick, The Widow and The King. Then kill them in the worst and most public way possible. This is a similar fate to those who were killed by Negan during his first appearance in the show. It’s for shock value and to show who is in charge.
Negan has his group of Saviours visit Alexandria and The Kingdom. The Kingdom is something that they take for themselves as their home is destroyed, but the Saviours seek revenge at Alexandria and start blowing up all the houses there.
The mid-season final does give us some strong scenes from Carl, who is a character that I think has been sidelined for much of the season so far. We see some conversations between Rick and Carl as they discuss Rick’s plan against Negan and we also see Carl yet again stand up to Negan at the gates, while the others escaped. Carl demonstrates a lot of bravery in this episode and also his care for the people in his group. As a character in this episode, Carl acts almost as a moral compass, trying to show the ‘good’ way to do things, which characters may have lost sight of during the war.
There’s also some great moments for Maggie, who is now leading the Hilltop group. When Negan’s men trap her convoy, there’s some tough moments for her character where she sort of has to give in, especially after someone from her group is killed. But after going back to the Hilltop, rather than submit, she is a fighter. She kills one of Negan’s people that was a prisoner in some sort of revenge act and begins preparations I think for a siege at the Hilltop. This storyline with Maggie might be quite an interesting one when the season returns.
Rick also got some big moments, much of it was during his confrontation with Negan in which the two fought each other. Both got away, but not without some major blows dealt to one another.
At the end of the episode when Rick gets back to his people and sees that they’re now in the sewer as their homes are destroyed. This will I believe take a toll on the character. His plan looks to have failed right now and his people suffered greatly as a result. How will this change Rick going forward?
Unfortunately for Carl though, it seems he got bitten trying to save the straggler a couple of episodes ago. Does this mean the death of that character or will he survive the bite? That’s the cliffhanger us fans need to stay with until the show returns to air. But to be honest, it doesn’t look good, I don’t think he’s going to be around much longer.
I loved the episode and how it was all structured. My only complaint is that much of it was shot at night and in the dark. In certain scenes and in certain moments, I felt the lighting just wasn’t enough and it was a bit hard to see what was going on.
Overall this was a great mid-season final and there certainly were quite a few great moments all throughout it. The fight between Rick and Negan was very tense, yet enjoyable. But I’m interested to see what might happen with both Maggie and Carl and where those characters might go with their plotlines when the show returns again.
The Walking Dead airs at 1:30pm and 7:30pm on the FX channel on Foxtel every Monday