Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Walking Dead S7E8 "Hearts Still Beating" 12/11/16

Here's me complaining again about these extended episodes ... why? why? why? why? Is it just to sell more advertising?  Because this episode, while it had two great bits, one good one and ended on a hopeful note, was clearly stretched thin to fill out the running time.  I'm going to try to be succinct here, especially since there's not a whole lot of compelling dialogue.

Hilltop.  Sad Maggie visits Glen's grave before climbing to a lookout post on the Hilltop wall. Whatsisname Gregory comes out and gives her shit about how all the Hilltopians seem to treating her like a hero after that night with the bonfires and the cars and the zombies.  He says don't let it go to your head; she's like, don't let it bother you - seems like it bothers you.  He's about to bite into a tasty-looking apple when another Hilltopian chimes in, "Dude, you know she's pregnant."  Gregory tosses the apple to Maggie who bites in with a little smirk.  [That's the good bit.  She's totally going to end up running that place.

Alexandria.  Negan showers, changes and makes spaghetti dinner.  He's very skinny without his leather jacket and he's hardly scary anymore.  He just talks a lot and taunts people mostly.  He makes Carl set the table.  Outside, Spenser hands over his crossbow and some of the cache he found to the Saviors, sucking up to them a bit.  Because he's a weasel.

Sanctuary.  Daryl escapes his box, finds someone's room (Dwight's, I think) and changes his clothes, snarfing down a jar of peanut butter as he goes.  He sneaks into the motorcycle holding pen and, when he is surprised by a Savior, beats the guy to death with a stick.  Daryl takes the guy's gun just as Jesus pokes his head around the corner.  The two of them take a motorcycle (or two, it's not clear) and sneak away.  I guess nobody really pays attention to much at the Sanctuary when Negan is out on a run.  It's pretty brutal what Daryl does to that Savior but he's had a rough time lately - it's understandable.

Pond.  Rick and Aaron find a bullet-holed dinghy and paddle through the gauntlet of floating walkers towards the houseboat.  The dinghy takes on water quickly; they get attacked by walkers and Aaron gets pulled under.  But he gets away, swimming unscathed to the houseboat while Rick manages to get the dinghy there.  They find a fair amount of food, a taunting note ("Hooray: you win but you still really lose") and a bunch of guns, but no ammo.  They cut the houseboat's mooring and drift to shore, then load up their truck and head back to Alexandria.

Kingdom.  Carol catches Morgan leaving some fresh vegetables on her porch.  He didn't intend to disturb her but she asks him in, just for a bit, muttering that people are having a tough time leaving her alone.  When he turns to go, Richard (?) is on the porch: he wants them to help him convince Ezekiel to rise up and fight against the Saviors.  He says, "Carol, I imagine that violence and fighting is something you haven't been a part of."  The looks on Carol's and Morgan's faces are fucking hilarious.  [That's one of the great bits.]  But they tell him no, they won't have any part of it: Morgan because he doesn't want to kill people and Carol ... because the writers are making her not want to kill people right now.  We all know that she's going to come around and kick all kinds of ass, but in the meantime we just get sulking.  Richard pouts and leaves.

Out on the road.  Michonne tries to get some information from the Savior driving the car: why were you out there alone, how long you been with Negan, etc.?  But the woman won't talk.  She drives to an overlook: down below are many, many people.  She says to Michonne that it's Negan down there, they are ALL Negan down there.  Then she turns off the car, tells Michonne to ditch it where she likes and that there's a silencer in the glovebox.  Next is a long shot: we hear a muffled pop, then Michonne slides over into the driver's seat and drives out of there.  I guess we'll never know why that Savior was out there alone - it had to be at least a little interesting, seeing how the Saviors never go anywhere not in packs.

Hilltop.  Enid reads people well and she picks up on the fact that Sasha is planning to kill Negan but is keeping it from Maggie.  Enid's like, what if you had help?  It isn't just you.  And while we in the audience know Enid is referring to Carl, Sasha doesn't and she's all, it sure feels like it's just me.  [And Michonne, and Rosita ...]

Alexandria.  Speaking of Rosita, Father Gabriel finds her in the chapel.  She feels alone after Abraham's death and she's willing to risk her life to take Negan's.  He tells her she's not alone, that the group needs her and that they will fight back - just maybe not today.  He asks her not to throw her life away.  She seems unconvinced.  In another part of town, Spenser cleans up and takes a half bottle of scotch over to Rick's house where Negan is holding court.  He weasels his way up onto the porch and they drink, and then later Spenser says the guy across the street has a pool table in his garage and they drag it out and start playing pool in the middle of the street.  A crowd starts to gather, Saviors and Alexandrians, watching.

Rick and Aaron arrive at Alexandria and the Saviors unload their haul.  Unfortunately, Aaron left that taunting note in one of the crates and the Saviors decide that he's being disrespectful.  Then they proceed to kick the shit out of him, although they don't kill him.  Back at the pool table, Spenser thinks he's getting on well with Negan and makes a play for Negan to get rid of Rick, who "has a history of not working well with others," and setting Spenser up as leader of Alexandria.  Such a weasel.  Negan may be crazy but he's not actually stupid - he knows Spenser is a weasel too.  So he takes out a giant knife and unzips Spenser's belly.  The guts LITERALLY spill out onto the ground.  Ick.  Ain't nobody going to miss that guy.

This obviously raises the tension in the general area.  The Saviors start waving their guns around; the Alexandrians - including Carl, Olivia, Rosita, Tara, Father Gabriel and Eugene - are shocked.  As Negan yammers on and on, Rosita can't take it anymore, hauls out her forbidden gun with its handmade bullet and fires it at Negan's head.  And even though everyone on this fucking show can take out a zombie with a pistol headshot from fifty yards away, she MISSES from a distance of ten feet, hitting Lucille (the barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat that Negan is all weird about) instead.  This of course makes him really crazy.  Rosita gets tackled, a knife held to her face.  Negan picks up the shell and wants to know who made the bullet. Rosita says she did.  He doesn't believe her and tells one of his Saviors to kill somebody.  Poor Olivia gets a bullet between the eyes just as Rick and Aaron stagger up.  Tara speaks up that she made the bullet.  Negan doesn't believe her either and is all about to kill someone else and then Eugene, terrified out of his mind, shrieks that it was him, he made it.  Negan believes him, so he bids Alexandria farewell, taking Rick and Aaron's scavenge haul with him (noting that it isn't enough) and also taking Eugene.  Guess we all know what Eugene's job is going to be at the Sanctuary.

When Michonne gets back, she finds Rick (who has been trying to process the fact that both his son and Rosita separately tried to kill their oppressor) and tells him that even though there are way more Saviors than they thought, they have to figure out a way to fight Negan.  Rick's all, yeah, you're right, we can't keep on like this.

Hilltop.  Sad Maggie visits Glen's grave before climbing to a lookout post on the Hilltop wall.  Then she smiles and yells to Sasha and Enid because someone has come to visit: Rick, Carl, Michonne, Rosita and Tara.  Everyone hugs and then Daryl and Jesus come out from around a corner.  And this is the other great part: the looks on Daryl's and Rick's faces as they walk to each other and embrace, Daryl burying his face in Rick's shoulder.  [God, I love Daryl.  Remember how sketchy he was at the beginning?]  And then this group all stands around and sappily smiles at each other before walking en masse towards the Hiltop mansion.  This is the group who will rise up against Negan.  They won't all survive, of course, but this is who'll do it (plus Morgan and Carol).

Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead

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