This review of the latest episode of The Walking Dead is an example of better late than never. This episode aired nearly a week ago but I’m only now getting around to watching it. As I sit here watching and typing this review, it is 2 a.m., Saturday morning. I’ve just returned from attending two Christmas parties. I was actually thinking about getting some sleep for once, but then I suddenly realized that I still had an episode of The Walking Dead to watch!
That, of course, wouldn’t have happened in the past. When The Walking Dead first started, there would have been no way that I would have waited a week to watch the latest episode. That was before the show settled into its current glacial pace. At this point, it typically takes this show so long to get from point A to point B that viewers like me spend entire episodes asking, “Are we there yet?”
For example, as I sit here typing this, I am watching Daryl, Michonne, Rosita, and Tara debating about whether or not they should attack the Sanctuary or if they should wait for Rick. (Rick is currently being held prisoner by the trash people.) Morgan just walked up and said that he’s tired of talking and he just wants to take action. YES, MORGAN, YES! For God’s sake, let’s end the debate and just do something! No, we don’t need to hear about how Michonne “believes in Rick Grimes.” We don’t need to hear about how everyone felt when they saw Sasha in that box. We already know all of this because we’ve spent two seasons listening to everyone have this exact same goddamn conversation over and over again! Just do something!
The episode is now over and, in all fairness to the show, it should be noted that Daryl did finally do something. He and Tara crashed a truck through a wall of the Sanctuary, allowing a mass of walkers to enter and chow down on a few Saviors and, even more importantly, it forced the Saviors to waste their bullets defending themselves. However, since Daryl took this action on his own as opposed to waiting for Rick to get out of the trash prison, the show still had to present it as being some sort of mistake. The show has too much invested in presenting Rick as being a strategic genius to actually acknowledge that anyone else could actually have a good idea.
Watching the walking dead feast on his new Savior buddies was apparently enough to convince Eugene to (once again) declare his loyalty to Negan. Despite his recent troubles, Negan still seems to be having fun. Fortunately, the show’s writers seem to have finally figured out that Negan is more effective the less we see of him. As for Eugene, well — he’s Eugene. This episode featured peak Eugene. If Eugene’s overly convoluted syntax occasionally makes you want to rip your hair out, you were probably bald by the end of this episode. You have to respect Josh McDermitt’s commitment to the role. Eugene may be annoying but McDermitt plays the Hell out of him. Eugene’s ultimate loyalties, of course, still remain questionable. He knows that Dwight betrayed the Saviors but he still hasn’t told Negan. He showed some sympathy to Father Gabriel (who is apparently dying because he covered himself with intestines a few episodes ago) but he still declared that he was loyal only to himself.
As for Rick, he did eventually get out of the trash prison and convinced Jadis to join him in his fight against Negan. Jadis was impressed when Rick killed a walker gladiator. Jadis also wants to sculpt Rick. How are the trash people not dead yet?
(Apparently, the trash people prefer to be known as Scavangers. However, I’m going to continue to call them trash people because they annoy da fug out of me.)
Anyway! This episode ended with Rick and the trash people rolling up on the Sanctuary. Oh my God! There’s a hole in the Sanctuary! There’s no walkers! Uh-oh, Daryl did something on his own! Rick’s never going to let that go…
One more episode before The Walking Dead goes on its mid-season hiatus! Who will die this Sunday? My prediction: Father Gabriel. The show’s never really figured out what to do with Gabriel so now seems like a good time to let him go down as a martyr.
We’ll see what happens!