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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

[RECAP] Season 8, Episode 8 of The Walking Dead, "How It's Gotta Be"

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By Carolina Gallardo (@carolgallardo)

So it's been a good couple of weeks since The Walking Dead's mid-season finale but the outcome (particularly the big reveal) has been resonating with fans and critics alike since it aired.  Some feedback has been positive, some...not so much.  And some of us have been inundated with small children, and the holiday season...but I guess that's just me?  In any case, let's dive into this ocean of apocalyptic drama that is Season 8, Episode 8: How It's Gotta Be.

The episode follows the similar formula that's been used throughout the first half of the season which is having various story lines occurring concurrently that we touch upon during the episode.  This episode was no different in that we have what occurs at The Hilltop, The Kingdom and Alexandria (along with Aaron & Enid's side adventure), with each location going through its own confrontation with The Saviors.  It's established before the opening credits that Negan and the Saviors have successfully escaped The Sanctuary and are likely on their way to punish Rick and crew for their disobedient behavior.  Rick, Carol, and Jerry (of all people) are abundantly clear on this since they are the ones to pick up Rick from The Sanctuary, where he is ambushed and the Garbage People scatter (of course they do).  They ultimately decide to split, with each one furiously trying to reach their dedicated location before the Saviors get there first.

Dotted throughout this episode, we see a lot of images of Carl, even a flashback to when Carl and Rick first came upon Siddiq at the gas station.  We see the continuation of the conversation that occurred between the two, and Carl's insistence that there must be another way rather than just killing everyone.  This in conjunction with images of a pensive Carl at Alexandria, writing his father a letter and observing Enid's original JSS (Just Survive Somehow) note, make us realize that Carl will factor heavily in this episode.  Plus, you know when anyone on this show takes the stance of the moral compass, it never leads to good things, historically speaking.

Otherwise at Alexandria, Daryl and Tara smugly and confidently believe that they finished off the Saviors, or at the very least have delivered the final blow.  Right as Carl is about to escape down into the sewers to "help a traveler", already looking to be in discomfort, we hear the banging of Lucille against the gates of Alexandria.  Immediately Negan informs Alexandria that they have lost and that they have 3 minutes to get everyone lined up to issue an apology and the person with the worst apology will be killed, along with Rick of course.  Surprise, surprise.  Daryl and Tara's impulsive plan didn't work.  Actually it probably HELPED Negan and the Saviors escape, providing some sort of an out.  The full reality of this seems to hit the two of them later, at least we hope so, because really, how many times can we have Daryl making impulsive, off the cuff decisions?  Last time he acted in this way it got Glenn killed (SPOILER ALERT).

In any case, at the same time, we have Maggie and the Hilltop on their way to The Sanctuary, clearly unaware that Negan and the Saviors have escaped.  At one point, Jesus and Maggie's car stops when they see a tree down, blocking their path.  Immediately, you can tell that Maggie gets a flashback to that night that they first encountered Negan, when they similarly blocked their paths, until they ultimately surrounded them, lined them up and executed Glenn and Abraham.  She recognizes this as a sign that it's them and she's correct.  When she radios the back of her convoy, it's too late.  The Saviors have them sandwiched in, with nowhere to go.  Eventually a van pulls up in front of Maggie and a couple of Saviors open the back and roll out an injured Jerry (who we know was t-boned from an earlier clip) as well as a coffin (what is it with these guys and coffins?).  They kneel him, and hold him at gun point which made me INCREDIBLY apprehensive (who DOESN'T love Jerry?).

As a matter of fact, this exchange with the Hilltop was probably the most tense altercation of all the confrontations that happened that evening, no doubt due to the menacing ways of Simon.  He proceeds to get out of his car, while the rest of Saviors disarm The Hilltop (why the Hilltop didn't open fire, considering they seem to outnumber the Saviors here, I have no idea) and informs Maggie of the situation: Eugene came up with an idea to divert the walkers, allowing the Saviors to escape, and they are currently decimating The Kingdom and Alexandria.  The Hilltop, however, is getting off "lucky" in the sense that the Saviors need them to produce, therefore they are being let go with a VERY stern warning and of course, someone has to die.  Before Maggie can agree to the terms, Simon quickly circles back and shoots Neil (a random Hilltop member) who was in the backseat of Maggie's car.  At that point, Maggie agrees to the terms and asks for the coffin so that they can properly bury Neil.  Simon agrees and they allow them to leave...But what in the world happened to Jerry?

In what is likely the most convincing act of strength during the course of this night is when Maggie returns to The Hilltop, slightly shell shocked from the confrontation with the Saviors and the execution of Neil.  She immediately goes to her Savior "pen" picks out one of the prisoners and executes him at point blank range.  In a more human moment, we see Maggie in tears when she walks away afterward, unbeknownst to everyone around her.  She is making decisive war time moves, but they are not easy decisions in the least but they are decisions that must be taken.  We later see that the coffin she requested from Simon is not used to bury Neil but rather to lay in the executed POW with a note scrawled on the top of the coffin stating, one down, thirty eight to go.  SAVAGE.  

Meanwhile, at the Kingdom, King Ezekiel is still in full EMO mode (honestly, how long has that man been sitting on that stage with Shiva's chains?).  That changes very quickly however, once he hears some commotion and he quickly hides.  We come to realize that the Saviors have arrived at the Kingdom and are trying to track him down specifically.  Outside, Gavin (the reluctant middle manager of the Saviors) has gathered up the people of the Kingdom telling them that due to their actions, the Saviors will now be living at their quarters and all able bodied individuals will be sent to The Sanctuary to rebuild it.  He also tells them that ultimately though, what they really want, is the King and he asks them to please turn him in or let them know his recent whereabouts.  No one says a word.  This incredibly frustrates Gavin who we can clearly see doesn't WANT to hurt these people (or anyone for that matter).  He finally implores them to please just let them know where he is so that they can avoid hurting anyone from the Kingdom, particularly since there are children present.

Unbeknownst to Gavin, King Ezekiel has set up a diversion, by collecting some gas barrels and setting them on fire, creating an explosion.  The Saviors quickly run to attend to this distraction, allowing Ezekiel to storm through the gates of the Kingdom with a school bus, telling all his loyal servants to escape.  Carol shows up at this point, instructing everyone on where to go but she is unable to convince Ezekiel to come with her, opting instead to use the chains to lock himself in the Kingdom with the Saviors.  Carol looks on in frustration as the doors close her out and we are left to wonder what will come of Ezekiel.  Fortunately, we come to see later that Morgan is hanging out at the gate so I would expect to see Morgan pull some moves to spring Ezekiel from this situation.  But that's just my thought.

Not to be forgotten, Enid and Aaron have gone on their own side mission to apparently try to convince the Oceanside women (remember them?) to join them in the fight (we assume probably since all of the Kingdom soldiers were killed).  Upon reaching the fringes of their community, they appear to get some rest that night, until at least Aaron sees a shadowy figure by their truck.  Upon investigating, Aaron is attacked and Enid, in a heat of the moment reaction, shoots...and kills Natanya, the matriarch of the Oceanside community.  Her granddaughter Cindy confirms that she is dead and now it's pretty much anyone's guess what these ladies will do with Enid and Aaron at this point.  I guess we'll need to wait and see.

The heart of the matter though is at Alexandria, specifically with, as we suspected, Carl.  He has taken control of the situation and has instructed all the Alexandrians to escape through the same sewers he was going to enter to join Siddiq.  At the same time, he has instructed Daryl, Michonne, Tara and Rosita to work with Dwight on creating the proper distraction.  In the meantime, Carl confronts Negan directly from atop of Alexandria's wall, allowing the Alexandrians to disappear into the sewers.  They have the most interesting exchange likely this whole season, that makes me incredibly disappointed that we as viewers will not get the opportunity to see the complex relationship between these two characters further develop into something substantial and interesting.  In any case, Carl informs Negan that Rick is not home but that there are women and children here at Alexandria to which Negan rightly retorts that there were women and children at the Sanctuary as well but that didn't stop Rick from attacking them.  He even mentions how they had a little baby at the Sanctuary and he wondered what happened to her.

Mark my words, that little baby Gracie, currently Rick's POW, WILL play a role this season or the larger scheme of the show at large.  Just saying.

At this point, Carl offers himself as a sacrifice and tells Negan that if punishment needs to be doled out to kill HIM.  Negan is momentarily stunned by this offer and he asks him if he indeed WANTS to die.  Carl says that he doesn't...but he will, if it means that it'll potentially save everyone else.  He then pushes Negan asking him if this is what he wanted when he created the Sanctuary, if this was the end goal.  Because they have this relationship where Negan has a respect and quite frankly, an affection, toward Carl, we can tell that he is seriously contemplating and considering his words.  It's at this point, however, that Daryl and company storm through the back of Alexandria, leading Dwight and his team after them in pursuit (as was Carl's plan).  Negan immediately realizes what's going and exclaims his feelings quite succinctly by stating:

"I thought we were having a MOMENT, you little a#$hole!  Bombs away!"

Love him or hate him, these Negan outburst moments are fabulous.

As instructed, the Saviors begin raining down grenades and bombs into Alexandria and are told by Negan to burn down every other house and find Carl but DO NOT kill him.  Again, Negan with the affection toward Carl as well as realizing that humans are resources.  He tells them all that he'll be at Rick's house, making himself some spaghetti (a callback to when Negan brought back Carl to Alexandria).

Smoke bombs, grenades and fire ensues
During this time, we see Carl move as if in a dreamlike trance through a scorching Alexandria.  He appears to be in some sort of pain, based on the grimaces on his face as he's moving.  Eventually he makes his way into the sewers, to join the rest of Alexandria as well as Siddiq, and enter some semblance of safety.

At the same time, Daryl and crew are hiding in the woods on the side of the road, waiting for Dwight's convoy to catch up with them.  It's during this time that we (finally) see that Daryl and Tara seem to be remorseful for their impulsive decision that has now greatly crippled their cause.  Regardless, Dwight leads his Saviors into the lion's den, even though his partner Laura, seems to think that this is a march into certain death (which she's totally right about).  This is further proven by at their arrival, Daryl and team ambushing their convoy.  It's during the course of this firefight that Dwight takes deep breath, turns...and opens fire on his own Savior peers.  Laura is NOT shot but proceeds to shoot Dwight in the arm.  She is both shocked and infuriated that he's the turncoat in their ranks and she then runs off, not to be seen again.  Now that he has been identified as the turncoat, there is certainly no going back (both literally and figuratively) for Dwight.  He says as much to Daryl and Tara who still seem to be on the fence with him but ultimately Daryl accepts what Dwight says as fact...but makes sure to forcefully get his leather angel wings vest back.  Here's hoping he's feeling complete again.

Rick finally arrives at an Alexandria almost completely up in flames.  He makes a beeline to his home, checking to see if Carl and his faction were able to escape alive.  I, at least, was completely shocked when Negan came out of nowhere and started beating down on Rick since I had forgotten he was waiting for him at his home.  What ensues is an old fashioned brawl between the two men, with Negan even telling Rick that he intends on taking Carl under his win and making him his right hand man (huh, not sure how Negan's going to react to the sad news).  It's at this point that Rick asks Negan if he ever shuts up (to which Negan replies NO).  HA.  That was definitely a good one.

Ultimately, the fight ends up in a draw, with Rick crashing through the window and running off.  He eventually meets up with a livid, incredulous Michonne who helps him escape into the sewers.

It's here that Rick surveys the situation: All the surviving Alexandrians sitting in the sewers, rightfully shell shocked, an embarrassed Tara and Daryl who was tending to an angelic Judith (she survived!), and of course Carl.  He approaches Carl and sees him slumped against the wall, sitting on the floor, looking very pale and sickly.  He tells Rick he was able to get everyone down here but unfortunately lifts up his shirt...and shows us all the walker bite on his torso, much to shock and horror of Rick, Michonne and of course viewers.  This explains Carl's note to Rick at the beginning of the episode, this explains Carl's painful grimaces throughout the episode, this explains Carl's willingness to offer himself up to Negan as a sacrificial lamb.  He knew he was going to die, and soon.  Rick is speechless and he and Michonne kneel next to Carl, with their heads down and the light from above ground cast on Carl.  Say what you will about the episode, but the framing and shooting of this final scene was beautifully done.

So that's the mid-season finale: Carl is on his deathbed and is going to die senselessly for helping Siddiq kill walkers, presumably (everyone disputes that Carl will have a "dumpster moment").  Assuming that this will indeed with be the case, this is shocking turn for the show, since Carl is a character very much alive in the comic and it has always been assumed that Carl would be the future leader of the free world, in this post apocalyptic era.  With Carl no longer alive, it leaves us all with numerous questions as to the future direction of the show.  How will Negan react to this information?  How will this affect Rick and his mental state?  Does that mean that the season premiere Old Man Rick "flash forward" is NOT a flash forward but a dream of what COULD HAVE been?  What happens now with some of the well known comic story lines that are coming up where Carl was a catalyst?

All we can do is speculate for now and speculate we will.  After the holidays, we will likely post a podcast discussing our thoughts specifically on the death of Carl and predictions for how this could affect the second half of the season (and moving forward).  Stay tuned for that...

In the meantime, thank you all for your support and have a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

[PREDICTIONS] Season 8, Episode 8 of The Walking Dead, "How It's Gotta Be"

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By Carolina Gallardo (@carolgallardo)

So the time has come for The Walking Dead mid-season finale and the show has promised that there will be a "shocking" moment, to bring tears to our eyes and to keep us talking for months to come.  Based on from what we have seen from the trailers released, it is clear that Negan and the remaining Saviors come to Alexandria's doorsteps demanding to be let in or else.  The question is, what could that shocking moment be?  Are the show runners leading us on?  Or could a moment really such exist?  Here are thoughts on the Top 5 potential scenarios, as we rate them based on shock value and probability:


Shock Value: 1 out of 5
Probability: 90%

From Dr. Carson's evaluation, it appears that Father Gabriel's organs are shutting down and he is not long for this world.  However since that's been made abundantly clear, if Father Gabriel were to pass away in the mid-season finale, it would be far from shocking.  Our guess is if Father Gabriel were indeed to pass away, we would see some sort of confirmation on the purpose of his life, in order for his death not to be in vain.

Tara dying would be par for the course since she's been a one woman wrecking machine this whole first part of the season (aka Rosita and Sasha last season).  Her reckless attitude and point of view that all Saviors need to be killed no matter what, may very well come back to bite her.  And we wouldn't be the least bit surprised.  But shocking?  Far from it.


Shock Value: 3 of 5
Probability: 20%

In the episode "The Big Scary U", we see Rick walking toward the Garbage People's area and he sees a black helicopter flying over his head and it hasn't been seen since.  We can't imagine that the writers and show runners would introduce a functioning black helicopter and never address EVER again.  How exciting would it be for the helicopter to reappear and we find out that it's an existing military group?  That it's OVERSEAS military?  That the outbreak only affected the US and/or the Americas and we've apparently been quarantined?  Oh, I'm sorry...I'm thinking about how I would want the SHOW to end in general.  In any case, as exciting and shocking as that would be, I'm not sure how much of this we'll see in this upcoming episode.


Shock Value: 4 of 5
Probability: 45%

This is a tough one.  Daryl has been consistently exhibiting his typical reckless behavior throughout this war, adopting a very clear attitude that the Saviors need to be exterminated, at all costs.  We've seen this extreme ideology put him at odds with Rick, to the point that they came to blows.  After that altercation, Rick continued on to meet the Garbage People and Daryl continued on his own personal mission to attack the Sanctuary and finish them off, against all of Rick's wishes.  He drove the truck into the Sanctuary, killing many of the workers...and allowing an opening for Negan and his lieutenants to escape.  Which is exactly what a shocked Rick saw at the end of the last episode.

It's anybody's guess what Rick's reaction will be when he eventually confronts Daryl, but if The Saviors attack Alexandria and take numerous lives, that blood will be on the hands of Daryl Dixon and it's anyone's guess what his own reaction will be.  Will he sacrifice himself for the greater good, as he seems hell bent on doing time and time again?  Would the show dare kill off their darling cash cow?  At this point, no one is "safe" so it could go either way.


Shock Value: 5 of 5
Probability: 85%

Now.  We've thought long and hard about this and hear us out.  There are various reasons why we've come to this conclusion.

The still images from the mid-season finale overwhelmingly include Carl, giving off the impression that he plays a major role in the episode.  There are images of Carl primarily, some other characters, but very little Rick.  In fact, the only image we see of Rick is him standing within a smog of smoke.  What if Rick misses the entire presumed counter attack on Alexandria?  We do not know how much time has passed while he was locked up in Jadis' trailer and the moment he gets to the Sanctuary to see the state that it's in.  What if he gets back to Alexandria to find that the Saviors have bombed and torched the community and many are laying dead as a result...including Carl and his daughter Judith.

But would the show do this?  Would the show kill off Rick's children, including a toddler?  Well, there are some indications that they might.

In the season premiere, we got to see a "Flash Forward" that showed an older Rick at one point speaking to who we presume to be Judith.  But what if that WASN'T Judith?  Rick never calls her Judith by name.  And we do know that earlier this season, Rick fought one of the Saviors only to find out that he was merely protecting his baby girl Gracie, who he found hidden in one of the upper rooms.  Rick was emotionally torn to realize that he killed a man that was only trying to protect his child.  Gracie was then transported to the Hilltop for care and is currently being taken care by Maggie.

What if the little girl in the flash forward is not Judith but GRACIE, instead?  It's also worth noting that the little girl in the flash forward was holding a stuffed rabbit that looks very similar to the same stuffed animal in baby Gracie's crib (hmmm).

There's also a precedent for this in the comic book, since in the comics, Judith has been dead for some time.  In that scenario, the Governor attacked the prison and Lori, attempting to escape carrying baby Judith, is shot and killed and upon falling, smothers and kills baby Judith.  

Would they dare show something like this on television?
So what if this scenario and death were to fall on CARL and Judith, in an attack to escape an attack from the Saviors?  It would be incredibly shocking, horrifying and tragically sad.

It would also fall in line with the brief red eyed flash forward version of Rick we see, standing over two graves that we ASSUME to be Glenn & Abraham.  At one point, based on his eyes, he appears very obviously distraught and we can hear him say, "May my mercy prevail over my wrath".  If we recall, that line was uttered by Siddiq to Carl and Rick during their initial encounter.  What other incident could bring him to that level of despair, other than the loss of his children?

It is worth noting however that in the same flash forward, Carl is referred to, but we never see his face.  There IS the possibility that Carl is perhaps not KILLED but seriously injured.  Picture this: We end the episode with Rick returning to a torched Alexandria, seeing an unconscious Carl and Judith laid out on the ground.  Then we come back next year to find out that Judith in fact died but Carl survived, albeit with injuries.  CLIFFHANGER.  Since you know, The Walking Dead occasionally likes to do stuff like that.  Just saying.  Either way, this is the scenario we're putting our money on.


Shock Value: 5 of 5
Probability: 0%

It's worth putting out there, but don't even think about it.  At this point in the show (and the comic series) there is no way that the show is going to kill off Rick and/or Negan.  And as it's already been said, they're not the dying type.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

[RECAP] Season 8, Episode 7 of The Walking Dead, "Time for After"

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Here we are, believe it or not, Walking Dead Fans.  We have arrived at the penultimate episode leading to the mid-season finale, aptly titled "Time for After" (or what should've been called, Time for What Happens Next, in my humble opinion).  This episode largely focused on the players on both the Saviors side and Team Grimes side, and the choices made on both sides that'll likely set in motion the firestorm (literally) that we'll soon see.  Unfortunately there was a lot of Eugene talk and Garbage people talk so we hope you had your Closed Captions settings on.  But we'll walk you through all that, since that's what we're here for.

While we have the comic relief side show of Rick and Garbage People (let's be honest now) the real depth of the episode lays on the Savior side, specifically with Eugene.  The evolution of his character has been pretty incredible to watch this season and this episode is no different.  We see how the Saviors are still trapped within their walls by the overwhelming mass of walkers still banging at their doors.  Negan is still looking to his lieutenants to come up with a way out of this mess and Eugene is taking that responsibility very seriously.  Negan and Eugene even have a one on one conversation where Negan looks Eugene eye to eye and gives him a handshake, a sign of mutual respect, something that most people don't get from him he says.  This is right after Eugene tries to kiss Negan's hand (come on Eugene, he's not a mob boss), but I digress.

He's not a mob boss, Eugene...geez.

After this interaction, Dr. Carson flags him down in the hall and informs him that Father Gabriel's health is going downhill fast.  He asks if Eugene could spend some time with his "friend" (or as Eugene prefers to refer to him as "traveling companion") so that he could see what medicinal herbs he can use to TRY and tend to Father Gabriel, as best he can.

It's during this time together that Father Gabriel asks Eugene to help him get Dr. Carson back to the Hilltop to tend to Maggie.  It's clear that Father Gabriel is still holding fast to trying to ensure that even if he dies (and it's looking more and more likely) that he at least doesn't die without a purpose (a fruitless death).  While Father Gabriel continues to calmly preach to Eugene about doing the right thing, when the time comes, Eugene makes it abundantly clear at this point (and throughout the episode) that in a world where morals and values are so ambiguous, self-preservation is his sole purpose.  Oh, and he also has a few funny one liners about looking like a potato in a s&*t casserole.  HA.

Moving on though, we see that Eugene downright confronts Dwight, which is rather bold for a guy like Eugene, in my opinion.  Eugene levels with Dwight that he KNOWS that the's the mole and that he is asking for him to stop any espionage work that he was doing (although I'm not quite sure how much more Dwight could do since it seems that if events had run their course, the Sanctuary would've fallen).  It's at that point that Dwight sits Eugene down and tells him just that, that the Sanctuary WILL fall and that all he has to do to remain quiet and be on the right side, when the time comes.  Eugene tells Dwight that this is unlikely since Negan is not the "dying type" (FORESHADOWING COMIC FANS) and he insists that he IS Negan, they are Saviors and they need to SAVE people.  Dwight then goes into an excellent monologue telling Eugene that he believes that NOW because he hasn't had to involuntarily kill for Negan.  He tells him that the time will come and he will have blood on hands and there is NO going back at that point.  EXCELLENT POINT DWIGHT.  But unfortunately it all falls on deaf, hair covered ears.

We then see Eugene's life in The Sanctuary, still trying to determine how to fix the problem of the walkers outside.  One of Negan's wives (I believe her name is Tanya) arrives to pick up her fixed boom box (hey, I mean, if you're going to die anyway, might as well listen to some music on your way out).  Eugene, incredulous that she's even focused on her boom box right now, tells her that he'll work on it but he would still like to have the bottle of wine that she was going to give him in exchange.  Tanya informs him that no amount of alcohol is going to help him sleep at night and that he HAD his chance to help her and wives poison Negan and he chose to look out for himself.  OUCH.  But, she's right.  In any case, she leaves him the wine and leaves Eugene to chug his wine, in consolation.

After much tinkering and visiting Sasha's old coffin (did anyone else jump at that Sasha Walker flashback?  I did), Eugene uses components from the boombox, from Sasha's old iPod and other elements to create a musical drone, in an apparent plan to launch it off the roof and over the walker herd, to try and lead them away from the Sanctuary.  Right as he's recording his steps but before he hits the launch button, we see Dwight come out on the roof and confront Eugene, putting a gun to the back of his head.  He tells him to stop and that his actions will lead to the death of Rick, Rosita and all his friends (again, Eugene insists, traveling companions) and that he's working WITH them to save people and preserve the greater good.  Eugene says that no matter what he's screwed: Either he does nothing to improve the situation at the Sanctuary and Negan kills him OR he takes his chances trying to save the Sanctuary and he gets POSSIBLY killed by a sometime ally/sometime foe in Dwight.  Ultimately, Eugene launches the drone over the Walkers, only to be shot down by Dwight...but not before Eugene records the whole conversation on his tape recorder that was documenting the launch?

Which brings us to Daryl, Tara and Morgan.  After Michonne and Rosita came to their senses and decided that Daryl's plan was way too risky and left, the remaining members of the group decided to continue to follow through.  Although I will say that Daryl at least seemed SLIGHTLY conflicted, whereas impulsive Tara and suicidal Morgan were fully on board.  Upon hearing the gunshots from Dwight on the roof (SIDE NOTE: Why didn't Morgan and his snipers pick off Dwight and Eugene when they were on that roof having their confrontation?), Tara opens fire on the windows of The Sanctuary and Daryl puts the pedal to the metal and crashes the truck into the building, jumping out of the truck in time to run off with Tara and leaving a gaping hole for the walkers to start flooding in.  And flood in they do.

What we see next is utter chaos on the main floor of the Sanctuary, which we learned from earlier episodes, is where the "workers" primarily reside, including men, women and children.  The lieutenants do their best to get as many of the walkers as possible and we see Eugene frozen on the steps in shock, fear and anger over the situation.  He is literally shaking.  He then lets out all of his frustrations on Father Gabriel, informing him that he has NO intention of helping him at ALL with Dr. Carson and that he is fully Negan and will do everything he can to save these people.  He then storms off and goes to Negan.

In Negan's conference room (that's what it is right?), a determined Eugene informs Negan that he has a plan on how to escape this precarious situation, but he would need him to help him get to the abandoned metal shop (remember?  The one that Eugene and Abraham were at when Eugene said he use this place to make bullets? God, I miss Abraham).  Negan TOTALLY strokes Eugene's ego, calling him "magnificent" and Eugene offers more Intel to top that.  Negan is all ears, but it's at that point that the rest of lieutenants show up and Eugene cowers at the idea of ratting out Dwight right in front of him (clearly that's what he was going to do).  Instead, Eugene mentions that he can fix the intercom system too.  Fabulous.

So let's now visit Rick and the Garbage People (as much as I don't want to).  After some bizarre pseudo-naked photos, Rick is held down and Jadis brings out essentially Winslow, Version 2, being maneuvered by a metal helmet attached to a stick.  Rick immediately reacts and fights off a couple of Jadis' people and eventually pulls the Walker's head off , fights off Jadis, and eventually (finally) pinning her down.  It's at this point that she instructs her people to surrender and after some hard bargaining (what is with this chick and the strange deals?), she agrees to help him.

A fully dressed Rick and the Garbage people then arrive at the Sanctuary, with Rick trying to radio in the cavalry, to no avail.  He then sees a sniper hanging down from his post, being eaten by walkers, with his face missing (FORESHADOWING COMIC BOOK FANS).  He kills the walkers and climbs the post and is shocked to see the truck crashed into the Sanctuary and it being completely clear of walkers...and people.

So we're now left with the following questions:

  • What was Eugene's plan that got rid of the walkers and got the remaining Saviors out?  Where did they all go?
  • How much time has passed since Rick was held by the Garbage People?
  • How will the Saviors now retaliate, since Negan informed Eugene that he fully intends to?
  • What will be the ultimate repercussions of Daryl, Tara and Morgan's actions?
  • And finally, who's dying in the mid-season finale??  Because we all know that's going to happen.

To help with these burning questions, we'll be posting possible predictions tomorrow morning to see just how good we are.  Stay tuned...

The Walking Dead's mid-season finale will air on Sunday, 12/9 at 9:00PM EST and will be an extended 88 minute episode.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

[RECAP] Season 8, Episode 6 of The Walking Dead, "The King, the Widow, and Rick"

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While Episode 6: The King, The Widow & Rick started setting in motion events that will surely have significant ramifications by the mid-season finale, overall, it was one of the weaker episodes of the season by far.  In fact, this episode should've just been titled "Bad Decisions" since that's all we saw our beloved characters do throughout the entire episode.

In the case of Rick, we see confirmation that our fearless leader was in fact on his way to see the Garbage People (at least that's what I'm calling them).  Also, apparently Jadis and her second-in-command work on metal/wire art in the nude, when not fighting? In any case, they put some clothes on to (properly) welcome Rick and see what in the world he wants.  He reiterates that he STILL wants to make a deal with them and shares with Jadis all the polariods taken during the war to show her that they're essentially the better pony to bet on.  Jadis is (as she should be) incredulous that Rick STILL wants to make a deal with her people, especially since she keeps bringing up that she shot him (not a detail to be overlooked).  Finally he gives her an ultimatum: Join their cause or be defeated by his people.  Jadis' response is a soft, "No".  And with that, he is dragged away, while she mutters about how he talks too much (this coming from a group that doesn't use prepositions in their speech but that's okay).

Then we have the Daryl/Tara and Rosita/Michonne story line.  Not too much to say here other than Rosita gets an awesome RPG kill on a Savior that tries to call her "honey" (in the wake of recent sexual harassment allegations, I have to imagine that many a woman out there was living vicariously through Rosita).  But beyond that, we have (4) martial members of Team Grimes going out on essentially a suicide mission.  Daryl and Tara are appreciative of Dwight's help to get this far....but they still don't trust him and decide he must be killed.  Really?  Dwight?  Isn't the whole point of the plan to get Negan?  Eye on the prize people.

Joining them on their suicide mission is the team of Rosita and Michonne, both still recovering from the Savior attack on Alexandria in the season finale of last season.  For whatever reason, Michonne feels that she needs to "see" the Sanctuary for herself.  Okay...why?  Everyone that was there has been reporting back on what's been going on (via letters apparently, no carrier pigeons in the apocalypse clearly).  Alexandria, The Kingdom and The Hilltop all seem to be aware of what's going on and the progress and setbacks experienced.  For that reason, I would've found it a lot more believable if these two ladies felt that they were tired of sitting on the sidelines and wanted to help in the battle.  THAT I would've understood much more than, hey, let's go drive (2) hours away to the Sanctuary to "see" it.  See the difference?

When we leave these four (after Daryl and Tara essentially save Michonne and Rosita from the two Saviors they fought that were trying to transport "The Fat Lady", the brilliant music speaker truck), they are at the Sanctuary with Daryl saying that they need to "end this".  Whatever in the world that means.

Back at the Hilltop, Maggie is still having to contend with what to do with all the Savior prisoners that Jesus brought back.  Jesus clearly believes that these POW's essentially need to be treated with respect since they are defenseless.  He even goes as far as to feed them, something that infuriates Maggie since they are running on limited supplies for the people of the community.  Gregory appeals to the other end of the spectrum by telling Maggie that she has every right to ignore that "hippie" Jesus (Ha, good one) but Maggie is not completely sold on his idea of simply slaughtering the prisoners.  She finally comes to a conclusion and Gregory thinks that the prisoners are being led to the gallows (FORESHADOWING FOR COMIC BOOK FANS) but instead the prisoners are being lead to a sort of chicken coup barbed wire enclosure.  A Savior internment camp, if you will.  Gregory still feels that people that aren't trusted should be taken very seriously and Maggie agrees meaning, Gregory got thrown into the coup too.  I have to say, I felt bad for Gregory at this moment, seeing him so fearful of being incarcerated with the Saviors.  So I did feel bad...for a moment.  I'm sure that'll change.

Was this a good decision versus poor decision?  We'll have to wait and see, particularly since we have Jarrid the Savior eager to free himself of his restraints and then we have the new Dean the Savior who wants to play nice and not get everyone killed.  This could all go really well OR could all go really bad.  Time will tell...

To be noted, Enid and Aaron, both currently assisting Maggie at the Hilltop, have decided to drop off Baby Gracie (I still say that baby will play a major role on this show, mark my words) and go off to "win" this war.  Huh?  ANOTHER suicide mission?  Did these people not hear about Rick's plan?

We also get to see Carl exploring by himself in the woods again (*sigh*) and he tracks down Siddiq, the wanderer they meet a few episodes back who Rick shot at.  Carl actually asks him the (3) Questions (remember those???) and they become a little zombie killing team, mostly due to Carl's reckless (yet again) decision to kill a few zombies to honor Siddiq's mom.  Fortunately they manage to get out alive, in spite of poor decision making on attacking those walkers.  But, good judgement call on Siddiq (COMIC BOOK FANS, YOU KNOW).

The only overall respective course of action in this whole cesspool of poor decision making was at The Kingdom with Carol, Ezekiel, Jerry and little Henry.  Jerry is still holding down his post because dammit, he still respects the King and that's his job.  Little Henry (the younger brother of Benjamin, the Kingdom Knight that was killed by Jarrid the Savior) has finally pursued Carol to allow him to follow her because she needs fighters and he wants to avenge his brother's death.  Here's hoping little Henry will be the one to deal the final blow to Jarrid...

But in addition to that piece, is Carol's confrontation of King Ezekiel in his theater/receiving office.  He is a broken man, having lost all of his knights and of course, Shiva.  He is sitting on the floor of the stage with Shiva's chains in his hands, still not able to face his people.  Carol continuously tries to convince Ezekiel that his people need him to LEAD, and to not lay down defeated but he is incredibly resistant to her words.  We get an inkling from their interaction that there is clearly a romantic situation brewing here but I don't want to gloss over an amazing piece of monologue from Carol where she talks about how she essentially faked it every single day until it became the norm, and she's still standing.  YES CAROL.  That is why you are Queen of the Apocalypse. Despite all that, unfortunately, Ezekiel is still not budging.

And that was the episode folks: Rick locked up naked in the Garbage People's trailer with the letter "A" marked off (much like at Terminus...hmmmm....) waiting for the Calvary to come, who are all busy on suicide missions.  Smart.