A New Beginning
We’ve all been waiting for the return of The Walking Dead and after a number of seasons that have been letting down a number of the viewers, it’s still never left my interest. No matter the reviews and ratings of each episode I’ve not ever missed one episode from the very start of the show.
To begin with, the episode shows us each of the communities with a few shots of areas including farm areas, building sites etc. At Alexandria we see the Church being rebuilt where we saw the last ever scene with Carl, we see the crops thriving looking ready to be harvested so there is no doubt Alexandria is doing good at the moment.
We then are shown the state of the Sanctuary, here the crops completely died out as well as been pecked at endlessly by crows. Eugene is busy whipping up Eugene stuff like he usually does to reinvent ways of doing things. We also see our first shot of Rosita, along with Daryl who is busy in the Mechanics area working on building motorcycles. One of Negans top people, Laura seems to have created a trust bond with Daryl as she informs him of some of the Saviours (Arat and Justin) are using live Walkers as Scarecrows to try and scare off the birds that are killing the crops. Instantly Daryl reacts to this idea by questioning what they’re doing and putting a bolt right through the head of the Walker.
Once this is over with, we are shown Jesus and Aaron for the first time. Remember these two are gay characters in The Walking Dead and haven’t really had that much screen time together so this could be interesting in the episodes to come to see if they become closer. I for one completely support it, they would make a fantastic new duo for the show. Aaron shows off some of his moves to Aaron who asks for him to teach him sometime back at Hilltop. Jesus agrees and tells him that a number of the others including Carol come by sometime to learn some new moves.
Now we get to a scene we’ve been waiting for for months, Rick kills his first on-screen walker and what a kill it is. The mace he uses I think comes from the blacksmith at the Hilltop as it is a very Medieval looking weapon. Even so, the weapon straight up kills the walker with one swing to the head. This is followed up by Michonne taking the top of the head straight off one of the walkers.
The group which is made up of a number of main characters (Carol, Maggie, Daryl, Jesus, Ezekiel, Michonne, Rick, Enid, Gabriel and even Jadis is there or Anne as she is now called). If anyone wants to know why her name has changed, Anne is her original name whereas Jadis was an act she put on back at the Junkyard. The group seems to be entering a museum in search of old-fashioned machinery that was used to farm crops, make weapons etc that they could use. This is a run to help the Hilltop and the Sanctuary. Ricks second kill comes from his preferred melee weapon, a hatchet which goes right through the skull of the receptionist. Hope is quickly filled through the characters as the museum seems to be empty however below a glass flooring in the foyer there are a huge number of walkers just waiting for somebody to fall through to feed upon.
A walker falls from the higher floors of the museum right onto the glass flooring which Daryl quickly deals with. Before the groups enter different areas of the building, Rick uses the words “Be Safe”. The groups split up and begin to search the museum, we see Rick, Enid, Gabriel, Anne and Siddiq enter a dark room filled with old crates. This is something viewers are used to, as something tense usually tends to happen as Siddiq is pulled to the floor by a very skeletal walker-infested with spiders. Siddiq panics for a few seconds but deals with the situation himself by putting his knife straight through the head of the Walker. Once up, he is checked over by Rick who asks if he’s alright but it seems that Siddiq is more worried about the spiders rather than the Walker that nearly killed him.
Next, we see Gabriel confidently take out a walker and create this very iconic artwork we see on a lot of merchandise these days, I even own a T-Shirt that has it on it of the evolution of Man. The Walker is killed in a way that shows the next stage in evolution after the man, which is disturbing to look at.
After this, we see Daryl finally interact with Cyndie which I have waited for a long time. Cyndie talks about her memories with her little brother which Daryl responds with his brother too, however not in a good way as Dary land his Brother Merle just used to fight all of the time. He then speaks about the memories of his friends that fought with him to be here that just didn’t make it. Characters like Tyreese, Glenn, Abraham, Sasha, Beth, Herschel, Carl, the list could go on.
Now, this next scene is interesting, we see the group enter a room that is filled with crop seeds for example “Rattlesnake Snap Beans” which grows out purple pods containing beans. “You were right Anne” is said by Rick, which shows that Anne is trying her hardest to help out the communities now rather than taking from everyone as Jadis back at the scrapyard. So without Anne, the group wouldn’t have even known about this room.
Cutting to the queens of The Walking Dead we see Carol, Maggie and Michonne walking through the museum checking the perimeter for walkers. They talk about Gregory, who has been a very selfish character from his very first scene. He calls for an election, which backfires on him as Maggie is voted leader by a landslide of votes. They then find machinery for the blacksmith back at Hilltop, Maggie also mentions sending one back to Sanctuary to help them too.
Once all of the required supplies are gathered from the Museum, the whole group meets back in the foyer of the building as they’re slowly pulling an old-fashioned cart over the glass flooring we mentioned earlier. This takes a huge effort from every member of the group as they’re all holding a rope attached to the cart, as Rick bravely guides it whilst walking over the beams of the flooring. Everything is safely guided across however, the glass is now becoming very weak and full of cracks.
The last piece of machinery which is one for the blacksmiths is guided by Carol and King Ezekiel, which all viewers know of any TV show something usually happens with the last object crossing over something. The glass completely breaks through and Ezekiel is left hanging through the glass ceiling fending off the herd of Walkers trying to gnaw at his legs. Rick and the rest of the group quickly react to pull back the rope however it begins to tear on the broken glass so they need a new idea. Carol grabs something to throw over the glass that Ezekiel can grab onto. Daryl too now bravely steps on to the glass and quickly kills a Walker that’s about to grab onto Ezekiel’s leg. Notice here how Daryl steps in to save Ezekiel without question as he means a huge amount to Carol. This shows the loyalty of Daryl, he is willing to put himself in danger to save anyone else in the group. Ezekiel is then pulled up and is quickly kissed by Carol confirming their relationship, to end the intense scene.
This first encounter we see of the group looting a museum for vital supplies to help the communities move forward has its tense moments, its character development moments, some interesting shots (The evolution of Man), as well as some very nice looking Walker kills. So we can’t knock this scene and call it bad, as it’s filled with everything the viewer wants to see. It would’ve been more appealing for it to be longer of course, but for a season opener, we can’t expect that. The season opener needs to be showing us an overview of how everything has been doing since we left off back in the previous season. Especially now as this season has taken the largest time jump we’ve ever seen on the show, as you can tell by Ricks grey beard as well as Maggie’s baby been born which is named after her father, Hershel.
As for the beginning of the episode the scene where we see Michonne, Rick and Judith acting as a family doing family things is incredibly heartwarming. Especially the picture she is drawing, we see Judith remember Carl with his dad’s hat and the eyepatch. So we see that Judith is missing Carl, and still remembers him a year and a half after his death. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, we will see Judith at a stage where Carl was at the beginning of The Walking Dead but already adapted to the world as she knows nothing otherwise. She was born in this world back in Season 3 in a Prison constantly under threat by Walkers and the iconic character The Governor.
Anyway, back onto the current season at the start of the episode we see a comparison montage between Alexandria and the Sanctuary. This doesn’t seem to be going well for the Sanctuary as the colour scheme is very dull in all of the shots, including the clothing of all the characters. The crops are dying, Daryl, who seems to be the current leader there isn’t happy especially as some of the Saviours are doing things without running past him first (the live walker as a scarecrow) for example. However, at Alexandria we are shown a number of areas that are filled with blossoming trees and ripened crops. The colour scheme of these shots are well contrasted and bold to further emphasize how well it’s doing in comparison with the Sanctuary.
The Ride Home
After the group has gathered all of the needed supplies and machinery they set off back home to the Hilltop, Alexandria and the Sanctuary. As usual we see Daryl scouting ahead on a brand new motorbike taking out Walkers along the way. He has had a number of motorbikes now and this one is just as cool as the others, with metal plating that’s been welded to fit the frame of the bike and special slots for his weapons.
We are then shown the rest of the group catching up on horses and Maggies cart pulling most of the supplies gathered. A conversation I wasn’t expecting was between the voice for the Saviours (Alden) at Hilltop back in the last season along with two members of Hilltop we haven’t seen before (SOMETHING DOESN’T SMELL RIGHT). This is very typical for The Walking Dead, as usually once new characters are shown that don’t show much importance are instantly killed and here there is no change. But we’ll get onto that in a minute. They talk about Kids father who is the blacksmith at Hilltop taking on another apprentice, so Alden is showing that he isn’t a Saviour anymore. We’re then shown Ezekiel and Carol, who talk about the moment back at the museum as he was nearly killed. Ezekiel proposes to Carol, and instantly is shut down by telling him to put it away but why is this? Maybe she is reminded of her past marriage with Ed and how she doesn’t want any of that. Or maybe she just doesn’t feel the need for a proposal in the world they now live in.
The group then discovers that one of their vital routes connecting the communities together has been destroyed by a passing herd, forcing them to take another route back. Moving along a new road home they come across a very muddy segment that just can’t be traversed by the horses without extra effort. The horses are also in need of a break, as they’re pulling heavy loads. Rick suggests swapping out the horses that they’ve been using and give the ones pulling the supplies a rest and take out any walkers that come across the group until they’re ready. The group pulls together and tries to pull out the cart they risked their lives to get from the museum and eventually they pull it out, but to make matters worse a large group of walkers appear from the treeline. Here we see Daryl and Michonne start to take out the walkers, and whoever came up with the idea for Daryl to dual wield knives has a huge thumbs up from me. He has needed this sort of weaponry right from the start I think, it just suits his character so well. Michonne uses her classic katana because why wouldn’t you? She has not lost her touch even though she doesn’t really leave Alexandria much now because of Judith. Rick and Ezekiel quickly put supplies back onto the cart as more and more walkers begin to appear, so its time to get out.
Now we’re shown the two kids from Hilltop again that I previously mentioned having a conversation with Alden, they set the horses loose which is a good idea as they don’t want them to be sitting targets for the walkers. One of them bravely takes out a walker, but the cart with one of the tools for the Blacksmiths has now just fallen apart as the horses speed off. However I am confused by this, we possibly have the best walker killers in the world here all grouped together. Yeah, there are maybe around 30 walkers but that is completely no trouble for the main characters. I don’t know, maybe its just me being stupid but they worked so hard for the wagon and all of the supplies but are now just abandoning it because a few walkers have appeared. They could always come back for the supplies later on I guess.
Rick is pulling on Ken’s arm (the young kid) who looks back and runs to save his horse and setting it free. But as suspected earlier no one is safe in The Walking Dead and can’t escape a walker bite to the arm. To make things worse, he is behind the horse he just set free when he is bitten and is kicked in the chest by it knocking him out. The scene goes black to show the viewers that Ken has been completely knocked out, and the group eventually comes together and clear out the walkers whilst Siddiq and Enid try to perform on him whilst being comforted by Maggie and his friend. As we all know a walker bite means death in The Walking Dead and Ken eventually dies of his wounds. Maggie bravely kills him quick enough so he doesn’t turn. Maggie is completely distraught that one of her own has died, and has to tell Ken’s parents back at the Hilltop. This doesn’t go too well as the mother blames her for the death of Ken has he didn’t have to go on the supply run, and knows that the Saviours are getting most of the supplies.
Alden begins the funeral of Ken in this next scene and seems to have a singing voice that soothes and comforts the rest of them attending. Kind of a throwback to when Beth would sing to comfort the group on a number of occasions in seasons 2 and 3. This scene is depressing, Maggie watches from the balcony holding baby Hershel whilst we see Gregory’s first appearance putting on his act as usual, pretending to care for people and handing out drinks.
Starting with the conversation Ken, Alden and the other kid from Hilltop. They talk about how Ken’s father isn’t really someone that likes anyone and likes to work on his own. Alden suggests becoming an apprentice blacksmith but jokingly speaks how it wouldn’t go down well. This conversation shows us, the viewers that if its anything in comparison to other young characters shown in a new season of The Walking Dead like back in Season 4 when Zach was shown some character development before he was bitten and killed by Walkers. If I compare it to that episode, the one back in season 4 is so much better. So much more inventive, so much better acted but I don’t think the show will ever get as good as back then.
As for the scene with the bridge, Rosita turns up on a quad bike wearing a helmet which I don’t really see the need for her to be wearing unless she’s still learning to use it of course. Safety first! This scene shows them suggesting a number of routes to take instead of this one as the bridge is out. This is something we were expecting from the 18 month time jump, a huge area of the surrounding areas from community to community being mapped and gridded out giving them other options to use in case they run into a problem like the bridge being out. We are told that everything is going fine and that they have been thriving and extending out their safe areas since the war with Negan ended.
Moving on, the scene where just about every skilled walker killer is together with a comfortable space to be taking them out and cover each other’s backs. This scene could’ve been shot so much better. We aren’t shown a huge number of walkers, we’re only shown around 20 which is nothing for these veterans. In my opinion if they were in a different environment and were surrounded by different sides by a larger group of walkers, it would have been much more realistic for the viewers and much more appealing to watch.
Now to Ken’s unfortunate death as he tries to do right by saving his horse but is bitten in (AND KICKED) in the process. I’m not sure but once he broke free from Ricks grasp, I feel like Rick should’ve at least moved to try to help him instead of just shouting his name. He is a young kid after all, not one of them move to try and help him. Why not? I don’t see why this couldn’t have been put in further showing the heroism of our legendary sheriff who is only contracted to 6 episodes this season. A missed opportunity I think. His funeral was well shown and wasn’t dragged out. It showed Maggie still attending even though she was with Hershel, Alden singing to comfort the members of the Hilltop was believable. But then we’re shown Gregory, and no viewer can watch and think “he is doing good there, he really is there to show comfort for everyone” He is there to gain points against Maggie as he still wants to take back leadership of Hilltop. You can’t help but think Gregory is lying after all he has done, it’s always been for himself. He is simply trying to weave his way back into line and he does this through a “moving” speech at Ken’s funeral. With the way Jesus looks at Gregory after he talks with him, it’s like he already knows he is up to something as Jesus knows him better than anyone.
Rick Arrives At The Sanctuary
This scene was possibly my favourite of the episode, we see Rick FINALLY arrive at the Sanctuary. This must be his first ever visit, as the members that are living there are in shock that he is there and treat him like a legend. It’s like he’s just walked into a place of worship as a god. Quote “that’s the man that ended the war” as being an example of this. The same man reveals to the viewers that Negan is still alive and rotting back at Alexandria in the prison cell as he hopes he is suffering. Baring in mind these people once followed Negan, it now shows us that they didn’t agree with anything he did. Well, most of them anyway. We see a number of characters like Eugene and Laura updating Daryl on what’s been going on with stock count etc and Laura advises him to tell the rest of the people. Daryl instantly says he won’t be doing this, he isn’t going to do a speech like Negan did. This shows how much Daryl hates this place and has no care for the majority of its people. He subtly apologises to Laura as he tells her that it’s a bad time for this as someone has just died. Michonne worryingly spots a few graffiti signs up on the wall, “We’re still Negan” and “Saviors save us” being the ones we see. Daryl tells Michonne that more and more are cropping up all over the place, which is becoming a problem. We then see Rick have a conversation with one of the “Saviors” who brings to his attention that they’re in need of certain supplies and Rick promises that they’ll get them. This results in an applause that is overlooked by Daryl that doesn’t think too much of it.
We now see Rick and Daryl’s first serious conversation of the series. Daryl tells Rick that he doesn’t want to lead these people anymore as he doesn’t want to be behind these walls again like he was before when he was Negans pet. Daryl doesn’t like to belong anywhere, he likes to be living outside like he always has done because its how Merle brought him up. Rick lets Daryl know that he’s doing a great job here but Daryl doesn’t have any of it and lays down the facts to Rick that they can’t keep on promising things that just won’t happen. They’ve scavenged everywhere for miles and all of the fuel is now gone in a large radius, people are starting to secretly rebel against them and Daryl can see it all going wrong soon if something doesn’t change. He also mentions about the past, the group they had before in the beginning and tells Rick that they could do anything they wanted. Which he is right about, but times have changed now and threats have certainly changed all of it. Rick presumes that Daryl wants to come back to Alexandria but instead wants to go to Hilltop, and check up on Maggie and Hershel to make sure they’re doing ok. It’s like Daryl is drifting from Ricks reasoning and doesn’t agree with anything he does anymore. He’s pissed off at Rick for keeping Negan alive and so wants to stay with Maggie where he can look after her and Hershel. Carol overhears the whole conversation and how Daryl wants to leave and let these people do what they want as he doesn’t give one shit about them. I believe Carol will probably step in for now as she may want a little space from Ezekiel after the proposal as well as to help out Rick and Daryl’s differences.
Ricks arrival at the Sanctuary in my opinion even though I enjoyed it could’ve been hyped up a lot more, Ricks entry could’ve been a lot more dramatic. Maybe a few faces snarling at him, as clearly there are still people in there that want Negan back. Justin could’ve had more of an impact too on the scene as he seems to be the one Daryl is “singling out” as you can clearly see he doesn’t like him. And apparently they just used up the last of the paint, but what on? Graffiti on the walls? We can see that Daryl hates being there. We’re shown that by how depressed he looks when he enters but honestly, does he ever smile? He simply doesn’t want to be there and who would? He was tortured there, can you remember the easy street song? I bet you can now. The people of the sanctuary, that aren’t siding still with Negan are looking up to Daryl for leadership and it’s simply not there. Daryl doesn’t want anything to do with them and doesn’t care for anyone there at all. You can’t help but feel sorry for Daryl as this is just a constant reminder of Glenn, Abraham, Sasha, Denise, the list could go on about all of the people that fell victim to this place.
The first real conversation of the episode between Daryl and Rick, instantly we get the feeling of disagreement for the first time in the whole series. Daryl doesn’t agree with Ricks actions. He stands his ground and tells him he isn’t going to be a leader here anymore and is going back to Hilltop to look after Maggie and Hershel. It doesn’t seem like Rick knows what to do in this situation, as he is completely surprised by how Daryl is talking to him. Have they really disagreed on anything the whole series besides leaving his brother Merle tied to the roof? This conversation sets a mood between the two characters for the rest of their time together, as things have changed. They wanted to give us a “new feel” to The Walking Dead and that’s exactly what they’re giving us.
We see here Gregory walk over to Ken’s parents and see that they’re still in distraught after their sons funeral. Gregory uses alcohol to draw them in as he knows that the father has been a sober man for years, and used to be an awful man when he drank before. He rejects it but the mother doesn’t and quickly gets drunk and heads to bed, leaving Gregory to sit with the father. We all know Gregory is now planning something, he gets the man drunk and persuades him to attack Maggie to try and kill her. He does this by giving the man drink after drink and agreeing with every word he says to make him feel more and more angry at the situation. He is right though, his son didn’t need to go out there on the supply run but that wasn’t his decision to make. He also speaks about how Maggie is “above the law” and gets to do whatever she wants and creates fake propaganda about the whole election. He thinks Jesus rigged it and counted up all the votes wrong. Gregory tells the man that Maggie is scaremongering the people and making them do as she wants. He mentions that Maggie’s decisions are the decisions that “put your son into the ground” which seems to be a trigger for the father. He wants justice for his son and begins his drunken mission to assassinate Maggie due to Gregory’s persuading.
Maggie seems to be walking Hershel in the middle of the night.. which I don’t quite understand I think it would be more realistic if she was just walking the perimeter herself checking up on the walls or something. Gregory uses the ONLY thing possible that would trigger Maggie into going somewhere, and that’s someone defacing Glenn’s grave. She quickly rushes over with Hershel to check on the grave and is attacked viciously by a “mysterious” attacker which we can clearly tell that it’s Ken’s drunken father. The pram is also knocked over which could have easily killed Hershel if it was hard flooring. A few hits and grappling results in Enid overhearing who is injured on the bench and completely knocked out cutting her head open. Alden as well as Cyndie from Oceanside also rushes over and defuses the situation. Yet AGAIN we see Gregory getting someone else to do his dirty work for him, he is a complete coward and we, the viewer still wonder why he is still alive and people like Glenn aren’t. A heated Maggie rushes towards Gregory’s quarters who is starstruck at how she has come in here still alive and not Earl (Ken’s father). Obviously, the mission has failed and Gregory as the last resort tries to stab Maggie his self but fails as she disarms him. Things do not look good for Gregory now, we see him strung up by his neck on a horse as he is about to be hung. This is just like the scene in the comics, Gregory gives his final words telling Maggie she is ashamed of herself for killing him but she doesn’t look ashamed in the slightest. She gives Daryl the signal to scare off the horse and leave Gregory hanging. A very dark path for Maggie has just been revealed, but she promises that this isn’t the start of something and doesn’t want to go through it again. We’ve never seen Maggie so brutal with her words or her actions.
This was a wonderful scene in total, we saw a very dark part of Maggie that we didn’t know existed and we got rid of the most annoying character in the show! So what’s to dislike about it? The only thing I wish could’ve been improved on was the fight between Maggie and Earl, it was just a few turns after the initial damage. I was hoping for Maggie to completely turn the fight and stab him BEFORE Enid (Well maybe not so much) Alden and Cyndie came and defused the situation. However it was still good, it had it’s tense moments that always appeal to the viewer especially as we know Maggie isn’t contracted to a lot of screen time this season as she and Rick are both departing from the show. The hanging of Gregory was well done, we see Maggie make a speech about how this isn’t the start of something. Promising the rest of Hilltop that she didn’t want to do this but felt obliged to before Gregory hurt anyone else with his lies and deceit. He almost got baby Hershel killed in the process, and lied about Glenn’s grave which I think tipped Maggie over the edge to the execution of him. We could see the sheer panic in her eyes as soon as Gregory mentioned the defacing of her husbands grave which left her ignoring all potential risks as she headed over there.
Alden is becoming a much more shown character on screen, remember he was the voice of the Saviours when he and others were taken prisoner back in the previous season at Hilltop. They were even rescued by Simon and other Saviours but he stayed to show his loyalty. He didn’t want to be apart of them anymore. I’m excited to see Alden develop as he is a beacon of hope to show that not all the Saviours were Negan and instead were forced to obey his way of “saving” people.
Back at the Sanctuary after overhearing the conversation between Rick and Daryl, Carol finds Daryl and wants to talk with him. Every scene with these two together is always heartwarming, it always gives the viewer hope for the future. Especially now as Carol mentions his nickname “Pookie” that I think originally she called him back in Season 3. I don’t know what it is about these conversations, but they always make me smile. It could be the unlikeliness of these two characters relying on each other that makes it ever so special. They encouraged each other from Season 2 as Daryl couldn’t help but try and find her little girl Sophia. Back on with the conversation, we see them joking about Ezekiel’s snoring and how corny he is. Carol even mentions Ed, which tells the viewer how serious their relationship now is destroying a lot of hope for the Caryl, or Darol relationship everyone has wished for from seasons ago. Daryl tells Carol that he is happy for her and that if anyone deserves to be happy it’s Carol after all she’s been through suffering with constant loss. She tells Daryl that she is taking over the Sanctuary for a while for Daryl, to let him go and look after Maggie and Hershel back at Hilltop. Accepting this, Daryl asks if he can stay with her but is rejected. The scene ends with Carol snuggling up to Daryl, as he rests his head on hers (Showing how close their friendship still is).
This scene is heartwarming and gives the viewers exactly what we needed after the rollercoaster of a ride they gave us in the last season. An episode with Carol and Daryl chatting is always great to see, do you remember the cabin scene? Where Daryl visits her and shares dinner together? Yeah, that still gets me in the feels too. There isn’t much else to be said about this scene as I’ve said it mostly above in the actual recap, however, I don’t think much else could’ve been said between the two.
The Famous Rick Grimes
In this scene, we see the happy couple still going strong and cuddling together in bed. However it opens with Rick washing his face and taking a look in the mirror, but I for one just think instantly back to Season 2 Shane when he does it everytime something like this happens. I’m not sure if they do it intentionally but it certainly gets me. Michonne opens up with the comment “The famous Rick Grimes” that they joke about. Michonne mentions the graffiti on the wall and mentions if they should’ve just killed Negan instead of keeping him alive to see Carls future. Rick thinks about it a lot and talks about how that graffiti would still be there if he was dead or alive. Talking about Daryl, Rick is worried about things falling apart and about how much he cares (too much sometimes). He doesn’t want to see Daryl go down a path of revenge, and being destructive to get the job done no matter what happens which we’ve seen a lot of in the past. Ending with a charter that each community has to sign and agree upon to rebuild the bridge, connecting all of them together.
This scene was everything it needed to be, the “famous Rick Grimes” cuddling with Michonne. Everybody wanted this to happen before and when it finally did happen fans went wild about it. Michonne deserves happiness about what she has lost and what she has done to get where she is now and to spend that time with Rick and Judith as her family is everything to her. You could see how much it meant to her when we saw Carl pass, she has been his mother figure ever since she arrived at the prison. Talking about rebuilding the bridge is Ricks tribute to Carl, and Michonne is supporting this without question. This will be the monument that represents Carl, his envision that he had before of all the communities laying down their arms and putting aside their differences.
Carol Leads the Saviours
One of the last scenes of the episode we see Ezekiel leaving the Sanctuary, as Carol is staying behind to lead things here for Daryl. She mentions Henry, as she cares a lot about him but I’m not sure if she sees him as a son yet. We all know what happened with Lizzie and Mika. Ezekiel can’t help but think she is running away from him after the sudden proposal on the supply run but she instantly shuts him down and says it isn’t because of that, it’s because her friends are in need of help. So is Daryl still more important that Ezekiel? Of course, he is no matter how in love Carol is with Ezekiel. Daryl will always be her number one. The scene ends with a kiss as Ezekiel and Jerry head off home on horseback.
We can see that Ezekiel is madly in love with Carol, which to me is anything but heartwarming. If it’s anything like the comics then we’re in for heartbreak eventually, but who knows as the show is that different to the comics now three of the main characters have made a very early departure than the comic book version. Another heartwarming scene, we’ve had a few now in this episode so to end the episode with a heartwarming scene would be a joke. We all know something depressing will be happening at the end of this episode and in this case its the hanging of Gregory (FINALLY!)
The final scene that I’ll be talking about for this episode will be the conversation between the two main characters in the show. Arriving at Hilltop, Michonne, Rick and Daryl see the injury on her face and are worried about what’s happened. They’re clearly told but we don’t see that as it cuts to Rick, Maggie and baby Hershel sharing yet ANOTHER heartwarming scene (to begin with at least). They share a few moments with Hershel and afterwards begin to talk seriously. Rick suggests for her to visit Alexandria as Judith often talks about “Aunt Maggie at Hilltop” all the time. Maggie tells him that she just can’t visit there knowing that Negan is locked away in a cell. She just can’t bring herself to do it as it will bring back so many awful memories.
Asking Rick to talk about anything else but that, Rick mentions that he needs Hilltop to help to rebuild the bridge as it’s workforce is much more consistent and more knowledgeable than the other communities combined. She’s unsure about this and to make matters worse for her Rick mentions that the Sanctuary is struggling on food as all of the crops are dying out. Maggie puts her foot down telling Rick that if the Sanctuary wants food then they’re going to be providing the majority of the workforce for the bridge, and also asks for them to send over the fuel from the dead corn. Maggie has her own problems to deal with here without having to help out the one place she hates the most. Finally, to end the scene a powerful message is put across by Maggie that once the war had ended Rick told her he’d soon be the one following her, but he didn’t. Maggie wasn’t someone to follow, but she states that this changes now and we all know what comes after this. The hanging of Gregory. Maggie lays down the law and lets everyone know that she means business, she isn’t going to be stepped on by anyone and if they do this then “the punishment fits the crime”.
This scene compared to the rest of the “heartwarming” scenes we are shown are very different, it shows the leaders of the world we know disagreeing with each other just like Rick and Daryl did. After years of following Ricks every move, Maggie is putting her foot down and is showing Rick what a true leader she is now capable of being which I’d be looking forward to if she wasn’t to depart the show soon. I don’t think the people that know she’s leaving is having much of an impact compared to Rick’s departure. I was hoping for a scene like this in season 8 but Maggie tells Rick that she simply wasn’t ready back then but is now. She is basically telling Rick what she wants and what is going to happen now that she has been elected with power over anyone else at Hilltop. And with Negan gone, there isn’t anybody else to stop her after Gregory is dealt with.
Summing up the whole of the episode I can’t really put it down, it already seems like a brand new foundation has been set upon the show for a new beginning. The ratings are surely rising compared to last season at least anyway and part of that may be due to Ricks final episodes, but I think it’s mainly due to the new showrunner taking over (Angela Kang) That’s been there for a long time. She’s picked up a few bad habits along the way but is showing promise for the show. The episode had a very nice ending, after a number of seasons wanting a character to be killed. We get it in a very much deserving way, and Maggie deciding this whilst the rest of the Hilltop and other main characters of the group watched you can’t help but feel proud of her for rising up.
Overall Rating 8/10
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