I realized, as I was finally got to do my mid season review of season 8 of Walking Dead, I never did my review of the end of Season 7. I don’t want to break from tradition, so I feel that I still need to do this.
As always, spoilers—-duh. But really if you haven’t seen it at this point you need to stop slacking. :p
There were things I loved and hated to the second half of the 7th season, and it seems among the fans I know we have an agreement that it was a bit up and down.
We met some new people this season, and learned some new things about people with ought we knew.
First of all-Let’s talk about the trash people.
The “Scavengers” as they are called. I initially thought the mysterious strangers spying on the group were going to be a build up to the Whispers, the next big bad in the comics following our current storyline. As we found out in the premiere episode of the second half of season 7, these people are actually another group of survivors that is based out of a landfill, and these people seem….odd. They come off as almost feral, like they have forgotten what civilized society is like. Multiple people in the Walking Dead boards I frequent noted Jadis’ odd grammatically incorrect ways of talking and awkward communication. It seems odd that her communication would devolve so drastically within a few years, but who knows…maybe she always talked strangely? Maybe she was a foreigner in America and just learned to speak English before the apocalypse? Who knows. Even the others in the group seem odd, and we hardly witness them speaking at all.
The armored spike walker they had in the pit was pretty badass and I was pleased with how Rick managed to negotiate with them and win them over…which made it very infuriating when this group inexplicably decided to contact Negan and defect to him. Though I will say the writers got me there, I had not expected that. I have to wonder how exactly did they broker a better deal with Negan and the Saviors? It didn’t seem they knew much of anything about the Saviors…. aside from Rick telling them they were a present threat. It would have been nice to have some background there on how they even managed to reach him and make this deal.
The leader Jadis was…. interesting. My favorite moment with her had to be when she tells Michonne of Rick, “I lay with him, after.”
The look on her face was so priceless. 😂
One memorable moment from that first episode of the second half was the parable Rick tells about the rock in the road. I love when the writers put stuff like this in the show. I loved the metaphor of that story and I love the nuance it lends to the plot. It feels so relevant, not just as a metaphor for what happens if a threat like the Saviors isn’t dealt with and the rewards that come with that risk, but it also resonated with me on a personal level when thinking on current events.
I was also interested to see Rick meet Ezekiel and for the Kingdom to join up with everyone. I love everyone’s reactions to Ezekiel when they first meet him, though I think my all time favorite is and always will be Carol.
On Daryl, it is confirmed that Sherry helped him escape. Not surprising, I had kind of hoped it had been Dwight, I feel like that would have introduced an interesting dynamic. Dwight directly caused the death of Dr. Carson in trying to cover up his knowledge of Sherry’s disappearance and her role in releasing Daryl. Can’t believe Negan was so quick to throw the doctor in the furnace though…. I mean, it’s the apocalypse. I would try to keep the doctors around, it doesn’t seem like there are that many, and whenever we get one they end up fucking dying. When I really think about it that was a stupid decision he made and it really screws over his own people more than anyone else….but the Saviors “fix” this by snatching the doctor from the Hilltop, because that’s what they do. They take things….and people.
Another thing I had been thinking about for sometime was how Maggie and Daryl would interact with each other once Daryl returned. Afterall, Daryl’s punching Negan was what lead to Glenn’s death in the show and Daryl has clearly held himself accountable for it and actively blames himself. I was glad for the scene in the cellar with Daryl and Maggie so these two characters could work out some of their tension and address it to the audience without glossing over it.
Eugene is probably one character that irked me this season. I feel his cowardice came back in full swing and it disappointed me so much especially at the end of season 6 when he seemed to have grown and gotten braver. He immediately submitted to Negan and even seems to enjoy his place there, which we see when he talks down to people in the market. Though considering he helped Sasha carry out her plan, I am hoping deep down he is still loyal to our core group. Hoping….
One cheap scare that was written in that kind of pissed me off was the episode of the Walker infested fair grounds where they tease the audience and there’s a moment that it seems Rick was overwhelmed and eaten by Walkers. The whole thing just seemed cheap.
Morgan’s descent back into the fight was a necessary one but it still felt painful to watch. I love Lennie James’ acting and he is so good at showing the array of emotions Morgan is experiencing throughout the episode when Benjamin dies and he realizes Richard is the reason why; all without even having to say anything directly for the audience to “get it”. The way he silently sharpens his stick at the end of that episode gave me chills. It was such a good closing note.
I was glad to see the gang finally go to Oceanside again, although the way they just kind of stormed in there and took their shit really made me think of another certain group we know……y’know, it’s like the show runners are trying to convince us that they are not so different. I’m hoping they eventually join forces, but it seemed awfully tense after that.
Sasha really grew this season. I was sad to see her go, even though I knew that was the route things were headed towards, especially considering the original story from the comics. I do feel the show improved upon the situation surrounding this death though. In the comics it seems implied the Saviors killed Holly (the death that Sasha’s death mirrors) but Sasha actually made the choice to take her own life and become a weapon against the Saviors rather than be used against her companions from our groups at the Hilltop and Alexandria. Some may be upset she killed herself but the way it was done, the fact that she chose it made me think it was brave and selfless and that she sacrificed herself to give the group an edge. She did too, her emergence fro the coffin as a walker threw off Negan and the Saviors for a moment and it allowed the gang to strike back. Leading up to her demise, I kind of enjoyed the moment of camaraderie with her and Rosita setting out on the suicide mission to take down Negan.
Lastly, I gotta talk about Negan. I just love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, over and over I gotta praise the choice to cast him. He’s so great to love and hate. He’s always got the best lines, and I enjoyed the scene where he confronted the would be Savior-rapist, admonishes him saying they don’t rape, and then murders him before at last addressing Sasha, inviting her to possibly join the Saviors and telling her that the Saviors very much ironically “aren’t monsters”.
On the end of season 7, it felt a bit unresolved. The finale didn’t feel nearly as compelling as season 6, though that was a hard one to top. Sasha’s death, though sad, was something I fully expected. I will say one of my favorite moments was the deus-ex machina tiger. Shiva jumping in and eating Saviors was pretty fucking cool, I gotta admit.
And now…. memes, as always.