We suffered from some of the same problems as last week but ultimately, we were rewarded with a much more enjoyable episode. We revisited the confusion over what exactly was unfolding with King Ezekiel, Carol and their group. Are they actually moving toward their end goal with any momentum? Ezekiel has been rather grating so far in this series– the exaggerated pleasure he takes in battle is quite exhausting to watch, even if Carol does seem to be softening toward him. He seems naively determined that he won’t lose any men and this highlights how experienced he is in this kind of battle. By the end of that episode, I was not only convinced most of his group would die, I was almost looking forward to it. As long as it wasn’t going to be Carol. Never Carol.
We are repeatedly being asked to consider Rick and Negan, and how different they really are. It is hair-breadth stuff of course, split only by the fact Rick doesn’t have the same flair for violence (though I haven’t forgotten the time he killed a man by biting his throat, or his rampage in Father Gabriel’s church). I imagine Morales was another device to contrast and compare the two characters. Morales turned out to be rather pointless though, to be honest. I am not sure we needed a season one character to return for all of fifteen minutes, just to suggest the Saviour’s and Rick’s group are much the same. The scene where Daryl swiftly dispatched of him was quite amusing, though Daryl shooting the young man Rick reasons with later in the episode, seemed exceptionally cold. Daryl is certainly damaged – but as it is Daryl, and he is precisely the opposite of loquacious, there isn’t any change in his demeanour to suggest that. You can only measure his mental and emotional health by how many people he dispassionately shoots without question. Oh, Daryl’s shot five (relatively) “innocent” people this episode… Maybe he’s not doing so well?
Morgan is losing himself again. And while he might not be right, he isn’t wrong either. It’s frustrating to watch him repeatedly try to beat on Jesus when Jesus is being calm and reasonable, but he does raise valid points about what it will take to win this war, and what the end game will look like. Jesus believes “there is war and there is peace” and he likely views the group killing of these saviours as akin to execution. Tara doesn’t help either. I like Tara but she seems like a bit of a moody teenager this series, unhelpfully chipping in at the end of the fight, just stoking the flames at the last minute.
Predictably, Gregory went crawling back to the hilltop. This scene was actually almost funny, but his days must be numbered.
The episode closed on another cliff-hanger – King Ezekiel and his group were peppered with bullets and it seems like a large number of lives will be lost. I hope that the intention isn’t to end every episode with a cliff-hanger, unless it leads to something game-changing. Rick’s group takes a step forward – only to take two steps back at the end of every episode, just for some short-lived tension. I am still waiting with baited breath to find out what happened to Negan and Gabriel…hopefully we will get some answers next week. Thoughts?