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So The Walking Dead returned after what felt like a reeeeaaally long break – although in reality it's probably only been about 2 and a half months or something. The mid-season finale saw a clutch of the gang fall down a cavern and reach the realisation that they're stuck in a subterranean cave system. Oh and the infamous but elusive horde are down there. Yay!

Thankfully we didn't get one of those episodes where they focused on something else and left the cliffhanger hanging for a bit longer. No, we got straight into the action with Carol screaming at a smug looking Alpha who wasted no time in getting the hell out of there and instructing her crew to 'not let them escape'. Back underground Daryl took the lead and suggested they use the rock formations to leapfrog their way out, like some kind of Super Mario level or something. Of course this was only the first hurdle to cross in their pursuit of an exit. To compound their situation, the unpredictable Carol informs everyone that she's claustrophobic. Great. And it's not long before they realise that there aren't just a shit tonne of walkers down there and are attacked by a squadron of whisperers. However it's when they have to slide through narrow crevices and crawl through tiny tunnels that things really begin to feel nauseating. I was half expecting to see a crawler from Neil Marshall's The Descent appear at any moment, I can't have been the only one who felt a little sick watching them try and navigate that subterranean labyrinth. Carol's panic attack was reflective of how I was feeling through most of it. Also, for some of the young lithe women it wasn't so bad but for Jerry, it was always going to be a problem. Sure enough his considerable bulk nearly led to his demise after he struggled to escape some walkers who were pursuing them. If you thought that he was a gonner you weren't alone. Thankfully his shoes were heavy duty and he managed to escape (although I thought he was going to die again at the end of the episode!), Jerry has gone from a bit of a clown to something of a gentle giant and it'd have been a shame if they had dispensed with him at this point. But you know The Walking Dead, they've got form when it comes to killing off popular characters...

On the outside, Negan continued to scheme and conspire. Honestly, that man is so insidious. If they were to ever make a film version of The Garden of Eden (which would be a rather short movie) then Negan would be a great snake. His ratting out of Gamma to Alpha was a little surprising but he's clearly playing the long game rather than genuinely trying to get in her good books. Gamma appeared unimpressed with his suspicions but as we later saw, she clearly values his insight and advice. Beta may be her right hand man but he's mainly there as an enforcer and as a lieutenant. But Negan is a little more streetwise and Machiavellian and this is something that she sees some value in. Although I wasn't expecting her to kill him when she led him deep into the woods at the end of the episode, neither was I expecting her to reward his 'bravery' by bumping uglies. A crass man deserves a crass reward. Although I'm not sure that being offered sex by a dirty psychopath who is wearing another woman's face constitutes much of a reward. But hey, Negan's not had any for a while so you gotta take what you can get I guess. Does this mean that they are going to be the new power couple? Nelpha? Alphegan? Ok both those suck. But no is the answer, I don't think either of them have any interest in any commitment.

Back underground, our heroes finally look like they've found their way out only for Daryl to notice that Carol has gone walkies again. When he finds her, she's hanging off a rock after attempting to blow up the horde (and herself) with some dynamite. Oh Carol, what happened to you? You used to be cool. She's always been a bit of a loose canon but she's making bad decision after bad decision and people are paying the price for her quest for vengeance. I get why she's pissed. But her recklessness once again proved costly as Magna and Connie found themselves trapped after the dynamite eventually blew. Carol knows it's her fault and Daryl does too. The two of them have had a couple of key scenes during this episode and at the back-end of the first half of the series and you get the feeling that Daryl's patience with her has finally run out. The episode ended with Daryl sticking around to try and find a way back into the cave to rescue his two friends whilst the rest of the gang skulked off back home. I have a feeling Carol may try and atone for her sins in the coming episodes...

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