The Walking Dead 7.12 Review – ‘Say Yes’
Tonight on The Walking Dead, welcome to the Carnival of the Dead!
Tonight’s plot: Rick and Michonne go on an extended break from Alexandria as they drive out several days until they find a warehouse full of food and a carnival full of walkers with guns (a number of them are soldiers). After briefly believing Rick to be dead, the two had a talk about how they may lose one another, and the people they’d lost already. They take the guns to the Scavengers, who want still more but Rick gets them to agree to work with him this time, that they fight together (and he gets to keep the cat sculpture). Rosita, meanwhile, searches mostly in vain for some guns but does find (or steals) a sniper rifle. She brings this to Sasha and the two agree on a one-way trip to the Sanctuary to kill Negan. Tara, meanwhile, struggles with whether to keep her promise to not tell anyone about Oceanside, but eventually decides to come clean to Rick about it.
This was sort of a quiet episode, and definitely one that could rightly be called filler. But, ‘filler’ doesn’t have to mean an episode is bad or not worthwhile. While the big plot takes only a few small steps forward–the Alexandrians holding up their end of the deal with the Scavengers, Sasha and Rosita’s plan, and Tara’s decision to come clean–there’s some interesting emotional development.
We haven’t much of a chance to see Rick and Michonne together as a couple–after they got together, Jesus showed up and that lead right on into the Negan plotline. Everyone was in crisis mode, so seeing them away from the settlements and able to enjoy themselves is a nice change. And frankly, I feel like they deserve this time to relax (relatively speaking)! Constant stress and loss on the levels they’ve been dealing with isn’t healthy, and a lot of people rely on these two to help keep things together. So not only did we get to see them working together and being together, we also got to see them dealing with that stress, coping with their losses, and planning for the future. Rick continues to be in a much better place mentally and emotionally, but it was good to hear him talking about not being able to save Glenn, and how Glenn had been the first person to save Rick way back in the very beginning of the show/the apocalypse. Gone but never forgotten!
It’s also good to hear them talking realistically about the future, both what will need to happen after Negan is defeated, and also what may realistically happen between now and then. A few things about these conversations struck me about their relationship with one another. First, this, and really everything in the episode, reinforce just how much these two trust and rely on each other. Rick was relaxed enough to do some pretty stupid things, let’s be honest, but I also felt like it wasn’t so much that he was suddenly an idiot, but that he trusted Michonne to be there to back him up if something happened. He felt comfortable enough to take some risks. More than this, however, was the revelation of Michonne’s feelings for Rick: when she briefly believed him to be dead, she was so stunned and shocked, that she actually dropped her sword! I don’t think we’ve ever seen that happen. While I never thought Rick was actually dead here, I wasn’t sure what Michonne was going to do: if she was going to run, if she’d just let the walkers take her, too, or if she’d have taken up her weapon again on her own. It was as though she had never considered the idea that he might someday. Later, she confesses to Rick that she can’t lose him and he talks her through the fact that she can and she might, basically trying to reassure her that she has the strength to carry on if it happens as well as making sure she’s aware that others will need her if that happens. It was overall a rare moment of vulnerability for Michonne, and I enjoyed getting to see that side of her. We’ve seen her strength, her skills, her leadership, and even her madness, but we’ve never really seen this part of her before. She steeled herself against opening up like this for a long time (we know she lost her husband, her child, and her…brother or maybe another lover? I forget which it was on the show), and now that she has, it’s a reminder that love gives you strength, but it also makes you vulnerable.
For now, however, things are still looking good for the Alexandrians on one front: not only did they find a considerable stash of food and guns, thus helping both their people and solidifying their alliance with the Scavengers, but Tara is about to tell Rick where he can more guns and maybe more people, too. I’m glad that’s finally happening, and I hope Oceanside joins them as well, but I expect it will be so simple as that, of course. For one thing, we know Oceanside tends to shoot on sight, and after Tara’s escape, I imagine they’re even more prickly than they were before.
On the flipside, however, Rosita and Sasha are about to go do something really stupid and try to take out Negan themselves in the Sanctuary. It’s nice that they realize it’ll be a one way trip and all, but come on, ladies. I know you’re both hurting and you want revenge, but especially after what happened the last time Rosita tried to kill Negan, you should know better. This won’t just be a death sentence for you two, it will bring yet more death to your people, even you do kill the man in charge. That’s one of the reasons why he’s “We are Negan” the slogan of his people. This mission you’re giving yourselves isn’t brave–it’s selfish. And I sure hope someone talks sense into you before it’s too late.
– Jadis annoyed me more in her brief appearance in this episode than when we met her last time. At least Rick seems to share that annoyance.
– The carnival setting was a fun change of pace, though ultimately I feel like they could’ve something more with it. I’m not looking for a Zombieland style climactic showdown, but it did still end up feeling a little incidental.
– You guys really should’ve seen that roof collapse after. Don’t you remember what happened with the last waterlogged warehouse roof? The one with the helicopter on it a few seasons back?
– Father Gabriel throwing some classy shade at Rosita! Now if only she’d stop being an idiot.
– Speaking of which, quotes!
— “It’s easier to be dead. And if it’s my fault you’re alive, well I’m just gonna have to live with that.”
— “You can certainly blame me for the fact that you have a life, but after that, what are you going to do with that life? Everything is possible until your heart stops beating.”
— “I owe you a deer.”
— “I think we overshot it.” “You think or you know?” “…I know.”
— “You CAN lose me. I can lose you. …it’s not about us, it’s about a future. And if it’s me who doesn’t make it, you’re gonna have to lead the others forward, you’re the one who can.” “How do you know?” “Because you lead me here.”
— “Or we could just go.” “You wanna go?” “Nah, we can do this.” “i know we can!” Just one example of some of the light-hearted banter I enjoyed between Rick and Michonne tonight.