“If you care, you do something. You don’t just hope. It takes more than that.”
I don’t even know where to begin. The mid-season finale was something we’ve all been waiting for. We wanted something big — explosions, punches, death. You know, the usual Walking Dead (TWD) stuff. The show loves to build up the plot and leave us on the edge of the cliff to hang all the way until February, but this season’s mid-finale, felt more like we had a parachute. I felt too safe. But before I get into it, beware: this whole review contains spoilers about the show.
To recap, Rick and the Scavengers were at the Saviors station. Rick wanted them to see the trap they’d set for them, but once they got there, they didn’t see any zombies guarding the outside. They saw a truck had crashed into the wall with the place empty. Negan got out. The Scavengers had abandoned Rick. Negan ends up at Alexandria and bombs the place. Carl volunteers his life to stall Negan; to give the community time to escape. Dwight helps them. The other leaders per station go to claim their homes: The Kingdom and Hilltop. But the thing is, they decided to keep Hilltop. They didn’t hurt Maggie thankfully, but told her to just go back home and keep farming for them.
King Ezekiel on the other hand was wanted, and so was Rick. They were set to be decapitated in front of their community and have their heads hanging on a stick for trophies. Ezekiel saves his people and stays behind, but he doesn’t know that Morgan had come back for him. Rick came back and saw the place on fire. He and Negan brawl it out a bit, before Rick falls out the window for an exit. He bumps into Michonne who finally got her fight back, easily disposing of a zombie. She led him to the sewer, where their people hid. This was where we find out that Carl was bitten by a zombie when he tried to save Siddiq.
The beautiful thing about this episode was the quote. It represents the whole point of this series, yet the story is just a disjointed mess that doesn’t really drive it home like it should. You’re sitting there, waiting for everything to blow up — maybe even literally — but instead it just flickered and eventually got snuffed out by the wind. Below is a list of some of the more confusing events of the episode.
- How on Earth did Negan and his people escape?
Yes, they said the gist of it was that Eugene did something to get them out. But if he’d used music to lure the zombies out while they were inside attacking them, how on earth did they manage to get them all outside? They ate half the people that were in the room already. The zombie-to-human ratio was higher than the amount of people who actually lived. It was too unclear and unrealistic, not that this show is realistic at all, but you get my point.
- How does Negan still have an army of people?
I could have sworn that when Rick ambushed them, Negan lost a lot of people. Last I recall, he only had the leaders of each sanctuary left gathered in their meeting room and a few of his best shooters, besides the workers. We also saw a lot of them die when the zombies entered the building. So where did he get his army from? Big plot hole.
- Why were Maggie and Jesus driving in the middle of the night, and where were they headed?
It was never clear as to where Maggie and the group she was with were heading in the middle of the night. Were they heading back to the Kingdom, seeing as some of Ezekiel’s people were with them? This leads me to my next issue…
- Why didn’t Maggie and her people attack while the Saviours were driving up to them?
They could have shot them as they passed; they had a truck with just Jerry in the back. For all they knew, the other cars only had two people each. Maggie had 5 passengers each car with guns. They had an open window to take them down.
- How is Maggie still not showing any bump, but Judith is growing into a toddler?
I get she’s only a few months pregnant, but with the speed Judith is growing they could at least show some growth in her as well. She doesn’t look or act pregnant at all, compared to how Lori was when she was pregnant with Judith.
- How did Laura escape without Daryl and without them seeing or hitting her as she ran?
She was in front of the car, making her a much clearer target than those behind. Yet she somehow managed to not only survive, but also watch Dwight shoot his team as she defends herself against Daryl’s fire. Why didn’t they drive to catch her or run over her? She couldn’t have travelled that far in that short a time.
- How was Carl still walking around just fine when he was bitten days ago by a zombie?
We’ve seen people get bit before, they react to it pretty fast. Why did Carl have a slow reaction? Yes, his actions made sense to the result of his situation but he didn’t seem affected until the end.
There are a few more issues, but those are the ones that bothered me the most throughout the episode. We were given 90 minutes of airtime yet it seemed like we only had 10 minutes of airtime and 80 minutes filled with commercials. This mid-season finale was as bad as the finale last time. The only good part was when Maggie killed one of the captive Saviours, and put them in the box they were going to put Maggie in after they shot Neil to show Negan that they weren’t done fighting.
I’m hoping they actually go through with Carl’s death, as sadistic as it sounds, because there is no way in hell he’s going to survive that bite. It’s either he dies before he turns, or his dad will have to kill him like he did his own mother.
Will this really be the last time we see Carl or will they have some miracle cure just for him? Will the show survive at the rate their characters are dropping, or will it finally conclude as it should? I guess we’ll find out when the series returns in February, 2018.