In which Kim and Shawn look at character pairings.
Kim: My feelings about this episode would best be expressed by a monologue from this episode during this episode. And in this monologue, I will be playing Negan. “What the shit?” *Superstar!*
This episode was full of things I didn’t really see coming and left me with one burning question. Sure, you can count “what the shit?” and then I have two burning questions, but they are actually related. And so, unlike the writers, I will walk you through my thought process, and together we will arrive at the only question we can ask ourselves about this episode. Ready?
TARA & DARYL
So, we get 30 seconds of an exchange between Tara & Daryl, as she tries to convince him not to hate Dwight. This is a ridiculous scenario. In the end, helper or not, Dwight needs to die. He stole Daryl’s shit way back when, after all. We’re never going to forgive him for that. He’s also the reason Daryl got to try on the Alvin and the Chipmunks shirt. Then again, he’s also the reason we got to see naked Daryl, so maybe he’s not all that bad. No, no, no, because in the end, there was that super stupid song that was stuck in everyone’s head for months on end. Sing it with me now, “We’re on easy street! And it feels so sweet!” You’re welcome.
Anyhow, the storyline here is that Tara and Daryl have sort of switched places on which side of the Dwight street they fall on. Try to hold that in your memory, so that when it never comes up again, you’ll be angry.
RICK & MORGAN
This is an interesting scenario, as we see Rick, since the loss of Carl, becoming more and more like Morgan from the “Clear” episode way back when. He’s now a lying murderer who sees the only way of surviving is to kill everyone who has ever sat at the wrong side of the table. Remember old Rick, who always wanted to help people? Remember old Morgan who didn’t just kill Rick when he first met him? So, they both lose their kid and go totally apeshit. Whereas Morgan later met the cheesemaker to bring him back to sanity, Rick has Carl’s letter sitting in his drawer. Will that have the same effect? It’s too early to tell, but one thing is for certain. Rick is a prick because he’s got a whole stack of letters in that drawer from Carl that he never bothered to hand out.
CAROL & EZEKEIL & MORGAN, too!
Remember when Carol lost Sophia? It was shortly after that when she became the resident badass. And then there was Lizzy and Mika? And now Henry? Good God, if there’s anything we have learned from this show, it’s that Carol is really not to be trusted around children. Because she can’t decide if she’s a meticulous killing machine, or an old softy who cries whenever something happens. I blame the children. So, we’ve got Ezekiel telling her she’s a coward, and Morgan going out to do some killing. So Carol tags along with Morgan, not to look for the kid she believes is already dead, but to keep an eye on Morgan, like the mom she is. *Cue tears* Just like every other child she has mothered, Morgan is a lost cause. But wait, here’s Henry! Let’s start placing bets on what horrible future there is for young Henry and how that will turn out for Carol. Then we go to the heartwarming moment between Carol & Ezekiel. I’m thinking these two should just shack up already, because there’s something there. And if there’s not, they should just fake it ‘till they make it.
JADIS & NEGAN
One of the most interesting things in this scenario isn’t how they’re similar. It isn’t how she’s the first person to have “caught” Negan. It’s how she cleans up well, is actually pretty hot, and lives in a tiny house that is immaculate while surrounded by trash. We finally get to see her being a normal human being. Complete with feelings, even if they are vengeful or melancholy. She’s got herself a plan and she’s going to see it through. This plan, apparently, involves Negan having access to weapons, while being strapped to a mechanic’s creeper, and a walker wheeled out on a lumber cart from Home Depot. Is that right? If so, this is the most incredibly stupid plan I’ve ever heard of. Why not just kill him? Oh, right. Because if you do that we don’t get to see him destroy Simon and we don’t get to learn that Lucille was his wife, thus understanding to some mild degree why the bat is so important to him.
In the end, they trade her photos for his bat, but not before all of her alarms go off, and she’s frantically trying to get to a flare because...there is a helicopter in the sky?! This never even gets addressed throughout the episode. Say it with me now, “What the shit?” How do you just throw a helicopter out there, indicating that somewhere fairly nearby there are people who might be able to help somehow. And Jadis knows this. She knew when it would come and was all ready to go. But when she misses it, she’s dejected and just lets Negan go and goes back in her immaculate room and pouts. Listen, I’m all for suspense, but how do you introduce a helicopter, with a lot of time and dialogue left in the show, and not have anyone address it at all? Because that would be my first question and I certainly wouldn’t be heading back to the Sanctuary until I had some answers.
Here’s hoping I get my answer in the final two episodes, because this is a game changer.
Shawn: NEGAN & LUCILLE
We finally learn what we've sensed for awhile now - that Lucille was Negan's wife's name. Lucille helps him survive the future the way wife Lucille helped him in the past. He obviously used to use his wife to bash open the heads of his enemies after he wrapped her in barbed wire. The attachment he feels to his pokey wife incarnate makes me question their physical relationship. When he says, "She needs love." I'm still not clear if he means that literally. Then again, Negan wouldn't lie to save his ass. Would he?
CAROL & EZEKIEL
Much like Jadis dropping her terrible accent, I'm waiting for Ezekiel to come out sounding like the Fresh Prince next episode. It was nice to see their interaction here because of all the almost-romances and semi-I-think-it's-love things that Carol has had, that one really is worth cheering for. He might have some parenting advice for Carol since she's obviously a little shaken in that category. She needs his special confidence to offset some of her doubts. I forsee a nice couple here settling in the woods and baking cookies together in our future.
RICK & MICHONNE
"Rick, read the letter." "I will." "Rick, you're not going to read it are you?" "Nope." "Why not? Carl wrote that when he was full of zombie juice." "No time." Michonne reaching for her sword, "Rick, don't be a dick." "I gotta murder someone first." "Murder doesn't mean anything, Rick." "Murder still gotta mean something."
MORGAN & CAROL
As much as I like Carol and Ezekiel together is as much as I'm tired of Morgan and Carol. We've switched both of them back and forth so many times that I'm confused each episode. Is this Killer Morgan or Jesus Morgan? Is Carol making poisoned cookies or retiring to her cottage in the country? They both switched around a couple times within this episode. Carol thinks Henry is dead, then goes to look for him. Morgan goes to look for Henry but then is convinced he is dead. Eventually Morgan is going to get himself demoted to some kind of inferior zombie show if he's not careful.
NEGAN & JADIS
"No, really, I super-duper pinky-swear promise." The only thing clear from this episode is that if Rick had been in Negan's position, he would have made a promise, been untied, and murdered the heck out of Jadis right there before shooting down the helicopter. And I don't know if that was a complete surprise to see a helicopter fly by when a few episodes ago we saw a plane in the distance when Rick was doing some negotiating at the junkyard. If Negan is to deliver on his promise to Jadis, then Simon is a dead man and maybe Jadis and Negan can get around to picking out some wallpaper for their tiny house when the HGTV folks roll in. BTW - Jadis, don't take your photographs outdoors like that. One, they will fade. Two, there are flares out there.
NEGAN & THE HITCHHIKER
Never having watched The Hitcher or any of the Dead End films, Negan pulls over and picks up someone who's watching the episode on their Samsung Galaxy VR Headset. "Want to really immerse yourself in this episode of The Walking Dead? You can now get picked up by Negan courtesy of AT&T." This show doesn't fool us with POV shots very often, I've always appreciated them not trying to hide too much from us in that way. This was the worst moment of the episode, other than a very vague plan by Rosita and Daryl to kill Eugene and stop the bullets.
Two episodes to wrap this up. It feels like a bit of a holding pattern this week but slowly we're creeping forward. I have that good nervous feeling for next week.