Coming into tonight’s installment, The Walking Dead had been on a much-needed streak of quality episodes. Let’s see if a Richonne weapon scavenging road trip can keep it going.
The episode opens with Rick and Michonne finding a small cache of supplies. After easily dispatching the walkers, they celebrate by having sex on what had to be a very gross/unsanitary floor.
Later, they spot and attempt to hunt a deer, which manages to elude them (but you know the deer will totally show back up again). Thankfully, they also find a high school that appeared to be holding a carnival right when the world went to crap…and is filled with undead military personnel…which of course means there will be lots of weapons.
Michonne and Rick celebrate by going up to the roof of the high school, giggling like a couple of high schoolers themselves, and firing a rifle at one of the carnival games. Thankfully, these particular walkers don’t seem all that interested in loud noises and ignore them.
After a “hilarious” fall through the roof, Rick and Michonne also find a large cache of ready to eat meals. They giggle and flirt some more, then set up camp for the night. Canoodling ensues along with soft words about how much they care for each other.
The next day, the smitten couple “hilariously” fails to execute their plan to move a car into a gap in the fence outside the high school. It all starts to go awry when Rick is unable to pull a dead walker through a windshield without first ripping its torso in half.
Then, another walker starts FIRING ITS MACHINE GUN AT MICHONNE. For a moment, it seems like we’re about to go the route of the latter Living Dead movies with zombies becoming semi-intelligent—which I’ve always thought was a stupid and pointless development. Thankfully, it turns out that one of the zombies had “hilariously” managed to stop itself against something at just the right point that would make its weapon fire.
Once Rick and Michonne get the car moving, they discover that the brakes don’t work (again, HILARIOUS!), crash well beyond the fence, and get swarmed. The pair jumps out of the sunroof, hops over a nearby barricade, and begin hacking down the walkers.
Eventually, they decide that the best way to handle the horde is to split them up at different ends of the carnival park. Things appear to be going fine until Rick sees the deer from the beginning of the episode, causing him to turn into a complete dumbass. With walkers still swarming towards him, he climbs up the Ferris wheel, puts away his melee weapon (a carnival prize hook) and takes aim with his pistol.
A Series of Unintelligent Events
At this point, I’m not really sure what Rick hoped to accomplish. I mean, sure, we’ve already established that these zombies don’t care about loud noises. But even if they didn’t all rush toward him after shooting his gun, what was he supposed to do after the deer was down? There were still a crapload of zombies shambling toward him—some of which would most assuredly want a little venison themselves before going for the main course.
Before Rick can carry out his idiotic plan, however, the Ferris wheel support he’s standing on snaps, sending him tumbling to the ground. It must have been one heck of a fall, because after he lands, Rick completely forgets how to stand up, run, or climb any of the easily accessible carnival buildings surrounding him. Instead, he begins crab walking backwards and firing his gun while Michonne screams and sprints over to help.
Before she can reach him, though, the zombies dig in and begin to eat. Michonne drops her katana blade as tears fill her eyes and the music swells.
OH NO! THE SHOW’S MAIN CHARACTER HAS DIED IN A TRAGIC CARNIVAL ACCIDENT!
Just kidding. Rick totally pulls a Glenn and pops out of a random nearby storage container. He hacks away at the remaining zombies before scooping Michonne up into a warm embrace.
So what were the zombies actually eating? The deer, of course—which you definitely should have figured out after the first zombie brought a handful of bloody meat to its mouth. If you were actually convinced Rick had died during that scene, then you’re probably the type of person who doesn’t understand why other people on the interstate get mad when they have to pass you on the right.
As the couple leaves the carnival, they say more sweet words to each other about how hard the world is and how much they need each other.
“We can’t die, baby. We’re under contract.”
Back in Alexandria, Rosita is pissed. At first, I thought it was because Tara kept talking about the scar on her face like it was some massive disfigurement. I’m pretty sure I’ve had pimples that were bigger.
Turns out, however, that Rosita is mad because she’s…uh…not dead. At least that’s what she tells Gabriel while screaming at him for convincing her not to go after Negan. She also can’t seem to find any guns. The closest she gets is a toy gun conveniently placed by the door of house, where a walker with a thyroid condition nearly chomps her head off.
Gabriel tells Rosita that he’s not sorry for telling her not to do something stupid. He then follows that up by completely goading her into doing the exact thing he talked her out of before. Nice going, Father G.
After getting her head bitten off by Rosita, Tara goes back to watching Judith, who has aged considerably in the last few months. Using the youngest Grimes as sounding board, she launches into an interminable monologue about “why they fight” and “doing what needs to be done to survive” and all the usual Walking Dead Good Guy talking points.
These speeches are tiresome from anybody, but Tara forcing Judith to listen to her give one is borderline child abuse.
Rick and the Alexandria Crew meet up with the Scavengers, who are not impressed with Rick’s massive weapons haul. Rick and Jadis do some meaningless posturing before agreeing that he needs to get more weapons because there are still too many episodes of the season left before they can start the big final fight.
Later, Tara finds Rick and begins to tell him about the Oceanside Community she found way back during what might be the worst episode of the season (which is really saying something).
Raging Rosita Part II
Rosita storms off to the Hilltop and finds Sasha. Just when it looks like we’re about to have a catfight over Abraham’s corpse, Rosita asks Sasha to accompany her on a two-person suicide mission to take out Negan.
Despite the fact that Sasha is one of the show’s smartest characters, she agrees.
Okay, let’s work back to front on this mess of episode.
I get that Rosita and Sasha both want revenge on Negan. They are also two of the most badass fighters the group, so it’s not entirely inconceivable that these two would at least entertain the thought of a rogue mission into The Sanctuary. But how on earth could both of them actually decide to go through with it? I don’t care if they have a map from Jesus or took notes from Daryl—they are going into unfamiliar and heavily armed territory. Carol and Daryl couldn’t even pull this off without getting themsevles killed.
And do they realize that this isn’t just a suicide mission for them? Do they not remember Negan’s penchant for punishing insolence by killing innocent people?
As far as Rick and Michonne go, I get it. The show needs to establish that Rick is stable and likable again so he can be a leader/good main character. But what had been a steady trickle of not so subtle character development turned into a full on flood of cringe-worthy grins and giggles. I don’t think we’ve seen Rick this happy since…ever. Which is weird considering the fact that The Saviors can show up at Alexandria at any point and potentially kill his daughter (who he seems to have completely forgotten about).
Then there’s the stupid death fake out, which itself was set up by a sequence of evidence so idiotic that Rick probably deserved to die.
Add in the usual badness that comes with any appearance by Tara, and this episode sinks right back to the poor quality that has plagued most of Season 7. Maybe Oceanside showing up soon will help things out a bit…or maybe another random deer will show up and make things worse.