Bearded Robot’s 200th post!

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead went from one extreme to the other throughout. We had some really good action pieces, as well as some amazingly intriguing questions that left us hungry for the flesh of the answers, and then it would go back to the mundane conversations that I have constantly slagged off throughout the season, where two people get emotional and talk in overly dramatic breathy voices to one another, most of the time either arguing either end of one point, or somehow arguing about the same point entirely. It is these that really good bring the show to a halt and make me physically tune out, getting up to get myself a drink, or start looking at my phone about something completely irrelevant.
There was a point where my wife, who watches the show very loosely, asked me what Morgan was on about, and I looked up from my phone, listened for a moment (as I had only been half paying attention previously) and gave her three possible options, but later admitted that I did not have a clue who or what he was referring too, but was assured that by the end of the episode, we would know, and two minutes later he bumped into Rick and explicitly stated what his mission currently was, and I was suddenly completely up to speed.
Now this makes me feel a little like we are leaving our brains at the door when we watch this show, where as other, more in-depth programs, do punish you if you are not giving it your all. I feel that The Walking Dead does not do this and basically hand-holds its audience.

So, this week continued on from the events of last time when a group of captive Saviors, lead by that little rat-weasel one with the long hair (who I learned his name was Jared), escaped and decided to head back to Sanctuary, even though Simon announced in the last episode that the Saviors had pretty much washed their hands with them.
Morgan and Carol decide to head out in search of that little kid who let them out, who has currently done a runner (and good on him as he would get such a hiding if I ever saw him again), but Morgan has recently been going down this nut-job path (once again) and his mental state is getting in the way of their search.
Instead of seeing Gavin (the unenthusiastic Savior who got the spear through the throat), he is now seeing the little kid saying the same convoluted jargon that Gavin said in the last episode; “You know what it is!” etc, leaving us thinking “what the fucking hell are you even going on about?”

Morgan’s descent into madness is a little hard to swallow, since last season he was perfectly fine. The character’s psyche is constantly flaring up and simmering down, and I feel that they have just recently started this up again as they are leading to something dramatic with him, such as his own demise, which is usually the case when a character gets a little more screen time than they should over the course of a season (or half a season).
So you heard it here once again, I believe than Morgan might be up for the chop in the final battle of the show.

Rick, after spending a minute with his daughter, decided to go out hunting the fleeing Saviors, and with the help of than random good-guy Savior (telling Rick where they might go on the way back to Sanctuary), Rick sets out to kill them, despite the fact that the good-guy Savior asks him not to kill too many of them. Yeah… alright mate.

Rick’s mentality has always been up for debate as well, so we know this is not going to go well for the Saviors, and when he eventually teams up with Morgan (who has left Carol to look for the boy whilst he searchings for the Saviors to also kill them) and the two characters join forces to track them down, we know that no one is going to get out of this alive.
Well Rick and Morgan are eventually captured by the escapees, but not before seeing a horde… herd nearby, and awaken to find themselves tied up by the Saviors, who are currently debating what to do with a couple of people who were bit and had their limbs hacked off in an attempt to save them.

Jared is being his usual self and saying that they should just leave them, which seems to be the classic Savior way of thinking at the moment, but the others appear to want to help them. Rick uses this in an attempt to convince them that if they untie them, then they can return to the Hilltop and live with them. He mentions how Simon abandoned them to their fate, and that this was just a wrong decision made in a time of panic.
If you can believe it, Jared is not believing any of this and thinks that if they bring Negan Rick (quote: “Rick the Prick”), then all will be forgiven and they will be let back into Sanctuary and probably be given a better life for it, which to be fair, is a pretty solid plan. However, the others do not think so and are starting to warm to Rick’s way of thinking, especially since Jared wants to just leave the injured men here.

Rick then tells them that a herd of Walkers is coming and that they need to leave as soon as possible and that they need their help to fight them, at which point Morgan… ugh… decides to tell them how he came here to kill them, helping to fuel Jared’s point.

As the walkers in this show are fucking ninjas in their previous lives, the group of Saviors only notice them when they are already storming inside, rather than hearing the moans and groans from quite a way away, which is how it would actually be.
The surprise walker attack throws the group of balance, and seeing their injured friends lying helplessly on the floor as the undead swarm over them and begin devouring, they let Rick and Morgan go so that they could help them.

Just before I move on, there was a moment when one of the Saviors is caught by the herd and is eaten, but I swear that he was further away from the dead than Rick and Morgan was, and he was not tied to a bar, like Rick, so surely he could have easily gotten away. There sure are a lot of easy kills in this show. It makes me wonder how these people have actually survived this long if they cannot handle a simple zombie encounter.

Well Rick, Morgan, and the Saviors, battle it out against the dead, when Rick tells one of them (the one who untied him and was pro-Rick during the debate with Jared) to go ahead and they’ll cover them, when Rick the Prick lives up to his name, gives Morgan a little cheeky nod, and drives his axe into the side of this guy’s neck. At which point Morgan bests about 5 guys, shooting one who had ample time to kill him.
Now I actually felt quite disappointed by this. We have seen Rick do this before (remember he did it in the prison when they first got there in the first couple of episodes of season 3) and I remember shaking my head at his decision to kill them, despite the fact that they would have happily came with them and joined them fight the Saviors at the Hilltop, as the good-guy Savior did back there. So why are these guys any different? Jared not included of course.

Well in the chaos, Morgan is jumped by Jared and the two battle it out, before Morgan locks him out behind a gate, grabbing him and holding him in place as the pack of nearby walkers rip him apart.
It was a fitting end for a terribly hated character… as well as a long time coming.

Elsewhere in the world, we finally see what Jadis has install for Negan, and that is some fucking stupid James Bond-esc slow death trap thing, rather than just killing him.
In this case, she has him strapped to a plank on wheels, as she threatens to burn Lucille, but also she has a fucking messed up walker infused to a metal bed frame… and I am not actually sure what it was she was planning to do. Personally it all seems like a bastard way of not actually getting anywhere. We allknow Negan isn’t going to die, so why waste our time with this… unless of course Jadis is up for the chop?

With Lucille in peril, Negan panics and explains how the bat was named after his late wife, as both have gotten him through shit, which stops Jadis from burning him.

Somehow, whilst tied to a plank of wood, Negan bests her and gets hold of her bag, her gun, a flare, and some photos which he threatens to burn if she does not let him go. He says how the photos must be a similar memento as his Lucille.
Well it seems that the flare is actually needed for something, and as Jadis struggles, the flare falls into a small body of water and goes out. Jadis panics and runs off, and at this point Negan witnesses that helicopter (which Rick saw in an earlier episode) hover over for a moment, before turning around and flying off before Jadis can return with another flare.

What the hell was that all about??!! We are literally left feeling exactly how Negan feels as he stares at it, and annoyingly we never know!
But I do love a good mystery. And this allows theories and questions to spawn all over the internet, so it is very cleverly done.

So Jadis leaves Negan be and he manages to get out of his bindings, grab his leather jacket and leave.
We see Jadis return to this well kept room, which we never learn exactly where it is, and are left wondering what is going on with the junk yard? Is it a cover for something else? Where the rest of them in on it? Was it just Jadis? Did she really need to talk like that previously? Was that the last helicopter? Will we see her again? This is the second ‘ending’ we have seen for her, and both times would have been a perfect way to send off the character, so it makes me wonder if they do bring her back, will it just be a waste? We will have to wait and see.

Whilst leaving, Negan decides to spare Jadis and heads off back to Sanctuary, which we are all looking forward to when he does finally get there, now knowing that Simon has gone against his word, twice! One of which almost lead him to being killed, and losing a valuable ‘resource’ (I am assuming he is referring to the filthy trash people). So I am sure everyone is eager to see that unfold, although I have become quite attached to Simon, and it would be sad to see him go, but since it seems Negan will survive the events of this season, Simon must now be painted as the primary antagonist and will die, giving the good-guys a little mini victory.

On the way back to Sanctuary, Negan stops his car and picks up someone mysterious that he seems to know. He says that they look like shit and drives them back. When he does get back, he tells the men at the front gate to keep his return a little secret, as I am sure he is planning a bit reveal, which will make Simon either grovel for forgiveness, or attempt to kill him and unleash his coup de grâce against his former boss.
Exciting stuff lies on the horizon, but in the mean time, who the hell was the guy or gal he picked up? I am actually a little stumped by this. Everyone I know is already accounted for, so I am actually really stumped about this one. If anyone knows then feel free to let me know either on facebook or in the comments section.

Oh… there were some other minor points to finish this review off with.
Carol found the kid and brought him back to the Hilltop, much to Ezekiel’s delight, as it turned out he was just a scared little boy.
Morgan and Rick return and Morgan had a very strange moment with the kid where he explained that he killed the guy who murdered his brother. It was a bizarre moment and the kid kind of forgave him in a way, but I was not sure what was going on.
The Good-guy Savior clocked Rick covered in blood and knew that he had slaughtered all of his former mates, despite the fact he asked Rick not to.
Oh Rick finally read his letter that he got from Carl… but we didn’t find out what he said (although he was quick to read Negan’s one), so it made it kind of an irrelivant point that Rick will probably bring up dramatically in the season finale.
And finally Rosita and Daryl set up the next episode by hatching a plan to eliminate the “bullet maker” aka Eugene.

So my predictions are, next episode will be the attempted murder of Eugene by Rosita and Daryl, which probably won’t result in Eugene’s death, only his return to the side of good.
But the episode will also show us the aftermath of Negan’s return to Sanctuary and what will Simon do next! Or what his punishment will be, as well as them preparing for the final attack on the Hilltop, which the final episode will be.

Only 2 episodes to go… and in the TV show world, the penultimate episode is always the best, that is not always the case with The Walking Dead, but I am really hoping we get to see some great things in the next two weeks.

Overall this week’s episode had highs of the curious case of the helicopter and Jadis mysterious life, as well as who Negan picked up, and his return to Sanctuary, all of which only serve to leave us gagging for more on these particular points, which is really what makes a TV good, as we want to find out the answers to these questions and watch next time. The zombie action was good as well this week, as we saw the death of Jared, who finally met his end.
But the episode still has dull uninteresting overly dramatic conversations, and bad choices from our apparent protagonist, who we are suppose to root behind, unless of course we are doing the Breaking Bad thing of making our lead characters the villains.

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