The Walking Dead Recap: Say Yes
By: Emily Offshack (@CanadianEmily)
Michonne said yes! Wahoo! In this honeymoon episode of The Walking Dead, Rick and Michonne take a road trip to gather guns and end up exchanging vows at a carnival. Sounds nice, but a few too many uninvited dead friends show up. Back in Alexandria, Tara struggles with whether to tell Rick about Oceanside and their large stash of guns, while Rosita gets impatient waiting for the plan to fight Negan to unfold.
A couple more days, forever
Being out on the road with Michonne gives Rick a chance to breathe. He’s unable to sleep much, but he can watch the sun rise on quiet mornings. It’s a break from the trauma that has suffocated his life since Negan entered it. Plus, it’s time for Rick and Michonne to get lots of one-on-one time. They work well together, they play well together. Rick doesn’t want it to end, so he’s constantly suggesting they extend their trip a couple more days.
Rick is discouraged that they’ve only found two guns in two days, but Michonne is simply happy they are no longer doing nothing. She says, “We’re fighting the fight. It’s better.” They need a battery for their walkie, and they find one when they come across a couple of golfing Saviors, who have the same pretzels that Dwight tried to bring Sherry. They’re good pretzels.
The next morning, Michonne spots a deer and retrieves a silencer to kill it, but it disappears before she can shoot it. No character has discovered that deer are never there for hunting on The Walking Dead. Rick and Michonne walk in the direction of the deer and eventually come across a chain link fence draped in cloth. Michonne bangs on the fence and attracts a walker, who, when alive, was in the military. Military means guns. This could be the jackpot they’ve been looking for. There are no living people in sight, so they head on in.
To get a better vantage point, they climb on top of the building – a school, it seems. From the wet roof, they see many undead civilians and military personnel having fun at a carnival. It’s unclear what happened here, but whatever it was, even the strength of the military couldn’t win the battle. But hey, this looks like fun, so Michonne fires shots at the bottles set up for a carnival game. It’s fun until they fall through the roof – no, wait, it’s still fun. They are laughing, because fate dropped them on a mattress in an abandoned, locked school filled with food and water supplies. It’s going to be a good night.
Just talk to Judith
Rosita is grieving, angry, and unstable. So much so that she decides to pluck her own stitches out. Ouch. She yells at Tara about the stupidity of waiting for the communities to develop a plan to attack Negan, but in the end, she goes out on her own to try to help contribute to the gun stash. All she ends up with is a toy gun that almost seemed to be left as a trap by a hideous-looking walker. She slashes its neck and that’s the end of that (well, not really – she eventually remembers that you need to inflict a head wound).
Angrier than ever, she huffs off to Father Gabriel and yells at him for stopping her from killing Negan when she had the chance. She blames him for Olivia’s death, Spencer’s death, and Eugene’s capture. Gabriel points out that she’s still alive, and she wouldn’t be if she killed Negan. He tells her they still need her, and he says, “Anything is possible until your heart stops beating.” While this seems like an encouraging thing to say, it doesn’t have the success of bringing her back into the fold of the group.
Rosita should have just talked things out with Judith like Tara did. Judith likes Tara’s shell bracelet, so Tara gives it to her while explaining that someone who put her life on the line for her gave it to her, and that really means something. What Tara really wants to talk about is her secret about Oceanside and whether or not she should tell anyone about them and their huge stash of guns. On the one hand, she knows they need the guns to give to the Scavengers so they’ll help them fight Negan. On the other hand, she knows the people at Oceanside will shoot anyone who isn’t one of them without hesitation – especially if they see Tara, who promised to not reveal their existence to anyone.
Tara knows that while the people of Oceanside have just as much reason as anyone to fight the Saviors, and they should collaborate, they likely won’t. They will just fight with Alexandria, and lives will be lost. Tara wonders out loud, to Judith, what makes their lives more valuable than those of the people of Oceanside? Why should she reveal their existence if it only means another war? Tara seems to decide that because Alexandria is trying to defeat Negan so that everyone from all communities can have a better future, Oceanside might have to sustain necessary losses.
On a side note, is there a possibility that Judith is actually Rick’s? What’s with that hair?
Will you reorder the world with me?
Over a candlelit dinner of military rations of beef brisket, Michonne questions Rick about what will happen when Negan is defeated. Everyone operates by Negan’s rules, and a new order will have to be put in place. Michonne, of course, thinks Rick should lead that process. Rick, of course, doesn’t want to lead, but that hasn’t stopped that from happening thus far. It’s hard to tell whether Rick asks Michonne to lead the new world with him or to just be with him regardless of their leadership status – it’s probably both – but when Michonne kisses him in agreement, they are officially engaged or married or whatever happens in the apocalypse. They celebrate with chili mac and cheese. The smiles in this episode are so refreshing!
When Richonne finally gets around to tackling the task of retrieving guns from the military walkers, Rick demonstrates how their relationship is going to proceed: Michonne, you take eight walkers while I take one and the dude stuck in the car. She teases him for it, but they both know she can take them down, quickly and silently, better than anyone. The plan is to move a car to create a block, allowing them to draw in and attack walkers from a secure location. At least, I think that was the plan, but it didn’t work out well at all. Michonne expertly eliminates her assigned walkers, while Rick struggles to remove a decaying one from the windshield of the car. After pulling its foot off, and then the lower half of its body (the age and decay of walkers comes with new problems), Rick finally manages to remove the walker and begin moving the car. But then a walker who has managed to trigger its gun shoots them at. Michonne narrowly misses the bullets and climbs into the trunk of the car, while Rick completely overshoots the target location.
The car is completely surrounded with walkers, and Rick jumps up on the hood while we momentarily think back to season one when Glenn saved Rick from the tank. Poor Glenn. But time has passed and the walkers don’t even faze Rick and Michonne, who leap off the car, shoving walkers out of their way until they escape to a small, fenced-in playground. The fence is too weak to use as protection, so as it tumbles, they quickly decide to split up: Michonne will take the slide, Rick will take the Ferris wheel, and they can use these blocked-off areas to get the rest of the walkers. They are fully confident in this plan, and it’s working great until the deer appears again.
Okay, let’s take a moment to talk about this deer. People are furious about the quality of the CGI in this scene. Yes, it was bad, but I didn’t find it any worse than the CGI of the Scavengers’ landfill. The people who create The Walking Dead take great care in creating awesome-looking zombies, so let’s give them a break on this one. It does temporarily take you out of the moment when you notice something like that, but it didn’t stop me from freaking out at what happened next.
So, while Michonne and Rick are counting the walkers they have left to kill, the fuzzy-looking deer shows up. Rick notices it and decides the walkers can wait while he gets Michonne her deer, so he starts climbing up the Ferris wheel to get a better shot. When he gets high enough, he sees walkers heading straight for the deer and knows he can’t retrieve it before the walkers have a feast. Then what does Rick do? He falls, and he falls outside of the barrier of the Ferris wheel. Look, carnival rides are not the safest, especially after they’ve been sitting there for who knows how long in unknown conditions.
Rick starts shooting at the walkers, while Michonne in not-yet-full-blown panic races over to help. The bullets stop. The walkers move in. There is absolutely no way Rick has survived this, just like there was absolutely no way Glenn survived the dumpster ordeal. We see the walkers move in on a feast, which in Michonne’s mind can only be Rick. The life pours out of her as grief hits her, and she drops her weapon. Walkers are inches from taking her, too, when Rick smashes out of his temporary hiding space, tosses her a weapon, and they finish taking down the walkers. I knew it was unlikely, but for a moment I thought it would be an incredible (though not necessarily smart) writing move to kill off Rick midway through a season with no indication that anything particularly crazy would be happening. Of course we need Rick, but this event rattles Michonne to her core.
They carry on, retrieving the guns. There are a lot of guns. Michonne breaks down, unable to fully recover from believing Rick was dead. When they finally start heading back to Alexandria, Rick opens up to Michonne. He explains that he hasn’t been sleeping because of everything they have lost, but, in nicer words, he says they need to get over it so they can fight for the future: for Judith, for Maggie and Glenn’s baby (hand me a tissue!). He says that Michonne needs to be okay with losing him and vice versa, because it would be worth it. He knows people are going to die, but it’s the price that must be paid for securing a better future. He knows they are working toward rebuilding a better world, and he’s confident because Michonne led him there. These two are the best.
Michonne keeps the cat
Everyone knows that when you make a contract, it needs to be very specific. I knew Rick and Jadis should have defined what “a lot of guns” meant when they first made their agreement. It turns out that Jadis does not think more than 60 guns is a lot of guns. To keep the agreement, she wants double that amount, and she wants the wire cat back! Rick and Jadis proceed to have another hilarious round of negotiations regarding how many guns Rick can take with him and who gets to keep the wire cat. It ends with Rick saying, “Twenty. I keep the cat. We get you the guns. We fight together. Say yes.” And Jadis, like Michonne, says yes.
I like the dynamic between Rick and Jadis. Rick has quickly caught on to the way she speaks and negotiates, and they seem to trust each other. The battle over the cat only occurred so Jadis could point out that she noticed it. I’m looking forward to seeing how well Jadis does in battle.
Good results require effort
Back in Alexandria, Rick notices Rosita is missing and asks Tara about it, who brushes it off. She’s nervous, because she’s about to tell Rick about Oceanside. The results of how that plays out will be exciting to see.
At The Hilltop, we find out where Rosita went: to recruit Sasha to perform a two-person execution of Negan. Rosita has memorized every detail of The Sanctuary that Daryl and Carl revealed, and Sasha has a map of the outside provided by Jesus. Thanks to Rick and Michonne, Rosita also got her hands on a sniper rifle. Sasha agrees to go with her to kill Negan on one condition: she gets to take the shot. This is a horrible, selfish plan that could ruin everything Rick has been planning. But one thing is for sure: it will hasten the events of Negan’s takedown to make for an exciting remainder of season seven.
What I want to see next week: Negotiations with Oceanside. I hope they will help the fight instead of hinder it.