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The seventh season of The Walking Dead trudges on as the series continues to show the audience what is happening with all of the main characters since the bloodbath of the season premiere. The pace of the show is starting to bog down. It’s the 5th episode of the season and we are just now getting a look as to what happened with Sasha and Maggie. When we last saw them, Maggie was sick, both physically and with grief over the loss of Glenn. Sasha had volunteered to take her to get some medical attention from the doctor at Hilltop.

As always, mild to moderate spoilers for The Walking Dead to follow…but let’s face it, there was nothing really shocking about this weeks episode.

One of the reasons The Walking Dead has pacing issues is because anyone who has followed the show has come to recognize it’s patterns and flow. Many are still hit hard by the shocking character deaths, yet all the world building and character development that comes before and after seem mundane by comparison. This weeks episode was a prime example of this.

For all it’s character building, watching Sasha mourn the death of Abraham seems out of place. The audience only saw some limited interactions with them that indicated that they had a budding romance, yet Sasha is seemingly grieving on the same level as Maggie. Yeah, it sucks that Sasha lost her new boyfriend, but Maggie lost her husband. And yes, the group of survivors were all close, but it just seems weird to put Sasha and Maggie on the same level when it comes to grieving for their lost loves. I would imagine Rosita would be fairly devastated, even though Abraham dumped her. Who knows?

Speaking of weird loves, what the hell is up with Carl and Enid? All either of them do is mope around and look all angsty. Again, it’s the same predictable pattern that starts to become a boring routine. Enid packs up and leaves Alexandria. Carl tries to stop her. Enid and Carl argue about something. Carl initially lets Enid leave, but ends up going after her anyway. It’s been done before and nobody really cared that time either. Also, up until this episode, I thought her name was Edith. It doesn’t help that nearly everyone on the show pronounces her name differently. What kind of name is Enid anyway? Sounds like some sort of bug that eats your grandmother’s tomato plants.

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The one bright spot in the episode was when The Saviors did the old “Blast-music-out-of-a-Gremlin-light-fires-and-open-the-front-gate-so-the-walkers-can-get-in” bit. You have to love the Hilltop response to that crisis. Boy howdy! We haven’t seen anyone choke that hard since Pierce Brosnan in Mrs. Doubtfire. Thankfully, Maggie defied the doctors orders and drove a tractor like it was a monster truck to crush the music spouting car. Watching the zombies mindlessly get run over by the big wheels of the tractor was also mildly entertaining. The big takeaway from that scene is that Maggie, Jesus, and Sasha singlehandedly took care of the situation. In what was obviously some foreshadowing, Maggie started calling the shots and ordering people around when good ol’ Gregory went back to bed after he saw what was happening. Also, it is easy to see why Rick is so dismayed about the situation with the Saviors, because the people of Hilltop are useless! The Saviors were able to open the front gate, light several large fires, and deposit a car that was blaring music, AND NOT ONE PERSON WOKE UP. That’s just embarrassing. Alexandria would have had a guard posted at the gate who would have sounded the alarm as soon as someone approached.

Then, of course, after that interlude of awesomeness, we go back to dull predictability. Oh Gregory is an inept and cowardly leader? He doesn’t want Maggie and Sasha to stay? Wonder what will happen when the Saviors show up? Perhaps he will try to turn them in? Yeah, all of that happened, to the surprise of absolutely no one.

 

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There should be some discussion about Steven Ogg as Negan’s henchman, Simon. For those who don’t know, Ogg turned out an amazing voice performance as the criminal maniac Trevor in the video game, Grand Theft Auto V. Yet, here on The Walking Dead, it feels as though he is pulling his punches. Granted, we have not seen very many scenes with Ogg in them, however, when we have, his character comes off as being a wannabe version of Negan. Perhaps that is intentional, but watching Ogg as Simon is disappointing when the inevitable comparison is made to Trevor. It could also be how the character is written. And yes, comparing a voice acting performance to a television performance may not be exactly fair. However, we know what Ogg is capable of as a villain. It just lessens the performance when we see him hold back regardless of the reason.

One thing that was a mild surprise this episode, was Carl’s decision to sneak into the back of the Saviors truck. In their last scene together, Enid seems to figure out that Carl wasn’t there to bring her back to Alexandria or protect her on the trip to Hilltop. His main plan was to track down the Saviors and look for an opening to kill Negan. He must not have seen Darryl when the Saviors visited Alexandria. Seriously, this seems like a horrible plan. At least Jesus will be with him, but we can all take a pretty good guess as to what will happen. Jesus and Carl will infiltrate Negan’s Sanctuary. Something will go wrong and Carl will get captured but Jesus will escape.

So overall, this weeks episode was very predictable, with some small entertaining parts to it. Carl is running off to do something stupid. Maggie and Sasha will be staying at Hilltop at least until  Maggie has her baby. Maggie, Sasha, and Jesus protected Hilltop while everyone else slept. Gregory is a coward who needs to be replaced as leader of Hilltop. Steven Ogg’s Simon is just a cheap version of Negan.

As was mentioned earlier, the show has become predictable to the audience. Or the significant character deaths have desensitized the audience to the all important character building. Either way, things on The Walking Dead have become quite “ho-hum” when they are not killing anyone off. As the season drags on, it is becoming apparent that the build up to the war with Negan will be a season long event. As far as predictions go, one could bet that Alexandria will not become aware of The Kingdom until the season finale.

Category: reviews, TV

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