The Walking Dead: The King, the Widow, and Rick

A pause of sorts, a moment of reflection, the eye of the storm before the final battle, choose your cliche. There were also some really enjoyable dramatic moments, and a few that made me laugh.

Maggie, the turnips, and prisoners of war

This episode's theme was a common one for this series: do you take a chance on a stranger in a world where trusting the wrong person will kill you? Especially in a wartime situation where there is no Geneva Convention and your opponent has literally beaten your husband to death?

Jesus brought Maggie a monster of a problem: a whole lot of Saviors to quarter and feed. They could turn out to be possible allies like Alden, the polite prisoner who told Jesus that he wound up with the Saviors because he wanted to keep eating, or deadly enemies like Jared, who was so determined to resist that he turned down a delicious meal of rejected basement turnips. How do you figure out who are the Aldens and who are the Jareds when the stakes are so high?

The despicable Gregory immediately put in his two cents: let's build a gallows and hang them all, thus saving our bullets. One of the best moments in this episode (there were several) was when Maggie tossed Gregory into the holding pen with the Saviors. Way past time and well deserved. Not a surprise that Gregory immediately dissolved into a quivering mess.

Jesus, whom Gregory aptly described as Maggie's "hippy dippy kung-fu fighting friend," makes Maggie a better leader by showing the compassion to the enemy when she cannot. Yes, Maggie was still insisting that the prisoners could be a bargaining chip and hey, she could always execute them later, but she did indeed have a holding pen built for them, not a gallows. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, Gregory also makes Maggie a better leader simply by showing her such a bad example. All anyone would have to do to be a good leader is the opposite of whatever Gregory does.

Carl, Siddiq, and the souls of the walkers

Much like Jesus defying Maggie by keeping the prisoners alive, Carl made an adult decision of his own and carried it out without Rick's permission. I thought Siddiq's responses to the famous three questions might have been the best anyone has given so far; the very idea that killing a walker will free their soul is just beautiful. When Carl mentioned that he lived in a community, there was such a look of longing on Siddiq's face. I completely understand Rick's viewpoint after all they've been through, but I'd rather go with Carl's judgment this time. If Siddiq is telling the truth, and I bet he is, he's a really, really good guy.


The King, the kid, and Carol

Poor Ezekiel is understandably devastated with grief for his people. The shot of him sitting on the stage holding Shiva's chain (above) is wrenching. I'm glad that he has Carol, and isn't it interesting that he and Carol have this connection because of their acknowledgement that they were both pretending to be something they're not? Their confrontation scene, set to oddly effective religious background music, really worked for me. Carol cried as she told Ezekiel that his people still need him to lead them, maybe even more now than they did before. I hadn't thought about it but of course, a battered woman is always playing a part in order to survive. "I have to act every day. It used to bother me, but this is who I am, and I am still standing. I just have to act like everything is normal until it is."

Young Henry wants to fight. The thing is, in this world, he very well might have to. (I flashed on poor Sam and his cookies when Carol was telling Henry not to wander about in the woods. I hope that wasn't an omen.)

Rick, the trash people, and the Polaroids

And there was Rick, stopping by to feel out the Scavengers again, bringing Polaroids of the situation at the Sanctuary and the Outposts as proof. And no dice. Why did Jadis take Rick's clothes away from him before she put him in the cargo container? What did it mean, the letter A that she wrote on the container? (And while I'm asking questions, why does Jadis prefer to sculpt in the nude?)

We've seen the letter A before: Sam was stenciling it on things, I think it was used at Terminus, and where else? Anyone?

Michonne, Rosita and the Fat Lady

Is Michonne psychic? Even though she and Rosita were still weak and recovering from their wounds, Michonne felt compelled to actually see the Sanctuary for herself, Rosita went along for the ride, and the two of them promptly stumbled over a couple of Saviors who were about to use a truck full of speakers blasting opera to draw the walkers away. This sequence had two laugh out loud moments: when Rosita vaporized the male Savior with the rocket launcher, and when Daryl T-boned the Fat Lady pick-up with a garbage truck.

Unfortunately, Daryl and Tara have had a meeting of the minds about their deep need to kill Dwight. Yes, they have completely legitimate grievances, I acknowledge that they do. But good lord, Dwight has suffered enough.

Bits:

-- The Alexandria-Kingdom-Hilltop allies are communicating using paper and drops. Smart. Sometimes the simplest ways are the least susceptible to screw-ups.

-- Aaron dropped baby Gracie off at the Hilltop. When he left to return to the fight, Enid went with him. Talk about kids having to fight.

-- Aaron keeps forgetting Eric is dead until his mind catches up with reality. Maggie told him it doesn't get easier.

-- I loved that Siddiq used a plastic bag tied to a tree as a walker lure. It reminded me of a kid's balloon.

-- The end game for the Sanctuary is in two days. I assume that will be the mid-season finale.

Tidbits from Talking Dead:

-- Melissa McBride said that the little boy that plays Henry, Macsen Lintz, is the brother of Madison Lintz, who played her daughter Sophia.

-- We were told which Walking Dead character was going to cross over to the spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead. If you'd rather not be spoiled, don't highlight the following: It's Morgan, played by Lennie James.

Enjoyable episode. Three out of four rejected basement turnips,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.

3 comments:

Patryk said...

To be honest what was Rick thinking trying to negotiate with the trash people again. Now he's having a flashback to Terminus with the A on the container. I'm still pissed at them for trying to kill Michonne, he should be too.

I wonder if Daryl will use "he lied about the guns" as an excuse to kill Dwight.

paladinteacher said...

The letter "A" - Darryl had an "A" on his sweatsuit when he was being held at the Savior's compound.

TheShadowKnows said...

Stupid Rick's stupid plan backfired. Who could have predicted that?

I wonder if Daryl plans to use that garbage truck to knock a hole in the Sanctuary wall and let the zombies in.