The Walking Dead: Monsters

"We will lose not one of our ranks."

Another episode about the moral choices in war. Or more accurately, about how our heroes aren't on the same page when it comes to those choices.

This episode was bookended by the optimistic King Ezekiel and almost optimistic Carol, agreeing that they were outnumbered, yes, but their strategy is superior, not to mention that they were in the right, so they wouldn't lose a single soldier. At the end of the episode, they walked into an ambush. So much for that.

Not to mention that Aaron just lost his honey Eric. Seriously injured, Eric bravely told Aaron that his fellow soldiers needed him, and that he'd be fine, sitting under that lovely tree and waiting for him to return. "I can bleed here fine on my own." I'm sure we all saw Eric's death coming, although it was still upsetting, watching Aaron sob as he saw Eric, now a walker, staggering off down the road. I'd complain about gay partners getting killed all the time on this show if it weren't for the fact that everyone gets killed all the time on this show.


Meanwhile, Morales from season one had a gun on Rick as they did some catching up. Morales realized that Rick was no longer "Officer Friendly" but instead the infamous "Rick from Alexandria," a monster that the Saviors were always talking about (hence the episode title.) To Morales, the Saviors are the good guys, the ones who saved him after he lost his family back in Alabama and sank into a pit of despair. It's sad that Morales was waiting to become nothing, but instead he became Negan.

I was expecting Rick to get through to Morales, as he told him about losing Lori, Shane, Andrea and Glenn, when he mentioned that "the widow" at the Hilltop was Glenn's widow. It seemed to be working... right up until Daryl caught up with them and took Morales out with his crossbow, telling us in a big symbolic way that there's no going back to season one now. That was way too brief a return for Morales, which would probably bother me if I remembered him better.

As if that weren't enough, Rick then promised a Savior named Todd that if he gave them information, he'd let him live. Todd gave them that information, that Gavin's outpost had the guns they were looking for (and where King Ezekiel and Carol are currently being ambushed), and Daryl up and killed him anyway. Gee, I'm starting to sense what side Daryl is on when it comes to taking prisoners. Not so sure about Rick, though. Would Rick have killed Morales or Todd in cold blood? Rick has changed a lot, but I'm not sure.

Which brings us to two of our heroes actually coming to blows about this very topic. Jared, the long-haired jerk of a Savior, whistling happily as if being captured was a great big joke, began ridiculing Morgan's "armor," which was of course Benjamin's, when a whole bunch of walkers disrupted the march of the prisoners of war by rolling down a hill. (That was cool; walkers in war are sort of like animated grenades or land mines with teeth.) Jared took that opportunity to escape, taking the line of Saviors he was tied to with him. And Morgan was ready to kill all of them, until Jesus put a stop to it.

Love the hair.

It isn't often that we get two characters we care about in a deadly serious fight, and it was quite effective; it got to me. No surprise that I was rooting for Jesus. What was so upsetting about it was that only a short time ago, Morgan was just like Jesus, convinced that every life was precious, determined that no one should die even if they're the enemy. Morgan may have lost this particular fight, but he told Jesus, "I'm not right, but that doesn't make me wrong."

Finally, the despicable Gregory turned out to be this episode's comic relief. When he arrived at the Hilltop and said, "Is the gate broken?" I laughed out loud. He is so completely convinced of his own importance that after Maggie took him in (which I'm sure she'll live to regret), Gregory started complaining about Maggie also taking in the prisoners.

So here I am, realizing that I don't know whose side I'm on. I don't agree with Morgan that the Savior prisoners should be lined up and shot. But I also don't agree with Maggie that Gregory isn't worth killing. I think Gregory is absolutely worth killing, because we all know he'll betray the Hilltop again. Not to mention that we still don't know what happened to Father Gabriel.

Bits:

-- Rick gave baby Gracie to Aaron to take to the Hilltop. A little affirmation of life there. Poor Aaron. I wasn't that invested in Eric as a character, but I really like Aaron.

-- We got some more literal "fog of war" when Daryl (or was it Rick?) hit the fire extinguisher.

-- Rick was taking Polaroid photos again. Why? Is this something to do with all of the Polaroids they had at the satellite station so long ago of Negan's victims with their heads battered into nothing? Hey, I don't know. Any theories?

Quotes:

Ezekiel: "And yet I smile. And yet Carol smiles."

Morales: "We've been told we don't kill you, the widow or the king. Not if we don't have to."
Because Negan has something else planned for them, doesn't he? Shudder.

Morales: "We're gonna settle your shit, Peaches."

Gregory: "Kal! You know you can be dramatic. That thing with the sorghum pancakes, huh?"
Kal: "You mean when you ate a little girl's pancakes?"
Gregory: "I did not eat those pancakes!"

Another good one. What did you guys think?

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

2 comments:

Patryk said...

Maybe the polaroids are another reminder that there are monsters on both sides. I don't know.

I was ready for a Negan and Father Gabriel in the dark 40 minutes of talking episode. I hope that's next week. :)

Guillermo Alvarez said...

Rick was talking with Daryl before the whole Todd ordeal about how he was gonna head to meet up with someone and Daryl would go look for him if he didn't come back. So I'm gonna guess he's gonna use those polaroids to convince either Oceanside or the Junkyard people that they're winning the fight.

Ezekiel was right for the most part, when you look at it that group was having the best streak up to that point. In the end, what cost them was the unexpected, the M2 guns that Rick's group was looking for having been moved there already. Fortunately, Carol's on the move already so she'll probably get to stop things before they get too dire, but it's already gone bad. We'll see!