The Walking Dead
March 5, 2017
This episode begins as any well-written television episode begins: with a series of montages.
OH, WAIT, NO, that’s how a lazy episode of television begins.
This episode, ugh.
Like I was saying, this episode begins with a series of montages of Rick and Michonne scavenging, making the sexy in a van, scavenging, making the sexy in a van, scavenging, making the sexy in a van. Riveting stuff.
At some point, Michonne suggests that they head back to Alexandria, but Rick convinces her to keep scavenging and making the sexy for little while longer. Also, they steal some batteries from some Saviors to power up a walkie-talkie which I assume must play a role later in the season.
That night, Michonne and Rick make camp outside the sex van, where Michonne spies a deer. However, before she and Rick can kill it, it disappears, and Rick notes that he still owes her a deer.
The pair then notice a nearby school with a bunch of military walkers wandering around, and Michonne is all, “something serious happened here.” O RLY? YA THINK?
Rick and Michonne climb atop the building for a better look at what they are up against: a nightmare school carnival filled with dead soldiers. Good news: the soldier walkers, of which there are many, are well-armed. Bad news: Rick and Michonne didn’t notice how wet that roof was when they climbed on top of it and they fall straight through. Good news: They’re fine and there are no consequences. In fact, the whole thing turns into a goddamned giggle fest.
Ugh, this episode.
That night, Rick and Michonne eat some of the hundreds and hundreds of chili macaroni and cheese MREs (OH HELL NOPE) that happened to be stocked in the school, decide they’ll set some of MREs aside for the Saviors, and some of the weapons for the Junkies. Michonne then encourages Rick to step up as a leader after everything is all said and done, and Rick is like, “I mean, like, yeah, uh duh, obviously, that’s always been the plan.”
The next morning, Rick and Michonne head into the carnival and kill a bunch of walkers. There’s a whole thing with a car and we’re supposed to be all, “OH NO! RICK AND MICHONNE ARE IN DANGER!” But obviously they are not in danger, they’re totally fine. This is not how they are going to die.
They then split up, and Rick heads to a ferris wheel to get a better look at the area. While up there, he spies a terrible CGI deer — yay! a terrible CGI deer! — but instead of shooting and killing it, he falls off the ferris wheel like a huge dumbass. Michonne sees him fall, and hurries over to help, only to find a pack of walkers eating something. She immediately assumes that it’s Rick, as if this isn’t the twelfth episode of a sixteen episode season, and as if the writers would kill Rick off in such a dumb, off-camera fashion. COME ON. But she freaks out as if she doesn’t know any of these things, and drops her katana. The walkers start shuffling in her direction until Rick pops out from where he was hiding and is like “FOOLED YOU, I’M ACTUALLY ALIVE BECAUSE THERE’S NO WAY I WAS GOING TO DIE LIKE THAT, USE YOUR BRAIN, GAH.” And then they kill all the walkers together and hug.
This ugh episode.
In the sex van later, Rick tells Michonne that he thinks about the people they lost every single day, that he’s stuck on the fact that he couldn’t save Glenn, but they have to accept the fact that they are going to lose people in their coming war with Negan. In fact, she can lose him and he can lose her and it doesn’t matter.
Because what actually matters is Carl and Baby and maybe that chick, whatsherface, Enid? Edith? Eunice? The children are the future and all that. And in conclusion, if Rick doesn’t survive this, Michonne will have to be the leader.
Rick and Michonne then deliver 63 guns to the Junkies, but Bangs McGee insists they needs twice as many. TO DO WHAT, EXACTLY? Anyway, Bangs agrees to let Team Rick keep 20 of them while they search for more.
Meanwhile, back in Alexandria, Tara makes the decision to tell Rick about Oceanside and their lady gun commune.
And Rosita is still in grief over Abraham and trying to get her fool self killed by going out by herself to look for guns. Eventually she ends up at Hilltop where she enlists Sasha for a suicide mission to kill Negan.
Fine. Good riddance.
What even was this episode? Listen, I know that the characters were tasked with finding a lot of guns for the Junkies, and this satisfies that particular story, but the Rick and Michonne story — such as it was — was just not meaty or interesting enough to make up the bulk of an entire episode. This, and the Dr. Mullet-centered episode from the week before, feel like some expert tap-dancing, killing time until we can get to the Big Battle with the Saviors.
And the thing that makes me angry about it is that this episode didn’t have to be such a time waster. Had they reduced Rick and Michonne’s story by two-thirds, and turned it into the third part of a three-plot episode, the other two plots being Rosita’s suicide mission and, I don’t know, checking in on what’s going on in Hilltop, or what Carl is up to, or scenes from The Kingdom, hell, just a C-plot about the tiger and Jerry, just pretty much anything, it would have felt faster-paced and alleviated that weird sense of isolation they’ve been cultivating this entire season. I understand that it’s cheaper to make an episode that focuses on a small number of characters, BUT IT’S THE MOST POPULAR SHOW ON TELEVISION, Y’ALL CAN AFFORD TO FILM MORE THAN FOUR ACTORS AT A TIME.
I leave you with a question: So where are all the child walkers? Rick and Michonne are at the remains of a school carnival and you’re going to tell me that the only people that were in attendance before everything went to hell were adults? And not just in this sequence! With the exception of the little girl that Rick sees when he comes out of his coma, Sophia, and the Governor’s daughter, we haven’t seen any child walkers. It’s one thing in an office or a store or even a home or to not see a kid walker, BUT AT A ZOMBIE SCHOOL FAIR?
Ugh, this show.
The Walking Dead airs at 8/9 p.m. on Sundays on AMC and wants nothing to do with chili mac and cheese.