‘The Walking Dead’: Been here, done this.

The Walking Dead
“Monsters”
November 5, 2017

Hey, the war against the Saviors is still happening.

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King Zeke rallies his troops with a rousing, “WE’RE NUMBER 1!” speech — but in Renaissance Faire-ese — and everyone is like “FUCK YEAH!” Later, King Ezekiel and part of his group are stopped by some armed Saviors, but then Carol and some other members of the Kingdom sneak up behind the Saviors and kill them all. And everyone is like, “FUCK YEAH!”

Later, King Ezekiel leads his guys to a Savior outpost, where they kill everyone and the kingsmen are all, “FUCK YEAH!” There, King Ezekiel is all, “Look at us, killing all these Saviors without losing a single man!” to which Carol is like, “omg, you totally just jinxed us.” And he did, because just then they are shot at by a hidden Savior with a machine gun — and a bunch of the kingsmen are killed, but presumably not King Zeke who is knocked to the ground and shielded by his men.

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Elsewhere, Jesus and Morgan lead their group of captured Saviors towards the Hilltop, and that one Savior asshole gets lippy with Morgan, teasing him about wearing that dead kid’s armor. That’s when some walkers begin rolling down the sides of the highway embankment at them, which OK, Show, go home, you’re drunk.

In the chaos, the Saviors try to make a run for it into the woods, and Morgan gives chase, shooting and killing one of them. He’s about to kill the rest — WHICH YES DEFINITELY DO THAT — when Jesus stops him. As others from Jesus and Morgan’s group lead the Saviors back down to the road, Jesus and Morgan bicker about what to do with their prisoners, which leads to an all-out kung fu battle. Morgan, slipping into his crazypants, tries his best to kill Jesus while Jesus is like, “DUDE, DON’T KILL ME” while also kicking him in the gut. Eventually, Morgan snaps to, realizes what he is doing and is like, “Yeah, war isn’t good for my soul, I’m out,” and exits stage left. Again.

Meanwhile, over at Hilltop, who should show up and beg for forgiveness/shelter but Mayor McChickenshit. And Maggie, being a soft touch, agrees to let him in when he pleads for some mercy and human charity. OH, MAGGIE.

However, seconds after opening the gate to him, Jesus, et al, arrive with the Savior prisoners, and Mayor Von Yellowbelly starts squealing that they can’t POSSIBLY let them in. Jesus ignores him, goes to Maggie, and is like, “I mean, we can’t let them go, but we can’t kill them either. So howsabout we make a defacto prison with a couple of trailers and call it a day? What’s the worst that could possibly happen if we were to shelter a dozen Saviors within our walls?”

 

Over at the other Savior outpost, Aaron drags a wounded Boyfriend over to a tree, where Boyfriend is like, “It’s too late for me now, I’m definitely going to die and turn into a zombie, so what’s the point of you sitting around waiting for the inevitable and me possibly eating your face? Go back to the fight and help Rick.” And he does.

Meanwhile, inside the outpost, Rick is still being held at gunpoint by that Morales fellow, where he learns that Morales’ family didn’t survive. Rick begins rattling off all the people that Morales knew from Team Rick who have died, including Glenn who was murdered by Morales’ new boss in front of his pregnant wife. Morales might know her as “The Widow.”

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Morales, however, is unmoved by this, explaining that the Saviors saved him and that Rick and Negan are really no different, that “Officer Friendly” died with all of the rest of his friends. And that’s when Daryl sneaks up behind Morales and shoots him through the throat with his crossbow.

Then there’s a lot of shooting. So much shooting. All of the shooting.

Rick and Daryl manage to escape the building, how doesn’t really much matter, and they are backed up by Aaron and the rest who kill the remaining Saviors.

The fighting done, Rick takes a bunch of Polaroids of the Saviors (BTW: what’s with all the Polaroid taking?) and Aaron returns to where he left Boyfriend, but Dead Boyfriend is busy shambling into the woods with the other walkers, obviously. OBVIOUSLY. Aaron has a sad.

Meanwhile, Rick hasn’t forgotten about Baby Gracie, and he brings her out to Aaron to take to Hilltop for him. Rick is then about to leave to go talk to the Garbagepeople, when he and Daryl are shot at by one surviving Savior, Todd. Rick negotiates with the kid, promising that they won’t kill him if he’ll tell them where the missing weapons are. Todd does, revealing that there is a cache of machine guns at the outpost that King Zeke is currently attacking (and getting all of his men killed), and Daryl promptly kills him to Rick’s dismay.

A couple of quick notes:

Calling it now: Aaron and Jesus, sitting in a tree (two seasons from now), k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

As I mentioned last week, there were some theories that the little girl in Rick’s flashforward is Gracie, not Judith, mostly based on a stuffed rabbit the little girl was holding. However, while this doesn’t negate that possibility, Rick doesn’t bring the stuffed rabbit out with the baby when he gives her over to Aaron.

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As for Baby Gracie, there are a few other theories about her floating out there: that she might be Negan’s kid and that he’ll lay siege to Hilltop to get her back (as if he doesn’t have plenty of reason to lay siege to Hilltop already); or that she will die soon, but not reanimate, proving that children born after the apocalypse are immune and thereby giving people hope. But the most obvious reason for Baby Gracie to exist is to demonstrate to Rick IN THE MOST HEAVY-HANDED WAY POSSIBLE, that the other side is human, too.

Haven’t we been here before? With Rick questioning whether or not he’s really the “good guy” in all of this? Haven’t we already questioned this notion of objective good ABOUT A THOUSAND TIMES ALREADY? Because this shit is starting to fell reallllllly repetitive. Even down to Morgan’s crisis of conscience — I mean, honestly, are we just going to continue to go through some endless cycle of Morgan transitioning from Killing Machine to Buddhist Monk to Killing Machine again?

I don’t want to constantly be bitching about this show, you guys. I really had hopes that the showrunners would be proven right about this season and how it was going to get the show’s mojo back. And I suppose taking the fight to the Saviors is giving Rick his mojo back. But nothing new is being said here, nothing interesting. We’ve already explored these issues of morality and subjectivism back with the Governor, do we really need to rehash it now? I know that this is about getting us to a point where Rick will have to make a decision regarding what he should do with Negan, and helping to explain his choice … but my God, arriving there is feeling so familiar and tired.

 

The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 8/9 p.m.

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