Episode Thoughts: The Walking Dead S07xE09 Rock in the Road

The Walking Dead Mid-Season Premiere

                Finally, after a couple of months of being absent on our television screens, The Walking Dead has returned in last night’s mid-season premiere. But before we get into it, let’s take a short look at what happened in the earlier half of this season.

The Walking Dead

                After the cliffhanger from last season that left a majority of fans outraged, and which led to hundreds of fan theories as to who exactly fell to Negan and Lucille’s wrath, the first episode of The Walking Dead’s current season (now on its 7th) immediately picks up where we left Rick and the gang: broken down and at the mercy of the Saviors.

 Of course, by now we all know how that turned out: Glenn and Abraham got their brains beaten out of them, and we have to admit it is especially sad to lose the former, considering he’s been on the show right from the beginning. And it has been quite a rough season for The Walking Dead this year, as ratings after the season 7 premiere reported an all-time low for the critically acclaimed and commercially successful series. In part, this dip has been caused by the rift between fans who were sorely disappointed that a fan-favorite like Glenn was gone; to some, it’s the gratuitous violence portrayed by Negan going bat-brain crazy (yes, pun intended) on the two unfortunate Alexandrians. Everyone agrees, however, that it’s because the particular chapter in the story had been dragged out for so long in AMC’s failed attempt to keep viewers hooked, which backfired on them tremendously. Yeah, that’s what you get for treating your fans like idiots, AMC!

The Walking Dead

Oh, we’ve only talked about the first episode of season 7. Well, that’s because after the first episode (which actually could have just been resolved in the 6th season finale), nothing much has really been going on for TWD. Rick and the whole gang is all sad Glenn and the others are dead; Negan acts like, well, Negan without having any additional depth to the character; some characters you’ll likely forget as soon as they’re out of the show die; and that pretty much sums up what happened in the first half of the season. Although to be fair, The Walking Dead has been known to have this streak where half of the season’s mediocre while the other tends to contain all the juicy parts.

(Okay, some spoilers for last night’s episode follow)

And this leads us to last night’s premiere where Rick, Michonne, and the whole Alexandria crew start to make moves to overthrow The Saviors’ totalitarian rule. However, their attempts seem to fall flat as none of the other communities – who by the way also happen to pay Negan tribute – want to rebel against their oppressor. Apart from moving the plot, there’s a nice grindhouse-style scene in the third act of the episode that features the undead getting mowed by – you know what? You should just watch it! Plus, it’s great to see that Father Gabriel has decided to step up his game by being proactive with the fight against The Saviors; that reveal at the end showed something that wasn’t in the comics. We’re betting it’s that group of tough-as-nails women Tara met earlier.

The Walking Dead

Well, if we’re going to follow TWD’s tradition, maybe this is the part of the season that’s going to move all the gears in place and give it that boost.
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