***This article will include spoilers. Proceed at your own risk!***
Episode 7 is packed with check-ins for most of the Walking Dead crew, save the folks who stayed behind at the Hilltop colony and The Kingdom. I’m still wondering if Ezekiel is going to move in on Carol and if Maggie is going to make short work of Gregory, but things did move further than they did in the last few episodes.
Father Gabriel had to school resident dirtbag, Spencer during a salvage run outside Alexandria. The show’s been working on Gabriel, turning him from an annoyance to feeling more embedded with the core crew. His loyalty to Rick is welcomed when he cuts his trip short with Spencer, but I’m worried how far he’s going to walk back. Michonne is figuring out a way to deal with Negan’s crew, kidnapping one of his apparent Saviors. Rosita and Eugene are off making bullets in the hope they’ll come by more weapons and be ready for another Negan encounter.
It’s obvious this season is really focused on selling us Negan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s interpretation of the character is stellar. However, I still think they’re going in too hard with his more disgusting characteristics. Carl Grimes finds himself at Negan’s mercy, following a misadventure with Jesus meant to just scout the Saviors’ digs. While his dad and Aaron are out on a long-term mission (sure to be fully revealed next weekend), he’s cozying up to the Saviors community of misfits.
Negan does his normal thing this episode, pissing everyone off he encounters. We get to be introduced to his harem of wives. He psychologically tortures Carl a bit, getting a peak at underneath his eyepatch. We learn how Dwight received his burn marks. At least we can surmise what happened following a young mans face being burned for sleeping with one of the women from the harem. Dwight’s wife, Sherry is hard to read, promising an interesting conclusion to their story. We can only imagine how much longer he’ll share her with Negan.
All in all, this was an okay episode. I’m having to ignore the stupidity of Carl’s plan in order to appreciate it. I hear the comics have a similar plot line, involving him coming into Negan’s influence some sort of way. Feel free to enlighten me if the TV plot was spot on or not! This episode didn’t totally dismiss the mediocrity of earlier ones, but it feels a step in the right direction. The mid-season finale is sure to bring an explosive cliff-hanger. Let’s hope AMC doesn’t spend another eight episodes moving the story along an inch at a time.