Walking Dead is done! The mid-season finale didn’t have me trolling away for spoilers or eagerly anticipating the conclusion of a plot-line. However, it did breathe life into a season riddled with some missteps, leading to a functional finale. The back half of season seven saw the Walking Dead crew slowly gathering the strength to finally confront Negan, or at least some inner demons still haunting them. The Walking Dead series is still one of TV’s strongest efforts after seven long seasons. That’s despite the depressing and slower pace of the first half of this season. At the end of the finale, we were left with a little bit of hope to lessen the burden the dark days ahead are certain to bring.
Things have been pretty chaotic on the show and season seven of Walking Dead proved divisive as ever. While I’ve been away raising kids, searching for Nintendo Switch’s and finishing Final Fantasy XV, Walking Dead seems like its been just as busy, trying to bite off more than it can probably chew.
Glen and Abraham got their heads bashed in at the start of the season, setting into motion much, if not all the action leading up into the finale’s last moments. Maggie’s poetic monologue at the end almost seemed like an apology for all the misery they’ve put us through this season. The unnecessary dragging out of various side stories and uneventful happenings proved frustrating to some fans. I was particularly annoyed with the one-off episodes and the direction the show decided to take to come to its conclusion. The contrived nature of introducing groups (the garbage folks being the most annoying) we were forced to learn about felt so uninspired as set up pieces. I’ll have to check out the comics to see if those plot lines were as clunky…
Unlike a lot of the critics, I don’t feel like the season was a total tank. It’s one of the weakest for sure, but that’s only because they stretched things out so much. I enjoyed the gore, the blood and the dark Rick Grimes. I just didn’t enjoy them taking their time setting up his inevitable turn back to normal. You do have to appreciate the intimate moments Michonne and he shared. As deliberate as some moments felt, it was also great seeing him and Darryl reunite after so long. Walking Dead’s strength is in its characters, portrayed by actors who can weather a bad script or two.
When Sonequa Martin-Green was cast as a lead in the new Star Trek Discovery show, we all knew her time was coming to an end. Throwing the whole logistics of her committing suicide with enough time to turn into a zombie and save the day, she was given a meaningful if utterly illogical end. I always liked Sasha as a character, but never felt she was as integrated into the “family” as others. It’s a big deal that she’s gone, but my goodness, no one else major died! No surprises this time around. It sort of pisses me off a bit to think that people peeved with the season premiere may have influenced how the show runners chose to end it. I guess I’d argue that whatever demented plot they want to throw at us, just give the audience a bit of closure or a complete arc. Ultimately, I don’t think its the fact that Glen and Abraham had to die that pissed most people off, nor the blood and brutality. From the poor decision to fake Glen’s death last season to the guessing game of who was getting the bat, the show runners just had some creative black holes earlier on.
It’s safe to say they found their way back into the story narrative that focuses on the characters we’re rooting for. Walking Dead has a solid cast and there is no need for gimmicky plot lines. Rick, Carol, Darryl and Morgan had some of the meatier moments this season and they shined, as often the story allowed. Maggie’s come full circle, almost nearer to her comic book counter part. The group fought Negan back, having joined forces with the Hill, a CGI tiger and the Kingdom. All out war is certainly next. Let’s hope they raise the stakes even further next season and not have to spend half of it building up to a meaningful conclusion. It would be a dream to let Rick and crew take out the garbage guys in the season premiere and sideline Negan mid-season finale. But who am I kidding?