‘Go Getters.’ And aren’t they just? It’s unlike an Alexandrian to be able to stay put under their direct orders for more than one week. A lot happened in last nights episode in terms of opening new plots, which is refreshing to see. Gone are the bottle episodes (hurray!) and we finally start to see some storyline interconnection.
We start the episode with Maggie (who I have been dying to appear these past four episodes) and it’s as if she is a breath of fresh air. Soon after her reunion with Sacha at Glenn and Abrahams grave, we see her surrounded by the pale hue of wildflowers. Along with the dreamy scenery, she delivers the line ‘Not everything’ in response to Sacha claiming nothing feels right anymore. This instantly shows what kind of headspace Maggie is currently in – and damn it’s a good one. She is set up throughout the entire episode to soon take care of Hilltop solely. Maggie is Rick 2.0, Maggie is Deanna 2.0, Maggie is Maggie Rhee and she’s here to roll over your shit with a tractor and earn some god damn respect.
Gregorys reintroduction is as ghastly as ever. He is the perfect villain. In this first scene he pisses the audience off three times. He calls Maggie Marsha, he then goes on to throw accusations around and then he calls Rick Rich. I definitely can’t wait to see his comeuppance, whatever it may be. By the hands of Negan, Rick, or a walker, I’m sure it’ll be satisfying.
Back to Alexandria and we see Rick ready to go on a run. This opens several comic story arcs with him leaving base camp, however I won’t delve into them because I don’t like to enlist comic spoilers in this blog series! Rick and Michonne have the strangest relationship of all. It’s like they aren’t in a relationship at all, and then every 8 episodes the show-runners will throw something in to remind us that they are. The tension between the two in this scene shows that they are perhaps both hiding things. Do they each have weapons hidden? Are they each planning individual revenge on Negan? Why did Rick say ‘thank you’ when Michonne kissed him? So many questions! It seems that because the threat of the saviour is so strong, everyone thinks it’s best that they tackle Negan alone in secrecy. Rick, Michonne, Carl, Enid, Rosita, Sacha, – we’ve seen all of these characters plotting in some small way their revenge. Rick has basically raised a group of Ricks.
I really enjoyed seeing Sonequa Martin stretch her acting ability in this episode as Sacha. When Jesus gave her Abrahams necklace, her pain was clearly visible. She managed to take on emotions that we aren’t used to her holding so it was a good way for Sonequa to deepen her character and her own acting. It is however going to be V V awkward when Rosita realises that Sacha has been given the necklace that Rosita gave Abraham. Oooh.
The last thing I expected at hilltop was the walker attack. It showed that Hilltop is still rather penetrable and it also gave way for some bad ass walker slaying scenes from Maggie, Sacha and Jesus. After all the human drama this season, I really enjoy the frequented interjection of walker threats. Especially when it involves ninja Jesus and Maggie going all Carrie Underwood on her ex boyfriends car. The entire fighting scene was wonderfully choreographed and stylised. Especially with the darkness and firelight.
Enid and Carl. Hmmmm. I’m constantly torn between these two. One side of me enjoys the aspect of romance and coming of age that they bring to the show, yet the other side thinks that there isn’t enough time to be accommodating romantic rollerblading sessions. I do however think that this was a good way to highlight the childhood that they never really had. It’ll be interesting to see where Carls absence leaves Enid. From Maggie handing over Glenn/Hershels watch to her, it’s almost implied that she will now sit under Maggies watch. That was a sweet moment but you would think that Maggie would save the watch for her unborn child, or at least for herself. This is another example of how strong she is becoming and even taking on some of Hilltops ethos’ for herself. Remember at the start of the episode when Jesus says that they basically don’t bury the dead because they don’t need material reminders of them? That’s pretty much what Maggie is saying by handing over the keepsake.
Gregory continues to be the leach that he is when he is visited by Simon. Seeing scenes like this really exemplify the difference between Gregory and Rick in Negans eyes. It’s easy to see how Negan would be fascinated by Rick in comparison to the classic knee bender that is Gregory. I’ve been waiting all season for that shot of Carl on the back of the truck so I’m thrilled to have finally had it – and with Jesus in tow! It’s sure to be an explosive revelation.