Home Reviews TWD Mid-Season Finale Review: “An Unwelcome Visitor”

TWD Mid-Season Finale Review: “An Unwelcome Visitor”

written by Jake Tanner December 12, 2016
The Walking Dead: Best TV Shows of 2016

Rick and Negan during TWD Mid-Season Finale

***WARNING!!!! SPOILERS FOR TWD MID-SEASON FINALE BELOW!!!***

**LAST CHANCE!! PROCEED WITH CAUTION FROM HERE ON OUT!!!**

We’re already here, folks. It’s already time for the mid-season finale for season 7 of The Walking Dead. The episode is titled, “An Unwelcome Visitor” but seriously, who could look at that face and not welcome him in?

I should say this straight off. The fact that I’m excited about this episode really speaks to the level of pacing issues that this show has really suffered from this season. It’s the mid-season finale, so I know something is finally going to happen. That shouldn’t be the case with one of my favorite shows.

Maggie is still obviously mourning Glenn. The episode opened with her sitting over his grave, but there’s something distinctly different about her. She knows that Gregory is a politician, but she also knows that she’s smarter than he is. Her takeover of the Hilltop has already begun.

Sasha has grown A LOT over the last season and a half. When Tyreese and Bob died, she was in a really dark place. You could tell she was in it for herself, but now her maternal instincts have kicked in and she’s done a great job taking care of Maggie.

TWD mid-season finale. Negan, Carl, Olivia, and Judith are sitting down for dinner.

Is this what Negan looks like when he’s domesticated? He definitely had a life prior to the apocalypse, but it’s kind of odd to just see him shaving and cooking. He’s obviously enjoying the mind games it’s playing on the citizens of Alexandria. He’s such a great villain. Any random baddie can physically break and beat down their opponent, but Negan is obviously playing a chess match with Rick and the group.

TWD Mid-season finale. Rick and Aaron cross Walker Lake

Rick and Aaron crossing what I’m dubbing “Walker Lake” might be the most anxious I’ve been watching the show since the season premiere. This boat filled with bullet holes could easily be a metaphor for how this season has gone as a whole. We all know Rick is safe, but Aaron really isn’t a major player in the show at this point and it’s kind of great to see someone in mortal danger for once. I’m pretty sure if he hadn’t already been in water, we would’ve seen some pee stains in his pants after being dragged down by those walkers. It looks like it was all worth it though; they hit the MOTHER LOAD.

Rick and Aaron are developing an interesting friendship. What happened to them on the road with Glenn and Abraham is a weird thing to bond over, but it really seems to have brought them closer together. I’d even venture to say that Aaron has worked his way into the “family” that we’ve all grown to know and love on the show.

Eugene has SUCH a bad poker face. He’s been working on manufacturing ammo for Rosita, and it’s really obvious he’s hiding something.

twd mid-season finale. Morgan and Carol talking in the Kingdom

Carol has only been in a single episode of this season, and honestly, I think it’s been best for the character. I don’t know if I was the only one, but I was getting sick of the “Super Carol” show. She and Morgan are really starting to work well together. I like seeing the contrast of personalities between the two of them. You can tell that they’re both well on their way to meeting at a common ground. Morgan doesn’t want to kill, Carol thinks she has to kill. They’re both going to have to come to peace with the fact it’s not always so black and white.

Daryl is another character that’s really benefited from the lack of screen time this season. He’s been labeled as one of the “untouchables” by fans due to his huge fan base. I think it’s pretty great to see him hitting the lowest of lows. Watching him try to escape from the Sanctuary might be one of the most thrilling things we’ve seen on the show in a long time. Negan has brought out his inner-Rick though. We’re seeing Daryl at his most desperate and he’s an absolute ANIMAL.

I’m not sure Michonne knows what she’s getting herself into. Negan isn’t the type of person to cross, especially when you assault his people. I went into this season thinking she was taking over Andrea’s role in the comics. She has, in a sense, but there are plenty of traits they don’t share yet. The show runners are definitely trying to shape her into that gutsy firecracker that Andrea ends up being in the books, though. Tonight she got a real dose of the desperation Negan causes people to feel. Not just the Alexandrians, but the Saviors too.

Rosita might be in the darkest place out of anyone on the show right now. She was already grieving her breakup with Abraham, only to see him get smashed to bits only days later. She seems unstable, and that instability will definitely be one of the catalysts for All Out War.

Gabriel is right. Spencer is a real shit. He’s obviously trying to suck up to Negan because, “it’s what his mom would have done.” The lack of self-awareness is insane. His mother put full trust in Rick, and he should’ve followed suit. The thing he doesn’t understand about Negan is that Negan isn’t an idiot. Before everything went down, Negan was a car salesman. You can’t outsell him Spencer. He also doesn’t like cowards. Thanks for giving us a classic scene from the comics though. I’m glad we got to see what you were made of.

twd mid-season finale. Negan kills spencer

All Out War is upon us

We finally get our first assassination attempt! Rosita tried to shoot Negan, but missed and shot Lucille. The failed attempt came at the cost of Olivia’s life. I think we’re finally seeing Rick being pushed over the edge. All Out War is almost upon us and as much as I didn’t want them to gloss over Something to Fear, I can’t wait. It will be interesting to see how they go about declaring war, though. Eugene was abducted by Negan, so that leaves Rick without someone to manufacture ammunition for him. You can’t exactly bring a knife to a gun fight.

We’re a family.

Everyone has been split up pretty much all season. Our mid season episode ended exactly how it began; with Maggie sitting over Glenn’s grave. She wasn’t left alone this time. She climbs the Hilltop’s wall only to see Rick and company walking towards the gate. Daryl has escaped the Sanctuary, and the family is back together…including Rick’s gun. What an amazing, symbolic moment. Daryl snatched Rick’s gun out of Sanctuary on his way out. The mid-season finale ended on a happy note, but the handing off of the Colt Python was a great reminder of what’s looming.

War is coming.

I loved this episode. At the beginning I was having a really hard time getting past the shows blatant pacing issues. AMC did a great job tying up most of the loose ends for the show’s first half of the season. The show ended on a somewhat happy note, but things are going to get worse before they truly get better.

It looks like All Out War is here. This episode was full of action, drama, and even a little comedy. It was one of my more favorite mid-season finales on the show so far. It goes hand-in-hand with how great the premiere was, but I hope the second half isn’t as slow as the first.

What did you guys think of the episode? Do you like that they’ve been staying true to the comics more the last couple of episodes? I’d love to hear what you think, so join in on the conversation in the comments below. As always, take a look at the trailers of what’s to come when the show starts back up on Sunday, February 12th!

 

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