**WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON 7 EPISODE 5 OF THE WALKING DEAD BELOW!!**
**SERIOUSLY GUYS, LAST CHANCE! I’M ABOUT TO SPOIL THE CRAP OUT OF IT! :)**
Viewers of The Walking Dead are all going to feel similar about this week’s episode: another week, another slow episode. Maggie and Sasha are finally checking in. We last saw them right after Negan and Lucille’s slug-a-thon; when the group lost Abraham and Glenn. Maggie was also in pretty bad shape the last time we saw her. It wasn’t announced, but it definitely looked like she was preeclamptic. The show hasn’t shied away from pregnancy issues after what happened with Lori. Is Maggie okay? How will she and Sasha be received at the Hilltop? There’s only one way to find out! Let’s dive in folks!
I have to lead off with this. Negan wasn’t in this episode, and the show is noticeably less interesting without Jeffery Dean Morgan prowling around the survivors imposing his will upon them. That being said, Steven Ogg, the actor who plays Simon, did a terrific job filling in as Negan-lite this week. As great as he is, and it might be my gamer-bias seeping into my viewing experience, every time I see and hear him I just hear Trevor from Grand Theft Auto 5.
It’s not enough to pull me out of the immersion of the show, it’s just something I noticed during my viewing experience this week. We’ve only seen Simon in a secondary-villain role so far, so it was kind of nice to see Ogg get his shine as the alpha-dog. He pulled it off pretty nicely.
Gregory is such a damn politician. In both the comics and the show, the second he opened his mouth, you got this super dirty/oily feeling from him. That’s definitely not a bad thing, it’s how his character was meant to be. Xander Berkeley looks and plays the role to a T; the same can be said about Tom Payne/Jesus. The casting the last couple of seasons continues to be absolutely spot on. Payne didn’t have me sold last season as Jesus, but tonight we finally got to see him in action. When Jesus gets physical, he’s a borderline ninja. You can really tell Payne has put the work in to bring that to life, so he has me completely sold on his casting.
All-in-all, this episode is more of the same from what we’ve seen so far this season. There wasn’t a lot of action aside from a brief engagement with some walkers by Jesus, Sasha, and Maggie. We got a really good glimpse into how The Hilltop is run. Gregory is the face of the settlement, but Jesus really runs the show (even if he doesn’t want to.) We also got to see who Jesus really wants to run Hilltop. (Spoiler: it’s Maggie.)
Maggie’s rise to power is imminent folks, stay tuned. I love how Lauren Cohan has come into that role and shown just how strong Maggie really is. She also provided the best moment of the episode in a super touching moment with Enid. Maggie was trying to display Glenn/Herschel’s watch on Glenn’s grave. After Gregory tries to steal it, Maggie figures out that the watch should be passed along just like Herschel did to Glenn; so she gives it to Enid. Maggie was told by the doctor that she’s to stay at the Hilltop until she gives birth, so it looks like we’re going to see a lot of fun interaction between her and Gregory in the coming weeks!
I feel like I should give out one last spoiler warning for the last part. This could potentially spoil what’s to come, but it’s so huge that I can’t help but point it out. At the very end of the episode, Jesus sneaks onto the back of Negan’s trucks to steal some scotch back from the Saviors. When he jumps into the back, he finds Carl. Comic readers know where this is going, but I can’t help but nerd-out over it.
Yeah, it’s about to get real folks. All Out War is coming, whether Rick is on board for it or not. I could see the war starting as soon as the mid-season finale. What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Join in on the conversation in the comments below! Don’t forget to check out the sneak-peak at next week’s episode!