**WARNING!! SPOILERS FOR SEASON 7 EPISODE 6 OF THE WALKING DEAD BELOW!!**
***LAST CHANCE! BEYOND THIS POINT YOU’RE OFFICIALLY IN SPOILER TERRITORY!***
I need to get something off of my chest before we dive into this week’s episode. I know I’m not the only one that’s felt it folks. The show has been S-L-O-W since the premiere. “Something to Fear” was quite a bit different in the comics, and I can see that the show-runners are trying to make the build-up to “All Out War” a slow burn with a big payoff. (Probably during the mid-season finale.) The result hasn’t been there for me, though. Rick is obviously the leader of the rebellion during “All Out War”, but all we’ve seen from him so far is a whipped puppy with seemingly very little fight in him. He’s obviously going to be rallied into a fight by his cohorts, but this isn’t the Rick Grimes I know and love.
Now that we’re done with that; let’s dive in!
Tara and Heath have been MIA on their scavenge run since last season. Tara is looking like she’s seen better days. She’s been found washed ashore by two young ladies, with no sign of Heath anywhere near her.
We see the camera cut away from that scene, only to flash back to Tara and Heath in the RV. Neither of them knows about Glenn and Abe or even Denise, but they seem like they’re in dire straits. They’ve found very little on their run, and Heath is suffering from the struggle of what happened at the Saviors outpost. This world is filled with cold, hardened people; it’s a nice change of pace to see someone still struggling with what’s become the norm for everyone else. It’s actually a really touching tribute to Glenn, who intentionally kept Heath from killing any of the Saviors face-to-face. I also think it’s a passing of the torch to Heath as the new “Glenn-like” character. He’ll act as a head scavenger and somewhat of a moral compass to the group now that Glenn is gone.
We’ve got another jump forward. Tara has obviously been “rescued” by a very strange group of people. It’s also pretty evident that they’ve got no issue with using child labor. I’ve read numerous fan-theories that this group was going to end up being the Whisperers. They’re the next big baddie in the comics after Negan. This doesn’t seem to be the case, though. They definitely share some of the more savage traits of the group; they don’t seem too keen on taking on more people, or even prisoners.
Whoever directed this episode deserves some props. They jumped back and forth pretty seamlessly, using the commercials as a way to transition in-between the two time periods. It’s a weird detail for me to notice and probably seems a little nit-picky, but Heath seems super clean-shaven for someone that’s been out on the road for two weeks. He and Tara are on a bridge now, and they notice a spilled dump-truck full of dry cement. Tara does the most “Tara-thing” ever and pries loose a bag that in turn causes a huge spill revealing…you guessed it! Walkers. I feel like this is the first time in weeks that there was actually any fear that we may lose a cast member. Oh sense of dread, how I’ve missed you!
The group Tara has found seems to really have it together, but there’s also a sense of naivety that I kind of enjoyed. They remind me of Rick back in the prison; kill first, there’s no time for questions. There’s a nice level of intrigue to this group. After reading the comics for as long as I have, it’s really easy to get comfortable with the characters on the show too; groups like this add in a nice wild-card just like Daryl has been since the very beginning. I definitely enjoyed getting to know a new batch of characters. It was also nice to hear the debate between “let’s build a community” and “let’s stay hidden.” This group and Alexandria couldn’t be more different.
We finally get the truth in the end. Tara tries to escape the couple of scouts and we find out that this new group knows who the Saviors are. It turns out, they tried their own version of “All Out War” and Negan and his Saviors murdered every last male in the settlement. They also know about what the Alexandrians did at the Saviors’ satellite camp; maybe I won’t see the merger between the two groups happen after all, at least not any time soon.
All-in-all, I kind of view this episode as largely unnecessary. It wasn’t without its entertaining moments, but it primarily followed Tara who is almost a half a season in the past in that she has no idea what’s happened to her group until the very end. I get the point behind it, Tara’s character has been kind of left out in the cold, and this was a great way to grow her character; I just don’t feel like it really added to the story much.
As always, don’t forget to check out your trailer for next week’s episode down below! It looks like the Big, Bad Wolf himself, Negan is coming back. I hope things get back on track; the show has lost all momentum from the premiere for me and I’m starting to lose interest. I know things will ramp back up with the mid-season finale coming up in a couple of weeks; I just hope they don’t wait until that finale to bring back some of the excitement.
What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Are you happy with the show’s direction? If not, what would you like to see to remedy the issues they’re having? Let me know in the comments below!