This Walking Dead review contains spoilers.
The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 7
Okay, you can all go home now. As predicted for weeks and in a reveal that surprised absolutely no one, Glenn is alive. The plot armor is intact. No, the show did not take a risk. This publicity stunt—because what else can you call it at this point?—served only to deliver an uninspired little arc we’ve seen plenty of times before. Yes, you can rest assured that Glenn and Maggie (and the new baby) will be fine for the time being. And really, the writers have worked themselves into a corner on this one, because when/if Glenn finally does take his last breath, it will be an eye-roller at best. A punch line on a tired gimmick. Glenn almost died. He didn’t. We breathe easy. That’s all I’ll say on the matter. Moving on to the positives…
I’m glad we didn’t waste an hour with Glenn and Enid, bickering back and forth like babysitter and spoiled brat. I find Enid to be one of the least interesting characters in the history of anything, and I’ve subjected myself to that Gotham pilot. Wait…I said positives, right? Okay, it was cool to see Glenn and Enid make their way back to Alexandria in between more important scenes elsewhere. I really enjoyed the end of the episode, as good and bad things happened simultaneously. The tower fell as balloons floated up in the sky. It was The Walking Dead getting poetic, and the scene really worked. I really hope that one of the outcomes from the walker invasion in Alexandria isn’t that Maggie and Glenn are separated again for another six episodes. I’m over that.
I thought the moments with Rick were real highlights tonight. While I’ve complained about this in the past, I’ve really enjoyed the slower moments with the Sheriff this season. It’s nice to see Andrew Lincoln deliver heavy moments of dialogue after watching him murder everything for a season and a half. His sitdown with Morgan is important, because a) it’s still teasing the difference in philosophies between the two, and b) sets up his own redemption for all the shitty things he’s done in the past few months.
Remember when the promos pitted Rick and Morgan against each other? A red herring if I’ve ever seen one. Morgan is now the moral center of this group (whether they like it or not), and Rick has always respected that role, even if he can never attain it. He respected men like Dale and Hershel, and even learned a thing or two from the latter before his prison got blown up by the Governor. I’d argue that Rick’s entire arc revolves around him finally putting his guns down and becoming the leader he can be. The just Solomon of the new world. And Morgan has served as proof all season that a violent man can change, no matter his sins.
Speaking of which, I really enjoyed Rick signing his own (or his son’s, maybe) death warrant tonight by teaching Ron how to shoot. I mean, I guess that’s what happens when a leader is at the height of his power. He underestimates or overlooks those he’s wronged on his way to the top. Rick should see Ron coming from a mile away, but he’s got bigger fish to fry, e.g. keeping the wall intact and getting his people home. That said, Ron’s a pretty creepy dude and you killed his dad eight episodes ago…I’m really excited to see how this turns out in next week’s midseason finale. (I bet we all know how it’s going to turn out.)
Rick’s scene with Deanna, after saving her dim-witted son from the dumbest plan ever devised, is spectacular, as well. We start to get the sense that Rick’s finding a soft spot for the Alexandrians, something that’s slowly been forming since he first arrived. Even if he gives Deanna the cold answer, Rick knows at that moment that he would save any of these people. Because that’s the essence of his character. No matter what happens to him, he always comes back and saves people. And that’s why we can watch him murder people week after week and still love him. Or Daryl, for that matter, or any of these survivors. They save people. That’s what sets them apart.
It’s unfortunate that these characters can’t keep any place safe for very long. But at the end of the day, what kind of show would this be if the walls didn’t constantly come tumbling down? Every single barrier they’ve built against death has fallen, and Alexandria, which has probably been the weakest fortress so far, can’t be any different. Do I think it’s the end of Alexandria? No. But will there be casualties? Absolutely. Expect to say goodbye to one or two characters next week. And if we’re lucky, maybe even several. Just as long as it’s not a Glenn fake-out again.
Don’t forget to listen to the new episode of our weekly Walking Dead podcast, Den of Geek Presents No Room in Hell: