The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 12 Review: Say Yes

The Walking Dead delivers its most heartfelt episode in years. Here is our review of the excellent "Say Yes."

This Walking Dead review contains spoilers.

The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 12

The Walking Dead made a grave mistake in the first half of season 7 when it forgot who its main character was. Rick was pushed to the side, relegated to only a handful of episodes, while the bad guys got all the screen time. Suddenly, it felt like Negan had taken over. Everything and everyone was Negan. Luckily, that’s not the case in “Say Yes,” which once again proves how much this show benefits from Andrew Lincoln. And that’s not to downplay how great Danai Gurira is in her wonderful scenes with Rick, as they set off on what can only be described as a supply run honeymoon. 

For a long time, and especially this season, The Walking Dead has felt like a show going through the motions. One could even make the argument that AMC has become less interested in making a great TV series in order to produce a paint by the numbers adaptation of the source material. It’s a method that’s seriously backfired in season 7. Yet, tonight’s episode is a flashback to a much better and fondly remembered era of the show when character interactions were sincere and heartfelt, not shallow and expected. “Say Yes” is The Walking Dead‘s most sincere episode in years. 

Much like last year’s “The Next World,” which say Rick and Daryl team up for a similar supply run, “Say Yes” feels almost out of place with the rest of the season, sincere in its attempt to portray two tragic characters who’ve grown to depend on each other. The episode fully uses its time to write a love letter to Rick and Michonne and what their relationship means for the show. Until tonight’s episode, I didn’t realize how much I missed Glenn and Maggie’s relationship – perhaps because their relationship had become a bit obvious in its attempts to make us feel things. But Rick and Michonne really feel like a new emotional center, the catalyst for what’s at stake if Alexandria loses its fight against the evil Saviors, who’ve done more than their fair share to tear people apart. 

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Actually, it’s kind of funny that Rick and Michonne’s relationship feels so real to me now. Sure, it makes sense on paper. These two characters have gone through so much together, from raising Carl and Judith to weathering storms unimaginable inside and beyond the walls of Alexandria. Plus, they’re one badass couple, as showcased tonight during the fun little fight at the zombie carnival. Yet, that all felt superficial for a while too, especially in the episodes immediately after “The Next World,” which gave the blooming relationship very little time to develop beyond a steamy makeout session or two. 

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But that all went out the window in “Say Yes.” Lincoln and Gurira really sold it tonight with their best perfomances of the year, delivering a portrait of love in a world that feels so devoid of it. And it really feels like Rick and Michonne understand the importance of this moment together, because deep down they know it’s ultimately fleeting. It’s why Rick asks Michonne to stay out with him just a little while longer. One more day, then two. Just enough to prolong whatever time they may have left to pretend they’re the only two people left in the world for each other. Everything, from the quiet moments drinking coffee next to their van to falling through the ceiling of a decaying building amid laughter, is lovely.

It’s always fun to watch an action scene when Greg Nicotero is in charge, and “Say Yes” delivers more campy goodness in tonight’s sequence. While it’s not quite as outrageous as the midseason premiere’s car scene, the fight in the carnival is entertaining and allows the characters to play around with their surroundings. It’s also the right kind of lighthearted environment to complement a story of two reckless lovers. 

The only moment in the whole episode that fell short for me was the cheap fake out that was supposed to make us believe Rick had been mauled by walkers. It didn’t work at all – and even made me flash back to last season’s stupid Glenn debacle – but it did allow for Gurira to deliver some great character work. I truly felt for Michonne in the brief moment when she thought she’d lost Rick. Again, Gurira sells the shit out of her scenes. I love her so much. 

Elsewhere, we have to deal with Rosita’s bullshit. Of course, her scenes are really a vehicle to get the plot moving for some of the other characters. Tara, whom I’ve grown quite fond of, ultimately decides to tell Rick about Oceanside, which we all knew would happen as soon as she made the promise to Cyndie in “Swear.” Although we all expect a fight from Oceanside, I have a feeling things won’t quite play out that way.

The season finale’s big death might have also been put in motion tonight. Again, Sasha and Rosita teaming up for a suicide mission feels inevitable. In fact, it could be either one of them, but my money is on Sasha – in real life, Sonequa Martin-Green has just been cast to star in the new Star Trek TV series. She’s the clear candidate to exit the show by season’s end. Whatever happens, it’ll be great to watch either of these two strong women go out in a blaze of glory.  

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Until then, I hope these characters continue to make every last minute they have left together count.

John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek US. Find more of his work on his website. Or just follow him on Twitter.


4.5 out of 5