No seriously, just…wow.
It took me a little while to come to terms with this episode, with the first issue being that Glenn is in fact still alive. And appears to be completely okay. And I feel cheated, as should every other Walking Dead fan. Because as I said after “Thank You”, there was no good way for this to end. Either they’d given Glenn a crappy death, or they were toying with viewers’ emotions and would allow him to somehow escape that seemingly inescapable situation.
As it happened, it was Nicholas’s body being torn apart by the walkers, and Glenn was able to slide under the dumpster and avoid getting killed – or even scratched/bitten – by any one of the crazy amount of walkers. Honestly, throughout the entire opening sequence I was thinking “stupid, stupid, stupid”. Perhaps part of the problem was that we weren’t given real-time sound, so all we saw was one walker inexplicably turning away from the crowd, and then others following him, until Glenn was able to scoot out from under that dumpster unscathed and without a worry in the world other than needing some water.
Which, coincidentally (or not), Enid was there to supply! After this character left Alexandria at the end of 6×2, “JSS”, the actress appeared on The Talking Dead and made a comment that was along the general lines of we the viewers would “be happy to see her again”. Of course after Glenn’s apparent death (or whatever you want to call that awful masquerade), rumors ran rampant that she would take part in his return – and then, surprise surprise (or not), there she was, providing him water and then…running away from him?
Listen, I get that Enid isn’t all that into Alexandria, but the fact that she helped Glenn, then ran away from him, then later pointed a gun at his head, was all a bit much. Let’s be honest…Glenn is alive. No one cares about Enid. Sorry not sorry, Walking Dead.
Another issue with that entire situation was Glenn’s diatribe about how he couldn’t leave Enid behind because Maggie wouldn’t leave her behind. Um, have the writers forgotten about how Maggie left Sasha and Bob in season four? I know that Enid is just a kid, so perhaps Maggie’s feelings on that specific ‘leaving’ would have been different, but when were we ever given proof that this would be the case? P.S. We weren’t. If anything, Glenn is the more soft-hearted of the two of them…so why is he now acting like it’s all for/because of her? I’ve always liked the fact that he refused to set aside his humanity for the sake of the apocalypse, and I think a lot of other viewers have, as well. Why is it apparently such a ‘weakness’ now, that he needs to pass his reasoning off on Maggie?
Meanwhile Alexandria is still a mess. Deanna looks like hell frozen over, and while it shouldn’t matter how she appears, it does. She’s just wandering around with her frizzy hair and dirty clothes and for the most part she appears a bit crazy – which is sad, because seeing her come back from Reg’s death and everything that’s happened since could have been an amazing testament to a strong female character. But unfortunately she has to take a back seat to Rick, which, while understandable, is also a bit maddening. Especially as her son is still randomly trying to do things like crawling across a sea of walkers on a rope and grapple, and people are wasting bullets and getting in fights about saving him.
I will say this – I continue to fall in love with Michonne, and in “Heads Up” it was great to see her agree with Rick in regards to Morgan’s weaknesses, but then push against him when he tries to keep anyone outside of their little group from getting involved in their next move – whatever that was going to be, because at the moment it doesn’t really matter anymore. A good portion of this episode was dedicated to watching Rick and construction guy (seriously I can’t imagine that he’s not a red shirt so I don’t feel like it makes sense to look up his name) try to fortify the walls, but in the end the tower that we watched slowly disintegrate throughout “Heads Up” collapses into that wall. Tragedy is inevitable. But hey, chin up, it’s Walking Dead! It’s likely that some characters (usually women) will die to further others’ story lines, and some characters will inevitably live through the impossible because apparently that’s how this show works now.
I’ll also admit that even before that tower fell, there were several things that happened toward the end of “Heads Up” that gave me a great sense of foreboding. Morgan convinced Denise to go with him to check out his prisoner (though to be fair he may not have explained the exact details). Carol followed him and left Judith with Jessie, and last we saw Carol she was asking Morgan who he had in “that cell”. On top of that, earlier Rick was teaching Jessie’s son Ron how to use a gun…and then he snuck into the supply closet and stole bullets. Last time we saw him, he was following Carl and pulling the gun out…and then the tower fell. Comic book readers like myself should think that this is a sign of things to come, but that’s all I’ll say about that.
Probably the best part of this episode was when Glenn sent the balloons up into the sky so that they would know he was alive. Even I got chills when that happened, and couldn’t help but smile when Maggie saw it. Yes it was fan service, but sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes.
I have to admit that even after this expositional episode, I have decent hopes for next week’s midseason finale. A lot of things could – and should – come to a head. Do I wish the writers had taken a slightly different route to get to this point? Yes. But I’m also optimistic that they can still pull it all together, because once in a while, this show gets it right.
As for the us not seeing what was going on with Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham, while it made sense in terms of timing, it also felt a bit obvious. I’ll be shocked if they don’t show up to help Alexandria in the next episode; they almost seem like a deus ex machina at this point.
One final note – a lot of my hopes rest on how closely they decide to follow the comics, at least in this next episode. But whether you’ve read the comics or not, what are your predictions or expectations for the midseason finale? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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