I’m sure you’ve heard this before: “I love you. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I have to like you.”
Overall, that saying sums up my feelings about The Walking Dead. And especially so where the show’s current season is at right now.
I’ve noted previously there’s only been one episode of season 7 that’s tripped my trigger thus far – the depressing, sadistic, down-in-the-mouth third episode, “The Cell.” The mid-season ender was all right, helping to redeem itself from the lackluster episodes before it, and this one (“Rock in the Road”) was passable as well. (Actually it was one of those “just kind of there” episodes for me.) Nevertheless, it was a welcome return from the series’ hiatus. It wasn’t anything spectacular and nothing really to write home about, despite AMC’s current “Rise Up” promotion hinting at the plot channeling positivity and characters fortifying themselves against Negan and The Saviors.
But it’s good once again to have the show back on the calendar and in our anticipatory purviews week after week instead of months and months down the line.
There were some nice moments during the episode, between reunited characters and feel good instances of camaraderie with a healthy dollop of “time to rouse the troops for battle,” not to mention a couple revelations and surprises with the players in the game. (Morgan being informed about the fate of Abraham and Glenn and Ezekiel’s revelation at the announcement outsiders knew about The Kingdom’s pact with The Saviors were among a few of those surprises.)
But embedded in the mix was some cheese, too. Rick’s tale told to Ezekial – while used as a vehicle for clarity – was goofy coming from him, especially told to another adult. (It didn’t feel like something Rick would normally do.) The entire bomb disarming sequence was cornball and unnecessary, time wasting filler more than anything else. Some of Simon’s lines to Rick while The Saviors were on assignment to root out the whereabouts of Daryl were cheesefest. (Example: Upon The Savior’s departure after hunting for Daryl, Simon commented “Tick tock … chop, chop” at Rick indicating he’d best get down to the business of stocking up on supplies for The Savior’s next pick up, which was just dumb.)
As a matter of fact, there were all sorts of strange, rather uncharacteristic exchanges and instances in the episode. The comment to Sasha from Rosita about the both of them having “slept with the dead guy.” Aaron and Eric’s conversation while Aaron was packing up to leave. Gregory’s discussion with Rick, et al. Ezekiel’s chat with Benjamin. There were plenty more that contributed to it being an uneven, sometimes awkward back and forth between characters.
Of course there’s bound to be a few stumbling blocks in the course of 7 seasons of a show. And this was one of them. Still, it was nice to get an installment of The Walking Dead that didn’t suck with relation to many of the season’s first half episodes. It appears things are looking up, ungainly though the dialog and storylines might be.
Still … I love the show and I’m glad it’s back. It’s just, on occasion, there are times when I don’t necessarily like it very much.
- Is there someone in the car with Gabriel when he took off from Alexandria at the start of the episode? It sure seemed like there was. A shadowy figure can be seen riding shotgun …
- … and … why did he drop that bible right there on the floor, Rick picking it up and questioning such later? That was kind of weird.
- Who was Rick smiling at toward the end of the episode when his group was surrounded at gunpoint by that strange, new clan? The only person it could possibly be: Carol.
What did you think of The Walking Dead’s return? Tell us in the comments below. We want to hear from you!