The Walking Dead Carnival Comes To Town


I guess when it comes to carnivals, you have to look back into your personal history (if you’ve ever visited one) and consider your thoughts and feelings as to how you remember them.

You might have good feelings about them. They might produce anxious memories you’d rather not revisit. Or they may stir up days of yore that make you feel giddy all over again at the mere mention of them.

Regardless, you’ll most likely have thoughts of food and animals and rides and thrills and sounds you don’t experience anywhere else but at a carnival. Maybe even an underlying feeling of the uncertainty about what to expect.

What you won’t remember about carnivals are the guns. Not real ones, at any rate. Easily negotiated ones at the prize booths where you shoot out all the images of a bright red star or where you knock down a pyramid of milk bottles maybe, but not guns of heft and power and explosive noise making your ears ring, expelling live, deadly rounds. That, my friends, is an entirely different kind of carnival.

But apparently it’s what we can expect in the world of The Walking Dead.

Why there are guns en masse at a carnival – not to mention foodstuffs up the wazoo – is anyone’s guess. But there they were for the picking, just what the doctor ordered for Rick and Michonne to stumble upon in the middle of nowhere during one of their little exploratory jaunts, hoping against hope for a mother lode of good fortune to be found. And they found it.

So suspend belief we must. We just have to go with the idea of their good fortune being realized in several different ways and live with it.


Of course, it wasn’t as easy as all that, turning right when they were headed left and bumping into a bounty of exactly what they were looking for. It came with plenty of intrigue and danger. And it almost resulted in Rick’s demise. Because nothing is as easy as it seems in a post-apocalyptic world, not even at an abandoned carnival. (Though, their several day quest did result in a little “alone time” for them to forget their troubles for a while, at least. Again, another bit of throwaway diversion we could have done without.)

This is just my way of saying this episode of The Walking Dead – “Say Yes” – was a rather slapdash installment, nothing more than a diversionary filler to coast along with as we wind down to the last four chapters of the season, which is to say it didn’t do anything for me.

Yeah, it resulted in keeping a promise to The Junkyard Gang Rick “negotiated” with a few weeks ago in return for their loyalties against Negan. (And we got more of that awkward negotiation this episode, too. Wasn’t that exchange between Rick and Jadis about the dopiest you’ve seen in the series? But to be fair, we’ve been spoiled by the likes of Abraham and Eugene when it comes to strange and goofy dialog.) And we were left at the end of it all with an uneasy alliance between Sasha and Rosita planning a clandestine assault against Negan which will no doubt result in trouble to the point of the death of either one or the both of them. (Stay tuned for that drama to unfold come the penultimate chapter in a few weeks. That’s my prediction. Let’s see if that holds any water.)

I hope this is the final make-do piece of what’s left; I’m holding out hope the final tetrad of TWD affairs this season aren’t all shim and window dressing. In other words, I want this to be the final visit to the carnival – more meat and potatoes, please and thank you!

What did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments below. We want to hear from you!


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  1. I didn’t mind the episode at all. The time spent with Rick and Michonne was valuable. It opened the door a bit to the question of “what’s next” if they are able to do away with the Saviors. Rick’s confession that he doesn’t want to rule the world was interesting too.

  2. I got the impression that the armed walkers were mostly military personnel. The confusion for me was seeing a carnival out in the middle of nowhere. I saw wilderness, wilderness and more wilderness, and then OOPS…. here’s a carnival with a bunch of dead people and military personnel for whatever reason. Yep…. The Walking Dead. I loved it, except for the creepy bloated creature that came out of the trailer and scared the BEE GEES out of me. Iyee.. Iyee..Iyee… Iyee…. Stayin’ Alive.. Stayin’ Alive…

  3. I couldn’t agree more about it being a poor filler episode, it really didn’t advance much and seemed to stagnate the plot more than fill (IMO). I made up that it was some sort of military fundraiser carnival… or some such. that’s how I was able to keep the tv going through the scenes/episode.

    Here’s to better episodes going forward…