Let’s get past the elephant in the room and I’ll be a bit happier about this episode.
The elephant? The title of the episode: “The Big Scary U”.
Dear Walking Dead writers: Don’t let social media abbreviations and bastardizations that make things seemingly easier to convey get the better of you. And don’t put a title out there like “The Big Scary U” that doesn’t come near its potential. IT didn’t come close to living up to its name. One would think such a title might not only refer to Negan but that plot points would reveal themselves as things chugged along to justify such. Only … they didn’t. So naming an episode like this just makes you look dumb. Really dumb.
Hokay! I feel a little better having gotten that off my chest!
Speaking of Negan, we did learn a few things about him. He was married, he admits to cheating on his wife and he doesn’t have any kind of problem owning up to it. He also won’t hesitate admitting he’s an asshole. And, while he doesn’t outright admit it, he’s delusional, thinking his methodologies are the right ones to employ for the greater good. Killing, as long as the “right people” are killed, is justified. More of that Negan old fashioned social acceptance hoo-ha.
So, while we delved in a bit deeper, we didn’t quite get the whole picture where Negan’s concerned. But we know enough about him that you just never know which way he’ll go depending on how the wind blows him.
Father Gabriel: We’ve seen him change his tune quite a bit over the last few seasons. He’s grown a pair, finally not a complete wuss about walkers and, in this episode, even pulled a move on Negan. Go, Gabriel! Add to that he chipped away at The Saviors’ leader in order to … what? Get a better read on him? Try and win him over? Was there a plan in mind he had or was he just winging it? Whatever it was it worked … to a degree. Both the men made it out and Gabriel got his “reward” in the end: Incarceration.
Eugene: We still don’t know for certain whose side he’s on. Is he still playing some kind of wily game in order to gain information for future use? If he is, his scrutiny of Dwight and probable understanding that Dwight is the rat in The Saviors’ midst suppling arms and more to Rick and Company could be useful on either side of the fence he’s on. All those looks, all that feeling Dwight out, the “pickle appreciation,” the chess set … the clues are there. And they’re pretty clear. Eugene’s no dummy.
Daryl: Man, he’s starting to go a bit rogue, isn’t he? It doesn’t matter what goes forward, what kind of plan is on the table. The guy simply wants all the slinking around, all the backstabbing, all the clandestine crap to end, quite possibly so he can get a little down time if nothing else. And he’ll do just about anything to get that … even confront and go against Rick. It’s come to that for him and that’s a big turnaround where Daryl’s concerned. The guy’s been on board with just about every idea Rick’s had previously so … what gives now? It must be Negan and what his actions have done to him while he was held captive by The Saviors. What else could it be?
Simon and Dwight: I don’t know about you but I rather enjoy the dissension in the ranks play-by-play that goes back and forth with these two, whether they’re bouncing off each other or when Negan’s involved. As badass, in the know and on board as Simon has been in the past, it’s a nice change of pace to see him screw up and stumble over himself currently. It makes for some good exchanges. Dwight? We know where he stands. But that doesn’t excuse him from stutter stepping around Negan with the understanding he could make a fatal mistake, letting on he’s the wrench in The Saviors’ machine. No matter how careful you are there’s always room for error.
So … good episode, given all that was noted above? I’m still not quite certain. It wasn’t filler. It did provide some interesting tidbits and a few revelations along the way. It even set up some questions going forward.
Such as … what was the deal with that helicopter Rick saw?!?
Stay tuned …
The Walking Dead airs Sunday at 9:00 PM on AMC.
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