On the heels of Negan’s show of force, Rick’s crew is left with realizing that they have lost part of their family. Watching Abraham stand strong but left to become a pool of death, anger and loss immediately overwhelmed the group. Not wanting to let it stand and unable to deal with Negan’s taunting, Daryl lashes out and gets a punch on Negan’s chin. Rather than immediately retaliating and hitting Daryl,¬†Negan takes a moment reflect on the backlash. Choosing to respect Daryl’s grit, Negan turns his bat toward Glenn and strikes. Rick is dragged into the RV, fails on an attempt to take out Negan, and is later returned with a similar loss of control. Believing that Rick still did not get it, he forces Rick to believe he had to cut off Carl’s hand or sacrifice the entire group but stops him just before the cut to capture that moment of Rick’s full break. Negan gathers his crew, throws Daryl into the back of a van, and leaves the rest of the group to pine over the loss of their family.

The Great Reveal:¬†While I believe that I called the deaths of both Abraham and Glenn, it still does not prepare anyone for how the production crew would pull off the scene. Abraham’s moment of strength likely encouraged Negan to pick him. In the comics, Abraham would have died a couple¬†episodes earlier when dealing with the Saviors, pre-Negan. This felt like more of a continuity correction than Glenn’s death did, but it was well-crafted to weave into this telling of the story. No more one liners from the king of one liners.

Glenn…we will miss you. The scene was so well acted and mirrored elements of the comics almost perfectly. Having his head bashed in with his eye popped out was just incredible, shocking, and devastating. You could feel the pain from Maggie, Rick, and the others as they watched the moral compass of their group have the life drained out of him. The image of Negan in the shadows and backlit still wailing on Glenn’s husk of a body was haunting. This will be a moment of building for the group, but Daryl will not be able to let this go.


Balance of Power Shifted:¬†The entire episode was a tribute to Negan’s strength and power. Fans were so angry at the end of season 6 because of the cliffhanger ending. I believe that the significance of Negan’s introduction was lost. The episode did drag out the reveal a bit, but I believe that the focus on suspense was perfectly done.

Now to the actual power, Negan has an army and now Rick’s confidence in his pocket. He has taken out two of Rick’s closest¬†people and stolen away Daryl. He nearly forced Rick to cut off Carl’s arm. He broke him. Rick had that moment of confidence that he and his family could do anything, survive anything. The group will need time to rebuild their strength and their sense of purpose. They will need to figure out how to save Daryl. For now, Negan is king.

Dealing with Loss: This will be a season/series-long issue. While there has not been much conversation about most of the people who have been lost for a while, their presence is still felt and Glenn and Abraham will remain a spiritual part of this show for years.

Sasha and Rosita were able to grieve together for a moment, but both of them will be lost for a while. For Rosita, she had¬†somewhat separated from Abraham, but Negan taunted his death in her face while Sasha had to fear and cry indirectly in the shadow of the encounter.¬†Sasha and Abraham were envisioning a life together. She was seeing hope, which is something you never want to do in this type of world. Just as Rick’s confidence is gone, Sasha now has had her life stolen from her. Whether she will become reckless or break into despair will remain to be seen.

Daryl’s lashing out against Negan was the type of lone wolf response you would expect from him. He finally felt like part of the family and struggled watching Abraham’s sacrifice and Rosita’s torture. He will likely be at the whim of both Negan and Dwight, while torturing himself for feeling accountable for Glenn’s death.

I’ve already talked about Rick’s tourture…but then there is Maggie. She lost the love of her life and had to watch the brutality in-person. She should be completely broken. Once Negan left, she was driven to want to fight back. Knowing what her comic future looks like, she is showing immediate leadership qualities. She wants to avenge her loss, not be paralyzed by it. She will bring to question whether people trust Rick to continue to lead Alexandria or trust him against the rule of Negan. Maggie will likely appear to be the stronger of the two and may take away any sense of leadership people still connect with Rick.


Question of the Week:¬†What do you believe Daryl’s fate looks like considering his misstep against Negan?

In Memoriam: Glenn & Abraham…rest in peace…

I have not posted on this blog for quite some time, as this has mostly become a Walking Dead-related focus, but I would be remise if I held in my opinions about the current state of the election season. It has been said that holding in such stress/tension can be bad for your health, so let me do this for my betterment.

The election process this time around can be said to be one of the worst of American history. Whether you focus on the scandal or the continued division of the American people, both major party candidates hold the highest disapproval ratings in history and neither seems to be the real choice that their parties would have preferred rise to the surface (Clinton better than Trump but still not with much confidence). The third party candidates are laughable, either because they lack understanding of the global community, foreign policy, or economic growth or simply because they are too narrowly focused to understand the breadth of presidential responsibilities.


I could go into a breakdown of Hilary versus Donald, but most people know the issues (or at least the surface-level presentation of the issues). What I want to address is truly how bad this election is.

The Better of Two Evils:¬†Although I¬†do not believe that Hilary is truly an evil candidate, the way that people are voting seems to be more about preventing one candidate from getting elected rather than truly believing in their party’s nominee. So many Trump supporters now did not support him in the primary. They have gravitated to him because they are so against Hilary and are simply voting on party lines. The same could be said for Hilary, after the Sanders fans struggled following their candidate’s loss to Clinton.

Trump is truly the evil candidate, as his character is in constant question.

The Question of Preparation: There has been an interesting question about whether preparation is a good or bad thing. I agree that canned answers and soundbites are off-putting. Tim Kaine was a huge example of this during the VP debate, as was Hilary with the Alicia Machado addition to the end of the first debate with Trump. I am not saying that their prepared statements lacked value, but that value is distorted by the fact that they appeared to simply be inserting these comments as soon as they could be relevant.

The bigger concern to me is this idea that Clinton is too much of an insider rather than simply being an experienced candidate. I agree that corruption exists in Washington and Clinton is tied up in some of that. She is still the most prepared candidate in American history, having held positions in multiple states and throughout DC.

On the other hand, Trump has no political experience and is touting this as making him incorruptible. As much as he wants to promote this, he seems to be representing all of the evil elements of politics in his public statements and debate involvement. He has his own canned answers and flip-flops on issues all the time. He dodges and redirects with almost every question answered from reporters and moderators. The lack of experience seems to me to be a major negative rather than a reason to select him over Hilary.

Character & Temperament: With Clinton, it is simple. She has remained level-headed and metered throughout the campaign. She has certainly participated in the negative campaigning against Trump, but she has used his own words and temperament against him to contrast her readiness. Her issue is trust. The emails, Benghazi, and the Clinton Foundation have been areas she still is trying to explain away, and they will haunt her throughout the rest of the campaign and beyond. She has apologized and attempted to show remorse, but it seems that people also have trouble with her being more of a facts & figures leader rather than an emotionally-aware one.

Clinton’s biggest challenge is that she is a woman. It is still hard for many to believe that a woman can be president. It is hard for people to see a more metered, focused, and intellectual woman and label those qualities as presidential. Instead, people assume that she is unemotional and untrustworthy. While some of her issues are related to trust, her temperament should not be misattributed as unprepared or non-presidential.

Then there is Trump… This is a candidate who does not care about going off the handle or insulting large populations of people. He has discriminated against every population in American and abroad, and he somehow still holds a strong enough population of voters to be considered a threat to Hilary’s potential win. The latest controversy with women is the most disconcerting because of how it paints pictures for both candidates. For Hilary, she is being forced to answer for her husband’s infidelity while also having to answer for the way she handled the women associated with the scandal. For Trump, he has been quoted supporting sexual assault and his involvement in assault behaviors and actions. While Bill Clinton have been paraded out to alter the conversation off of Trump’s indiscretions, there are now accusers¬†speaking out against Trump and his foolish and abusive behavior.

Turning away from the offensive comments he has made, Trump also fails to pass the honesty test. His constant changing of opinions makes it too difficult to nail down what his true beliefs are. He used highlight liberal ideology but has changed to conservative opinions since he chose to run as a Republican. Even during the current campaign, his opinions have changed week to week, day to day.

Is the System Rigged?: The answer is both yes and no. The news media tends to be more liberal than conservative, so more liberal ideas tend to dominate the airwaves than conservative ones. At the same time, Trump could not survive without the media coverage. He has been a glutton for media coverage. His empty podium gets significant coverage, leaving correspondents to fill the void with Trump talk.

It this election more rigged than other elections? No! Trump’s negative representation in the media is his own doing. While Hilary is not clean by any account, she does not parade her issues in speeches and debates. She gets to focus on her platform and responding to Trump’s crazy comments. Trump has continuously thrown his indiscretions in people’s faces. He cannot complain about the coverage if he is creating it.

Voter fraud is also a non-factor. It has been studied on numerous occasions and has been found to have virtually no effect on elections. Trump has been boasting about his awareness of the rigged nature of the election process, but he is simply creating doubt in the event he loses. He wants to ensure that people question his lose to help him save face. If he wins, he will claim it a victory for the truth. Let it go…

I don’t know how the election will truly go, but I hope that people find some sense and just elect Hilary. She may not be the cleanest option, but she has prepared for this moment and will at least keep things stable following Obama’s term in office. A vote for Trump is a vote for chaos. The third party candidates do not have enough experience or awareness to take on the responsibility. Let’s get this election over with and move on to the real issues and demand better from our politicians to work together to get it done.

With Maggie in dire need of medical care, Rick and quite a large crew jump into the RV and take a trip toward the Hilltop. Fearing the potential of an attack on the road, the core crew decides that they need to have strength in numbers. They find this to be true, as they run into Saviors on every path they take. In their first encounter, Rick introduces the idea that it could the someone’s last day on Earth, which later appears to be the case when the group finally meets the infamous Negan and his bat Lucille.

Meanwhile, Morgan continues his journey to find Carol and discovers that she had not gone far but had been injured in her fight with the Saviors. He tends to her but she is weak and resisting returning to Alexandria. While distracted, Carol slips away but is caught but the survivor from the ambush. He disarms her and shoots her in the arm and the leg before Morgan appears to save her.


#WhoIsIt?:¬†The question for the next several months will be which one of our favorite characters met their end to Lucille. In an early conversation from Talking Dead, it actually appears that the cast may not even know which one actually met their end. Theories will be abundant throughout the summer. For now, all we know are the suspects…

Rick & Carl: This seems unlikely. Megan needs Rick to keep his people working and killing Carl would result in Rick losing interest in going on.

Daryl:¬†One of the likely candidates…I previously talked about this one. He has caused a lot of trouble for the Saviors and would be a significant enough loss to kill Alexandria’s sense of fight but make a statement to fall in line with their new boss.

Glenn:¬†Besides the comics serving as source material, Glenn’s outburst may have set his fate. When Negan pointed the bat at Maggie, the outburst may not have been such a freebie as indicated.

Maggie:¬†She is already sickly and Negan’s threats already pushed Glenn out of position. Her death would be a clearly heartbreaking moment for the entire group and she appears too weak to be useful to Negan’s cause.

Eugene: Taking the RV on his own was a badass moment, but it was foolish. They were surrounded the entire trip and he was clearly going to get captured. The question is whether Negan randomly picked him.

Abraham: Puffing up while kneeling on the ground probably made a bit of an impression with Negan. The question would be whether Abraham appears more useful as a worker or as an example.

Rosita & Michonne: Negan does not kill woman (in the comics) and does not likely take his revenge on these two.

Aaron:¬†This is a possibility, but the death would not be a major one in the context of the character development. While Negan might pick randomly, the show’s developers would not leave that up to chance.

Morgan’s Attempt at Redemption:¬†Other than the main storyline with Negan’s arrival, Morgan was still out on the search for Carol and found her rather quickly. While she initially accepted his help, she refused to return with him and made a speech about why she can no longer be with the people she loves. When faced with the life or death situation with Carol’s stalker, he hesitated only long enough to give the guy a chance. He moved the gun toward Carol so Morgan pulled the trigger. This is a major challenge to his life is precious concept, but it also pulled a page from Carol’s book, as he paid a price for saving someone he cared about and wanted to save.

The Saviors: Not much to say here, as we knew they were a threat and Negan gives them that leader that matches the group the fans fear. Their numbers are great and will give Rick and the others a real challenge moving forward.


Meanwhile, there was another element released at the end of the Morgan and Carol story. The men in armor are going to add a new group to the mix who will be important to providing support against the Saviors.

In Memoriam: the Savior stalker and one of the beloved core members of Rick and the Alexandrians

Question of the Week: #WhoIsIt?

Soon after learning about Carol’s quiet departure from Alexandria, Daryl goes speeding out of the town on his motorcycle and creates some alarm for the disappearance of some of their best fighters as they prepare for a potential battle with the Saviors. Following suit, Glenn, Michonne, and Rosita take off to track Daryl, while Rick and Morgan go searching for Carol. When Glenn’s group finds Daryl, they reveal his obsession with getting back at Dwight for killing Denise and his role in the brunt forest. For Rick and Morgan, they discover the remains of a battle on the road where it appears Carol fought off a group of men in a pickup truck. They continue their search but neglect to catch that one of the men survived the attack and is trailing them.

maxresdefaultCarol’s Last Stand:¬†It has been building for a while. Carol continues down a spiral of despair over the murders she has committed. While one could argue that she should feel justified in her need to kill for survival and to protect the ones she loves, the weight of the death against her rekindling of her religion has made the experience excruciating for her. She clearly still prepares for the potential of a fight, e.g. sewing the gun into her sleeve, but she has also broken down in tears multiple times now as she fights off the Saviors. As the body count keeps going up, her sanity will likely continues to fade.

east-airs-sunday-on-amcNot the Time to Split Up: While Rick clearly cares about his people as a family, it seems like the wrong time to go in different directions to track down the rogues. There are clearly some fighters back at home, e.g. Abraham, Sasha, Maggie, and Carl, but they best fighters are chasing down an enraged Daryl and an unpredictable Carol. This is creating a clear opportunity for the Saviors to strike. They appear to already have their intel to know about the community and somewhat about the people, so now they just need to pick off the group one by one. This, of course, led to the capture of Michonne, Glenn, Rosita, and Daryl at the end of the episode and the infamous shooting of Daryl in the shoulder by Dwight. He does not appear to have taken a fatal wound, even though that was a lot of blood that shot at the camera.

AMC_TWD_EastContinued Controversy Over Ideals:¬†The pairing of Rick and Morgan going after Carol was an intentional one. Their philosophies over how to survive have taken drastically different paths, much like the disagreements between Morgan and Carol. Rick kills without thinking at times, like when he interrogates, does not get an answer, and then plunges a knife into his captive’s head. At the farm, there was a moment when Rick would have killed the man they discovered looking for his horse, but a combination of Morgan and a cluster of walkers were able to distract him long enough to prevent the death. In that moment after their fought off the walkers, Morgan was able to redeem himself for the more passive way his has dealt with the atrocities around him, explaining that saving the Wolf led to the saving of Denise and then she saved Carl after he was shot. This “circle of life” moment prevented Rick from having to bury his son too early. They went their separate ways, but a clear respect had been rekindled in that moment.

The Moment of Truth:¬†The season has been leading up to the big reveal of Negan. We know the actor and have seen a few images, but the biggest question still remains…who meets their end to Negan’s baseball bat Lucille? Here are my top candidates and theories.

the-walking-dead-episode-509-glenn-yeun-1200-cGlenn can’t escape this one. For all the times that Glenn has escaped death, this has been the most foreshadowed moment of his demise. The comics work against him because everyone knows that he meets his end at this point of the story and in front of Maggie. Glenn is the one who sees the pictures in the Savior compound of others who met with Lucille. Glenn also had his first human kill in that attack, meaning that his killing virginity is gone and horror movie standards would dictate that he is now vulnerable to meeting his end. While this is the most likely situation, Steven, the actor, has no significant upcoming projects other than his role on this show.

TWD_615_GP_1030_0457-RT-2040.0Daryl dies,¬†everyone riots. The gunshot wound was not fatal. It would be one of the weakest ways to go out and Dwight does not deserve to be the man who takes down Daryl Dixon. Megan could be that person. Daryl has quite the body count of the Saviors. He blew up the group on the road with the rocket launcher. Megan may have actually been in a car in the background at the time, as theory has projected in an analysis of the scene. He kills several of their people in the compound. He fought off some of the Saviors during Dwight’s first attack on the road. He is one of Alexandria’s best fighters, but he also has had a diminished story ever since Beth’s death and Carol’s story focusing more toward her inner conflict. Norman has a lot of outside projects which could challenge his ability to continue on the show, and there was the interview where he said that he “played” Daryl Dixon. That might just be a slip-up, but we will know very soon.

1459179763-image-11Carol’s heroics get her killed.¬†Several times in the series, Carol has stepped in at the last moment to save the group, with the most significant moment being at Terminus. Her conflict has her at a place where she cannot live with herself and her killing ways, but she also will never truly abandon her family. She has racked up a body count as well with her conflicted but deadly encounters with the Saviors. She is currently off on her own and could be captured or find herself in a failed attempt to save her group. In the comics, Negan does not kill women, but this is not the comics and the producers have said they will take a strong left turn in the telling of this story.

abraham-walking-dead2-1200x707Abraham asks no more questions. Now starts the characters who don’t seem likely to bite the bullet, or meet Lucille up close, but could potentially be in danger. In the comics, he would have switched places with Denise and met his end from Dwight. Instead, he continues to be in the fight. Negan may know that he was present during the encounter with the biker gang, but Abraham’s death to Negan lacks the significance this introduction would indicate. He would be a safer pick to kill though because of the fans’ love of mainstays, including Daryl, Rick, Carol, and Michonne. The story could move on without him, but would fans feel satisfied?

landscape-1459350556-the-walking-dead-andrew-lincoln-rickRick takes one for the team. This is actually my least likely prediction. He is the center of this story and I don’t see this show pulling a Ned Stark circa Game of Thrones.¬†Still, this would be a shocker and one that would be the strong left turn the producers have hinted at. Who steps up to lead? How does the group get revenge?

walking-dead-maggieMaggie falls in front of her love. We know Glenn has been captured and can guess that Maggie is not far behind. She needs to get to the Hilltop for medical help. She collapsed at the end of the last episode. If she finds herself in front of Negan, she would be a shocking loss after surviving the entire rest of her family. In addition, one of the original versions of the comic included a situation where Negan gives Rick a gun and forces him to choose to shoot Glenn or Maggie. He ends up shootings Glenn after hearing his pleas to save his wife. Could they take that concept and merge it into the upcoming scene?

twd6-15-1Rosita has little to fight for. Also not big enough to be the impactful death we are waiting for, Rosita is in a lost place at the moment. Single for the first time and distraught after learning that Sasha has stolen her former lover. There is potential for her to be with Eugene (another character who seems to be limited in his story development but who did discover the machinery to produce bullets), but there is no guarantee that they would end up together as she currently has a thing with Spencer. This still goes against Negan’s choice not to kill women, but it could be a secondary death.

the-walking-dead-episode-509-michonne-gurira-1200-c-800x450Michonne’s death is Rick’s motivation. In a stunning turn, Michonne could meet her end to Negan. Again, this goes against his ideals, but it could serve as motivation for Rick moving forward. We also know that the women in Rick’s life are never really safe. She will not have her sword to protect her. Danai is also very active outside of the show and could be refocusing her attention on new projects.

Any other option does not seem possible at this point. There are no other characters that have been teased to potentially get captured and none of them seem significant enough of a death to match the arrival of Negan. Bringing on such a major character also stretches the size of the cast a bit, as Dwight will also be more significant moving forward as well.

think-the-walking-dead-season-6-has-been-intense-norman-reedus-says-we-haven-t-seen-anyth-764487Another Potential Surprise Death:¬†While we are focusing on the arrival of Negan, the episode is a 90-minute one. This provides more time for more challenges for Rick’s group. There will need to be something done to save Maggie from the pregnancy challenges she is experiencing. That means they have to travel between communities and Negan’s group is clearly out there. The assumption is that the only confrontation will be when Rick gets captured and joins the rest of his group for Negan’s reveal. There is also the possibility that Abraham’s comic fate could spring up during their travel or that someone else finds themselves in danger.

The episode fans have been waiting for is only a day away. Theories are about to be answered and someone is meeting their end…but who? Hopefully it does not end in a cliffhanger as it could.

In Memoriam:¬†more of Negan’s crew (by Carol’s and Rick’s hands)

Question of the Week:¬†If Rick were to fall by Negan’s bat, who would take his place as the leader of Alexandria?

Having returned back to a sense of normalcy after the fight against the Saviors, Alexandria seems to be in a state of cautious calm. Deciding that she wants to get out to an apothecary to scavenge for some medicine, she convinces Rosita and Daryl to join her. Their venture hits a couple of snags, but they find the store and are able to recover a significant amount of drugs. Meanwhile, Eugene wants Abraham’s help to uncover a possible new opportunity for their group. He unveils his plan to start producing bullets but gets interrupted by a walker. While Abraham goes in for the kill, Eugene calls dibs and struggles to overcome his foe. Abraham steps in and causes Eugene to get angry for taking his chance away. This causes a rift and Abraham storms off leaving Eugene to fend for himself.

BN-NE120_0320De_J_20160320120353Blossoming through Conflict: Eugene and Denise went through a bit of an evolution throughout the episode. While both had been growing independently and Eugene did get into the fight against the walkers during the swarm in Alexandria, neither had shown much success with fending for themselves outside of the walls. Both looked like they had something to prove to their peers to change the way they were viewed. Even Father Gabriel had a few moments recently to prove himself.

Eugene may have used deception to get Abraham to protect him, but there was room for growth. He does not quite have the recognition of Rick and the rest regarding his resourcefulness after his deception. He still feels like he needs to prove himself and fighting skills seems to be a way to do it. Abraham takes away his dibs kill, which sets him off and makes him say something he probably should not have said. It saved them later on from the group of Saviors because they were split up when Eugene was captured. Eugene was able to get quite a bite out of Dwight and survived a gunshot in the process.

rs_1024x759-160318095231-1024-merritt-wever-the-walking-deadAs for Denise, we learned that she lost her older brother, who seemed to be quite similar to Merle in personality. She always saw him as the strong one but she outlasted him. As a doctor, she has been making it up as problems presented themselves, but her brother’s strength has alway been important to her. Her moment in the stock room at the apothecary was a setback, but her fight with the walker in the car was a moment of redemption. While it was not the smartest idea to engage in the fight with Daryl and Rosita walking away, she survived and was able to call both of them out on their faults. Her death was a surprise, as it was Abraham who suffered a similar fate in the comics, but the Saviors have some ground to make up after the attack on their compound and the confrontation on the road with Daryl’s rocket launcher.

TWD_614_GP_1021_0086-RT-1200x801The Coming War: The season finale will either have one of the biggest cliffhangers so far in the series or one of the most gruesome deaths. Regardless of your awareness of the comics, it is clearly building to the Negan reveal and he is not going to be happy with the murdering of his group. The run-in with Dwight was important to this point because they know where Alexandria is and can probably guess they have a connection with the Hilltop. Dwight seemed ready to steal a bunch of their supplies and take some of the townspeople, but why steal people is not clear.

691x430Carol’s Conundrum:¬†Seen early in the episode, Carol had a moment with Daryl where she continues to appear shaken by her deadly encounters. While the episode does not focus on her at all, her reveal at the end with the note and Morgan’s continued dissonance with Rick supports continued doubt building within the group about how they handle their business. When Carol got to emotionless with her actions at the prison, Rick sent her away. She returned just as hard during the rescue against the cannibals. Now, she has had enough time to stop and think about what her involvement in Rick’s plan means for her humanity and can no longer reconcile her actions with her faith.

Leaving Alexandria without speaking to anyone puts her and other in danger because no one is going to let her go without a fight. Next week will likely bring new challenges for Daryl and whoever follows him to Carol’s aid.

In Memoriam: Denise, several Saviors

Question of the Week:¬†What does Denise’s death mean for Tara’s future in Alexandria?

After realizing that Carol and Maggie have been captured, Rick tries to negotiate a trade for the one surviving Savior from the compound for his people. Paula, the leader of the group outside the fence, takes her group and her captives back to another building and throws her prisoners onto the kill floor. As Rick and the rest try to negotiate the exchange, Paula consistently threatens the pending death of her captives. Carol slowly starts to break down and appears to be struggling with her situation. Whether this was an act or the real thing, the experience is hitting her strongly.

twd-carol-maggie-173719Carol’s Transformation:¬†Having appeared to be acting timid to throw her captors off, Carol appeared less like she was trying to feel them out and more like she actually now regrets her violent actions and tendencies. While she has shown the emotion previously with Lizzie and Mika, her demeanor more recently has been more brutal. In this episode, she seems to rediscover her desire for her faith and regrets the person she appears to be becoming. Paula represents the end of her grasp on humanity and she fears becoming that person. While she will likely not lose her survival and protective instincts, she will likely be conflicted about continuing Rick’s assault on the Saviors.


c778b5d267cb4393c3d9b9c3a6c2943fMirror Images:¬†Are we seeing double? Paula and ‘Chelle appear to actually be the Saviors version of Carol and Maggie. As their background are revealed, we learned that ‘Chelle had previously been pregnant and commiserated for a moment while interrogating Maggie. While ‘Chelle started off very aggressive, holding her weapon at Maggie and Carol while bound and unable to move, she seemed to soften up over time and let her guard down. Maggie shows significantly more leadership and autonomy, but there were some moments where the two could easily see pieces of themselves in each other.

For Carol and Paula, there were some clear similarities in their brutality and coldness. Carol was taking a strong turn toward regret, but she saw herself in Paula’s deadly personality. Telling the story of her first moments of the apocalypse with her boss had to be one of the more chilling moments of the episode. She also talked about how she stopped counting her kills, which was quite in dissonance¬†to Carol’s recent challenges. Carol has had to be brutal to protect her people, as displayed by her dispatching the Wolves, but she had an image of who she could become as she watched Paula’s distant personality with her crew. Even close to death, Paula looked ready to fight to kill and Carol was not ready to make the quick decision until Chelle appeared and almost injured Maggie.

TWD_613_GP_1007_0049_gn-1200x800We are ALL Negan: While Rick may believe that he has taken out the real Negan, we all know that is not the case. Molls recites the line, which is also used in the comics, but it is echoed at the end by Primo as well. This represents the group mentality of the Saviors and their current protection of their true leader. Negan represents the brutal personality they believe is necessary to survive the apocalypse and control the other survivors. The real Negan is still on the horizon and someone from the core group will probably not make it out of this season.

In Memoriam:¬†Paula, Donnie, Primo, Molls, ‘Chelle, and several other Saviors

Question of the Week:¬†After Rick’s group has survived the end of the assault, what do you believe their fate will be when they actually meet the real Negan?

After returning from the Hilltop, Rick gathers the Alexandrians for a conversation about their upcoming challenge with the Saviors. Rick poses the plan to go on the offensive, but Morgan opposes and begs for a more diplomatic solution. When the town chooses to ignore his pleas, the team gathered to assault Negan’s compound gather their supplies and head out on the road. While first looking for a walker who looks similar to Gregory, they wait until the dead of night to make their approach. Claiming to have taken out Gregory and possessing his severed head, Rick and the group quietly work their way through the building until one of Negan’s crew pull the alarm, causing chaos to burst throughout the halls.

TWD_612_GP_0922_0165-RT-1200x800Carol versus Morgan Redux:¬†With the episode having a much lighter-hearted tone at the start, Carol’s homemaker bliss was quickly disrupted and she was thrusted back into the fray. She is clearly not clear about what she really is comfortable with, as she writes down the number of people she has killed and is quite uncomfortable about what that means. Morgan challenges her for a brief moment, but she¬†cannot quite put this conflict to words with him. When Morgan steps up during the town meeting, Carol stays surprisingly quiet considering her continued inner conflict. Later on when she is with Maggie during the raid, she clearly allows the conflict to let her change her tune as she begs Maggie to stay behind. Getting captured, in the end, may turn out to be a consequence of her indecision.

TWD_612_GP_0922_0190-RT-1200x801Innocence Lost:¬†One of Glenn’s greatest qualities was his ability to claim that he has avoided ever having to actually kill another living human. He had fought for his life and killed plenty of walkers, but he had an innocence that was unlike the rest of his group. During the raid, he finally got his first string of kills and clearly was distraught over it. He was able to keep his head and save Heath from it for the moment. Even though they both had to fire through the armory door to fend off a group of the Saviors, it was a moment of defense rather than killing their enemies in their sleep. This also happened to be an episode that contained Tara’s first kill, but she seemed a little less afraid to take the shot, possibly as a representation for her belief in this group as opposed to the Governor. What this could mean moving forward is unclear. There is still an encounter with the infamous Negan in the near future. Glenn’s kills could put him back in the crosshairs for Negan’s wrath.

635928950622579769-TWD-612-GP-0922-0106-RTThe Raid:¬†Breaking into the complex can be seen both as a smart move and act that could lead to some very unfortunate events. While there are the comics that seem to prescribe a possible shocking death in just a few episodes, the team seemed to initially come out of their mission unscathed. They have recovered a small armory and found a way to save one of the Hilltoppers. The end result was initially positive until it was revealed that Maggie and Carol were captured by a small group of women, clearly connected with Negan. It is not clear if they are as brutal as Rick’s group is, but their high ground has quickly been lost. Had they not taken the offensive, it is quite possible that Negan’s crew would have ended up at Alexandria’s doorstep. It can be difficult to forget that this world is truly brutal and these types of actions can determine the difference between life and death.

Many questions leading into next week, but the biggest of which is whether Carol and Maggie will survive their latest capture.

In Memoriam: Savior guards & crew

Question of the Week: Glenn got his first human kill in the walker apocalypse this episode. Does this change him? Will Glenn go through a similar inner conflict as Carol?