Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Walking Dead - S7x5 Go Getters

The Walking Dead review
Photo Credit: The Walking Dead / Gene Page
After stopping by the Saviors' compound and Alexandria, The Walking Dead catches up with leaders-in-waiting Maggie and Sasha. How is the duo coping after their dramatic losses? Go-Getters heads to The Hilltop Colony. This post contains spoilers - you've been warned!

Was Go-Getters the episode we've been waiting for since The Day Will Come When You Won't Be? Instilling two grieving widows with the resilience to go on, sneaking in an angsty love story, and re-enforcing Negan's knock-offs, I would give that a resounding HELL YEAH.

If there's one thing that the apocalypse has taught us, it's that you can't keep bad-ass women like Sasha and Maggie down, and I'd even squeeze Enid in this category too. The trio managed to infiltrate The Hilltop Colony where they were not wanted by it's leader Gregory, but proved that they are here to stay and make sure his operations change for the better.

The last time we saw the duo, it was the morning after Negan's bloodshed. Sasha worked up the courage and swore to get Maggie to safety despite her own brutal loss. Well the two definitely made it, but despite her battle cry to Rick, the emotional and physical toll overwhelmed the last remaining Greene-Rhee. When she woke up after a few days' rest, Dr. Carson revealed Maggie's placenta had separated from her uterus, likely calling back to her kidnapping in The Same Boat. With Sasha and Jesus by her side and giving extra support, Maggie was able enough to get up to visit Glenn's grave. Together, they mourned by their sites with Jesus until Gregory interrupted with a few unsavory plans. Just a few scenes of them at the beginning already got this episode out to a beautiful start.

Well, Sasha and Maggie unknowingly broke a few golden rules by burying their loved ones instead of burning them, as well as Rick not upholding their end of the deal to kill all of the Saviors. With Maggie requiring more time to heal, especially if she's pushed to the point to miscarry or give birth, they refused to acquiese to Gregory's demands to leave immediately.

While the episode mostly focused on the Hilltop Colony and their temporary stay, some slight interjections with Carl and Enid's escapades was a bit of a broken record but still fitting for the type of friendship / love story they're having.

While Maggie and Sasha were trying to stay put and call for unity, Alexandria is more divided than ever. Rick with Aaron went sculling for supplies while Michonne retreated to the meadow for her marksman skills. She left Carl somewhat in charge before he tagged along with Enid to her solo trip for the Hilltop Colony.

Though their YA love story was a bit repetitive, it was a struggle not to feel like a proud yet creepy surrogate fangirl mama.

As Carl and Enid roller-skated their way to her destination, it's interesting that their relationship is based on silent nuances. They've both experienced and witnessed hardships, in the apocalypse, dating pretty much skips over the getting to know each other phrase and moves straight into "You're here, I'm here, let's enjoy our time together while it lasts". They only subtly justified and tried to understand what happened to Glenn and Abe, and their differences on what to do next. Enid was explicit in her concern with Maggie and didn't feel the need for vengeance, almost like she was already carrying a piece of Glenn's humanity with her. Meanwhile Carl admitted to his need to take Negan out; and that he didn't necessarily watch Abe and Glenn's death for them, but for him - so when he could kill Negan, it wouldn't be a choice. Their departure was surprisingly more mature than we've probably seen them before.

Back to the Hilltop Colony, nobody could blame Gregory for fearfully reacting to Alexandria's failed promise to exterminate the Saviors. To him, it could be a matter of time before Negan figures out the two groups were in cahoots and they both could pay the price. However, Gregory has to be one of the worst poker players ever.

As Maggie and Sasha made plans to stay for at least the night, they proved more than their worth when the colony was attacked in the middle of the night. The group's gates were left wide open as blaring classical music played within the camp. Walkers stumbled into the camp attracted to the noise and blazing fires. Sasha with Jesus managed to take out some of the zombies, while Maggie climbed aboard a tractor to take out some more and decimate the blaring car. Their debate with Gregory to stay, having earned their way for at least a while longer, was interrupted when Saviors showed up on their doorstep.

Gregory is like a substitute teacher who's supposed to have all the answers but doesn't - so he just kinda makes things up as he goes along and keeps evading trouble with the principal (Negan). Not to mention that he forgets people's names, constantly seems to be in a rush though nothing is urgent requires his attention....and he's just an overall asshat.

When Negan isn't around, his dominion over every little thing (blah blah blah) is much more powerful. Teethy, uni-brow creeper Simon as the head of this unexpected stroll uneasily played around the bush of why they were making their acquaintance. Reading between the lines, he managed to disseminate that Rick's group wiped out "their brothers and sisters" and the Hilltop Colony should be grateful that Negan didn't wipe out the competing group of providers, and that they taught them a lesson with the walkers the night before. He was also obsessed with a painting of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and called it "management by example" - a given since Negan and Charles controlled enormous territories....

Simon only shared a few scenes with Gregory, but there was a general air of uneasiness to him. He didn't know if one second to the next if he really knew that Maggie and Sasha were in the camp all along, and just waiting for Gregory to reveal his cards. He was on the verge of ratting out Sasha and Maggie, only to be outdone by Jesus who hid them in a closet but didn't tell Gregory which one. Smart move, Kung-Fu Jesus.

As Simon's group loaded more supplies, Jesus with Sasha and Maggie met with Gregory in his bedroom, their real hide-out. Gregory isn't that much of a villain, but damn did it feel good for the women to put him in his place. Maggie was over him coming onto her, she knew he took Glenn's pocket-watch from his grave, so she socked Gregory and for him not to know call her "Marsha, honey, or dear. My name is Maggie. Maggie Rhee."

It's a shame that so many fans missed out on this iconic moment. The Walking Dead has dropped nearly 35% in ratings - YIKES - but it was a strangely wonderful culmination of such brief tension with Gregory and just not putting up with his bullshit. If knocking out the Hilltop's boss could feel so good, I can't imagine what it'll be like to finally be rid of Negan.

Maggie's James Bond declaration was amazing, but this moment wouldn't have worked if it wasn't for her straight-up perseverance, Jesus' belief in them, and Sasha's unshakable strength too. And when Enid joined the mix to accidentally mark Abe's grave with Glenn's balloons, to make Maggie grilled cheese sandwiches and soup, was EVERYTHING. This quartet has the makings of bold, fierce leadership: Maggie's diplomacy, Sasha's ready to take action, Jesus' open-mindedness, and Enid learning from the best. When the writers remember female friendships, the series is all the better for it. Maggie and Sasha have always had each other's backs. They're staying with the Hilltop Colony and they're one big ass-kicking (dysfunctional) family.

This episode was sprinkled so many touching and rewarding moments: YES I'M GOING TO LIST THEM BECAUSE THEY GAVE ME LIFE.
  • Sasha wanting her and Maggie to remember their loved ones
  • Sasha willing to pay her and Maggie's way for them to stay and keep her safe
  • Maggie passing down her dad's pocketwatch to Enid; Maggie saying grace at the table
  • "We don't need anything to remember them by. We have us."
  • "For this morning with his light, rest in shelter of the night, for health, and food, for love and friends, for everything my goodness sends. Amen." - Raldo Walph Emerson
  • The gentle nod to Glenn's inability to lie
  • Sasha echoing Deanna with Jesus: What do you want?
  • Sasha smoking that stogie and sharpening her knife
  • Sasha almost knifing Jesus while killing walkers, just like she almost killed Michonne the same way in season five
  • Jesus giving solace to Sasha about Abe's sense of humor
  • But also giving Sasha the necklace Rosita made him
  • But Sasha was not wearing Rosita's necklace she was sitting with Abe's stogie and sharpening her knife....
  • "Everything is wrong." - "Not everything."
  • Jesus meeting up with Carl in the van on the way to Negan's
Go Getters developed a little bit of everything: teen angst merging into vengeance, room for mourning and strength, and continued to re-inforce Negan's creepy minions with mind games and intimidation tactics.  Maggie and Sasha's whereabouts evened the brutality out of the premiere almost perfectly - if not the best than some of the previous episodes have managed so far. When Jesus stated that he couldn't imagine anyone until now to take Gregory's place, we all believe it. And perhaps more than just the Hilltop Colony, we have something to go on for the future.


Additional Thoughts
Did Daryl and Rick secretly become experts at Morse Code to communicate in Service? Pretty cool theory.

+ Season seven's episodes should've played out; The Day Will Come When You Won't Be, Go Getters, Service, Easy Street (and The Kingdom - though I've forgotten about the Kingdom and previous Carol already.....)

+ As the Saviors live higher and higher on Negan's hog, and supplies run out more quickly, how will Negan's people survive without access to adequate providers? His supply and demand balance is going to fall out of swing really soon. It's only so long before some wells run dry.

Sasha's getting ready for war but will her PTSD return? P.S. I LOVE YOU SONEQUA.

+ Where did the zombie heard outside of Alexandria trail to - if the Hilltop Colony, Saviors compound and the Kingdom aren't that far from our gates? Why haven't they've seen an influx with walkers?

+ Nice job playing Crazy Taxi with the walkers, Carl. You destroyed one of the community's last working cars for your girlfriend. Not sure if it's silly or heroic.

Are we going to be saying goodbye to Carl soon? Most of the original cast signed up for seven seasons. So some of our favorite characters might be reaching their expiration date. Andrew and Norman are safe for now since they renewed but Chandler Riggs might not return and instead go to college. We'll find out as the season progresses!

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