The Walking Dead SN7 EP05-‘Go Getters’

The show picked up momentum as we checked in on several key characters.

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After a couple of really quite depressing episodes, there was a feeling that this one would be the same, if not worse than those that had come before it. After all it was clear from the get go that this episode was going to focus on Maggie and Sasha, the two most affected by the deaths of Abraham and Glenn. Surprisingly this was not the case though. Yes, there were plenty of quiet sad moments which definitely needed to be there, but ultimately Maggie and Sasha seem to be taking all this better than anyone. They’re both channelling their pain into action, the same of which goes for Enid and Carl. It’s refreshing after all these episodes of Rick and Co submitting to Negan. What made ‘Go Getters’ stand out is that the characters were taking action. With plans forming in all three of the major settlements, whether it be Rosita at Alexandria, Ezekiel at the Kingdom, or Sasha and Jesus at Hilltop, it can only be a matter of time before the factions unite. Then things will get really interesting.

Before that though, we’ve got the relatively slow burn build up to all that. I welcome the slower pacing, as it’s giving us a chance to spend a proper amount of time with all the different characters we need to. This week was big on character development for multiple key players. We got to learn a lot more about Gregory and Jesus, whilst the story between Carl and Enid had a lot of solid, really rather sweet character moments in it. I’ll turn my focus to those at the Hilltop first though, as more time with them was sorely needed. I don’t see many characters from there past Gregory and Jesus getting much focus, which is fine given the already huge cast, and the facts that they are both really interesting characters.

What we saw from Jesus this episode was really interesting. When first introduced he was this ninja badass we weren’t sure we could trust, and over the course of the three episodes he appeared in last season, all that really changed was that he became someone we could trust. He existed more as a tool to introduce the Hilltop and this larger world, so now that all that has been established, he has time to be an actual character. This resulted in a fairly flawed man. He has the Hilltop’s best interests at heart, but he was unwilling to go that little bit further towards making the place better. He didn’t want to be leader, which is fair, but throughout the course of the episode he realises, with the help of Maggie and Sasha, that there is always more he can do. The Jesus we see leaping into the Saviours truck at the end of the episode is much different to the one we see at the beginning, and that’s the kind of character development the show could use more of. It doesn’t have to be as condensed as what we saw with Jesus here, but certain characters could get to their destination a bit quicker, as it would make things that bit more interesting.

It’s unlikely Gregory however will evolve past being anything but a disrespectful slimeball. The character is clearly presented as someone we shouldn’t like, and I’d wager most of us don’t, but there’s a sense of theatrics to everything Gregory does that has you second guessing him. Forgetting Maggie’s name, sly comments to Sasha, it should paint him as a one-note dickish character, but instead it all feels as though he’s playing a game. He acts in certain ways so as to benefit him and only him. I think it’s more the way Xander Berkely expertly plays the character than the writing. He makes Gregory that tiny bit sympathetic in a way I don’t think is present in the actual writing, and that makes the character a whole lot more interesting to watch.

Maggie and Sasha were handled in a way both true to their characters and to where they are in the story right now. There were just enough sad, grieving moments to be realistic, but the brunt of their story focused on how strong the two of them are moving on from the tragedies of the Season premiere. An intense action sequence was where we really saw how this grief is going to just make them stronger. Whereas back at the end of Season 5, Sasha running alone into a swarm of Walkers was her wanting everything to end, now it’s because she knows what she’s fighting for. She can’t avenge Abraham’s death if she herself is dead, but even broken the group is still strong. The same goes for Maggie. Not content to sit on the sidelines, but not stupid enough to put herself and the baby at risk, she grabs a tractor and runs over a car, proving her worth at being a leader in the process.

Of course in an episode with as many running storylines as this there was plenty to take in, so other notable highlights include:

  • This episode did a lot of setting up future storylines, but thankfully in a way that didn’t really distract from the focus of the episode. Carl and Jesus ending up in a truck bound for Negan was an interesting mix of two prominent comic storylines, and it will be interesting to see how the pairing turns out. Furthermore, Maggie becoming leader of the Hilltop was hinted at with the subtlety of a baseball bat smashing someone on the head, and it’s become very clear now that Enid is taking over Sophia’s role from the comics as Maggie’s adopted daughter. Exciting times are ahead.

  • Carl and Enid’s journey to the Hilltop was full of some really sweet moments. Them speeding down the open road on rollerblades was a good reminder that they are still kids, and showed characters smiling for the first time in too long. The kiss was a long time coming, and it’s definitely a relationship I would enjoy seeing play out. On top of all that their conversations about Glenn and Abraham’s death were pretty accurate of what teenagers would actually do. Asking if Carl watched may sound weird, but it’s very much in character for a couple of kids messed up by this world.

  • Enid putting the green balloons on Glenn’s grave was heartbreaking. This made even sadder by the fact she’d actually put them on Abraham’s grave and Sasha really liked it. It was all so emotional.

  • Speaking of emotional, I was ecstatic enough to see Maggie punch Gregory in the face, then she had to go and remind him of her name: Maggie Rhee. It is totally acceptable if you were a blubbering wreck by that point.

  • Steven Ogg returned this episode as a Saviour truly worthy of being Negan’s right hand man. Like Negan he manages to be menacing and fun to watch all at the same time. His back and forth with Gregory was really fun, and the two work together well. He’s a character I’d be happy to see more of, that is unless he kills anyone in the group. Then I’d happily see him taken out.

So another episode and things are starting to gain momentum now. After three episodes of pure trauma and grief, plus the crazy fun anomaly that was The Kingdom, The Walking Dead is beginning to turn a corner now. Plans are being put into action, and whilst it may be a while off yet, the battle between the Saviours and just about everyone else is marching ever closer. This episode wisely sidestepped focusing on Maggie and Sasha grieving, to present us with them both at perhaps their strongest, ready to tear the world a new asshole. Increased focus on characters we didn’t really know a whole lot about was another plus, and the stuff with Carl and Enid provided a sweet distraction from the general despair on the show at the moment. Next week looks to finally bring back Tara and Heath into the equation, though given Corey Hawkin’s new show I’m not too hopeful for Heath. Hopefully though the episode provides us with a tone less akin to that of a wake, though it will likely end up being just as tragic because they don’t know what’s happened to Denise, Abraham and Glenn. We’re really in for a rough ride this season.

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