‘The Walking Dead’ season 7, episode 8 review: Is Rick ready to fight back against Negan?

Last time on “The Walking Dead” we saw Negan bring Carl to Alexandria to have a talk with Rick, but with Rick being out on a supply run he has no choice but to wait on him. Our biggest question is: What is Negan’s plan for Carl? He snuck into Negan’s compound and killed two of his men, so what’s the punishment for this? Negan already killed Glenn and Abraham, threatened to cut off Carl’s arm and dumped Rick into a swarm of walkers and they hadn’t even done anything to Negan yet. Tonight is the last episode for the fall and with this being such a violent season already, we can only imagine what’s going to transpire over the next hour.

We will start this review off with a few tidbits: Carol and Morgan are still living under King Ezekiel, but a man in the kingdom has come to them to ask them to convince Ezekiel to attack the Saviors to destroy them before they destroy the kingdom, but they aren’t interested. Michonne is forcing her hostage to take her back to Negan’s compound not knowing that he’s in Alexandria, but when she gets there she sees just how massive that group is and is discouraged. Maggie is doing better and word of her and Sasha’s heroism at the Hilltop has spread and people want Maggie to run the place. Rosita has one bullet that Eugene made her and she’s looking for a chance to kill Negan. Basically, everyone wants Negan dead and there are a few people ready to do the deed.

One of our biggest questions was whether or not Daryl was going to take the key and make his escape and it looks like he did! He makes it to a room where he changes his clothes (and we get a glimpse of a shirtless Daryl) as he eats an entire jar of peanut butter and makes his way out of the compound with a knife in one hand and a pipe in the other. Along the way he finds doors have been left open for him with a pretty easy escape until he runs into a Savior who he bashes to death with the pipe. he sees Jesus at a row of motorcycles and they make their escape.

Negan has made himself at home in Rick’s house with Carl and Judith as he is showering, shaving, drinking lemonade and making spaghetti sauce like he’s at home on a Friday night with his family. Spencer thinks this is a great opportunity to try and build a relationship with Negan, so he brings him a bottle of booze and introduces himself. It seems like Spencer’s plan is going well at first as they drink and play pool together… and then Spencer tells him that he wants to talk to him about Rick. He tells Negan that everything was fine in Alexandria until Rick showed up and that Rick is someone that can’t be controlled. He proposes to Negan that he can be the leader of the group and would work with Negan to give him what he needs without the resistance. Negan tells Spencer that as much of a lose cannon as Rick is, that he’s swallowing his hate and is out getting supplies for him as they speak… and then there’s Spencer who waited until Rick was gone to try to usurp the leadership. Negan guts Spencer in front of everyone and Rosita takes the opportunity to shoot her one bullet to kill Negan. Did she make the shot? She misses and instead hits his bat. He’s insanely pissed and has one of his cronies kill Olivia in revenge.

Rick and Aaron have found a place that is filled with supplies, so they take them for Negan and drive off, but who does the boot belong to of the mysterious person watching them? When Rick and Aaron return to Alexandria, he learns that Negan is in his house waiting for him. When Rick gets to Negan he sees Rosita on the ground, Olivia and Spencer are dead and everyone is scared. Negan refuses to leave until he knows who made the bullet and Eugene’s guilt gets the better of him and he admits what he’s done. Negan takes Eugene with him now that he knows how valuable he is and leaves the town in shambles once again. When Michonne returns to Alexandria she shares with Rick what she’s learned about the Saviors and how outnumbered they are, but she also gives him the inspiring words he needs to hear – that they need to fight and find a way to beat this situation together. For the first time this season, we see Rick the leader come back and as he agrees to find a way to fight back at Negan.

The first half of this episode felt really disjointed since we were jumping around so much from smaller stories that weren’t really that important compared to the main Negan story. More then that we are really wondering when Rick is going to reach his breaking point and come up with a plan to get out of this. We have to ask this question and wonder if anyone else out there is wondering the same thing: Why doesn’t Rick’s group leave? It’s a huge world out there and Negan only controls a small part of it, so why not leave? At least now we have seen the old Rick back leading the group towards a better future and reunited with Maggie, Sasha and the Hilltop people… and this includes Daryl and Jesus who have made it back! After a very dark first half of season 7, we are finally left with hope. Episode grade: B+

With this being the last episode of “The Walking Dead” until the new year are you happy with how they left things? Leave us your opinion in the box below.

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