The world’s favorite zombie soap opera makes us laugh, cry, sad, angry, happy — you get the picture. We last left our friends from Alexandria formulating a plan to take down Negan. Who is Negan? If you are a The Walking Dead comic fan, you know what’s right around the corner. If not, well let’s just say the range of emotions spoken of above will be geared more toward the darker side of the range of human emotion. Let’s jump right in and see if Negan rears his ugly head.
This episode of The Walking Dead opens up with my new favorite character Carol played brilliantly by Melissa McBride gathering ingredients and baking cookies for the town’s folk. Carol has been a character that certainly evolved over the last six seasons going from a battered wife to a bad ass with home-maker skills. The part of this opening sequence I liked best is when she is standing there with one cookie left talking to Morgan (Lennie James) as he stands behind her without turning to face him. Her face goes through a range of emotions as she remains pensive and eventually settles on sadness. Right before the opening credits role the camera pans around to show us what Carol was looking at — it is the grave of Sam Anderson where Carol has left the lone remaining cookie. I liked what was developing between Sam and Carol as he looked up to her as perhaps the parent he wished he had. I really wish the producers and writers would have allowed that story line to develop more.
The next big scene is when Rick (Andrew Lincoln) gathers the town to address the Negan issue. Rick fills them in on the deal Maggie (Lauren Cohan, fresh off her starring role in the Bad Ronald wannabe movie The Boy) negotiated with the Hilltop leader, Gregory (Xander Berkeley). Despite the protests of Morgan, the town decides that this is literally a do or die scenario. The plan is formulated to get back the Hilltop hostage thereby exposing Negan and his gang, known as The Saviors, hideout allowing for a sneak ambush.
The thing The Saviors want in trade for the hostage is the head of Gregory. Rick formulates a plan which involves chopping off some zombie heads and doing a little effects work on them. I must say the job was done well. Rick even punches the chosen disembodied head in the face to break its nose for the added touch of a scrum.
This is where the show picks up in a big way. As Carol and Maggie remain on watch, Rick and the crew slip into the hideout which is a rather large building with a huge satellite. As the gang moves through silently killing the sleeping gang members Glen (Steven Yeun) and Heath played by Corey Hawkins (I will lovingly refer to him as Dr. Dre for the fantastic job he did in one of 2015’s best films Straight Outta Compton) team up. The interesting part of this scene was the dichotomy they were facing. Both had killed walkers but neither had ever killed a human. The emotion on Glenn’s face as he struggles to perform his duty is well played. Dre is having a similar issue and Glenn decides to not make him go through with it. Glenn makes the second kill. Something that may be of interest is the number of pictures above the second victim’s bed depicting cadavers with their faces blown off.
As the team continues to move stealthily through the building Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) happen upon a Savior leaving the rest room who slashes at Abe and sounds the alarm. The ensuing action sequence involved a lot of chopping, stabbing and shooting with our heroes coming out on top. Daryl (Norman Reedus) even questions as to which one Negan could have been. Oh, Daryl, you are in for a surprise! Just as they are leaving the building and getting a whole new fleet of vehicles, a door opens up and a Savior on Daryl’s motorcycle comes out of it. Daryl proceeds to take him off of it and question where he got the bike from. As you may remember, Daryl was shown “the banana in the tailpipe” trick in an earlier episode when his bike was taken by a couple who he had spared. Just then the Savior’s radio goes off with a woman’s voice telling everyone to drop their guns and that they have Maggie and Carol. Fade to black.
Other things that may be of some consequence we see are: Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Denise (Merritt Wever) are a thing, Abe and Rosita (Christian Serratos) are no longer a thing, kudo to Abe on the break up skills with his line “When we met I thought you were the only woman on earth; you’re not”. It still does not beat my best friend Tim’s all time break up line: “I’m going to break up with you now, ok?” pats on shoulder and walks away. I witnessed it and it was fantastic! Oh and Gabriel (Seth Gillam) makes his first kill as well.
Yoga pants are on and the Zumba class is on! I really enjoyed the action and suspense in this episode of The Walking Dead which is directed by Greg Nicotero and written by Seth Hoffman (of course it was because the episode was awesome; the same guys that gave us “No Way Out” on Valentine’s Day). This is the show I want; so, Greg and Seth, I’m addressing you directly — why don’t y’all just plan on doing the rest of the episodes, sound like a deal?
The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 12 Not Tomorrow Yet (4.5 / 5) on the Thug Meter