Originally published on Flickering Myth on 21/11/16.
Everybody say it with me now: at last, some action! The Walking Dead’s latest season finally, finally, finally took things into an exciting direction with this week’s episode, ditching character introductions and long, vague, massively drawn-out torture scenes for some genuinely clever dialogue, a teeny tiny spot of more world-building and, believe it or not, a drop of humour. Shock horror.
There were still a few ropey moments; Carl’s hissy fits never get any more bearable, and the return of Hershel’s pocket-watch felt a little too heavy-handed as the emotional bookends, but on the whole, there were an awful lot more “fuck yeah” moments in ‘Go Getters’ than expected. Well, a darn sight more than you’d expect from an otherwise meandering season like seven.
1.Carl to the Rescue
Week after week Carl seems to get more and more mopey and Chandler Riggs’s acting, more and more atrocious, but he at least got one decent moment out of this week’s episode, trading in that emo hard-eyed glare for a heavy-hitting zombie kill when Enid finds herself in a spot of bother. True, he totally wrecks a perfectly good car in the process, but we’ll let him off in favour of that impressive finale.
Okay, the very fact that Enid wanders off from Alexandria, weaponless and on her own is stupid. And the very fact that things get tense when one (yep, one) zombie show up is also pretty damn stupid, but let’s just let Carl have his cute little hero moment for a change. The teen-romance vibe isn’t the show’s best new direction, but it’s different and it gives the one-eyed wonder something to do other than whinge for a change. Hell, why did I even bother with this moment when the next is so much better…
2. Trial By Fire
Maggie’s alive! And more importantly, so is her unborn baby, which comes as a bit of a surprise considering her death’s-door appearance over the last few episodes. Thankfully though, she doesn’t spend the whole of ‘Go Getters’ recovering from numerous ailments, or even mourning her dead husband, kicking things into gear rather nicely when the Saviours decide to screw around with the Hilltop colony, setting a few fires and letting a bunch of Walkers in beyond their walls.
Maggie’s the first to take charge, whilst Sasha and Jesus (oh sweet Jesus) deal out some pretty hefty zombie take-downs, all set to a pretty handsome musical arrangement. With the fire in the background and a neat little glance into Maggie’s future leadership possibilities, it’s easily the episode’s coolest moment, even if it does come a little bit out of nowhere. There’s even a Street Fighter-style flying kick! What more could you want? I know it sounds like I made that last bit up but I honestly didn’t.
3. “Could I just get a kneel out of you?”
Grand Theft Auto fans will no doubt be impressed with this week’s offering, thanks to a certain Mr Steven Ogg (the game’s psychotic lead Trevor Philips) finally getting his time to shine as Saviour underboss Simon. In a sequence that slowed the mood somewhat amongst all the zombie slaying madness, Simon sits down with Hilltop leader Gregory (y’know, the semi-drunk, entirely useless one) to discuss terms, and throw around a few ample insults, injecting a spot of much-needed humour at long last.
With the foreboding terror of Negan somewhat out of the picture for now, it’s nice to see both Ogg and the writers have some fun with the Saviours, particularly at Gregory’s expense. And when an ever-so-slightly power hungry Simon, pretty politely asks for a quick kneel out of his trade partner; the look on Gregory’s face sells the episode alone. More of this would be nice, please.
4. Maggie’s Punch
If ‘Go Getters’ reminded us of anything it’s that Maggie is a total badass when she wants to be. And of course, that Gregory is quite the opposite. So when the time comes for the former to finally lose it with the latter over his blatant disregard for even his own community of fighters and well-wishers (you could at least remember a name or two, jeez Gregory), it comes with a pretty hefty standing-ovation.
Tired of his shit and indifferent towards his authority, Maggie thumps Gregory and puts him in his place once and for all, pretty much cementing her residence at the Hilltop for the foreseeable future in the process. There’s even a spot of cuteness thrown in for the observant types too, when she announces herself as “Maggie Rhee”, using Glenn’s surname. N’aww, we miss him too, Mags.
5. KILL OF THE WEEK: Maggie and the Tractor
Speaking of Maggie’s badass moments, the punching of a high-ranking official wasn’t the only hard-knuckled stand she took this week. After barking a few orders during the earlier zombie attack on Hilltop (see #2), she quickly jumps in a tractor and puts all those years working on her father’s farm to good use, mowing down a whole bunch of walkers without so much as a second thought.
Again, maybe a human death would’ve ranked better, but as far as zombie kills go, crushing them under a gigantic piece of farming machinery definitely wins this week.
With not long left ’til the Christmas break, season 7 has ample time to keep up this pace, especially with Jesus and Carl camped out en-route to the Saviours’ compound. Here’s hoping Rick and co. don’t slow matters down too much as we press into next week and the return of Tara and Heath.