Hey guys, back again with another episode review. This is for episode four, The Obliged.
At the camp, Eugene apolagises to Rick for not being able to do enough, against Rick's encouragement. Anne tries to sacrifice Gabriel, but his forgiveness spares her, and she runs away. Michonne tries to lead, but often goes out to kill walkers instead. She speaks to Negan to get him to eat, and he gets inside her head by claiming the two are the same. Maggie heads to Alexandria, and Rick and Daryl follow, only for Daryl to lead Rick away. A scuffle between the two ends up with the two down a hole, forced to sort their problems out together, not apart. Carol tries to leave the camp, but when the Saviours work out Oceanside have been killing their people, and a firefight ensues. The gunshots draw walkers from all over, and Rick tries to lead them away on a horse, before it bolts and leaves him impaled on rebar, with the dead quickly approaching. End.
Nice one ! Walking Dead is still on good form, and while not reaching the heights of Ep2, still a solid episode, probbaly second best of the season. I still have a few gripes, but the general episode was great. The centerpiece was Rick and Daryl for me. I honestly Forgot what Norman Reedus sounded like without shouting and grunting, and its all the better he had to stand and talk his way out of a problem this time. I felt rewarded as a fan for what the two talked about, with their debate about sparing or killing Negan having no clear answer, but both bring up valid points, namedropping Dwight, Denise, Glenn, Carl and Lori. It felt like the past mattered again, and that was great. I liked the little moment with Eugene. Shows he's working hard on making up for what he did, but honestly he still talks like an idiot, and that's something I still can't forgive. The Anne/Gabriel story has fallen back into 'way too vague' catorgory, but with the helicopter mystery still unfolding, I'm still eager what happens next, so the show doesn't loose a full point. I don't know why she wanted to/had to kill Gabriel, and hopefully all will be revealed soon as it will shed light on previous story events in Season 8 too. As I wished, Michonne got more to do, and I really like the begining, but her talk with Negan lasted a little too long and was a little too forced to mean anything. I don't see any similarities between the two of them, and because Carl is dead and Rick will be soon, this seems like a weird way to get Michonne to be his new contact. Feel like a chunk of this scene could have given someone else a time to check in with the viewer, like Siddiq, Aaron, Tara or Rosita instead. Was a little disapointed to see Maggie's ride to Negan take the whole episode, when it seemed like she'd be there this episode. I realise she'll be there for the 'Rick Finale' but weird pacing nonetheless. Sounds like Mixed feelings, but the action, cinematography, character development on all fronts but one were great.
The only thing I have not discussed is Rick's final shot. While I think it's kinda dumb thing to happen, I honestly don't mind it. It feels very much like Logan's death in, well, Logan. I'm hoping this isn't the reason he dies, and there's something else to add on as well, because it feels a little underwelming on it's own. I'm not asking for anything super heroic or creative, especially because I think they will leave some room for open ended-ness in his exit. I do expect him to get battered, bruised, and maybe shot in the episode, so there's no 'definitive reason' he was killed. I hope he won't become known as the guy that fell of a horse and died. I think the 'multiple injuries and walks off with the herd' is the most likely at this point.
- Rick is still MVP and on top form. Like said above, I hope the horse Isn't the main cause of death. seeing the trailer for next week looks intense and amazing. Don't really have anything else to say.
- Michonne finally got material, and while most was great. The talk about Andre, her nods to being a lawer, he desire to kill with the katana all worked, I just think her Negan dialogue wasn't the best and could have been cut a little. Felt forced.
- Daryl finally gets some emotional dialogue, and he nailed it this week. I love the moral arguement the two have, as neither are wrong or right. This is setting up a great arc for him this season, and Rick calling him brother was a great nod.
- Carol gets less to do than normal, and fall behind a little tbh
- Maggie is mostly treading water this episode, so I'm looking forward to see what we get with her Negan interaction.
- Eugene gets a cool moment with Rick I really liked and puts him on a great comic path, but he still speaks like an idiot so minus one points.
- Jesus looks like he'll be taking over the Hilltop from Maggie, and I'm super happy to dream that he'll finally get more to do.
- Gabriel was ok, but his religious talk reminded me of his old, cowardly ways. I wish he was a little more composed when forgiving Anne.
- Anne is still a great mystery, and a lot of her characterisation depends on what this new community is, and why it requires her to kill people.
- Negan gave a cool Insane person talk, and we learnt more about his past. Flashback soon?
- First of all, how will Rick die. Will he die? I have to know!
- Is Anne gone for a while, or will Gabriel find her? I want a big clue on the helicopter mystery at some point soon
- What is the backlash for the Oceanside? Will we see an Oceanside death before this arc is over, and what will be the ramifications for the group?
- What of Negan? I'm guessing he may be temporelaly freed, and maybe interact with Rick one last time, but I'm not too sure how that would work out given the current geography.
The theme this week was how hard it is to create, and how easy it is to destroy. Many characters struggle with temptation to do the bad thing instead of the longer, more peaceful route. Daryl and Maggie are willing to take revenge without thinking of the bigger picture, Michonne finds it easier to fall back to killing than to build a better future. Eugene apolagises for not being better with his talents, guilty for all the bad he's done. Rick is the only one trying harder to create rather than destroy, though his aim to apease Carl often makes him closed off to suggestion. Oceanside, the saviours and Carol also fall under this theme. Anne runs instead of trying to stick together. Nice one.
Winners and Losers
MVP this episode - Rick
Most improved this episode - Daryl
Please give more to do next episode - Maggie
Worst Player this episode - Eugene