After last week’s Eugene-fest it’s safe to say I was happy to see this episode start off with Rick and Michonne out on a scavenging trip. Apparently the threat of imminent war turns people on as the first segment consists of the two checking out a few places for supplies before getting down to the nitty gritty, again and again. The coupling always struck me as weird but that’s from the comics being stuck in my head. Within the context of the show this makes much more sense, not only has she been his right hand man but the way she is with Carl since the prison escape makes them a perfect match in this world. Richonne, as I will never again refer to them, come across some saviors hitting golf balls in the middle of the woods. Nothing’s shown but the scene cuts next to them driving the saviors truck and talking about what they scored. It’s good to see they aren’t hesitating to take out some of Negan’s stragglers when they come across them…they are ready to throw down!
Back from the title cards to a gross out shot of Rosita tending to her own stitches. Her angry at the world woe is me schtick is really starting to bum me out, if not straight up annoy me. She and Tara share some meaningless back and forth before Rosita bounces saying she’s off to find guns. Good luck…she’s going to get herself or someone else killed. There’s a theory going around about who will be involved in a certain prisoner exchange that happens in the comics during the war. Sasha made sense but more and more I’m seeing Rosita as fitting that bill. Jumping back to Rick and Michonne the seem to have struck the gold mine happening across a gated compound with a military walker, complete with M4 walking around. Even when just walking around the outside you can hear a massive amount of walkers growling around, Michonne makes the remark that “something serious happened here”, my bet is something serious is about to happen again. Changing over to Rosita’s little quest we catch up with her entering a double-wide, there’s really no reason to even mention this scene except for the fact that the walker which attacks her has to be one of the nastiest pieces of work we’ve seen in a few seasons. If it wasn’t for look alone it’s definitely cemented after Rosita slices it’s throat and a puss just oozes all over. Anyway back to the main story. Rick and Michonne (I’m gonna have to use that shipped name…it’s getting cumbersome writing that out every time) are on top of a building in the compound, which appears to be some kind of safe zone/carnival. A quick look down gives them a big ole’ Yahtzee as the place is stock full of soldiers, well walkers that used to be soldiers, walking around still carrying their weapons. The two share an excited look before the roof they’re standing on gives out. It’s an odd, but good, comical shot. Like the coyote chasing the road runner. The camera doesn’t move and the two just drop out of site followed by nothing for a good ten seconds before the distant sound of Michonne’s giggling can be heard. The duo are happy, I mean really happy, the kind of happy that can get annoying quick. We aren’t there yet but we’ll know by episodes end.
Turns out the giggling was warranted. Not only have they found tons of random soldiers complete with weapons, but the inside is stockpiled with non-perishables, military MRE’s, tuna, canned fruit, you name it. While the two of them enjoy a nice meal by candlelight I couldn’t help but to think that they’re being awful careless about the whole thing…I mean there’s a mini-horde of walkers outside and they’re having a date night. Maybe their just desensitized but it does add a think air of tension to the whole thing that sits in stark contrast to what’s happening onscreen.
Remember that Tara-centric episode where she visited Oceanside…seems like it was seasons ago but we knew it was going to come up sooner or later in this war drive. It’s going to be tonight it seems, when we come back from break Tara is spitting out her moral dilemma about reavealing Oceanside’s existence to Judith. Yeah, remember her? Rick’s other kid, the little girl that we rarely see? I almost didn’t know who it was a first since she is now a full blown toddler. It’s a quick scene before cutting right back to the fair grounds where Rick and Michonne are mounting their assault. There isn’t an overwhelming number but for two people, even these two people, it seems like a lot. That fact leaves to a pretty funny discussion about Rick creating a diversion while Michonne talks out the walkers, seeing her unleash that Katana is everything. I gotta be honest, this episode is pretty damn funny…I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not but it’s got some damn funny moments. For instance Rick’s job is to push a car and block some of the walkers but as he gets to car he finds a still moving walker embedded in the windshield which he tries to pull out…each time grabbing a different body part that just rips off in his hands. It’s a different episode for sure but so far a good if not great one, sometimes you need that tonal shift. They finally get the car moving only to come under fire by one of the soldier walkers that’s gotten his gun caught on a stick causing it to fire, unlikely yes but it works. The fact that these two are so relaxed in the situation that follows, Rick surrounded by walkers while locked in a car and Michonne hiding in the back seat just how far these two have come and how at home they are in the apocalypse.
Back again from commercial and the two simply jump out of the sunroof into the other side of the gate surrounding a ride. They’re chased out into the main fairway of the carnival being pursued by maybe 100 walkers when they decide to split up and take half each. The whole thing has this ultra-weird feel where they are both just completely carefree. You KNOW something’s going to happen sooner or later. It happens sooner, Rick gets to some high ground on top of a mini-rollercoaster to try and kill a deer he spots when the steel gives way and he falls. It looks like he’s cornered as Michonne runs up to see a group of 10 zombies kneeling and feasting on what appears to be Rick. This whole thing may have been a much more effective fake out if it hadn’t been Rick, and hadn’t been done last season with Glenn. In any event it does serve to show just how much Rick means to Michonne. When she thinks he’s down she freezes, drops her sword and just stares, apparently ready to give herself to death. As expected Rick pops up from inside a ride car and tosses her sword to her in a slow-mo shot that looks like it was taken from Thor when he catches Mjolnir or something. When all is said and done the bounty is collected and counted. Enough food and weaponry to start a war, for sure. There was a cost though.
On the ride back it’s clear something has changed…Michonne clearly has realized her feelings for Rick have become her greatest weakness. The pair pull the truck over for one of Rick’s “keep on keeping on” speeches. That’s kind of reductive. It’s actually a pretty great speech about the cost of what they’re doing and how even if they lose people, even if they loose each other it will be worth it to build a better life for the next generation. The groups all back together again as they deliver what they’ve found to the Junkyard gang who are still acting like douches. 63 guns is what they brought, and the bowl-cutted leader gives an expected “Not Enough..me want more” reply. The make a deal and move on. We end out on the setup for what I hope to be the very next episode, Tara drops the Oceanside knowledge on Rick and Rosita shows up at hilltop to enlist Sasha’s help in taking down Negan. That’s TOO much anger in one place, but apparently they may have a chance (well, we know they don’t have a chance but I can see why they would think that) when Rosita accepts Sasha’s condition that Sasha gets to take the kill shot and Rosita pulls out a HIGH powered scoped rifle. Like mile long shot high powered.
Next week looks like it will be the table turning scene for The Kingdom as the scenes they show all point to Ezekiel being pushed over the limit ending in a Mexican standoff with the savior reps they meet in the parking lot every week.