THE WALKING DEAD 7.05 ‘Go Getters’ Review

THE WALKING DEAD Season 7 Episode 5

Episode Title: “Go Getters”

Writer: Channing Powell

Director: Darnell Martin

Previously on The Walking Dead:

Episode 7.04: “Service

There are spoilers ahead for last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, but don’t pretend that you didn’t know that!

Finally, an episode of The Walking Dead that didn’t forget the rest of the cast! I really do like this series and the comic book that inspired it, but these long stretches of episodes without the primary players are just tiresome. This week, we finally saw Maggie and Sasha again for the first time since the season premiere, and the episode spent most of its run time in the Hilltop with them. The show also briefly checked in with Rick and the Alexandria survivors, but probably because that was the only way to get Carl to his singing lesson on time. That reference will probably make more sense in a week or two.

Because Maggie and Sasha have been off the stage for so many weeks, it made revisiting Glenn and Abraham’s deaths a little less powerful. The audience has had a month to deal with it, but it’s still a fresh loss for Sasha and Maggie. That created a disconnect that couldn’t be overcome, even when Maggie asserted herself as Maggie Rhee. Besides the hardcore fans, who else remembered that was Glenn’s last name? If it had actually been used on the show more often, it probably would have been a more impactfull moment.

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Not to harp too much on the pacing of the season, but the various threads of Rick’s group in Alexandria, Darryl’s captivity, Morgan and Carol at the Kingdom, and the new storyline at the Hilltop could have built organically throughout the first five episodes through intercutting. Game of Thrones has its detractors as well, but at least that show can service more than one story at a time. Because The Walking Dead shies away from that approach, some of its episodes tend to drag on and appear to be filler.

Related: Exclusive ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Season 2 Deleted Scene

The benefit of jumping over to Rick this week is that we saw that there’s still a very palpable resentment over his decision to give in to Negan. Michonne has basically forgiven Rick, and they shared a nice moment together. She even admitted that she isn’t sure whether Rick made the right call. As for Carl, he made the decision to go kill Negan, and to hang out with his sorta-girlfriend, Enid. We’ve seen this coming for a while, but Enid is basically the replacement for Sophia, both as Carl’s love interest and as Maggie’s surrogate daughter from the comic. Considering that this episode reaffirmed both of those relationships, it seems like Enid’s not going away any time soon.

That said, teenage love stories are not this show’s strength. And the whole rollerskating scene between Enid and Carl was Spider-Man 3 levels of ridiculousness. Carl just happened to find a backpack with rollerskates for two? Really? It also seemed odd that Enid decided not to tell Maggie or Sasha that Carl was probably off getting himself killed by hiding in the Saviors’ truck. If she really cared about Carl, that probably would have been a good time to say something about it.

The episode’s signature action sequence was a pretty pointless segment in which Maggie, Sasha, and Jesus had to shut down an armored car’s radio as zombies lumbered into the Hilltop. Exactly how the gates were opened was glossed over, but that question was more interesting than the zombie kills. Do the Saviors have a man inside the Hilltop, or are they able to open the gates at will?

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What made the episode work was the conflict between the Hilltop’s leader, Gregory, and the trio of Sasha, Maggie, and Jesus over whether the women would be allowed to stay. Xander Berkeley has been great as Gregory because it’s never quite clear just how much of a weasel he really is. At one point, Gregory appeared to be on the verge of trading sexual favors with Sasha, only to act sincerely offended when Maggie called him out on it. And if Gregory was going to betray the location of Sasha and Maggie to the Saviors, then couldn’t he have told them instead of giving up his case of scotch? The episode didn’t show us anyone at the Hilltop who supports Gregory, which could have been useful to know. If Jesus is serious about eventually grooming Maggie for leadership of the colony, then it is important to know whether the people are with or against Gregory.

 

Another high point was Steven Ogg’s Simon, or Negan #2 for the purposes of this episode. The scenes between Simon and Gregory ran a little bit too long, but Ogg was so amusing to watch that he kept them entertaining. He’s one of the better villains that the Saviors have produced, and already more fun to watch than Dwight.

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One justification for this episode is that it seems to have placed Maggie, Sasha, and Enid permanently at the Hilltop; which suddenly makes it a much more important location on the show. The second episode essentially did the same thing by keeping Carol and Morgan in the vacinity of the Kingdom. This is one of the few times that separating the cast has made sense. The ending also had a slight departure from the comics, as Jesus and Carl ended up on the same truck while stowing away to the Saviors’ hideout. That’s not exactly a cliffhanger, but it was amusing.

This was ultimately an uneven episode of the season, but some of the steps forward are encouraging. It was a mistake to keep Maggie and Sasha off the stage for so long, but it looks like the Hilltop could offer some interesting storylines for both of them.

What did you think of the newest episode of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credits: AMC