The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 8: “Hearts Still Beating”

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 8: “Hearts Still Beating”
Grade: A

The mid-season finale of the Walking Dead brought all the characters back together and stitched the stories that had been broken up for most of the season, bringing them all to Hilltop to plan fight with the Saviors—a decision brought on after a chaotic happening in Alexandria where Spencer attempted to smooth talk himself as leader to Negan, who promptly killed him, and after Rosita responded by attempting to shoot the leader of the Saviors, which didn’t work and resulted in the punishment of Olivia being killed, too.

Overall, the episode worked great. It brought all the fragments of the season thus far together and re-excited me about the show. The end pumped me up for what’s to come now that Rick and Co. have a definite plan to retaliate and fight the Saviors.


HIGHLIGHTS

Intensity
of the episode (the slow, building tension of Spencer and Negan’s conversation and Spencer’s death; the spinning out of control that followed with Rosita and Olivia) was fantastic. Even following Rick and Aaron on a run having to deal with that lake from hell, everything about the episode just worked. This type of episode is what makes the show great.

Everyone was included
and it felt like a normal episode of the Walking Dead. The individual stories told within this first half of the season were good, but not great—I mean, we still have only had one episode and a few scenes with Carol, Morgan, and the Kingdom—but it looks like we’re heading into a better place during this Negan and the Saviors era of the show. By the end of the episode, everyone came together with a plan to fight the Saviors and go to war, Daryl returning and everyone meeting up at Hilltop. It gave the episode a positive, hopeful ending and amped us up for what’s to come.

LOWLIGHTS

Deaths happen
strangely on the show with Negan. In all honesty, I don’t think that Negan would’ve let Rosita live for trying to shoot him. The way Negan chooses when people die, as punishment for actions and maybe not even there own actions. Rosita shot at Negan. And she wasn’t killed for it. I get what they’re doing, I get that Negan will have other people be killed for your actions. But it also too obviously works in favor for the writers to avoid killing characters they don’t want killed, letting them get away with things they shouldn’t, and it’s starting to irritate, especially for a show that kills main characters off left and right on the regular. I hate when it’s obvious that they’re avoiding a certain character death and I feel like this new thing with Negan killing someone other than the person who does wrong is just a way get away with it.

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