The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 11: “The Rattening”

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 11: “The Rattening”
Grade: B

In the eleventh episode of season two of The Magicians, we’re close to the end of the season and things are ramping up toward the finale. Though this episode paled slightly in comparison to the others, mostly from a view of frustration with certain plot points, overall the episode was good, though not spectacular. I’d wanted to like the episode more than I did.

The episode follows Julia and Quentin finding the dragon, an ancient one who can give them passage to the Underworld to find Julia’s shade, though once there, they find Julia’s old friends whom Reynard killed, learn that Our Lady Underground is actually Persephone, and instead of taking Julia’s shade, Julia decides to take Alice’s to help Quentin bring Alice back. Meanwhile, many people in Fillory are turned into rats, Margo finally tells the truth about her deal with the faeries and is imprisoned—then sent to the faerie realm to be trapped, and Eliot is kicked out of Fillory. And Kady and Penny deal with Reynard’s son, the Library, and a new sarcastic teen Librarian who has an important, mystery father whom I’m sure we’ll be hearing about soon.


HIGHLIGHTS

The dragon was fucking cool
and hilarious. The show’s special effects are usually pretty great for a show, especially a Syfy one (which has been getting better and better) and the dragon, though shrouded mostly in shadow, was excellent.

MIDTONES

Remember when Margo and Kady
would just disappear for an episode or two in the first season? They just weren’t in that episode and that was fine. Sometimes, I wish they would do this with Eliot and Margo. Sometimes what’s happening in Fillory just isn’t that interesting. Sometimes the show just isn’t great at juggling so many storylines. The whole “rattening” thing was sort of boring, but what happened within that was good: Margo finally telling the truth because of the magic serum and Eliot throwing her in the dungeon was a great scene—I don’t think we needed all the rest of it to lead to that, but it was good.

The Underworld,
though quirky and funny and very “Magicians” it didn’t quite work for me. We’ve seen the “underworld” or where you go when you die or the mid-place as a lobby or very business-like/retirement home/office setting so many times in fiction, I think it’s tired. And I didn’t care enough for Julia and Kady’s old friends who worshipped Our Lady Underground to see them again, but I liked the moment with Richard—actual Richard, not Reynard using his body Richard—which made for an interesting  on the actor playing the two characters (almost felt like I was watching Orphan Black).

LOWLIGHTS

First Julia and Quentin
took like eight-point-three seconds to find out what an “ancient one” is—something alt-Alice said she didn’t even know—and then we open up the next episode, presumably not long after, with Quentin and Julia finding said “ancient one.” Sometimes the show just rushes through stuff that doesn’t make any sense. Why did these seemingly take no time at all but the other Alice was clueless? It’s just not that believable that Alice, the smartest one, the one who’d been searching ever since everyone died to find everything about shades after becoming obsessed with them, hadn’t gotten that far—but Julia and Quentin did within a short period of time.

Why not both shades?
Why not take Alice and Julia’s shade back with them? They paid the dragon just for transport, not for just one shade, and unless they need something to hold a shade in place (which they didn’t explain in the show at all), then why not take both? Why did there need to be a choice for Julia at all? It just bothered me that now Julia doesn’t get her shade and giving it up to bring Alice back only made enough sense as she was doing it for Quentin—but what about her? Why not take both? They should’ve explained that. But couldn’t there have been some sort of way? If you can trap a niffin in a box, you should be able to do the same with a shade.

The Walking Dead – Season 7

The Walking Dead – Season 7
Grade Average: B

For the most part, the seventh season of The Walking Dead was good. It wasn’t fantastic, or incredible, like I would’ve called the previous season. As a whole story, from episode one to sixteen, the season was erratic, messy, and didn’t work for me. What saved the show this season is the individual episodes being great for what they were. There were some great character moments, some bad decisions made, but ultimately, I’m hoping this disappointing—yet still good—season of the show is a bridge to something even better next season.


HIGHLIGHTS

A lot of great standalone episodes
saved this season from being terrible. “The Cell,” “Sing Me A Song,” “Hearts Still Beating,” “Hostiles and Calamities,” “Bury Me Here,” and even “Swear,” the Tara-centric episode at Oceanside that was divided in criticism, were some of the highlight episodes for me. The first episode, despite its violence and drawing out the surprise deaths to nearly the middle of the episode, was still technically a great episode.

LOWLIGHTS

Fractured group of the main characters
and disjointed episodes made the season feel less cohesive than in previous seasons. I love episodes that focus on a specific character or group, because sometimes they’re the best of what the show has to offer—Morgan’s 90 minute episode with Eastman last season was incredible, as was Maggie and Carol’s episode. They even did something similar after the prison, with everyone separated and all getting to Terminus, but that worked because it was done well and the point was that they were separated. Here we have a problem the same way the show derailed itself with the Governor’s episodes that didn’t quite work as well as the rest of the episodes that season—it was too much. An episode here and there focusing on one character or group is great, but almost the entire season? It just didn’t work. We barely saw Carol at all, or even Rick, really. Almost every episode was focused on either a small group of characters, one character, or one of the main groups, like Hilltop or the Sanctuary. Because of this, we had limited time with a lot of characters that are favorites. Having such a disruption in the way the show tells the story, no longer having all the characters together, or even just separate but in the same episode, made the entire season a disappointing one. Not to say that each of these episodes weren’t good separately, but all together, it didn’t work as a solid season.

Negan
has just become so so so annoying. At first, I liked Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing him, but now I’m just over it. There is nothing more to Negan than what we see. There’s no depth to his character. There’s nothing there but one-liners and him being an asshole. I can’t help but compare him to the Governor, the only other real villain the show has had, who was given a range of emotional depth, a backstory, an arc bringing him from a so-so leader of a small village to a dangerous threat. The only way they’d be able to save Negan as a character is to give him a backstory, give him some emotional depth, give him something to be or do other than being a dick and bashing in people’s skulls.

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 16: “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 16: “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”
Grade: A-

In the seventh season finale, the war against Negan and the Saviors begins. With “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life,” Dwight helps the Alexandrians while the Scavengers double-cross them, Sasha sacrifices herself, and Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria win the first battle again the Saviors, driving them and the Scavengers out of Alexandria.

The finale episode was great. I have to constantly remind myself that I DID like it, despite also hating it because Sasha is dead. But it was good. All the pieces came together, the first battle against Negan and the Saviors commenced, and while there were a few faults, it was an exciting episode.


HIGHLIGHTS

The War with the Saviors has begun
and I’m into it. It was a rocky way to get here, but it’s finally happening and I’m excited for next season. With everyone working together, I’m hoping this means all the players on the show will have more time together, more time on screen, and there will be less fractured story telling. I hope this means more Carol—she’s been gone most of the season! Anyway, the fight between them was great. It made a great, exciting episode. We even got some Shiva attacking a Savior. It was great.

Sasha flashbacks
to her and Abraham before leaving to help Maggie, and then again with her watching the sunset before finding Alexandria, really made the emotional impact of Sasha sacrificing herself to help the others, to help Maggie, one of the best parts of the episode—even if I didn’t like that Sasha died.

MIDTONES

Sasha sacrificed herself
and ended her life in order to Turn and become a walker to cause some chaos. This is a great storyline, a great moment of revolt, of sacrifice…for someone who’s NOT Sasha. As one of my favorite characters, I’m just pissed she’s gone. Sure. Maybe that’s why I’m so irritated with this end for her character. I’m just irritated it happened period. But you know what would’ve made me LOVE this idea? If it had been Rosita. Why? Because Rosita is the one who basically has had a low key death wish this entire time. She’s the one who has been on the journey leading to this moment. Her and Sasha were even there at the Sanctuary together. It so easily could’ve been Rosita’s story. It so easily would’ve been better. Rosita has been irritating me this entire season—I mean, we get that you’re going through a lot, but everyone is, and your actions are getting people killed (Olivia, now kind of Sasha)—and Rosita saving Sasha to run in to kill Negan, get caught, imprisoned, and end up killing herself to help everyone else? Major respect would’ve gone to Rosita, because she, in the end, would’ve done something to help the others in a strong way. Having it be Sasha just didn’t work for me. I don’t know if it’s because of how much I loved Sasha, but either way, the episode worked well. We got beautiful moments with Sasha and Abraham, she sacrificed herself for Maggie. It was a great, beautiful way for Sasha to go—I just wish it hadn’t happened at all.

Jadis and the Scavenger’s betrayal
was both disappointing and exciting? I don’t know how I feel about it, honestly. I love how weird Jadis and the Scavengers are. Because they weren’t all that close to the Scavengers, it didn’t really feel like that shocking of a twist. I’ve even heard people saying they saw it coming, one mentioning it earlier than this episode that they weren’t going to go through with it. It made for a more interesting episode because everything was going wrong for Rick and Co. and it all just came tumbling down.

LOWLIGHTS

If Negan was less annoying
I’d like him more. I don’t mean like him as a person, he’s vile, but like him as a character. But he just doesn’t stop with his charismatic “funny” douchebag schtick that is far more annoying than Jadis’s monosyllable, caveman speech and King Ezekiel’s theatrics. Only Gregory being a cowardly dick is one notch below Negan on the likability meter.

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 10: “The Girl Who Told Time”

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 10: “The Girl Who Told Time”
Grade: A-

In the tenth episode of the second season of The Magicians, “The Girl Who Told Time” follows Quentin, still depressed about Alice, taking magical drugs and seeing Julia’s shade, shown as her as a young child, lost and afraid. Together, Quentin and Julia work with Fogg to speak to the only other person Fogg knew who was obsessed with shades, the only survivor of any of the 29 alternate timeline encounters with the Beast: Alice. Meanwhile, Eliot has turned into “Groom-zilla” and Margo has to deal with all his demands while doing work as the Queen, being haunted by faeries, and having to keep her secret in about trading Eliot and Fenn’s baby with them for the wellspring to be fixed. On their own quest, Penny has started work with the Neitherlands library after signing a billion-year contract and his first assignment is a overdue book by ten years, taken out by guest star Marlee Matlin, who plays the head of a BuzzFeed type website that’s a front for spells who creates a bit of chaos when she curses the book she returns.

Overall, the episode was great. Quentin and Julia are always great together and having them work together in this episode, and presumably the following, makes the show feel more cohesive with Julia’s part no longer feeling so separate.


HIGHLIGHTS

More time with Quentin & Julia
is what the show needs. They’re close friends, growing up together, and since the beginning, have spent very little time together—understandably on separate journeys. But together, Quentin and Julia make a good team and bringing the two storylines together only work in the show’s favor.

Marlee Matlin’s
guest role was great. I hope she’s in future episodes with Penny and Kady trying to learn why she cursed the book she returned to the library to force the man into that secret room—which, I’m guessing is where they have some book called How To: Kill a God.

LOWLIGHTS

Barely worth noting
but why in the world would it take Alice forever and a half to figure out what an “Ancient One” is but take Julia and Quentin the small amount of time after speaking to her about them? Like, that doesn’t make any sense. Alice probably would’ve figured that out a lot sooner than Julia just looking through a book. It is possible that they’re wrong about the dragon in the next episode, but I’m pretty sure Alice would’ve thought of that.

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 15: “Something They Need”

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 15: “Something They Need”
Grade: B

In the penultimate episode of the season, “Something They Need” follows Sasha—who is not dead, (THANK YOU)—who is being held captive similar to Daryl, with Negan wanting her to join the Saviors, meanwhile Rick is informed by Tara about Oceanside and they all decide to take over the camp to steal their guns…which somehow isn’t at all Negan-like to anyone on the show. This episode is strange, the characters making odd decisions, and it doesn’t quite fit the season—it feels like just a bridge to get to the finale by making whatever the writers needed for it to happen to get there, even if it didn’t make any sense.


HIGHLIGHTS

Sasha isn’t dead
and that’s great. I still think her decision int he precious episode was stupid (and again, unlike her character and more like what Rosita would’ve done to Sasha) but since she didn’t die, I’ll allow it. Her scenes with Negan were good—though I doubt Negan would want to keep Sasha as a Savior after she tried killing him, a scene in which we never see, another strange choice by the show—and Eugene bringing her the poison he made for Negan, thinking she wanted to kill herself when she was trying to get a weapon to attack, was a great moment that worked really well. Eugene is a smart character and he did what he thought was best for Sasha to allow herself to die, which made her plan for a weapon backfire.

Dwight
wants to help Rick and the Alexandrians, hating Negan and wanting to betray him. Solid potential here for a great story with Dwight and getting the others some information that is needed to take down Negan and the Saviors—and it came very organically. We see that Dwight is struggling throughout this whole season with staying, with wanting to run and be with Sherry again. But how easily are they going to forgive Dwight for all the terrible things he’s done? How will Daryl? How will Tara? There’s a lot coming with Dwight and I’m excited to see how it comes about.

LOWLIGHTS

Seriously not a single person
mentioned that Rick’s tactics with Oceanside is very Savior-like? No one from Oceanside is going to mention, “What makes you better than them? Taking our guns like they took yours?” NOTHING? No comparisons when what they’re doing is completely awful to the women of Oceanside? Leaving them with nothing? And Tara is just on board with this? None of those scenes made any sense and I’m disappointed. There could’ve been a lot of meaningful conversation about the decisions they’re making, but instead it was just “Tara betrayed you, give us your guns, goodbye.” And some of them even want to fight WITH them? I know that no one was hurt or killed, so completely different, but not really at all? That could’ve been more, there should’ve been more to it, but there wasn’t. They just smile and skip away with the guns like it wasn’t an awful thing to do.

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 9: “Lesser Evils”

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 9: “Lesser Evils”
Grade: B+

In the ninth episode of The Magicians, Eliot decides that instead of a full war, a one-on-one duel between the two kingdoms’ kings will decide the winner—though now he must learn to use a sword to win, because fighting to the death with a king who has one several times doesn’t make it look good for Eliot. Meanwhile, the other characters work on saving Quentin before he dies from having niffin-Alice inside him; Julia, Penny, and Kady find Reynard’s demigod son, a politician who is loved by all and doesn’t know his power; and Reynard breaks into Brakebills to find his son.

Overall, it was a good episode. Julia’s gone batshit, throwing Quentin to Reynard for him to be forced to release niffin-Alice to kill him, and a musical number in Fillory made the episode’s big duel both hilarious and silly. It was a very Magicians episode, which I liked.


HIGHLIGHTS

One Day More
from Les Miserables may have been the weirdest, silliest, best part of the entire episode. Every season needs a random musical moment—last season, we had Quentin singing Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off in his Julia-controlled nightmare—and now, we have the Fillorians going off to war singing One Day More. Honestly, it it fit right in and worked surprisingly well, even if all the singing wasn’t perfect, it was a whole lot of fun.

Eliot’s duel
with the rival king was great—especially the conclusion that instead of battling to the death, a marriage between Eliot, his wife, and the other king is allowed and will happen to join the kingdoms instead of have them as enemies is incredible. This show is really great with queer characters and storylines. This also makes Eliot’s questioning sexuality a lot more literal, being married to a man and a woman at the same time, exploring that idea more fully.

LOWLIGHTS

Julia
without her shade was a lot of fun for a while, but, like Kady, I’ve realized that she’s now just an even more pain in the ass than before. I’m glad that the next episode will be trying to retrieve her shade because Julia without it is going to mess a lot of things up and I’ll just end up hating her character.

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 14: “The Other Side”

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 14: “The Other Side”
Grade: B+

In the fourteenth episode of The Walking Dead—with only two left of season seven—we follow the goings on at Hilltop while some of the Saviors come to retrieve Dr. Carson after his brother, the Sanctuary’s doctor, was killed by Negan a few episodes ago. But mostly we follow Sasha and Rosita, enacting the plan they’d set out to do in the previous episode, going straight to the Sanctuary to kill Negan—a not great plan that may lead to Sasha’s death.

Overall, the episode was really good. It didn’t feel like I was missing any of the other characters, even though they weren’t even on screen, because the focus on those who were involved was tight and sometimes intense. It never felt like a boring episode, never slowed too much. Sasha and Rosita really shined in this episode—even if their plan is faulty and stupid and could get them killed—and I liked it a lot. The fact that Sasha may be killed because of the results of their actions here doesn’t make me happy at all—but since technically nothing has happened to her yet, I’ll grade the episode on what has happened, and what has happened was a really good (if not a little flawed) episode.


HIGHLIGHTS

Sasha and Rosita
being the central storyline in this episode worked nicely. Though I still dislike the way everyone feels so disconnected and separated, sometimes the show does well with a focused episode on just one or two characters (in the previous two episodes they did just as good of a job with Rick and Michonne (and Tara and Rosita) and in the last with Morgan and Carol (and Richard and the Kingdom), so I’ve been appreciating it more in the later half of this season than in the first). Letting Sasha and Rosita work together, say their piece about Abraham, and try to move past their differences made for a good episode. What actually happened with them wasn’t as great—more below. I did like the inclusion of Eugene’s true feelings about being at the Sanctuary—he’s lying just like always, a true coward until the end. And I somehow appreciate and respect it. Do whatever you have to do to survive, Eugene, you do you and all that.

Hilltop scenes
were good. I liked seeing Maggie again, the moment with her and Daryl in the cellar had me in tears, and everything worked really well. The intensity of them hiding in the cellar was great and that getaway tunnel Sasha and Rosita go through is genius. Totally using that idea during the apocalypse. I only hope that Gregory dies. Soon. He’s just so annoying I can’t take it. And Jesus came out by saying he’d found it hard getting close to anyone, including neighbors and boyfriends—I’m glad they’re keeping his sexuality the same from the comics.

LOWLIGHTS

Sasha and Rosita’s plan
is a mess. Or at least Rosita’s plan is initially, and Sasha’s plan is at the end. First of all, Sasha’s plan to use a sniper rifle on top of a building outside of the Sanctuary to kill Negan is a HELL OF A LOT SMARTER than charging in there. And when they did finally do that, and didn’t get the perfect shot immediately, they could’ve waited for another chance. I don’t care if they just found out about Dr. Carson being taken to the Sanctuary, Maggie isn’t going to die without him for a few more hours or even another day—hell a WEEK—of waiting for the perfect shot if it meant getting a chance to get out of there alive. Rosita’s plan is a suicide mission that doesn’t make any sense. Second plan, Sasha locking Rosita out of the Sanctuary because the others “need her” (As if they don’t need Sasha, the greatest shot and one of the strongest people on the show; not to say Rosita isn’t an asset as well, but come on, let’s not try to compare the two with strengths! You’re both important, stop this nonsense and try to get out alive, the both of you!) is a straight up mistake on the writers part. Nope. NO. First of all, Sasha didn’t even like this plan. What’s her motivation?! WHY? Just because she thinks Rosita is more of an asset?? Because she thinks nobody needs her anymore? Fuck that. Sasha knows how good she is and how much they’ll need her during the war, just as much if not more than Rosita, and the fact that she didn’t even think Rosita’s plan was good and she thought there could be a chance they survive if they do it Sasha’s way, why would Sasha do it? Rosita is the one with the death wish right now, not Sasha. It should’ve been Rosita locking out Sasha. End of story. If this is Sasha’s end, I’ll be pissed. This may also be completely biased because Sasha is one of my favorite characters on this show and Rosita has become one of my least (though I used to love her, too).

Other than that, I thought the episode was great.

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 8: “Word as Bond”

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 8: “Word as Bond”
Grade: A-

In “Word as Bond,” the eight episode of The Magicians season two, Quentin deals with having niffin-Alice making a deal with him to use his body for half an hour once a day; Julia no longer has a shade since her exorcism going slightly wrong and she’s now become more free and unfeeling, so Quentin and the others force her to stay in Fillory after an encounter with Reynard, watched by Margo; as Eliot is still asleep after his gollum was killed, they work on getting him back into his rightful body; while Margo deals with getting the trees on Fillory’s side in the war, Julia screws it up by blowing up the trees, getting a stone from a magician in Fillory that will hide her from Reynard, and eventually is thrown in the dungeon by an angered Margo; and Penny and Kady, while searching for the demigod son of Dana, get back together.

Overall, I liked the episode a lot. It carries over a lot of what had transpired in the previous episode with the bank heist, keeping the characters all together and intertwining their stories, but keeping separate at the same time, though now Julia is in Fillory and Kady with Penny and Quentin searching for Dana’s demigod son, it’s working a lot better with the characters actively pursuing the same goal.


HIGHLIGHTS

More time all together
worked incredibly well for the episode. Though not a perfect episode, we still get Julia and Kady more involved with the happenings of Fillory, allowing more time with the different characters to interact. Margo and Julia made a fun team for a while, even if they still hate each other. It was the strongest part of the episode.

Niffin-Alice
is the best thing and I want more of her. I hope she never leaves, though I’d love actual-Alice back, too. Niffin-Alice is just so much devilish fun.

Julia without her shade
was much more enjoyable than normal Julia? And that was a shocking surprise. I like the more confidant, who-gives-a-fuck attitude she has. It made for a more interesting story with Julia and I’m excited to see where they go with it, whether they keep her without it, come up with a way for her to get a new one (if it’s possible), kill her, or go the book route and turn her into a dryad.

LOWLIGHTS

Eliot being completely unconscious
for the entire episode wasn’t enjoyable. I get it, it’s a serious he-might-not-wake-up moment, but it wasn’t. Because we knew he would. And having him out of it for the entire episode made the episode less fun, even if Margo had some great lines, them paying off each other is always better than when they’re separated.

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 7: “Plan B”

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 7: “Plan B”
Grade: A

The seventh episode of The Magicians season two, “Plan B” gives us a magical bank heist and has become one of my favorite episodes. Kady takes Julia to get an exorcism of the demigod fetus, but the woman willing to perform it wants a million dollars. Meanwhile, Fillory is at war and trying to fix the wellspring, and they’re suddenly broke—naturally, Eliot and Margo hear of Kady and Julia needing money, and the entire cast of characters work together to break into a bank to steal some bars of gold.

Overall, the episode worked on so many levels. Most importantly, we no longer had the disconnected stories of Julia and Kady on one path and Quentin and Co on the other (and even further disjointed with Penny’s journey to fix his hands and Eliot and Margo dealing with ruling Fillory). With everyone working on the same problem, letting all the characters interact with each other more, the episode felt cohesive and was just a lot of fun.


HIGHLIGHTS

Everyone together
made this episode one of the best yet. With the aligning of Julia/Kady and Eliot & Co’s goal, the episode made everything smoother and work seamlessly. I’ve loved Julia and Kady together so far, but I think it’s time they’ve become a part of the other group’s story. Julia could use the others to kill or banish Reynard (Quentin even reiterates that he promised to do so) and Kady and Penny could get back together. They could all be woven more tightly together, their stories entwined a little more so that Julia’s story didn’t seem so distant. She and Quentin have had such few moments on screen together, that sometimes it’s like watching two different shows that have a crossover scene once in a while. This episode fixed that completely and I’m hoping for some more intertwining in the future.

Margo
having already robbed a bank being in charge and coming up with a plan was incredible. Margo is one of the best parts of the show, and watching her lay down the plan and knowing exactly what’s what in order to get the job done was hilarious and perfection. Long live the Queen.

The heist
itself was satisfying. Though not getting to it until well over the midpoint of the episode, the scenes enacting the heist was great. All the steps and obstacles and fun with a heist episode was there, and it worked so well here and I loved every minute of it.

Alice
as a niffin inside Quentin is such a great aspect of this episode. I’m obsessed with niffin-Alice so this brought the episode to a whole other level of great. It added another layer, having her messing with Quentin and nobody else being able to see her, ultimately being the one to get them inside the vault. It just worked so well and I’m excited for more niffin-Alice in the future.

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 13: “Bury Me Here”

The Walking Dead – Season 7, Episode 13: “Bury Me Here”
Grade: A-

The thirteenth episode of The Walking Dead season seven, “Bury Me Here” or “Melongate,” as I like to call it, is one of the best episodes of this second half of the season. Focusing on the Kingdom and Carol, during the drop with the Saviors, a melon goes missing and Benjamin is killed for it—though it’s revealed Richard had stolen the melon so they were show, knowing it would get himself killed in order for Ezekiel to see that they need to fight—and Morgan teeters on the edge of sanity once again because of it. Morgan accepts that they need to fight and uses Richard’s plan against him, killing him to show the Saviors they will be good, while planning to fight against them later. After telling Carol the truth about what happened to Glenn and Abraham, Morgan and Carol are both ready to fight along side Ezekiel and the Kingdom, who finally agrees that they need to fight with the Alexandrians and Hilltop.

An emotional episode with an interesting story as Richard enacts a plan to get himself killed, which eventually triggers a breakdown in Morgan, which results in Carol learning the truth about the Saviors, and all of this brings Ezekiel to the decision that they will fight. Overall, it’s one of the best episodes in this second half of season seven, bringing back Carol—hopefully in a more active permanent way—and finally getting the Kingdom to join up with Rick against the Saviors.


HIGHLIGHTS

With the melon situation
getting Benjamin killed, Morgan once again falls into his unhinged state that had been suppressed for so long by changing his lifestyle of no killing. He’d been feeling like a father-figure to Benjamin, confusing him for his son Duane when speaking about him to Ezekiel after killing Richard, and this brought Morgan just enough back over the edge to want to fight the Saviors with Rick. Lennie James did an incredible performance, as always, and Morgan killing Richard and getting Ezekiel and the others to want to fight the Saviors, tricking the Saviors into thinking they’ll be good, as Richard was going to do, is an interesting direction for Morgan to go and I can’t wait to see what this does to Morgan, teetering on the edge of sanity once again.

Carol has returned
from hiding out in the cottage near the Kingdom, power-walking right back to the Kingdom, taking out Walkers, getting shit done, and just being Carol. Anything to do with Carol is fantastic stuff for the show, she brings so much to each episode and Melissa McBride is a phenomenal actress. It’s a shame we’ve seen so little of her this season and that she’s been tucked away for so long being inactive.

Richard’s plan
stealing the melon to get himself killed and to get King Ezekiel to see that they have to fight, was, technically, a good plan. As a character, I like Richard, his role in the plot of getting things started, because it creates great tension. He wants the same things as Rick and the gang, to go after Negan and the Saviors, but he’s doing it all wrong—wanting to allow Carol to be harmed by the Saviors in order to get King Ezekiel to fight, wanting himself to be killed to get them to fight and getting Benjamin killed instead. And finally, Morgan takes it upon himself to kill him to get the same thing accomplished, which was necessary. Because as much as Richard made for good TV, he needed to go or he’d make more stupid—though well-meaning—decisions about the coming war.