Rick Grimes is on a mission khổng lồ take down Negan và the Saviors in The Walking Dead season 7 midseason premiere. Here is our review...

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Throughout the episode, different characters break into mini-speeches about being strong, staying alive, keeping hope alive, và helping others. It’s a can-do attitude that gets kind of annoying by the time Michonne repeats her speech to Rick from a few episodes ago. & as if that weren’t enough lớn remind you that now there’s HOPE, there are at least five or six shots in the episode devoted to showcasing how cool these reenergized characters look marching together with a sense of purpose from one town hall meeting to the next. There were those of us who complained that the Walking Dead writers didn’t know how to lớn tell a story about hope anymore – or one that featured more than one character, for that matter. Well, “Rock in the Road” gives us all of that in droves, and it’s just so painfully on the nose.

I’m actually surprised at myself for complaining so much about this specific episode, which on the surface is a welcome relief from the dark, gritty, boring nothingness of the first half. It just also falls into the same traps in terms of the heavy, slow writing that doesn’t allow anything to lớn ever be fun.

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And this episode is totally slow, especially in the first 30 minutes of the extended 61-minute runtime. (Again, và until the kết thúc of my days, I will always argue against an extended episode of The Walking Dead – the show that doesn’t lượt thích to edit itself.) There’s a bunch of annoying exposition sprinkled into the mostly boring meetings between Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom that don’t need lớn be there. The fact that we have khổng lồ spend minutes at a time recapping the season 7 premiere – THE BIGGEST THING that’s happened on TV since the Red Wedding – as well as how Morgan saved Carol when those things happened less than 10 episodes ago is ridiculous. 

Sure, you could argue that it’s the first time Rick và the group have seen Morgan in a while so they need to lớn catch him up on some importants details (e.g. Glenn and Abraham getting bludgeoned by a bat that happens khổng lồ be female), but couldn’t that happen off-screen? lượt thích right before Rick et al walked into King Ezekiel’s court, couldn’t they have cut right after Rick asked Morgan about Carol? We know what happened so it doesn’t have to lớn be recounted on screen. It’s little time wasters like these that make the extended runtimes so unnecessary.

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To speak quickly of baggage – this show can’t seem khổng lồ escape it. If the writers are trying khổng lồ reboot the show tonally, they probably shouldn’t cảm ứng the season 7 premiere with a 10-foot poll. It’s happened, we’ve seen the awful aftermath, move past it & on lớn the next thing. I know Glenn và Abraham’s deaths are what kickstarted this season’s story, but the midseason break is so often a wonderful thing for this show. It’s a time for the show lớn heal itself – or the quiet before the storm like with the equally boring season 2. I hope that “Rock in the Road” is the last stop on the Glenn & Abraham mourning tour. It’s time to kick some Savior ass. 

Moving on lớn things that did kick ass in the midseason premiere: another awesome kích hoạt setpiece from Greg Nicotero. Seriously, thank the heavens for a goddamn walker scene. It seemed for a minute there that the show had almost completely forgotten that it contained zombies. Too much time was given to lớn the leather jacket-clad meme machine and not enough to the walkers. While I’ll always agree that this show should always center on the human threats, it shouldn’t completely remove the walkers as a source of danger. Especially when a talented make-up effects artist lượt thích Nicotero is directing. 


The action sequence with the two cars và the wire rope is wonderful campy goodness, something that could be straight out of a George A. Romero Dead flick if it ever had the budget. This was The Walking Dead having fun again, và it was absolutely lovely. It’s the single most important spark of hope in the entire episode. While the show is ultimately about hope at its very bộ vi xử lý core – something the writers will need to lớn remember & reintroduce in the second half of the season (although perhaps not by shoving it in our faces) – it should also be fun to watch. No more moping.


John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek US. Find more of his work on his website. Or just follow him on Twitter.

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