The Walking Dead: 7.05 Go Getters

After weeks of hopping between isolated groups of characters, Monday’s The Walking Dead saw the storylines of two groups finally starting to cross. The episode included a scene with Rick and Michonne in Alexandria, followed Carl and Enid as they travelled from there to Hilltop, and largely focused on Sasha, Maggie, and Jesus there as they clashed with leader Gregory. Seeing all of these characters feature in one episode despite being in different locations provided a welcome relief from the format that was starting to get stale.

The scene with Rick and Michonne was only brief, but let us know that the two were still going strong romantically (as indicated by a drawn out kiss that fans of the pairing surely enjoyed), despite an apparent difference in attitudes towards Negan. Rick left with Aaron to go scavenging for the Saviours, while Michonne stayed behind and told Carl it was because she had some things to figure out. Clearly she’s not 100% on board with the whole situation but is being diplomatic about it and trying to think of a way out. Whether or not Rick will go for it if she comes up with one remains to be seen, but it’s difficult to believe he has no fight left in him at all.

Clearly Carl does though. When Enid sets off to Hilltop to go and see Maggie, Carl ends up accompanying her, though his is more of a revenge mission. The shared trip actually ends up being quite sweet, involving spontaneous rollerblading down an empty road and culminating in a kiss that’s been brewing since the teens met. Many fans have been quick to complain about this, saying no-one cares about a romance between the two, but they seem to be missing the point a bit. I feel like the focus there isn’t really strictly on romance, but the companionship between Carl and Enid and their understanding of each other’s ambitions. Besides, things have been so miserable lately that it was nice to see something cute and positive for once.

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After there was next to no focus on Maggie’s grief when Beth was killed off in season 5, many fans were worried that after the season premiere, Glenn’s loss would be similarly glossed over. This episode quelled those worries. The absence of both he and Abraham was really felt, with moments sprinkled throughout the episode to remind us of them. It feels like the upcoming character growth of Maggie and Sasha will be built upon the losses of their love interests, rather than distracting from them. In Maggie’s confrontation with Gregory, she tells him he’ll need to start calling her by her name: Maggie Rhee. This is the first time she’s introduced herself with Glenn’s last name, and it’s a powerful moment that both honours Glenn and asserts Maggie as someone that won’t let grief stop her from carrying on and doing what needs to be done.

Gregory’s character is one that Maggie rightfully calls a coward. We see that if not for Jesus’s deception, he wouldn’t have hesitated to give up Maggie and Sasha to Simon and his crew of Saviours. Detestable though he is, his stance is sort of understandable. When you have no skills or spine to speak of, there’s not much else to do but roll over, do as you’re told, and hope you don’t die. Less excusable, however, is stealing a dead man’s watch from his grave. Maggie punching Greg and taking the watch back is one of the most satisfying things that’s happened all season. It’s still unclear how he ever became leader in the first place - it really seems that it must just have been a job that no-one else wanted to do.

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Jesus is one such character that has no desire to take charge, but after Sasha called him out on his inaction and indecisiveness he proved himself once he really stood up to Gregory oh behalf of her and Maggie. Supporting and looking out for each other, Sasha, Jesus, and Maggie are an awesome power trio in the making. This was demonstrated especially during the walker invasion staged by the Saviours, where Maggie quickly assessed the situation and immediately began issuing instructions and acting like a leader. She also made use of her farmgirl background by using a giant tractor to run over some undead and the music-playing car that was attracting them, while Sasha and Jesus worked together to kill the others and close the gate.

The episode ended when after a request from Sasha to find out where Negan lives, Jesus stowed away on one of the Saviour’s trucks, only to find Carl also hiding in the back of the same truck in a moment that was both exciting and smile-inducing.

Go Getters was arguably the best episode of the series so far. It had tension, happy moments, a fun walker-killing sequence, and most importantly, actual plot progression. Maggie is now on the verge of becoming leader of Hilltop, Sasha and Michonne are both contemplating and planning, and Carl and Jesus are on their way to see where the Saviours live. The episode addressed the theme of leadership, set the scene for exciting events to unfold, and finally made it possible to start feeling enthusiastic about The Walking Dead again.