I feel like every time I sit down to write about the latest episode of The Walking Dead my mind fills with thoughts about the state of the show on a meta-level. That is reflected in my recent writing. So to not belabor the point I’ll try to focus on this week’s mid-season finale.
Hearts Still Beating left me about at 50/50 as someone can be about an episode of television. It had moments that seemed to signal a new era for the show and a preview of exciting things to come while at the same time showing the issues that come along with accelerated story telling on TV. What I’ve loved about this season is how fleshed out the world has really become. We’re not simply following our main group anymore; we’re following multiple storylines across an entire map of communities. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens when all of those communities, and their storylines, come together. Maggie is a great example of this. Her arc this season is so great to watch. She was at the lowest point after the premier and The Hilltop has become her new purpose. Her taking control in that community, thus forging an alliance with Alexandria, is a perfect example about how personal arcs should positively affect the overall story on a TV show.
The downside is that overly dramatic walking montage that happened at the end of the episode signals that the coming together I’m hoping for might come too soon. In an earlier episode review I commented how for this whole Negan business to hit home he really needs to be a multi-season villain. What this episode is setting us up for is for Negan to be dead come the season finale.
Despite what this episode might seem to be pointing to, there is hope. I think things can be spaced out properly if the resistance is formed by the end of this season and fighting doesn’t begin until season 8. What the show really needs to do is learn how to take it’s time. There are stories, even full arcs to be told under the shadow of Negan. Look at how long Joffrey was in power on Game of Thrones. Patience is the name of the game. Sadly, The Walking Dead has been lacking that for a few seasons now.
- How stupid was the whole “bat caught the bullet thing?”
- I’m glad Spencer is dead but he couldn’t have thought his plan to oust Rick was going to work, right?
- Aaron is a great character and deserves more screen time.