Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Chad Coleman, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Lennie James, Sonequa Martin-Green, Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, Jeffrey Dean Morgan | Created by Robert Kirkman
The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead needed to set up the finale, and the oncoming war between Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) newly formed army and Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) Saviours. What we got though was something of a role reversal between the two.
With Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) captured by the Saviours, Negan surprisingly saves her and shows a different side to his character. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has an interesting moment with Gregory (Xander Berkeley), and Rick and his group prepare to collect more weapons.
One thing that I’ve noticed about Negan is the fact he has his own version of morality. This is on show in this episode when he saves Sasha from an apparent attack from one of the saviours. Leading to an event that could tease a classic comic book moment for the finale, it also showed a confused Sasha as she gets an opportunity to join the saviours.
Gregory is turning into one of the most predictable idiots of The Walking Dead and is likely to cause many problems for the Alexandrians in the next episodes. While it was hinted, that Maggie may have been in danger in this episode, it comes as no surprise as what happens really. Gregory is too much of a coward to do anything by himself.
When it comes to Rick and his group, we see the ambiguous nature of his own morality. Playing a similar role as the Saviours, they plan on taking all the guns of the Oceanside survivors in a forceful and dangerous manoeuvre. Bringing on a zombie attack, and terrorising the group, is this that different from what the Saviours do? Giving the opportunity for the survivors to join in the war may be Rick’s attempt to show his better side, but there are similarities between his actions and that of Negan’s. In fact, Rick is very much the Negan of this episode.
A fast-paced episode, it is interesting to see The Walking Dead pushing towards the finale of the season. We see Negan preparing for a visit to Rick, and we see Rick building up another arsenal ready for his own attack. We are also provided with a surprise (though easy to predict) new friend who is offering to help. It will be interesting to see what this friend can offer though in the end. Also, what of Eugene, whose side will he take? Will he even have to make that choice?
While it is hard to believe that Negan will be defeated in the next episode, it is possible that Rick and his army of survivors could provide a big blow to his plans. It will be interesting to see who holds the power when the battle is over, and what the future will bring for the war which we expect to be started. One thing we can be sure of though, is that there will be deaths in the finale, and we may not like who takes the fall.
Looking at the quality of this episode of The Walking Dead, the fast-pace of it thankfully saved us from it being a typical week of all talk and little action. We are in the final stretch now and this episode was action-packed, which is exactly what we expect next week’s to be. Place your bets now… Negan or Rick? I tend to think we are looking at an entertaining draw with plenty of bloodshed.
The Walking Dead airs in the UK on Fox, Mondays 9pm.