I'm noticing this morning that there's all kinds of hate going on toward season 7 episode 5 "Go Getters." I didn't hate it. This week, like the Kingdom week, is a set up episode - like Harry Potter at Aunt Petunia's house. It may not be page-turning, but it's putting the characters in place for future episodes.
Enid and Carl: My favorite part of this episode was the interaction between these two. Carl wrecking the car because he probably hasn't learned to drive was awesome. Getting a licence isn't a right of passage anymore. This kid has had to kill his mentor and friend's reanimated corpse, kill his own mother, be the adult because Rick is incapable, yet the delight on his face while he's driving a car like a "normal" teenager speaks volumes. Then there was the roller skating scene. Suspending disbelief on why there were roller skates on the side of the road - I loved it. Here they are, with flesh eating monsters in every shadow and psychopaths on every corner and they're doing something uniquely human and youthful. Carl and Enid give me hope that life goes on in the bleak world of The Walking Dead.
Maggie and the Hilltop: I implore the writers of this show to consult a real OB/GYN. Please. There are so many other things that could've been wrong with the baby that make more sense given Maggie's symptoms. And my pet peeve: birth control has an expiration date. I don't care that Judith is still in diapers; she should be in first grade - we're on season seven. The writers need to stop acting like family planning is a thing! It's biology. So few women know how to use natural family planning and even fewer know ancient medicine: in the real world, there would be lots of pregnancies and probably a high rate of infant and maternal mortality - just stop. That rant aside...Maggie, Sasha, and Jesus are at the Hilltop to progress the story. Maggie has to become the leader (though Jesus pushing it seemed really contrived on this episode) of the Hilltop community. Enid has to take Sophia's place as Maggie's adopted daughter (since Sophia didn't make it past season 2). Jesus needs to take his place as a major character in the series. This episode's purpose was to get these people where they needed to be.
With that said: The writers need to realize that the waning interest of the fan base is directly related to the insistence of Kirkman and the other writers to follow the comics to the letter. We spent five years investing in these characters and their development over time. The direction that TWD took mid-way through last season is a betrayal of those characters and the viewers who have spent every Sunday night glued to their television sets for over six years. The decisions and motivations of these characters no longer make sense based on who they have become over the course of the series and they no longer make for an interesting story line. We don't expect everyone to live, we just expect to still care that they die. That's where the anger from the fans is coming from.
PS: Simon is the villain we needed, not the villain we got.