Before I get started...
I usually don't sign out of Blogger, but I guess my daughter was the last one to use the computer; so when I pulled up the main page it was all new and pretty...if you haven't seen it, log out of google and take a look. Based on the new sign in page, I might think about starting a blog.
Side note: We were probably the last people in the US to get a Netflix subscription until last Sunday and since then it's been a Marvel marathon in my house. So I'm behind on TWD. Side-side note: Luke Cage - not bad. I'm not really into the whole super hero thing, but it sucked me in. Daredevil? It's my own personal sleeping pill. Seriously. But I finally commandeered the remote and get caught up on TWD
Season 7 Episode 6 - Swear (Swear? Really? Is that really the name of this episode?)
AKA: The Tara Episode
This week, much to the chagrin of half the internet, TWD did another small group/new colony episode.
Tara and Heath (who I honestly forgot were gone) were out scavenging and were completely clueless about the happenings with Negan and Denise and the Alexandrians. After coming up to a bridge, they found themselves in a precarious situation with sand zombies. Weren't those killer? They were my favorite walkers since the season two "well zombie." Then they got separated when Tara fell off the side of the bridge into the river below.
Tara washed up on shore, unconcious, where her life was spared by a new character, Cindy (the moral compass of Oceanside). Tara followed Cindy into the woods to find a thriving, female-only community. My heart pumped a little bit when I saw them. The first thing that came to mind when Tara stumbled upon them was The Wicker Man and I secretly hoped for a new villain that would rear its ugly head just as Negan dies off - via Oceanside - and lamented that Terminus wasn't a women-only group of cannibals who assimilates the women and eats the men. Sadly, none of those things happened. Oceanside is just another in the growing string of Negan's victims.
After some back story and stew at Oceanside, Tara narrowly escapeed an execution, agian with the help of Cindy. When she arrives at the bridge, Heath is gone, but he left a trail of breadcrumbs for Tara. Tara arrived home (without sign of Heath) and found out that Alexandria has been victim to the wrath of Negan and Denise is dead.
When I'm behind, I'm not in analyze, English nerd mode. There were a few exceptions though - flashbacks. Flashbacks are tricky in the way writing a novel in first person is tricky (I'm looking at you Hunger Games and The Help). It can be done successfully by the right writer. Not everyone can pull it off, however, because it pulls the reader (or in this case, viewer) out of the story. Maybe this is why Daredevil puts me to sleep. Anyway, the Tara episode is full of them and it felt a little disjointed as a result.
The episode, in my opinion, worked despite this flaw. I liked the Oceanside community and Tara's motivation as a character in past episodes finally came to light. There were more children than in any of the other communities so far. I've always assumed that the plague targeted children disproportionately. They have weaker immune systems, their physical limitations would make defending themselves borderline impossible, and their natural curiosity and naiveté makes them vulnerable to attack, so it makes sense. Yet the presence of children seems to be an indicator in TWD world of whether a community is thriving or just surviving and here they are at Oceanside, thiring, going to school, washing up before dinner...having an almost-normal childhood experience. We saw this at the prison in season four too. By contrast, there are no children at the saviors compound, and few, if any, at the Hilltop and Alexandria. I guess this makes Maggie's pregnancy even more significant in that it foreshadows prosperity to come.
Episode 7 - Blazing Hell
So far this season there's been a lot of set up on TWD and not a lot of real story progression. Think of the premiere as the last episode of season six and episodes two through six as a prologue (Which, lets be honest, could've been accomplished in two episodes). Episode 7 is the real beginning of the story.
At this point we catch up with Jesus and Carl, who have been sabotaging the truck of goods on their ride to Negan's compound. Like Heath, blue-eyed Jesus is leaving a trail of sticky breadcrumbs behind them before rolling off the back of the truck just before arrival at the compound. Carl, in his ill-conceived plan, stays inside the truck in hopes of assassinating Negan. His attempt fails and instead, Negan (impressed with Carl's pluck) takes him under his wing, showing him all the spoils that could, presumably, be his. Meanwhile, Michone, Rosita, and Spencer take the same (albeit slower) path to Negan, perhaps never hearing that "revenge is a dish best served cold." And the preacher is full team-Rick.
So far, TWD has been Ricks coming of age story where Rick's biggest enemy has always been himself. If the writers take this story seriously, that will change and the villain of the story will, instead, be his legacy. For several seasons, the balance between good and evil has slowly tipped toward evil in both Rick and Carl. Lori, Carl's mother, was the tie that bound Rick and Carl to the world-that-was and to humanity itself. As her memory fades, so does their humanity. Now under the fatherly hand of Negan (yes, I said fatherly) the evil of Carl's inner nature can be fully actualized in an age old story of father vs. son and Rick will have to decide between trying to save his only son, or sacrificing him on the alter of The Walking Dead.