Episode Title: Sing Me a Song
Original Airdate: 12-4-16
Was anyone else ready for some Negan and Carl bonding? I surely wasn’t. In this week’s 90-minute episode, Rick and Aaron may have found a compound full of supplies, but must cross a lake full of bobbing Walkers to get to it. Eugene made Rosita a bullet, after she belittled the hell out of him. Spencer was a spoiled d-bag, per the norm, who also found a small stockpile of goods. And Michonne set up a Walker road block to sabotage one of the Saviors, so she could hitch a ride back to the Sanctuary.
The main focus, however, was Carl entering the Sanctuary. He, of course, failed to kill Negan, but Negan was impressed with his stupid courage and took him around the Sanctuary for a bit. Carl was introduced to Negan’s wives and saw what happens when you cross the leader. Negan humiliated Carl by making him take off his eye bandage and sing a song. Eventually Negan decided to take Carl home, and stayed around to have a word with Rick, making himself at home on the front porch with a glass a lemonade and Judith on his lap.
I’ll just say that everything that didn’t have Negan and Carl was pretty much just white noise in this episode. Poor Michonne had a couple of minutes at the beginning an another couple at the end, but it all felt a bit over the top just to hijack a Savior. Rick and Aaron’s long trek to find supplies, to end at one huge obstacle, seemed like it could’ve waited. And it seems a bit odd that Eugene made just one bullet for Rosita. I’m not studied in bullet making myself, but I feel like more than one could do more damage. The only thing I really loved was Father Gabriel calling out Spencer, who more than deserved it. Everything else belonged to Negan.
Obviously, I love this show. Though it’s had some down stretches, I’ve never once threatened into the abyss of the internet that I’d quit, like so many people I know. That being sad, the addition of Negan this season has brought an insane energy that I love. Of course, that’s mainly due to Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance. I shouldn’t be having this much fun watching such an evil man, but I am. He manages to bring a manic intensity to every scene, leaving me terrified for anyone within a bat’s swing, but also laughing out loud thanks to his million-watt smile and dickish dialogue. And he performed a miracle this week: he made me anticipate scenes containing Carl.
For the first time in awhile, I’m not eager to see the mid-season finale. That’s not to say I’ve lost interest, but the past few seasons, everything builds up to the two season finales, and it’s always about the anticipation of the payoff. Now, I feel myself enjoying the journey more than I have in a long time.