We Were Promised a Prizefight, Not a Slap Fight.
Carol and Morgan have been on a collision course all season, and what should have been an epic battle between two of the show’s best characters ended up being a dramatic swing and miss. First off, crippling Carol with a concussion was a cheap trick to level the playing field. Second, no matter their differences, there is no way that Carol and Morgan would fight over the fate of the Wolf instead of trying to get to Rick and the others. Viewers knew that Morgan was wrong; hell, even sensei Eastman would tell Morgan that the Wolf guy needs to die (and brush his teeth). Having Carol get knocked out by Morgan, and then the Wolf knocking out Morgan, makes these two formidable characters look weak and stupid, and they are neither of those things.
So what happens in the second half of the season? Does Rick exile Morgan the way he did Carol? Carol isn’t going to forgive and forget what Morgan did. She didn’t trust him to begin with, but lying is something that she can’t get past. It seems unlikely that the Wolf would kill Dr. Denise, but we predict that Morgan is going to have to be forced to kill his Wolf prisoner. Will Morgan go crazy again, and will he blame Rick and Carol for his murder relapse?
Brains to Chew On (AKA Final Thoughts)
For viewers that sat through Talking Dead, there was a two-minute look at next season: Daryl, Abraham and Sasha run into Negan’s motorcycle gang. So either our trio is going to be taken prisoner by the Saviors or they’re going to get robbed and have to walk back to what’s left of Alexandria to warn Rick and company. Either way the Saviors will be far more compelling antagonists than the Wolves.
Things we learned: Tara is Alexandria’s morale booster, Lupita is missing Abraham (and it’s a good thing she doesn’t know that he’s been flirting with Sasha), and Eugene is pretty much useless except for his lock picking skills.
Father Gabriel continues to exist despite no one liking him on or offscreen.
Deanna asked Rick to take care of Spencer like he was one of his own group. Spencer is absolutely going to sell out Rick’s crew. Will he worm his way in using the memory of his mother to win Rick over and maybe get close to Michonne (as he did Sasha in the comics)? Either way, this won’t end well.
It would have been nice to see Dr. Denise in her element as a psychiatrist with that Wolf. She got to do a bit of head shrinking but not enough. Maybe next season? If Dr. Denise doesn’t die, she should definitely start having sessions with Morgan, Rick, Sam, and well, almost every that is still alive.
So, aside from Deanna, nobody died. Again. It cannot be said enough: this cast is far too big. The terrible reality of this world is that people die, often suddenly and horribly. When Glenn survived it sent a message that no matter how ridiculous the circumstance, characters, especially popular ones, are safe. Nobody particularly cares about Eugene, Tara, and Lupita, and they could have easily died this episode. But nope, we have to save them for reasons. Father Gabriel doesn’t bring anything to the table, and only has a few lines anyway, so why not cull him? What about Bland Jessie and her dumb kids? No loss there. In order for the dramatic stakes to remain high, death still needs to matter, and that means you gotta take a few lives to make the characters lives you spared count.