Title: The Walking Dead: “Hearts Still Beating”
Air Date: December 11th, 2016
Genre: Serial Drama, Horror
The Walking Dead just wrapped up its 90-minute mid-season finale with Team Rick gearing up to fight. Are you ready for it? Are you ready to see Negan taken down? Well … you’ll need to wait until February now. Last week’s episode “Sing me a Song” had so many things coming together but going into this episode, I figured it would end the way it did with Rick finally getting onboard about taking down Negan. Spencer’s death was also a highly anticipated one, in particular to those who follow the comics. As I’ve said in previous reviews, I didn’t necessarily mind the predictability. It’s ultimately the execution that matters, not only of the scene but of the actors as well. This is where The Walking Dead delivered a solid mid-season finale and left us ready to rise up and fight come February.
Now, before I get into the episode, I want to address the mysterious figure that appeared after the credits. It’s the same figure whose boots we saw when Aaron and Rick were loading up their truck. There’s been quite a bit of speculation that The Walking Dead is introducing The Whisperers and that’s who this individual is. While anything is possible on the show, I have to disagree that the Whisperers are being brought in at this time. My bet is heavily on it being a member of the Oceanside community. Given the ending of this episode with Rick deciding to fight, it would make sense that groundwork is being set to bring all the communities together.
I was happy to see Daryl finally escape the Sanctuary. Talk about Fat Joey being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Daryl just snapped and beat him to death with a pipe. Considering what Daryl has seen and what he’s been through so far on this season of The Walking Dead, a high level of rage is to be expected. When Daryl was finally reunited with Rick at the Hilltop, it was certainly one of those emotional Walking Dead moments. Having him give Rick his revolver back briefly reminded me of Rey giving Luke back his lost lightsaber in the Force Awakens.
When it came to Spencer’s death, I was just waiting for the “guts” comment to come from Negan. Again, this was another moment essentially right from the comics. Also, it was a fairly gory scene, considering Spencer was holding his intestines in his hands as he lay dying. The only issue I had here was Rosita’s shot at Negan. It felt just too convenient at that range to hit Lucille as Negan happened to have her in front of him. I do feel like Rosita got off easy considering she actually tried to kill Negan. Olivia ended up getting a bullet for this attempt by Rosita in the same way Glenn was killed because Daryl sucker punched Negan. In addition to getting Olivia killed, Rosita was also responsible for Eugene being taken by the Saviors.
After Rosita’s failed shot, Negan noticed that the bullet was home made. When it comes to the world the group now lives in, Eugene may be a coward but the ability to make ammunition is a gold mine of a trait to have. Which is exactly why Negan doesn’t kill Eugene. Why kill a guy that has the ability to make ammunition in a world where ammunition is no longer being made? Eugene speaking up and admitting he made the bullet was an important moment for me. While he may be a coward, he clearly does not want the people he cares about to suffer for something he did. I still feel Eugene will be a big part of The Walking Dead in the coming war with Negan and the Saviors.
One other interesting thing I wanted to touch on was a comment by someone on Facebook, questioning why now Rick wants to fight back against Negan. They found it hard to believe that the death of Spencer or Olivia would be a tipping point for Rick. For me, this wasn’t necessarily about who was killed but who it could have been. I think Rick realizes that this is the sort of thing that will continue to happen if they don’t fight. It was Spencer and Olivia today but who will it be next week? Not to mention having to sit there and watch while one of his people (Aaron) is brutally beaten over a misunderstanding. This, coupled with the talk and support of Michonne, is what made Rick realize he needs to rise up and fight.
With The Walking Dead on hiatus until February, I think it’s time I finally catch up on Westworld. Did you see tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead? If so, what did you think? Who do you think the mysterious figure is? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
- Rick ready to fight
- Daryl escapes
- Spencer finally spills his guts
- Rosita missing at that range