Title: The Walking Dead: “Rock in the Road”
Air Date: February 12th, 2017
Genre: Serial Drama, Horror
After a two-month hiatus, The Walking Dead has returned with the second half premiere episode “Rock in the Road.” You can check out the review for the mid-season finale here but here’s a quick recap of the mid-season finale episode. Rick has decided to take a stand and fight back against Negan. Daryl was able to escape captivity from the Savior compound and Spencer was killed. One big question that remained was just who those boots belonged to, the ones that were watching Rick and Aaron take the supplies from the boat. Those same boots were seen again after the credits, along with a mysterious figure watching the Alexandria compound.
The mysterious figure of that episode was not necessarily revealed, but the mystery has somewhat deepened at the opening and closing of the episode. What caused Gabriel to leave his post and take all that food? It wasn’t just that he took the food but clearly he had a sense of urgency and concern about him. Did someone perhaps interact with Gabriel off camera before we saw him? With the word “Boat” written in the pantry log, did he already know of that location or did someone give it to him?
This episode of The Walking Dead was a solid one, providing just the right amount of buildup and tense moments, not to mention one of the coolest zombie killing scenes of the series so far. While this season of the Walking Dead has experienced much criticism, I continue to appreciate the story being told. Yes, some episodes have been slow but… there’s a purpose to all of it. There’s a way everything will come together down the line. With such a wide variety of characters now in the mix, it takes time to get their backstory and build upon that.
The scene at the Hilltop was a subtly powerful one for me. While I feel Gregory was fairly over the top in his demeanor, he flat out turns Alexandria down when it comes to assisting them in fighting the Saviors. However, we find out Enid went ahead and spread the word of Rick’s plans to some of the members of the Hilltop. They end up gathering outside to speak with Rick before he leaves. People are ready to stand up and fight back regardless of what Gregory says. If it wasn’t clear that power was beginning to shift from Gregory, it is now.
Thanks to Jesus, Rick finally made his way to the Kingdom to meet King Ezekiel. This visit to the Kingdom also provided a reunion with Morgan, who revealed that Carol is still alive. Now, despite being informed about the death of several Alexandria members, Morgan still hesitates on fighting the Saviors. Instead, he provides an alternative such as just taking out Negan. For those that follow the comics, you get an idea of how this idea may come about.
While I think Ezekiel is being naïve when it comes to the Saviors, I understand his initial response of not wanting to get involved in Rick’s fight. His people are unaware of his deal with the Saviors, because with that deal they don’t step foot within his walls. Ezekiel has already lost a number of people due to the decision he made to try to expand The Kingdom. Losing people and still being around to see the aftermath is a heavy burden to bear. It’s understandable he wants to avoid that again at all costs. Even though Ezekiel is not ready to join the fight against the Saviors, he did offer asylum to Daryl. Rick’s comments to Daryl about “staring him into submission” made me chuckle.
The scene on the highway was a combination of brutal and awesome. Rick and Michonne mowing down part of the herd with that steel wire was a moment that made me sit up in my seat. I absolutely loved the point of view shot of the camera as it ripped into all the walkers. A good chunk of walkers had been cut down but plenty of the herd remained. That herd could become a big factor in the war to come with the Saviors. After all, if you can’t get the living to fight with you, maybe you could direct the dead too… hint hint, wink wink.
The big question is, who is this new community that Rick has found? Some have suggested that the Whisperers would make an appearance in this second half of the season but I don’t think that’s the case here. In the final shot, the camera did pan up just slightly so a water tower can be seen just behind Rick. By this point in the comics my memory becomes very hazy, but could this be an old Savior outpost? Perhaps, it’s a form of “The Militia” from the comics. Hopefully, we’ll find out on next Sunday’s episode.
I’m happy to announce that I’ll again be joining the gruesome twosome of Julie and Dianna over at their Aim for the Head podcast. The episode should be posted Monday night. Follow the link and be sure to check them out. In addition to the Walking Dead, they also discuss Fear the Walking Dead, Westworld, Stranger Things and more.
Did you watch this episode of the Walking Dead? If so, who do you think this new community is and why did Gabriel take all the supplies and leave? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
- New community
- Rick and Michonne car killing extravaganza
- Morgan with his "Find another way"