The only thing The Walking Dead has done consistently this season is being predictable in all the worst kind of ways. Sure, there have been a few moments where things have events have taken a left turn, or a character has done something different and interesting, but for the most part it’s been like a long forced march through mud and ‘Time for After’ was unfortunately more of the same.
Rick went to the Garbage Pail People, alone, last episode and what a shock, he was taken hostage. This week, after some weird picture/posing/art class moments with this very strange group, Rick is I guess sentenced to death, at least I think that was what was happening, using a zombie that looks like the offspring of the one Rick fought before in the garbage pit. Needless to say, Rick escapes, takes Jadis hostage and suddenly, just like that, the Scavengers are on his side again.
Now, this does take place over the whole episode, not all at once, but it is so predictable and feels like a rehashing of old ideas and moments from past episodes. I know, the Scavengers aren’t so smart, but they pulled the wool over the eyes of Rick and friends before, why won’t they do it again? It will be interesting to see how Jadis and her friends react in terms of how the episode ended, but I’ll get back to that.
Rick and friends did put together a decent plan, I’ll give them that. The Saviors are trapped, running low on everything, including morale, and the zombie horde is not going anywhere. This is of course when stupidity takes hold, this time in the form of Daryl and Rosita, who seemed damn determined to screw things up, this time by driving a truck into the Saviors compound, thus pushing the zombie horde inside much quicker. I would add Morgan to the mix but I think he’s lost what little control he had on his anger and now he just wants the fight to be over. Michonne and Tara try to get them to reconsider, to wait for Rick and the Scavengers as planned, but stupidity has taken hold and predictably, the plan goes all to hell.
What makes this even worse is things inside the Sanctuary are unravelling quicker than the good guys thought. Eugene is slowly losing his mind, forced to drink now to numb his brain on the things that he’s done, the decisions he’s made. There was moment when it looked like Gabriel was getting through to him but a after a run in with Dwight, his brain seemed to become overloaded and he delivered a pretty good speech about just who he was and what he intended to do.
Negan was also good in a subdued way this week, something the show needs to do more of in the future. Instead of having him rambling like psychopath and sociopath that he is, his one on one conversation with Eugene showed just who was in charge and how Negan can push almost anyone’s buttons verbally to get what he needs. It was a strong scene, too bad there was wasn’t more of them this week.
Actually, the moments inside the Sanctuary were pretty good this week but it wasn’t enough to save the episode. The bone head move by the good guys with no patience ended up helping the Saviors escape, which I hopes leads to a showdown between Daryl and Rick but I’m not holding my breath. Next week is the mid-season finale so maybe something unpredictable will happen…hey, I can always hope, right?
Three stars out of five
- His idiotic wordplay aside, Eugene was pretty good this week
- Watching the Saviors start to fall apart felt real and was fun
- Rick's lone ranger move with the Scavengers
- The Saviors were stuck, so let's drive a truck into the Sanctuary...great idea.