Melissa Moore ’20 / Emertainment Monthly TV Staff Writer
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for Season 7 Episodes 7 and 8 of The Walking Dead.
Season 7, episode 6, “Sing Me A Song” saw The Walking Dead return to its usual format of following several storylines at once. Audiences accompanied Carl (Chandler Riggs) as he split from Jesus (Tom Payne) to continue to Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) camp – thus encountering Daryl (Norman Reedus) as well – and followed Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) on their scavenging mission, Michonne (Danai Gurira) on a mysterious activity, and Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) as they made a bullet.
After Carl was caught, he managed to impress and amuse Negan enough to stay alive and receive a tour of the Saviors’ camp, before the two returned to Alexandria. Negan got very settled in his wait for Rick’s return, sitting on a porch with Carl and Judith.
As we follow Negan and Carl, audiences see social functioning at the camp and learn more about things such as Negan’s wives, the use of hot irons as punishment, and Negan’s king/deity-esque standing with his people. Negan also makes Carl remove his bandaging and reveal his empty eye socket.
Although he got separated from Carl at the start of the episode, Jesus made it to Negan’s camp and, it seems, unlocks Daryl’s cell door and gives him time to make a break for it.
Meanwhile, Rick and Aaron continue to scavenge and come across a “keep out” sign, which they obviously ignore, and they eventually come across a boat house in a walker-infested lake.
Episode 8, the midseason finale, opens with Maggie (Lauren Cohen) at Glenn’s grave. Gregory (Xander Berkeley) leers at her and tells her not to get cocky about people thinking she and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) saved them.
Rick and Aaron managed to get the supplies from the boathouse and escape unscathed and seemingly safe, although a mysterious someone has been watching them.
Michonne, who had set up a trap and hijacked a car and its Savior inhabitant, questions the Savior she’s kidnapped. The woman does not answer, but tells her that there is no point in trying to fight and repeats the, “we are all Negan,” mantra. She tells Michonne that she has only 1 option: kill her, hide the car in the bottom of a lake, and forget this ever happened. Presumably, this is what Michonne does, although knowing The Walking Dead and Michonne, this is likely not the case, and the women may come back in later episodes.
Viewers catch up with Carol – who is still in the house where we last saw her – and Morgan, who has come, unbidden, to visit her. Carol makes it very clear throughout her scenes this episode that she wants to live, unbothered, by herself and wants nothing to do with anyone else. A citizen from the Kingdom shows up, however, and implores the two of them to convince Ezekiel to stop trade with the Saviors and to attack them. He then leaves, goes to a RV that he’s hidden in the woods, and cries. It’s confusing.
Back at Alexandria, Negan has shaved and he, Judith, Carl, and Olivia (Ann Mahoney) feast. Spencer (Austin Nichols) then courts Negan – drinking with him, playing a game of pool – to convince him to kill Rick and put Spencer in charge. Ever charming, Negan plays along until he’s had enough, then reminds Spencer that Rick is currently out gathering supplies to keep his people safe, while Spencer is here with “no guts”.
With that witty remark, Negan effectively disembowels Spencer. This serves as a catalyst for Rosita to shoot at Negan, although the bullet gets blocked by Lucille, which is very upsetting to Negan, who can tell it’s a homemade bullet. Olivia is killed as motivation for the bullet-maker to come forward, which Eugene does. He is taken by the Saviors along with the supplies that have just arrived along with Rick and Aaron.
After Negan and the others leave, Michonne finds Rick and tells him that while she knows now more than ever that they are seriously outnumbered, her belief that this is not how they should be living has not changed. Rick agrees, saying that he knows that now.
Meanwhile, Daryl has left his cell and finds clothes that he changes into in a room in the building he’s been kept in. Daryl notices some figurines on a table and for some reason gives significance to them, going as far to displace the table they are resting on when he leaves the room – when he should have been very quiet. He gets outside and is about to get on a motorcycle when “Fat Joey” (Joshua Hoover) appears. Joey immediately puts his hands up and says he will let him go and that he was supposed to be guarding the gate, so it’s clear, but Daryl bashes his skull in anyway. Jesus then appears and the two escape on one of the motorcycles.
Back at Hilltop, the opening scene repeats itself, only this time Maggie sees someone over the wall. The fences open and Rick, Michonne, Carl, Rosita, and Tara are revealed. Rick tells Maggie that she was right and they need to get ready to fight. Then, in a totally realistic moment of happy bromance, Daryl (along with Jesus) comes into the scene and he and Rick hug it out, before Daryl gives Rick the gun he managed to take from Joey.
Many viewers have expressed dissatisfaction and irritation with the show over the past few seasons, as it has deviated from the original premise of the show and is threatened to become one of those shows who continue merely because they can continue to make money. It has also turned into a “spectacle show” – specifically in that every midseason and season finale ends with a massive cliffhanger. While that may not be the case, it was a very cheesy ending, with a large group coming together at Hilltop and making significant eye contact before walking together towards the main building, all accompanied by a dramatic instrumental soundtrack that is reminiscent of a Lifetime movie.