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TWD S7E7: Negan’s Babysitting Service

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I’ve not kept up with the spoiler reviews of this season 7 episodes of The Walking Dead. This first half has become a bit mundane and almost aimless in its thready plot lines. I am not finding myself much interested in Negan. The Governor and the Terminus termites were far more interesting than the asshole with a wired baseball bat and hot iron, and a shit-load of really lame sophomoric moronic one-liner bullshit. And I’m not the only one sighing through each episode…

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Last week’s S7E6 we saw the missing Heath and Tara. We’ve forgotten how they headed out to look for supplies ahead of last season’s rush to get the troubled pregnancy Maggie to the Hilltop doctor until Negan and Co. got in their way(s). We catch up with Heath and Tara in their RV pondering the very slim-pickings left out in the real world outside Alexandria’s walls. Heath has gone full negative, while Tara still has a glimmer of hope. They come to a bridge where there had been an clumsy encampment now abandoned, except for the massive mound of sand. Tara a hell of a lot of ammo is present within the sand and hasty digging causes a slide of the pile to bury the ammo and uncover some very dry Walkers underneath.

The couple has to fight off the dusty hoard and become separated. Tara is knocked off the bridge into the water below. The episode finds her washed up on a beach and encountering a new group populated by women and children, no men. Tara notes their huge arsenal of weapons locked away. Their story was their men and boys had been killed by Negan, and they managed an escape to find this desolate and well-hidden old seaside vacation spot. They are leery of Tara.

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By the end of the episode Tara thinks she has their trust but discovers the two village women are taking her back to the bridge to find Heath are really taking her out to kill her, as they do with any/all people who come upon their community. It’s the only way to be sure. She manages to get away, and one of the young women who did befriend her comes to her rescue to get her back to the bridge before the first two women catch up and drag her home. Tara cannot find Heath or their RV, and hopes he is still alive. Well, we shall see. Obviously leaves it open for yet another abduction by some of Negan’s posse. Tara manages to get back to Alexandria, only to be informed by Eugene of the community’s recent horrifying losses, one of which was Tara’s beloved girlfriend Denise. Later, when Rosita tries to impress upon Tara that they need something … anything … from the outside that she may have come across in order to fight Negan, Tara remembers she swore never to tell anyone about the seaside community, but you know her mind was fighting to keep silent on the needed weaponry therein.

The core group is a bit separated, again. Maggie, Sasha and now Enid are at the Hilltop community.

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Currently Rick and Aaron are on the road hunting for something, anything, of value to stave-off Negan’s threats ahead of his next collection from Alexandria. Others in the group are either doing their share of hunting and gathering or holding down the fort. And given Tara’s mention above, and the fact that Rosita had not yet gotten Eugene to make her one bullet, I guess we can assume Tara is inside the Alexandria walls during this episode, although not in the storyline.

At the end of E5 “Go Getters” that dealt with the Maggie and Sasha storyline, we saw Carl had teamed up with Jesus in the back on a Negan supply truck in order to head to Sanctuary. This episode Carl tricks Jesus into jumping off the truck just before it reaches the gates and goes in himself. He takes a high-powered rifle from the back of the truck and opens fire on Negan’s men attempting to unload the recent haul from Hilltop, killing two of them. Daryl is in the zombie zoo doing whatever the fuck the scarlet-lettered prisoners are supposed to do with the wandering chompers. He and Carl see each other.

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Negan takes Carl to his own private harem of multiple wives and Daryl brings in a cheese platter as Negan instructs Dwight to fire-up the furnace in preparation for punishment of a man who wrongly interacted privately with his own wife who is now Negan’s wife.

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Meanwhile Negan has “Lucille” returned to him in his bedroom by a worker drone who said he had left it by the truck Carl rode in on. Negan ponders what to do with Carl in retribution for the two dead workers. He makes the kid remove his bandage to reveal his empty eye socket and has great fun demeaning the injury and how Carl looks. Carl is brought to tears (something I found unbelievable) and Negan apologizes. He forces Carl to sing a song. When he is finished Carl informs Negan his mother had sung the song to him. He also tells Negan he killed his own mother. Negan gets a thrill out of that and claims Carl is a ‘bad-ass’. Carl tells Negan he should jump out the window and save him the trouble of killing him later. Negan chuckles. But it’s time to get down to dealing with the cheater…

Negan puts Carl in a truck and Daryl warns him not to harm the boy. Negan instructs Dwight to put Daryl back in his closet. We see Jesus on the roof of the truck at the start of the scene, but by the time Carl pulls away he’s not there. Did he sneak inside the Sanctuary? Later somebody slips Daryl a note under his door with some things taped to the back. Jesus? Dwight, in trying to trick Daryl or not? Dwight’s wife?

Negan takes Carl back to Alexandria. He laughs at ‘fat’ Olivia when she says the community is starving, and then tries to mend it by offering to sexually service her. She slaps his face and basically gets away with it, for now. As Negan wanders through the house he comes upon Judith’s room. He takes her from the crib and carries her around, Carl close behind. We next see the threesome on the front porch with Negan coddling the baby while Rick and Aaron prepare to use a leaky boat to get across a lake of Walkers between them and an expected haul of valuable supplies. Also, asshole Spencer has found a Walker who had been a hunter trapped in a tree. He gets the crossbow (hmmm) from it and a list written in Latin as to the guy’s stash of supplies. He goes and makes the collection and brings it back to Alexandria. But we know how Spencer is about keeping some for himself?

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Anyhow last night has me believing stronger still that this half of S7 will end with Negan doing something with one of Ricks kids. The revelation he made to Michonne about Judith earlier in the season. Carl’s and Judith’s interaction with Negan in this episode. The offhanded mention of Dwight and his wife about her not yet pregnant by Negan at the beginning of the season.

I think we will see Rick being presented with a “Sophie’s Choice” from Negan to choose which of his two kids Negan can have. I’m more convinced of this as I see the clip of Rick’s red eyes and horrified face in next week’s preview (below). Like Sophie chose her child son over her baby girl I think you might see Rick choose the same way. Negan will say he’s taking her home to his wives to raise. Possibly implying she will serve as a future wife. Not sure if Carl will come out of next week’s half-season finale unscathed, though. I can’t see Negan accepting anything of real worth so far as payment for the Carl’s having killed two of his henchmen. He will probably tell Rick if he chooses Carl to go he will use Carl as his bed bitch or something disgusting. Or turn him into a mini-me.

Also if it’s Judith she will basically have her second daddy Daryl already in Sanctuary when she’s brought in. Also Michonne is on her way there too and she is Judith’s surrogate mother. Whether the baby makes it out alive in the future is still up for grabs. If you know the comic books Judith was actually killed by “The Governor” along with her mother Lori. So there’s that. Judith has gone far past her death date.

I feel there’s at least one more character death before this break. One of the Grimes kids? I don’t know. That’s more of a full season finale. And hey besides the teen girl Enid that’s now with Maggie on Hilltop the Grimes kids are the only kids left in Alexandria I believe.

But somebody’s going to die next week. Gotta be. They have to end the first half of S7 on a bloody note, as they began it. Not sure who. Could be the priest Gabriel? Could be he steps in to try and talk Negan out of taking Judith. Could be Rosita’s one shot bullet goes bad and she’s bludgeoned. Or maybe it’s that shithead Spencer. I’ve seen where Spencer does get killed by Negan in the books. Could be more than one doesn’t make it to the second half of S7. Perhaps … But while this first half of S7 was a bit of a yawner, substance-wise, it really was a set-up and setting into motion the coming alliance of communities to go to war with Negan and the saviors. Anyhow, Rick looks to be ending this half the way he began it … Red-eyed and helplessly grief-stricken.

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