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TWD: Well, Ain’t We A Pair, Raggedy Man?

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We are two episodes into the second half of season 7 of The Walking Dead. It looks like Rick Grimes and Company are going full-on post-apocalyptic Mad Max

S7E9: Fence-sitting…

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It is a bit subdued as the Alexandria group leaves Maggie at the Hill Top to prepare her group for battle, and heads to The Kingdom and a reluctant King Ezekiel for an alliance to go to war with Negan’s Saviors. With the anti-violence Morgan as the king’s go-between council the kingdom is holding out in unifying with Rick’s group. Rick and the others leave Daryl with The Kingdom, unaware and uninformed (by Morgan) that Carol is hiding on the outskirts, and they head out to look for more groups under Negan’s bat. Hopes are Daryl can talk Morgan into talking Ezekiel into manning-up and joining the fight.

S7E10: Enter this new group and their bizarre culture…

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Are these people “The Whisperers”? Or are they a completely different group. The writers/producers do a good job at limiting their members’ dialog to pretty much silence, except for their leader Jadis telling Rick the way it is and will be, should they join with them. By the way, these are the people who Fr. Gabriel ended up with. Apparently this group had their sights on the supply stash on the boat at the lake filled with floating Walkers that Rick and Aaron took and ended up giving to Negan. They somehow got Fr. Gabe to load up whatever was in Alexandria’s storage (practically nothing) and took him to their encampment amid the maze of mountainous refuse at the local dump.

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Rick must prove himself to Jadis. She shoves him off the heap into a pit with a Walker they had loaded with spikes. The whole episode reeked of “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome”.

Of course Rick killed the well-armored “Winston” and proved himself worthy of making a tough deal with Jadis. As much as Rick is enjoying his newfound confidence and strength we must wonder looking into Jadis’s eyes and manner if she will keep her word. This group has set up a well-crafted existence inside this tangle of trash, rubbish, and scrap. Gabriel, in his own way, brought them together in order to add numbers to Rick’s army. A momentary reminder that Tara knows were to find a shitload of weapons, ammo and able bodies came as she was loading the trunk of their car and still remained quiet when Rick pointed out she had been farther out into the wilderness than anyone else and knew where to look. She remains silent with the information about the beach group of women and children. But you know it’s coming.

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Meanwhile, Daryl makes a scouting run with Richard outside the Kingdom’s walls. Richard shows him his hidden stash of weapons and bomb-making materials, and tells Daryl they have to fight Negan and the Saviors, and that he has set up a plan to get King Ezekiel to agree. He has set a trap for the Saviors that leads to a woman’s reclusive house where they will be blamed for killing her, or something, and this will enrage Ezekiel who cares very much for her. Daryl pressures Richard into naming this woman, and he finally admits it’s Carol. Morgan had told Rick and the group Carol had “left”. Now Daryl knows she’s very nearby. He warns Richard that if anything manmade or God-made happens to Carol he will kill him.

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Daryl heads to Carol’s house and they are tearfully reunited. Remember, Carol left Alexandria a long time back. She was not around when the Saviors and Negan entered the picture. So much has happened since then. He asks why she left them. She explains her dread at losing anymore people she cared about, and dreaded having to kill anymore people to protect them. We can tell she’s being torn apart inside as she asks if the Saviors had finally arrived, and if everyone is still okay. Daryl is the one now who has to protect her and her fragile sliver of sanctuary and self-solace…

We must now consider a fuse or a trigger has been set with Carol. Daryl knows if he had told Carol the truth about the brutal deaths of Glenn, Abraham, Olivia and Spencer, along with his own imprisonment and experienced brutality at the hands of Negan, she would have jumped back into her ninja Carol mode. He can see she is barely holding her sanity together as they sit by the fire and feast on a meager bowl of soup. But she is there. She is there and in-wait to be ignited. By the end of E10 Daryl has made friends with King Ezekiel’s tiger and then takes his new crossbow and leaves The Kingdom to head back to Hill Top after basically telling Morgan (who lost his staff to one of Negan’s goons at the beginning of this episode during a tribute exchange) he needs to get Ezekiel’s alliance…

A side note, in The Talking Dead one of the show details pointed out how Carol is now seemingly surrounded with flowers or flower décor. This is a reminder of her having to kill little homicidal Lizzie as she had her “Look at the flowers”. And her stern warning into silence of little Sam Anderson shortly after arriving into Alexandria, and his ensuing death shortly after. This is part of the inner turmoil that has Carol in her self-imposed cloister and exile. She does not like what she has become. The reality of this world has made her a victim no more, but it has also made her the aggressor in order to survive and/or save.

I’m not sure how many episodes are left in this Season 7. Ezekiel still has to be brought around. Hopefully it’s not at the expense of Carol’s life. Perhaps Negan does find her and takes her with him. Perhaps he is the one to reveal all those loved ones he has snuffed from the Earth. Perhaps she is on the inside when Rick’s shit hits the fan at the Savior compound. I guess we will see. I think fans would rather see her go out in a blaze of Carol glory than another inane Negan joy-kill. Whatever the case, it is hard to see the rest of this season doing more than the much needed manning and arming-up of the army Rick and the other are trying to build … in addition to keeping Negan happy with the regular tributes of whatnots. And don’t forget that Negan took Eugene the bullet maker from Alexandria. It looks like S7E11 picks up a bit behind these first two mid-season openers with Negan returning to the Saviors’ compound with Eugene, unaware yet that Daryl has escaped his cell therein. Boy, is he going to be super pissed, eh? Somebody’s going to have to pay. I’m thinking Dwight’s in for more punishment.

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If this dumpster group is not “The Whisperers” then they have yet to be discovered and recruited … As well as Tara’s hidden female beach group. And don’t forget the mounds of sand on the bridge leading to that group is littered with Walkers and unspent bullets. And where the Hell is ‘Heath’? Oh, yeah, he’s the new bad-ass lead on “24: Legacy”. Heh!

Anyhow, I am just not sure if by the end of Season 7 the battle will have begun. We could just end on the precipice of that being where season 8 will be centered. Either way, much death and destruction can be ahead for Rick and Company over these next episodes. Will Negan find the pregnant Maggie alive in the Hill Top community? Will Gregory give her away? I just don’t believe the Negan debauchery of senseless killing is over this season. And according to the books, Rick captures and jails Negan in the Alexandria cell Morgan built. After a short spell in there Negan then escapes and is captured by The whisperers (whom Rick has been allowing himself to discuss with Negan while his prisoner). So, Negan is here for quite a bit longer, TWD fans already sick of him.

MORE:

S7E9 Highlight: Best Walker kill yet…

Has the Negan storyline hurt The Walking Dead? As ‘The Walking Dead’ Stumbles, AMC Looks to the FutureEXCLUSIVE: ‘The Walking Dead’ Boss Spills on That Shocking Lie-Filled Reunion, and the ‘Brutal’ Savior War Ahead!

Smokey And The Bandit Easter Egg In The Walking Dead

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