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Forums » Other TV Shows » The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 3: The Cell

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  • Aaronic
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    The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 3: The Cell Link to this post

    I give this a 54 out of 100.

    I was really disappointed by this episode. I was expecting the pace to pick up after a slower episode last week, but that didn't happen here. If anything this episode felt slower and lacked all of the charm that made me enjoy The Well. Additionally, we still didn't get to see anything from Rick's group. I was more lenient to the last episode because I assumed that we would be right back to Alexandria in this episode, but we still didn't get that and it's starting to frustrate me a bit.

    I did like the characterization of Dwight though. I have to give credit where credit is due and the handling of Dwight was excellent. It has been a really long time since The Walking Dead has made me care for characters that aren't part of Rick's main group, but this season I already care about Ezekiel, and now Dwight.

    Dwight's story was told excellently throughout and I really enjoyed trying to put the pieces together to figure out what his motives are and why he has aligned himself with Negan. There was some excellent subtle storytelling in the first half of the episode that I really enjoyed. With about 10 minutes left, the episode just needed to fill in some gaps by the end and I was hoping for some more excellent character work and storytelling. Then Negan stepped in and explained literally everything, rendering all the careful storytelling from before pointless. This frustrated me so much as it makes me feel like a fool for trying to piece together the story, when it was all just gonna be revealed at the end. Worse yet, it makes most of the episode feel like a waste of time since the entire episode's story was summed up in a short couple of minutes by Negan. In classic TWD fashion they told a good story, but ruined the execution at the very end. Clearly Scott Gimple still hasn't learned from his past mistakes.

    Negan was very bad in this episode. He was cool and intimidating in the premier, but here he was just boring and cliché. He is already showing traits of generic villains by monologuing whenever he gets a chance and by not killing Daryl just because. Gee, I wonder if he's going to regret that decision? It's stupid that The Walking Dead has abandoned everything I appreciated about Negan in the premier by having him just be a cartoon villain.

    I was disappointed by the lack of screen time for Daryl. I understand that this episode was mostly about Dwight, but wouldn't it have been so much better if the focus was on Daryl's guilt over his role in Glenn's death? There was only one scene that even acknowledged Daryl's feelings about Glenn's death, which is not enough to make me care. It's not like Dwight needed a whole episode of focus anyways. Negan summed up Dwight's entire story in under 5 minutes, so why didn't they just give Dwight the side story and put the main focus on Daryl? In the end, I would still feel sympathetic towards Dwight and I would have related a lot more to Daryl in his situation. This isn't the first time TWD has told the wrong story in an episode (see episodes like The Same Boat, Live Bait, Dead Weight & Slabtown for proof) and unfortunately it probably won't be the last.

    Other notes:
    -I enjoyed getting to learn about the Sanctuary and how it works. Though I would have liked a more concrete answer as to why the Saviours don't just turn on Negan and kill him.

    -The scene with Dwight pulling the motorcycle underneath the overpass felt really weird and out of place.

    -I loved the use of music in this episode. All the songs fit the tone perfectly and I was very satisfied.

    -Negan's process of breaking people is pretty neat. I'm curious to see what else he can do to Daryl.

    If Dwight's story wasn't as good as it was, this episode would have been a total dud. Hopefully Scott Gimple can figure out how to balance out characters or this season may very well be just as bad as the last.

  • Fluids
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    297 Posts

    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 3: The Cell Link to this post

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Thoughts with summary mixed together:

    Episode opens with the Jam's 'Town called Malice' and Dwight's existence and whiff of what it's like to be Savior at different levels all done via Montage. An egg sandwich is the result of a lot of shaking down of others in the compound. Inner fighting and beat-downs occur all the time (a kind of judicial system based on obedience and stepping out of line.) Meanwhile Daryl is undergoing torture by Negan to break his will. It's not going very well for the Saviors because they don't know Daryl. He grew up with a life time of abuse from his father and brother. This world works well in Daryl's favor and thousand playings of 'Easy Street' doesn't make him bat an eye and neither does Lucille (speaking of bats). Negan has constructed a whole existence based on subjugation and psychological warfare that is enforced at every level to get what he wants.

    Dwight is being tested all the time by Negan. Negan asked him if Dwight wants to sleep with his old girlfriend (Negan's bride) and Dwight says no. Dwight says no to sex with any woman of his choice. Dwight pushes away the notion that his manhood has been compromised when Negan toys with him. He volunteers to go after someone who has cut and run which Negan keeps telling him is beneath him and he asserts he has something to prove to Negan, which Negan likes.

    Dwight nearly dies going after the guy who cut and run due to walker overpass rain conditions. When he catches the guy, the runaway doesn't care about threats from Dwight and has lost his will to live under the rule of the saviors. In some ways this man is free and doesn't care when Dwight shoots him. He doesn't have to put up with anything anymore.

    I gave this episode a 65 using Robin's scale. Angela Kang I thought did a wonderful job of weaving together Negan's obedience hierarchical process at his compound with Daryl's plight and Dwight's story. I felt like I got great insights into how Negan operates with his people and how he thinks. This did more in one episode with Negan's character than several episodes did with the Governor. I felt like I learned a lot about Dwight's existence and the politics he plays into and employs.

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    The Good:

    * 'A Town Call Malice'! I grew up listening to the Jam and it brilliantly accompanies the montage describing Dwight's existence through his eyes and life at the Savior's home base. He does what he needs to do to help Negan and himself, however he definitely wants a change in his life; leaving and if he could with Negan's wife (his ex girlfriend.)

    * The torture techniques thrown on Daryl were wearing on the viewer. (Great fourth wall stuff).
    I already knew Daryl was tough, however this episode really shows how iron his will is. He doesn't flinch when Negan was going to beat him and doesn't succumb to the cell until he saw the picture of Glenn.

    * Negan is pragmatic about his subjugation. If he sees a strength he can use in a person he's smart enough to figure out how to manipulate them to do his bidding. As much as he commands respect and obedience he respects the strength and health of others because he recognizes that they can find things for him that will make his life easier. He does give little rewards to those who follow and listen to him to keep them in check. He's a smart guy.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Bad:

    * I liked many parts of this episode. However, I am puzzled about how Dwight's inner feelings and where Daryl is at. What does Dwight feel when he sees the walker on the pole? Does he feel like he will end up there? Or is it more like is this all there is?

    * I can see that Daryl feels like he deserves his treatment and that he won't be broken easy, however where is his story going? Negan seems to be patient with him and admires his strength.
    This could get tropic and Daryl could become the enemy of Rick and Company (I hope not.) I hope he remains defiant against Negan. Of course, there is a trope going the other way where he can fake obedience to Negan to get Rick and company some advantage and the Saviors in the future.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Unknowns:

    * Does Dwight see Daryl as a potential threat to his position with Negan since Negan sees Daryl's potential?
    * Is Dwight capable of coming over to the Rick's side?
    * Will Dwight help Daryl escape?
    * Does Dwight see his own existence as futile?
    * Is Dwight plotting something or will he be just an opportunist that will take advantage of a situation where he sees a way to eliminate Negan and others to get what he wants?
    * Does Dwight's ex girlfriend have a thing for Daryl or does she see him as a means of escaping the Saviors?
    * Will Daryl become a Savior?

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    http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/173
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