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Forums » Other TV Shows » The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating

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  • Fluids
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    The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating Link to this post

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

    I gave this episode a 70 on Robin's scale. Chock full of dialog and action and story motion. Not all the dialog and scenes were necessary. Perhaps it was just to give everyone lines before the mid season hiatus? I loved the interactions for the most part (except with Morgan, Carol and Richard: See the Bad)

    * Gregory exchanges barbs with Maggie. He feels threatened by her abilities to save the community from walkers and tells her not to get cocky or think that means anything. She points out to him that it bothers him that she was able to do that. She manages to get him to give her the apple he was about to eat with coaxing from a lookout. This makes it obvious who's in charge here and the regard the hilltop people have for Gregory. That was nice. Maggie also feeds her baby in the process. The scene accomplished a lot with very little dialog. (The show needs to do more of this.)

    * Rick and Aaron make their way in a bullet hole ridden rowboat towards the house boat surrounded by floating zombies.

    * Negan sits down to nice Italian dinner flanked by Lucille, Olivia, Judith and Carl (shot with a lens that stretched out the image). It boils down Negan perfectly: Funny, creep, horrific, terrifying all done in a relaxing manner with a smile. That's not in the graphic novels BTW; that I thought was very well written and performed.

    * Spencer gives up his loot to the Saviors. One of the female Saviors makes a pass at him.

    * Morgan and Richard call on Carol. Richard tries to convince the both of them to ask King Ezekiel to fight against the Saviors. Neither of them want any part of it, however they can both see that a war is inevitable. Morgan doesn't want to fight because he still feels killing human beings is morally wrong. I think Carol doesn't want to fight because she feels she's killed too many humans and when she coexists with humans they always end up dead, so she would rather live alone.

    * Aaron falls into the water and is surrounded by zombies, however is okay and he and Rick make it to the house boat where they find a bunch of weapons but no bullets. They find a middle finger note and call the houseboat owner (who's not there) a 'sore loser'.

    * Daryl escapes the Saviors compound due to the assistance of Jesus. He clubs to death Fat Joey on his way out who has Rick's Python.

    * Michonne has the female hostage Savior drive her to the top of a hill overlooking the Sanctuary and Michonne realizes there's just too many Saviors to get at Negan. She takes the female Savior's advice and shoots her with a silenced gun and then turns the truck around and ditches it in a lake so Negan won't know she did anything and heads back to Alexandria.

    * Enid stops Sasha from going out on a mission to take out Negan.

    * Rosita shows Father Gabriel the bullet for Negan and tries to convince her that's pointless and she will only end up killed.

    * Rick shows up with Aaron and the Saviors proceed to process the loot they found and beat Aaron within an inch of his life because of the middle finger note about the supplies which they thought he made for them.

    * Richard goes to a hidden camper where it appears he has been making moonshine and falls down in a pile to vent; perhaps the shine is for Molotov cocktails?

    * Spencer plays pool with Negan; tries to get Negan to kill Rick and put him in charge. Negan eviscerates Spencer in front of the Alexandrians while commenting that he's a coward that lost his guts and then apologetically cracks the comment he now seems to have found them.

    * Rosita pulls a gun on Negan and shoots Lucille instead which pisses Negan off.

    * Negan notices the bullet is homemade (why he would be able to do that when it should be embedded in the bat or ricochet off a distance is a minor annoyance) and asks Rosita where she got the bullet. She tries to say she made it and he doesn't buy that. This costs Olivia her life.

    * Rick walks up to the group supporting Aaron and Negan tells Rick what happened with Carl, Spencer, Rosita and Olivia. (SEE the good.) This is the moment Rick realizes so many people want to see Negan dead and he has to do something or he will keep losing people. Getting supplies for Negan isn't helping keep the peace.

    * Negan pushes for the bullet maker and Eugene cracks and confesses. Negan takes Eugene with him and his crew back to the Sanctuary.

    * Rick, Michonne, Carl, Aaron, Tara and a few others reunite with Maggie, Sasha, Enid, Jesus and Daryl at Hilltop.

    * Rick resolves to fight with a few lines and taking his Python from Daryl.

    * The former houseboat owner spies on Alexandria using binoculars.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Good:

    * The scene in the cold opening where Negan asks Carl to *please* pass the rolls I thought was hysterical.

    * There is nice multi episode buildup to Rick coming back with supplies for Negan. His expression witnessing Olivia dead next to Carl; Spencer in a bloody pile by the pool table; while Rosita has a knife to her face as he's helping Aaron to his house confronting Negan is priceless.

    * Yes! The man who stockpiled the guns on the houseboat lives and is stalking Rick's group! This could be a great wildcard chaotic good character in the making. I hope it doesn't end up being just another enemy that gets dealt with quickly and unceremoniously. This looks specific to the show (there's nothing like that in the Graphic novels.)
    This should be interesting.

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

    * I didn't like the scene where Richard and Morgan simultaneously call on Carol. The problem I had here is I could not remember why Carol wanted to be alone. It's been so long in the story line since she explained why that was that I had to go back to Season 6 speeches to remind myself. They should have had that scene a lot sooner in the Season.

    * What specifically were the things that made Rick change his mind about fighting Negan? Was it Michonne's words? Carl's actions trying to take out Negan? The deaths of two minor characters Spencer and Olivia? Is it the totality of everything that was presented in the episode? I didn't have a firm sense on Rick's change in his position on going to war with the Saviors until the very end, however that Hilltop scene with them walking to the meeting house was very sophomoric to me.

    * Tara handing Olivia the lemonade Denise loved didn't appear to have any purpose other than maybe it's to show Tara wanted an opportunity perhaps to take out Negan?

    * What was the point of Rosita confiding in Father Gabriel about the homemade bullet? It didn't seem like she was having a moral a dilemma. That was a filler scene for me.

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

    * Is Heath still alive? Where is he? He looks like he was abducted.
    * What does 'ppp' (or flip it upside 'ddd') mean on the security card? Is this a different group? My hope for years has been for a group of nerds to still be alive that have processor power at their finger tips. Perhaps this is who took Heath? More likely Negan eh??
    * What is going to happen when Negan finds out Maggie is still alive?
    * Will Oceanside ever help Alexandria in a war against the Saviors?

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    http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/173
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  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating Link to this post

    I was happy with the mid-season montage of hope. But I feel like it should take them at least another season to overcome Neegan. And frankly it feels like if they do that should be the end of the show. If they actually manage to unite the Hilltop and the Kingdom in their plans and they succeed - then that's the show right? Happy ending. They've found other communities to cooperate with and shown that tyranny need not be man's new natural state. Beyond that what is there left to do?

  • Ben
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating Link to this post

    I think what's left is the inevitable crossover with Fear the Walking Dead.

  • Aaronic
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating Link to this post

    I give this episode a 62. It was better than I expected, but I still wasn't a huge fan of this episode.

    First, the length of this episode was ridiculous. Nearly half of the episodes this season were extended by 20 minutes, and every time I could really tell that the episode went longer. I'm fine with longer episodes (I really enjoyed "First Time Again" and "Here's Not Here" from last season), but this season's extended episodes dragged on so much. This episode was no exception, and it continued the extremely slow pace that dominated this entire season.

    The content in this episode, however, wasn't bad. For one, I really enjoyed Negan in this episode. He was very entertaining throughout and I enjoyed the awkward dinner scenes. The scene that really stood out to me was when he killed Spencer. Negan clearly stated to like him, but he knew as soon as Spencer said he wanted to lead that he was a threat; Rick has been broken, but Spencer hasn't been. Negan clearly saw the threat and decided to kill him, throwing in some decent jokes as Spencer bled out. It adds more to the threat of Negan as he is no idiot; he always knows when it's necessary to kill and make a statement.

    Rick's transformation was good, if only because we have waited so long for it. Seeing him appear in front of Negan with Rosita at knifepoint, Spencer and Olivia dead, while carrying Aaron's beaten body was a pretty gruesome image. Following Michonne's speech, I would buy that Rick would change. The only issue is that I would buy that anything would change Rick since his persona in the past season has been irksome, as he refuses to do anything with the possibility of Negan not honouring his side of the deal. It didn't feel like an earned transformation, but an inevitable one that should have already happened.

    The major deaths in this episode were disappointing. I didn't care at all about Spencer or Olivia, so their deaths lost all impact. Additionally, I predicted Spencer's death way before it even happened. He defied Rick, which in this show just means that he gets until the next big episode to live. Once Spencer started talking to Negan, I knew he was a goner. Furthermore, Spencer's character arc has been a trainwreck, as I mentioned in the last episode review. I feel like his scenes in this episode could have had an impact if the writers made us like Spencer instead of hate him.

    My next point is on the structure of the whole climactic scene, since I was pretty disappointed because it could have been so much better. I've mentioned my problems with the character deaths above, but there were even more problems. First, I didn't understand why everyone just gathered around the pool table outside. It was never explained and just sort of happened because the writers wanted everyone to be present. Also, Rosita shooting Negan was handled poorly. I am simply annoyed that she didn't actually kill him. Negan was stupidly lucky, and it makes Rosita look bad for not being able to shoot him from literally five feet away. Additionally, there is no chance that a bullet from that close wouldn't go through Lucille. It just felt like poor writing. Additionally the timing of the commercial break was awful, since it made it obvious that Negan would survive the shot.

    However, I did like parts of the scene. I enjoyed seeing Aaron getting beaten down over practically nothing, and it was a rare scene of tension in what has been a very bland and unexciting season. Additionally, Jeffrey Dean Morgan did excellent after Rosita's shot, showing that split second of fear, before getting incredibly angry. As I have said in a previous episode, Negan is terrifying when he gets serious and loses the smile. I loved him threatening Rosita and then explaining to Rick how things went from his point of view. The only disappointing thing here is that I found myself agreeing with Negan when he was telling Rick that he should be thanked. It goes to show just how poorly Spencer was handled.

    The walker scene in the lake was excellent. It was very creative and I was happy to see a tense walker scene. For a moment I did think Aaron was a goner, but I am thankful that he survived.

    The Kingdom scenes were really awkward. They felt jarring and out of place in this episode, most likely because the Kingdom hasn't been shown in 6 episodes. Carol and Morgan didn't do much for me in this episode either. It looked like they would be reluctant killers in "The Well", but apparently they are still just non-killers. Richard is very boring so far, so his desperation didn't do much for me.

    Daryl's escape felt anticlimactic. There was no tension and it makes the Saviours once again look clumsy for just letting him escape so easily. The Saviours themselves have been a huge disappointment as they are only capable 50% of the time. I did enjoy seeing Daryl kill Joey with a baseball bat (shades of Negan). It fit after the torture he's been through this season.

    I loved the ending though. The reunion felt earned and the montage of characters hugging each other almost has a Lost feel to it, which was nice. I also really appreciate that there isn't a stupid cliffhanger this time. It looks like Scott Gimple has finally learned from the cliffhangers in season 6. I'm ready for what will hopefully be a more exciting half season in February.

    However, there are some issues for the next half of the season. The main issue is that TWD has become too predictable. While the mystery man is a nice addition, I doubt he will come into play until the season finale at least, and I suspect he will have something to do with Heath's Fate. Continuing on, I feel like I can accurately describe the Next 8 episodes fairly accurately by just guessing: Rick meets Ezekiel and tries to get him to fight, but Ezekiel refuses. Then the Saviours kill someone (maybe Ben) and after a painfully long time, Ezekiel will join Rick's crew (he will probably appear in episode 15 or 16 to help Rick). Maggie and Gregory will continue to have leadership issues throughout the season which will probably end in Gregory's death. Morgan and Carol won't kill someone until the season finale. They will also take a painfully long time to join Ezekiel. Oceanside will make a return and will refuse to help Rick's group, but will come around eventually. Someone important will die in the season finale, and Rick will openly declare war. There may still be bottle episodes focussing on the Sanctuary and the Kingdom (hopefully not). Negan will survive the season, which will end in a shootout between Alexandria, the Kingdom, Oceanside and the Saviours. The end of the season finale will be the united groups dealing serious damage to the Saviours (maybe Simon dies). That's all I've got, and I honestly feel like it's pretty accurate. It appears that TWD seems to have lost what I initially loved about it: its unpredictability.

    Other notes:

    -Maggie was great in this episode. I am definitely enjoying her rise to power. I don't think Gregory will last until the season's end.

    -Michonne's plot felt pretty pointless in the end. It just showed us something we already know: just how deadly the Saviours are.

    -No Ezekiel in this episode. I loved him in "The Well", so it's pretty disappointing that he hasn't appeared since.

    -No Simon either, which makes me sad.

    -I wonder who the mystery person is? I definitely have high hopes since the last time we got a surprise character, it was Morgan who is one of my favourites. Could it be Morales from season 1 maybe?

    -Rosita's scenes prior to the shooting were pretty bad. Her scene with Father Gabriel made no sense, and her scene with Spencer made it painfully obvious that he was going to die.

    This episode was a solid mid season finale, but it didn't really ever get to the level of great television. It's been a disappointing half-season, and I really hope that TWD can get back on track in the next half, but I'm not getting my hopes up too high.

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