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Forums » Other TV Shows » The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 9: Rock in the Road

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  • Fluids
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    The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 9: Rock in the Road Link to this post

    The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 9: Rock in the Road

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    Thoughts with summary mixed together (I downgraded my score):

    Happy Valentine's Day and Second half of the season! I gave this episode a 65 on Robin's scale. There is some sameness with my descriptions from my last write up. Chock full of dialog and action and story motion.

    * Father Gabriel goes AWOL taking supplies in a car with another person. He has been planning this a while. He has a list of items and has written the word 'Boat' in his bible which leaves for the others to find. (SEE Unknown.)

    * Gregory exchanges barbs with Rick and Company. My favorite line was Rosita calling Gregory a 'Walking Ball Sack'. That's something Abraham would say.

    * Bertie and some other hilltop members pledge their help to Maggie and Rick's group to fight the Saviors.

    * Jesus takes Rick and Company to the Kingdom to meet King Ezekiel.

    * Rick's group reunites with Morgan and they tell him about the death's of Glenn, Abraham, Spencer and Olivia. He tells everyone that Carol is off on her own.

    * Rick tries to persuade Ezekiel to rise up against the Saviors. Ezekiel's miffed that Jesus told Rick about his deal with the Saviors. Ezekiel wants them to stay overnight and he would let them know in the morning if the Kingdom will assist.

    * Benjamin calls on Carol to check up on her for Ezekiel and she orders him away.

    * Benjamin returns to the Kingdom and informs Ezekiel about his encounter with Carol.

    * Ezekiel rejects Rick's plea to help in the battle against the Saviors because it endangers his people.

    * He offers asylum to Daryl since the Saviors have never gone into the Kingdom and he would be safe. Daryl mentions it's just a matter of time before they will come into the Kingdom. Then they would be harboring a fugitive and they will be in trouble too. Essentially Daryl is saying you may not have a problem now, however you will in the future. (SEE the Bad) Richard wants to go with Rick (from the Kingdom.)

    * Sasha says to Rosita she knew Ezekiel would say no. Rosita distances herself from Sasha with the comment 'What the hell are you telling me for? We both had sex with the same dead guy. It doesn't make us friends.' (See: The Good)

    * Jesus had gotten a hold of Fat Joey's radio when rescuing Daryl and has been keeping tabs on their movements.

    * Rick and company take the freeway past the Saviors place back to Alexandria and run into a road block and a booby trap setup for stopping walker herds that uses explosives.

    * Jesus overhears a Eulogy on the shortwave radio for Fat Joey and Negan sends out a search party to go after Daryl.

    * Rosita, Rick and company disable some of the explosives for their own use and head back to Alexandria racing against a walker herd and the Saviors setting out for Alexandria. In the process Rick and Michonne mow down a number of walkers in a highway walker herd with a cable strung between two cars driven simultaneously and then they quickly park the cars. The herd runs through the cable detonating the explosives that remained on the booby trap. This provides a great cover for any suspicions the Saviors would ever entertain of the Alexandrians having Dynamite.

    * Rick and company make it back to Alexandria just before Negan's henchmen get there looking for Daryl (I would imagine the Alexandrians have buried Rick and Carl's guns along with the explosives in a hidden cache somewhere.) After searching the place the Saviors vow to get Daryl in the future and leave.

    * Eric mentions to Rick that Father Gabriel had been missing since his watch the night before and the pantry was cleared out.

    * Rick believes Gabriel is leaving them a message (see the bad) and focuses on the word 'boat' written inside his Bible left very conspicuously on the floor. He takes Aaron, Rosita and few others to the William Stanton's houseboat land (Eric tries to persuade Aaron not to go before they left.) They spot footprints and that leads them to a junk yard where they are surrounded by a least fifty people. Rick smiles (credits)...

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

    * I liked Rick's story about the Rock in the Road to Ezekiel. Challenges can lead to fortune or good circumstances is what I got from that.

    * The walker highway cable slicing scene was cool.

    * I like the dialog between Eric and Aaron because it shows some of the Alexandrian's are still against Rick's actions (even inside of relationships.)

    * Nice friction between Rosita and Sasha. We are getting some more inner dynamics between characters. The show needs to do more of this with all the characters. Things would be so much better.

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

    * More tiring wasted calls on Carol. Her story line is becoming too repetitious and dull.

    * Daryl being planted at the Kingdom is for me the show making their setups very obvious. It's pretty clear two things are probable with the Kingdom: 1. Richard will get in a fight with one of the Saviors. 2. Daryl will be discovered. Either thing puts the Kingdom on Rick's side in the war.

    * The whole bible thing with Gabriel I thought was handled poorly. It felt very Scooby Doo (Velma finding a clue). If Gabriel's note about a Boat in his bible is an intentional clue for Rick and Company, why do that? Why wouldn't he just tell Rick about where he is going? If he left the bible there by accident then the note about the Boat was a reminder to himself where to go. That's just lame writing for me. He keeps a detailed list of items to take with him on his AWOL journey in his bible and then leaves his bible there?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    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?
    * Who is this new group of survivors? Is William Stanton amongst this group (this is the guy with the wordy signs that had a lagoon and houseboat full of guns and perhaps the snakeskin boots?
    * Who is riding shotgun with Father Gabriel? Is it the guy with the snakeskin boots?
    * Why is Rick smiling? Is it because he sees someone he knows; like Father Gabriel? Is it because he may be able to use these people against the Saviors?
    *If there was only one cable used for the highway walker stunts, wouldn't the dynamite have detonated as soon as they started cutting walkers in half with it?

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    http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/173
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  • Aaronic
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 9: Rock in the Road Link to this post

    Welcome back for The Walking Dead! It's good to have the show back even though I thought this episode was extremely disappointing. I give it a 46 out of 100.

    First, I'll address the Father Gabriel stuff. Fluids, there is a small detail they included in that opening scene when Gabriel drives away. In the car a hooded figure actually appears beside Gabriel, implying that he was forced to do this against his will. That explains why he left the bible, since he definitely couldn't talk to Rick because the person was waiting for him.

    I liked that scene overall and I thought it was a highlight of the episode. It had a nice air of mystery and suspense and seeing the figure appear was very creepy.

    However, the rest of the episode pretty much falls apart from there. I'll start with the walker attack sequence. At first, I really enjoyed it. The tension built up nicely and the music complemented the scene well. But then the walker clothesline happened. I'll admit that it's the best walker sequence in a long while, but it's still ridiculous and required a lot of convenience. For example, the cars were just conveniently facing the right direction and the line was conveniently tied to the cars instead of the highway railing. Then Rick literally goes through a horde of walkers like they were just a crowd of people...WHAT?? That scene really pissed me off and is a perfect example of the show's declining threat of the walkers. If Rick can just brush through a whole horde without even a scratch, why should we fear these guys? Ridiculous writing.

    I also don't like how predictable the series feels now. I think I can accurately guess how the rest of the season plays out, which is pretty disappointing. Without any surprise I will be very disappointed by the end of the season. It's obvious that there won't be an actual battle/confrontation until the finale and that the Kingdom, Hilltop and Oceanside will join with Alexandria for that confrontation. The only wildcard is this new group that was introduced, but I'm sick of seeing all of these other factions since we have been introduced to 4 others within the past 15 episodes. However, I am hopeful that this new group will satisfy me more than the rest.

    I enjoyed most of the Kingdom scenes. Sure Shiva looked very fake in this episode, but I didn't mind that much. I enjoy Ezekiel and both Ben and Richard have somehow received more character development this season than most of the main cast. As it stands, the Kingdom storyline is the one I'm currently the most invested in.

    But all wasn't good in the Kingdom. I thought Rick's Rock in the Road speech was awful and I was unimpressed with his attempted persuasion of Ezekiel. Ben was far more convincing in his scene. However, there is a big flaw here. It's obvious that Ezekiel will eventually change his mind so this currently feels like a stalling tactic until then, which is very disappointing.

    In addition to all this, Rosita gets a lot of lines and they are pretty poor. Rosita comes off as a total bitch which is really annoying since her character had come off very well in the first half of this season. Morgan just finds out that 4 of his friends are dead and Rosita just mocks him and scolds him. I thought the point of this half season was to show the group back together as friends, but Rosita gets so much screen time to bitch that the friendship and bonds doesn't come across at all. The reunion at the end of season 4 through season 5 was far better than this.

    My last major complaint is that the dialogue was terrible in this episode. There were several lines that just felt out of place and sometimes even confusing. The dialogue felt very cheesy and bland, which really took me out of the episode. The Walking Dead was much better with dialogue and character interaction in season 4 and 5. Here it's just sloppy and thoughtless.

    Other notes and observations:

    -Rosita shames Morgan for suggesting a deal. Did she forget that it was Rick's refusal to a deal that caused Glenna and Abraham to be killed in the first place?

    -Morgan also suggests just taking out Negan specifically. That's a great idea, so how come nobody gives that any thought? It seems like the show is trying to make Morgan sound unreasonable but that doesn't work if he brings up good points. There are moments similar to this with Gregory as well where he brings up very credible points.

    -Speaking of Gregory, Xander Berkeley is excellent as him. Gregory is much more exciting to watch than he should be because of this. I hope to see moe of him until his inevitable demise.

    -Yes Simon s back! The raid of Alexandria was a million times better than the one in "Service". Simon is just intimidating in a way Negan isn't, which adds a lot more tension to the scene. Add in the fact that it was short and sweet, and it's easily the best scene in this episode.

    -The walker clothesline had problems but it did look really cool. I'll give that much to this episode.

    -Rick's smile at the end was interesting. I think it's because he believes that he just found his army to fight Negan. There should be some interesting developments in the next episode.

    -Rick and Carl are the only 2 with guns. A fitting choice.

    -Negan's small audio talking about Fat Joey was pretty funny. I really enjoyed that.

    -Daryl will remain at the Kingdom. I wonder if we can expect a Carol and Daryl reunion soon? That would be something to look forward to at least and is one of the reasons I'm most excited for the Kingdom storyline.

    -Rosita did have one good scene though; I enjoyed her interaction with Sasha.

    In the end, I thought this was disappointing. It moved at a faster pace, but there are still way too many storytelling and writing issues in the show to make for good television. This issues need to be sorted out so we can get The Walking Dead that we used to have.

  • Fluids
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 9: Rock in the Road Link to this post

    I like your comments about Morgan and Negan. Morgan said 'People will die. A lot of people, and not just the Saviors. It If we can find another way, we have to. Maybe it's just about Negan -- just capturing him, holding him.'

    I also liked his idea. If they could figure out a way to capture Negan (I think more importantly neuter him of power) then that would control the Saviors.

    I think if they kill him, then someone else would just take his place amongst the Saviors. Making him powerless (like capture) definitely would have a morality effect on the Saviors.

    The more I think about the cable scene on the highway the more it doesn't make sense. It's got a serious plot hole. If there were still explosives on the cable, why didn't they go off when Rick and Michonne sliced through a multitude of walkers at a fairly high speed? Instead they go off when the vehicles are parked and the walkers trip over it? It's kind of silly.

    I also agree about both Michonne and Rick being surrounded by walkers. Michonne didn't even unsheath or use her Katana. They were definitely being handled by walkers as well. They should have been overrun.

  • Aaronic
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    Re: The Walking Dead Season 7: Episode 9: Rock in the Road Link to this post

    Thanks for your opinions Fluids.

    Good point about the explosives. I actually forgot about that explosion, and the more I think about it, the more I realize how unnecessary it was. It didn't accomplish anything for the story and as you said, it didn't make any sense either.

    I agree with your entire idea of taking the power away from the Saviours by capturing Negan. It makes total sense. Also I'm sure that some or possible most of the Saviours are only serving Negan because he is too strong. If he gets captured or even killed, I wonder how many Saviours will try to leave Negan's cause. That could be a huge factor in getting the numbers on Rick's side if the Saviours are divided.

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