Nice comments Fluids, I got a good laugh out of your comparison of the Junkyard group to Dieter. It really goes to show how ridiculous the group is. I give this episode a 56 out of 100, I thought it had good elements, but disappointed for the most part.
I enjoyed the scenes with Rick and Michonne a lot for most of the episode. Its like The Walking Dead finally remembered to develop their relationship an entire season later and thankfully they do a good job. The opening montage was nice and it was good to see the 2 of them happy as they view their mission as a way to spend time together. The episode was very good for a while as these 2 anchored the episode down with some lighthearted moments and good action.
But then unfortunately the episode slowly get worse as time went on. I was annoyed by how stupid Rick was behaving while the 2 of them were looting the school for a lot of the action sequence. At first his decision which got them stuck in the car was dumb, which isn't expected from a professional of the zombie apocalypse. Even worse though was his decision to go for the deer. Really Rick? He stupidly risked his life for that and it left us with another stupid death fake-out. Sure this time I don't think anyone bought that Rick died, but this is a trend that the Walking Dead has used far too much recently. Even though it does lead into a good story, its become frustrating to deal with over and over and it damages the credibility of the show; it's a habit that needs to be ditched right away.
As I mentioned before the fake-out does lead to a good story. It was nice to see how Michonne would react if Rick died and it was an effective way to show just how much she has changed from who she once was, and I liked the conversation it led into, even if the dialogue felt a little forced at times.
Also I enjoyed the action overall, but there was never any tension, despite this being the biggest walker battle since "No Way Out". I hate what the walkers have become and they honestly may as well be replaced with a giant rock that's blocking the door to the guns. It's disappointing to see them so weak now compared to the terror they once presented. Though I will give credit where credit is due, and I liked that the one walker in the car gave Rick trouble, which reminds me f other excellent scenes earlier in the series where a single walker is the cause of a dramatic death scene (Dale, Andrea).
I still can't stand the Junkyard group. They remain bland and uninteresting and their inclusion to this episode was unsatisfying. Not only did we get a stupid and nonsensical negotiation which Rick somehow won in a way I really don't understand (Just say no Jadis!!), but we were also essentially told that the plot of this episode was pointless since it was all about getting guns, and now they have to go back to getting guns for the exact same reason. It's pretty frustrating to have an episode that literally doesn't progress the plot whatsoever.
Rosita remains annoying, but at least she has a story that's probably going to be important to the main plot. Although it is a stupid plan to just attack the Sanctuary. Why couldn't she just wait for Negan to return for supplies and then just shoot him? With that she is safer and still accomplishes her goal.
I liked Tara's conflict regarding Oceanside. While I don't care about Oceanside, I understood her dilemma and it was nice to see her get some time to work things out in a scene with Judith.
-No Sanctuary or Kingdom this week. Hopefully we can get back to the Kingdom storyline soon since I am the most invested in that one.
-How awful was that fake deer? The Walking Dead usually has great special effects but that deer was simply abysmal. It was even worse than the stupid backdrop from "New Best Friends".
-No Simon is never a good thing.
-Father Gabriel has been one of the best characters this season. Here he gets another great scene with Rosita.
Honestly I think this episode was good for the most part. Rick and Michonne's mission was excellent for the first half and everything else was fine. But some bone-headed writing in the second half of the episode drags it down a lot for me.