UK TV review: The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 5 (Go Getters)
Following Doctor's Orders6
Following Dad’s Orders6
A Night At The Opera9
Neil Brazier | On 21, Nov 2016
This is a spoiler-free review. Read on at the bottom for spoilers in full bloody detail.
The Walking Dead has never really shown women as meek and timid, its major success being Carol (Melissa McBride) who has grown into one of the compelling characters of the series. She is not the only empowered female character in the bunch and Go Getters shows two more women taking charge, both of whom should be weak from mourning, but are able to show strength and confidence, even when they’re hiding in a closet. This is Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Sasha’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) episode, as they get a first-hand look at how the Hilltop Colony is run.
We haven’t seen much from Hilltop since it was first introduced, but we did learn then that its leader, Gregory (Xander Berkeley), was a man of little morals who cares more for himself than his people. He isn’t a Rick Grimes, a King Ezekiel, or even a Negan. He isn’t charismatic? or a character, he’s far from intelligent or brave. He is the snake in the grass, a weasel and probably the one who will be the cause of the Hilltop’s downfall, unless he can be stopped.
Fortunate, then, that both Maggie and Sasha are on hand. Although Maggie is still recovering from both the loss of her husband and trouble with her pregnancy, the ineptitude of Gregory and a visit from the Saviours has somehow turned her grief into confidence. Going against doctor’s orders to rest, could Negan’s savage murder of her husband have been her catalyst to live more like Glenn and what he stood for?
Now, if there is one thing that the Walking Dead has been missing over its seven series, it’s a zombie-slaying montage set to some opera. And so Paavo Jârvi’s Finlandia Op. 26 blares from a locked car as Maggie bellows orders, before taking action herself, in the episode’s most beautifully shot (and, alas, only) action scene.
Although Gregory is a coward, not all the men in the episode are the same. Jesus (Tom Payne) shows heroism in battle and has the principals to know that Gregory is making the wrong decisions, although he isn’t tenacious enough to defy him. Simon (Steven Ogg), Negan’s right hand man in the Saviours, follows closely in the footsteps of his mentor, acting confident and intimidating. While not as frightening as Negan, he’s still creepy and unreadable, never asking for things but demanding them.
Away from the Hilltop, there’s Carl (Chandler Riggs), who has always been a hot-head, trying to break out of his father’s shadow and now he has a foolish idea to help Alexandria in a way his Dad cannot. Enid’s (Katelyn Nacon) heartfelt words to try and stop him making an unintelligent choice fall on deaf ears, but perhaps there will be someone else who can stop him.
It is good to see these other characters given more time to develop and evolve. Rather than focus on Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his inner turmoil following his submission to Negan, it provides time for others to step up and take control. If Rick only wants to make the choices that will keep his people safe, it is up to the others to do what it takes to survive.
The world of The Walking Dead is getting bigger; with new leaders emerging, strength is starting to appear in depth and numbers. As some characters retreat within themselves, others stand tall and the women look likely to take control. Maybe alone they are not enough to take on the Saviours, but together?
The Walking Dead Season 7 is available to buy and download on pay-per-view VOD. For more information, click here.
Entrails and innards (spoilers)
– Despite having to grow up quickly and miss out on a normal childhood, Carl proves in his decision-making that, for all his bravery and courage, he is still a child. Choosing to abandon Alexandria (and his sister – seriously, who is left looking after Judith? Father Gabriel?), despite his father’s blatant instruction, and sneak away to the Saviours compound in the back of one of their trucks. What does he hope to accomplish? We know the Saviours are now well stocked in arms and Carl can’t even hit a dart board with his lack of depth perception. Is he going to talk Negan out of raiding them? It’s a childish move that he hasn’t thought through.
– Thankfully, Maggie is able to go unseen at the Hilltop so Negan can continue to think she’s dead and Alexandria can remain safe after Rick’s decision to lie about her last week. Her baby is OK, but she needs to stay at the Hilltop to be near the doctor. Gregory doesn’t want any new people around, no matter what her or her people have done to help. Jesus defends the women but he isn’t willing to lead the Hilltop despite Gregory practically offering it to him, twice. With Maggie growing in confidence, if the Hilltop is looking for a new leader, maybe they don’t have to look any further than her?
– Gregory is willing to sell Maggie and Sasha out to Simon but instead loses his collection of alcohol, thanks to the quick thinking of Jesus. Gregory really can’t read the situation; if he thinks that handing over the two who saved his community will buy him favour with Simon, he’s gravely mistaken. Gregory is on borrowed time and as soon as the Saviours don’t need him anymore, he’ll be just another casualty. When Simon patted him on the leg, for a split second, it could have been a knife stabbing him.
Photos: Gene Page / AMC