Wednesday, February 15, 2017
The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 9 “Rock in the Road” (B+)
I don’t usually come out of this show’s frequent forays into hiatus feeling like I want to see more of it since it tends to be very cyclical in nature. Fortunately, this mid-season premiere suggested that things are finally picking up pace as Rick, reunited with Darryl before the show took its most recent break, is now resolved to fight against the Saviors after sitting back and taking it for the first half of the season. Gregory is useless, as fantastically portrayed by Xander Berkeley, but everyone is determined enough, even Jesus, that they don’t need him. It turns out that they were well aware of the existence of King Ezekiel and Morgan was just around relaxing, ready to put in a good word for his old friends even if he doesn’t support their latest idea which will bring much bloodshed upon all kingdoms. Hearing Negan on the radio ready to come hunt for Darryl was an excellent opportunity for the core group to band together and pull off an impressive and successful mission, leading Michonne of all people to utter the show’s new anthem: “We’re the ones who live.” Negan’s people coming to toss the place and promise to punish everyone if they ever find Darryl there seemed like more of a nuisance than a real threat, and the eerie sight of Rick smiling at the end of the episode indicates that things might actually be looking up, though those people really don’t look like new friends. And what is Gabriel up to?