I don’t know how TWD does it: they manage to produce an episode that’s fairly decent and simultaneously makes me want to punch my television. It’s a gift, really.

There were so many WTF moments in this episode I don’t even know where to start, so I’ll go with the most obvious one:

daryl-carolAre you f*cking kidding me Daryl? You had ONE JOB.

And Carol, seriously? That surly don’t-bother-me-but-I’ll-begrudgingly-take-that-cobbler-and-won’t-even-say-thank-you attitude is so infuriating I just want to punch her in the face. Also, save the waterworks, lady. If you were really so concerned about your people getting hurt you’d have stayed with them, not left in the middle of the night and sent them on a wild goose chase to track you down. Which makes Daryl’s reluctance to say whatever’s on his mind – for once – all the more aggravating. Why the hell does Carol deserve more sympathy, living it up in her stupid cottage with her free food supply and endless time to read and mope around, more than your family back in Alexandria who have to scavenge and hunt and trade and be enslaved by the Saviors? Seriously, WTF Daryl?

God I want to punch them both right now. And Morgan too, but then again I always want to punch Morgan.

jadisI also want to punch that riddle-speaking garbage woman with the most ridiculous haircut on TWD, because really? I mean, we’ve seen our share of weird sh*t on this show but this junkyard tribe really takes the cake. I get how living in this place would drive a person nuts but did she really have to speak like a freakin’ alien who hasn’t yet mastered the art of communicating with other humans? Up-up-up. 

While I’m at it: how is it that this Scavengers leader lady keeps her bangs so trim and her roots only seem to have grown out for a few months if they’ve been living there this whole time? And how come no one else in that group has discovered scissors yet? More to the point: they’d been waiting all this time for someone to get that stuff out of the boat? That whole “we don’t bother” motto seems like a load of B.S. to me – more like, we’re cowards who’d rather let someone else do our dirty work. Are we supposed to like the Scavengers? Because so far, it’s a pass for me. They all look miserable (I would too, if I lived in a landfill). Also, this whole gun deal doesn’t make much sense if they “don’t bother”.

richardSpeaking of bizarre things we got in this episode: of all the plans Richard could have devised to get things rolling with the Saviors, I must say the one he laid out for Daryl was by far the stupidest I could imagine. Which is a shame, because I really liked the guy before he went all crazy this week – maybe the writers are trying to ease us into accepting his inevitable demise “for the Kingdom”? I guess he was ready to die for it, but not if he could just offer Carol up as the sacrificial lamb instead (and honestly, at this point, I kind of agree with him).

gabrielOn the other end of the WTF scale: when did Gabriel grow such a set? He actually pulled a knife on one of the garbage people AND managed to talk some sense into their awfully-coiffed leader woman whose name I refuse to learn! Who would’ve thought?! And how cool was his moment with Rick? Looks like this is the beginning of a beautiful bromance.

I was hard on Rosita last week and would be harder still this time around because she’s been enough of a pain already. However, she’s not even close to being the stupidest member of the group right now, because HOW MANY CHANCES will Tara get to come clean about Oceanside and STILL fail? Seriously, get it together, Tara. You’ve been on my bad side ever since that snoozefest of an episode and you’re not making things easier by keeping mum about the armory those ladies keep. WTF else has to happen for her to break her promise to whatsherface? (I obviously can’t deal with all these characters and their weird names any more).

spikeyI’m basically mad at everyone this week (except for Rick, Michonne, Gabriel and Benjamin), including those sadistic TWD writers who can’t seem to get enough of knocking Rick down every damn week. He couldn’t just reach a non-violent agreement with the junkyard people, OH NO. He had to get pushed down the mountains of garbage and get maimed by this (admittedly cool) spikey-walker in that hobo gladiator pit so he could prove yet again what a badass he really is? The poor guy just got his swagger back, did he really have to end yet another episode covered in blood and in need of stitches?

rickLast WTF before I go into a full-blown rant: how fake did that vast expanse of trash look behind Rick and the leader lady (Jadis, her name is Jadis) in that wide shot of the landfill? Did they blow all of their cgi budget on last week’s walker clothelsine? They sure as hell didn’t spend it on Shiva (however, her warming up to Daryl was probably the coolest part of the episode).

Other non-offensive things this week:

  • Benjamin is getting pretty good with that stick. Great reflexes, kid. Hope they don’t kill you off soon.
  • That wire cat statue Rick picked up for Michonne was cute! I also appreciated his WTF face when he talked to Jadis, although he seemed more amused than I was.
  • Finally, that spikey-walker Winslow looked pretty damn cool, so kudos to Greg Nicotero. Is it just me or did he look like Sauron’s spokesman with that helmet and rotting teeth?

Okay, I know I’m probably being a little unfair this week, because it wasn’t a bad episode. The pieces are slowly moving and we got enough plot development to propel us towards the big showdown, which we hopefully won’t have to wait for until season 8): Rick found new allies, the tension between the Saviors and the Kingdom is growing, and I’m honestly just happy not to see our group so demoralized any more, after that bleak first half of the season. However, it just seems like the show is, once again, just buying time so we can get to the actual conflict in time to make it a season finale cliffhanger.

It also feels as though the writers are just messing with us. We were all anticipating Daryl’s big reunion with Carol as soon as he showed up at the Kingdom, so of course they had to find a way to not meet our expectations. Does it make sense that Daryl would want to shield Carol from this awful news? Sure, because he cares about her, but when this whole season he’s been making one short-sighted decision after another and is basically useless to the group. I’m sure the show has already figured out Daryl has immunity when it comes to his massive fan base, but why turns a legitimate badass into such a wuss? Isn’t enough that they already screwed up Carol’s character?

Similarly, yes, it makes sense that Tara, who’s an all-around stand-up gal, would want to keep her vow to the Oceanside girl who saved her life, but does she really owe these ladies any loyalty after they tried to kill her? And is this group she spent a day with more important that Rick & co? If the guy who saved my life back at the prison was brutally murdered by Negan and his band of Saviors, I’d be leading the charge to Oceanside the minute I heard the news. Not to mention that, if there’s one group who wants the Saviors dead more than the Alexandrians, it’s the Oceanside ladies, who’ve suffered the worst fate at the hands of Negan so far. Would it be such a stretch to assume they’d want to join in a war against their torturers, who murdered every boy and man in their group?

Which brings me to my constant complaint about the show: they’ve got no phones, no internet, no means of communication aside from actually talking to one another, and yet they just don’t share information. Crucial information that might be the difference between life or death! As refreshing as it was to get some exposition from Rick and Gabriel’s moment at the junkyard, this exchange doesn’t even make the top 10 list of things these people should be discussing, considering Rick and Jadis had already reached an agreement.

kingdom-saviorsOddly enough, the only decision I don’t begrudge is Ezekiel’s; he’s got a good deal going with the Saviors, he’s keeping all his people safe, and he doesn’t really owe Rick anything, so why fight a war he might not even win? Sure, it’s frustrating for our people, but at least Ezekiel’s reluctance to get involved is actually the sane one in this case.