“Glenn saved me. Right at the start. I couldn’t save him.”
We’re back with Rick this week as he and Michonne go looking for guns. This episode takes place more or less in one area and not a lot happens to push the overarching plot forward, but it’s one of the most enjoyable episodes the show has done. It certainly has the highest number of actual laughs that I can remember from any other episode. And y’know what? It’s nice to just see these characters happy.
This episode is the first one that really explores the Rick and Michonne dynamic, “Richonne” if you will (and I will never write it again.) A few fans I’ve seen online don’t actually like this pairing, but I really do. Michonne is like a cooler Andrea from the comics so it works well for me. And right after they hooked up, the plot with the Saviors moved ahead at full speed so we’ve not had chance to catch up with the two lovebirds. Either way, love this pairing or hate it, ‘Say Yes’ attempts to offer some depth to their relationship. The episode begins with an effective montage of them scavenging and then banging like horny teenagers. They are embraced in giggly sex one minute as they undress in the back of a skeevy van, and then they are ruthless walker killers the next moment. It’s really shows how the world is now, more than any episode has in a while. The monotony and frustration of scavenging for supplies but then the sudden burst of joy. I’m just glad Rick and Michonne have found happiness with each other and that they keep each other going.
I also think they share some real chemistry. The best example is in conversation over the fire as the two of them discuss life after the impending war. These two just seem to love each so much, something which might not be the best idea in this new world. When Michonne thinks Rick is dead her reaction is heart-rending. She can’t lose anyone else so she just drops her sword and gives up .Even the most badass character on the show has a weakness. To be able to survive this world, she is going to have to prepare to lose the man she loves. I’m annoyed that people have crapped all over this amazing scene by saying it’s just another fakeout. The writers know we are not idiots, they didn’t expect us to believe Rick was actually dead. That scene was ALL about Michonne’s reaction and I found it extremely well done.
This scavenging trip is practically a holiday for Rick, he keeps asking for one more day before going back. And after all the shitty days he has had recently I can’t blame him. But they do have work to do; find guns for Jadis. After a few days and about 3 guns the two find a military outpost. It’s a real jackpot as all the undead soldiers still have their guns on their backs. Rick and Michonne surmise that perhaps it was another group. There are clues as to what happened; a walker in a ticket booth shows that someone was killed whilst on the job, undead civilians with their hands tied raises more questions. We’ll probably never find out what happened but it’s some nice world building, showing what’s been going down in other parts of the country whilst we’ve been watching our group.
As I mentioned before, this episode has more straight-up comedy than I’ve seen on this show before. Sure some people aren’t going to like it but it’s needed after the tough few months we’ve had with Negan. An almost slapstick moment with Rick and Michonne falling through a roof got a laugh, as did Rick’s wrangling with a decomposing walker, limbs coming off in his hand. The writing is top notch too with Rick and Michonne just sitting down and talking like real people, instead of worrying about threats from walkers and bad guys with baseball bats. Rick and Michonne even have fun taking out the walkers, joking about it as they do it. But with this being The Walking Dead it backfires horribly and Rick almost dies (as I mentioned above, we knew he wouldn’t really be dead).
Hearing Rick talk about his regret over Glenn’s death was sad. He refers back to the now iconic tank moment from the show’s pilot episode and how Glenn saved him then. It’s a nice reminder how seriously the characters take a death even this far into the show. Rick and Glenn were in it together from the start and it’s nice to see the show addressing this. Andrew Lincoln gives an outstanding performance here too with Rick on the verge of welling up. Also I feel like I should give a shout out to Rick’s excellent bargaining technique at the end of the episode. His “Say yes.” to Jadis as they hashed out terms was so intimating that I was worried he was going to do his throat bite finishing move if he didn’t need her so much. Just a glimpse at the old murder-y Rick, but rest assured that despite all the laughter he’s still in there.
Between all the laughing, loving, and eventual crying of the Rick and Michonne plot there is a subplot regarding Rosita. She has changed a lot since her brush with Negan. Now she seems frustrated with the way Rick is handing things, and the speed in which he’s doing it. She knows they’re will always be another thing to do, more guns to get etc so I like where she is coming from. But I think the idea of her and Sasha taking down Negan is crazy and one (if not both) will get killed because of it. I also think she should stop taking her problems out on Gabriel who was at his sassy best in this episode.
Now obviously there would be no need for any of these plots if Tara told Rick about Oceanside. The writer’s have done a great job of backing her into a corner. She promised she wouldn’t tell anyone and she’s right, if she told Rick he would march straight there and there could very well be a lot of bloodshed. The scene where she tells Judith about her problem is brilliant, with some well timed facial expressions from Lil’ Ass Kicker. In any other episode Tara having an extended conversation with a toddler might seem strange but it was par for the course in this upbeat episode.
The episode starts with happiness and laughter but ends back in the danger filled world we are used to. As it goes, this was a lovely diversion and a chance to look into the relationship of the two biggest characters in the show. It was also a nice chance for the show to set the stakes before the inevitable battle begins. Their loved ones will die in this war and when the dust settles they must be prepared to get on with their lives for the good of the community. I don’t want either Rick or Michonne to kick the bucket, but the odds are certainly not looking good for Sasha or Rosita. Only time will tell.
Next week we have more Carol and Morgan. And The Kingdom! Some tense images have been released that make it appear that the deal with the Saviors has gone sour. With only four episodes left, enjoy your favourite characters whilst you still can.
Reviewed by Jack.