The Walking Dead‘s ‘Rock in the Road’ feels like the mid-season premiere we deserved after all the pain of the first half of season 7. There’s hope and promise for a better life for Rick & Co. that isn’t full of Lucille smashing away at the people we love. The pain of the first half of the season is being used to drive our survivors, to reinvigorate them to live for something more, which they have the sole rights to define.
Despite hope for the future, The Walking Dead isn’t all rainbows and unicorns all of a sudden. It’s the same show we love to rant and rave about every Sunday in our homes and with Chris Hardwick during The Talking Dead. It’s still the same show that challenges, frightens, and makes us question what we would do in a similar situation. Every story has a journey and this one’s taking a hopeful and well deserved turn for the better.
With that in mind, let’s talk about our favorite hopeful, dangerous, and shady moments from ‘Rock in the Road’!
1. That Epic Walker Take Down
Never before have we seen a take down of this caliber. The walkers were decimated! We enjoyed how the camera work gave us a wider view of what was happening while making sure we got in on the action with that blood & guts close up as if we were being taken down with them! It’s made even better by Rick and Michonne glancing at each other as it goes down, in the style of the Fast & Furious: Apocalypse Edition. #RelationshipGoals
2. Father Gabriel Peacing Out on Alexandria
We tried trusting him, ok? Don’t let anyone ever tell you that we didn’t try to give Father Gabriel a chance. And I’m trying to reserve my judgement until we get to see why he took all their food and weapons and who that other person in the car is, but it’s hard because he…TOOK THEIR FOOD AND WEAPONS! He must’ve lost his mind or had some sort of break down because he left Judith, the one he swore to protect when Rick left Alexandria, in a vulnerable situation. Not cool, Gabriel.
3. Michonne Side Eye
Gregory needs to check himself. Getting the side eye from Michonne is not a good thing. And it has nothing to do with her being one half of Richonne (Rick & Michonne) aka the dream team of Alexandria. It has to do with the fact that she carries a katana on her back where ever she goes and is known to bid her time. Maybe someone needs to tell him how the Governor ended up…
4. Daryl Worried About Carol’s Fate
The Walking Dead needs to quit playing games with my heart and give me a Caryl (Carol & Daryl) reunion, ASAP! When Morgan is telling them what’s happened in the last couple of weeks, Daryl’s face is all we can focus on. It’s full of hope, longing, and pain. She’s his family, and if given the chance, he will walk to the ends of the earth to find her. With him now staying at The Kingdom, they’re one step closer to reuniting! *stares off while thinking of that hug*
5. Rick Telling Ezekiel About the Rock in the Road
Even though Rick’s speech didn’t convince Ezekiel to help Alexandria, we can’t help but think about the message this story conveyed. Despite how immovable and improbable things look, aka Negan and the Saviors, they can be changed for the better. With hard work, a little struggle, and perseverance, you will come out on top. You will be better for it. And that object that plagued you for so long, will now be a reminder of how strong you really are and how you can overcome the next thing that comes your way.
6. Hilltop Residents Coming for Some Answers
For too long the people of Hilltop have been letting Gregory tell them what to do and how to deal with the Saviors. Seeking out Maggie and the rest of our survivors is telling their slimy leader that they’re not going to take this anymore. They’re ready and willing to do what must be done to keep their community safe, instead of just waiting for whatever the Saviors have planned next to terrorise them and keep them in line. They’re ready to live.
7. Calming Rick Down After Epic Walker Take Down
In a long line of hardships that Rick & Co. have endured, getting the dynamite was a victory. Michonne made sure that Rick knew this as he was riding out the last traces of adrenaline from their Fast & Furious take down. She knows the exact words that he needs to hear and doesn’t stop until he realizes that they’re safe, that they made it, and that they’re still together. If this is a preview of what’s to come for Richonne in 7B, we’re ok with it.
8. Carol Scaring Children, Again
Despite her seclusion and opposition to killing, Carol is ready to defend her new home. She heard Benjamin long before he came upon her and scared the hell out of him! While sage advice, her warnings left us all a little shook up, and proud. There’s a warrior in Carol and nothing, even her own doubts, is going to destroy that. Here’s hoping she takes the olive branch Ezekiel is offering her and finds a new purpose in life.
9. Rosita Being Shady…
While everyone is trying to work together to kick Negan’s ass, Rosita is pulling away and being petulant to the ones who trust her. It’s as if she’s afraid to make connections again if it means she’ll feel the pain of their loss. It’s no way to live life and increases your chances of making mistakes. Having something to fight for guides you, keeps you on top of things, and gives you a better chance of defeating your foes. Like Gregory, Rosita needs to check herself.
10. Rick’s Creepy Smile
Maybe creepy is too strong of a word. Unexpected, surprising, or stunning would be better words to describe the smile on Rick Grimes face. Father Gabriel’s betrayal somehow led Rick & Co. to exactly what they desperately needed to defeat Negan: more people. Whoever these junkyard people are, they’ve got the man power to change all their lives for the better. That’s something to smile about for sure.
Make sure to check out the trailer for next week’s episode of The Walking Dead titled ‘New Best Friends’:
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.