Editor’s note: This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Walking Dead! Proceed with caution, survivors. For reals, if you haven’t yet watched this week’s episode, “Go Getters,” we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Let’s go.
Despite having the dorkiest title of any episode yet this season, “Go Getters” gives The Walking Dead‘s viewers something they’ve been missing for this past month: closure in the wake of Glenn and Abraham’s deaths.
We’ve checked in on pretty much every one of the show’s major players this season, except two of the three people who were most affected by the events of the brutal, polarizing season premiere: Maggie and Sasha. We saw Rosita’s response to Abraham’s death in last week’s tedious “Service”; and it turns out that both of the redheaded giant’s girlfriends have the same thing in mind right now: swift, bloody vengeance against the bastard who killed. Maggie, because she’s carrying a child, is a little less focused on revenge and more concerned with the survival of her baby. But it’s clear from her words this week, and from the cobra-like intensity in her eyes, that the endgame isn’t far from her mind. After all, it’s one thing for Negan to dick around with Rick. It’s something else entirely for him to fuck with the farmer’s daughter.
“Go Getters” opens with Maggie opening her eyes in a bed at Hilltop Colony, where she was taken in the wake of Glenn’s murder. Unfortunately, Gregory is none too happy with Rick and co.’s submission to Negan, believing his people have put Hilltop in greater danger than ever. Gregory wasn’t all that likable when he was introduced last season, but here, he’s downright detestable; yelling at a still grieving Maggie and Sasha (even while trying to exploit the latter), insistent that they leave, and outraged they’ve buried Glenn and Abraham instead of burning their bodies. Plus, he’s a spineless jackass, practically tripping over himself to please Negan’s men when they come to collect their payment. Here, Negan’s surrogate here is drawn just as broadly, as cartoonishly as the Big Bad himself has been these past several weeks. The brief glimpse we had of Dwight’s inner conflict two weeks back remains the sole drop of depth given to any of the Saviors.
Where “Go Getters” works better is as a showcase for Lauren Cohan and Sonequa Martin’s skills. It’s been a while since both ladies have had a chance to remind us of what they can do, and to strengthen the unique relationship between Maggie and Sasha. (Which I always found much more interesting than the relationship between Maggie and Glenn.) There’s an awkward scenes in which the Saviors release a horde of Walkers on Hilltop and somehow Maggie and Sasha, along with Jesus, are shown to be the only people capable of leading the Hilltop colonists. But, by this point, Cohan and Martin have so won us over by the way in which Maggie and Sasha overcome their grief–while taking a much more proactive stance against Negan than Rick–that they sell what’s obviously only intended to demonstrate their characters’ worth to Jesus, so that he can then side with them against Gregory.
They’re not the only women to take a stand this week, as Enid makes a return appearance, fleeing Alexandria for Hilltop, where she forms a squad with Maggie and Sasha. She gets an assist from Carl, who undergoes two rites of passage this week–driving a car and kissing a girl for the first time. There’s an unusually joyful scene for this grim season when Carl and Enid come upon two pairs of roller skates and, for a brief moment, get to be kids for once; holding hands as they skate down an empty highway. It’s enough, I suppose, to justify Carl’s decision to assassinate Negan, hopping in the back of the Saviors’ truck, before Jesus joins him. Hey, it might be suicidal but I’ll take it over another scene of a defeated Rick whimpering away in Alexandria!
— My main issue with defeated Rick is that he makes Michonne look foolish for being with him. And nobody makes Michonne look foolish!
— I’m no doctor, but it seems pretty impressive to me that Maggie hasn’t suffered a miscarriage yet.
— “It feels like everything is wrong.” Again, The Walking Dead comes uncomfortably close to the way many of us have been feeling these past two weeks.
— Why doesn’t Negan just move into Gregory’s house?! It’s a thousand times nicer than his little dorm room!
— “Maggie and Sasha are staying. I’m staying. We’re all gonna be one big happy dysfunctional family.”
— “We don’t need anything to remember them by. We have us.”
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).