This week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Say Yes,” is admittedly a very slow one, especially compared to the previous character-centric one.
1. Live Together, Die Alone
A key component of this episode was the different methods of survival of different people. Rick and Michonne have a relatively easy time gathering more than sixty guns when they work together, whereas the very abrasive and impatient Rosita gets absolutely nothing of value accomplished when she works on her own. This type of thinking follows through to Tara’s involvement, as she makes her decision to tell Rick about Oceanside, on the basis that no single group has more of a right to be by themselves than any other.
2. The Increasingly Irrational Rosita
Rosita, who has been annoying in the best of times, has gone straight into hypocrisy. Let alone the fact that running out alone is a veritable suicide mission, she seems to have a lot against working together with anyone who isn’t willing to do just what she wants, the opposite of allowing leadership to work. She whines about the fact that there are not going to be any guns that Rick will find to give to Jadis’ group… but then goes out, alone, to find guns for Jadis’ group If the effort is pointless, why go out completely alone?
However, the worst part of what she did in this episode has to be her decision to barge into the church to talk at Father Gabriel Stokes, which shows a self-serving memory on top of the rest. In her mind, she only failed to kill Negan because Gabriel didn’t let her, and if she had been allowed to take the shot when she had the chance, nobody would have died. Keep in mind that she did take the shot, but missed and hit Lucille. The blame is entirely on her, and she won’t admit it.
Even his call for her to keep working to save others, “anything is possible until your heart stops beating,” seems to have led her to a suicide mission with Sasha in tow.
3. ”Romantic” Trip
Rick and Michonne’s trip showed a lot of slow parts, but on the whole seemed to focus far more on romance and slowing them down than the urgency of the trip to find guns. I normally don’t care too much about romance on the show, but Rick and Michonne’s romance seems to have overridden their characters to some degree, even beyond some other characters’ romantic arcs. For instance, I wouldn’t have seen Glenn and Maggie (well, not now, but late in their romance) doing nearly as much on this type of thing, especially if they had a timetable.
Rick’s repeated insistence on taking some extra time seemed to underscore this. Is he softening up too much? Unclear, but possible.
4. Enforced Drama
The scene in which Rick is assumed possibly dead seemed very forced. The whole thing could have made sense earlier in the show, such as Dale’s death, but having the main character randomly die in an episode far from a major conflict was unreasonably dramatic for viewers.
5. Life Beyond the Self
Rick’s note that it doesn’t matter if they die if they can secure a future is definitely a turning point for him. He always seemed to want to survive for his community, but he realizes now that he needs the community to survive, not himself. Does this mean a sacrifice down the line? Possibly, but likely not as transparent as in this episode.