Five Thoughts on The Walking Dead’s “Faith”

By | November 8th, 2022
Posted in Television | % Comments

Eugene’s on trial. Alexandria is a prison camp. And most of the principle cast is there already. We’re only a few episodes away from the grand finale, so things have to get much, much worse. We don’t know how it’ll end, but I have a strong suspicion it won’t be like the comics. Mostly because of how Eugene’s story plays out.

Spoiler alert for Eugene’s story. And others.

1. Negan, Ezekiel, then Negan again

Remember how the Maggie retrospective did *not* feature a remarkably important scene involving a baseball bat? Turns out they were saving it for the Negan retrospective we get for this round. Also a couple scenes of Ezekiel. But then we see a few scenes of the softer, gentler side of Negan. We then cut to Ezekiel attempting to organize an escape with him. Negan immediately screws this up by attacking a a guard and dropping the map with all the guard rotations noted. Can’t say you can really blame him, considering he just watched his pregnant wife get abused by the guards. Which ends in him receiving a beating and getting dragged into the warden’s office, who immediately attempts to flip the former villain to the Commonwealth’s side.

The writers have done what they can to balance good guy Negan with everything he’s been up until this point. As has Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Does it work every single time? Not always. Morgan’s a great actor, but you can only keep up the homicidal swaggers for so long. But this episode did a better job of maintaining that balance that others this season. Probably a good thing since this was a Negan centric episode. He got the voice over and everything!

2. No Martyrs

Negan getting beaten up and dropping the extremely important information hasn’t exactly helped inspire a revolt. Ezekiel is trying his best to ignite the spark Negan was on about in the last episode. But his attempts mostly boil down to “Hey, you know how you got beat up? What if next time you didn’t?” The idea is that Negan will lead the revolution and Ezekiel would be the spark that inspires it. And to the show’s credit, that’s what happens. Sorta. After some heavy implication that Negan sold out one of his compatriots, we see Negan brought before the firing squad. But in a sudden twist, his wife Annie is pulled up instead, because The Commonwealth doesn’t do martyrs. It would be more beneficial to break Negan than kill him, after all. This prompts Ezekiel to stand in front of the would-be executioners.

Others join him. But the execution is thwarted by the one guard who had his leave denied and his tour extended six by another months (his brother was sick, and he didn’t go through the proper channels to ask for leave). This season has had its share of obvious and convenient set ups, but they can be satisfying. The Commonwealth are effective enough villains that you forgive a bit of contrivance just to see them get theirs. Kelly is taken hostage by the warden/foreman/red haired jerk they didn’t really give a name, only to be stopped by Daryl and Connie.

3. Down… Something Tunnel

Let me start by saying that Daryl’s ASL translation of “sewer” is delightful.

After finding Outpost 22, the few escapees plot to liberate it. Rosita and Gabriel are on sniper duty, despite Rosita’s eagerness to cut through the sewers. Connie and Daryl take that route instead as Maggie and Carol look for the missing kids. And they manage to find most of them, with the exception of Coco. Evil red haired guy doesn’t give up her location, even after a Walker eats his eyes out. Leaving one more mystery for the show to answer. The writers do seem to be burning through the cool ideas this season as they attempt to wrap everything up, so I guess it makes sense they’d save something to stretch it out a bit. Where Coco doesn’t get confirmed this episode. But I may have a guess…

4. Hey, remember Oceanside?

Luke and Jules show up! They catch up with Aaron’s crew, who are on their way to Oceanside, a settlement that no longer exists apparently. Turns out Alexandria was not the only place The Commonwealth absorbed and turned into a prison camp. Luke says he wanted to stay and fight, but Rachel talked him out of it. We don’t keep much else outside of that. Except that there are Commonwealth patrols on their trail. And Lydia may be directing a herd of walkers their way. We’ll see when this pays off.

Continued below

I know I’ve seen this set before. I think they even used it this season.

5. I’ll see you in court!

We’re getting the legal drama business out of the way now!

Yumiko rejects Pamela’s request to prosecute Eugene, choosing to defend him instead. Which goes about as well as you expect. Eugene is quickly found guilty, with Pamela accusing him of faking the recording of Sebastian’s supervillain monologue. Because after all, Eugene and Sebastian did have such similar speech patterns. Despite the very clear kangroo’ing of the court, Eugene finds himself with the support of the Commonwealth. He’s cheered in court. People protest his arrest by his jail cell.

But the real twist comes when Eugene is escorted to his execution, through a prison hallway that I swear I’ve seen in like twenty other TV shows. He’s stopped by Mercer, who appears to have just completed his face turn. So much of this season feels like they’re rushing towards the end. But now it seems like all the pieces are in place. And seeing how quickly it rushed through the legal drama bit, I’m sure the series will not end like the comic.

//TAGS | The Walking Dead

Chris Cole

Chris Cole lives in a tiny village built around a haunted prison. He is a writer, letterer, and occasional charity Dungeon Master. Follow his ramblings about comics and his TTRPG adventures on Twitter @CcoleWritings.


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