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Nothing says romance like a zombie carnival.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead episode “Say Yes.”
Love is in the air for Rick and Michonne in this week’s relatively drama-free episode of The Walking Dead. After last week focused on Eugene’s apparent betrayal to Negan, this week focuses on Rick and Michonne’s blossoming relationship.
Twitter was abuzz as the sparks began to fly between the two lovebirds, though not much else happened for a large duration of the episode.
— Rick Grimes (@RickAndThangs) March 6, 2017
— Leah Winstead (@_LeahEve_) March 6, 2017
It didn’t take long for viewers and fans on Twitter to begin to get suspicious. After all, happiness is only momentary on a show like The Walking Dead.
— Lauren (@PrincessZelda89) March 6, 2017
— Bria May (@May_Rose18) March 6, 2017
It was clear the writers were trying to build to something, even if it wasn’t clear even by the episode’s end what that something was. For at least 20 minutes, the episode centered around Rick and Michonne searching for guns in a zombie-filled carnival. As part of the arrangement with Jadis and her group of Vulcan-esque followers, they agreed to help Rick and company if he could supply the adequate amount of weapons.
There were a couple moments where the writers tried to fool you into thinking something dramatic was going to happen, such as Rick and Michonne falling through a roof. That moment ended up just being foil for more romanticism and even some comedic relief as the two just happened to fall on a cushioned mat. Love does mysterious things after all.
The real moment of tension came about three quarters into the episode when it appeared Rick had been eaten by zombies. Michonne was momentarily dazed, having lost her katana moments before.
For a brief period of time, it looked like both Rick and Michonne were done for—but don’t let the writers and producers fool you. The Walking Dead was never going to kill off two main characters in an inconsequential episode in the middle of a meandering, plodding season. Nice try, though.
— krystalpystol (@samaYOYO19) March 6, 2017
Some complained that Rick’s lack of urgency was questionable.
— TWD Junkie (@TWDJunkie) March 6, 2017
— Kristina Winn (@_KtinaLeigh_) March 6, 2017
Negan does have a fair amount of Rick’s group, including his own daughter. Judith also made an appearance, guest starring as a grief counselor for Tara. She seems to have aged rapidly since the last time we saw her with a head full of hair.
Is that Judith? Because then she aged like 1 year since when Negan was holding her… WTF? #TheWalkingDead
— Geek Trench (@GeekTrench) March 6, 2017
The most poignant moment came toward the end of the episode. After nearly losing Rick, Michonne has a moment of emotional weakness. She admits to Rick she couldn’t fathom losing him, and Rick opens up about Glenn. He tells Michonne, “Glenn saved me right from the start, but I couldn’t save Glenn.” Cue the tears.
It was the episode’s most emotional moment, except it came when the episode was practically over. This season has been criticized for moving at a pace slower than the deteriorating walkers. Last week’s episode featured little actually happening, and this week’s episode was no different.
Roger Ebert used to say if nothing interesting happened in the first 20 minutes of a film, nothing ever was going to. The Walking Dead falls into this habit quite often. Most episodes don’t advance plot or character arcs until close to the end, when something dramatic or terrifying happens.
It might be enough for The Walking Dead faithful. However, with viewership declining, it might actually be time to stop hinting at drama and just give us some instead.
Dan Marcus is a geek culture reporter based in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in First Showing and Trek Movie.