For a season which opened with the brutal, detailed and cruel murder of two of its more beloved characters, Season 7 of The Walking Dead has spent very little time actually, you know, mourning poor Glenn Rhee and Abraham Ford. We’ve had Carol and Morgan at The Kingdom, Daryl at the Saviors’ camp, and Negan’s first visit to Alexandria. Episode 4 may have returned us to Rick and the Alexandrians, but that one was steamrolled over by Negan and his big mouth. Who weeps for Glenn and Abraham? Daryl crying in a closet aside, even Shane has gotten more of a look-in so far.
Until now. Finally – a whole four episodes later – we catch up with Maggie and Sasha who, realistically, should have been the first few episodes’ focus. Recuperating at the Hilltop, under Doctor’s orders that she should stay put for her unborn baby’s safety, Maggie mourns the loss of her husband and connects with the similarly grieving Sasha. Hilltop head honcho Gregory, however, wants her gone. Fearing reprisals from Negan for his part in Rick’s attack upon their settlement, the cowardly boss man demands they leave. Jesus does not approve. No, not that Jesus, the other one.
If ever a character was marked for an early, horrible demise, it’s Gregory. From the big things (attempting to give Maggie and Sasha up to the Saviors) to the small (not caring enough to remember anyone’s name) to the hilariously petty (revoking jam after being offended), Gregory is an absolute unrounded bastard, as hateable as he was when we first met him last series. It’s little wonder Jesus hitches his wagon to the Maggie and Sasha party, ultimately marking the former for leadership of the camp. Although, given Gregory’s utter despicability and Jesus’s own moral fortitude, one wonders why he hasn’t deposed Gregory sooner.
And then, as with last week (and some of the week before that, too), the Saviors come calling. Not Dwight this time and thankfully not Negan, but henchman Simon (Trevor Philips from Grand Theft Auto 5!), who does a better Negan than Negan himself. While still too playful and monologue-y (The Walking Dead sure does love a monologue), Steven Ogg is a delight as Simon, even if much of that is just the novelty of seeing Trevor Philips in The Walking Dead. Clearly his are the more incompetent B-team of Saviors though, as they fail to find Maggie and Sasha hiding out in a closet while the men go about stealing half of Gregory’s shit. Even Gregory’s whiskey stash would have been safe if he hadn’t accidentally shot himself in the foot there. Maybe you shouldn’t have stressed so much about those guns, Rick.
Good news: Go Getters actually has a subplot with characters outside of The Hilltop. We even see a bit of Rick and Michonne! Bad news: those characters are Carl and Enid. As Enid leaves Alexandria to reunite with Glenn’s corpse, Carl pursues the apple of his eye. We’ve watched little Carl grow up before our very eyes on The Walking Dead, but never with an episode to himself. His adventure with Enid (I’m glad he said her name at the start of the episode, saving me from Googling it) is pretty much what you’d expect from a Carl Grimes solo mission; this one detailing the kid’s first kiss. I had assumed that Daryl would be Carl’s stand-in for this storyline but, interestingly, the episode does end with Grimes Jr. on course for the Savior camp, as per the comic books. This time, however, he has Jesus for company. Expect the pair to bond over shampoo and conditioning tips, Carl’s luxuriant locks beating out those of a man literally called Jesus, and who actually looks like Jesus Christ.
While Go Getters is more economical and has better action than last week’s tedious affair – commercials, with a few Walking Dead breaks – it covers too much of the same ground for comfort. That’s five weeks in a row we’ve seen our survivors – be it the Alexandrians, Hilltop or Kingdom bunch – look cowed and be bullied by the Saviors, with only a few mild rumblings of rebellion to move the plot along. We get it; Negan is a bad guy! This is nothing which couldn’t have been massively condensed, or interspersed with action from the other camps. Instead, the season stays its course, one quarter-interesting camp/set of characters at a time, forgetting how dull some of the survivors can be outside of the group dynamic.
Still, Go Getters does have its moments. Maggie splatters zombies in a tractor (during a sequence curiously similar to Shaun of the Dead’s ‘kill the Queen’ bit), Sasha is actually given something to do, Jesus parkour kicks a zombie for no good reason, there’s a tender Rick and Michonne kiss, and everyone shouts ‘Jesus’ all the time. And, of course, Trevor Philips is in it, essentially acting like the Trevor Philips of The Walking Dead universe.
Now that’s how you Negan, everybody.