Go Getters Plot Summary:
Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) are recovering at The Hilltop, and look to make it their new home. Gregory (Xander Berkeley) wants them expelled immediately as not to anger The Saviors. Jesus (Tom Payne) strongly objects. Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Enid (Katelyn Nacon) express their feelings for each other.
I’ve been watching The Walking Dead long enough to know not every episode is going to be a home run. I know there has to be a number of methodical, table-setting episodes before the hammer of the season finale drops.
However, I did not expect the series to drop one of the most mundane, lifeless, and most forgettable episodes in recent memory. Last week’s episode was absolute hot garbage, but this episode, titled “Go Getters,” was just a complete waste of time. It was a dry, tensionless episode that barely accomplished anything. After the “walker battle” halfway through the episode (more on that later), I was completely checked out.
What’s frustrating is that after three extremely strong episodes, The Walking Dead has reverted back to its bad habits from Seasons 4-6. They’re pacing episodes excruciatingly slow, there’s too many characters we don’t care about taking up way too much screen time (and they won’t have a pay off either), and frankly, it’s just boring.
Can we really be surprised? The Walking Dead has developed the nasty habit of doing this — slogging through table setting episode after table setting episode and then walloping us over the head with a narrative sledgehammer, usually some sort of cliffhanger. And like the lemmings we are, we following the series over the cliff and into the ocean of “hiatus,” waiting for the next half-season to start and repeat the vicious cycle.
The Carla and Enid storyline embodies this perfectly. To start, I’m biased. I think Enid may be one of the most annoying, and frivolous characters on the show. She adds nothing to the series outside of being Carl’s love interest who always gets in these damsel in distress situations despite telling everyone she’s not a damsel in distress. What sucks is, Carl has finally evolved from the whiny kid that everyone wanted to see used as walker bait, to a pretty complex and bad ass character. Then in steps Enid and he’s a caricature of an angsty teen boy who has eyes for the “mysterious” angsty teen girl. Their dialogue while they were hiding and spying on The Saviors was so mind numbing that my mind started to warp. Here’s how it played in my mind…
Carl: You can come with me.
Enid: I could, but…
[Bill’s mind starts to melt]
Carl: Ham sandwich, cargo pants.
Enid: Space martian, pasta sauce.
I know that’s kinda silly, but honestly their words started meshing into meaningless noise. Nothing of consequence was said. Nothing they said meant anything. It’s literally taking up time from important stories like The Kingdom, Daryl’s imprisonment, or Rick staring off into the distance with tears in his eyes. Okay, maybe I can do without that one.
And Hilltop? Ugh, what a waste. Instead of world building we got a bunch of puffed up melodrama. They’re trying way too hard to make Gregory seem like a drunk fool. We get it, he’s a drunk fool, you don’t have to remind us in every single scene. And then there’s Jesus — I get he’s this “bad ass” but his Matrix-like karate on the walkers was almost laugh out loud funny. And then there’s that walker scene. So historically anytime there’s been a herd of walkers invading a compound everyone freaks out, guns get broken out and shit goes down. This time? Jesus and Sasha stab them all to death with knives, while Maggies backs over a couple with a tractor. Wow. Talk about just making one of the coolest things on the show look completely useless.
And then there’s that awful “faux Negan” scene with Gregory and “fill-in” Negan. Give me a break. We saw this with Rick last week, we don’t need the JV version of this scene.
All and all, the last two weeks of The Walking Dead have been a dumpster fire. If you’re taking it personal you probably feel like the show runners could give two shits about your viewing experience. Normally, I’d dismiss this, but it’s getting hard to do so. The show has used the same pattern of storytelling — hot start, deadly dull middle, big flashy cliffhanger — for multiple seasons, and there’s millions of viewers tuning in. Why do they need to change? Maybe if the viewers leave in droves, they’ll change things up. But that’s probably not going to happen. Be prepared for more boring next week.
Rating: 4 out of 10