The Walking Dead, ‘The Big Scary U’ – A Well-Acted Episode That Goes Nowhere

The Walking Dead The Big Scary U
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Big Scary U Plot Summary:

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) are stuck in a trailer that walkers are trying to break through. The Savior braintrust frets over what to do with the possibility that Negan has died. Rick (Andrew Lincoln), and Daryl (Norman Reedus) butt heads.

“The Big Scary U” is a really well-acted episode. Honestly, it may be some of the best acting, as a whole, ever. The performance by nearly everyone is top notch, and you care more about the fate of (most) of these characters than you have in ages. Case in point, we found out so much more about Negan’s background — you don’t like him more, but you can see him as a human now more than a cartoon character.

On top of that, the tension that was built in the episode — both between Negan and Gabriel, and within the Savior “high council” was some of the best non-walker based tension in forever. The episode kept you guessing whether Negan would kill Gabriel (there was no way Gabriel would ice Negan), and if the true “mole” inside the high council would be found. And I will admit, the touch of finally having Eugene (Josh McDermott) doing something against The Saviors (he got that worker a gun), was a nice plot twist.

Oh, and let’s not forget that super claustrophobic scene where Negan and Gabriel flee the trailer. When this series is at it’s best when it makes you feel authentically uncomfortable. This isn’t walkers tumbling down a hill, this is legit terrifying.

However, none of this advanced the plot. Sure, Negan got out of the trailer, but where did this episode take us? Are we anywhere? There’s distrust within the Savior High Council — but the return of Negan basically quashed that and the worker uprising. Then there was the whole Rick vs. Daryl fight. That was interesting, sure, but did it move the needle? Didn’t this just reinforce everything we’ve seen repeatedly this season?

Really, the only thing that was interesting — from a plot perspective — was the fate of Father Gabriel. Did he get bit by a walker? Is he having a breakdown? I want to know what happened. Finally, a cliffhanger that doesn’t feel artificial — it was a surprise, and we generally care about the fate of this character.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

PS: A helicopter? Really?

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

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