By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
I never thought I would spend time thinking about Gabriel, but here I am. He’s not that interesting in the comic and his arc on the show has been following a very similar path. That finally started to change tonight when Gabriel picked up a rifle and starting offing people while praying à la Private Jackson in Saving Private Ryan. He eventually does talk to Rick about joining the militia in the comic, but that doesn’t happen until much later in the story. Thankfully his development got pushed along for the show because he was really starting to annoy me. While it will take plenty more for me to actually like Gabriel, the writers took a large step in the right direction by adding some much needed complexity to the character.
The writers are continuing to introduce the Saviors in a very drawn out way; I’m fine with that. My hope is that Negan and his group will be around for quite some time. He’s too important of a character to have show up and then get defeated in a few episodes. He needs to get a full season like the Governor did and then at least another half-season after that. So far most of the Saviors we’ve gotten to meet are dead, and we’ve met plenty of them. That tells us that this group is huge and we’ve seen but a fraction of it. Just thinking about the trouble that Rick and his people are getting into makes me wish this season had twenty more episodes in it.
Death Watch (big spoilers from the comic)
We know some major characters are going to die soon. It just wouldn’t be The Walking Dead without that occasional reminder that everyone is vulnerable. In my mind, only Rick and Carl are safe; everyone else is fair game. But who will be the next major death. In the comic (seriously, stop reading if you don’t want this spoiled), Glenn dies a very brutal death at the hands of Negan. The safe bet is that it will also happen on the show, but what if Glenn is just a red herring? Everything about Glenn’s story suggests he’s going to die soon. He’s about to be a father, he just killed someone for the first time, and we got mercilessly teased with his death already this season. It’s so obvious that I have to believe it won’t happen.
The most likely candidate for death this season is Daryl. I actually feel like his story ended at the end of last season. This season he’s been stuck in neutral as far as any more development goes. For the death to have the same emotional impact that Glenn’s did in the comic, Daryl really needs to be the victim here.
The raid on the Saviors compound was intense. I literally sat on my floor with a blanket over my mouth. Every time one of the characters turned a corner or crept through a door I thought they would die. Of course that didn’t happen, but the danger felt real. That whole raid sequence may go down as one of the top-three moments of the whole season,
Thanks for reading!