The Walking Dead Thoughts: Season 7, Episode 8 “Hearts Still Beating”


By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.

The Buildup is Finally Getting Somewhere

After eight weeks, a few twists, turns, and head scratchers, The Walking Dead has finally gotten somewhere in its buildup to the war against the Saviors. While I’m having a difficult time accepting that the death of Spencer is one of the straws that broke the camel’s back for Rick (I’m happy pretending it was completely the death of Olivia that did it), I’m just glad the series is ready to move forward with this story. Sure, the next half of season seven will still feature plenty of conflict-building episodes as Rick and the crew do things like meet Ezekial and build this alliance with the Kingdom and Hilltop, we can at least rest assured that the series is getting somewhere. I’ve made it no secret that I’ve loved this season so far and I’m don’t quite get the rapidly declining ratings at now of all times, but even I was starting to question where this season was going. As we started the eighth episode, we were no closer to seeing Rick build the coalition with the other communities. The idea that a conclusion like tonight’s not happening until April when the season ended didn’t seem all that far-fetched to me. Now I can set aside such fears because I know that the story is finally starting to move towards that war I’ve been eagerly anticipating.

The Stupid Things That People Do

Is Rick just going to ignore the stupid things Carl and Rosita did? I’m not looking for Rick deal out any Negan-level punishments on them, but Rosita’s decision got Olivia killed and Eugene taken. To add insult to injury, she didn’t even hurt anything but Negan’s feelings. As for Carl, he’s just lucky Negan has that soft spot for children. The writers could have gone a long way to showing us Rick is back by having him address these things. Instead, we’re left wondering if anyone truly learned their lessons tonight.


The writers have been doing a great job of having near panel-to-panel adaptations of scenes from the comics and Spencer’s death scene was no exception. Spencer was a weasel in the comic and on the show (but he was a well-written weasel). He didn’t have the brains of his mother or Rick and his fatal flaw was failing to realize that. He thought he could challenge Rick, but he foolishly thought he could challenge him through the one man who had managed to break Rick. Spencer really offered nothing new to Negan that he wasn’t already getting from Rick, and in the process he managed to make Alexandria even less safe. Good job, Spencer.

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