Stillness. Shouting. Gunfire. A bullet-hole in the windscreen. A wooden stake impaled in the same car, dripping blood. It’s as ominous a start to an episode as things can get, and as far as foreshadowing goes, it’s pretty on-the-nose.
Not that the people of Alexandria seem to know it: all the while Johnny Cash’s ‘It’s All Over’ plays in the background, everyone goes about their daily business, blissfully unaware of the bad times that are ahead. Because we still haven’t seen Negan yet – surely they are ahead?
The opening actions of this episode would indicate that they aren’t too far behind: Carol has fled in the dead of night, Daryl has gone off on his motorbike, followed by a whole mob of Alexandrians. And a car’s missing, to cap it all off.
From then on, we get more of the same: Rick and Morgan discussing their own moral differences; Carol kicking ass in a spectacularly impressive manner, and more Alexandrians wandering off on ill-advised solo missions as the group come to terms with the fact that their pre-emptive assault on the Saviors has caused them plenty of problems without coming close to solving anything.
Essentially, this episode will surely be remembered for its piling of foreshadowing among foreshadowing: with Carol and Morgan going it alone, the stage is seemingly set for them to make heroic returns further down the line. And with yet another group kidnapped (this time, Daryl, Michonne, Rosita and Glenn are among the unlucky party), and something happening far sooner than we thought it would, we’re all set for a truly epic final showdown next week.
In truth, this whole second half of the season we’ve basically been waiting around for Negan to show up, so while it’s disappointing that we’ve had to wait until now for it to happen, at least we know for sure we have something to look forward to.
Coupled with a last-minute sting (did they? They can’t have done. Of course they didn’t. Or did they), it’s going to be one heck of a finale.