Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: The Walking Dead 107

Non Spoiler Review:
Rick confronts Negan about Carl, and the result is unexpected. Meanwhile, Eugene continues his work on finding a viable bullet-making factory, while Michonne makes the moves on someone.

Issue 107 turned expectations on their head. It's clearer now why Kirkman sent Carl to Negan's outpost, but it does lead to a very anti-climactic resolution to last month's cliffhanger.

Spoilers Now!
Rick rashly head-butts Negan, prompting a fight in front of his men. Negan orders his men to get the boy as Rick bites his arm. Carl calls out, saying he's sorry. Negan admits to his poor choice of words, and should have clarified he's done nothing to Carl yet.

Rick and Carl share an embrace. Negan points out how calm he's been about the whole situation, especially given Carl killed several of his men and Rick attacked him. He's in the business of being a savior to those who are loyal to him, and has proven as much by not killing his son. Rick gets the point, but won't lie and say they're friends.

Confident that he's conveyed the message that he can be reasonable, Negan takes his leave with the promise of another supply run soon. After, Jesus admits Negan does operate under his own code. Andrea suggests they search for supplies on the drive back.

Meanwhile, Eugene has found an amazing factory to make bullets. Rick returns with new supplies and addresses the community about Carl's return, as well as the prospect he's confident they can be optimistic given Negan's reasonable nature. Later, Andrea warns him that he may be pushing the townsfolk too far with his lies. They may not be so forgiving when it all comes out.

Michonne joins Heath on watch, asking him if something happened between him and Denise. Heath rebuffs an obvious advance by saying Maggie told him what happened between her and Tyreese, and it seems Michonne has a need to show up other women by taking someone that's unavailable. She doesn't need to be so guarded all the time. Michonne doesn't take it well, declaring the conversation never happened, but apologizes and leaves.

Rick puts Carl to bed, then consults with Jesus and Andrea, asking about Negan's wives. Jesus never knew a lot, much less where they were located, but Carl has provided valuable intel about the lack of soldiers at the factory. Jesus is impressed with the news, and decides it's time to tell Rick about Ezekiel.

The Verdict:
It would seem Carl's capture was simply a detour rather than an extended storyline unto itself, necessary in hindsight to give Rick and Jesus the intelligence they need to form an offensive against Negan. What it did do is paint Negan with a little more reason over crazy (though it's very evident he's balancing the psychopathic side of his nature). I'm still somewhat miffed at how hyped Carl's fate was leading up to this, only to have him go home with Rick and to bed after spilling his guts about the military strength of Negan's forces. It made for a contrived series of events more than we're used to.

Michonne's attraction to Heath also came out of left field. I imagine having to bow down to Negan has resurrected some harsh memories about her treatment by the Governor, but it just didn't feel very natural. And conveniently enough Eugene has the perfect bullet factory just ready to be fired up. Add to that the mysterious Ezekiel, which I'm guessing is a thing (as in weapon) rather than a person, and Rick will soon be ready to launch his strike against Negan. 

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