by Sherry Lipp
When The Walking Dead returned after the winter hiatus I started to have a sinking feeling that we were going to go an all too familiar direction – the maniacal bad guy. So far we’ve had hints about the presence of Negan, but so far we haven’t seen him yet. In “No Way Out” Daryl (Norman Reedus) killed a group of his men, so we can bet he’s pretty mad. This week in “Knots Untie” we learn that Negan has been holding a nearby community hostage in exchange for food and supplies.
I have mixed feelings about the introduction of yet another bad guy. We’ve had the Governor and Termnius already and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything new to be done with this kind of thing. The main difference we have here is a Magnificent Seven (or Seven Samurai if you will) situation in which Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and group are going to take Negan down and rescue the community from his clutches.
While I enjoyed this episode, I’m feeling indifferent about the introduction of Negan. I’m hoping things won’t go in too obvious of a direction. Maybe they’ll throw in something new besides just a showdown between Rick’s group and Negan’s. What I do want to see more of is communities like the Hilltop and characters like Jesus (Tom Payne). The world is moving on and so should the show from the obvious storylines.
What’s cool, what’s not
The Hilltop community: Unlike Alexandria, which is trying to hold on to modern living, the Hilltop community is taking a more rustic approach. They even have a blacksmith. I like the idea that things are starting over in a way. Too bad the weak-willed Gregory (Xander Berkeley) is in charge. He’s easy pickings for Rick.
Jesus is good: At least so far Jesus seems to be on the up and up. It’s about time they introduced a true outsider who’s different than anyone we’ve met before. It’s interesting that Rick and Daryl came across like the bad guys to him.
Maggie stands up to Gregory: Maggie (Lauren Cohan) hasn’t had a lot to do recently, so it was cool seeing her stand up for herself and the rest of the group.
The not so cool
Rick’s iciness is becoming tiresome: Not that I can blame him, but Rick picking a fight with everyone he meets is getting a little stale. They need to change something up for his character. He’s a little to gruff all the time.
Final thoughts: Is Rick’s group the bad guy? It’s cool Maggie stood up for herself, but demanding half of everything up front seems a little extreme. I know they’re not likely to kill everyone in cold blood, but what she did was manipulative. Then again, Negan seems to be that bad.