Recap: The Walking Dead – Episode 712

By Mlgagne

Previously, on The Walking Dead

Michonne told Rick that they can find a way to beat the Saviors…but only if they do it together. Later, Rick made a deal with Jadis and the Scavengers – if Rick and Co. can find the Scavengers a lot of guns, then the Scavengers will join with Alexandria in the fight against Negan. On her scavenging trip with Heath, Tara came across the Oceanside community, but she promised not to tell anyone about their existence. Father Gabriel told Rosita not to use Eugene’s homemade bullet to kill Negan herself since the whole group needs to wait for the right moment to attack, but she went ahead with her plan anyway (and failed).

On a scavenging trip, Rick and Michonne search for supplies, mainly looking for the guns to seal the deal with the Scavengers. By day, the two break into abandoned houses, gathering what food and guns they can. By night, they have sex in the van they are using for their travels (talk about a romantic getaway in the apocalypse!). The continue this routine the next day, gathering supplies from a school during the day, and at night they…well, you know! I did say this was a routine, after all!

The next day, Rick asks Michonne why she’s smiling; after all, they’ve been scavenging for a few days now, and they don’t have much in the way of supplies just yet.

“We’re fighting the fight,” Michonne replies. “It’s better.” I concur!

Suddenly, both Rick and Michonne hear rustling in the trees nearby. They go to investigate, realizing that it is a few Saviors playing golf…but not without noticing the supplies on their truck. While the Saviors are turned away, the two manage to snag the batteries they need for their walkie talkies, as well as some beer and pretzels.

Driving down the road in their van, Michonne comments that they’ve already been out for two days and will have to return home soon, but Rick says that he wants to stay out and search for another day and a half. Michonne begins to argue, stating that they don’t need to find the guns right at that moment and that they can go back out at a later point.

“Yeah, I know,” Rick responds. “Just a little more.” Michonne agrees as they smile at each other. This gave me the distinct impression that both are enjoying their time out there with one another because it’s almost like a little break from what is happening back home (and after all that has happened, I can’t really blame them).

Back in Alexandria, Rosita sits on her porch, removing the stitches from the cut on her face. Tara approaches, telling Rosita that she was just heading over to help with the same task. After a moment of silence, Tara says that she believes everything will be okay; they just need to find guns to seal the deal with the Scavengers. Rosita challenges this, claiming that Tara has no idea where they could find that many guns…but we know that Tara does, after her run-in with Oceanside earlier in the season!

Still, Tara remains silent on the matter as Rosita says that she can’t just sit around waiting to fight. Tara suggests that perhaps Rosita should save her hostility for the upcoming war against the Saviors…but, impatient as always, Rosita departs to go and look for some guns herself.

On the road, Rick sleeps in the passenger seat of the van as Michonne drives. After stopping to make camp, she notices a deer in the forest nearby. She grabs a gun from the van, accidentally waking Rick in the process. By the time she re-emerges, the deer is gone. Rick remarks that he owes her a deer, since the one she caught in the first half of the season was taken by Negan.

As they inch forward looking for any signs of the deer, Michonne notices something up ahead: an abandoned school surrounded by a fence. She and Rick approach it, and Rick draws a walker to the fence by tapping on it with his axe. The walker is noticeably dressed in a military uniform and is carrying a gun, which piques the interest of both Rick and Michonne – have they hit the jackpot?

Beyond the fence, Michonne says that “something serious” must have happened at the school, Rick states that the remains of the rounds they have found imply that guns may not be far. The two walk ahead and climb to the roof of the school to get a better look at what is ahead.

Meanwhile, Rosita is searching residential areas for guns on her own time. As she approaches the door to enter one house, she stumbles upon the single most disgusting walker I have ever seen on this show (or at least, the single most disgusting walker since the walker that was stuck in the well back during season 2). It is swollen with multiple chins, and both pus and blood come out of its throat when Rosita slashes at it with her machete (yuck). Once it is finally dead, Rosita is frustrated to find that the only gun on the premises is a toy.

Back on the roof of the school, Rick and Michonne observe the remains of a carnival that was taking place when the apocalypse came. Rick notes that the walkers seem to have been both civilians and soldiers, and that some kind of fight must have taken place there. He then notices that the solider walkers are still wearing their guns – they have hit the jackpot! As the two agree that they can take out the walkers and obtain the guns together, the roof gives in. They fall, laughing as they hit the ground below.

Having landed safely, Rick and Michonne continue to laugh as Michonne notes that their being okay must be a sign that they have found what they are looking for. At that moment, Rick points out the ridiculously large supply of military rations they have just stumbled upon.

“Let’s eat!” Michonne says, as the two continue to laugh in amazement (and I am struck with profound happiness at how great a couple these two make!).

Returning to Alexandria, Rosita visits Father Gabriel in the church. She tells him that while she searched for the entire day, she didn’t find a single gun (or, a single real gun). She then states her displeasure at the fact that she listened to Gabriel back when he told her not to kill Negan with Eugene’s homemade bullet because if she had just done what she wanted, Negan would be dead.

“You don’t know shit about shit,” Rosita snaps at him, and Gabriel agrees with her. However, he states that “even a fool like [him]” can see that the group needs her now, which is why he told her not to go ahead with her plan to kill Negan in the first place. He tells Rosita that she can blame him for the fact that she is still alive.

“But after that, what are you going to do with it?” he asks. “How are you going to make what needs to happen happen? Anything is possible until you heart stops beating. Certainly more than yelling at a fool.” Rosita ponders this as Gabriel exits, and I must admit that Gabriel has really grown on me over the course of season 7. I have to wonder if his recent work to inspire the Alexandrians is reflective of the kind of work he did as a priest pre-apocalypse.

Inside the school, Rick and Michonne enjoy their feast. As they eat, Michonne inquires as to what will happen once they have killed Negan.

“Negan ordered the world his way,” she says. “It’s up to us to re-order it once it’s gone, right?” Rick states that the other communities will have to learn to work together, but Michonne says that someone will need to facilitate that.

“It should be you,” she tells him, but Rick is reluctant because it’s not something that he believes he wants even if he would be good at it.

“The two of us – you and me – re-ordering things together? I want that,” he says. “If it’s something you wanted.” Is that…is that the zombie apocalypse equivalent of a marriage proposal?!?!

Smiling, Michonne says, “Yeah.” Rick smiles back, and they kiss. Oh my goodness, that totally was the zombie apocalypse equivalent of a marriage proposal, and I’m loving it!

Rick tells Michonne that they don’t have to finish gathering the guns the next day; the inside of the school is clear, and they would be fine if they stayed out for a few more days. Michonne ponders this and states that they really should get back home. But as Michonne sleeps overnight, Rick sits up restlessly…implying that there is a bigger reason why he doesn’t want to get home just yet.

The next day in Alexandria, Tara wrestles with her options regarding Oceanside while babysitting Judith. She explains to Judith that Cyndie saved her life without any reason to, which has to mean something post-apocalypse. Telling Rick and the group will almost definitely put Cyndie and her people in danger; Tara states that what she thinks Oceanside should really do is just join the Alexandrians in the fight against the Saviors but, since they just want to stay hidden, they will undoubtedly just fight the Alexandrians instead if Tara reveals their location.

“What makes our life worth more than theirs?” she asks. “Because we want to stop the people who are hurting us? Who will hurt other people?” And Judith simply stares on as Tara continues to struggle with the decision. This was probably one of my favorite scenes in the episode, since the innocence Judith represents combined with the weight of Tara’s decision strikes a very powerful chord; after all, the Alexandrians are fighting for a future, and Judith is the future.

Back at the school, Rick and Michonne head to the field to figure out a plan for obtaining the weapons. Michonne notes that the walkers in the field aren’t closed in by the gate; Rick agrees that they must kill the walkers in the parking lot ahead of the field and block the opening in the gate so they can “take the rest slow.” He devises a plan: he will block the gate with a car in the parking lot and take out the walker in front of it, while Michonne draws in and kills the other eight with her katana.

“You’re leaving me eight?” she teases him. Rick (probably unnecessarily) explains that they need to do this quietly so the others don’t come out from the field; “You can handle eight,” he says. Personally, I found this moment to be hysterical, because it was funny to see Michonne messing with Rick a little bit (and to see Rick’s response to that).

The two set their plan into motion, with Michonne drawing in the walkers by banging on a nearby dumpster and Rick heading to the car soon after. As Michonne kills the walkers she has drawn in, Rick discovers that there is a walker stuck in the windshield of the car. Unable to remove it from the inside, he is forced to pull it out piece by piece from the outside. Fun times.

With the car finally free, Rick and Michonne push it forward to get the wheels going (and share some more funny banter about Michonne and her “eight walkers”). But when Rick sits down inside the car to steer it into the gap, he finds that the brakes are no longer functional.

Suddenly, a gun begins firing in Michonne’s direction – it is coming from the body of a moving walker that is impaled to a car nearby, accidentally triggering the gun still attached to its body. With the gap in the fence almost upon them, Michonne jumps into the trunk of the car and closes it to avoid being shot…as the car completely overshoots the gap, stopping quite a lot further into the field. So much for doing things slowly!

Rick and Michonne exit the car through the sun roof, and they hop into a gated-off area for the carnival’s swings ride. They begin to take the walkers out one by one – but the gate does not hold for long (being a flimsy thing from a travelling carnival and all). With the walkers hot on their heels, Rick and Michonne flee the area, running further into the carnival set-up and using a game to try and slow the walkers down. At this point, they devise a plan: Michonne will draw half of the walkers to the slide and Rick will draw the other half to the Ferris wheel, which will hopefully split the herd up enough that the gates surrounding the respective rides will hold while they take the walkers out.

The plan works for a while, up until the point when Michonne only has eight left to kill and Rick only has ten. However, at that moment, Rick notices something nearby: a deer, like the one he owes Michonne. This propels him to leave his remaining ten walkers behind and climb the Ferris wheel in an attempt to shoot the deer from the top. However, as he points his gun in the deer’s direction, he notices that walker are also closing in on it from the ground. And as the deer begins to run away, the part of the Ferris wheel Rick is standing on gives, and he falls to the ground below.

Seeing this from the slide (and having cleared the area of all her walkers), Michonne cries out and runs to assist him. With the walkers closing in, Rick grabs his gun and begins to shoot as many as possible from the ground. As Michonne reaches the scene, the walkers block him from view – and we hear him run out of rounds. All of a sudden, the walkers are eating something on the ground below – Rick?

In that moment, Michonne freezes, dropping her katana to the ground. Upset and bewildered, the walkers begin gaining on her – but then Rick pops out of a cage in the background, unharmed. The walkers are eating the deer, and…and why do I feel like I’ve seen this before? Ahh, yes – the famous “dumpster” scene with Glenn and Nicholas back in season 6. Close calls are never lacking on The Walking Dead!

Knocking walkers out of the way with his bare hands, Rick makes his way to Michonne’s katana and tosses it back to her – and, coming back to herself, Michonne grabs it midair. The two take out the remaining walkers, Michonne with her katana and Rick with his axe (AKA: zombie apocalypse dream team!). As soon as the walkers are all dead, Michonne runs to Rick, embracing him. Afterwards, the two clear the dead bodies, gathering quite a large supply of guns and ammo for the Scavengers – though the day has clearly taken its toll on Michonne.

Driving the van full of supplies back home to Alexandria, Rick notices the hit Michonne has taken from nearly losing him that day. He pulls the van over and tells her that they could have stayed out for a few more days, which he would have liked. Michonne remains silent.

“I haven’t been sleeping,” Rick confesses after a moment. He’s been thinking about everything that they’ve lost since the Saviors came into the picture. “Glenn saved me, right at the start. I couldn’t save him.” This moment absolutely broke my heart; after all, with everything that has been happening, we haven’t really seen Rick processing Glenn’s death up until this point.

Rick says that while fighting the Saviors won’t change what happened or what the group has gone through – and that while they will lose people in that fight – it will be worth it.

“When I thought…” Michonne starts, tearing up. “I can’t lose you.”

But Rick disagrees. “You can lose me,” he says. “I can lose you. We can lose our friends, people we love. It’s not about us anymore. It’s about a future.” And he says that if he is one of the people who dies in the fight, Michonne will need to go on because she is the one who can bring the communities together (my heart!).

Back at the junkyard, Jadis goes through the guns that Rick and Co. have brought them, with Rick confirming that they are operational to the best of his knowledge. But she is concerned with the fact that there are only 63 guns in total. To Jadis, this is not enough, and she claims that the Scavengers will need twice that amount to keep their deal with the Alexandrians.

Rosita and Rick are both frustrated by this, but Rick negotiates with Jadis to keep a certain amount of the guns so his people can find her more. They settle on 20 and, as the Scavengers collect the other 43, there is disappointment all over Tara’s face; if they want more guns, she will likely have to tell Rick about Oceanside after all.

And this appears to be exactly what Tara is going to do. Back in Alexandria, Tara exits her front door, running into Rick on the way out. She tells him that she was just on her way to see him. Rick asks Tara if she knows where Rosita is, as she didn’t show up for guard duty in the morning. Tara says that Rosita is probably looking for more guns and Rick agrees, asking her why she was going to come to his place.

“I have something to tell you,” Tara says. Oceanside, here we come!

Off at Hilltop, Rosita arrives to find Sasha tending to Abraham’s and Glenn’s graves.

“I’m here because I need your help,” Rosita says.

“One condition,” Sasha replies, realization dawning on her. “I get to take the shot.”

Rosita agrees to these terms and pulls out the gun she has taken from the deal with the Scavengers. Sasha is impressed with the weapon, realizing that the rest of the group isn’t ready to make their move just yet. Rosita claims that she has the interior of the Sanctuary memorized based on what Daryl and Carl told her…and Sasha has a map of the exterior from Jesus. But both women know what the alliance means.

“They can’t catch us alive,” Sasha says.

“It’s a one-way ticket for both of us,” Rosita responds. “If it is both of us.”

“It is,” says Sasha. Uh oh…somehow, I have a feeling that this plot to kill Negan is not going to go as planned.

Personally, I enjoyed this episode because I simply love the relationship between Rick and Michonne. It allowed us to further explore their dynamic as a couple, and I felt like it showed us exactly why they are the perfect pairing. They are both fierce fighters and leaders whose personalities complement each other well, but they also have a deep sense of comfort around each other that they don’t seem to share with anyone else (which, in my mind, is similar to the relationship between Carol and Daryl, or the one between Maggie and Glenn). The complexity of their relationship is very realistic, so it was nice to see that play out in a lighter episode (as opposed to the darker ones in the front half of the season).

Moreover, this is an episode that brought the viewer back to thinking about the role of humanity in the zombie apocalypse, which is something that I think we need to consider every now and then. The idea that Rick wants to fight for a future is inspiring, and I am intrigued to see how that mentality will affect his actions going into the war against the Saviors. But it is perhaps Tara’s storyline that it is the most interesting in this respect, as she spends the episode struggling to make the decision to tell Rick about Oceanside or not. In the end, it seems that she has settled on telling him, something that I am personally torn about. While I don’t like the idea of Tara revealing the whereabouts of Oceanside (because ultimately, the fear of being found was the exact reason why they did not want to let her leave alive), I feel as if she has no choice at this point. It ties into the classic argument of whether or not the needs of the many (i.e. all of the communities who are subservient to the Saviors) outweigh the needs of the few (i.e. Oceanside) and in this situation, I think that the only solution for any sort of a future is for Tara to reveal their community to Rick (though I am hopeful that she and/or Rick can inspire them to join in the fight).

For those who play the No Man’s Land mobile game, this week’s season 7 mission is Rick and Michonne fighting Saviors at the golf course while they attempt to loot their truck.

Do you watch The Walking Dead? Join the conversation on FoCC!

Mlgagne

Melanie (Mlgagne) is a lover of pop culture and the entertainment industry. She is a passionate fan of various TV shows and films, including (but certainly not limited to) GAME OF THRONES, THE WALKING DEAD, PREACHER, OUTLANDER, and X-MEN. She is a regular attendee of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) and New York Comic Con (NYCC), and she plans to add both WonderCon and Walker Stalker Con: Atlanta to her repertoire in 2017. When she is not watching/discussing her favorite fandoms or planning for her next con, she can likely be found sharing cute animal photos on various social media outlets. You can follow her on both Twitter and Instagram @mlgagne.