The Walking Dead, “The Obliged” Review

Aleigh Warren

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I have nothing but immense praise for this episode. The dialogue was super rich and I was so in love with it. There were so many great moments for everyone, well… except Rick, but we’ll get to that later.

   

The episode began with a simple run through of Michonne’s daily life. It was normal and all until she gets enticed by the simple reminder of her sword. She then gets out of bed at night to kill walkers. This is a continued pattern and is almost as if she can’t sleep if she doesn’t do it. This is reminiscent of a smoke break or just something to relieve stress. However, this shows that no matter how ‘perfectly’ the characters live, they’ll always have violent tendencies. Later on, Michonne uses a bat to kill a walker. This is an allusion to Negan and his killings and also comes into play later on when she eventually goes down to talk to him.

When Michonne talks to Negan, it all feels tense until they bring up the subject of kids. At this point, the conversation turns genuine and the both of them lighten up. Negan then made a statement that him and Michonne are ‘the same’. That caught me off guard, because as the viewer you know that Negan is the bad guy and you don’t want to see the heros in the villain’s shoes. But are Rick and his group really heros at this point? Michonne is reminded of her baseball bat walker kill and obviously doesn’t take it well, especially at the mention of the death of her child. I do agree with Negan though. If Andre never died, Michonne wouldn’t be who she is now. If all the other characters didn’t have the catastrophic events that occured in their lives happen, they would be completely different people. They wouldn’t know what they do now. An interesting occurrence was when Negan requested he see his bat and went crazy once he realized he won’t be seeing it anytime soon. I resorted back to the parallels of Negan and Michonne and rested upon the fact that Negan was connected to his bat just as Michonne is connected to her sword. Even though Michonne’s is in an obviously more subtle way, it’s the same thing. Their weapon is a part of them just like Daryl’s crossbow is to him.

    Well, Daryl and Rick had a very rocky run this episode. They continued to clash due to their different beliefs regarding violence, but for a moment the viewers had been tricked into thinking everything was alright. As Daryl is eavesdropping on Rick’s plan to head over to Alexandria and stop Maggie, he offers to drive him there. With the friendly offer, I thought that everything had resolved off screen… until Daryl drove him out into the middle of nowhere. The two battled it out with their fists, rather than their words, and ended up falling into a gigantic hole which symbolizes the situation they’ve dug themselves into (no pun intended). While trapped in the hole, the best dialogue of the whole episode occurs. The exchange between Daryl and Rick was so beautiful and raw; it was kind of like the piece of the show that had been missing for a while. Daryl was really laying down the hammer this episode and I loved it. He told Rick that he ‘had faith in all these other people, but you don’t have faith in us.” I was shocked by the confrontation, but obviously agreed with him since I see myself on Daryl and Maggie’s side at the moment. Before Rick had a chance to speak, Daryl let us know he wasn’t done: “I would die for you. And I would’ve died for Carl.” Yes. Just yes is all I have to say about that. The writing was so spectacular.

    Soon after the exchange, walkers began tumbling into the pit which caused them to have to work together to survive the situation. With an amazing adrenaline pumping few moments, they made it out. My favorite part of the whole walker debacle was when Rick held out his hand for Daryl to grab on to. He called him ‘Brother’ for positive reinforcement and, in all honesty, it made me want to cry. It was very reminiscent of Season 2, Episode 5: “Chupacabra”. Before the two of them separated in front of the impending walker herd, Daryl told Rick to ‘be safe’. At the end of the day, they’ll still care for each other and consider each other as family.

    To everyone’s dismay, the episode closed out with a shocking event. Now, if you haven’t seen it and don’t want to know, consider this as an active Spoiler Alert! As Rick is riding on his horse, the horse decides it’s a great time to become spooked at the walkers who were closely following behind them. The horse bucked him off and Rick became impaled on rebar. There, the camera panned out to show that the rebar had gone through his lower left side and he’s now bleeding out while the walkers come towards him from both directions. His eyes had closed which lead into next week’s heavy episode of his death. Based on the preview, it’s going to be a rough yet very special one. Multiple flashbacks will be taking place that span from all seasons and include characters that have passed on. There will be many tears from me, but I have no doubt in my mind it’ll be a beautiful ending to Rick Grimes’ journey by the way this season is being handled.

    To recap: Michonne and Negan had a riveting interaction, Daryl and Rick fought it out and worked it out in a matter of minutes, Rick got impaled and is dying and to top it all off, there’s a hole in the bridge. I know for a fact that next week will be a doozy, but it will definitely usher in a new era of The Walking Dead.

  

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