The Walking Dead "S7E12 Say Yes" - Review: A Real Rom-Zom-Com Episode

Author Thumbnail BY Dave Gigg - - March 08, 2017
9/10

Say Yes – While enjoying a scavenging mission together, Rick and Michone might just have found what the group desperately needs. Rosita still has trouble waiting to attack while Tara struggles over telling the others about the Oceanside community.

Talk about a change of pace from last week. This episode is, of all things, a “Rickchone” date episode.... but it’s a much more enjoyable affair than that sounds. Firstly, there’s a clear emphasis of how much getting some on the job personal time means to both characters to indulge a form of escapism. They’re out looking for alliance, brokering guns but having their responsibilities simplified down. For the first time since Negan swung into their lives, they can actually be a couple, even managing an impromptu candlelight dinner. The optimism and general sense of fun the pair embodies keeps this from being more of a sappy affair and instead comes across as good light entertainment. While The Walking Dead deals with many heavy topics, it doesn’t need to take itself seriously all the time. Episodes like this are a great way of providing contrast to the show’s darker moments. That said the eventual, “I don’t want to lose you” exchange does take things in the wrong direction. While it does feel in keeping with the prior events it’s a very awkward change in tone from the rest of the Rickchone scenes. Above all else, it just feels like its repeating in dialogue what we’ve already been shown clearly in narrative, which makes it feel very surplus to requirements.

After last week’s more sedate affair,this is a much action orientated episode with some excellent set pieces as Rick & Michone have a Zombieland worthy time at the fair. The different stages of their walker clear out with a nice mix of comedic moments (they almost had a Legolas & Gimli count going) along with more dramatic peril. The fairground environment was well-utilised even if a certain tease was so blatantly fake news it should have been sent via Twitter. The practical effects team had a good week too with some delightfully gruesome walker moments. While Rick’s windshield troubles were hilarious I think Rosita’s walker with a neck like an aging elephant scrotum (that was some fun research) takes the cake this week. That CGI deer though. I’m all in favour of creative solutions to reduce animal filming requirements but it looked pretty bad. Add that to the dump backdrop the other week, and it’s starting to look like AMC left their interns in charge of their visual effects.

We also get a few very curious moments of looking beyond the horizon. This continues the building idea of hope among the survivors as victory against the Saviours at least seems possible. We see Gabriel imparting the value of life to Rosita in her defence of a suicide mission but it’s Rick & Michone’s brief thoughts to post-war politics among the various communities that really intrigues. Although The Saviours are enslaving forces, they are for all intensive purposes a governing body. If they are removed, something or someone will need to take their place to keep order between the various groups. While the focus is in Rick’s reluctance to become such a leader, this feels like an interesting tease for future events. Following All Out War, could we see an unexpected character or group seize the opportune moment of power?

Around the main Rick & Michone story, the rest felt more like a scattering of plot setups rather than making meaningful contributions to the episode in hand. Yet the main story was such an entertaining affair that it actually gets away with it. It spent much of its time pushed a key relationship on us without feeling like a rom-com takeover. In fact, if anything, the pair came across like a parental couple getting a much deserved weekend break from their kids.... to go and fight zombies with axes and sword because that’s way cooler than wine tasting. The endings set up several interesting stories for future episodes. Even if we don’t get to All Out War this spring, (AMC being secretive over episode titles keeps it uncertain) this will still go down as a great season half for episodes like this that the willing to try something different and let people smile in the face of the apocalypse.

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Dave Gigg By day I'm a (mostly) mild mannered Finance Officer for a cluster of popular tourist attractions in my home town of Weymouth in the UK. By night, I pound my keyboard until we both bleed to bring you my thoughts and geeky opinions on the latest movies and popular TV shows in the wonderful worlds of fantasy and science fiction. I occasionally break out to rock out with my band TATE or attend some good gigs and music festivals but all geek, all week is how I roll.
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