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  • Boy, doesn't it feel good to have Walking Dead back and no one important die? Heck, even Rick had a smile to end the episode. Although the Alexandrians were denied partnership with Gregory and King Ezekiel, things are on the way up for our favorite survivors.

    The cliffhanger from the mid-season finale was not addressed at all as we got no follow up to the creeper in the boots. Instead, yet another mystery was added to the show as Gabriel seemingly left Alexandria and took all the food and weapons without any reason whatsoever. Of course, the team thought he left a clue in his bible to his whereabouts, but it looks more like they stumbled upon a new community altogether. Because of how dire the cliffhanger felt, I'm guessing it will turn out to be just the opposite, but who knows.

    I like where this season is heading with presumably the 'March to War' adaptation being the centerpiece for inspiration. There are a ton of communities that can help Alexandria and I have to believe that eventually they will succumb to Rick's pleas. Although he wasn't successful, I thought his arguments to Gregory and the story he told Ezekiel was exactly the way he should go about it. But it does make me wonder, what will it take for the communities to finally agree? Does Gregory have to be taken out of his place of power altogether? Does Ezekiel have to lose someone close to him before he accepts? No matter, I think we're all itching to see a little more of Shiva and Jerry, right?

    An extended episode with no Negan meant we needed some sort of Walker conflict, and we got a dang good one. I knew that the team wasn't going to fall at the hands of the herd or be found out by Negan that quick, but the highway robbery of the dynamite was just about as thrilling as I could have hoped. It goes to show you just how desperate the group has become if Rick was willing to risk everyone's lives for the bombs. And watching Rick and Michonne rip hundreds of walkers in half while driving barbwire through them? One of the best stunts in this show's history.

    So overall, it wasn't all that eventful, but the group definitely took the next step into taking down Negan. So unlike some Walking Dead episodes, the story is moving forward and not wasting any time. That's refreshing.

    +Rick's speech

    +Adding more mysteries

    +Building the Walking Dead universe

    +Highway scene

  • Warning: Spoilers
    THE WALKING DEAD's mid season return, "Rock in the Road," was a good welcome back for beloved characters if for no other reason than being treated to one of coolest scenes ever in the series; this comes when Rick and Michone take down a Walker herd in epic style by way of the greatest clothesline ever. This comes in a tense moment when the gang is trying to steal some explosives left behind on the interstate by Negan and the Saviors as a tripwire to keep pesky herds at bay. What was better about this whole sequence is that it shows Rick and the gang back in action, fully committed to taking on the Saviors, and doing whatever it takes to get an edge on their enemies. It is such a relief to see this group together again doing what they do best; except for Carole and Morgan, who are back at the Kingdom and not on the same page as their extended family yet. Carole herself only makes one appearance in this episode, still off by herself and intimidating the unwary. She not up to speed on what has happened to Glenn and Abraham yet, but no doubt she will come around when the news inevitably catches up with her.

    There was a lot talking in this episode, as Rick makes his case to Gregory, and then King Ezekiel, that the time has come for them to unite and throw off their mutual oppressors; he does not have much initial success, but he makes a few converts as we slowly – maybe too slowly – work our way toward All Out War. But the second half to the show amps up the suspense well, including a visit to Alexandria by Negan's right hand a-hole, Simon, played to perfection by Steven Ogg, and a final cliff hanger that showed Rick and the group at a disadvantage, but introduced a whole new group. Then there is the mystery of Father Gabriel, did he really show his true colors and bug out in the middle of the night while he was on watch or is their more going on there than meets the eye? And there have been rumors that Alexandria will be betrayed from within before the season is over, and after tonight, our eyes are on Aaron's significant other. And while Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan did not make an appearance in the flesh, he did show up by way of a voice on the radio, giving in his own way, a eulogy for the late and lamented Fat Joey.

    It's clear we still have a way to go before we see Rick and the gang take on Negan and the Saviors in open warfare, but if the mid winter finale turned a corner, this show got us much closer to that pivotal moment. Strap in, because it is going to be a ride.

    And bonus points for anyone who recognized "Life in a Northern Town" by the Dream Academy playing in the background when Rick and the crew walked through the streets of the Kingdom. Pure 80's gold.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I thought Rock in the Road was a great episode and a great sneak peak into what we will see this half. I'm glad that we have what looks like the old Rick back because beaten down and submissive Rick last half season was super boring and offered no excitement to any of the episodes. It seems like this half is going to be a massive improvement from last half, which is definitely needed considering I thought 7A was one of the worst half seasons in Walking Dead history.

    For the positives, I liked that Jesus was with the group the whole episode and guiding them around. This leads me to believe that he will become a bigger character this half which has me very excited. I also loved that highway scene. If there were any room for improvement I think the CGI could have been a bit better but I can forgive them for that considering the time and budget a TV show has compared to a movie. What I loved the most was the concept behind using the steel wire to mow down the herd. It shows that these writers can still think of new and fun ways to kill zombies! I also liked the fact that we had a tense and exciting episode without having to kill a main character. Sometimes it works out great but it can become so tiresome and predictable after awhile. The Walking Dead has recently fallen victim to this pattern until tonight. Hopefully more episodes like this will come in the future.

    As of negatives, I thought the dialogue at the beginning was a little weak. I just thought some of the word choices the writer used could have been better. However, once Rick told the story about the rock in the road, the dialogue picked back up.

    Overall, great episode and such a refreshing return to the old gang. 9/10
  • Father Gabriel brings all the supplies from the pantry to the trunk of his car and leaves Alexandria. Rick, Daryl and their friends meet Jesus and they have a meeting with Gregory in Hilltop to plot to fight the Saviors. Gregory refuses but Enid convinces many people to join their fight. Then Jesus leads the group to Kingdom expecting to convince King Ezekiel to join the Kingdom in their fight and he offers sanctuary to Daryl. On their way back to Alexandria, they find a bobby trap on the road planted by the Saviors with many explosives. What will they do?

    "Rock in the Road" is an excellent return of the Seventh Season of "The Walking Dead" to the trail. Rick Grimes now is the leader the viewers used to see in the previous seasons and plots an uprising against the Saviors. The scene on the road with the cars cutting the walkers is very well done. What happened to Father Gabriel and what is his intention is the mystery of this show. Fortunately this time there is no death of any character and Negan does not appear in the show. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "Rock in the Road"
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Finally, the Walking Dead is back on track. It's taken a while, the sensational first episode seems a long time ago now after what can only be described as as drawn out, slow season thus far. But this episode kicked the show back into gear, I do have sympathy for the writers after the hate they got for the first half. Yes there were a lot of things they could've done better but they had very little to work with as those who have read the comic will know, they don't really go into much detail about what happens before the March to War story arc. To fit very little source material into 7 of the first 8 episodes was always going to be a real challenge for them. Some of them were really solid episodes to be fair to them. I really enjoyed The Cell, The Well and Sing Me a Song, not to mention the superb mid season finale. Anyway, I'm droning on! Episode 9, 'The Rock in the Road' has the Walking Dead go back to it's roots- or as close as they can get to their roots- the episode focuses on the group (more or less) as a whole and developing plot which really hasn't been seen since the back end of last season (I don't count the premiere of this season and the finale of last season as the main focus was really on Negan). This episode gives us some missed herd action, a perfect sign that the Walking Dead is back via the zombie highway massacre, tense moments with the bomb and the arrival of Simon at the Safe Zone and the worry when Rick and Michonne were almost caught in the middle of the herd. The writers also added a little mystery to this episode with the what looks like abduction of Gabriel. Where did he go? Who was he with? I think both are to do with the new group we encountered at the end of the episode. I also want to praise the writers for not using much Negan in this episode as I know that was a pet peeve for a lot of viewers. I personally love him but people were right the fear factor was kinda going and the show became more, the Negan show rather than the Walking Dead. I feel he was used perfectly in this episode as it still shows his strength and his lines were pretty funny! To sum it all up, although this wasn't the best episode, it was a strong, firm step in the right direction for the show and I feel if they stick with this sort of episode structure for these sort of episodes where there isn't going to be TONS of action then I think the second half of this season could be considered one of the best half seasons so far.

    + The group are back

    + Rick is back

    + The acting was top class

    + The limited use of Negan

    + The mysteries +

    The inter-community politics

    +The episode structure

    + Zombie highway massacre

    + The Walking Dead is back!

    -Still someway to go before it is back to it's best

    -Daryl's lines barely made sense in their context, weren't needed and none of them really seemed like something he would say

    Score: 8.4/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    They finally have the will to fight against The sick man Negan. It begins with Gabriel who takes all of the food and goes away. Gregory is a weak man as always. But look at our group, they have the will, the power, and maybe next week even the weapons to fight against Negan. They go to the kingdom to convince Ezekiel to fight the saviors, Ezekiel however refuses to go along with the group because of the deal he made and that things are going well for them now, and i can't blame him for that, he cares about his people and want to keep them safe at all cost, and Morgan agrees to that of course. however Richard thinks they should go fight them because sooner or later the saviors will show up. Then the group goes with Jesus to a highway were Negan and the Saviors are blocking the highway with cars and explosives to keep a big herd of walkers away from the sanctuary. The group disarm the explosives and a bunch of RPG'S. The steel cable is sticking on 2 cars, Rick and Michonne turn the 2 cars on and go trough the herd in the best way possible! very epic scene. At the end Simon and the saviors show up at Alexandria to search for Daryl since Negan knew that Fat Joseph was killed by Daryl. They wont find him of course because he is at the kingdom now, Simon and the saviors destroy Alexandria and then leave. At the very end the group gets ambushed by an another group.

    Great episode!
  • Dejan K12 February 2017
    What do Rick, King Ezekiel, and Negan all have in common? They all live inside their own reality and interpret the world through filters of their own choosing, unhindered by the world around them. In other words, they are all crazy in their own way. To be an effective leader in an apocalyptic world, you must have a mental resilience of the kind that only a psychopath or insane individual possesses. This episode does a great job of poetically comparing Rick's mental perceptions with Ezekiel's, and by extension, Negan's - our favorite trio of crazy but effective leaders; they are not effective in spite of their insanity, they are effective because of their insanity. For them reality is perception, you are what you believe you are - mind over matter. There is depth, there is meaning, there is metaphor, there is soul brought out in this episode which I greatly enjoyed witnessing on screen. It was pure poetry of the human psyche.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A promising return After the disastrous first part of the season, the walking dead seems to be coming back on track in this great episode, but still seems to be far from solving all their problems Positive points: The story is moving fast, great zombie scene, acting Negative points: Without Negan, Carol seems to be losing her importance in history
  • Well, this is once again, the highest ranked episode. I doubt it will last long, but it doesn't matter because this is truly a great episode. There's so much that goes on in all of these that it's great that after each new episode they feature "The Talking Dead" which gives a brief summary of everything that happened. I don't watch the rest of the show, just the brief summary at the beginning. Sue me! Anyway, we get to see most of our favorite characters back doing what they do best. It's just great to see the human dynamics between everyone.

    Ezekiel's back and he's such an awesome character it's great to see him anywhere. I especially like the scenes where he's praying. Speaking of which, the priest appears again, but only at the beginning. I admit that I was a tad disappointed that this didn't seem to be an episode that have that many zombies in it. It all wonderfully builds up to the episode's climax as we actually see two cars run a wire through an entire horde of zombies! When there's too many to take them out like that, they simply use dynamite. Yes, this is a very intelligent show, but I love stuff blowing up too. ****
  • A lot of the dialogue now is playing off what the audience knows about the characters. But it also means there's nothing left to learn about the characters, we just have to play around with what we've got. Rick makes a joke to Daryl about him 'staring meanly' at someone, because that's how we've come to know them and their relationship. It's like watching a later season episode of Married with Children. Where Al comes out, says his line and tucks his hand in his pants. And what was once a meaningful punchline becomes used as a just reminder of that. And it gets half-laugh where you just breathe out your nose because you recognize the joke. You just don't find it funny.

    Long running shows often cross a line where they are no longer as relevant or as fresh and engaging as they once were. But they're still enjoyable because we have reached a point where we believe in these characters - where we engage with them like they are real people. So they are like friends. And you often gives friends the benefit of the doubt when they say things, or let them ramble on about their day much longer than you would tolerate it from a stranger. And that's where we are with The Walking Dead.

    The audience is invested but no longer engaged. The characters are likable and familiar but no longer interesting. What was once a show for adults that teens watched has morphed more into a kind of teen drama with an adult setting.

    The only thing keeping many clinging on is that there are still some characters they once liked. But each time a core cast member is lost that connection to the show is lost. And it's getting harder and harder to care about anyone anymore.

    The dip in quality is probably not noticeable to those wrapped up in the show. But the tone and writing of the show has changed so much from where it started.

    I'm not saying the show has 'jumped the shark' (even though it probably did when Daryl lit the lake on fire with a bazooka) but the comparison to Happy Days still works - Where as in the early seasons of Happy Days you'll see a lot of effort made to make the characters, the drama and the comedy feel real and authentic. In later seasons it was just made to entertain. Characters came out and 'did their catchphrase' and they got the laugh. That's where The Walking Dead is. It's just out to entertain now. There's no attempt to draw new audience members in. There's no attempt to make meaningful drama. They're happy just to play it out and give the fans what they want.

    Good for them I suppose. I watch it amazed at how much my attitude toward this show has changed. I remember a time when I loved it. And while I'll probably keep putting it on to watch in the background, I'll never love this show again. It's certainly well past the point where I could confidently recommend it to someone as worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Season 7 started off very rough, with the death of two major characters, and a new lifestyle for the group, episodes were quite slow, that certainly isn't a negative though, hence season 7 bringing with it big, bad Negan. After S07E01's events, viewer's were left shocked and traumatized, including myself. S07E02 was a much lighter in tone and graphic content compared to the first episode which was honestly a relief although the overall tone the past 8 episodes (S7A) have been very dark in tone and really shows the changes and adjustment that everyone is having to take on thanks to Negan now in charge. After seeing tonight's episode to kick start S7B it felt like the train had finally left the station, the characters are moving forward instead of having filler episodes...which there was a few. I understand what the show runners were doing but it was a very slow start to season 7. I'm glad to say that I'm really happy with this episode, I enjoyed it and has almost all the reasons why I love this show. First off I thought I'd mention what a brilliant job was done on the episode's soundtrack, every track was perfectly done and I feel that it's a very overlooked part of the show, unlike say Game of Thrones, who's soundtrack is praised left, right and centre (rightful so) thanks to the brilliant Ramin Djwadi. It was great to see things happening for once in an episode, Im going to point out all the different things that happened in this episode that made it fantastic ------------SPOILERS--------- --- -- • Father Gabriel is up to something • Gregory is a total jerk, and has no concern for his people and his allies. • Gregory's people want to fight • Rick is finally introduced to King Ezekiel at The Kingdom. • Rick tells a story relevant to the episode and the situation he's in. • Morgan ends up discovering who Negan really is and a glimpse at what has actually happened. • Ben catches Carol out in the forest. • King Ezekiel talks with Ben about his conversation with Carol • King Ezekiel gives Darryl asylum • Trouble on a highway ----------------------------------- The point I'm trying to make is that the episode keeps moving, I couldn't find one dull moment. Similar to Game of Thrones storytelling things are constantly happening and multiple stories of characters are being told at once to make one story. Fantastic Stuff AMC. I have two small problems with this episode. The first one applys to some of the most recent episodes too, that is sloppy acting from some people in particular. If you watch the show you will know who, if you don't I won't ruin it for you. I feel the show will be improved when the character is gone. Secondly there is one scene where the group is walking together and the camera is waiting for the characters walking at the back to come in focus so they can start their dialogue, the thing I couldn't stand about this scene is that nobody in the entire group is seen talking, about 10 people are walking and they are all looking at the ground walking looking as silent as robots, it just seemed so stupid and fake. Other than that I really enjoyed this episode, definitely a great way to kick start S7B Episode Classification: MA15+ Episode Length: 51 mins Episode Rating: 9/10
  • rokbf5116 February 2017
    At least we were given a break from Negan for a little bit. What some members of the group should do is take a few trucks on a trip back to Morgan's old apartment & load up all the guns, ammo, and other weapons he has left there, with a scavenging story that they had to go far away to give Negan's people if asked. If I had to guess on who Rick was smiling at, that was Carol. That whole group that showed up seemed to be women & girls: perhaps the group that Tara came across, then Carol did on her walk in the woods; just a thought though.

    It is too bad about the Message Boards or comments, but I think behind all this is to make sure that there are fewer places other than social media sites to place comments or views on anything, even sites like Yahoo & others will soon do this I believe so everyone can be watched & monitored more easily. Pretty soon I'd bet everything and every site & place that you can use to comment or offer opinion's on will all be under the jurisdiction of only 1 or 2 places & funneled through those so nothing can be in an anonymous type format.
  • 'Rock In The Road' marks the return of The Walking Dead after it's winter break, and offers a great deal of hope regarding the future of the show. The first half of Season 7 was, for the most part, dull, meandering, and miserable. The entirety of those 8 episodes could have easily been fit into 5 - hell, there are whole episodes that didn't need to exist.

    But with 'Rock In The Road', the show is hopefully changing course. Although the episode mostly consisted of Rick and his group going from community to community, trying and failing to convince everyone to join them in their fight against Negan, 'Rock In The Road' felt tighter, and seemed like the show was actually building towards something. It can be compared to the early-season episodes of Game of Thrones, where each scene is a purposeful move of a chess piece, the payoff of which will almost always be of epic proportions. Granted, the show can squander it all by returning to it's usual, meandering ways, but it is worth pointing out the feeling of momentum in 'Rock In The Road'.

    The dark, dreary tone of Season 7A has been replaced with a more thrilling, fun sort of feel - it even ends with a shot of Rick grinning! About half-way through the episode, there's a fantastic action sequence where the group retrieves explosives from a walker trap set by the Saviors. It might be a dumb, pop-corny sort of set piece, but it was riveting to watch nonetheless - and it's always enjoyable to see the Walkers actually pose a danger to the group. But despite how enjoyable the scene was, it felt like it was just thrown in to give the episode an action sequence. While the dynamite will probably play a role in future episodes, the scene didn't contribute to the immediate plot and wasn't mentioned at all afterward.

    The episode also felt very sporadic and all over the place at times, mostly due to the sheer amount of places the core group visited. They're at the Hilltop, now they're at the Kingdom, now they're on the outskirts of the Sanctuary, now they're at Alexandria. It's a lot to fit into 50 minutes, and the pacing was very rushed at certain points in the episode.

    Other weakness of 'Rock In The Road' have less to do with the episode, and more of the show as a whole. Dialogue is one place where the Walking Dead can struggle. The show has had no shortage of awesome lines and fantastic exchanges, but there are many instances of the dialogue feeling forced, or just downright stilted and unnatural. For instance, the titular 'Rock In The Road' speech had the potential to be this rousing, inspiring oration, but mostly came off as a semi-desperate ramble said in the hopes of recruiting Ezekiel.

    But all that rabble might have been for nothing, as the episode ends with the introduction of yet another community. While the scene ended with that nice shot of Rick grinning like an idiot, the rest of it was just infuriating. The show already has enough characters, many of which don't receive nearly enough screen time, so why introduce a completely different community? Yes, Rick's group needs a source of manpower and weapons in order to defeat Negan. But the writers should have made the Kingdom posses more manpower and weapons, rather than introduce a THIRD community (not including Alexandria or the Sanctuary).

    Despite the gaping flaws of the episode, 'Rock In The Road' was something of a return to form for the Walking Dead after a middling first-half of the season. Here's hoping the show will continue this upward trend, and not fall back into the same-old, same-old.

    STRAY COMMENTS - It's great to see most of the group back together again. - That steel-wire gag was ridiculous and awesome at the same time. - Assuming Gabriel was taking all those supplies to hide them from the Saviors, it's great to see his character grow and transform. - The show needs to stop with the jangly-guitar music whenever the Kingdom is shown. It doesn't work.

    FINAL SCORE: 8.2/10
  • iron77717 February 2017
    What happened to this show? now Rick and his friends became superheros, even thousands of zombies are too weak now, take from them all the weapons no problem we won't loose anybody... What happened to the writers : Too much 'politically correct', let's be nice people and kill all the imagination of what could happened in this situation.. it's not like we are in a post apocalypse World. The first seasons were awesome it's time to stop the show..
  • Not sure why there are so many glowing reviews of this episode "returning to form". Maybe because of the fast pace and the generally positive feel? What people seem to jump over is how terrible the acting was for this episode -- and the dialog was even worse.

    I feel like in some places this script was written by middle-schoolers. Or maybe it was poor editing/musical score choices that made the dialog seem bad. I'm honestly questioning continuing the series after this episode. Also, they are completely butchering Carol and Daryl's characters -- Daryl has gotten boring and predictable, Carol has gotten boring and weak.

    Other than episode 7.1 this season has been trash. The Walking Dead has gone downhill FAST!