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.
+Adding more mysteries
+Building the Walking Dead universe