Spoiler Alert: The following discusses plot points from Sunday night's The Walking Dead Season 7 episode, “Sing Me A Song."
Overview: When last we left Carl and Jesus, they were hiding out in the back of one of Negan’s trucks and heading toward Savior Town. Jesus is good at the stealth, Carl not so much. This week, Carl pulls a gun on Negan and manages to take out two of him men — though he misses Negan. But, instead of just killing him right there, Negan is impressed with Carl’s bad*ssery and decides to give him a tour of their community instead. Meanwhile, Rick and Aaron are tracking down a survivalist’s camp to try and scavenge supplies (which will keep them on the road until at least next episode). The episode ends with Negan giving Carl a lift back to Alexandria, as he takes a tour of Carl’s home while he waits for Rick. He also finds Judith and kicks back on the front porch talking baby-talk with her. Yeah, this is not going to end well.
Depending on how much you’re enjoying Negan’s introduction this episode, it had a lot to love or a lot to hate. They seem to be putting a lot of time into Negan’s character, which is no surprise, since he’s expected to stick around for a few seasons (or more). We learned a bit more about their community this week (though not a whole lot more than what was gleaned from Daryl’s tenure as a prisoner there). Looking back to the comics, the bizarre friendship between Carl and Negan has always made for a fascinating dynamic. They tried to emulate that here, but with a bit less success. Chandler Riggs and Jeffrey Dean Morgan certainly have a decent bit of chemistry to play off one another, but it’s still strange to see a grown man mock (then apologize to) a kid for having his eye shot off in live action. It’s obvious they’re trying to show us glimmers of Negan’s warped humanity, but Morgan can’t seem to find the exact right note to make it sing. Look, he’s insanely charming (which is why we’re still in the “Highlights” section), but Negan still needs a bit more time to breathe as a character.
Also, Carl in general. Wow. They adapted this story pretty close to the comics, and Riggs pulled it off in spades. They laid the groundwork the past few weeks, as Carl has trouble adapting to the new normal of the Saviors, and it pays off here. The kid has grown up in this broken post-apocalypse, and he has no fear running off into certain death to avenge the death of his friends. But, it’s easy to forget he’s still just a kid. They stay true to the character, and Riggs does a great job of swinging from gun-toting Spirit of Vengeance, to a teen who doesn’t like being made fun of because of his face. It’s a hard landing to stick, but Riggs nailed it.
Boy, extending the length of these episodes is really starting to feel like padding, right? We spend an extra few minutes in the world of The Walking Dead, but we really don’t have much to show for it. Rick and Aaron go off on a generic mission for supplies (though we do want to see what happens next week with that Zombie Pond), while Rosita and Eugene go on a field trip to make a bullet. Michonne also goes solo this week to kidnap a Savior and ask for a trip to see Negan (why, exactly?). Oh, and then there’s the mind-boggling turn of events where Spencer somehow spots a zombie in a tree stand from the road, recovers his crossbow, and miraculously finds a note written in Latin with a list of bunker sites full of supplies. What? Are these supplies Spencer has been putting back himself and decides to bring back to town? Or did he really just randomly stumble upon all this good stuff? This is one of the most random little C-plots, and you’d think with all the extra running time, they could’ve fleshed this out a bit more.
“Oh S—t!” Moment
So, Negan has met Baby Judith. Carl tries his best to keep Negan out of the baby’s room (though, if Carl wasn’t home before and Michonne is gone, who the heck was watching the baby in the first place?), but Negan strolls in anyway and decides to give the adorable kiddo some snuggles. It’s a strange juxtaposition to see the guy who bashed in Glenn’s brains playing with Rick’s baby, but I suppose that’s the point. Regardless, Negan has certainly found a brand new pressure point to push on when it comes to Rick.
This episode wasn’t all bad, but it really feels like this series is just spinning its wheels and playing with its shiny, new toy in Jeffrey Dean Morgan. There are so many other stories they could be touching on. Get back to The Kingdom. Start planting the seeds for All Out War (comic fans know what I’m talking about). Do something, anything, other than letting Negan just chew scenery and spend 10 minutes berating a one-eyed kid.
What did you think of "Sing Me A Song”? More meandering, or some quality time with Negan?