TV Quibbles: The Walking Dead “Evolution” Recap

Come along, as we stew in our annoyances.

I don’t plan on these being a weekly thing with The Walking Dead or any show for that matter, but sometimes I just need to get it out there because…writing it down makes me feel better.

Like the last time, I’m going to do a quick, spoiler-free review of the episode then get into the recap.

The Walkers Are Evolving

This episode follows four different storylines: Negan and Gabriel, Michonne and Hilltop, Henry, and finally Aaron, Jesus, Daryl, and Dog out looking for Eugene. It set up a few different things to tackle when the show returns, which I didn’t mind. However, most of the episode I wish centered around them looking for Eugene as they encountered the “evolved” Walkers. It was creepy watching a loud noise have no effect on them or at the very end when the truth came out.

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I’m sure most people know what’s really going on.

Negan is Negan, Henry still doesn’t have my full attention but I think Carol caring about him is making me start to care, but we did see the tension between Michonnne and Hilltop with a little more backstory that’s going to be shown later.

Overall, the last ten minutes are a mixture of “ohmygodholyshit” with “are you actually serious?” I enjoyed the episode but have my grievances.

*moving onto spoilers*

Effing Henry

I’ll just get my least favorite part of the episode out of the way: Henry. Henry is obviously taking Carl’s place from the comics, but I can only remember yelling at him during last season every time he did something to make matters worse, so I’m still not at the point where I should care enough, but that’s just me.

Basically, Henry has a thing for Enid, who is dating Alden, so he meets a group of teenagers living in Hilltop, they sneak out at night, Henry gets drunk, falls into a pit with their pet walker, then gets locked up and proves he’s there for all the right reasons.

We basically have to see him being more on the outside with no one to really talk to so when someone does show up to talk to him, a certain Whisperer, they’ll feel like a friend for him.

Father Gabriel Can’t Lock Gates

The second side-plot going on is Gabriel visiting Negan every week, basically reading Bible verses and trying to get the good guy out of him. Of course, Negan tries to play mind games with Gabriel, telling him he hears Rosita talking about someone but it isn’t him (probably Eugene is my guess.)

Then Gabriel hears Rosita got hurt, is annoyed that he has to change Negan’s bedpan every day, and forgets to lock the damn cell door.

Of course, Negan discovers this and escapes.

Lingering Tension

Michonne not knowing Maggie left showed how little Alexandria kept in contact with Hilltop (or, how little Michonne kept in contact), but when she sees Tara and Carol for the first time in a while, it’s obvious something went down.

Tara and Hilltop are clearly pissed at Michonne for whatever she did, and when Carol tries to convince her to go to the fair, she doesn’t want to. She even brings up them both being mothers who lost their children and still moved on, so they should be able to move on from whatever tension is still lingering, but Michonne doesn’t see it that way.

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Michonne did something that ended up saving everyone but also pissed them off as well. Does it have anything to do with the X’s on her and Daryl’s back? That’s my only guess at this point: a bad group was welcomed into Alexandria, shit went down, and something must’ve happened with the rest of the communities as well. Or it could be two different instances.

If anyone else has a theory, feel free to let me know.

Jesus Take Your Sword and Get Out

The other part of the episode (which should’ve been much bigger, in my opinion) focused on Aaron, Jesus, Daryl, and Dog searching for Eugene. They notice a herd of Walkers acting strange, but don’t think too much of it until they find Eugene who tells them they’re talking.

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It doesn’t take them long to realize he’s right, because the herd follows them for some time. Aaron, Jesus, and Eugene try to make it back to Hilltop while Daryl and Dog distract the Walkers, but when a firecracker doesn’t attract their attention, Daryl knows something is up.

In the final scene, which was very good by the way and so cool with the fog in a graveyard, they have to make their way out while fighting off Walkers they can barely see. Aaron and Jesus take a few out while Michonne, Magna, and Yumiko show up to help with Daryl. They get a gate open for Aaron and Eugene to escape but for some reason, Jesus thinks he should stay behind and take the Walkers out…even though once he goes through the gate and it closes, it should give them enough time to get the hell out.

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Why did he stay behind? Because even Tom Payne admitted Jesus is a show-off.

Just when you think he’s got in the bag, a Walker dodges his sword and stabs him in the back. You’ve got to be kidding me.

The rest of the group barges in as a group of “Walkers” come out of the fog carrying knives and swords and I’ll admit, that creeped me out. Throughout the entire episode, you could tell there was something up with certain Walkers, whether it be their skin or especially their eyes, so seeing them running at you with weapons, is a terrifying thought.

They take them out, Jesus (sorry Mom) fucking dies, and Daryl takes off the face of a Walker to reveal a person wearing it as a mask.

And here we have introduced the Whisperers, who surround everyone in the graveyard, and that’s where the episode ends.

Quibbles

Aside from some parts slowing down the episode (mostly Henry for me), it still introduced one of the biggest and creepiest enemies of the comics. Like I said, I liked the last ten minutes in the graveyard and how they introduced the Whisperers. I also liked how we got more of an insight into the communities and their relationship with Michonne. But…why Jesus?

Aaron and Jesus should be together, raising Gracie, and training together.

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I’ve been trying to see from different perspectives why it had to be Jesus. I understand we needed to introduce the Whisperers in a way that showed how threatening they are and how serious we need to take them, and I get killing off a character makes us dislike them even more.

I liked Jesus (obviously) but didn’t feel like we got to know him too well other than he’s gay, can fight, and can be the voice of reason. And that he can pull off a man bun. All that training Tom Payne did and he had how many scenes where he got to put them to use? Well, in a life-or-death type of way and not playfully fighting Aaron type way.

Jesus deserved better.

Overall

Did this episode creep me out? Definitely. I wish we got more time with Daryl, Aaron, and Jesus figuring the Walkers out. Seeing their eyes move beneath the mask did it in for me.

I honestly don’t care about Henry enough right now, I just wish they didn’t make him unlikable last season, and maybe things would be different. The Negan storyline is going somewhere, whether it be the same as the comics, who knows.

I’m very interested to learn what happened with Michonne and the rest of the communities.

But the biggest thing of all is the Whisperers. I do know how the story goes within the comics, but you never know what could change so I won’t assume anything. Them killing Jesus is just the thing to bring everyone back together and maybe get Michonne out of whatever funk she’s in. We will get a flashback episode, which I’m sure everyone is excited to see, but as for now, despite my complaints, I have enjoyed this season so far.

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