This was the "Rick and Michonne In Love" episode. We've never seen Rick (Andrew Lincoln) so playful and happy. That lighter mood, as well as the self-contained bottle episode nature of their antics, made this installment of The Walking Dead feel pretty frivolous in terms of the season's overarching plot. Still, it was a nice change of pace to accompany Richonne on their date at the carnival.
Elsewhere, Rosita (Christian Serratos) roped someone else into her quixotic quest to kill Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), guns got delivered to the junkyard gang and Tara (Alanna Masterson) finally came to terms with the fact that she's going to have to tell Rick about all the firepower at Oceanside.
I was hoping that "Say Yes," a line spoken by Rick to Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), was an Elliott Smith reference, but it wasn't. At least not directly — but maybe there's something to it. Rick's in a better place now because his love for Michonne helps him see that there are still things in the world worth protecting, something Michonne always knew. Michonne is a girl who's still around the morning after because she hasn't died yet. And on The Walking Dead you definitely pay after a happy day.
Rick and Michonne were out in the wilderness looking for guns and food to bring to Jadis to uphold their end of the Savior-fighting bargain. They were having fun! They had sex in the van a bunch of times. They stole some batteries and pretzels from some golfing Saviors (side note: it's rare to see anyone actually doing anything just for fun on The Walking Dead, even though play is an essential part of life, so shout out to these Saviors for acting like humans). Rick wanted to stay out for two more days because he was having such a good time with Michonne, which we know means something bad is going to happen.
They came upon a school that was in the midst of having a carnival when it all went down and ended up being the scene of some kind of military action, so there were a lot of walkers stumbling around with assault rifles on their backs. Inside the school was a stockpile of canned food and MREs. How convenient! Seriously, it's pretty dumb that they stumbled upon exactly what they're looking for at exactly the right time, but I'm not the guy to complain about a show about zombies not being realistic, so whatever. I would like to know the story of what exactly went down at that carnival. Maybe a one-off comic?
Before they killed all the walkers to gather the weapons, they talked about what comes after they kill Negan.
"Negan ordered the world his way, right?" Michonne said. "It's up to us to reorder it after he's gone." She wants Rick to be the leader of the new Negan-free world. He wants it to be a partnership. Mom and Dad of the Apocalypse.
They got the guns in the lowest-stakes action sequence of the season that still made some room for some patented Greg Nicotero gore (Rick pulling that zombie soldier's rotten foot off was real gross) and one unnecessarily boneheaded Rick Grimes moment that spoiled the fun.
Rick climbed up on a Ferris wheel to get a better shot at the deer he felt he owed Michonne after giving one she killed to Negan earlier in the season. He fell, of course, and got swarmed by the walkers he was supposed to be chopping up. He gave Michonne a good scare when she thought he had been devoured, but then he popped out of the box he was hiding in and tossed her her sword and she snapped out of her stupor just in time to catch and slash. And the deer got eaten, so it was a total wash.
Michonne was shaken up on the ride back to Alexandria, since she realized that she's so emotionally attached to Rick that she might not be able to continue if something happens to him.
He warns her that either of them might die but it would be worth it since it would be in the service of something much greater than themselves.
"It's not about us anymore," he tells her. "It's about a future."
Their two conversations this episode indicate that there will be more emotional conflict ahead for Richonne. They're on the same page now, but soon they won't be. Maybe there's a Carol (Melissa McBride) situation in Michonne's future where she separates from Rick in order to protect herself.
Once they reconvened with the gang, they went to the junkyard to deliver the goods. Jadis, whose language skills seemed to have declined even more since we last saw her, said the 63 untested guns they brought are not enough.
"Enough to fight your fight us nearly twice," she said. "Need nearly twice." I think she means there are about 125 heapsters and she wants a gun for each of them. She and Rick agree that he'll find some more guns and keep the wire cat sculpture he stole.
Rosita continued to be very pissed off and in full Tupac mode — it's just her against the world, baby — after this exchange, as she was all episode.
Back in Alexandria, she was taking out her own stitches as she was mad at Tara about Tara not wanting to go into battle against Negan underprepared.
"Do you know where we could find that many guns today?" Rosita asked. The show needs to hammer the dramatic irony about Tara knowing that Oceanside has a bunch of guns really hard because it's very easy to forget that that whole episode even happened.
Rosita then went out to look for guns on her own and got a mouthful of walker pus only to come up with a toy gun. Frustrated, she came back and was mad at Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) for talking her out of whatever it was he talked her out of that was going to get her killed.
I'm so tired of Rosita at this point. She's irrational and one-note to the extent that I tune out whenever she's onscreen. She's mad because she wants to kill Negan and it's not happening fast enough, so she's being a self-destructive brat about it. Got it. The sooner she and Sasha get going on their idiotic suicide mission, the better, just so this subplot gets some momentum.
At the end of the episode she went to Hilltop to recruit Abraham's (Michael Cudlitz) other girlfriend into helping her sneak into the Sanctuary to kill Negan. I just don't know what this subplot is supposed to accomplish other than getting Sasha killed so Sonequa Martin-Green is free to focus on Star Trek: Discovery.
And Tara talked to Judith — who's gotten so big! — about her Oceanside dilemma, and she decided to tell Rick about the well-armed, all-female colony, since getting them onboard would finally give them enough firepower to take on the Saviors. So next week we'll probably head back there.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.