Correcting what I saw as a pacing issue with a one-two punch of resolving a lack of Carol and Morgan and an action filled third act that showcased an amazing amount of character insight The Walking Dead surprised me again.  As we continue to build towards what is shaping up to be an interesting season finale expectant comic fans are treated to a welcome deviation from the source material. Spoilers follow for both the AMC produced show and black and white on-going publication from Image Comics.  Turn back now if this concerns you.

Scary Carol fans should be happy as she gets quite an opening with appropriate music and doing her thing, baking cookies. I’m pleased we are finally given some kind of interaction between Carol and Morgan. Morgan catches Carol at Sam’s grave, where she has a left a cookie out of guilt and he attempts to work through his mistake. After going their separate ways Carol follows the rest of the group’s example and attempts to get her some by aggressively flirting with Tobin. With everyone hooking up you know someone is going to die real soon. Now really isn’t the best time for her to attempt to figure out who she is in this next world.

On the flip side of things you have Abraham breaking things off with Rosita in the most tactless way possible. Though I think we all knew he was going to do it, even the way he did it wasn’t surprising. It feels odd that Eugene and Abraham have almost switched roles and suddenly Abraham spews out odd redneck phrases that he didn’t before. “Why are dingle berries brown? Just the way shit is.” I understand he isn’t the most intelligent man but I feel he was a bit more articulate before the midseason break or least not using such odd phrases. I feel they need to reel him back in and hopefully Sasha can help with that.

Greg Nicotero does his usual thing and churns out yet another fine episode with an excellent third act that was more than just a well flowing action sequence. We see the most unique set up to a joke as we have Tara, a lesbian, Gabriel, a priest, and Jesus having a confession session while on look out. After Jesus runs off to try and save everyone, Gabriel does have a wonderful moment showing that he has learned he will do what he needs to and gets a breath of fresh air into the character. Giving me a flashback to my anime days Gabriel screams shades of Wolfwood from Trigun as he says a prayer for the fleeing Savior he just incapacitated and is now going to execute.

Glenn and Heath deal with not having killed a living person yet and the ham-fisted foreshadowing that Glenn is going to get his head beat in. I still don’t believe it, especially after the scene with the Polaroids on the wall. I did enjoy how quickly and easily Glenn went from kill number one to number two, making sure Heath didn’t have to do it yet. Mind you his attempt to protect him only lasted a few minutes.

Failing to be as stealthy as they wanted to be, a dying Savior pulls a fire alarm and sets up the welcome twist. Carol and Maggie are kidnapped by a woman. Negan typically only keeps women around that are willing to be part of his harem. I am now much more invested in the rest of this season than I had been as I only expect setup to Negan that I already knew.

While I enjoyed this episode thoroughly it wasn’t without a few minor faults in my eyes. Nicotero continues to prove he is one of the best for the zombie film business but the writers trying to foreshadow something that is most likely not going to happen is really starting to bother me. Failing to make Abraham’s break-up with Rosita brutal, showing Rick is un-phased by this world they were still able to show that not everyone is as numb as I am with the zombie apocalypse. In fact for me the most moving and powerful scene was Morgan crafting his cell and breaking down while doing so. It also made me smirk and have to hide my giddiness as it gave me hope and excitement for what is yet to come. Though Morgan has no idea how valuable that cell will become we know who will become extremely familiar with it.