Contains minor spoilers for Season 7-B of The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead has been struggling with keeping up its viewer numbers all season. After the first episode of season 7, where the victims of Negan’s baseball bat were revealed, the show has slowly been losing viewers all the way into the mid-season break. So, with the show’s relevance at stake, how have the showrunners decided to approach the second half of the season?
First things first, the issue that I feel defined the first half of the season is still present in the second half – there are just too many factions now to keep track of. From the Alexandrians, to the Saviourrs, to Hilltop, to the Scavengers, to the Kingdom, and to a lesser extent Oceanside, there’s simply too many groups. Which means none of them can get the development they deserve. All of these factions are interesting in their own right but I don’t feel like I know enough about any of them to be able to form opinions on them. Especially underdeveloped is the Kingdom, possibly the most interesting faction that The Walking Dead has had in a long time. We know little to nothing about King Ezequiel, the past of the Kingdom, Shiva, and everything else that goes on there, which is a damn shame as they are a fascinating group.
On more positive notes, some of the episodes themselves stand out as being incredibly fascinating. Hostiles and Calamities, for example, does an incredibly good job at showing what ordinary life is like for those under the control of Negan at the Sanctuary, and helps give Eugene some much needed character development and move his character along with the story. It also gives an intriguing different opinion of Dwight, which is certain to be something to keep an eye on in Season 8. Elsewhere, the final episode, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life, is possibly the most exciting and action filled episode that The Walking Dead had ever had, and the twists, of which there are many, actually work very well. All in all, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life does a fantastic job of resolving the overarching plot of season 7, that of when Rick and those at Alexandria will fight back against Negan, and helps set up the plot of season 8.
Overall though, the second half of the season feels a little underwhelming. The story moved at slightly too slow of a pace and despite some intriguing moments, it’d be a shame if season 8 didn’t pick up the pace a bit and bring back some of the tension that earlier seasons had without sacrificing too much entertainment, as this season did.
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