Turn off the Lights

The Walking Dead – Go Getters Review

"Stuck running in place"

“Go Getters” was not a particularly good episode of The Walking Dead. So far this season, the series has managed to double down on a number of annoying tropes that have plagued the show for years (an aversion to focusing on secondary characters in favor of continuing to highlight Rick’s interpersonal issues, relying on extreme violence to stand in for genuine fear, crafting a one-dimensional Big Bad who doesn’t resonate the way the series expects him to). With “Go Getters,” the show hits on another of the major issues with the series: churning out an episode that is only concerned with setting the stage for the upcoming story arcs, yet tries to convince the audience that Important Plot Points are occurring.

It’s been a minute since we were last in Hilltop, but the major players are exactly the same a the last time we were there. Gregory remains an ineffective and cowardly leader (with a creepy penchant for sexually harassing women). Jesus is still afraid of stepping into a leadership role, but still has an unwavering sense of right and wrong. And the whole compound isn’t particularly well-suited to protect themselves from the dangers of the world. So, why not spend an hour rehashing each of these plot points? Plot points that were dealt with perfectly fine last season. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Katelyn Nacon as Enid - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Katelyn Nacon as Enid – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Nothing that happened within Hilltop did anything to advance the plot in a meaningful way. So, now Maggie, Enid, and Sasha are living there full time. Well, that didn’t need an entire episode to have happen. Maggie proved herself to be a much better leader that Gregory could ever hope to be (which sets in motion a conflict that I’m sure will fester over the rest of the season), but that didn’t need 44 minutes for us to recognize.

Gregory proved that he would rather hand over Maggie and Sasha to the Saviors unprompted than risk their discovery, which is something the series wants us to see as a despicable act, but considering that we know how the Saviors treat duplicity, doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to me. Sure, as the show has established, Gregory isn’t effective or a particularly good person (although Xander Berkeley is excellent in the role), but all he knows of the Alexandria crew is that they promised to wipe out the Saviors and only managed to get two of their own killed and rile up this dangerous band of people. If I were in his shoes, I might do exactly the same thing. Yet, in the framework of the show, we are expected to be horrified by Gregory’s actions, when they are only a hint of the type of person Rick could easily turn into by kneeling to Negan.

Tom Payne as Paul 'Jesus' Rovia - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Tom Payne as Paul ‘Jesus’ Rovia – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Outside of spending time spinning our wheels in Hilltop, the episode set a few different stories in motion. Rick and Aaron are off on a scavenging mission. Michonne is off finding herself in light of Rick’s complete and utter inability to effectively lead Alexandria (oh how I hope the future of the show includes Michonne taking the reins from Rick for a bit to lead the group). And Carl and Jesus are off to locate Negan’s compound- I’m sure that will end well.

When watching a “traditional” season of television that clocks in at 22-24 episodes, the audience knows that there will likely be a few clunkers in the bunch. It’s part of the deal. But cable and premium shows that have shorter episode orders (The Walking Dead does 16 episodes each season) are expected to continually move the plot and character development forward week to week. There’s no excuse for putting out an episode like “Go Getters” that stagnates the plot development of the series and offers absolutely no new character beats that resonate. Yet it’s something that seems to happen to this series every season. When a season is already sputtering as badly as season seven has been (with only one truly good episode out of the initial five), the series cannot afford to park the story and characters in a desolate wasteland of plot for an entire week.

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Final Thoughts:

— I’m not a fan of Carl or Enid, but I will admit to smiling at their roller skating adventure. It’s nice to see kids actually getting to be kids on this show.

— I know Maggie only recently found out she was pregnant in show time, but man, it feels like she’s been pregnant for years at this point. And considering she’s not even showing, we have a long time left in this pregnancy.

— I’m not a shipper by any stretch of the imagination, but I liked having Michonne reiterate her support of Rick with that kiss. Even if she doesn’t agree with his course of action (and is presumably taking steps to fix things on her own adventure out of the walls), I’m glad it didn’t dissolve their relationship or create a massive fight.

Rating
5.5
Pros
  • The roller skating bit was a nice bit of light
  • Xander Berkeley is doing good work with a poorly drawn character
Cons
  • We learned nothing we didn't already know
  • Just used to set up future arcs

Liked this article? Try These!

Comments

News from Around the Web

Meet the Author

About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeaniusIsMe on Twitter.

Follow Us

Our Sponsors

Featured Poll

What is Your Favorite Game Franchise?
Yop Poll Widget
Which Upcoming Game Are You Most Excited For?