So, The Walking Dead is returning for the second half of Season 7. Need to remember what happened at the mid-season finale? Check out Josh’s recap of Episode 8, titled Hearts Still Beating, as well as our thoughts on this episode, and how the season moves forward below!
- His thoughts on Hearts Still Beating, Episode 708 of The Walking Dead
- Her thoughts on The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating
Maggie, Sasha and Enid at HIlltop
The episode begins with Maggie. She is visiting Glenn and Abraham’s grave site. Then Gregory pays her a visit, and warns her about letting things go to her head. Maggie tells him to not let it bother him. Meanwhile, a guy overhearing the conversation calls him out on the apple he is about to eat, and insinuates that she should have it since she is pregnant.
Later, Sasha comes and visits Maggie and Enid. Maggie manages to smell the apple pie Sasha has. Meanwhile, Maggie has plans to improve Hilltop. Maggie then takes off, and Enid and Sasha talk about her fibs regarding Jesus. Sasha says she is doing it for Maggie’s own good. Sasha then says she has to do something, and doesn’t want Maggie’s help. Sasha tells Enid to keep her mouth shut about her plan to take Negan down.
Alexandria – Negan, Carl, Olivia, Spencer and Rosita
Back at Alexandria, Negan is shaving as Carl and Judith watch. Then Negan gets to cooking, as Carl watches. He seems to be enjoy playing “house”. Outside, Olivia is brought some lemonade by Tara, and Tara tries to help her out by relieving her, but Olivia insists she has to go back in since she promised to watch Judith.
Inside, Carl has the dining table all set up as Olivia comes back, in tears. They have their awkward dinner, as Negan is getting a little testy waiting for Rick to return. Negan announces that Lucille is getting “hungry”.
Meanwhile, Rosita and Eugene have returned from their bullet-making trip, and Spencer is handing his scavenged goods over to the Saviors. They seem to be impressed with his work so far, as Spencer tries to suck up to the Saviors.
Father Gabriel then sees Rosita looking at her bullet, and asks who it is for. She says it is for Negan. Gabriel tries to talk some sense into her. Rosita talks to Gabriel about the loss of Glenn and Abraham. Rosita talks about everyone’s abilities, and seems to act like she has no one and no useful skills. Gabriel tells her that they need to wait for the right moment so they will win.
Spencer then decides to “spruce up”, and plans to try to “woo” Negan it would seem. On his way, he bumps into Rosita, and Spencer says he is going to try to work out some peace. They then talk about their relationship. But Rosita says that she was just trying to keep her mind off stuff. He asks her to dinner then, and she agrees. Spencer then makes his way to Negan, and Spencer introduces himself.
Daryl’s Escape From Negan’s Compound with Jesus
Daryl, meanwhile, is now making his escape from Negan’s base. He begins walking down the halls, and is forced to take refuge in some sort of closet. While waiting for the commotion outside to die down, he snacks on some peanut butter and puts on a t shirt. He then gets ready to make his next move.
He heads out into the hallways of the base. He finds an exit, and finds his motorcycle. He is spotted by one of Negan’s men. He surrenders though, telling Daryl he can take off. But Daryl has gone a little off the rails, and beats the guy to death. Jesus walks up just then, and tries to hurry him out of the compound. But not before Daryl picks up the dead man’s gun.
Aaron and Rick’s Scavenging
As for Aaron and Rick, they have decided to make their perilous journey across the lake, in a boat that is not in the best of sailing condition. They grab some wooden planks for oars, and head in. They are taking on water pretty fast, and walkers are getting some hands on the boat. They are forced to try to fight them off. The two struggle forward, and look to be in the clear, but a walker pops out of a boat they pulled up next to. Aaron then tumbles overboard. He gets pulled underwater, and Rick loses sight of him.
Luckily, Aaron managed to swim away, and appears to be okay. The two head inside the barge looking building. Inside, they find a few weapons, and Aaron finds a written message with a drawing of a middle finger, and a message saying, “Congrats to the winner, you still lose”. There is no ammunition unfortunately though.
Aaron and Rick begin loading up their vehicle with the spoils of their trip. Then Rick and Aaron talk about their situation. Aaron seems to understand the situation, and is backing Rick it seems, basically saying it comes down to staying alive. As the two get the truck closed up, we see a ragged pair of boots on someone we don’t get to see much else of.
Carol, Morgan and Richard Discussing Negan
Over in the “Kingdom”, Carol is reading her book in her house outside of the town. Morgan dropped off some food, and walked away, but Carol calls him out, and invites him inside. Carol tells him to stop bringing food, and it seems Ezekiel is providing enough for her. They exchange pleasantries, and Carol tells Morgan he can take off. Meanwhile, Richard comes by for a visit as Morgan is leaving, and wants to have a meeting with them.
Richard explains how he came into the situation he is in, and talks about how the Saviors threaten the Kingdom. He talks about Ezekiel making the agreement with Saviors, because he didn’t want to fight. Richard is worried the peace is going to fall apart, and wants Carol and Morgan’s help to talk to Ezekiel.
Richard tries to insist they need to move on the Saviors, but Carol is not wanting anything to do with Richard’s plan, and wants to be “left alone”. Morgan also seems to not want to help, and Richard insists it will get worse. Richard storms off, telling the two that the blood will be on their hands when the Saviors turn. Carol then tells Morgan to leave and tells Morgan to tell anyone she knows that she is gone.
Richard then leaves, and makes his way to a secret hideout of sorts it seems, which is a trailer in the woods. He seems to be pretty upset about the current situation.
Michonne’s Realization of Negan’s Reach
Michonne, meanwhile, has her captive, and is forcing her to drive to Negan. Michonne asks her questions about Negan, but she remains quiet. Michonne makes a vow that they will figure out how to “win”.
After some more driving, the woman points out “Negan”. Michonne doesn’t seem to understand. The woman explains that they are all “Negan”. She tells Michonne to go home.
Rick’s Return to Alexandria
Rick finally makes it back to Alexandria, and heads home to see his visitor. Some of Negan’s men give Rick a hard time, and want to see what he has inside. As Negan’s men go through the supplies, they find the note Aaron found at the barge. Aaron is then pounded as Rick is forced to look on. After the beating, Rick helps Aaron up.
Meanwhile, Spencer and Negan are hitting it off, it would seem. Spencer offers a pool table to Negan, so the two can play. The pool table is brought out into the road, so the two can play a game. Spencer then begins his plan of action–talking to Negan about Rick as Negan breaks. Spencer tells Negan he knows what he is trying to build. He also says that Rick is someone who “does not work well with others”. He gives Negan a history lesson of Alexandria. Spencer insists that Rick will screw things up more.
Negan seems to realize the plan–Spencer thinks Negan should put him in charge, rather than Rick. Negan doesn’t take kindly to this, though. In fact, Negan thinks Rick is “getting shit done”. Negan talks about Spencer, and how he doesn’t seem to like Spencer’s back-alley approach. Spencer then has his guts…gutted as Negan shanks him in the stomach.
Alexandrians look on in disgust and fear, as Negan tells someone to clean up the mess. Rosita then makes her move, firing at Negan.
Unfortunately, Lucille is a pretty sturdy bat, and manages to block the bullet Rosita fired. Even more unfortunate is that Negan is curious to know where this bullet came from.
Negan demands answers. We see Eugene panicking, as Negan is pretty pissed off about Lucille’s “injury”. Negan presses Rosita for answers about the bullet. Rosita tries to claim it was herself. But Negan doesn’t believe it. He orders one of his minions to shoot someone and Olivia is the one who bites the bullet–literally.
Rick has now hobbled up with Aaron. Rick is angered about Negan breaking his agreement. Negan tells Rick he should thank him, for showing how reasonable he is. For keeping Carl alive, and making him dinner. And putting down the insurrection of Spencer. And putting one less mouth to feed. Rick tells Negan to take his stuff and go. But Negan insists he needs to know who made the bullet.
Tara tries to claim responsibility, but Eugene then speaks up admitting it was himself. He explains how it was made, which proves to Negan he knows how. Negan decides to take Eugene with him, and the property Rick scavenged for him. Negan also says that Rick is in a big hole in terms of how much is owed. Negan takes off, as Rick is left standing alone–aside from Spencer reanimating. Rick takes him out.
Michonne Returns Home
Rick is contemplating their situation, and Michonne comes in, saying she found what she was looking for. She explains she had to go her way, but realized she wants it to go “their way”. Michonne knows that there are a lot of Negan’s people, but they still are there and they have to make it mean something. Michonne insists they have to fight. Rick admits he knows that now.
Back with Maggie, she climbs her familiar ladder. Outside the walls, she sees them–Rick, Michonne, Tara, Carl and Rosita have come to visit. Rick tells Maggie that she was right–it is time to get ready to fight. We also see that Daryl has made it to Hilltop with Jesus. Everyone has their reuniting greetings, and Daryl gives Rick back his signature gun. The group then heads inside, presumably to plan the future.
His Thoughts on The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating
So, this was a very long episode. It was a pretty good one though, as we finally see the beaten down Rick turning around to actually do something about the current situation. It was pretty uncomfortable, slightly comical, and eerie watching Negan inside Rick’s house, too. The way he was playing house, despite being a sociopath was just strange.
There are a few things that bothered me this episode. Carol’s weird shutting down is bothering me. There is a man essentially murdering all of her friends, and she is not too excited to try to stop it. She probably doesn’t know the full extent of it, but still–to simply abandon her people is just not who I thought Carol would be. Also, having Daryl go all savage was a bit of a downer. I have a feeling we will be seeing this play out more as the season progresses, with him beating the crap out of more of Negan’s men. I suppose it makes sense, but still–Daryl has always been one to rise above the situation. I also found it strange that Rick and Aaron would take such a risky move getting that rickety boat to the barge. Clearly not a good idea. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures…? Speaking of that situation, I am curious to learn who the mystery boot belongs to. Someone we know? A new character?
Unfortunately, I am having a hard time staying invested in the show. Hopefully now that the alliance appears to be growing, we will have a bit more entertainment, as we see the beginning of the end of Negan. One thing I learned from the episode though–the woman is always right. In Rick’s case, both Maggie and Michonne.
Her Thoughts on The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating
The reunion with Daryl with so awesome and emotional. Loved it. It reminds you of how much history that these group members have with each other, especially Rick and Daryl, who go back to the beginning. They’ve been through so much together, it must be such a relief to see each other alive and well again.
I’m also glad that Rick has finally come to his senses and decided he’s not going to be Negan’s little b*tch anymore. It was hard to see Rick so submissive all season long, though understandable because he was only doing it to protect his people. But now we know that he’s not going to stand for it anymore, and that it’s time to start organizing forces to strike back. This is the Rick that we all know and love. Presumably the next half of the season will consist of Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom planning an attack on Negan which will culminate in the season finale. Looking forward to it!