Review: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 9 “Rock in the Road”

I should make it clear that while this episode provided more purpose, plot progression and pay-off than the last eight episodes put together, ‘The Walking Dead’ still has a long way to go before you could consider it good TV again. As usual, its biggest problem is its tone. The ceremonious, ambitious, optimistic mood created by the characters just doesn’t gel with their actions or what they have been through. It is a massive leap in logic, even internally within the show, and the contrast between solemn reality and the character’s insistent good will becomes annoying. This is especially clear during the ridiculous mid episode zombie sequence, where tension and stakes are built up (and it’s nice seeing the group act as a team), but then destroyed by illogical, and simply absurd, actions and poor direction. However, as mentioned, it does feel as if this episode actually achieved something in bringing the wider communities into the focus. Unfortunately, the way this is handled is contrived and compelled by convenience, as Jesus only now lets Rick know of the Kingdom. ‘The Walking Dead’ is not out of the woods yet and needs to embrace what it wants to be, but the level of development within this episode hopefully signals that things are actually going to happen and we can forget the awful first half of this season. That cliff-hanger was also pretty nice… 6.6/10

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