Editor’s note: this review of AMC’s The Walking Dead will contain some spoilers. I will try to keep them to a minimum, but they’re be there nonetheless. You’ve been warned.
After what felt like ages of wheel spinning and bending over backwards to make the bad guys seem scary (and failing), it looks like The Walking Dead is finally getting some momentum together. This week’s episode, “Rock in the Road” didn’t accomplish a lot as far as far as the characters plans are concerned, as they were largely stymied at every turn. Despite that, it did finally show our protagonists taking action, moving in the right direction, and finally starting to build that coalition that the show was so obviously moving toward.
Rick’s group met with two other communities: the Hilltop and the Kingdom. While the leaders of both communities denied joining, they did make major strides both places. At the Hilltop, Gregory was being himself, but his people were of a completely different mind. After being soundly rejected, Rick’s group walks outside to find a decent sized group of people willing and ready to fight. That’s progress.
Next, Jesus took them to the Hilltop where they were reunited with Morgan, and got to meet King Ezekiel and his tiger. While the King did not acquiesce to Rick’s plan, he did offer to shelter Darryl from the saviors. He is also getting a lot of pressure from his lieutenants to join the fight, so it seems like it’s only a matter of time there.
On their way back home, sans Darryl, the group stumbled across a roadblock and bobby trap left by the Saviors, and immediately get to work disarming it to steal the sweet, sweet explosives hidden within. While they worked, they heard a radio message about the Saviors searching for Daryl, and stating that they were en route to Alexandria. Oh, and also a huge mob of zeds showed up, so I guess they needed to hurry.
It was a fairly tenses scene, and we got to see some pretty awesome zombie gore as Rick and Michonne used two cars and a cable to kill dozens of zeds.
In the end, they made it back home only moments before the Saviors showed up and started acting like the pushy jerks they are.
Finally, they get the all clear, only for them to learn that Gabriel had taken a bunch of supplies and disappeared (the happened in the cold open). Rick isn’t ready to assume Gabe is a thief, so he looks for clues until he finds a notebooks with the word “Boat” written in it. The group head’s out to the survival cache they pillaged a couple episodes back, and are almost immediately ambushed by a huge group of well-armed people. The episode ends with Rick grinning like an idiot, clearly thinking he’s found another community to add to his coalition.
So plot-wise, the episode didn’t move too much. Our heroes don’t have their army yet, but the pieces are starting to fall into place. And it’s about damn time. The Walking Dead has been wasting way too much time establishing what’s been painfully obvious to viewers all season, hopefully we’re finally moving toward something interesting now.