Every week, The Walking Dead’s very own Josh McDermitt, who plays Dr. Eugene Porter, is taking EW behind the scenes of the hit AMC horror series. For each episode, McDermitt will share his thoughts on what went down and what’s coming up, plus walk us through the ins and outs of the show. This week, McDermitt dives into the 12th episode of season 7, “Say Yes.”
The opening of “Say Yes,” last night’s episode of The Walking Dead got me really excited for some Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) ass kicking and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Thank you, Greg Nicotero, for directing an awesome episode.
Rick and Michonne looked like a S.W.A.T. team moving from house to house, location to location clearing and scavenging for supplies. And then of course, there was a bunch of love-making. I always felt like there would be more love-making in the apocalypse. With Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) no more, who else should pick up the torch but two characters that seem to have been at odds from the very start of their relationship? I remember way back in season 3, in an episode called “Clear” (my favorite pre-Eugene episode BTW), Rick and Michonne go on a supply run and bump into a crazy version of Morgan (Lennie James). Even way back then, the tension between Rick and Michonne was thick and I remember hoping they would wind up together some day. Well they did. This was a slow burn. Scott M. Gimple wrote the episode “Clear” and I wonder if he was planting the seeds way back then for an epic payoff last night.
Rick and Michonne felt like an old married couple to me and I loved it. At one point, they fell through a roof and laughed about it. This episode at times seemed like a much needed break of fun from the terror and heartache we see most weeks. When they were backed up against the dumpster and deciding who should kill which walkers, Rick leaves her with eight. Eight? “You can handle eight…” was Rick’s response to her objection. The chemistry between these two was really evident in this episode so beautifully written by Matt Negrete. They’ve known each other a long time. Their relationship has a deep history and yet this is all so new between them. Michonne has the ability to be such a hard ass, someone you don’t want to mess with, and then she shows she can be so soft and delicate. The dynamics between the two of them were certainly fun to watch.
Michonne tells Rick, “It’s up to us to reorder the world once Negan (Josh McDermitt/Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is gone.” Rick is reluctant to take on that role. In fact, this whole episode, he’s reluctant to go back home so quickly. Perhaps because he knows what’s about to happen once they actually have to go to war. People will die. Or maybe because he’s able to take a break from being a leader and turn his body over to Michonne for some uninterrupted adult time.
Either way, I think the more logical reason is basically what he was explaining to Michonne at the end. He says he doesn’t want to lose anyone else. And they will. Maybe a lot of people. Maybe even each other. But even then, it’ll be worth it. Michonne says she can’t lose him. What kind of life would they have just surrendering? Making a future — that’s living. Rick is trying to convince Michonne that she can lose him because it’s not about them. It’s about the future. And she will have to pick up the torch and build that future. It’s such a great scene between them and I don’t like it because it sounds like Rick is saying goodbye to her. Eugene may be Negan now, but Josh still loves Rick.
In the end, “Richonne” are able to score a huge win and find a giant supply of guns. I mean, it looked like there was some heavy firepower in there. And they turn over the weapons to Jadis (Pollyanna MacIntosh) and the Scavengers, aka The Heapsters. I want to see a whole episode where Rick negotiates with Jadis. I love that he turned it on her and said, “Say yes,” the way she said that to him. How’s that taste, Jadis? BOOM!
Tara (Alanna Masterson) had a great scene with Baby Judith where she basically told her why she’s keeping the Oceanside community a secret. Week to week I would wonder why Tara wasn’t saying anything about the huge stash of guns at the little beach community. It can’t just be because she promised, right? Well, it’s obviously more than that. She kept that promise to Cindy not knowing that coming back to Alexandria would turn her life upside down. And the fact that Cindy saved Tara’s life means something now in this world of people only taking care of themselves. If Tara brings Rick to Oceanside, everyone is in for a world of hurt. She summed it up best by saying, “What makes our lives worth more than theirs?” She’s holding out hope that maybe Rick and the others could find some guns and another community doesn’t have to enter the fray. And it seems that’s where her hope lies at the moment… but at least there’s hope.
Quite possibly my favorite scene from last night’s episode was with Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Rosita went out to find guns and didn’t find any. She came back and basically blames Father Gabriel for talking her out of being reckless with her actions. She said, “I had a gun. I was gonna use it.” And Gabriel smacks her back with some good, old-fashioned preacher wisdom. “It’s easier to be dead. If it’s my fault you’re alive then I’ll live with that. You can blame me for having a life, but after that? What are you gonna do with it?” That’s my line of the whole episode.
It was nice to be reminded of where Rosita is coming from with her anger… And where she’s going: Hilltop. Rosita goes to Hilltop to see Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green). Oh, remember we’re not friends? Now we are? This should get juicy. But Rosita diffuses all of that by giving Sasha a sniper rifle. Rosita is frustrated with how things are moving back at Alexandria. “They need more guns, people, time, excuses.”
“This is a one-way ticket for both of us.”
Things are about to get crazy, I can feel it.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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