THE WALKING DEAD Season 7 Mid-Season Finale - "Hearts Still Beating"

– by Anthony Esteves
Photo Credits: Gene Page/AMC

Photo Credits: Gene Page/AMC

"She got in the way..."

Maggie is crouched on the ground, shedding a few tears over Glenn's grave. She gets up and climbs the steps to the wall, looking over the perimeter of Hilltop. Daryl finds a way to sneak out of his cell. Rick and Aaron use a small boat with fence boards as paddles to get to a deserted house boat.

All this is happening as Negan has prepared a lovely dinner at Alexandria and has demanded that Carl, little Judith and Olivia join he and Lucile at the table.

In this mid-seson finale, we get everyone's season seven story. Carol and Morgan debating whether the Kingdom should stand against Negan and if they should be involved. Michonne forcing a Savior Isabelle to take her to Negan's Sanctuary. Sasha admitting to Enid that she is keeping Jesus' venture to Negan's sanctuary from Maggie in order to protect her. Daryl slowly sneaking his way through the interior of the Sanctuary. Rosita explaining to Gabriel her willingness to sacrifice herself to kill Negan. Throughout the first half, we're seeing the emotional impact the season seven premiere has continued to have on our characters. We witness how that trauma has fueled many of the Survivors to seek a much needed vengeance.

The tension slowly builds as Daryl, after bludgeoning Fat Joey with a pipe over the head in front of Jesus, hops on a motorcycle and races away. Michonne, upon seeing the Savior stronghold, disposes of her hostage and races back to Alexandria. In Alexandria, Spencer decides to clean himself up and have a discussion with Negan. He brings liquor and the two play a game of pool. During the game, Spencer decides to offer his services to Negan. He explains to him how Rick and his people had arrived and that his family died shortly after that. Spencer explains that he would be a better ally than Rick to Negan. It seems throughout the discussion that Negan is considering it... until he points out that Rick has been able to swallow his hate and get things done. It is at this point where Negan looks Spencer eye to eye and claims that Spencer is only doing this because he does not have the guts to handle Rick himself. However, Negan learns quickly that Spencer did have the guts... because Negan sliced Spencer's stomach open and his intestines came falling out.

At this moment, things go crazy. Rosita pulls her gun out and fires, hitting Lucile instead of Negan. She is quickly tackled to the ground and an enraged Negan demands to know who made the bullet. When he is not satisfied with the answer, he orders Arat to kill someone, which she does by firing her gun at Olivia. As Rick arrives, controlling his anger at Negan, Eugene admits that he is the one who made the bullet. Negan tells Rick that not only will they take whatever they found today and that Rick and his people are in a hole after today's actions, but that the Saviors will be taking Eugene back to their Sanctuary. As Negan and his people leave, Rick is left standing in front of a pool table and a dead Spencer who has turned, leaving Rick the final act of stabbing him through the head.

This mid-season finale succeeded in showing us that each of our Survivors and Alexandrian citizens have reached their limits with Negan and the Saviors. Our characters have been beaten down and punished by this group of tyrannical pirates and whether it is Sasha and Maggie, Rosita and Gabriel, Jesus and Daryl or Rosita, the feelings are mutual: that they are not going to let it go any longer. This becomes a full blown consensus when Michonne tells Rick that they must fight back together... and Rick agrees.

Once again, Maggie crouches over Glenn's grave, then climbs the steps to the wall. What produces this time is a smile on her face as she orders the gates to be opened. What is probably one of the most satisfying moments in this series, Rick and his remaining Survivors walk through the gate and hug Maggie. The Survivors trade smiles and hugs with Maggie, Sasha and Enid. Rick then sees Daryl, walking toward them with Jesus, and what occurs is an epic "I love you, man" bro hug between the show's two most popular and loved charcters; Rick and Daryl, respectively. He also hands Rick his beautiful revolver that he took off of Fat Joey. With the reunion complete, the large group walks up to the mansion of Hilltop, about to begin what could only be called an epic revolution against the fascist rule of Negan.

And with that, we wait for February to arrive in order to witness the "Revenge of the Survivors".

TV, Reviews The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead Season 7, Mid-Season Finale, AMC