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Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 7, ‘Heads Up’: Balloonatics

Review: 'The Walking Dead' Season 6, Episode 7, 'Heads Up': Balloonatics

READ MORE: Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 6, ‘Always Accountable’: Make Your Play

Whose Episode Is It?

Most of the characters are back in one place, so plenty of folks get moments tonight. Of course, there’s one particular guy who has been in our thoughts recently…

Current Glenn Status

Totally fine! As most everyone but me predicted, Nicholas was the one getting torn apart by walkers, giving Glenn a chance to hole up under the dumpster and wait out the walkers. So, was the month of non-suspense worth it? If the storyline had been resolved in the episode after “Thank You,” then it probably would have been okay, but stretching the cliffhanger out over several weeks just made the wait irritating rather than suspenseful. Even this episode seems to treat his survival as a shrug rather than a revelation. “Yeah, of course, trtyGlenn’s fine. We just wanted to show you everyone else hooking up, first. Now back to the action.”

A Shred Of Humanity

The good news is that, limp Glenn revelation aside, this episode is much stronger than the last few. Once Glenn gets out from under the dumpster, he goes back to doing what he does best: being a good dude. He’s found by Enid, who ran away from Alexandria after the Wolves attacked. She gives him some water but takes off when he tries to catch her. Initially he heads back to Alexandria, but after coming across Bitten Guy (Remember Bitten Guy? He’s a zombie now) and the note he wrote to his wife, Glenn decides he can’t go back without Enid, too. He easily finds her again, but has trouble convincing her to return, since she is a traumatized sullen teen, one of humanity’s most obstinate strains. She even pulls a gun on him, but he still manages to get through to her. He sees that she’s scared, that she runs away because she’s afraid of losing everything again, but he encourages her to keep living to honor those that died. Then he and Enid fill some balloons. So glad they didn’t kill Glenn.

Achievement In Grossness

When Glenn finds Bitten Guy, the zombie’s eyeball is goo stuck to the fence, so when he turns his head, it stretches out of his eye socket like a big eyeball loogie. Glenn kills him, which is a favor he could have used back when he was being messily devoured, Michonne, but better late than never.

Little Town, It’s A Quiet Village

Rick’s awfully busy this episode, but he and Carl find time to give Ron some shooting tips. That neither of the Grimes can see that they are training this kid to kill one or both of them proves that the Alexandrians aren’t the only naïve people on this show. Sure, Rick killed his dad in front of the whole town, and just a few episode ago he was screaming at Carl about stealing his girlfriend, but he seems fine now! Spoiler: he is not fine now. After Rick gives him an empty gun to carry, Ron immediately runs off and steals some bullets from the armory. Sullen teens strike again!

Meanwhile, the tower by the walls groans in a threatening manner.

Man Is The True Monster

“Monster” might be a bit harsh of a term, but several characters are forced to take a hard look in the mirror this episode. Rick calls a sit down between him, Morgan, Michonne and Carol, to confront Morgan about the Wolves he let go. It’s a great scene, because everyone behaves rationally and argues their points in a believable way. Morgan emphasizes his “no killing” stance, but admits that it’s hard to follow with the world the way it is now. But he knows people can change, and he can’t give up on that hope, because once that’s gone, what else is there? It’s refreshing for everyone to be discussing this in a reasonable way. Hopefully the show doesn’t stick Morgan with a clichéd “kill me or I’ll do something unimaginably horrible” situation, like they did with Tyreese way back when.

Rick, for his part, is finally confronted with what a dick he’s been to the Alexandrians all season. First, he doesn’t want to bring any Alexandrians in on the plan to deal with the zombies at the walls, but Michonne calls bullshit. When Rick says they haven’t had time to catch their breath, she retorts, “We’re in here catching our breath right now. Everything else is just excuses.” Another reasonable argument! This episode’s full of them.

Later, Rick’s bracing the walls (Rick refusing to delegate is a nice detail) and gets an assist from an Alexandrian named Tobin, who calmly explains how scared they all were of him when he first showed up. He tells Rick how things started moving too fast, but implores him not to give up on them.

And finally, Spencer nearly dies trying a dumb plan to clear the zombies from the walls, and only survives with some daring help by Tara. Rick’s pissed, so he takes it out on Tara in this immortal exchange:

“TARA! YOU ALMOST DIED ONCE FOR THESE PEOPLE!”

“WHAT???”

“WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING???

[Tara gives Rick just the ANGRIEST middle finger]

He’s deserved that for at least two seasons. Spencer admits he didn’t run his plan by Rick because he knew Rick wouldn’t listen to him. Fair enough. Hearts and minds, Rick! You’ve got to meet them halfway, man.

And finally, Carol gets blindsided by a small child when poor, traumatized Sam asks her “If you kill people, do you become one of the monsters?”

Carol’s a bit taken aback, but sticks to her guns: “The only thing that keeps you from becoming a monster is killing.” She’s consistent for now.

Of course, all this introspection has to be put on hold when the groaning tower collapses and brings the wall down. See you next week for the mid-season finale!

Grade: A-

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