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‘The Walking Dead’ Review: ‘Go Getters’ Gives Maggie a Reason to Live

In Season 7 Episode 5, we return to the Hilltop.

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Chandler Riggs in “The Walking Dead.”

Gene Page/AMC

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘The Walking Dead’ Review: ‘Service’ Proves The Power of the Saviors

Whose Episode Is It?

“Go Getters” is set at the Hilltop, and serves to establish the regular cast whenever we check in there again. Maggie and Sasha have arrived safely, plus there’s Jesus and the Hilltop’s slimy leader, Gregory. Maggie, still mourning for Glenn, seeks to find new purpose, and Sasha is determined to help her. (Sasha, having worked through her own significant grief issues in seasons past, knows that Maggie is going through.) Meanwhile, Jesus knows that Gregory is a terrible leader, but can’t quite find it in himself to depose him. Enid also wishes to join the Hilltop to be with Maggie, and Carl accompanies her on her journey for his own purposes. While “Go Getters” offers several familiar sights (yes, we get our third Savior collection over the past four episodes), strong acting and solid character arcs make it one of the better episodes of Season 7 so far.

A Shred of Humanity

Maggie finally gets some good news from Hilltop’s doctor: she and her baby should be okay as long as she takes it easy and gets some rest. The doctor does insist that Maggie remain at Hilltop, though, so he’ll be nearby in case anything else goes wrong. Maggie and Sasha are both amenable to the idea, but Gregory is insistent they leave immediately. His not-unreasonable point is that if the Saviors see either of them there, they’ll figure out that Hilltop and Alexandria colluded against them, and Hilltop will get their share of punishment. Fortunately, Maggie and Sasha have an advocate in Jesus, who is willing to stand up to Gregory on their behalf.

Jesus knows that Gregory is a lousy leader and he’s unwilling to take the mantle on himself, but after seeing Maggie bark orders and take care of business during a late-night prank by the Saviors where they let a bunch of zombies into Hilltop, he decides she’s the woman for the job. (There are apparently no actual residents who are qualified to lead Hilltop, because it’s yet another of “Walking Dead’s” patented communities that consist of two or three prominent characters plus the occasional background extra.) Still, Maggie’s evolution into a leader is one of “Walking Dead’s” genuinely good slow-burning storylines, and it’s nice to see some progress on it here. Lauren Cohan does some fine work this episode, as Maggie proves herself capable while still mourning Glenn. And her acceptance of Glenn’s death by the end of the episode was a welcome relief for those of us who were concerned about another Sasha-level depression spiral.

Back in Alexandria, Enid decides she needs to be with Maggie, and takes off for Hilltop on foot. (You’ll recall that Carl locked Enid in the armory when everyone else took off to get captured by Negan.) Carl follows her, as he tends to do, although this time his reasons are his own. As the two head to Hilltop on foot (Carl had a car, but he crashed it, because Carl), they miraculously find two pair of roller skates by the side of the road. Cut to the two of them joyfully skating down the street, holding hands and laughing. It’s a nice moment that’s not marred by sudden, merciless tragedy, and we should take those where we can on this show.

Katelyn Nacon as Enid - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Katelyn Nacon in “The Walking Dead.”

Gene Page/AMC

Man Is The True Monster

One of the big plusses for this episode is that we get more of Xander Berkley’s delightfully slimy Gregory. While “The Walking Dead” has gone to great lengths to show the worst of humanity, it hasn’t had much room for lickspittles. Enter Gregory, who’s not just a sniveling coward, but also a condescending dick who doesn’t bother remembering anyone’s names (including his own people’s). When the Saviors arrive, Gregory is perfectly willing to sell Maggie and Sasha out, but is thwarted by some quick thinking by Jesus. When Gregory tries to kick them out, Jesus threatens to make his deal with Alexandria public, which would put his leadership in jeopardy. He’ll remain as leader, but he can’t get rid of the Alexandrians. Oh, and Maggie slugs him one for good measure.

Speaking of the Saviors, yes, we get another scene of gun-toting thugs taking people’s stuff. But this one is a cut above the others, mostly due to the performance of Steven Ogg as Simon, Negan’s lieutenant and the Hilltop’s new Savior liaison. Simon’s approach is much like Negan’s, as he uses a mask of joviality to cover up a constant threat of violence, but Ogg is charismatic enough so that it doesn’t feel nearly as played out as it should. There’s also the added intrigue of whether the Saviors have pieced together Gregory’s role in the murders of their friends. Simon certainly seems suspicious, but doesn’t push Gregory too hard (of course, Gregory folds anyway, because he sucks). If we’re going to get the same type of scene week after week, there should at least be variations like this.

Carl, meanwhile, has accompanied Enid to Hilltop not out of a desire to be with her and protect her, but to hopefully encounter Negan so he can kill him. Enid tries to talk him out of it with the power of teen kisses, but Carl’s determined to get sweet revenge, and winds up hiding out in a truck bound for Negan. Jesus hops aboard the same truck, because Sasha has asked him to find Negan’s hideout. There’s an unlikely team-up for you.

The Remains

  • I didn’t mention it in last week’s review, but Father Gabriel convinced Negan that Maggie was dead, which will make things awkward if she winds up taking control of Hilltop.
  • Sasha mentions that all Abraham had on him was a cigar, and by the end of the episode she’s grimly chomping down on it as she sharpens her knife.
  • Gregory’s right in one thing: it would be a waste to leave Glenn’s watch on his grave. Fortunately, Maggie agrees with him and gives it to Enid, instead.
  • When Gregory offers Simon an expensive bottle of Scotch, Simon says he’ll take it to Negan himself. “I’m gonna say it’s from me and not mention you. I really want the headline on this one.” More Simon, please.

Grade: B

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