REVIEW: The Walking Dead S7 E12 ‘Say Yes’ is as fun as a broken down fair ride
Pack your bags, call your loved ones and retreat to your bunkers because the apocalypse has happened: The Walking Dead has turned into a romcom.
As we speculated last week, the cheerfully titled ‘Say Yes’ was a fun insight into Rick and Michonne’s relationship, as the pair fought zombies together and enjoyed candlelit dinners for two. Thankfully, the title did not refer to a possible proposal – although that was looking increasingly possible each minute – but the episode’s B storyline, in which a desperate Rosita asked Sasha for help on a two-woman suicide mission.
The Walking Dead hasn’t really tried a comedy episode since last season’s introduction of Jesus, in which Jesus made a fool of seasoned apocalypse veterans Rick and Daryl. ‘Say Yes’ was very much along the same lines, though not as effective and veering on ridiculous at times. It worked as a brief respite from the intensity of season seven, and a playful moment when Michonne used her sniper gun to shoot targets at a funfair was inspired, but other moments were silly. In one such silly moment, Rick and Michonne become trapped in a car surrounded by walkers and laugh it off, jumping out the sunroof and kicking off walkers like mosquitos. If we’re to continue to believe that people would happily live under fearful dictatorships like Negan’s, we have to believe that the outside world really is terrifying and dangerous. Despite the focus of the show moving away from walkers and towards people, it does not help the narrative to negate the danger of walkers nor promote its protagonists as unkillable.
The Walking Dead did prove something. It has learnt from the backlash after Glenn’s fake death is season six. In ‘Say Yes’, Rick was ‘dead’ for long enough for the viewer to be shocked, but not long enough for them to start complaining about a lack of fanfare. It was good enough for a minor twist to make a narrative point.
‘Say Yes’ made two things abundantly clear: someone important, likely female, is going to die before the end of season seven. It is impossible to ignore the heavy foreshadowing of Rick and Michonne’s chat. Rosita and Sasha’s death march also looks ominous, but Rosita might be saved at this point by the simple fact that her death is now too obvious. It also wouldn’t serve the character well to let her have what she wants. Rosita wants to die. For that reason, it makes a more interesting narrative to have her live and grieve and recover. Sasha might be on shakier ground, but after Rick and Michonne’s love-in, I think we have ample reason to worry about Michonne.
Of course, next week we focus on the Kingdommers problems with the Saviours – so it could well be Carol.