REVIEW: The Walking Dead S7 E5 ‘Go Getters’ sinks to series low
We take it back – last week’s ‘Service’ wasn’t the big comedown from a series of excellent episodes, ‘Go Getters’ was.
The Walking Dead‘s fifth offering of its seventh season had a lot of potential. Maggie and Sasha visiting the Hill Top community, the return of Jesus, and Carl finally gaining the balls his father no longer has. There was a lot there to work with. Unfortunately, all ‘Go Getters’ got was a sigh of relief after the ending theme was over. It suffered from a focus on uninteresting characters, an unwillingness to commit to fleshing out the Hill Top as a community and the fact that it was all rather dull.
We pick up with Maggie receiving treatment at the Hill Top, her baby is fine (yay), but Doctor Carson advises she stay in the community for monitoring. This is a matter of contention with the Hill Top’s leader, Gregory, who wants them gone lest their deal with Alexandria be uncovered. Meanwhile, Carl and Enid go on a road trip to Hill Top, and there’s a spark of romance between them (finally).
Unlike ‘The Well’ and ‘The Cell’ earlier this seasons, two excellent episodes that showcased different communities and really fleshed out The Walking Dead‘s multidimensional universe, ‘Go Getters’ seemed to lack desire or focus. This was exemplified by the fact that the only Hill Top residents we saw during the episode were Jesus, Gregory and Doctor Carson. In a whole episode, which for a great deal focused on the ineptitude of Gregory as a leader, we did not see his followers once. Even in a high-tension scene where the Saviours let walkers into the Hill Top to attack, we saw no sign of the residents that (apparently) live there. It made the whole theme of Gregory’s poor leadership completely redundant and left the viewer feeling cheated and unsure.
Another problem with ‘Go Getters’ was its focus on long, dreary conversations between characters we care little for. Negan’s right hand man, Simon, who appears to be characterised solely as a Negan mini-me, and the weak, ineffectual Gregory share a long sequence of scenes together. It has been interesting to see the contrast in leadership figures throughout season seven, from the tyrannical Negan to the charismatic Ezekiel, and Gregory provides yet another characterisation. He is a weak man, incapable of remembering the names of the people he (apparently) serves and unwilling and unable to stand up to Simon. This point is driven home very effectively, and I sincerely hope his next appearance on the series is to be overthrown. Jesus certainly alludes to this at the end of the episode, but instead of discussing a plan that might have made the episode infinitely more interesting, he brushes it off.
Even Jesus, a bright spot of last season, falls to repetitive dialogue as he struggles to stand up to Gregory – a feat that doesn’t look overly difficult.
Fortunately, the women were on point this episode. Maggie and Sasha, instead of being grief-stricken widows, were pragmatic, confident and powerful in the face of Gregory and the Saviours’ attack. Their scenes alone together, and later with Enid, were the episode’s saving moments.
The Walking Dead has had a good season. We can definitely give it some slack, but I already know I’m dreading our next adventure to Hill Top.