TWD: Plot still beating

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Sean Koepfinger

Our hearts are still beating. The mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead” proved that the writers still know how to make a good show.

After the much-anticipated (and equally loathed) season 7 premiere, “The Walking Dead” has suffered from a dramatic drop in ratings–bringing the show to a low that hasn’t been seen since the third season. The biggest complaint from fans was that season 7 has been plagued by long, character-centered episodes.

While the cast of “TWD” has grown extensively from the modest days of Atlanta, the 90 minute broadcasts have been draining viewers with episodes that crawl slower than a leg-less walker. The episodes have been criticized for alienating the characters from each other, being unnecessarily long and for barely progressing the plot.

Thankfully, the mid-season finale improved on most of these critiques. While the episode was still a little too long, the show finally got back to juggling multiple plots at the same time. Immediately, the feelings of alienation disappear, and we are replaced with the idea that there are multiple gears turning and leading up to something big. Hopefully, “TWD” will continue to follow this pattern of plot-juggling in the future and save the character-centered episodes for special events like a potential Negan-centered flashback episode.

As far as content, this episode was full of everything that “TWD” fans have been craving this season. From the zombie-infested lake to Negan’s gut-wrenching brutality, the mid-season finale made up for six episodes of stale content, but it may be a case of too little, too late.

While superior to the last six episodes, the mid-season finale still felt empty. The content was great, but it’s the level of content that should be occurring throughout the season instead of reserved for a season break.

If the plot is simplified, the characters are all still in the same position they were at the beginning of the season. With the exception of Daryl finally escaping from the Sanctuary, our heroes are still at the mercy of Negan and Lucille, and they haven’t made any significant progress towards overthrowing him. It’s obvious that the three communities are all planning on eventually taking the fight to Negan and the Saviors, but it’s taken half a season for the show to finally start what should have happened episodes ago.

The mid season is a sign of hope. If the show runners continue this trend and listen to the fans, then hopefully the rest of the season will spend more time with multiple characters, take more risks and move forward. However, with news that Negan will still be around in season 8, it is unlikely we will see “All Out War” until the season finale.

“The Walking Dead” will return on February 12 next year. In the meantime, tell us what you thought of this season so far in the comments below.