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The Walking Dead: The Five Grimmest Revelations from the Midseason Finale

by  in TV News Comment
The Walking Dead: The Five Grimmest Revelations from the Midseason Finale

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Hearts Still Beating,” tonight’s episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” as well as the Image Comics series.

For a midseason finale of “The Walking Dead,” “Hearts Still Beating” ends on a surprisingly optimistic note, with most of the core cast reunited at Hilltop Colony after a tough fall that’s found them splintered from one another. Jesus has busted Daryl out of activity, Michonne’s returned from her abandoned, lone-wolf mission, and Rick is happy to see Maggie alive and well. As a bonus, Daryl’s even retrieved Rick’s Colt Python for him from Fat Joey…after promptly bludgeoning Negan’s stooge to death with a pipe.

All signs point to everyone regrouping to take down The Saviors when the show returns this February. This will likely involve cooperation among Hilltop, Alexandria, and The Kingdom, as hinted at by the show’s sneak peek for the second half of the season. But despite the general vibe of the band getting back together, “Hearts Still Beating” still had plenty of grimness to go around. Here are five of its darker moments:

  • Spencer gets gutted. After trying to usurp Rick by going to Negan, he’s surprised to find that the Saviors’ leader is disgusted by his actions. As Negan points out, Rick’s out busting his hump for supplies to deliver to The Sanctuary. He’s “swallowing his hate” by working with someone he despises to ensure that no one in his community gets hurt. Meanwhile, Spencer takes the coward’s route by going behind Rick’s back and trying to overthrow him. Dialogue-wise, the scene plays out almost exactly like it does in the comic, culminating with Negan shoving his bowie knife into Spencer’s abdomen and spilling his guts onto the hot concrete. The big difference is that, on the page, their exchange happens while they’re walking together, alone. Here, it’s over an outdoor game of pool, witnessed by Saviors and Alexandria alike. This sets off a much different chain of events, including…
  • Lucille getting shot. In the comic, this happens at the hands of Carl. But on the show, it happens courtesy of Rosita, who takes aim at Negan right after Spencer’s murder. Unfortunately, she misses and ends up hitting his beloved barbed-wire baseball bat. This results in one of The Saviors, Arat (Elizabeth Ludlow), pinning Rosita to the ground as Negan demands to know her made the bullet for her. She lies and claims sole responsibility, which leads to…
  • Olivia getting killed. Until Rosita tells the truth, Negan orders Arat to keep picking off Alexandrians. Her first victim is Olivia, who gets shot while standing on the porch with Carl. The carnage threatens to continue until…
  • Eugene confesses. This comes after Tara tries to take the blame for creating the bullet. In a courageous move — something that’s not always easy for Eugene — he admits everything to spare his friends any further punishment. Instead of killing Eugene, The Saviors — likely wanting him as their own bullet maker — take him back to The Sanctuary, along with the supplies Rick and Aaron scavenged. Speaking of which…
  • Who’s the mysterious owner of that houseboat? Rick and Aaron assume the occupant’s dead when they make it through the walker water gauntlet to discover a trove of guns and supplies on the vessel. But shortly afterwards, we see an enigmatic figure watching them from the shore. The same person — identifiable from their distinct boots — shows up at Alexandria’s walls in the episode’s final shot. Is he a friend or foe? Our money’s on the latter.

Read about all this and more in tonights full recap and review, which will post later tonight.

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