The biggest, baddest, most murderous son of a bitch ever to terrorize the survivors of The Walking Dead ended the first half of his debut season in the same way he started it: by permanently dispatching two important characters to the afterlife.
The season 7 mid-season finale on Sunday, December 11, saw a pair of major characters die at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his band of killer goons, which in turn led Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of the Alexandrites to a much-needed epiphany as to the sustainability of their little Savior-serving experiment. When the show returns in February 2017, you can expect to see an uprising in the works. In the meantime, here are the five biggest moments from “Hearts Still Beating.”
Daryl’s Great Escape
After being passed a note and a motorcycle key in last week’s episode, Daryl (Norman Reedus) cut and ran — a whole five feet to a room down the hall, where he scored a more stylish set of clothes (yes!) and ate a whole jar of peanut butter (YES!) while he waited for the coast to clear. And apparently, Daryl’s torturous time in the Sanctuary didn’t make him inclined to be merciful. Caught mid-escape by Negan’s tubby minion, Daryl promptly beat the man to death — in front of Jesus (Tom Payne), no less, who was apparently (and appropriately) the savior behind Daryl’s jailbreak.
Spencer Guts Up
After being deemed “a tremendous s--t” by Father Gabriel, Spencer (Austin Nichols) decided to prove the man right this week by trying to make nice with the Saviors. Over a game of pool, the scheming Spence informed Negan that Rick doesn’t play well with others, in a flagrant and disloyal play for Alexandria’s leadership. Only psssst, you know who else doesn’t play well with others? Yeah, the man with the blood-soaked barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat — who didn’t take kindly to Spencer’s weaselly behavior. Negan figuratively eviscerated Spencer, accusing him of having no guts … and then, for good measure, he proved himself wrong by literally eviscerating him. So long, Spencer. Don’t let your own intestines hit you in the ass on your way out.
Rosita’s Bullet Finds Its Mark
Spencer’s death wasn’t just a blow to Alexandria; it also officially deprived Rosita (Christian Serratos) of the booty call that was apparently her last good reason to live. So, with a single bullet in the chamber of her pistol, she pulled the trigger … and hit the ding-dang baseball bat. (Dammit, Rosita, you had one job!) Negan demanded to know where Rosita got her homemade bullet, and when she lied, Negan’s right-hand woman retaliated by shooting Olivia (Ann Mahoney). (RIP, Alexandria’s most efficient and bespectacled helper-outer!) And rather than see more of his friends die, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) confessed, getting himself taken hostage. Womp, womp.
A Community Resolved
Meanwhile, Michonne (Danai Guria) returned to Alexandria after her abortive attempt to storm the Sanctuary alone, and found Rick in the jail cell under Morgan’s old house. There, she made her impassioned plea for Rick to band with her and bring the fight to the Saviors — and Rick, finally, saw reason. And then (presumably after a nice round of furious battle-ready sex against the cinderblock wall) it was off to the Hilltop, where Rick found Maggie (Lauren Cohan) waiting — and Daryl too. Cue lots of hugging and the hand-off of a very symbolic gun. The Ricktator rides again, y’all.
But Wait: THEY’RE BEING WATCHED
The Walking Dead loves to save its big twists for the post-credits scene of a mid-season finale, and this one is no different. Remember that stash of guns and goods surrounded by a pond full of floating zombies? Someone was watching as Rick and Aaron ransacked it, and now, that same someone is lurking outside Alexandria’s walls with a pair of binoculars … and lord knows what else. In other words, Negan is officially no longer the survivors’ only problem.
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