The Walking Dead “Sing Me A Song” Review (Season 7 Episode 7)

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Sing Me A Song,” was a welcome and refreshing change of pace, as the writers allowed viewers to spend time with a wide assortment of characters across various locations. Although I don’t mind episodes that focus primarily on a few characters, I wish the writers would use the approach sparingly.

In Search Of . . .
We checked in with Rick and Aaron on their scavenging trip to find something interesting for Negan. The pair discovered supplies that would really help the group meet their weekly Negan quota. Unfortunately, the supplies were in a lake surrounded by walkers. Rick has no idea that Negan is back at Alexandria and has already discovered something, or rather someone, that has fully piqued his interest.

Father Gabriel and Spencer also left Alexandria in pursuit of supplies for Negan. I love Seth Gilliam and the scenes with Spencer were great. My favorite line of the night was from Father Gabriel’s response to Spencer’s suggestion that Rick never returning might be a good thing: “What you’re saying doesn’t make you a sinner, but it does make you a tremendous sh!t.” Ha!

Spencer’s frustrations with Rick are generally understandable, but Spencer’s history of stealing and being pretty useless at times tends to make me roll my eyes – not nod in agreement – when he questions Rick’s leadership. As much as I loved the Spencer/Father Gabriel interactions, it would have been much more interesting – albeit out of character – had Spencer accompanied Rick on his scavenging trip instead of Aaron.

With Rick out scavenging, Carl over at the Sanctuary, Michonne out ambushing Saviors and Father Gabriel on a trip with Spencer – who was responsible for watching Judith?! More on that later.

The Plots Against Negan Continue
Michonne and Rosita continued in their respective efforts to take down Negan. Eugene took Rosita to his proposed location for making bullets. I love the choice by the writers to have Rosita be one of the Alexandrians plotting an attack against Negan. I don’t love, however, her continued nastiness towards Eugene. Last night, Rosita called Eugene useless, weak and cowardly. She later apologized, but like Eugene, I’d prefer to return back to the awkward silence. Too bad Rosita never benefited from hearing the “every one has a job to do” speech from Hershel, Maggie or Beth. I would much rather see Rosita direct some of that anger to Spencer, who continues to prove a well-deserving recipient.

I guess Michonne kept her promise to Rick that she would “try” to accept Negan’s rule and ultimately decided that she just couldn’t do it. I can’t say that I blame her, as the burning mattress stunt revealed the Saviors to be as petty as they are demanding. After killing several dozen walkers, Michonne uses them to create a barricade in the rode with the hopes that a Savior might drive through and get slowed down. The plan works, as Michonne ambushes a woman who lives at the Sanctuary and demands that she take her to Negan.

Meanwhile at the Sanctuary
I was very happy that the writers returned to Carl and Jesus and their trip over to the Sanctuary during the first half of the season. With the rate the show moves, this easily could have been something that was tabled until the second half of the season.

Carl tricks Jesus into jumping out of the truck while he continued on to the Sanctuary. We later see Jesus on top of the truck that Negan and Carl are driving, but he’s no longer there after the pair speak with Daryl. The writers left us with a few questions about the rest of Jesus’s trip to the Sanctuary – did Daryl see Jesus on top of the truck? Is Jesus the author of the “go now” note passed to Daryl? What did Jesus learn about Negan and the Saviors during his trip? The writers have pretty much written Jesus like a ninja, so I have no doubt that he will escape the Sanctuary without detection. Will Daryl join him on his return trip to the Hilltop? I hope so. I’ve had enough of Daryl being separated from the group and we are long overdue for a conversation between Maggie and Daryl.

As for Carl, his revenge plot is thwarted pretty quickly. He takes out a few Saviors, but not the one that mattered – Negan. As I’ve said in previous reviews, a little Negan goes a long way. I wish he was as passionate about brevity as he was about maintaining order and authority in his compound. In the midst of Negan’s long-winded speeches, we got some really interesting exchanges between he and Carl. For those that don’t read the source material, a lot of Carl’s plot last night came straight from The Walking Dead comics.

Negan took Carl on a tour of the Sanctuary. He showed off his harem, did a lot of bragging and displayed his penchant for cruel displays of retribution. He did this all while talking – a lot. I enjoyed the tension of watching Negan make Carl remove his bandage and serenade Lucille. Despite the tension, I never thought for a second that Negan would harm Carl. Although I don’t think we’re anywhere near a redemption arc for Negan, he clearly likes Carl and I think seeing traces of Negan’s humanity is important if Negan is a villain who will be around for a long run on the show. There is no way that I could do more of a season of a cartoon-like villain who swings a bat and gives long speeches. Granted, I think we’re going to get lots of that, but I hope the writers will continue to pepper in moments in which we see what moves him – beyond his very obvious desire to have everyone bend to his will. It will also be interesting to see how the interactions affect Carl.

Negan returned to Alexandria with Carl and demanded a tour. I thought Rick took him on a tour already, but clearly Rick managed to avoid the tour stop at Judith’s room. Negan is immediately fascinated by lil’ ass kicker. He settles down on the porch with Judith while he waits for the rest of the Alexandrians to return. This all begs the question I asked before – who was responsible for watching Judith?

Overall Thoughts and Observations
This was easily my favorite episode – so far – of the season. The writers did a great job at balancing the more prominently featured characters – Rick, Daryl, Negan, Michonne – with those who tend to get a lot less screen time – Aaron, Spencer, Gabriel and arguably Carl. I really hope that this balance is something we can look forward to for the remainder of the season. “Sing Me A Song” set up the perfect amount of tension heading into the mid-season finale, so here’s hoping the writers stick the landing. I don’t quite understand why any of the episodes this season have warranted a longer run time. I’d like to see that dialed back in the second half of the season and perhaps reserved for premieres and finales.

Until Next Week!
What did you think of this week’s episode of The Walking Dead? Sound off below!