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The Walking Dead - Faith - Review

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  The Walking Dead “Faith” was written by Nicole Mirante-Matthews and Magali Lozano and was directed by Rose Troche (The L Word, Law & Order, FBI: Most Wanted). I can’t believe there are only two episodes left in this series! Of course, honestly, we know that the story is going to continue – and we know that at least three of the characters aren’t going to die. Otherwise, I think we’d better brace ourselves for some brutal goodbyes… THIS episode, however, features one whoop-out-loud return in the form of Luke (Dan Fogler)!!! And Jules (Alex Sgambati). 

Once again the episode begins with a voiceover from Judith (Cailey Fleming). This time the flashbacks all focus on Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The philosophical question is what happens when we find ourselves in world that is broken and we stare in the face of death every day – how does one come back from that? She reminds us that Rick wanted mercy to prevail over wrath – and if we lose that, we lose everything. The flashbacks show us Negan at the height of his wrath – killing Glenn and Abraham – and with his wife – and with Judith. I love how this opening scene prepares us for the end of the episode, and Negan’s final (maybe) transformation.

Back in the present at the labour camp, Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Negan, and Kelly (Angel Theory) have been joined by Magna (Nadia Hilker), Princess (Paola L├ízaro), Nabila (Nadine Marissa), and Annie (Medina Senghore). Princess recognizes Tyler Davis (Cameron Scott Roberts) from the railyard and the one who took Max hostage. Ezekiel is surprised she trusts him, but she denies it, saying that she only meant that he has balls and might be useful…

Everyone is funneling information to Negan about the guards. When Negan tries to get a rest break for Annie, he ends up getting both of them beaten on. The Warden (Michael Weaver) watches from the trees, but Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride are also watching – and we see the windmill of Alexandria in the background behind them.

Aaron (Ross Marquand), Jerry (Cooper Andrews), Lydia (Cassady McClincy) and Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) are making their way through the woods. Lydia takes out a walker and the others caution to stay alert as it could be a “climber”… They hear someone in the woods – Lydia tells them it’s definitely a human and not a walker – and it’s LUKE!!!!!!!! Luke and Jules tell them that Oceanside is gone – taken over by the Commonwealth, who are tracking them right now.

Cut to the Commonwealth and Pamela (Laila Robins) is on the stand at Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt’s) trial. She does a wonderful job acting like a mother who was devastated over the death of her son. Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) tries to object and have her testimony struck from the record – of course, to be honest, there was no cause to do that. The Judge (Elizabeth Becka) is clearly in Pamela’s pocket anyway though. Yumiko tells Eugene that it’s not the judge that they have to get through to, but the people watching the trial. Max (Margot Bingham).

Yumiko asks Pamela about the lottery – and the gallery immediately starts to murmur. Yumiko pushes Pamela about what the lottery means – Pamela says it is about opportunity and hope. Yumiko says or is it a lie as your son said – and the murmer becomes shouts. The Judge and opposing counsel try to shut her down. Pamela then declares that the tape wasn’t her son – Eugene doctored the tape! Mercer (Michael James Shaw) is in the courtroom, but won’t even look at Yumiko.

Maggie and Daryl report back to the others, and Daryl says he doesn’t think any of them are going to make it. Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Maggie (Lauren Cohen) want to know about the kids – but there’s no sign that they are there. They’ll be slaughtered if they just attack, so they devise a plan. I loved Daryl’s translation of going in through the sewers to Connie (Lauren Ridloff) – “You. Me. Down shit tunnel.” Carol says she knows a back way in and pairs up with Maggie. She tells Rosita and Gabriel to stay on the outside as they are their best sharpshooters. Rosita isn’t happy and says she’ll only wait til night. 

Ezekiel and Negan try to convince Tyler to join in a rebellion. He tells them he wants to live, and Negan says it isn’t living, it’s barely surviving. Ezekiel tells him that between his people and ours they can take the guards, but Tyler’s already tried it and too many people already died. There are two choices – survive or die. Ezekiel tells him that all they’ve got is each other and if they lose faith in that, in the possibility of changing things – they’re as good as dead anyway. And that’s the entire meaning behind the title…. The guards come to take Negan, and he refuses to get up until they tell him where his wife is. They simply lift him up by the underarms and carry him off. Tyler tells Ezekiel that he’s on his own as Tyler leaves the table.

Negan is taken to the Warden. The Warden tells guard 197 (Mahdi Cocci) that his transfer has been denied – because he went around the Warden to get it. Guard 197 is not happy – his brother is dying and that’s why he wanted the transfer. Negan notices the hatred the guard has for the Warden, and knows he can use it. The Warden has called for Negan because the map Negan was working on was found. Negan denies it.

The Warden tells Negan that he thought when Negan first arrived that he was a leader. And this whole conversation is SO ironic! The Warden says he sees now that Negan has other priorities – real leaders cleave themselves off because the things that real leaders do, most people don’t have the stomach for it. A real leader is the biggest threat. The Warden knows that there’s a threat in his midst and he believes it’s one of “Negan’s people.” Negan tells him that all those people hate him. The Warden uses Annie as bait to get Negan to “try” to find out. Loved Morgan in this scene!

Negan does get to see Annie. She’s asleep when he comes in. She wakes up and tells him she’s fine. She tells him they’re going to get out – and he tells her that he’s working on it. She tells him that they are both meeting the baby, and he tells her that he’d never risk them. He also tells her that he’s known men like the Warden his whole life – and in fact, used to be him. He tells her that he’ll handle him, and she says fine, as long as she doesn’t do it first….

We get some great shots of Daryl, Connie, Carol, and Maggie coming in through the tunnels – lots of shots that look like they could be 007 approved! Carol and Maggie come out of the sewer at one of the townhouses. Maggie almost gets caught by a trooper, but she and Carol take him out silently. 

Luke and Jules tell them that Rachel wouldn’t let them stay and fight for Oceanside. She told them to go and warn everyone else. Luke is clearly upset, but Aaron cheers him up by telling him that everyone is heading for Alexandria. As they’re talking, they can hear the jeeps and motorcycles of approaching troopers! Lydia sees the passing herd, and clearly has an idea.

Eugene compliments Yumiko on her nerves. Eugene says that she got through to them, and Max says wasn’t that the point? Yumiko says it doesn’t matter if they inspire an uprising if they don’t have the troopers on their side – it might not be fast enough to save Eugene. Eugene tells Max that it’s time to accept the situation that he finds himself in. McDermitt is great in this scene as we see Eugene finally find his courage. Bingham is also great here. Yumiko tells her that Mercer is respected and looked up to. If they can get him on the stand to speak out against Pamela… but Max says there’s not way he’ll do it. She tells Yumiko that if he was going to do it, he would have done it when Princess was taken. Yumiko wonders if he knows about Princess as Pamela is very good at keeping people cut off from each other. She asks Max to try talking to him, but Max can’t get near his office. Yumiko thinks he might talk to her…

Yumiko goes to Mercer’s office, and he tells her that she shouldn’t be there. He tells her that she should get back to court. She tells him it doesn’t matter. They’re going to lose. Her friend – the man his sister loves – is going to die. Her other friends may too, including Princess. He tells her that he knows. Yumiko tells him she doesn’t believe that he doesn’t care – but that’s not the point. He tells her that doing what she’s asking won’t change a thing. But Yumiko is adamant – People seeing HIM speak truth to power will make a difference. But he’s done talking.

Maggie and Carol hide in a small room – pantry? With the tied up trooper. Maggie is struggling to keep it together. She tells Carol she keeps thinking that she hears Hershel. She’s trying to do better, but sometimes she wonders if it was fair to bring Hershel into this world. Maggie hugs her, and tells her that after Sophia she felt that way too. She thought she was selfish for wanting her to come back at first – and Maggie says she wasn’t. Carol tells Maggie that she will always try to make the world better because of Hershel. Carol tells her that they will find him.

Ezekiel asks what happened with the Warden, and Negan tells him that he put him on latrine duty. Ezekiel tells him not to go rogue again – they needed that map. Furthermore, they aren’t friends. Ezekiel hasn’t forgotten what Negan did – but he thinks Negan has. He reminds him of Benjamin and tells Negan that he doesn’t deserve a future and he definitely doesn’t deserve to be a father. Negan tells him that he will be a father – and furthermore, “you do you, and I’ll do me.” And he’s going to do it for his kid. 

The Warden stands up as Negan comes into his office. The Warden asks him if he has a name for him…

There’s a wonderful moment in the tunnels. Connie and Daryl are slowly making their way through debris and walkers. Daryl is breathing hard, and Connie asks what’s wrong – typical guy-mode, Daryl says he’s fine. She stops him and matter of factly tells him that she’s scared too, before moving on and taking point. I love how strong she is – she’s a great match for him.

The Judge presses Yumiko as to whether she rests her case or not. She’s stalling in the hopes that Mercer will do the right thing. In the end, Eugene asks to address the court, and it’s another great scene from McDermitt. I’ve loved Eugene forever and was always sad that there wasn’t more time for his story (full disclosure – I have the Funko Pop of him with the pickle jar…). 

Eugene gets to hie feet, and begins by saying that he’s been living on borrowed time for 10 years. A guy like him should have died on the first day of the apocalypse. He would have if it were not for his friends. Friends who have changed the hearts and minds of many others. He knows that his fate won’t discourage them from helping others to do what’s right. Eugene confesses he was not always a good man. He tells them that he placed value on order and safety above all other things – while looking the other way from the atrocities committed by the Saviors – though he doesn’t name them – and the parallels with the Commonwealth are striking. Eugene says that while he wasn’t the one swinging the bat (nice shout out to the opening flashbacks), he still had blood on his hands. His inaction made him culpable and he hated himself. He finally did one tiny thing and it changed the world. Sometimes it just takes on person to do that. Mercer listens – looking inscrutable as always. Eugene sits down – Max looks proud – and Yumiko rests the defence. 

The Judge delivers the verdict of guilty and the crowd is not happy. Pamela leaves the courtroom smiling. Max and Mercer exchange a glance.

The prisoners are sleeping when the troopers roust them out of bed and drag then all in front of the windmill. The Warden tells them all that there is a traitor in their midst – and “this” man has admitted to spearheading a rebellion – and they drag Negan out. Also? IT WAS SNOWING DURING THIS ENTIRE SCENE!!! Annie tries to go to him. He tells her it’s ok and he loves her. They force him to his knees and the troopers line up to shoot him. Negan is smiling as they are about to shoot, and the Warden tells him there are no martyrs here, and drags Annie in beside him.

Negan freaks out, screaming that this isn’t their deal. Negan keeps insisting they just take him. He appeals to Trooper 197 who he knows also has a family. And then Ezekiel comes forward with his hands up. Negan asks him what he’s doing, and Ezekiel says he doesn’t know – and one by one, they all come to stand with them – Kelly, Magna, Princess, Nabila, Tyler, and more…

Ezekiel tells them that the world is broken, but they don’t have to be. Trooper 197 is about to shoot the Warden, when another Trooper tries to stop him, so he shoots him instead, giving the Warden time to take Kelly hostage… but remember where Daryl and Connie were heading in the sewer? Daryl takes out the Warden. And Connie hugs Kelly.

Meanwhile, Maggie really DOES hear Hershel and burst in to where he’s being held. Carol doesn’t hesitate in shooting the trooper in the head. Rosita is hot on their heals looking for Coco – but she’s not there and Hershel doesn’t know where the other kids are. 

Lydia, Aaron, Jerry, Elijah, Luke, and Jules have had to cover themselves with gore and join the herd to evade the troopers – who have spotlights and appear to be herding the walkers. As they stumble along, someone drops a knife… and a walker falls to the ground and picks it up!!!!!

Back in Alexandria, Negan is about to finish the Warden when Rosita tells him to wait. She grabs the Warden and wants to know where her daughter is. The shot trooper reanimates and Rosita holds its snapping face to the Warden’s. He simply smiles at her and tells her that she’ll lose everything. Rosita drops the trooper on his face and it rips his eye out! Looks like he’s the one losing everything to me.

At the jail, Eugene is brought out with a bag over his head. He clearly thinks he’s being taken to his execution, but when the bag comes off, he’s staring at Mercer. And Mercer tells him: “Time to fuck shit up.” And the other trooper takes his handcuffs off. YEAH MERCER!!! It took him long enough, but I knew he’d do the right thing in the end. Now. Show? Don’t kill him. Mercer and Princess NEED to be endgame.

I loved this episode. I loved how it paralleled Negan and Eugene’s stories. I loved the them of Faith – in a better world and in your friends – and in knowing you can do better and just one person can make a difference in this world. With the end in sight, the show can pull out all the stops, and it really feels like these last episodes have been a real return to form for the show. Great performances from McDermitt and Morgan. I refuse to contemplate who will or won’t make it out of the season alive – I’m foreseeing some serious yelling at me television set… What did you think of the episode? Hopes for the last two episodes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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