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The Walking Dead - Outpost 22 - Review

 


The Walking Dead “Outpost 22” was written by Jim Barnes and was directed by Tawnia McKierman. Judith’s (Cailey Fleming) voiceover centres on having never known anything but the fight. However, together, there’s hope. And I’m really hoping that the shot of Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) means that we WILL see them before the end of the series and all our people will come back together… I’ll also mention that while I’m enjoying the voiceovers and it’s nice they are giving Fleming something to do, I miss seeing Judith in the storyline! 

The scene shifts back to the convoy at night. Maggie (Lauren Cohen) shakes the bag off her head and we see her freaking out through flashback as they drag Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller) away as the troopers take her prisoner. She sees that their guard is asleep and wakes and frees Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and Rosita (Christian Serratos). Gabriel and Rosita quickly exit the back of the truck – lucky they are the last vehicle! Maggie, however, hesitates and is pulled back in by the guard. They fight over his gun and naturally the driver takes a headshot – which is delightfully gruesome! The other trooper was thrown from the truck and ends up hanging – dead and upside down – from a tree. Before Maggie can take the gun off the dead driver, she has to run into the woods to avoid more of the convoy.

It’s really not clear how Gabriel and Rosita end up asleep lying about 10 feet apart in the woods. Did they just pass out? Regardless, Rosita wakes up just in time to be attacked by a walker-trooper missing an arm – but he’s not ‘armless…Sorry, not sorry… Rosita and Gabriel work together to get the helmet off, grab the trooper’s machete, and take him out. So at least they have some weapons now – and a radio! I loved the two checking in on each other – and it shows just how far the two of them have come on their journey. Rosita admits she’s been better – look at her being vulnerable! And Gabriel says he's been worse – look at him being brave! They hear via the radio that the troopers have found their tracks and are coming.

On the bus, the prisoners all remove the bags from their faces. Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is the first to ask if everyone is alright. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Kelly (Angel Theory), and Annie (Medina Senghore) are also there. Kelly asks how long they were out for, but nobody knows. Negan points out that Maggie, Gabriel, and Rosita aren’t there – and he knows that’s a good thing – help could be on the way. There’s no sign of the kids. Annie heard the crash and thinks that might have been Maggie, Gabriel, and Rosita.

The are interrupted by the appearance of The Warden (Michael Weaver) who informs them that the world works better when people know their place in it. He tells them that good people will benefit from their labour. Clearly, they have arrived at a labour camp. He tells them they can achieve redemption and salvation here. The children are being looked after, and if they play by the rules, they may get to see them again. They will be required to work as one – and no one has a name. He’s not telling them his, and they aren’t to use their names with each other. He goes through the bus and picks some people out, including Annie. I loved the look that passed between Negan and Annie – and as they stand up, he tells her that he’s getting all three of them out. The Warden calls her an Exile – and that they are being transferred to another site. He leads the rest of them out the front. The Warden tells them that this might not be as good as the “paradise” of the Commonwealth, but it’s still better than being out there – in the wasteland.

Maggie is alone in the woods and a child walker starts following her. She thinks of Hershel as she picks up a rock, but can’t bring herself to kill the child.

Rosita and Gabriel make it back to a road, and Rosita is determined to follow the convoy. Gabriel points out that it’s just the two of them and refuses to split up when Rosita suggests it. When two walkers attack them, Rosita’s arm is dislocated, and Gabriel pops it back in. Gabriel insists that they need to rest. Rosita doesn’t want to, and Gabriel tells her to stop beating herself up, reminding her of what she says to him – “Quit bitching and move forward.” He gets her to take a breath – and the two are incredulous when they hear a train.

Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) are already watching the train. As they watch, a jeep pulls up and they see Connie (Lauren Ridloff) is their prisoner. Carol listens on the radio they have, and they call Connie and Exile who is designated a two – she’s not going to be a worker. They’re told to get her “there” safely. Daryl says that they can’t go get her because they’ll radio ahead and they’ll lose the chance to find the kids. Daryl is clearly torn. Carol reassures him that they’ll hang back and keep an eye on her. 

Carol and Daryl race to keep up with the train, and Carol says to get ahead of it. They stop at a junction, and Carol points out the train will have to stop there – they just have to sit tight. Daryl doesn’t feel like he can. Carol tells Daryl that she thought the same thing he did the moment the door shut on the train – she thought about the cave when they thought that they’d lost Connie. She also reminds Daryl what Kelly said – they can’t save them if they’re dead. I loved the little squeeze she gives his hand and the little smile on his face from her comfort. Personally, I thought of Terminus when the shut her in the car.

Maggie hears a trooper (Greg Perrow) coming and he stops his bike at the tracks. She’s hiding in a ditch at the side of the road. Is it just me or do their radio conversations always remind you of the radio communications on the Death Star in Star Wars too??? The trooper says it’s all clear and is told to go to the next checkpoint, but he’s distracted by the child walker before he can get on his bike. Maggie picks up a railway spike and stabs the trooper in the underarm where he has no armor. She manages to knock him out, but the child walker grabs her by the hair. She wrestles him around to her lap. She hesitates before spiking him in the head – and is clearly devastated. Daryl and Carol pull up.

The three go back to the junction. Maggie tells Carol that she wasn’t strong enough to prevent them from taking Hershel from her. Cohen is fantastic in this scene. Carol comforts her and tells her that she’s just one person. Maggie says it doesn’t matter, and Carol pulls her into a hug. She tells Maggie that she’d barely seen Daryl after getting her new job – they were just doing their own thing. Like the old world. Back then, Carol would never have spoken to him, but after the Fall, they were forced to become family. Carol points out that they had to come after them when they were separated and what does that say? Maggie immediately answers that Pamela is scared shitless of them – and WE all know what a force they are when they’re together! Gabriel and Rosita show up, and there are more hugs all aroung.

Daryl, meanwhile, is trying to get answers from the trooper. He tells the trooper to do the right thing because he hasn’t got much time left. He tries to win him over by telling him that he was just like him – joined the force because he had a family, kids, and he needed the money. Daryl starts to get angry when he gets no response – he wants his kids back! Daryl asks him if he wants to die quick or screaming.

Gabriel recognizes him from Church. He always came early and stayed late and sat in the back pew – it seemed like he wanted to ask something. The trooper asks if God forgives people like him. Gabriel tells him honestly that he wishes he did, but he doesn’t. The trooper admits to guilt and shame and Gabriel tells him it’s because he’s a coward and that it’s ok because he’s trying not to be. Gabriel tells him that fear can make you do things that cause shame – or it can push you into the light. He sees that he’s trying to do the right thing now – they all see it. Gabriel tells him that people remember the last thing you do. The ending of each story is very important – and this was the tag for all the promos for this part of the season. I love how this is also applicable to the show itself. Will they stick the landing? It remains to be seen…

The trooper tells them that they punish Exiles by forcing them to do hard labour. He tells them to follow the train to find their friends. He’s only heard rumours about designation two – they take them somewhere far away and they’re never heard of again. The trooper asks Gabriel to pray with him while he dies. Gabriel emerges from the barn with a bloody knife…

Daryl tells the others that if that train pulls in, Connie’s gone. Rosita says they’ll radio ahead and they’ll lose the chance to get the kids, but Carol – OF COURSE!! – has a plan to do both.

Kelly tells Ezekiel that there are only three guards and she wants to make a break for it. Ezekiel tells her no and to stop talking. When Negan tries to get answers about Annie, he gets pistol whipped for his trouble – he’s to stop only to eat. Three other prisoners take advantage of the seeming inattention and make a break for the woods where they are gunned down by hidden shooters.

The train gets to the junction – but the switch is jammed…. Thanks to Carol. The train engineer tries to radio ahead to Outpost 22 to say that they’ve been delayed. While he’s fiddling with the radio, Maggie takes him prisoner at gunpoint. The others spread out around the train. Walkers are slowly surrounding the train, so the troopers go out to deal with them. Rosita and Gabriel take one of them prisoner. The troopers realize that someone has jammed the junction and call the rest of the troopers back. We get a great gunfight. 

One of the troopers has the bright idea to get Connie and use her as a shield. He has a gun to Connie’s head, and he tells Daryl to drop his gun and crossbow. Connie manages to knock him off balance, but he smashes her in the face and takes off. Daryl checks on her – aw! – before taking off after the trooper. The two grab motorcycles, and we get an amazing chase scene. Daryl hesitates before going after him – but Carol’s got Connie under her protective wing, and Daryl still has to ensure that they can get the kids. I loved Daryl sliding his bike under a tree and taking out the trooper!

They take the engineer to the dead trooper. He tells them he’s dead if he helps them – or at least the Warden will make him do hard labour. Rosita tells him that they’ve taken their children. Rosita says he said he had a family…The engineer tells them that there’s a map in the engine room. 

Daryl gets back, and his reunion with Connie is ADORABLE! He tells her that he didn’t think he’d ever see her again, and she tells him she’s not going anywhere – and she gets a big grin from him.

The Engineer is freaking out that his wife and kids are going to be killed for him giving them information. Carol tries to reassure him that they’ll injure him to prove that he didn’t help them voluntarily, but he’s too freaked out and stabs himself in the throat with a spike. Everyone is upset – even after all they’ve been through, they feels sympathy for this poor guy who is clearly between a rock and a hard place, and really, bravely sacrifices himself to try to save his family. 

Food at the camp is one watery ladle of gruel. Ezekiel brings Kelly a plate but doesn’t eat with her. In fact, Kelly doesn’t eat. Negan sits down close to Ezekiel and tells him not to turn around. I loved Payton’s face – Ezekiel has not forgiven Negan even a little bit. He wants to know what Negan wants, and Negan wants to be on the same page. Ezekiel tells him that he avoided him for years. Negan tells him that he’s got to put that “shit aside” – and Ezekiel is incredulous – listing many of the horrible things that Negan has done. Negan tells him that he hasn’t forgotten either and that he probably deserves to be in a place like this but it doesn’t fit Ezekiel or the others – they don’t deserve it. Again, I loved watching this scene play out on Payton’s face – Ezekiel clearly can’t believe he’s hearing Negan express remorse and take ownership of his guilt. 

Negan tells him his wife and baby don’t deserve it either. Ezekiel asks where they took her – but Negan has no idea. Negan tells him that he’s coming to him as a soon-to-be father and someone who has lead people. They need to work together for everyone. Ezekiel wants to know what he’s got planned. Negan tells him that he’s figured out the Warden – he rules through fear. Ezekiel scoffs – you want to scare people into an uprising? Negan tells him that only works if you’re the one holding the gun. Negan says hope is what they should use, but hope is Ezekiel’s thing. Ezekiel points out that the place thrives on separating people. They need a spark that will reach into people’s hearts. Negan tells him that he can get him the spark – but it means he likely won’t be getting out with them – and Ezekiel looks confused and concerned and tries to get Negan to tell him what he means. They’re interrupted by being called back to work – but Ezekiel tells him that he’s with him… at least for now.

The others aren’t sure where to go. Connie is worried about Kelly and insists that she won’t lose her. Daryl reassures her that she won’t. They go back to the train to get the long range radio back up and running.

At the camp, the Warden orders everyone to pack it up and get back in the vehicles. The three escapees from earlier now emerge as walkers. The troopers shoot them.

Meanwhile the group has taken the radio off the train and are back at their camp. They try to raise someone on the radio to ask for help, telling Outpost 22 that they are in the woods and lost. Outpost 22 eventually answers – and it’s the voice of Yvette Nicole Brown!!!!!!!! 

Meanwhile, as the bus nears Outpost 22, Negan, Ezekiel, and Kelly suddenly perk up – they recognize Outpost 22 because it is ALEXANDRIA!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, Rosita gets detailed directions and is told that a group is coming in special delivery from the Governor for re-processing. She goes on to say that the group used to live there when it was Alexandria. She tells Rosita they’ll be waiting for her and to stay safe. 

Everyone is spitting nails that they’ve taken Alexandria. In barely contained fury, Maggie says that Milton has underestimated them from the beginning. They are going to get their kids, take back their home, and make it right… and Pamela is never going to see it coming! 

It’s hard to believe there are only a few episodes left. I loved all the interactions between characters in this episode. Great performances from everyone! Cohen, McBride, Serratos, Payton, Gilliam, Reedus, and Ridloff in particular. I’m betting that having inside knowledge of Alexandria is going to pay off big time! But we also know that the spinoffs are coming, so there are going to be lose ends… are Maggie and Negan off to New York for the kids and Annie? Is Daryl going to be taken and designated a 2? What did you think of the episode? Thoughts for the end? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!





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