SPOILER WARNING: This article will discuss The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 8, 'Hearts Still Beating'; as always, if you're not caught up, stop reading now and come back later!
Thank God for finales! After the The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere sucked the hope out of all of us, the mid-season finale brought some of that hope back — along with Rick's signature weapon. From that weird dinner Carl shared with Negan to Rick finally getting his mojo back, this episode gave us some interesting callbacks to close this half of the season with a bang.
Did you catch all of the callbacks & references in The Walking Dead mid-season finale 'Heats Still Beating'? Keep reading and check it out!
Denise Liked Lemonade
Tara saved Olivia's skin — at least temporarily — when she found some lemonade powder in her kitchen. Negan's choice of drink echoed Dr. Denise's, and that's not the only callback we got to the sweet doctor in this week's episode.
Olivia was shot dead by Arat, and the bullet landed inches from her eye (what is it with The Walking Dead shooting people in the eye so often?). It seems the Savior "didn't trust" Olivia, and when given the order to kill someone, Arat aimed straight for Judith's new nanny.
Dinner With Negan
This scene felt wrong on so many levels. First, Negan cooked, then had Carl and Olivia play his happy family sitting around the table for a nice dinner. And then, as if the whole façade wasn't awkward enough, he placed Lucille on one of the chairs because, after all, "she was hungry".
The premiere showed us an impossible vision of how things might've been, with the Survivors sitting around a table and sharing a happy moment. And then, only seven episodes later, we get Negan instead of Glenn at the head of the table, playing make-believe in yet another implausible scenario.
"I'll Buy You A Sandwich"
One thing must be said about these Savior women: they have the worst taste in men. I mean, Laura very straight-forwardly came onto Spencer after seeing how much he collected for Negan, and clearly failed to see beyond his hunkiness. She asked him out and even volunteered to "buy him a sandwich" — which, I'm sure, she later regretted.
Previously, in 'The Cell', she was spending time and having fun with Dwight — another guy who is undoubtedly damaged goods. In that whole opening sequence, Dwight went around the Sanctuary collecting ingredients for (wait for it...) a sandwich. I guess sandwiches must be the staple food in the Sanctuary.
"Do You Like To Watch, Haircut?"
Well, this one was hard to miss. After realizing that Eugene had been watching her whole seduction of Spencer, Laura asked Eugene if he liked to watch — to which he very honestly replied, Yes.
Well, no arguments here, Eugene.
After getting the note and the motorcycle key — and finally finding the guts to run — Daryl began his escape of the Sanctuary. For a while, he had to hide in one of the rooms, which turned out to be Dwight's.
Back in Season 6, Dwight told Daryl that his grandpa taught him how to carve soldiers — a hobby Dwight has continued in the Sanctuary. Daryl even kept the one he took from Dwight in the woods, as a reminder that he should have killed Dwight and Sherry back then. Well, in this episode, Daryl at least got to toss all the soldiers on the floor of Dwight's room — and now that he's out, Daryl will hopefully have ample opportunities to end Dwight once and for all.
Head-Bashing Is Back
The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere will forever haunt our souls, so seeing Daryl kill Fat Joey in the same fashion that Negan killed Glenn and Abraham brought mixed feelings.
On one hand, I kind of wished Jesus would take a Polaroid camera out of his pocket and snap a picture of Fat Joey's bashed-in head — just like that Savior did with Glenn's. But, on the other hand, it makes us wonder just how much Dwight's torture and Negan's bullying damaged poor Daryl. By the looks of it, I'd say he's pretty damaged.
"We're All Negan"
The Saviors' famous line made a reappearance in The Walking Dead mid-season finale, via the woman Michonne captured on the road. Only, this time, the sentence wasn't spoken with the same pride that Paula — the other red-head from last season's 'The Same Boat' — and the previous Saviors shared.
This was the second time this season that a Savior asked someone to relieve them from Negan's rule. In 'The Cell', Gordon managed to escape the Sanctuary, but was caught by Dwight. In the end, he plainly asked Dwight to get it over with, because he was done kneeling to Negan. It seems Negan's rule isn't as perfect as he'd like to think it is.
"I Made Him Spaghetti"
This was a hilarious callback to when Carl didn't respect anyone, and always did what he wanted to (wait, has that changed at all?). I mean, we all remember those perfect memes of Lori and Rick trying to justify their parenting skills every time Carl went missing.
When Negan told Rick that Carl went all the way to the Sanctuary, machine-gunned a couple of his men and hosted a dinner for Negan, Rick finally realized he hadn't even noticed his son wasn't in the house. I'm sure Lori would understand, Rick.
Last season, when Negan was but a distant threat and Rick moved to attack the outpost, Morgan decided it was time to show the Survivors a different way. Truthful to his "every life is precious" policy, Morgan built a cell in one of the houses in Alexandria.
This week, The Walking Dead brought that cell back, with a pensive Rick wondering what his options were in regards to Negan. Funny that he should ponder about Negan inside that cell, because — as comic book readers will know — the cell will play an important role in Negan's future.
The Python's Back
Was that an emotional moment, or what?
Ever since it was taken from him in last season's finale, seeing Rick get his signature revolver back was something we we've all been waiting for. The Python has been with Rick from the get-go and, just like a magic wand, it gave Rick the extra boost of confidence he needed to became the leader he once was.
More on #TheWalkingDead:
- 5 Jaw-Dropping Moments From 'The Walking Dead' Mid-Season Finale, 'Hearts Still Beating'
- 5 Huge Questions We Have After 'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Mid-Season Finale
This mid-season finale — especially that ending scene at the Hilltop — was a breath of fresh air after the first half of the season was so filled with doom and gloom. It may have taken Rick a while to get his shit together and finally acknowledge the predicament the Survivors are in, but, with Maggie's plea in the premiere and Michonne's guidance, he's finally ready. Rick and the gang are going to need all the help they can get, because The Walking Dead has begun its march to war against Negan.
What did you think of The Walking Dead Season 7 mid-season finale? Share your thoughts in the comments below.