The Walking DeadTV ReviewsThe Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 8: Hearts Still Beating Recap *Updated*

Keith NoakesDecember 12, 2016

If you would like to read a recap of last week’s episode, click here. So here we are at the mid-season finale. The end of the last episode set up the possibility of some major stuff happening here. It didn’t for the most part, however, as the major stuff won’t happen until the second half of the season (or maybe the season finale) but we did have to get to that point somehow and this episode played a part in that.

The episode starts off with Maggie sitting by herself. She then climbs to a lookout above the fence and looks out. Gregory approaches her and tells them about word in town about her and Sasha’s actions about the earlier incident. He tells her to not let it get to her head but she tells him to not let it get to his. He has an apple and Maggie asks him for it. He says he’s eating it but another person up in the lookout tells him to give Maggie the apple since she’s pregnant and he does.

Carl is watching Negan shaving. Daryl is contemplating escape from his cell and then escapes. Carl is helping Negan cook some spaghetti. Tara gives Olivia lemonade. Tara offers to take over for her but Olivia claims to be fine. She made a promise to Rick to protect Judith and that was what she was going to do. People are watching them from outside.Negan tells Carl that they need another table setting (probably for Rick).

Rick and Aaron find a bullet-riddled boat to try and cross the walker river. Aaron is offended when Rick asks him if he wanted to stay behind. Aaron makes oars form the warning sign. He vows to see things through.

There’s an awkward silence at the table. Negan is tired of waiting for Rick. Lucille is hungry. Negan asks Carl to pass the rolls. Eugene is coming back from the ammo factory. The Saviors are impressed with what Spencer found. Eugene is watching them. A female Savior is telling him to go away and starts hitting on Spencer.

Carol reading by a fire. Morgan is outside and comes in with a delivery from the Kingdom garden. Carol is good since she’d rather scavenge for herself. She just wants to be left alone. She called him over to see how he was. Richard (Karl Makinen) comes to talk to them. Rick and Aaron are rowing and their boat is taking on water. They battle them as they row across. They find a better boat but there is a walker inside. Another one grabs Aaron who pulls him under. Aaron gets pulled underwater for a moment and then resurfaces completely safe.

Daryl is sneaking around the Sanctuary. He stops in a room and finds peanut butter and a change of clothes. Rick and Aaron find a bunch of guns on a houseboat but no ammo and a note saying that they won but they still lost. Daryl sits and eats the peanut butter. Rick and Aaron load up their truck and Rick apologizes to Aaron for thinking he couldn’t do it. Aaron understands their new life and what they have to do to survive. Someone is watching in the distance.

Michonne is still being driven to the sanctuary. The female Savior isn’t talking. Michonne tells him that she’s not going to kill Negan today and that she wants to find a way that they win and change how it ends for her. Sasha,  Maggie, and Enid enjoy some apple pie that a resident gave Sasha and Maggie for saving them. Enid heard people say that Maggie should be the president of the Hilltop. Maggie asks Sasha for Jesus and Sasha tells her a lie. Maggie leaves and Enid calls out Sasha on her lie. Sasha claims that it was for her own good. She needed to do something which was to kill Negan. Enid reminds her that it isn’t just her but Sasha tells her that she has to keep Maggie safe.

Richard warns Morgan and Carol about the Saviors. He trusts them. He tells them about Ezekiel’s deal with them. He is worried if things go wrong. He lost his family and he doesn’t want to lose what he has now. He basically wants them to help convince Ezekiel to attack the Saviors. Gabriel talks to Rosita about bullet. He agrees with her but asks why does she. She didn’t need to lie if it was going to be her last conversation. She is doing this because she has no one. Gabriel thinks nothing should have happened to anyone. He thinks they’ll win but they should wait for the right moment or create it together. She’s a part of that and pleads her to not do do it because they need her.

Daryl is still lurking. Richard thinks the element of surprise is the Kingdom’s only hope. He is unaware of Carol’s penchant for violence. Carol doesn’t want any part of it and just wants to be left alone. Morgan is hesitant too and is hoping for a diplomatic solution. Carol doesn’t want to see anyone but Morgan and doesn’t want him to tell anyone where she is.

Spencer walks into his ransacked house and cleans up. Richard gets into hidden trailer and breaks down. Spencer tells Rosita that he wants to try and play the long game with the Saviors. He wants to know where he and Rosita went wrong. She just used him. He asks her out for dinner. Daryl gets outside and sees a motorcycle. Fat Joey spots him but he doesn’t want anything to do with him and lets him go. Daryl beats him anyway with a steel rod. Jesus shows up. Daryl takes Joey’s gun and they leave.

Spencer wants to talk to Negan. He introduces himself. The female Savior stops car at the top of hill and points to the cars below and tells Michonne that the Negan is down there, that they are all Negan. She tells her that she should just take her out and go home. The car turns around and goes back.

Rick and Aaron are back in Alexandria and are greeted by Saviors. Rick wants to see Negan but they want to see what he has first. Negan tells Spencer that he wants one of the houses as a vacation home. Spencer offers him a pool table and Negan calls him his new best friend.

Some Saviors find note from earlier and begin to rough Aaron up. Negan and Spencer are playing pool outside. Spencer wants to talk about Rick. Rick watching Aaron get beat up. Spencer understands Negan and why he does what he does. He warns him about Rick and how he’s destroyed Alexandria ever since he got there. Rick’s ego is out of control. Spencer tells Negan that he should be the leader. Negan tells him that despite the way Rick feels about him, he still got him shit. He confronts Spencer about plotting behind Rick’s back and that he isn’t taking care of it himself since he has no guts. Negan then takes a knife to Spencer and opens up his guts. He laughs and says they were inside him whole time.

Negan demands that the mess gets cleaned up or that they finish the game. Nobody steps up. Rosita pulls out her gun and shoots. Ricks helps Aaron along. Negan has Rosita pinned down at knifepoint. He grabs the bullet and notices that it looked homemade. He wanted to know who made bullet. Rosita said it was her but he doesn’t believe her. He asks one of the Saviors to asks to kill a person and they shoot Olivia.

Rick comes in upset. Negan tells him about Carl, Spencer, Rosita, and Olivia,. Rick wants him to grab the stuff an go. Negan wants to know who made the bullet first. Tara says it was her but he doesn’t believe her either. Eugene says it was him and Negan believes him. He tells Rick that he wants Eugene but he is still in a serious hole. Rick is crying as they walk away. Spencer is a walker and Rick takes him out.

Rick looks at the note from earlier. Michonne comes in. They embrace. She tells him that she found what she was looking for. She wanted to go with them earlier but she couldn’t. She had to go her way. She just wanted things to be their way. She now realizes that they are outnumbered but that doesn’t change how she feels. They want to make still standing mean something and that’s why they have to fight for everyone. They can find a way to beat them but only if they do it together. Rick knows that now.

Maggie is in the same spot as earlier. She climbs up and sees something in the distance and then calls out to Sasha and Enid. Rick, Michonne, Carl, Rosita, and Tara show up. Maggie tells Rick that she and the baby are okay and he tells her that she was right about fighting and he he can now. Daryl and Jesus show up and everybody hugs. Daryl hands Rick the gun he took. They all march up to Gregory’s.

Overall, while not action packed, the episode didn’t feel like a mid-season finale but it led to some kind of resolution with the start of a team-up of sorts to finally take on Negan with Rick and his group and with rumblings within the Kingdom. Daryl’s escape was a little too easy but he couldn’t stay there forever. I assume they’ll all eventually come together and Carol and Morgan will turn around as well. Negan, who I have found annoying since the first episode, was actually decent here when a few characters actually tried to stand up to him. The joke about Spencer’s guts was funny, I admit. I just can’t wait until the inevitable battle coming up.

Update: Post-credits scene

Someone up in a tree outside the Alexandria wall is watching Gabriel with binoculars, then jumps down and heads towards Alexandria.

Score: 8/10

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