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The Walking Dead: S708 “Hearts Still Beating” – Our Review

the walking dead season 7 episode 8 hearts still beating Rick Negan

Check out our review of this weeks episode “Hearts Still Beating” of The Walking Dead on AMC.

The Walking Dead – Season 7 episode 08: “Hearts Still Beating”

Warning: There will be spoilers.

Some quick recapping then we’re just diving right into it…

Robert: A well named title to this episode which saw a great build up of drama, action, suspense and HOPE. Hearts Still Beating summed up this week’s episode of The Walking Dead very well. We went from a few highs, to some dramatic lows, tension and then release. This week our gang that we’ve grown to enjoy over 7 seasons got the HOPE they were looking for.

Ian: The title of the episode may also refer to fanfics about Rick and Aaron’s delightful boat trip.

Robert: Let’s get right into it – So this week we got to see the summary of everything we’ve seen this season (save Tara & where’s Heath? Does anyone care to go find him?) came to a head. Rick & Aaron go off into the trapped lake of Walkers for some measly supplies on an abandoned house boat. We saw more of Sanctuary & the mass of the Saviors with Michonne kidnapping of a female Savior. We got to see how much of a douche bag Spencer was & how it didn’t impress Negan either. Lastly, we got to see Rick finally pull it together & start planning to take on the Saviors. Start planning for HOPE!

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Ross Marquand as Aaron – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Robert: So Rick & Aaron’s little lakeside dip. It’s a fun adventure where you think the worst when Aaron goes overboard. Luckily, Aaron survives (so far – I’m betting he’s gonna have a scratch or a bite on him) and again the Walkers in the show took a WAAAAY back seat & were just pretty to look at but NOT a threat. Rick & Aaron load up and head home but someone with funky big boots was spying on them. This will come into play later.

Ian: It’s funny that there’s been a lot of clever uses for Walkers showing up but the legality of the situation is never present. Even with a big fake out moment with Aaron going overboard and getting dragged underwater, there’s still little tension as he pops up just fine while Rick and him take a time out.

Robert: Back in Alexandria, Negan has a shave, helps make some spaghetti for dinner then decides NOT to wait for Rick and starts to eat with Oliva, Judith & Carl. A fun little with Negan & Carl making dinner. I can completely understand why Jeffrey Dean Morgan won a critic’s choice award as Negan, just watch those scenes knowing WHO Negan is and you’ll understand. I don’t understand when some fans don’t like Negan, he’s SUCH a well rounded psycho more than The Governor. Negan, at times, is very likable and that makes for a wonderful villain in any show. I’ve said it before – ANY good show needs a stunning villain and Negan is just that. Jeffrey Dean Morgan delivers.

Ian: I think the big depart in comparing his character to the Governer is just how there is barely a lack of restrain to the character. Negan is having a sitcom like dinner and on the flip of the dime, he’s vicious and directly to the point when dealing with Spencer. With an outside perspective, he comes off kinda of cartoonish like The Joker but it’s still entertaining, even more so to those unfamiliar with his the length of his comic book story arc.

Robert: Of course though, Negan’s time in Alexandria ain’t complete without a meeting with Spencer. Now this is where I give a touch of kudos to The Walking Dead writers & directors, in this episode, they gave a touch of humanity to Spencer when he had a brief talk with Rosita about their on / off relationship, showing that Spencer ain’t all that bad. He just has his douche bag ways but Rosita was okay to have dinner with him later. Sadly… well.. let’s keep going… so Spencer tries to Woo over Negan with drinks and a open pool table. During the game, Spencer makes his move and opens up to Negan about his feelings towards Rick. Negan shows that he’s not easily fooled & also the respect he has for Rick when he tells Spencer that Rick is out there scavenging for the people of Alexandria despite his hate for Negan who Spencer here is talking shit behind Rick’s back. Negan thinks Spencer has no guts then guts him with a knife, openly ripping out his guts then makes a big joke about it. “Look, I guess you do have guts Spencer. There they are!” as Spencer falls to his knees and dies. Well that’s too much for Rosita who then pulls her gun and shoots Negan… Cut to commercial.

Robert: Unfortunately, Rosita’s bullet goes into Lucille’s face and NOT into Negan. Of course, this pisses Negan off and he almost kills Rosita but instead let’s one of his Saviors just kill someone randomly and that ended up being poor Oliva. Oliva got a bullet in the eye due to Rosita’s miss on Negan but it wasn’t all about almost being shot which caused this action but Negan picked the bullet up and noticed it was HANDMADE and wanted to know who made it. He didn’t believe Rosita, who was protecting Eugene, so he had his Savior take a random shot and about to do it again with Eugene got some balls and told Negan it was him. Eugene rambled on a bit and Negan believed him and THAT’s when Rick & a beat up Aaron arrived. Oh right, Aaron got beat up because he talked back to a Savior after they arrived back at Alexandria with their supply run. Rick doesn’t get to do much but listen to Negan rant and rant then Rick directs Negan to leave with his supplies. A very nice punch, counter punch and Negan does but says he’s taking Eugene with him.

Robert: Later Michonne & Rick have a moment where Michonne breaks down and now understands where Rick was days ago after the whole first Negan meeting. They have their heart to heart but then Rick tells Michonne he’s ready. Next day, we see a smiling Maggie up in Hilltop and just know it’s Rick & his Alexandria crew arriving then it’s the great heartfelt moment where everyone gets to see Maggie and then Daryl & Jesus pop up. Rick had a major Bro hug with his brother-in-this-world Daryl. Daryl, right, shit. So yeah, Daryl escapes with Jesus’ help. During the escape, Daryl comes across poor Fat Joey in Sanctuary and smashes his head in like Negan did on Abraham and Glenn to get his frustrations out.

Robert: So the gangs back together up at Hilltop and walk into the big house, likely to start planning the war with the Saviors. An after the credits scene shows the funky boots person tracked Rick & Aaron back to Alexandria, continued spying on them before leaving. Creepy!

Ian: I’d be impressed if this was foreshadowing events that unfold after Rick vs Negan wraps up but I get the feeling it’ll just be some kind of filler group.

Robert: Overall. This was what the show needed all season and to the complainers / hater out there. THIS is how you build tension and drama, you leave little to No HOPE then you finally give it for the audience. It was a spectacular mid season finale with a major cliff hanger but this time, it didn’t need to be that. It wasn’t any big twist, it was about HOPE and it worked! This was a great episode which saw the last of douche Spencer which was kinda sad because often you need some counter to Rick and he did it so well. Kudo’s to Austin Nichols for his great work on the show. Also great work by Ann Mahoney as Olivia. Thank-you both.

Robert: Lastly, big Kudo’s to the show Talking DEAD. Chris Hardwick does a great job as a host and the mid season episode that followed this weeks’ The Walking Dead was great fun to watch and listen to everyone. Thanks again for being a great supplement & addition to The Walking Dead franchise.

Bits & Pieces

  • Daryl goes all Negan on poor Fat Joey. RIP Fat Joey, unlucky soul.
  • Daryl notices that Fat Joey has Rick’s old gun, takes it from his dead body before he & Jesus leave
  • If the Lake Walkers can walk / swim to the boats when WHY were they still in the lake?
  • RIP Olivia. My biggest beef with TWD is the constant loss of larger woman on the show after they show some character strength.
  • The mass Saviors & Sanctuary looked too blurry to really get a good look other than it was like seeing a full army base.

Returning in February 2017…

“I think it’s time I introduce you to Ezekiel. King Ezekiel” – Jesus

Check out this clip from the returning next episode…

Rise up! The war for freedom from Negan begins in February!

Hilltop. Alexandria. The Kingdom. Can Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, crew put together a front against Negan and the Saviors? 2017 might be HUGE for The Walking Dead! Maybe AMC will have the budget to show Shiva taking out some Walkers!

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