My Thoughts on “Sing Me A Song” (Walking Dead Spoilers)

After last week’s frustratingly dull episode “Swear” I was really hoping this week’s episode would give me everything I love about the show. But after ninety minutes of a hodgepodge of shallow storylines, missed opportunities of serious badassery, and three too many useless scenes, I’m only more frustrated. I’m not convinced the writers know where they are taking the story and characters. Or, they are trying to milk as much out of the ideas they do have that they are willing to sacrifice the pace. From this point on there are serious spoilers, so if you aren’t caught up stop reading.

I’m really having trouble wrapping my head around why we needed to spend an entire episode solely with Tara last week only to rush from characters in Alexandria to the Sanctuary and on the road between. I was super interested at the beginning of the season. Negan gained control over Rick’s group with brutal force. We went to the Kingdom to find a tiger and a leader with an interesting backstory. Over at the Hilltop grieving, Maggie showed signs of being the leader everyone needs. My attention was in their grasp. After two kinda terrible episodes with only one more till the mid-season finale, my confidence in the storyline has dwindled tremulously. I had thought the first five episodes were pretty great (even the single focus on Daryl) but now it all feels like it’s going nowhere.

Spencer’s attitude towards Rick and every scene he was in really chewed my nerves. What was the point? I’m not sure where the writers are going with Spencer’s arc, but it’s hard to imagine any scenario that won’t be equally as frustrating. Is Spencer really gonna rise against Rick in a substantial way? Probably not. I don’t care about his character, maybe I’m alone there, I don’t know. He has shown nothing but over-privileged stupidity and has brought no value to the plot or crew. Can’t we just feed him to the zombies? Tara too, while we are at it.

There was too little Michonne. Watching her walk through a deserted country road while whistling was awesome and felt more like the real Michonne and not some watered down version. Her zombie barricade was cool! Side note: The whole let’s kill Negan thing would be cooler if a group worked together.

Carl shooting two Saviors was really cool, but everything after that felt forced and disillusioning. Is anyone else wondering why Negan has so many people willing to put up his cruelty? Yes, we have seen his numbers, and he kills people with a bat named after his deceased wife, but I’m not buying it. I want to. Negan’s prolonged smirk-wrapped words don’t bother me as much as some, but the storyline surrounding him doesn’t sit well. He tire-ironed some dude’s face for sleeping with one of his wives but doesn’t kill Carl? Throughout the episode, Carl tagged along while Negan went about his business which was weird. The scenes where Daryl and Carl made eye contact were definitely some of the better moments. After several uncomfortable interactions between Carl and Negan, they go back to Alexandria. I found it strange that Negan was enjoying the houses so much since he had already been to Alexandria. Was he too focused on the guns? The episode left us with the impression that Negan wants to take Judith. I guess? Either way Carl messed up. What started out as something cool with a lot of potential fizzled into something hard to follow. It would have been more believable all around if Negan killed Carl right away. Why doesn’t he want to? I don’t understand Negan’s motivation for keeping alive. Which I guess is what he was questioning himself at the end while he held the baby in his arms…
Surprisingly enough Dwight (who I can’t stand) and his x-wife were some of the most intriguing parts of this episode. It seems like one of them (probably the wife) slid the note under Daryl’s door, telling him to go. The conversation the between the couple on the stairwell was some of the best writing in the entire ninety minutes.
I don’t like feeling that the story is slowing down. It’s almost halfway through the season so it should be doing the opposite. Between “Swear” and “Sing me A Song” there were at least six times where I thought something cool was going to happen but then it didn’t.
Now that I’m sour about where the season has gone so far I find myself less impressed with the first few episodes. Pay off is important and there seems to be missed opportunities every four minutes. It doesn’t really feel like the viewers are being considered here. Believe me. I get the writer has to write. But the story arcs here are sloppy and disjointed. There is no impression that they are following the characters honestly since it’s impossible to get intimate with any of them.
So, yeah I guess I have mostly negative things to say about “Sing Me A Song.” I am curious where the mid-season finale is gonna leave us, and yes, I’m still a fan, just a frusterated one at the moment. Hopefully it’s fleeting.

2 thoughts on “My Thoughts on “Sing Me A Song” (Walking Dead Spoilers)

  1. Not sure if you’re familiar with the comics, but this episode was taken almost verbatim from there. Negan doesn’t kill Carl because he knows he can control Carl, and he’s bored. He has all these serfs giving him anything he wants, he’s a bully, but he’s amused at those who challenge him. If Negan sees someone who’s a genuine threat and can’t be manipulated (like Abraham), he won’t hesitate killing them. But he knows he can’t go too far. If he kills Carl, he knows Rick will no longer be controllable. If he kills Daryl he’ll have no leverage over Alexandria any more. If he takes too many things, he knows a community he’s stealing from will perish or revolt. So there’s an intelligent balance here he’s building. If you know what this is all building towards, you’ll see just what an amazing setup is going on right now. There’s a lot more going on than is being revealed on the surface, and I give AMC, Gimple, Kirkman, etc credit for respecting the audience’s patience to see something better than almost any other show get put out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am familiar with the comics. This isn’t the first time an episode so close to the comic didn’t sit well with me. All that about Negan’s motivations and reasons makes sense. He’s complex for sure, but I’m not totally feeling that complexity come through. I love the show but sometimes what they do and don’t take from the comics makes it fall awkward. I hope this is an amazing setup. I was totally bought in until “Swear” I hope this blows the end to the farm to pieces instead of being as flabbergasting as the Slabtown debacle. Something isn’t sitting right for me at the moment with it all, but maybe I’m just impatient.

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