The Walking Dead - S07E03 The Cell (2016)

Sex :   Violence : 

Director Greg Nicotero
Writers Angela Kang
Starring Norman Reedus, Austin Amelio, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Genre Zombie
Tagline We're Just Getting Started
The Walking Dead Season 7


"That's the thing man, you don't but you gonna" - Dwight

In the aftermath of Rick's group running afoul of Negan and his Saviours Daryl finds himself in a cell at a place called the Sanctuary. Guess this is Negan central, his place of power, and there's some weird stuff going down. Seems there are prisoners, Daryl etc., folk working their way up the ranks that do the grunt work, and then people like Dwight who have full privileges but refer to themselves as "Negan". Anyways our Boy is suffering some mental torture as Negan seeks to break the Georgian redneck down and remake him as a Saviour. Daryl is fighting back, even with people warning him to simply go with the flow, how long can he last?

Dwight heads on out to recapture a runaway, seems the Saviours have a few of those, and pretty much has to battle a horde of Walkers; even though they are mouldering away they still present a threat. Dwight finally catches up with his man and a little heart to heart later he can't bring the dude back to face Negan's somewhat distorted mercy, so Dwight shots him down and returns with a walker version. The Sanctuary has this enclosure filled with walkers, former citizens who pissed Negan off in some fashion or other.

Mortecai back in black folks, and this time I'm concerned about my man Daryl. The plucky Redneck is in some seriously problems with Negan, though the baseball bat obsessed one seems to like our boy, so fingers crossed right. Surely they are not going to kill off three main characters in the one season, and I would predict the internet would boil over into rampaging in the streets if Daryl finally met his demise. Well okay I would run up and down my driveway screaming and yelling, but that's very close to rampaging in the streets Brit style! Daryl is under some serious brain washing techniques at the moment, just what the hell is that god awful song that plays consistently, but is holding on even as Negan pushes some buttons.

Another episode that asks a simple question, do you know how Zombie cinema works?

Interestingly while Negan is trying to bend Daryl to his will, Guantanamo Bay style, Dwight seems to be second thinking his role in the Saviour franchise. He definitely goes defiant in shooting the run away, and gives Daryl some good advice, along with canned dog food sandwiches. Seriously does he think Daryl is a retiree or something! I've got a feeling Daryl's exit strategy will be around Dwight breaking the Negan shackles. Great acting from Austin Amelio (Dwight) by the way, he really nails the requirements in this episode, are we meant to be developing some sympathy for him after he killed Denise last season?

There's some snazzy things happening with this episode that go a long way to demonstrating just how good a show The Walking Dead is, all involving some comparisons between Dwayne and the beleaguered Daryl. We get Dwayne putting together what looks like a pretty good sandwich, later he prepares Daryl the Fido special, comparisons kids. Daryl is fighting to keep his identity, Dwayne is beginning to question the loss of his to Negan, some subtle role reversal going down. Catch the episode to see just how well this is done. By trying to break Daryl, Negan is managing to make Dwayne question his own place amongst the ruins. This is simply superb television, full of drama, character development, and an ounce of Negan psychotic overload.

While The Walking Dead isn't in any real trouble, it still hangs high over AMC's next best rating show, in a bit of irony Fear The Walking Dead, viewer numbers have been dropping over the past couple of weeks. The first episode of the season managed an exceptionally strong 17.03 million viewers, episode 2 12.46 million viewers, and finally this episode had 11.72 million viewers. While a lot of people tuned in to see who Negan would dispatch, the actual reality of that first episode is still being felt in the WD community. Personally I know of at least three people who have ceased watching the show due to the demise of Glenn, something this site predicted would happen, but equally the graphic nature of things has had a detrimental effect on viewer numbers. A couple of IMDB commentators are stating they are finished due to the particularly gruesome demise of Glenn and Abraham. Add in the haters who run down the show episode after episode, Brad Miska of would be a prime example, if you don't like it dude fine but stop being so bloody boring about it! And you have a volatile cocktail happening. But, and this is a big but, the core audience are still with the show, myself included. The fly by nighters attracted to the show due to the buzz, got more than they bargained for, and people like Miska jumping on hate filled bandwagons are welcomed to go back to stale mainstream television, just stop bitching about a show you apparently don't watch. Expecting a bit more fallout folks, before season 7 rebounds, the show will stabilise.

The problem for The Walking Dead is audiences are so trained to want action on top of action that they simply don't get what episodes like The Cell are doing, it's called character development, something sadly missing in most television content and to be honest most horror movies. If anything The Cell is a study in human emotions and development, you know the stuff that is taught in advanced writing classes, naturally this doesn't sit well with the great unwashed who prefer catchy lines of dialogue and explosions. For The Walking Dead faithful this episode underlines the strong start to season 7, the group is fractured, the stress is showing in individuals, they are working toward a new dynamic, excellent television.

Okay I'm about done with the episode, till the summation, over to Sal for some comments.

Thanks dude, does this count as a review in my ledger? Been busy guys, will have some movie reviews flowing shortly. The problem for The Walking Dead is something we call Downunder "the tall poppy syndrome", the show has been so successful that naturally the haters have come out of the woodwork to try and tear it down. How many times do you read on an online forum some Muppet kicking off a comment with "I haven't watched the show since season 3' but then proceeds to describe the show as boring or some equally facile criticism. Sorry if you haven't watched the show since way back when how do you know it's boring? As Mort states above, hater bandwagon time, idiots don't watch the show but have to have an opinion. The person mentioned above is one of the reasons I quit reading BG, besides click bait, publishing rumours, and generally ensuring horror journalism remains the ginger headed step child, this individual again and again proves they are what we call a "Bogan", simply put if they don't like something then they will do their best to run it down no matter how uninformed they are. And to be honest given the movies that site has its name associated with I wouldn't be running down other people's work that readily, pot kettle etc.

In terms of The Cell, it worked for me on most levels, dramatic, tension filled, and foremost character defining, simply excellent stuff. I guess another problem for the show is that it will leave a character in some situation while diving into other characters, this is called plot arcs and building anticipation, the problem being the majority of viewers have low attention spans and expect things to be cut and dried over 50 odd minutes, with no doubt adverts for burgers and shite breaking any sort of tension. To the Producers of the show, keep it up guys, the faithful are digging the show, don't listen to the haters out there. The Walking Dead remains a franchise for the intelligent viewer who wants some style and substance to their viewing pleasure, not simply some Mary Jane mush.

Thanks Sal, so to sum up, outstanding episode that is building toward a major upheaval in the Negantopia. Daryl is suffering, but we all know he's a plucky little Southerner, who will bounce back down the line. The Cell is The Walking Dead doing what it does best, building on characters and their development in the ruins. Mortecai out, damn but I'm going to hit another episode this week, show stays strong in the face of the rabble who should really be sticking to Teen Wolf or something equally plastic, stop boring us people with idiotic opinions that don't apparently involve actually watching the show. Book a room in The Cell and get arrested by this excellent drama series.

ScaryMinds Rates this episode as ...

An episode to fuel our concerns about Daryl, is Negan pushing it too hard?