After a pretty tense mid-season finale, The Walking Dead returns with another calm episode both after, and presumably before, the storm.
The show seems to have a habit of presenting us with calm episodes after quite action-packed ones, but from a story-building point of view, this one certainly added.
Revolving primarily around Rick and most of the core group journeying over to The Kingdom, we now see a meeting of the leaders as Rick finally comes face to face with King Ezekiel.
While I understand the story has to fit right in terms of episode length, and the show does want to differ from the comics, I feel as if the whole thing should have been about the group staying there, instead of minor subplots such as Negan's right hand man Simon showing up at Alexandria, or a small exchange between Carol and Kingdom member Benjamin occasionally popping in
I appreciate the attempts at trying to get us to relate to secondary characters who we don't see often, such as mentioned Benjamin or Aaron's boyfriend Eric, who has been seriously underused.
I would say I have two favourite moments from this week's instalment. In terms of action, what can only be described as the craziest zombie killing ever done on Walking Dead, was the best. It's better to watch than have it explained but I will just say there was a road full of zombies and a massive chain stretched between two cars.
Regarding storytelling, Rick finally meeting Ezekiel was the best, seeing how these two excellent characters interacted and everyone's shocked reactions to Shiva the tiger was great.
We were also given a rare occurrence, with a story within the story we are already watching on TV. As usual, it is Rick who monologues it, but it's always interesting to hear, especially how this on relates to the groups situation with the Saviors, with nobody moving the rock from the road, but eventually a girl moves it to reveal riches beneath. Rid the world of the Saviors and all will be well seems to be Rick's message.
We are left on our usual cliffhanger, with a smiling Rick, a strange happening considering the horrors Negan has brought. And due to Rick being surrounded by a new unknown group, guns pointed at him could he perhaps be grinning as he's found himself more soldiers?
On the whole, Rock In The Road may have felt like a filler to some, and even to me certain scenes felt unnecessary, however overall it put together a nice piece of storytelling, and leads us nicely into the introduction of another group.