Zeb Larson reviews The Walking Dead #137…
A future uncertain.
The last ten issues of The Walking Dead have been, by the series’ standards, comparatively tranquil. Sure, people have died and zombies have been a threat, but nothing on par with the war against Negan. That’s all starting to unravel as the weak points in Rick’s constructed peace are falling apart, primarily in the Hilltop. With all of the communities so connected, and Carl living in the Hilltop, one can see how things may quickly spiral out of control. I will be discussing the events of this issue, so there will be spoilers ahead.
Carl and Lydia continue their conversation before being interrupted by Maggie and Jesus, who are concerned this may get in the way of the interrogation. Carl is sent out, where the parents of the wounded boys see him and begin to freak out. They find Maggie and dress her down, which Gregory uses as an opportunity to fake a mediation with Maggie. Maggie and Jesus decide to let Carl lead Lydia around the colony as a sort of supervised guest, which Lydia uses as an opportunity to seduce Carl (and it’s kind of grotesque, which I’ll leave to your imagination). True to form, Gregory drugs Maggie when she comes over, and like the idiot that he is, he launches into a villainous monologue over her unconscious form-with Jesus, standing in the open door.
I try not to get too involved emotionally in a comic’s story, but I’m going to make an exception for this arc. Watching Jesus take down Gregory is going to be sweet, in part because Gregory is just such a self-satisfied dipshit who clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing. Sure, Jesus might get killed so that Kirkman can twist the knife that much more, but one way or another, this is going to be very, very messy.
What makes it even messier will be Lydia’s presence. I’m still on the fence as to whether she’s actively trying to play Carl to bring the Hilltop down or if she’s just destabilizing all on her own, but either way, she’s making a bad situation worse. She doesn’t seem to know about Sophia, but one can safely assume that her seduction of Carl is going to throw a wrench into that. Furthermore, if this keeps getting worse, how is Rick going to react to Carl’s relationship with Lydia (assuming of course that she’s not a double agent).
While I like the slow boil that’s starting to roil in this narrative arc, I’m hoping we can see some strong leadership from Maggie if she wakes up. There have been hints of her leadership style and dynamism all along, but as yet, we haven’t had a chance to see it. This is a good chance to show another aspect of her character, whether or not she gets to stick around for very much longer. When Kirkman moved us into this new story arc back in #127, I remember wondering when all of the cracks would emerge in the fragile peace that Rick had managed to create. Sure enough, they’ve emerged, and it’s only going to get worse from here on out.