The Walking Dead (2010– )
8.1/10
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Rock in the Road 

Jesus leads Rick and the group to the Kingdom, to convince King Ezekiel in joining Alexandria and the Hilltop in the incoming fight against Negan.

Director:

Greg Nicotero

Writers:

Frank Darabont (developed by), Robert Kirkman (based on the series of graphic novels by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Lincoln ... Rick Grimes
Norman Reedus ... Daryl Dixon
Lauren Cohan ... Maggie Greene
Chandler Riggs ... Carl Grimes
Danai Gurira ... Michonne
Melissa McBride ... Carol Peletier
Lennie James ... Morgan Jones
Sonequa Martin-Green ... Sasha Williams
Alanna Masterson ... Tara Chambler
Josh McDermitt ... Dr. Eugene Porter (credit only)
Christian Serratos ... Rosita Espinosa
Jeffrey Dean Morgan ... Negan (voice)
Seth Gilliam ... Father Gabriel Stokes
Ross Marquand ... Aaron
Austin Amelio ... Dwight (credit only)
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Storyline

Father Gabriel brings all the supplies from the pantry to the trunk of his car and leaves Alexandria. Rick, Daryl and their friends meet Jesus and they have a meeting with Gregory in Hilltop to plot to fight the Saviors. Gregory refuses but Enid convinces many people to join their fight. Then Jesus leads the group to Kingdom expecting to convince King Ezekiel to join the Kingdom in their fight and he offers sanctuary to Daryl. On their way back to Alexandria, they find a booby trap on the road planted by the Saviors with many explosives. What will they do? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Release Date:

12 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story that King Azikeo tells the child in this episode is an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speach. See more »

Goofs

Deus ex machina: Rosita reveals to the others that she has training in explosives. There was never any indication that she had any special skills, and this is something that would have been invaluable for the rest of the group to know, long ago. Still, Rick and the others don't ask what other skills she may have, or what else in her past she may have been hiding from them all along. See more »

Quotes

Negan: [Over Radio] For anyone out there who loved the obese bastard as much as I did, I just want to say a few words. Fat Joey was not the most badass sonuvabitch, but he was loyal. He had a great sense of humor. In fact, we were just joking about oral sex with Lucille the other day! Things will not be the same now that he's dead. Without Fat Joey, Skinny Joey is just
[sighs]
Negan: Joey. So it's a goddamn tragedy. So, let's have a moment of silence.
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Connections

Featured in Talking Dead: Hearts Still Beating (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Walking Dead Main Title
(uncredited)
Written by Bear McCreary
Performed by Dominik Hauser
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User Reviews

 
'Rock In The Road' is a return to form for a show in struggle
18 February 2017 | by clouddragon-49435See all my reviews

'Rock In The Road' marks the return of The Walking Dead after it's winter break, and offers a great deal of hope regarding the future of the show. The first half of Season 7 was, for the most part, dull, meandering, and miserable. The entirety of those 8 episodes could have easily been fit into 5 - hell, there are whole episodes that didn't need to exist.

But with 'Rock In The Road', the show is hopefully changing course. Although the episode mostly consisted of Rick and his group going from community to community, trying and failing to convince everyone to join them in their fight against Negan, 'Rock In The Road' felt tighter, and seemed like the show was actually building towards something. It can be compared to the early-season episodes of Game of Thrones, where each scene is a purposeful move of a chess piece, the payoff of which will almost always be of epic proportions. Granted, the show can squander it all by returning to it's usual, meandering ways, but it is worth pointing out the feeling of momentum in 'Rock In The Road'.

The dark, dreary tone of Season 7A has been replaced with a more thrilling, fun sort of feel - it even ends with a shot of Rick grinning! About half-way through the episode, there's a fantastic action sequence where the group retrieves explosives from a walker trap set by the Saviors. It might be a dumb, pop-corny sort of set piece, but it was riveting to watch nonetheless - and it's always enjoyable to see the Walkers actually pose a danger to the group. But despite how enjoyable the scene was, it felt like it was just thrown in to give the episode an action sequence. While the dynamite will probably play a role in future episodes, the scene didn't contribute to the immediate plot and wasn't mentioned at all afterward.

The episode also felt very sporadic and all over the place at times, mostly due to the sheer amount of places the core group visited. They're at the Hilltop, now they're at the Kingdom, now they're on the outskirts of the Sanctuary, now they're at Alexandria. It's a lot to fit into 50 minutes, and the pacing was very rushed at certain points in the episode.

Other weakness of 'Rock In The Road' have less to do with the episode, and more of the show as a whole. Dialogue is one place where the Walking Dead can struggle. The show has had no shortage of awesome lines and fantastic exchanges, but there are many instances of the dialogue feeling forced, or just downright stilted and unnatural. For instance, the titular 'Rock In The Road' speech had the potential to be this rousing, inspiring oration, but mostly came off as a semi-desperate ramble said in the hopes of recruiting Ezekiel.

But all that rabble might have been for nothing, as the episode ends with the introduction of yet another community. While the scene ended with that nice shot of Rick grinning like an idiot, the rest of it was just infuriating. The show already has enough characters, many of which don't receive nearly enough screen time, so why introduce a completely different community? Yes, Rick's group needs a source of manpower and weapons in order to defeat Negan. But the writers should have made the Kingdom posses more manpower and weapons, rather than introduce a THIRD community (not including Alexandria or the Sanctuary).

Despite the gaping flaws of the episode, 'Rock In The Road' was something of a return to form for the Walking Dead after a middling first-half of the season. Here's hoping the show will continue this upward trend, and not fall back into the same-old, same-old.

STRAY COMMENTS - It's great to see most of the group back together again. - That steel-wire gag was ridiculous and awesome at the same time. - Assuming Gabriel was taking all those supplies to hide them from the Saviors, it's great to see his character grow and transform. - The show needs to stop with the jangly-guitar music whenever the Kingdom is shown. It doesn't work.

FINAL SCORE: 8.2/10


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