Another extended episode of The Walking Dead?
Granted the 90-minute episode without commercials boils down to about an hour of actual show, which is similar to the length of, say, an HBO episode, but the more these longer The Walking Dead episodes air, the less it seems necessary
If these episodes used that extra time to really pack in riveting moments and move the narrative along, then sure; but most of them seem like wasted opportunities that should have just stuck to the regular runtime.
And unfortunately, The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 7 didn't break from the pack to deliver some amazing chapter worthy of that extra time.
Looking back to the last time an extended episode involved Negan, The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 4, I enjoyed it and didn't really notice the length of the episode. At the same time, it probably could have stayed within the normal runtime and still delivered in the same way.
But we were getting to see Negan in the aftermath of his violent actions on The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 1 and dealing with Alexandria. It was getting to see him go up against Rick, and both actors delivered great performances.
It reiterated the power Negan has over Rick and the members of Alexandria, but it felt fresh in that there didn't need to be graphic violence to further get the point across that Negan's a scary dude who will follow through on his threats. There was some great tension throughout.
So to see more of Negan posturing and making speeches and burning a dude's face because he broke the rules didn't feel like anything new. And it didn't progress anything more with his character.
There was a brief moment where Negan seemed to break from his usual antics after Carl started to cry, almost sounding sincere in his apology, that felt like it was about to dig into the character more.
But it was soon back to Negan illustrating his power and cruelty.
I don't need Negan to be redeemable, and it's great to get a real evil villain. But it would be interesting to see something from his character we haven't seen yet.
I did like that we got to see a bit more from the Sanctuary, and that pull away shot to reveal the outside of the location was pretty cool. But the scenes within the Sanctuary felt like they dragged on oftentimes.
Carl jumping out with the gun to demand Negan was unfortunately laughable, and it wasn't a surprise that he wound up getting bested.
But there is something interesting in the way that Negan chose to take Carl under his wing rather than just blowing him away. But to what end? Is Negan looking for some type of padawan that he can mold in his evil image, someone he can use against Rick that makes things even more personal?
And there is a different psychological game to be played because Carl is so much younger. His approach to life is also vastly different to the other characters Negan has gone up against.
I can't say I'm thrilled watching the Carl story, but there was something to seeing Carl take it all in. And the scene where Negan bullied Carl into taking off his bandage and forced him to sing made me feel bad for Rick's son. Negan really does love to play games with people because he's in that power position.
But it's still sometimes hard to believe that people like Dwight would continue to follow him with the way that Negan keeps treating him. It seems pretty obvious that at some point, Dwight's going to switch sides.
Carl still managed to play rather defiant, but I do wonder if Carl's tour of the Sanctuary might change his outlook going forward.
Or maybe Negan might be taking both Rick's kids when Rick comes back?
Either way, it was a pretty abrupt ending with Negan and Carl hanging out on the porch.
But can you imagine if Negan was your neighbor? And with the nice accommodations at Alexandria, what's to stop Negan from moving in, or at the very least, getting a summer home there?
I was really intrigued by Rick and Aaron's journey, but nothing really happened there besides setting up their task at the mysterious location.
The same could sort of be said for Michonne. Sure, she got some whistling in, but the only thing that really happened for her was setting up her hostage taking. Though, I'm curious to see how that's going to turn out when she gets to see Negan.
Maybe she'll have some help from Jesus? It was pretty neat seeing him on top of that truck roof and then disappearing.
As for Rosita and Eugene, I guess it was good to see they can get some bullets, but Rosita got it by pushing Eugene around. For some reason I feel like she's going to get killed off by the end of The Walking Dead Season 7.
Spencer has his own boldness similar to Rosita, and I'm not surprised he's mad at Rick. Though, I'm glad he's not just sulking about.
I was worried that him dealing with the walker in the tree stand would be like when he decided to go over the wall on that wire on The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 7. Thank goodness it wasn't, and something useful came from it. He managed to pick up some items from his little excursion.
Honestly, "Sing Me a Song" felt like a long-winded way to set things up for the midseason finale. While it was great to go back to multiple storylines during the hour, I wish more actually came from it all.
And while I think Negan is a great villain for the series, I'm looking for more from him than what we've seen so far. It's time to start moving the story along, and that doesn't mean just extending the length of episodes.
Here's hoping we get an exciting and pulse-pounding midseason finale that pulls everything back on track.
What did you think of Negan taking Carl on the tour? What will Michonne do once she reaches Negan? Are you excited for the midseason finale? Sound off below, and be sure to watch The Walking Dead online at TV Fanatic.
NOTE: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 8 airs Dec. 11 at 9 p.m.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.