Seven episodes into The Walking Dead’s seventh season -- just one week out from the mid-season finale -- the chessboard is finally arranged for imminent checkmate.Tonight’s 90-minute special was all about movement: major players of every allegiance swapped encampments, made sudden escapes, hitched rides with strangers, and snuck themselves where they shouldn’t be. It was less chess than a round of postapocalyptic musical chairs. In fact, “Sing Me a Song” whisked so many people from point A to point B that a victory for our heroes looks, for the first time, to be within grasp.
In "Sing Me a Song," Carl is far from Alexandria, having fled with his pal Enid, the first to catch up with Maggie in the Hilltop and then, more dramatically still, to seek revenge. The kid's grand Negan assassination plot doesn't go exactly as planned, true, but in his defense, he manages to gun down a pair of unlucky Saviors before submitting to the big bad’s grinning capture. The snafu draws Carl into Negan's embrace; a routine intimidation leads to a full tour of the Sanctuary, replete with a visit to the wives’ room, a parlay in Negan’s personal quarters (nice digs, too), and a stop off at “the iron,” where any Savior foolish enough to cut corners earns a ghastly permanent scar. Like Daryl before him, Nean spares Carl from a face-to-face with Lucille. Is this mere recruitment? Does Negan fancy himself a father figure to the boy he calls a real badass-to-be?