A great episode of #thewalkingdead, reaches a lot of break throughs.
*A spoiler for you, a spoiler for me, a spoiler for us all! Be warned of spoilers there, lads and lasses (and non binary folx!)*
Before I say anything about today’s episode I just want to say I stand with France, and that all of the tragedies that befell us this past Friday require more than just prayer, it requires awareness of the world around us and action to stand with our fellow human beings in love and unity. Now that I’ve got that “peace stuff” out of the way, I also want to say that I might write a review for “Into The Badlands” later this week as that show’s absolutely badass so far. Now then, onto the show.
This week’s episode had many intense moments, a lot of new plot point hints for the start of next season, some moments that made you despise the new characters introduced, and maybe a slight clue of information on the whereabouts of Glenn. If not then I’m beginning to think that the writers are really going to milk this Glenn mystery for all it’s worth. I think this was a very entertaining episode, and had it’s fair share of strong moments overall. Here’s what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy.
What I liked: What can I say other than the fact that Abraham is a beast? Seriously, that scene where he tries to wrestle with that impaled army soldier turned walker to catch it’s bazooka was just gold. I adored how suspenseful it was, and that at the end we see Abraham reclaim the rocket launcher from the fence after the walker falls. I like that they might be hinting at a possible affair between Abraham and Sasha, which would be a nod to the comics if they proceed down that route. I enjoyed how much time was spent with Daryl and how he interacted with that new group of people (especially when he brought those supplies back to the diabetic girl). Could that mysterious person that the new people were opposing be Negan from the comics? I seriously hope so, for those who don’t know Negan is like The Governor on steroids (in terms of how evil he is). Lastly, there’s a chance the voice we heard over the radio was Glenn asking for help, not Rick. We’ll see where this mystery goes.
What I Didn’t Like: I really wasn’t a fan of this new group of people just because of how annoying and selfish they were, plus they pretty much pre-destined to be hated by fans with how they screwed Daryl over, twice! First by tying him up, then by stealing his crossbow and motorcycle after Daryl saved their freaking lives. Weak selfish jerks… Other than that I think this was a pretty enjoyable episode with solid writing and acting.
For today’s music video we have an AMV tribute to Glenn featuring the song “Shattered” by Trading Yesterday. We hope you’re okay Glenn, most of us want you to still be with us.
*And on that day, it did become obvious that there were spoilers, spoilers everywhere. And the annoyance of fans spread through social media like wild fire.*
Content warning: swearing.
There are days I wish I could just write spoilers without consequence, but it seems to be a cardinal sin to post spoilers for Walking Dead or Game of Thrones on social media (sans Twitter). Yet no one really complains when I posted Anime and Manga spoilers. I guess it’s only the shows that are popular to watch like TWD or GOT. On that note, in this episode Jon Snow showed up as a walker and ate Glenn, and they both reanimated to fight The White Walkers as regular Walkers. Obviously, I’m just being a smartass because I think there are better things in the world to be offended at than show spoilers (IE, rape jokes, 9/11 jokes, prejudiced slurs). Enough ranting from this SJW though, onto the show.
I won’t down right call this episode terrible because important things did happen, and that we weren’t bogged down with a 90 minute flashback like last week, but I’m starting to notice a pattern here for this season: varied placing of poor pacing. Could it be helped that we had to have a dialogue episode with bits of action mixed into it? I guess not, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to leave us high and dry on Glenn’s fate for the rest of season 6.1 (the first half of the season). Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if they either made Glenn the guy who somehow drives off the Walker heard from Alexandria. Or even if Greg Nicotero turns Glenn into the next Merle and teases us until the end of season 6 with Glenn’s fate. At least the heard has arrived at Alexandria though, and we found out that Rick managed to outrun the heard and survived that ordeal in the camper. Now I have some great things to say about this episode, and some not so great things to say about this episode. Here goes nothing…
What I enjoyed: This was an incredibly emotional episode, it’s clear from how many people have died in Alexandria and how the people are now clearly surrounded by walkers outside the walls that the Alexandrians are feeling the weight of reality in the apocalypse surround them (IE, Betsy killed herself after finding out her husband died in an earlier episode from the heard). It was great to see Jessie step up for the people of Alexandria by killing the reanimated Betsy, and become a more three dimensional character than her comic book counterpart when we saw her interact with her son. I enjoyed seeing Maggie and Aaron struggle to try and find Glenn, albeit to end up failing because Maggie couldn’t face the possibility that Glenn is dead because Maggie is pregnant now; it was a very powerful scene.
A less powerful but still enjoyable scene was the kiss between Tara and Denise after Denise managed to save her patient’s life. It was nice that this lesbian kissing scene was done for emotional impact of Denise thanking Tara instead of general sexual objectification. Another powerful scene was when people were raiding the pantry to be stopped by Spencer (Deanna’s son), only to have it followed by a later scene where Spencer raids the pantry on his own and verbally takes out his grief on Deanna by blaming her for all of Alexandria’s current problems (including the death of their family members). It’s clear from this episode we see that Spencer is kind of an asshole.
Speaking of Deanna, I’m glad she’s getting character development in the sense of being broken from the death of her husband and son, and then waking up again. We see Deanna grab a broken bottle and starts stabbing a walker in the chest who was trying to attack her, until Rick later came in and saved her life. “Was it all just pie in the sky?” Deanna asked Rick about her aspirations for Alexandria after the walker was dead. Rick said it wasn’t a pipe dream, to which Deanna said Rick should be the new leader. Deanna later began mapping plans for the future of Alexandria, which was a nice sentiment to an otherwise disheartening episode. Lastly, I’m happy Rick and Jessie showed their love for one another. Now onto what I didn’t like.
What I didn’t enjoy: Ignoring the obvious fact that Glenn’s fate is still up in the air, I felt this episode was only of an average quality for The Walking Dead. I say this because last week’s episode was beautifully written and directed, this episode was more of a soap opera with zombies used as a plot device (which according to zombie genre god father George Romero is common for TWD). I get that they are showing us how humans struggle with death of their loved ones, but I would have liked there to be more action involved in this episode. I feel like there was too much talking, and not enough planning on how to get rid of the heard or the fate of the others like Abraham and Daryl. Speaking of Daryl’s group, looks next week’s focus will be on how Abraham and Sasha survive the coming heard chasing after them. There are times I see where the comic book fans are coming from, but other times I remember that television is a different medium than comics and that these shows need to reach syndication. It just annoys me that the pacing has been so inconsistent from each episode to the next in season six.
Here’s to hoping the pacing is faster next week, and that the next three episodes deliver on the hype they’ve been building all season. I really want to see what happens to Glenn, and if the show will mirror the comics in how they deal with this walker heard. On that note, today’s featured song is “End of Time” by Lacuna Coil because I think it embodies how the people of Alexandria feel about their current struggles.
*SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
UNKNOWN FORCE OF IMPENDING EASILY OFFENDED FANS DETECTED*
Has anyone else ever noticed that Republicans and Libertarians call trigger warnings and content warnings an “affront to free speech”, but stay completely silent or get seriously bent out of shape over someone posting show spoilers on social media? It’s just me who sees the irony? Okay then, just remember no one is above criticism or being hypocritical in some way or another as it’s human nature. But enough “Lefty Socialist” ranting from this social justice blogger, onto the show.
This episode that has something that I like to call “Naruto Shippuden Syndrome” in that last week’s episode ended on a colossal cliff hanger. The writers of The Walking Dead made us wait one to week find out Glenn’s fate, only to make us wait another week (or two) with a filler flashback episode. Anime fans are fairly used to this technique of drawing out cannon material, but mainstream American audiences prefer instant gratification and hate waiting for such a huge reveal (especially in the age of social media). I’m right up there with the American audience in that I hate that I have to wait another week, even though I’m a huge fan of anime such as Naruto. That’s not to say this episode was terrible, it was a brilliantly written episode; it’s just that the timing for it couldn’t have been worse. This entire pattern of drawing stuff out from cannon material this season’s really starting to grind my gears. I’m starting to think that season six of The Walking Dead is the new season two of TWD; and the first half of season two was terrible. Frustrated ranting of this episode aside, here’s what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy.
What I liked: It was great to finally know Morgan’s back story, that’s where this episode truly shined to help define where Morgan stopped being psychotic from his PTSD and started coming into his mantra of not killing people anymore. I enjoyed the acting chemistry between Lennie James (Morgan) and John Carrol Lynch (Eastman) in that both were fantastic at portraying their roles. I enjoyed seeing how Morgan came back to the light, and finding out Eastman’s back story of how his family died, and how he never felt whole with the revenge he received on making the convicted felon who killed his family starve to death. “I found my peace in never killing again”, said Eastman to Morgan after he was fatally bitten by a walker (one that Morgan killed earlier in the episode by strangling it while the walker was still a person). I also like how Morgan locked away the Wolf leader in the house as that will most certainly come back to bite Alexandria in the arse. Morgan’s struggle was the focal point of this episode, and I’m happy to see he overcame it. This was truly a well written and directed episode that made me like the show version of Morgan much better than the comic book version of Morgan. But punctuality matters when you build up a mystery, and the placement of this episode would have better after the midway season finale (which is something I would have liked much more).
What I didn’t like: How do I say “timing” without sounding like a broken record? Well, I’m sad the goat didn’t make it out alive. I’ve otherwise said my peace about the writers teasing us with Glenn’s fate, now I will just say that I find Morgan’s pacifism is problematic for the rest of Rick’s group (especially with the wolf leader still alive). As a pacifist myself I’m not saying that last sentence to insult Morgan, more like it’s a pro-war jab from the writers against my beliefs. But everyone has their own opinions, and in this type of a setting there’s a clear difference between war and self-defense. On that note, hopefully next week’s episode won’t leave us high and dry again with what’s happening. Otherwise, this walker heard story could take all season.
I tend to use this blog as a soapbox for a lot of my opinions, and if I offended you then I don’t apologize for what I’ve said, but I will apologize if I’ve said it like an A-hole. So for this blog post, I will be leaving Elle King’s “Song of Sorrow” to both offer my sentiments for upsetting some people, and help commend both Eastman and Morgan’s emotional struggles from their pasts.
Go give my college buddy a like and a follow, he’s a talented writer with very honest views on life. He’s also a skilled poet.