Walking Dead 6.5 Review: “Now”

*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.

-KCard

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