*Spoiler warning: When God gives you spoilers, you should take to social media and demand that you should have received lemons instead!* Hello again friends, it is I, Zoidberg! Err, I mean Kevin! So I realize now that this review is a few days late, but…
*Spoiler warning: in this day and age people act like there’s a show spoiler around every tree corner, and here we have quite a few ahead of us.*
Hello again folks, Kevin here reviewing the midway season finale of The Walking Dead. But before I do, let me say Happy belated Thanks Giving to all of my US readers (which is most of the five readers out there), I had a good Thanks Giving aside from a minor argument I had with my siblings about Television spoilers. It’s become evident to me that even potential spoilers such as show theories have become forbidden to be talked of in person or on Facebook. I agree we shouldn’t ruin the mystery for people, but there’s a witch hunt now for amateur TV critics such as myself for talking about spoilers. The whole thing’s getting to be “political correctness” debate levels of rediculous, and it annoys me to no end. Enough with my ranting though, onto the show.
This episode mostly brought us the payoff we’ve been waiting for in that the heard has finally infiltrated the safe-zone of Alexandria. What it didn’t do was give us the scene all of us comic readers wanted to see: how (in the comics) the heard gets cleared out. Being that the show’s writers don’t want to copy and paste from the comics, I can see their point of view; it’s just rediculous that we had a 90 minute flashback for Morgan and only an hour of this episode. If we use the comics as a reference point, then half the scenes in this episode were just filler material. For once, I agree with comic only fans that stuff and things were too drawn out in this episode. However, there were still awesome moments in this episode.
What I liked: First off, Carl is clearly an underrated MVP in this episode. The microphone dropped when Carl told Ron, “I get it, my dad killed your dad. But you need to realize, your dad was an asshole.” Carl kept his head cool through everything while Ron basically screwed over everyone hiding in Jessie’s house. While the fight scene between Carl and Ron was unnecessary, the following scene with the previously mentioned quote made the Carl vs Ron fight worth it. I’m sad that Deanna had to die after being bitten, but I’m happy she went out fighting and screaming in defiance rather than killing herself. It was also cool to see the various tensions between Carol, Morgan, The Wolf Leader, and Denise. Of course, the brawl between Morgan and Carol was damn intense, and we see how little it accomplished in how the Wolf leader successfully escaped with Denise. The idea of the camouflage zombie guts was taken directly from the comics, and it’s a nice touch adding it to the show. Lastly, I loved seeing the ants swell over Carol’s cookies in Sam’s room to the tune of “Tip Toe to the Window” by Tiny Tim, the symbolism of that comparison of the being the walker heard was well placed. Now then, I’m worried about Sam…
What I didn’t Enjoy: I sincerely hope that Sam doesn’t get killed off since he’s clearly on some kind of borderline psychotic state, and that could spell trouble for the group next season. I hated that the Wolf leader got away with Denise, and how the show has painted Morgan as an inept pacifist for that oversight of keeping the wolf leader alive (I can still respect what Morgan was trying to do though). Lastly, why do we have to have so many damn cliff hangers? Jesus, Dragon Ball Z didn’t have this many cliff hangers in one episode. Oh well, at least we get to look forward to how Negan will be portrayed, and this will give me enough time to catch up on the current issues of The Walking Dead comic (I stopped after finishing the second compendium).
Tonight, I leave us with the ever atmospheric sounds of Tiny Tim. This song just added such a great undertone of terror to this episode for Rick’s group.
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: If you haven’t watched the episode yet then please do so, or else we may all be dragons. I mean, you’ll be pissed at me for posting spoilers of this show.*
Hello again world of WordPress, Kevin here bringing you the opinions on my favorite television shows once again. First I would like to apologize for waiting two days to send out this review, life is hectic for a musician who also works a full time job. Also, many may have noticed I haven’t reviewed a lot of music this past year. The reason why is simply that I’ve grown tired of living in an age accelerated one hit wonders, and I want to switch mediums because I feel the most popular television shows right now offer way more creativity than the popular songs out today (your move, billboard 100). That being said, I still will do my annual yearly music awards blog this coming January. I will also continue to review local bands who reach out to me on Twitter (“@KevinJCard” is my Twitter handle). Now then, onto the show.
Walking Dead started off strong this season, but I get the impression they are really drawing out and milking this whole massive heard arc. I’m really pissed that a major character died in this week’s episode as well. Walking Dead is starting to rival Game of Thrones season five levels of frustration and sadness with who they’re killing off. Also, I’m starting to see what the comic book fans are referring too with their criticism on the show. In the comics, the walker heard just showed up and stormed Alexandria after hearing gun fire from a small group of thugs who were trying to invade Alexandria. This heard has been taking their sweet time to get back to Alexandria and were manipulated by The Wolves to wipe out Alexandria in a fashion that even survivalist and gun nut Burt Gummer from Tremors would call overkill.
What I liked: It was interesting to see how Rick’s group managed to stay ahead of the heard for most of the episode, I enjoyed seeing the minor characters bond with each other, and I enjoyed the scenes where Michonne and the other groups members were hiding out in the old pet store since it offered great dialogue in an otherwise action and tragedy themed episode. I did enjoy that the writers used the death of the minor character (the guy who wanted to say goodbye to his wife) as foreshadowing Glenn’s fate. I won’t say this episode was awful as tragic episodes are supposed to leave a bad taste in your mouth, but I don’t have many other positive things to say about this episode.
What I didn’t like:
I’ll answer that with a question, WHY DID THEY HAVE TO KILL OFF GLENN SO SOON?! Dammit, I don’t remember him dying at that point in the comics, and I feel like he deserved better than that. It seems like it’s up in the air still, so I’ll save any ranting about my favorite couple ending on The Walking Dead ending for next week if it’s confirmed that he died. With that in mind, I really don’t see how he could have escaped being cornered by that heard of walkers. It’s also tragic that Nick had to take his own life rather than try to work with Glenn to climb that pair of stairs in the background. Also, I’m not happy that Rick’s fate is left up in the air with him being trapped in that camper, and that Daryl accomplished nothing by taking that detour. We ultimately need to see where things go next week, I just figure the mid-season finale will be where the Walkers finally arrive at Alexandria.
Today’s song is Symphony in E minor, I mean, Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. This’s definitely the kind of episode that left a lot of fans in despair, and this particular song is an anthem for our shared pain this past week.
*WARNING! WARNING! Spoilers of plot points along with stuff, and other general thangs imminent! Ye all have been warned, now excuse me while I stop talking like a pirate. Arr!*
Hello again folks of WordPress, I’m back in time to post my review of this season’s epic season premier. But first I just want to say I had intended to post reviews of Fear The Walking Dead, but I’ve been too caught up with life to keep on top of the episodes coming out. As soon as I see the last two episodes of FTWD On Demand I’ll post a season recap review. Now onto the review!
This episode was paced a little oddly cycling between the current struggle with diverting the walker heard away from Alexandria, and the flashbacks with how things progressed up to that very moment. It was an interesting cinematic idea, but the pacing in the 90 minutes threw me off a little bit due to constant switching at random and climactic moments. It’s very interesting to see how Rick is slowly descending back into Rick-tatorship mode again like at the end of season two (except worse) with how he’s treating the folks of Alexandria and how he killed Carter. Lastly, I enjoyed that it was left a (simple) mystery who amassed the walker herd into that ravine. Now let’s get into the strengths and weaknesses of this episode.
What I enjoyed:
It’s interesting to see how power is slowly corrupting Rick into becoming a tyrant hell bent on doing the right thing, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the comics, but I can see that they’re going to go deeper into the Rick-tatorship in the show than they did in the comics with how he’s acting he owns Alexandria and how killed Carter to keep the plan intact. It was amazing seeing how many extras they had in the crowd of walkers, and funny to note they had some people wearing masks instead of makeup due to the sheer amount of extras in the crowd. It was epic seeing Abraham be the complete badass that he is single-handed take out that splinter group of walkers from the heard. I enjoyed seeing the tensions boil between Rick’s group and the members of Alexandria, and how Rick’s plan was built to divert the walker heard north. Lastly, it was both funny and annoyingly tragic when Glenn’s group opened the door only to find another metal door behind it.
What I didn’t enjoy:
Two words: cliff hangers! It’s such an annoying way to end an episode! Still, I’ll bet the ones ringing that truck horn are the Wolves that Morgan met last season, the same ones who set up the traps to capture that walker heard in the ravine. I’m also not happy about how they kept switching between flashbacks and present time scenes in such an odd way. It could be worse though, at least they didn’t use the flashbacks in the same way as they do in Naruto Shippuden: drawing out the episode longer to avoid adding canon source material. I don’t have many other complaints aside from the pacing since the acting, camera work, and writing were amazing. It’s not as action packed as the season five opener, but it still packs a great punch for people who’ve been waiting to see The Walking Dead since this past March.
Today’s music video is another Breaking Benjamin song, “Angels Fall” off of their album “Darkness Before Dawn”. It reminds me of the struggle many of the characters have too deal with in the zombie apocalypse. Their angels have fallen, but they refuse to give up or give in.
*Spoiler warnings: I post them not to piss people off, and spoiler warnings are still more socially accepted by Republicans than Trigger Warnings*
For those who haven’t figured out yet, I’m a moderate Democrat who used to a be a self proclaimed mega liberal. Now that conservatives in congress are looking to make laws about which bathroom a trans person can only use, I’m about ready to loose faith in humanity and politics all together (and a zombie apocalypse suddenly becomes vastly more appealing to me than it was before). Anyways, I loved this weeks episode of The Walking Dead a lot since it was a roller coaster ride of “Holy shit” and “that’s so epic” moments that it’s ridiculous. I’m not going to bother with summaries anymore, as you can watch the episode or read about the plot on Wikipedia now a days anyways (hey, that rhymes!)
To keep this review nice and short I’m going to state what I enjoyed, what I didn’t like, and what I hope to see next time.
What I enjoyed: One name, one red haired dude who kicks ass in time for St. Patricks Day: Abraham! I loved seeing this dude kick zombie ass medieval style with that weighted hammer and mace like weapon and him coining the phrase “mother-dick”, that was just fucking brilliant. I also enjoyed how they tied in Carol interacting with Sam from last week to where we found another comic based plot point: that Jesse and Sam are being beaten by Pete. Lastly, I equally enjoyed seeing that armored walker blow up from the grenade explosion and seeing Eugene finally grow some back bone and step up to save Tara.
What I didn’t enjoy: It’s to be expected that there’s going to be a lot of gore in a zombie apocalypse, but seeing Noah die the way he did (and how quickly he got killed off) was too much for me. Not that I couldn’t stomach the gore, but that it seemed pretty forced to me in how it was executed (just like how the fight between The Mountain and Prince Oberyn went down in Game of Thrones last season). Also, I know I wanted Aiden to get his come-up-ins, but I didn’t think he deserved to get impaled from a grenade explosion, and then disemboweled by walkers old school Romero style. Lastly, I did feel that drunk scene between Pete and Rick was incredibly awkward and out of place with the rest of the episode. They could have used those two minutes more productively.
What I hope to see next time:
Lots of ass kicking and resolution of the tensions that are high in Alexandria would be nice, but I’m pretty sure next week will cover that. Looking forward to seeing Rick confront Pete, and if father Gabriel will continue to influence Deanna in convincing her that Rick’s group is evil (“Satan has many servants”). As for everything else, I’d say that the season finale should be just as explosive as the season opening. We shall see where things go from here.
Speaking of the works of Satan, here is on of my favorite Avenged Sevenfold songs to close out this review:
*Emergency, emergency, spoilers are imminent. I repeat, spoilers are imminent Prepare to man your keyboards and be warned of butt-hurt comic fans*
I enjoyed this weeks episode simply for how many subplots they weaved together so quickly into just one hour. Before I go into my review, I want to touch up something that annoys me about the Fandom community: “source material loyalty” rants. For the record, I’ve read the first two compendiums of The Walking Dead comics and deeply enjoyed them. It’s fair to say that I like the show and the comics equally (but for different reasons). I get why many comic book fans say there’s too much filler in the show, but just because something is based off something else doesn’t mean it has to be 100% accurate to the source material. TWD show may deviate from the comics, but it’s probably the most loyal live action adaption of a zombie story in the history of zombie media; especially compared to the horrible Resident Evil film franchise and that god awful movie World War Z (which was basically a poor Max Brooks fan fiction).
As I step off my writer’s soapbox, I shall now step back onto my critiquing soapbox. As mentioned previously, this week’s episode had a lot going on in it. To summarize, the episode plays out showing how Rick’s group is adapting to life in Alexandria, and how most of the group is starting to enjoy life there. The exception that we’re seeing to this rule is Sasha who’s sharp shooting skills are sharp, but her grasp on reality is still dull. We see that Sasha is still haunted by all the recent deaths of her friends and loved ones, as she pointlessly shoots old photographs and gets royally pissed off at the people at the cocktail party later in the episode. Meanwhile Rick, Carol, and Daryl are letting Alexandria grow on them (but not without suspicion). Daryl has come out of shell and with help from Aaron to become another recruiter for Alexandria. Lastly, Carol scared the ever living Be-Jesus out of a child by making a speech that reminds me heavily of something Freddy Kreuger would say. Carol made this speech to hide the fact that she was stealing guns from the weapon storage building.
The only thing I didn’t really enjoy was seeing Buttons the horse become zombie food, and maybe how Sasha is becoming so emotional at this point (not that I blame her). Otherwise this episode was chocked full of awesome things such as getting to know Aaron’s back story, seeing the kiss between Aaron and his husband for how it pushed a boundary among the more politically conservative television audiences, and the kiss with Rick and Jessie for it’s shock value in how Rick has been cold and distant towards female characters for the last two seasons. Carol’s speech was also something that will go down in the history of this show as something that evokes fear into your soul (especially since the zombies have lost their shock factor by this point). Lastly, I enjoyed seeing Daryl warm up to the idea of helping Alexandria out by Aaron’s continued kindness towards him.
By the looks of things, some major stuff has yet to play out between all of these intersecting plot lines and the fact that we only have three episodes left in the season. Namely what’s going with Rick’s grasp on power, Sasha’s emotional state, and why the hell that Walker had a “W” on it’s forehead. Judging by the preview of next week’s episode, it would seem that another heard of walkers is making their way towards Alexandria, which we shall see how well the walls could withstand such an onslaught.
Speaking of forgetting and love story plots, here’s a badass song by Apolocayptica and Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, “SOS (Anything but Love)” that reminds of the emotional struggles of characters on TWD:
*Disclaimer* I studied Journalism in college, and the main thing they taught me was to never miss a deadline. However, I write best when I’m inspired to do so, not when I’m constrained by deadlines (personal or otherwise).
With that out-of-the-way, I’d label this episode as an interesting balance between “funny”, “boring”, and “reflective” (which totally doesn’t sound like my blog, ahem). There were funny moments, intense moments, and a lot of talking between Daryl and Carol about past events.
What I enjoyed: the scene with the van falling off of the bridge was really awesome, I also love how improbable it was that Daryl and Carol weren’t injured at all by the fall. I laughed my ass off when it started to rain walkers who fell off the bridge after the van. I felt the flashbacks were used to good effect, and that it’s awesome that Daryl and Noah are going to enlist Rick’s help in destroying the corrupt folks at the hospital.
What i didn’t enjoy: the vast amounts of dialogue that seemed to happen for no real reason that really just became filler. I also didn’t like what happened with Noah’s character at first with how he stole the weapons from Daryl and Carol. Lastly, I could have done with more of what was going with Eugene and Abraham.
At any rate this was an enjoyable episode, I just could have done without all of the talking (which is a fairly common complaint about the series in past seasons). Once again the next episode is coming up in less than an hour and I will enjoy watching it.