Tag: the walking dead (Page 4 of 6)

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon and Ross Marquand as Aaron - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

‘The Walking Dead’ Season Finale Crescendo

It seems like The Walking Dead has been playing the old Mohammed Ali “rope-a-dope,” where Ali get pummeled for rounds, laying on the ropes, until he flipped a switch and came out punching.  Over the last few weeks, The Walking Dead has come off the ropes, and tonight it went for the knock-out blow.

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

Early in this episode, titled “Conquer,” we find the survivors conferring about how to handle the meeting that night to decide Rick’s fate, and we’re led to believe that this might be an episode of tense conversation and maybe lively debate.  Instead, this was an action-packed roller coaster ride of epic proportion.

For my money, the best scene had Aaron and Darryl trapped in a car surrounded by zombies facing death and putting their cards on the table.  They bond in a way that soldiers in a foxhole might and decide to go out fighting.  I think most viewers were truly thinking they were at the end of the line when Morgan shows up with his staff and helps them fight their way to the other side of the chain link fence.

Meanwhile, multiple fights are brewing between our survivors and a few pains in the ass: Nicholas, Gabriel, and Pete.  Surprisingly, they don’t all end in bloodshed, and we gather that some of our friends are trying to pick their battles very carefully and start a new way of life.

At the same time, Deanna and the Alexandrians listen to Michonne, Maggie, and Abraham testify about Rick’s strengths as a leader and a protector.  Abraham gets the best line of the year, waxing poetic about the “ocean of shit” that the Alexandrians “don’t know shit about.”

In the shocking final scene, the Alexandrians get a first-hand lesson in what happens when you’re careless and how it is good to have Rick around when there’s an unpleasant task at hand.

TWD has had a very strong run of episodes that have rested on a solid foundation of excellent storytelling, great small moments between characters, and thrilling scenes of danger and escape.  These episodes were well thought out and built properly to a crescendo that made sense rather than some of the confusing bizarre “cliffhangers” of seasons past.

Furthermore, we finally get introduced to the “wolves” and they seem like the kind of villains that will fill next season with plenty of suspense and action.  I hope that the writers don’t ditch the characterization, small moments, and good conversations that made this run particularly strong.  And I hope that we don’t backslide into a simplistic it’s-us-or-them kind of plot with Rick hoarsely repeating that it’s all about survival now.  I hope that they continue to build a new community against all odds and give us a glimpse of an end to the nightmare.

Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, Katelyn Nacon as Enid, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Alexandra Breckenridge as Jessie, Corey Brill as Pete and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: Bare-Knuckled Brawl

Sparks flew last night on The Walking Dead as a handful of storylines came to fruition.  This was another in a series of strong episodes, making me wonder if it’s something in the water in Alexandria.

[Spoilers ahead.]

The episode began with Deanna and her family grieving the loss of son Aidan by listening to the mix CD he took on supply runs, and the bizarre music at his wake was just like Aidan in life: after a while you had had enough.  We then get the idea that Deanna is not going to just let bygones be bygones.  She has serious doubts about the newcomers and their roles in the new civilization.  One note: they sure didn’t put too much effort into the headstones for their fallen comrades.

We also get a very nice scene with young master Carl and the aloof girl Enid.  They end up hiding from the walkers in a hollow tree, and Carl is too nervous to make a move…on Enid.  It could have taken an unfortunate turn into pop teen music land, but was deftly handled.  This is the sort of subtle scene and strong acting, especially for such young actors, that could make this show a standout.

And fate finally catches up with Pete whose wife Jennie consents to some Rick Grimes brand of justice.  We didn’t have to wait too long for this one to play out either.  No sooner does she agree to having Rick force Pete to move out when Pete comes in and gets into an altercation with Rick.  Surprisingly, the good doctor fights like a badger.  I thought this guy would crumple and get pummeled into the ground.  Instead, this turns into a bare-knuckle brawl for the ages until Michonne sweeps in to knock Rick out before he strangles Pete to death.

My only gripe is that when Deanna and Rick confer in front of her son’s grave, they didn’t really have a full discussion of their ideas of justice and enforcing law and order.  She talks about banishing Pete, and I would have imagined that Rick would have at least gone along with that.  I would have liked to have known more about Deanna’s position because it seemed like she drew the short straw in the writers’ room and her thoughts were incomplete at best.

For the first time in my history with The Walking Dead, I am genuinely excited about the finale!  And I hope that Morgan shows up at the hospital in Atlanta in the closing moments of the season, just to keep the streak going!

Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Recap and Review of “Spend” on ‘The Walking Dead’

The survivors settle in to their new lives in Alexandria in the latest episode, “Spend.”  After spending some time in the last episode trying to calm their nerves and comprehend a place with few threats, they begin to explore their new “jobs.”

[Spoilers ahead!]

Much of this plot revolves around a doomed supply run to repair the electric grid, which we hear has failed because of the increased usage from new residents.  Meanwhile, Abraham joins a construction crew recovering more cold-rolled steel (or perhaps just corrugated sheets) from the nearby mall construction site.  Something is mumbled about the last time they expanded the wall.

In both cases, we learn that long-time Alexandrians panic in the face of Walkers, are ready to abandon their friends and neighbors at the first sign of trouble, and horrify the survivors in the process.  This leads to an awesome scene of Abraham killing Walkers by the dozen.  I wondered where that guy had gone.  When we first met Abraham, he declared that he was the luckiest guy in the world and gleefully killed a bunch of Walkers.  It was good to see some of that bravado and zest return.

On the supply run, Aidan follows Glen’s lead, but in the heat of battle, shoots a grenade that a walker-soldier had on his chest, causing an explosion that…throws him backwards onto a metal standard on a metal shelf that has broken forward and impales him?  Not sure what the exact progression of events was, but Aidan is dying and his buddy wants to abandon him at his earliest convenience.  To put an exclamation point on the difference between newcomers and old-timers, even Eugene turns heroic carrying Tara out of the warehouse and shooting Walkers at the same time.

This episode specialized in people being torn apart by Walkers with super close-ups of cascading blood and parts being removed.  I picture a production meeting where somebody points out that the Walkers have become like vampires taking dainty bites from the neck.  Dainty bites no more!

Back at the ranch, Rick and Carol solve the Mystery of the Broken Owl that Rick had Previously Broken.  Turns out the kid did it.  He breaks things when he gets mad.  Something tells me that could lead to a forehead-slapping moment.

Some of the gang’s deeper scars may come to the surface as they deal with the crimes of the long-time Alexandrians: the betrayal of Noah at the warehouse and the possible domestic abuse at the doctor’s house.  In the last few episodes, they have been a bit heavy-handed with their treatment of old-timers versus newcomers, suggesting that Alexandrians are completely out of touch with the grim realities of the post-apocalyptic world they inhabit.  This could go one of two ways.

I would love a plotline that makes Rick’s attraction to Jessie get all confused with his duty to serve and protect.  Is he acting on good evidence or is he trying to get the husband out of the way?  Similarly, we could get into a twelve angry men drama over whether the panicky supply-run guy was directly responsible for Noah’s death, pitting newcomers and old-timers.  That is something that they could draw out and explore.  Or they might dispatch with those problems hastily and have characters discussing what kind of world they live in now and that survival is really important.

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