The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 4 – Some Guy

“I ain’t no king! I ain’t nothing! I’m just some guy!”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

After several weeks of uninspiring episodes full of sound and fury signifying tedium, The Walking Dead made an unexpected (at least partial) recovery this week, with the most satisfying ep of the season so far. The show’s usually at its best when striking a good balance between character work and action; recent episodes have failed at this because they’ve told us nothing new about the characters, and not presented us with any action the likes of which we haven’t seen a hundred times. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 4 – Some Guy”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 2 – The Damned

“This isn’t about revenge, it’s about getting it done.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

After a fairly lacklustre start to the season, I must say that The Walking Dead seemed to up its game this week, with a much more straightforward – and very action-packed – ep that cut down on the jaw-jaw and delivered on the war-war. No tricksy non-linear narrative this time, just a furious onslaught of gunfire, impalements and well-aimed crossbow bolts right from the outset, in a show that felt like nothing so much as an ep of WWII drama Band of Brothers. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 2 – The Damned”

The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 8 – Hearts Still Beating

“Either your heart’s beating or it isn’t. Your loved ones’ hearts are beating or they aren’t.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

And so, a generally low-key half-season has come to an equally low-key climax. OK, it’s fair to say that you wouldn’t usually describe a mid-season finale in which one of the main characters is gutted by a smiling psychopath while playing pool in the street “low-key”, but this is The Walking Dead. Anything less than a massive battle, a huge explosion or a vast horde of hungry corpses seems a bit anticlimactic. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 8 – Hearts Still Beating”

The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 2 – The Well

“They needed someone to follow, so I acted the part. And I made it.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

After last week’s gruelling exercise in emotional endurance, this week’s The Walking Dead was a change of pace, as is the show’s frequent wont. Not immediately following up on the devastating consequences of last week’s events by switching to another plotline is one of the show’s common tactics – it helps keep you in suspense about one group of characters by building up new suspense with others. Though quite frankly, after last time a change of scene was something of a relief. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 2 – The Well”

The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 15 – East

“I’m not right. There is no right. There’s just the wrong that doesn’t pull you down.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

Just one more ep to go of this season, and for the second week in a row the denizens of The Walking Dead are acting pretty stupidly, with yet more inadvisable expeditions beyond Alexandria’s comforting walls on the eve of war. As some consolation, at least their motives this week made more sense than last week’s. Daryl was motivated by guilt and hotheaded rage, Carol by her conscience, and the rest because they cared about the idiots who’d already gone out there. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 15 – East”

The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 14 – Twice As Far

“You wanna live, you take chances. That’s how it is.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

After the tumultuous events of the last couple of weeks, this week’s Walking Dead was one of those “take a breather” eps so common before the Stonking Big Finale. Not filler exactly, as there was plenty of character development and groundwork laid for plots to come; nevertheless, it was an uneven episode. There was plenty of good stuff here, but it all hinged on an unlikely display of stupidity by our veteran survivors as they chose the worst possible time to go on two inadvisable foraging trips with two comparative rookies. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 14 – Twice As Far”

The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 12 – Not Tomorrow Yet

“We know exactly what this is. We don’t shy from it. We live. We have to kill them all.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

There’s an old military maxim, coined in the 19th century, that no plan survives contact with the enemy. Switching gear from Western to war movie again, this week’s ep of The Walking Dead was a textbook demonstration of that, as we followed Rick and his meticulous planning to lead the gang to Savior HQ, with the ultimate objective of killing them all in their sleep. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 12 – Not Tomorrow Yet”