The Walking Dead: Season 9, Episode 2 – The Bridge

“I get what you’re trying to do here, and it’s the right thing. But maybe for some of them – they’re just not ready for it.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Showrunner Angela Kang took a backseat after last week’s underwhelming season opener for veteran (and lengthily named) scripter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick this week. And the result was an episode that, while ostensibly more low key, felt a lot more satisfying. Yes, there were still multiple narratives, but these ones were more satisfyingly intertwined than last time. The pacing was better too; rather than starting with the action then tailing off to the talking, this one built up the other way round. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 9, Episode 2 – The Bridge”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 13 – Do Not Send Us Astray

“Winning just means we get tomorrow. Maybe one more night. Maybe one more morning. After that – no guarantees.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Negan may have taken a leave of absence from the All Out War in this week’s Walking Dead, but his plan went on regardless in another rather average episode. It’s taken a few weeks, but finally the Savior attack squad has reached the Hilltop (aka The Last Settlement Standing), and Negan’s bio war plan was still on. Only now it’s in the even less compassionate hands of Simon, who rallied his troops with, “our goal is not merely infection, it’s CONCLUSION!” Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 13 – Do Not Send Us Astray”

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”