The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 15 – Worth

“If they won’t end it, you have to. You have to give them a way out.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

It’s the penultimate ep of this season of The Walking Dead, and for the first time in about two years there’s the beginning of some resolution to the plot. That’s not to say this ep has redeemed what went before, or even has the sense of building momentum you’d expect the week before the season finale. But at least there’s some movement. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 15 – Worth”

The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 16 – Conquer

“Rick just wants his family to live. He wants all of you to live. Who he is, is who you’re going to be. If you’re lucky.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

So, I wasn’t quite accurate last week when I referred to this season finale of The Walking Dead as “double length”. AMC’s bold assertion of a “90 minute season finale” actually referred to the timeslot in which it was broadcast, with its attendant commercials. In actual fact, this ep ran for nearly 65 minutes, about half again as long as the usual 42ish. The show’s done this before, but not since the season two opener; here, though, it wasn’t to provide big budget Walker spectacle but to give some quite complex character drama room to breathe, which it did very well. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 16 – Conquer”

The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 8–Coda

“You keep telling yourself you have to do what it takes just until this is all over. But it isn’t over. This is it.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

So this week we bid farewell to The Walking Dead for a little while – till February, anyway. As has been traditional since season 2, the show has taken a mid-season break, giving rise to that new style of cliffhanger, the “mid-season finale”. Compared to previous years – and indeed to this season’s slam-bang opener – this was a surprisingly low key affair, both in action and in stakes. In season 2, the mid-season finale brought an unusual bit of excitement to Hershel’s farm when the barn zombies broke free and we discovered the tragic fate of Sophia; season 3 brought the reunion of the Dixon brothers after Rick’s ‘terrorist attack’ on Woodbury; and season 4 had the spectacular destruction of the prison along with the deaths of several established characters.

Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 8–Coda”

The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 3–Four Walls and a Roof

“Nightmares end. They shouldn’t end who you are.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

Seemingly already sure on its feet three eps into the new season, this week’s Walking Dead was a solid story that advanced the plot nicely while providing some thrills, scares and action. After the pyrotechnic spectacle of the season opener and the more thoughtful tone of last week, this was effectively a low key but tense real-time siege thriller along the lines of Assault on Precinct 13 or Rio Bravo, contained within bookend scenes that continued to explore the theme of where the characters are going, and how far they’ve become removed from the people they used to be.

Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 3–Four Walls and a Roof”

The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 2–Strangers

“People are just as dangerous as the dead, don’t you think?”
“No. People are worse.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

After last week’s slam bang season opener, this week’s Walking Dead was, as I expected, a slower-paced affair, allowing the characters room to breathe. After last week’s slate-wiping exercise, it also had to set up a new bunch of ongoing plots, along with a new major character – that’s a lot for an ep2 to do. Not that it was bereft of shocks and horror; having learned from the dreariness of season 2, the show never forgets to chuck in some gruesome Walker action at least once an episode. Sometimes it’s gratuitous, but sometimes, as it was here, it’s actually relevant to the plot.

Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 5, Episode 2–Strangers”