The Walking Dead Review: “The Other Side”

Editor’s note: this review of AMC’s The Walking Dead will contain some spoilers. I will try to keep them to a minimum, but they’re be there nonetheless. You’ve been warned.

And so another week passes in The Walking Dead in which very, very little happens. At this point, I’m wondering if the seasons are simply too long. This year we have a sixteen episode season. There’s a lot of movement in the premier, the mid-season finale, the mid-season premier, and the season finale. Generally speaking the episode(s) on either side of those big episodes have enough substance. I’ll be generous and call that ten episodes in which we get decent plot movement and character development.

The Walking Dead Review - The Other Side

The problem is, there are six more episodes of wheel spinning in between. “The Other Side” is one of those wheel spinning episodes. In fact, so little happens I wonder why they couldn’t have simply appended the plot points of this episode into the previous episode or two. Game of Thrones gets a lot done in ten episodes, and even then manages to have a filler episode or two in the mix. The Walking Dead simply cannot sustain sixteen. I’d like to seem them trim down the season and give us a shorter, but denser season run.

But then that gives AMC less time to sell advertising space to help fund what is likely a pretty damn expensive show, which is why it won’t happen until the show loses enough viewership to make the longer season less appealing to advertisers and AMC. At that point, they’ll be winding things down anyway.

But enough of the meta analysis, what about the episode? Well, it wasn’t good.

The Walking Dead Review - The Other Side

We had a few different plot pieces. The Saviors show up to take the Hilltop’s doctor, which means all the people who aren’t supposed to be there need to run or hide. Sasha and Rosita take that opportunity to head out to Negan’s camp, do some bonding, realize the Eugene is now too comfortable to leave, and finally separate. Gregory is once again tempted to betray Maggie and company to maintain his relationship with the Saviors. And, well, honestly that’s about it. There’s maybe ten minutes of real content in this hour of television.

The real movement comes at the end where there are several big moments. Sasha goes along into the Savior’s compound to try to assassinate Negan, Rosita is left behind and sees the shadow of a man who is either Daryl or Dwight, Eugene has gone to the dark side or of either complacency or fear, and Gregory is setup to ally with the Saviors to betray Maggie and company.

The Walking Dead Review - The Other Side

And that’s it. Again, these minor plot points should have been handled in earlier episodes where there was plenty of fat to trim. By the end of the episode I felt like all we did is move a few pieces into place, and learn a bit more about Rosita. The Rosita stuff was interesting, but didn’t cover enough ground to make up for an extremely lackluster outing of The Walking Dead. If I’m being generous, I would say that the small scenes showing people training and weapons being forged helped deepen the world of the show, but, again, it just doesn’t carry much weight.

Grade:
2 zombie heads out of 5

14 Comments

Mattexian

My wife would agree with you about the “soap opera” speed of the last few episodes, dragging on. Certainly there’s been a severe lack of wacking walkers, in the last few episodes, save for that scene after Sasha and Rosita escape the Hilltop.

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pi3rk

This week’s episode mark is fair.

One of the worst episode ever of TWD. Useless at best. I would have enjoy a 45 min road trip of Rosita and Sasha heading to The Saviors’ compound better.

At least it ended on a higher note. Eugene’s move is obviously best for everybody… If they had rescued him, Negan would have burn Alexandria in the minute. So… Better this way.

I thought about Dwight being the guy at the end. Make sense. Or not… By lying and get the doc killed he proved where his loyalty belongs. And I don’t want him to be a good guy actually. We need a Darryl vs Dwight epic fight.

As I thought, we’ll have to deal with the Saviors next season too… At this point I don’t want the thread to end in 2 episodes (considering Rick needs more guns, Kingdome isn’t that much involved yet,… So still a lot to happen).

As a conclusion, waste of time for this episode, good news is, that was the last time this season!!

\o/

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Dave

Well said. I actually would have liked a Rosita/Sasha roadtrip better too. Treat it as a bottle episode and let us really learn something about these characters. I think they’re both interesting, but underdeveloped.

In regards to Dwight, I definitely agree about not wanting him to be a good guy. They’ve actually got a really interesting character in him, and the more morally compromised he allows himself to be, the more he works for me. It’s also a great foil to Daryl. That’s good stuff.

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pi3rk

Well… Maybe it’s Dwight and he is here to mess with Rosita… Hum… COuld be interesting after all…

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Dave

Right? I like Dwight’s character, and having him run into Rosita and have to figure out what to do in that situation is super interesting. Does he use her to win points with Negan? Trying to get her to take out Negan to get some revenge? There are some cool options here.

That said it’s probably Daryl, but I really, really hope it isn’t.

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pi3rk

I thought I caught Daryl’s haircut… For some reason the show failed to create real surprises in most cliffhangers situations.

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Pepper Valentino

I think it’s Dwight.
Because Daryl usually holds onto his crossbow strap.
But the shadow man had both his hands down.
It’s not much, but it’s all I’ve got.

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EVAN

Whenever a slow episode happens in any TV show do you need to look at the big picture and ask how the disadvantage story with this set up and what is the pay off. For this episode I honestly can’t see how it justifies the slow episode it’s just A puff of smoke when There should’ve been a huge giant fire …to lay out a terrible analogy.

And I think I’m at the point where I have had quite enough of Sasha I feel like every episode she just kind a has her this was wide-eyed angry pissed off look on her face and I guess she supposed to be this grumpy that ass worrier but I just don’t get it from her she just seems to be a bit like Lori from the first few seasons. You know what? That is who she is she’s Laurie and I think I’m ready for to die. In fact, I hereby call for Sasha’s death.

Sorry for the mangled grammar I’m trying voice to text

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Dave

Damn good point on having to justify the slowness of the episode against the overall plot movement. This one just doesn’t work, especially as there have been so many other slow episode that actually accomplished something.

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