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.
Being an architect in training is a lot tougher in post-apocalyptic Alexandria than it is these days. I mean, sure, internships can be pretty rough, but that’s a pretty far cry from, say, getting your face torn apart by zombies as you’re pressed up against the glass of a revolving door. I guess that’s just the way it goes in the zombie apocalypse.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit here, aren’t we? Let’s back up a bit.
Rick and company are actually fitting in pretty well in their new world. They’re getting into positions of authority, saving lives, investigating random acts of owl vandalism, and making cookies. All things considered, they’re doing alright.
Of course, in The Walking Dead, nothing comes easily.
From the outside, Alexandria looks like a paradise. It has strong walls, power, running water, and a lot of good people inside. The trouble is that those good people have never been put into the situations that galvanized our heroes. Sure, things haven’t exactly been easy for them by out standards, but they’ve enjoyed a level of stability and convenience that everyone else assumed had disappeared when the zombies showed up.
For people like that, trusting these rough, potentially morally compromised survivors is going to be challenging. While they certainly have a lot of skills that could help the community, who knows what their real plans are. After all, it really wouldn’t take much for Rick to depose Deanna and take over Alexandria. And we already know he’s thinking about it.
I really like this as the central conflict for this story arc. It’s a nice change of pace from things like the Governor because it forces us to look at zombie survival in a different way. I like the way The Walking Dead is playing with power dynamics and trust, especially considering how many tough choices the characters have had to make to get here.
I also really enjoyed the way Noah was trying to find his place in the world, while at the same time ensuring everyone’s safety. He wanted to build things. He wanted to reinforce the walls and make Alexandria bigger and strong, because that’s what needed to be done. I thought there was a lot of potential here to give an interesting but unestablished character some new things to do. Unfortunately it just didn’t work out.
And it all fell apart thanks to the idiotic supply team, whose lack of experience made them panic. First, Aiden accidentally detonates a grenade, unleashing a horde of zombies and injuring both himself and Tara. Then Nicholas pushes his way out of a revolving door, feeding Noah to the zombies.
I thought this whole section of the show was really well done. I loved how they forced Eugene along, and how Tara’s injury helped him to become strong and do the right thing. The weasels from the supply team were just as bad as the last time we saw them, although Aiden at least seemed like he was trying to behave. And the scene with the revolving door was absolutely amazing.
Still, it’s a shame about Noah. The character had promise, and I really like the actor who played him. There have been a lot of big deaths this season, which makes me think the writers are trying to whittle down the cast a bit.
Another huge positive of the episode was Gabriel’s scene with Deanna. I can’t say I cared much for the cold open – we’ve tread on the crisis of faith thing a lot with this character already – but when he went to Deanna and tried to convince her the group was bad news, well that just worked. He seemed unhinged, which I would think Deanna would find hard to trust. But at the same time he spoke with a ton of conviction, leaving the town’s leader quite shaken by the entire exchange.
Maggie got to hear the entire thing too, as she hovered on the stairs. I’m curious to see how this plays out.
My big complaint about the episode is Pete. Making him a violent abuser just seems lazy to me. It’s like the writers wanted to give Rick a love interest with some sort of conflict, but they didn’t want the audience confused about their loyalties at all. I liked the situation a lot more when it looked like Rick was going after a happily married woman. Now that he’s “rescuing” a battered spouse from a drunken abuser, I’m just not as interested.
Not everyone has to be either good or bad, writers. Real people are much more nuanced.
And also, there’s this:
In the comics, Pete is a violent abuser.
Interesting. Is his wife a love interest for Rick as well?
Yes sir she is.
Ah, good to know. I guess I should direct my complaints to Mr. Kirkman then.
Also as you said earlier it looked like Rick was turning into something of a villain, and this just ruins that. Shame I was kinda interested in a darker Rick.
Exactly! Why does Rick need to be the white knight here? Can’t he just be a guy lusting after a married woman? Isn’t that much more compelling?
It would defiantly make his character more interesting. Though you would probaly have pete die of nautrel causes them, AKA zombies.
Oh god, forgive that spelling. I didn’t mean to press enter.
I really hope they don’t cope out on Pete’s death. Letting him get himself killed because he’s cocky, or something like that would just be lame.
Re: spelling – No worries; it happens to the best of us.
I think Rick is going to confront him, lose his temper, and then kill or hurt him severely. This will add to the Dianna’s fear of The Group’s new positions of power.
I could get behind that.
Where’s the jail? and I’ve got a baseball bat looking for a new knick, Glen. I am glad this season has a ton of deaths. The cast was getting a bit to large to keep in touch with everyone from episode to episode. Did anyone else notice some characters were not in every episode? And someone pitch the priest over the wall already. and Where’s Morgan?
I’ve been saying “Where’s Morgan” every damn episode.
The cast was getting pretty big, so I definitely understand why they’re pairing things down.
Again an amazing episode… Abraham turning into a great man leader, Gabriel turning into trouble, Carol turning into a double agent… Everything works for me.
And this is where I’ll have to disagree with you Dave. Writers here have the perfect setup for Rick to become some villain. I’m quite sure they won’t use it but this (Rick preparing to face a drunk abusing husband) really reminds me of Shane beating to near death Carol’s husband.
Rick and Pete could be the little spark the situation is needing for the group to take over Alexandria. My two cents Rick will kill Pete, Deanna will have to respond, she can’t let one of her community be killed by a newly brought survivor.
BTW cast was getting really crowded… Too bad Noah haven’t been used that much. But I really like Aaron and Gabriel and Eugene are getting interesting at last. I guess Tara will leave us soon too.
Tara probably will leave us soon, which is also a shame since I don’t think they’re really done enough with her character. She had some strong moments with Glenn a while back, but since then she’s had very little to do.
To be honest, I think Tara will survive. I mean, how many major characters can they kill in a single Season?! They’ve killed so much major characters, that if they kill Tara, it’ll seem that AMC is just aiming to mindlessly kill characters off.
Would you consider Tara a major character though? I see her as very secondary, much like Noah. I think they both had the potential to develop into major characters, but I don’t see that happening.
I believe that the main cast is equal on where the characters stand between major and minor. And yes, I do consider Tara a major character. Anywho, character death comes equal like I
I believe that the main cast is equal on where the characters stand between major and minor. And yes, I do consider Tara a major character. Anywho, character death comes equal like I said, if they kill Tara, it’ll seem that they just want to get rid of the cast.
Right on. I do agree that they’re trying to whittle the cast down. They’ve got too many characters to do much with any of them.
Considering the cast, don’t forget they just introduce a whole new community of people… Many characters they’ll have to develop just to give them some life/background…
Zombies don’t don’t seem to care whether somebody is a major or minor cast-member… Nobody is safe.
Not everybody gets time to develop in a Zombie-apocalypse I guess…
I thought this was a great episode… at the moment they are doing a bunch of things which are familiar to the comic book readers, but they are altering enough to change the story up a bit and keep it very intriguing as to what exactly is coming.
One thing that hasn’t really been mentioned above is the death of Deannas son, and what story the other guy is going to tell when he comes to… its going to add to the tension really nicely along with the other story arcs which will come together with a bump… I feel like the finale is going to be pretty intense. Oh, and I hear the finale this season is going to be a double episode 🙂
And… I agree. Morgan, Morgan, where are you?
My Theory X is Glenn comes back with Tara and The Doctor (Pete) buys himself some time, not much though. Remember The Zombie with the W on his head near the community? Those I believe are the same Ws as found at Noah’s community. Is Alexandria looking for more townfolk or warriors?