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.
Things are going from bad to worse for the fine people of Alexandria. What started as a simple planning session to extract several thousand zombies from a quarry and lure them away from town has turned into an absolute quagmire. This week, we’re checking back in with our bedraggled away team as they try desperately to get back to town before the horde.
Almost immediately, Rick breaks off from the others to grab an RV to redraw the horde back away from Alexandria. Before he goes, he makes sure to tell Michonne and Glenn to not worry about leaving everyone else behind in order to save their own necks. It’s a bizarre and stupid exchange, thrown in just to add some additional tension within the group.
Let’s start with Rick, shall we? It seems that surviving the zombie apocalypse has been pretty good for him, all in all. He was able to run the entire distance between the rest of the group and the parked RV, stopping only briefly to talk on the radio and engage a couple of zombies. Unfortunately for him, he also manages to cut his hand in the process.There is really no way that he didn’t get any zombie fluids in the wound, which makes me wonder whether that’s something to worry about. The Walking Dead has always played pretty fast and loose with zombie blood and gore, so I kind of doubt it. Still, it was a curious thing.
Rick also gets accosted by some living enemies, presumably more of the wolves. He takes out two in a brutal fight, and shoots the rest through the body of the RV. After that, he’s stuck. The RV won’t start, and the horde of zombies is showing up.
Luckily for Rick, it seems that Daryl is en route, after leaving Sasha and Abraham to drive the zombie convoy themselves.
This was my biggest problem with the episode, however. After Daryl drove away, I had absolutely no sense of where he was in relation to everyone else. There were some lovely shots of him riding, including a really cool overhead angle, but it didn’t help. Without knowing where Daryl was, it felt like he was just out for a joy ride; it was a huge misstep for the episode, and really compounded some of the issues I was having with getting a sense of place out of the various actors in the story. Having a solid spacial understanding of the action is essential to getting invested in the story, and it was completely absent here.
But enough about that, let’s just back to the others.
After losing a few red shirts along the way and suffering a friendly fire incident (I’m not even going to address the girl who hurt her ankle), Michonne, Glenn, and company barricade themselves inside an abandoned pet store. Glenn and Nicholas leave the others so they can go burn down a feed store, the theory being that it will draw the attention of the horde and keep Alexandria safe.
Once they leave, Michonne stupidly promises one man that he’ll make it back safe, and gets into an argument with Heath, who of course heard Rick’s stupid comments earlier. Luckily, they can’t fight long since the zombies show up. They burst from the store and run away… into a fenced in alley. They get boxed in, and narrowly escape. Well, almost, another red shirt is lost, and Michonne has broken he promise.
Did anyone not see that coming? Anyone?
The remaining survivors cross a stream and make it back. Leaving only Glenn and Nicholas to talk about. And, oh man, Glenn and Nicholas.
With Nicholas as his guide, Glenn sets off to do some arson. Unfortuntely, the zombies show up a lot faster than they expected, and the feed store was already burned down. Ooops. Nicholas leads on in a panic, and managed to find yet another fenced in alley. They climb onto a dumpster with an army of the dead pressing in, and Nicholas freaks out. Glenn tries to bring him around, but Nicholas is done for. He shoots himself in the head, and manages to knock Glenn to the ground as he falls. Nice one, Nicholas.
And this is the point that everyone is freaking out about. Glenn is trapped on the ground, surrounded by thousands of zombies. They tear at him. There’s blood. Intestines. It looks bad.
But here’s the deal. Glenn could be just fine.
When they fell, it looked like Nicholas fell on top of Glenn. It stands to reason that the zombie buffet are pulling him apart, all the while covering Glenn in a viscous coating of gore. Hey, doesn’t that seem familiar? Didn’t Glenn manage to walk right through hordes of zombies before with his gore camouflage? He certainly did.
That said, I really hope that’s not what happened here. I like Glenn, both the character and actor portraying him are solid, and I don’t want to see him killed off. The problem is, keeping him safe in this situation feels like a cop out. I don’t like it. I’d rather lose the character than have a lame fake out death like that. I guess we’ll wait and see.
All in all, The Walking Dead had a lot of fantastic moments. The action was great, and I really loved a lot of the cinematography, especially the overhead shots that gave you a perspective on the size of the horde. On the other hand, the show bumbled a few things. There were some dumb moments, and I had a lot of issues with the spacial interaction of the characters.
That said, I love the way they’re embracing this huge mess, and stretching it into a multiple-episode ordeal with a ton of different perspectives. It could do with some tightening up, but I’m still entertained.
Another stray thought: why didn’t Michonne and Heath put that put bastard out of his misery?
I want to say to buy time to get away, but, they stuck around too long for that.
Right? It was painful to watch. Kill the poor bastard already!
Count me as part of “I’m in denial-team Glynn is alive”
Glad I’m not alone.
Hey, Dave! I’ve been absent for a long time and decided to drop my two cents here.
There has been a lot of mystery surrounding Glenn’s death, and there is a LOT of evidence proving that he isn’t dead. Such as the fact that, visually, it looks like the zombies are tearing intestines from Glenn’s chest (which would be inaccurate), the fact that the show’s staff have always used ambiguous phrasing and have never said, bluntly, “Glenn is dead” and the fact that Steven Yeun never appeared for an interview regarding his character’s death, a tradition in the Walking Dead community.
But I think that Glenn truly is dead, and it would be stupid if he was alive, because it would be cheap. The theory that Glenn escaped by being covered in Nicholas’ blood doesn’t make sense. The reason Glenn managed to camouflage himself back in Atlanta was because he was covered in walker blood, meaning that he was reeking of death. With Nicholas’ blood, he is covered in human blood, meaning that the walkers will just eat him anyways. And he had dozens of walkers on top of him from all directions. Even if he could, say, crawl under the dumpster, he wouldn’t make it.
Hey Callofgaming! I’m with you on “Glenn is dead” Team! LOL
Glenn? Not dead? I must have miss something here! My two cents are he already turned as we speak lol… Until i read this review I couldn’t even imagine him not dead… Wow… You’re mean people to give me hope like this LOL!
As I can easily Understand some of Dave’s complains about the episode, man I’ve to say I’ve been stunted by the actions scenes of this 3rd episode. This horde is huge! I mean have we ever felt as much surrounded by walkers in TWD before. It seems like the writters are unleashing on this 6th season (so much that somehow I have the feeling it will be the last actually).
Seeing Rick in grave danger is also great… Man what a scene when he unloaded this AK47 through the RV… The rage in his eyes… He realise how the plan went way south… Fighting with the hopeless energy…
My thoughts on Glenn
Nice review Dave. This sixth season has started off awesome!
Was a bit of a theme running through this episode – Mercy in this zombie world can have bad consequences.
The wolves group that attacked Rick was the group that Morgan let go from Alexandria, so Morgan’s mercy put Rick in the line of fire. We saw the Michonne group showing mercy to the injured people even though they were all saying leave us, and most of them are gone. Glenn’s mercy on Nicholas put himself in the line of fire and it got them both killed.
Watching that Glenn scene was one of the most memorable I have seen in this program, it was done so well. I was thinking, poor (pregnant maybe?) Maggie has now lost everyone, Glenn finally taken down, but not in a heroic last stand sense, just stuck in a bad place and taken down by someone else’s ineptitude, how will the others know whether he is alive or dead when everything settles down later? Maybe that watch Hershel gave him that he pulled out with the flare gun will be seen with the corpse later down the track.
Glenn’s death hit me because it was “realistic”. What I mean is, chances are in the zombie world mistakes will cost you no matter how awesome you are, and there is a good chance it will be at a random point of time with no one around to witness it, and then the remaining survivors will not know either way what has happened. The fact that he was a season one character and the way they killed him off “ungloriously” in the middle of an episode as opposed to a cliff hanger really got me thinking and I love that. RIP Glenn, you were a cool character.
In regards to the chatter that he might still be alive. I can see where people are coming from, but as much as I like Glenn I hope he is actually dead, otherwise it completely destroys the impact of that scene. Yes there is a chance he could have survived and the evidence in front of us is ambiguous (No appearance on Talking Dead, Is it Nick or Glenn being torn open? etc etc), I’d like to think that this is just AMC and the show runners being really clever, they saw what Jon Snow effect can do, so maybe this is their version.
Here is my take: Glenn is dead, but they haven’t shown it explicitly on the screen and that is why he hasn’t shown up on Talking Dead until we see the body which won’t happen for a few more episodes because we will jumping around back to Alexandria and Morgan story etc etc, during this time there will be a lot of chatter about whether Glenn is dead which will just raise the ratings more, which AMC will love right?
Sorry this post turned into a bit of a wall of text, but it is worth talking about 🙂 Looking forward to the rest of the season for sure.