THE WALKING DEAD: TV REVIEW
Original Air Date: 3/8/2015
My major gripe with the Walking Dead is that for all the characters we know and love (Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Maggie), there are always secondary characters (Sasha, Rosita, Noah) that we unfortunately know little to nothing about.
We expect that with a show titled the Walking Dead, some of the characters are bound to be expendable. You can’t survive forever in a zombie apocalypse. But that doesn’t mean their deaths have to be in vain. The impact that a characters death can have on an audience depends ultimately on the strength of that character. If you’re not emotionally invested in the characters, it’s hard to sympathize with them and their imaginary plights.
SIDE NOTE: No characters died in this particular episode. I’m just ranting here.
Another gripe is that the creators, the writers, the producers, the showrunners, or whoever is calling the shots–they seem to be the shows worst enemy. They’ll air two solid, poignant episodes in a row and follow it up with an episode crammed with filler material. No key plot points, no advancing of the storylines; just repetitive drivel.
They also showed Emily Kinney and Chad Coleman’s names in the opening credits, spoiling the fact that Beth and Tyreese would appear in the episode at some point. Granted they appeared in very brief flashes that Sasha was experiencing, but they still could have saved their names for the closing credit sequence instead of ruining the surprise.
SIDE NOTE: It’s not the first time they’ve done this. Usually when a deceased character appears in a new episode, they make it a point to put that actors name in the opening credits.
In this episode, Rick, Carol, and Daryl stumble upon a Walker that has a W carved deep into its forehead. What are these W’s foreshadowing? Who is lurking outside the walls of Alexandria? And who took Rick’s gun that was stashed inside the blender? What are Deanna’s ulterior motives, if any? We’re three episodes away from the season finale and we’ve got a lot of questions but not one discernable answer.
SIDE NOTE: It’s so weird seeing Andrew Lincoln without the beard and the long hair. Now he looks exactly like he did when the show began. Hard to believe that was about five years ago.
The scene of the horse being attacked by the Walkers and the way they tore it apart was something out of an old George Romero movie (that’s not a bad thing). And if I wasn’t an animal lover, I probably could’ve enjoyed the scene more than I did. Instead I winced and averted my eyes like I was five years old.
But in the end, it was something that Aaron needed to witness. Aaron lacks that edge that Daryl and Rick and Michonne have from being on the outside. He’s been sheltered for far too long. And those that are closest to him (Eric) are still by his side. He needed to experience the loss of Buttons (the horse…what, I didn’t name him) to see the darkness that opposes the light. Not every cloud has a silver lining, and I have a feeling Aaron is going to learn that fact sooner rather than later.
Aaron is the only Alexandria character we’ve truly had a chance to bond with. We know he’s a caring individual. He cares for his boyfriend, Eric. And he was gracious enough to bring applesauce in his bag for Judith and bottled water when he approaches the group back at the barn. We know he makes a good spaghetti dish and he recruits people for Alexandria. We know that like Daryl, he still views himself as an outsider. His character grows stronger and stronger with each episode and that makes me fear for his safety.
The party that Deanna throws was a nice chance to explore the backgrounds of some of the newer characters and let the audience get acquainted with them. Instead the story chose to focus on how the main cast are adjusting to their new lives in Alexandria. That’s all well and good, but when the shit hits the proverbial fan (and believe me, it will) and the secondary characters start dropping like flies, will their demise have any impact on the viewer’s whatsoever?
And where were Eugene, Tara, and Father Gabriel in this episode? And where was Carl hiding for most of the show? If you’re going to do an episode that focuses more on your main group than your new cast members, you think maybe you’d try and find the time to squeeze some of your regulars in.
And just when I thought Carol’s character couldn’t get any darker (look at the flowers), they show that scene where Carol threatens an eight year old kid named Sam. And what was Carol even getting in that room? Certainly she wouldn’t threaten the life of a child if she was going back for more chocolate. No, she went back for the guns. So now, unbeknownst to the residents of Alexandria, Rick and Carol are both carrying firearms. But who do they truly intend to protect with these weapons–the people of Alexandria, or themselves? At this point, can Rick and Carol even be trusted with loaded weapons?
And, of course, the big story coming out of this episode is Rick kissing Jessie (Sam’s mom) on the cheek and his movement towards his gun when he saw Jessie and her husband walking together at the end of the episode. As viewers, we can tell Rick is falling for Jessie. But does Jessie feel the same for Rick? Only time will tell. But let’s not forget that Jessie is married. Do you think Pete will cheerfully step aside and let Rick usurp him? For all the unanswered questions the Walking Dead has given us this week, I think we all know where this one is heading. And I think it’s about to get ugly between Rick and Pete…