[Warning: This article may contain spoilers for Season 6 and the comic books]
The second half of season 6 premiered less than a month ago and already it has proven to be the best season to date. Without a single character driven episode so far, the writers have taken the story forward by miles in just four episodes. New faces, new places and the ominous threat of a new vilain have made our Survivors change and adapt to this new world order.
While we're barely halfway there, here are some things worth mentioning about this part B:
1. It's closer to the comic books as it's ever been
Yeah, The Walking Dead is based on, pretty truthfully, on Robert Kirkman's Image Comics, but the TV series has purposefully streched far away from the comic book many times before. Be it with TV-only characters, characters deaths or story arcs, they've mixed and reinvented TWD in ways to both captivate tv viewers and keep the element of surprise for comic fans.
This season though, and not only in the B part, the series draws heavily from the comics, bringing beloved (and later on, hated) characters to life to perfection, keeping epic lines - say "What?" - and some of the most memorable moments the die-hard comic fans had been keeping their eye out for (pun intended).
As a comic reader, I gotta say I'm simply loving these bits, but I must also confess it creeps me a little about what's to come. It tricks you into a comfortable feeling of knowing what is ahead for the group, though it may also potentially go back to its previous adaptation style, where nothing is what it seems. I truly hope they don't this time, and stick to the plot (Something to Fear all the way through the best pieces of All Out War). Let the chips fall where they may...
2. Foreshadowing, easter eggs and red herrings
A simple google search will leave you with a gazillion different theories and POVs to torture yourself with, mostly regarding the season finale. Fans are going crazy with death predictions and I do believe some are actually ready to riot (and maybe they'll have to). Fact is, the show has been hinting from episode to episode what's to come, sometimes in subtle hints in dialogue (like Gregory telling Maggie that hungry people will take extreme measures - and they have) and others in, for example, vicious looking polaroids.
Now, I know it's been done throughout the seasons, but there have also been times we have been completely trolled by the producers/showrunners. It makes you wonder how much we should actually read into these carefully laid clues, and how much all these time-consuming, mind-wrenching theories ruin the show's experience for us. Take, for example, the infamous polaroids in this week's episode. Yes, it was Glenn who saw them, and yes they are the definition of easter eggs, but then what? The hints are there - and will continue to be there - but how many of them are done to trick us instead of shedding light? That's a thought...
4. Love is in the air
Everywhere you look around. Literally.
Maybe it's the finding of comfort and solace in one another, or the realization that every moment may be their last, but the Survivors have been getting on quite frequetly lately. In these last four episodes we've seen more kisses and affection than in the five seasons prior.
Don't get me wrong, people have needs - even in the zoombie apocalypse - but we gotta think just how much of it will soften the group and have them make selfless decisions and sacrifices in the name of love. Plot wise, I honestly hope it doesn't come to that, because that would suck big time (though in this week's episode we already got a glimpse of a disturbed Carol questioning her previous decisions and that can't be good).
5. Morals and ethics anyone?
Rick to Shane, then Dale to the group. Rick to Carl, then Hershel to the group. Rick to Carol, then Tyrese to the group. Rick to the Governor, then Andrea to both of them. I mean, there have always been moral compass characters on the show, the ones that shine a light on the righteous path and keep everyone's humanity somewhat intact.
One that has been pivotal and accountable all the while is Glenn, well until this last episode at least. Even Morgan's return in season five finale brought a huge amount of debate on what's right and what's not to both the screen and online foruns as well (though I admit he might be destroying Carol right now). Point is, there have always been a line they'd never cross, a "this is not who we are" moment that kept the Survivors in a more, let's say, humane path.
'Not tomorrow yet' toyed with and eventually destroyed said morality - some even may say their humanity. If there are no limits to what they're willing to do, it makes you wonder what's too much and what other definition for civilization they're on the way to forge next.
Oh well, Negan is coming. Yes, there's that...