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The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Sixteen “Last Day on Earth”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2016 by Starloggers

negan and the lineup

“As long as it’s all of us, we can do anything.” – Rick Grimes to Maggie Greene

“You ruled the roost, you…built something. You thought you were safe. I get it. But the word is out. you…are not safe. Not even close.” – Negan

The sixteenth episode and the sixth season finale of The Walking Dead opens with Morgan Jones (Lennie James) morgan and horseout in the woods of Northern Virginia looking for Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride). She had run away from their town, Alexandria, because of building guilt over killing people in the past. Now, Morgan finds a horse with a saddle and bridle and begins riding it to continue his search.

Back in Alexandria, the residents are preparing to transport Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) in an RV to Hilltop, a town a day’s drive away, since there is a doctor that can help her. Maggie is pregnant with her husband Glenn Rhee’s (Steven Yeun) child and is experiencing sharp pains in her abdomen, presumably she is in danger of miscarriage. Accompanying her are the town’s leader, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), his teenage son Carl (Chandler Riggs), Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), his lover Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Aaron (Ross Marquand), and Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). Before they leave, Rick puts Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) in charge of the town’s defense. They had come into conflict recently with a vicious gang of marauders called the Saviors and everyone is on edge as the Rick’s group leaves in the RV. What they don’t realize is that their fellow residents Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) and Glenn have been captured by the Saviors in the previous episode.

Later, Morgan rides the horse into an abandoned town with  a few undead walkers shuffling about. He finds Carol badly wounded by a library. Despite her protests about being left alone, he takes her inside the library and tends to her knife wound that she received in the previous episode from fighting some Saviors.

rick and co.

The journey of the RV is stymied when a group of Saviors form a roadblock. Rick and his people step out and he offers to make a deal. This group’s leader (Steven Ogg) demands that Rick and the others turn over their supplies and that one of them may be killed. Being that they are armed with guns, Rick refuses this offer and rather than confront the Savior he has Abraham drive the RV back where they came from and start looking for an alternate route.

In the library, once Carol is mended, Morgan insists on taking her back to Alexandria. She adamantly refuses and states that she cares too much about the Alexandrians. In order to protect them, she has to kill for them, which is something she refuses to do anymore. Morgan leaves her to kill a walker just outside the library. She uses this opportunity to flee the building.

carol on the edge

Carol stumbles through the deserted streets and barely fights off walkers. Just after she kills the last one, she is attacked by Roman (Stuart Greer), one of the Saviors that she confronted in the last episode and she left for dead. Instead, he survived and has been hunting her ever since. He gets the better of her and has her on the ground at gunpoint. Already defeated and weary from her ordeal and her emotions, Carol pleads to be killed. Instead, Roman begins torturing her by shooting her limbs.

Morgan shows up with a gun that Rick gave him last episode and orders him to stop. When Roman refuses, Morgan reluctantly shoots him repeatedly, killing him.

meet the kingdomThe gunfire draws the attention of two armored men. One of them (Daniel Newman), Morgan and Rick briefly encountered in the previous episode. Rick thought he was a Savior and tried shooting him but Morgan stopped him. Now, this same man offers aid for Carol. He and Morgan shake hands.

Rick and the others are having are harder time. No matter where they turn on the roads, they come upon roadblocks by Saviors. Each time, the numbers of Saviors grows ominously larger. One roadblock is different in that a group of chained-together walkers block their RV’s path. When they leave the vehicle to investigate, they discover that two of the walkers have items from Daryl and Michonne, such as his crossbow bolts and a couple of her dreadlocks. An unseen assailant fires at their feet, forcing them back to the RV. But Rick quickly hacks apart the walkers and the chains, which clears a path for them.

rick kills blockers

 

Day turns into night and they are no closer to Hilltop. After more roadblocks, their fuel supply low, and Maggie’s condition worsening they realize they have to do something. Eugene opines that the Saviors may only be on the lookout for an RV. It’s decided that Eugene will drive off with the RV as a lure while Rick and the others will transport Maggie on a stretcher by foot to Hilltop. Before Eugene leaves he gives Rick a “recipe”, instructions on how to make bullets.

carrying maggieRick and his group make their way through the woods in the dark and are just a few miles away from their destination. But taunting whistles announce that they aren’t alone. They hastened their hike but are stopped in their tracks by a spotlight. They are surrounded by an army of Saviors. Nearby is the RV and Eugene held prisoner. The Savior that they first met disarms them and forces them to their knees. Then a nearby van opens up and Daryl, Michonne, Rosita and Glenn are brought out to join Rick and the others. Once that is done the Saviors’ leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) emerges from the RV.

A large, imposing man clad in a motorcycle jacket, Negan wields a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire that he calls Lucille. He informs Rick that he and his people will work for the Saviors from now on and turn over half of what they own to the Saviors. He adds that Rick’s people has killed many of his people and for that he has to make an example. One of the group will be killed. Enjoying the moment, especially the sense of deflated defeat in Rick, Negan decides to randomly pick one of Rick’s party. Once done, he smashes the bat over the victim of his wrath. We do not see who it is, only the POV of the victim as blood pours down the screen before the POV tumbles to the ground and the screen goes black.

negan lectures rick

After all the hoopla and anticipation, the season six finale of The Walking Dead is a mixed bag with a disappointing conclusion. “Last Day on Earth” for the most part had this growing sense of dread over what was to come. We, the viewers knew that Negan was right around the corner, but our heroes didn’t and the anxiousness that we felt as events unfolded was mirrored by Rick’s increasing desperation. He and many of his people started off this episode (and for a good portion of season six) with a sense of bravado that they could do anything. Rick and his people could not be truly faulted, though. They had been through the wringer with many foes and vanquished them, it was only natural that they would become overconfident. But, now they are paying a price. Honestly, they had to expect some kind of reaction from all the Saviors they killed in the last few episodes of The Walking Dead.

rick aaron and sasha

That overconfidence could be the explanation over some of the decisions made by Rick. Why not just head back to Alexandria where it was safer? Why didn’t he realize much sooner that they were being herded?

Strangely enough, the story arc with Morgan was actually the most interesting thing going on in “Last Day on Earth” because for a while many fans have been growing impatient with his non-killing stance and saw it as a hindrance. In this episode, his Pay It Forward approach seems to be paying off with the introduction of the citizens from The Kingdom, a new faction that if mirroring the comic books will become a major ally for the Alexandria Safe Zone. It would be satisfying for Morgan if he ends up joining that community.

As Carol, her behavior is just perplexing. Once an iron lady with a cool head and a pragmatic resolve, she is emotionally falling apart. In recent episodes, Carol has been acting like a meek and helpless housewife, echoing her past. At first, it seemed like an effective ruse to put her enemies’ guards down, but now we’re wondering if it is something else. Perhaps she is starting to suffer from PTSD and if so it’s not a good time because Alexandria needs her now more than ever. But at least, for now, she is safe from Negan.

Regarding Negan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan owned the role the moment he stepped out of that RV. Already a genre favorite thanks to his roles in Watchmen and Supernatural, Morgan’s Negan is an intimidating and sadistic force who is not to be taken lightly. We just wish he had appeared sooner, though it is understandable why the producers wanted to wait until a special moment like the finale to unveil him.

both negans

However, their decision to not reveal who Negan killed was a huge letdown. Never mind the excuses made by them that they wanted a good cliffhanger. Ending the episode like is not an appropriate payoff. In the 100th issue of The Walking Dead comic book, readers saw immediately who Negan killed and everyone got to process over what happened. This did not happen here, unlike Game of Thrones where we see who gets killed at the end of each season and get to express our rage over a period of time. Now, we are stuck waiting several months until the fall to find out who was killed. Good luck to the producers with trying to keep that secret. What is worse is that we won’t be able to fully process the death when it is revealed before being swept up in the next episode. Perhaps, they feared a backlash if they revealed now who died, but that is happening anyway with many disappointed viewers.

So are they worried that people won’t take kindly to the creative decision of who died? Could it be, God forbid, Daryl? Or is it Glenn? It is difficult to say who is the victim and the final moments do not make that clear despite what conspiracy theorists are stating across the Internet. Personally, I think it could be Eugene or Abraham based on Eugene’s apparent farewell expressed before leaving in the RV and Abraham’s recent turn away from a bleak outlook on life. But it could be someone else. All we can do now is speculate until this fall.

José Soto

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The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Fifteen “East”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2016 by Starloggers

carol surrenders

The fifteenth and penultimate episode in the sixth season of The Walking Dead builds up to a coming confrontation between the residents of the Alexandria Safe Zone and the Saviors. The start of the episode backtracks from the very end of the last episode where Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) left Alexandria. “East” begins with Carol getting ready to leave the town due to her growing guilt over her past killings. As she preps to leave clandestinely we see life going on in the town seen through the eyes of several couples like the town’s leader Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Dania Gurira), Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and his wife Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan).

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) leaves daryl leavesAlexandria on a personal vendetta to deal with his enemy Dwight (Austin Amelio), who killed Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) in the last episode. Afterwards, Michonne, Glenn and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) leave town to go after him. Meanwhile, Carol’s lover Tobin (Jason Douglas) finds the letter she left him about her departure and gives it to Rick, who leaves with Morgan Jones (Lennie James) to pursue Carol.

Carol is driving alone on a country road in a car adorned with wooden stakes sticking out of its body. She passes a pickup truck with men, Saviors, who fire on her car and force her to stop.

savior roadblock

She approaches the Saviors as a meek and frightened woman to throw her opponents off-guard. Just like in previous episodes this ruse works. Being that she is wearing a heavy coat that is too big on her, her hands are covered by sleeves which conceals a gun in her right hand. Carol fires the weapon and take out most of the Saviors. One of them chases her back to her car but she impales him with one of the stakes. Another injured Savior jumps out from a hidden spot in the truck and charges her with a knife. We do not see how the fight ends.

carol caught

Later, Rick and Morgan come to the spot where the confrontation took place and see the aftermath of Carol’s handiwork. Rick admits to feeling proud about her for her ability to take out so many enemies. What they don’t realize is that just before they arrived, another Savior in the truck recovered from the attack and stumbled off into the fields.

While this was happening, Michonne, Glenn and Rosita come to the railroad tracks where Daryl, Rosita and Denise encountered Dwight and the Saviors. They soon Daryl in the nearby woods. They all argue about what Daryl is doing, he points out that if he had killed Dwight earlier in the episode “Always Accountable” Denise might still be alive. He leaves the group to continue his hunt, but now Rosita joins him since she too is furious about what happened to Denise. Glenn and Michonne head back to their car, but are soon captured by Dwight and four Saviors.

rick and morganRick and Morgan find a blood trail heading eastward and conclude that it might be Carol’s. They follow the trail while unaware that the Savior was watching them from a hiding place and is now following them. They come to a farm and spot an armored man who claims that it is his place and begs them to leave. They insist of talking to him but the man runs off as several walkers appear. Rick and Morgan kill the walkers, at one point, Rick fires his gun at the departing man, who he believes is a Savior, but Morgan spoils his aim. The two men rick firescontinue their philosophical argument where Morgan decries Rick’s harsh, savage behavior. Rick counters that they have to be brutal to survive in the new world, but Morgan refuses to see this viewpoint. He believes that everyone can be redeemed, and points to Carol as proof since she was once banished from Rick’s group and welcomed back. Morgan confesses about the Wolf gang member (Samuel Benedict) that he captured several episodes ago. As Rick fumes about this news Morgan tells him that the Wolf wound up saving Denise, who in turned saved Rick’s son Carl (Chandler Riggs). Morgan offers to continue tracking Carol on his own and for Rick not to look for him if he doesn’t return to Alexandria. Rick offers him a gun and lets his friend go before turning back to town.

Back in Alexandria, Maggie asks Enid (Katelyn Nacon) to cut her hair. After the young teenager does this, Maggie explains that she does not want anything to get in her way, implying her formerly long hair. Just as she finishes her statement, Maggie, who is pregnant, experiences crippling pain in her abdomen and collapses to the floor screaming.

captured glann and michonne

Elsewhere, Glenn and Michonne are gagged and tied up to trees in the Saviors’ campsite. Daryl and Rosita encroach upon the camp. Glenn tries to shout a warning to them, but it’s muffled. At that moment, Dwight and another Savior come up behind Daryl and Rosita with their guns drawn. Dwight flashes a wicked smile as Daryl lowers his crossbow and fires his gun at Daryl. The screen is splattered with blood and goes black. Dwight’s voice is heard telling Daryl that “You’ll be alright.”

last shot

Apprehension rules the day with “East” as most fans of The Walking Dead, especially those that have read the comic book issues this storyline is based on, are nervously anticipating the season finale. As a penultimate episode “East” stands out with its build up, though it does have its issues.

Those have to do with the behaviors of some of the most seasoned characters. Many of them seem quite reckless like Daryl. His charging off all half-cocked on a vengeance quest made him sloppy, which is troubling since he is so skilled at tracking and fighting. It was fairly easy for Dwight to get the drop on him, the guy who took out a tank way back in season four and decimated evil gangs and walkers alike almost singlehandedly. What is worse is that his actions have put other people in harm’s way, the same goes for Carol. Didn’t anyone think that driving out in the open road with the Saviors lurking about the area was looking for trouble?

caught up to daryl

Of course, many are wondering if Daryl is dead. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine, injured but alive. That does take him out of contention for being the victim of Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) wrath.

So who is left? Carol, Rosita, Glenn, Michonne, Rick, Morgan or some of the other Alexandrians. Glenn is an obvious frontrunner due to his counterpart’s fate in the comic books, but as seen in the previous episode and in other instances, the producers aren’t afraid to change things and have their characters suffer different fates. Could it be Carol? Or Abraham? Both seem like DOA characters with their nihilistic outlook of life and Carol’s need to absolve herself of her past. In this day and age of the Internet, the fact that the finale is airing soon and no one not involved with making The Walking Dead knows for sure is astonishing onto itself.

lucille

Gripes aside, the tension is hanging heavy in this episode, threatening to burst as we await the first appearance of Negan and Lucille, and what that means. We all know that it won’t be pleasant.

José Soto

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Fourteen “Twice As Far”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2016 by Starloggers

decayed walker

“Welcome to Stage Two” – Abraham to Eugene

The fourteenth episode, “Twice As Far”, of the sixth season of The Walking Dead concentrates on parallel stories of two groups scavenging outside the Alexandria Safe Zone.

Abe and EugeneAbraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) leave Alexandria and make their way to an abandoned town. Eugene directs Abraham to a machine shop, which he declares would be a good place to make bullets. This idea makes perfect sense to Abraham since their supply of bullets can only go so far. Abraham has started gaining newfound respect for Eugene, noting he now sports a ponytail instead of a mullet hairstyle and is doing guard duty at Alexandria. Eugene merely notes that he is adapting but Abraham still isn’t convinced that Eugene is a warrior. Seconds later, a walker appears in the shop and Eugene insists on killing it, but is unable to do so. Abraham steps in and does the deed which angers Eugene, who then proclaims that he doesn’t need Abraham to protect him anymore. Now angered, Abraham walks off and tells Eugene he can fend for himself.

eugene fights walker

Meanwhile, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) hike to another abandoned town where Denise knows of an apothecary. Denise hopes to find much needed medicine in the place and their luck pays off. The trio find a hefty supply of various bottled pills in the apothecary. As Daryl and Rosita start taking the bottles from the shelves, Denise starts exploring the dark and decaying store. In one darkened room she finds a crippled walker, nearly deteriorated, and in a corner is a sink full of blood and ooze with a child’s boot visible in the mess. Sickened by the sight, Denise goes outside and waits for Daryl and Rosita who soon finish their plunder. Daryl understands Denise’s repulsion since she isn’t battle-hardened and gently praises her for finding the apothecary.

They head back to Alexandria using some railroad tracks as a path. They come upon some abandoned cars and Denise spots a cooler inside one of them. The only problem is that there is a walker inside the car. Despite the other two’s advice, Denise opens the car and fetches the cooler, but the walker attacks her. She is able to kill it and when she opens the cooler Denise is rewarded with soda cans.

denise and walker

Daryl starts berating her for being reckless. Denise defends her actions, stating that they have to take chances to survive. Almost as in response, Denise is shot through the back of her skull and out an eye with an arrow. Her killer quickly appears. It is Dwight (Austin Amelio), who Daryl first met in the episode “Always Accountable” and the encounter ended with Dwight stealing his motorcycle and crossbow, which he now used to kill Denise. Making matters worse is that Dwight isn’t alone. He and several Saviors have taken Eugene hostage and demand that Daryl and Rosita surrender. The two reluctantly do as ordered and are told to take the Saviors to Alexandria or be killed.

euegene hostageEugene, who is on his knees next to Dwight, tells his captor to kill the person hiding behind some nearby oil barrels. Dwight sends one of the Saviors over to the barrels and this gives Eugene the chance to lunge at Dwight and bite him on the crotch. At the same time, Abraham, who was indeed nearby, opens fire on the Saviors. This gives Daryl and Rosita the opportunity to pick up their weapons and join in the firefight. The Alexandrians kill several Saviors and cause the rest, including Dwight, to flee into the woods. Daryl has his crossbow back and wants to go after Dwight but stops because Eugene has been shot in the abdomen.

They take him back to town and luckily it was only a flesh wound. Abraham expresses his respect again to Eugene but the mood in Alexandria is hardly celebratory. Denise, the only doctor, is dead and everyone is preparing for a coming war with the Saviors. Meanwhile, Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), one of the most experienced fighters in town, leaves Alexandria. In a letter she wrote to her new lover Tobin (Jason Douglas) she states that she will have to kill in order to protect the ones she loves in Alexandria. But she can’t bring herself to kill anymore due to her guilt over her past actions.

railroad standoff

“Twice As Far” is a mishmash of an episode for The Walking Dead where it served to acknowledge several past developments while setting up the climatic season finale. Buttressing its uneven nature where the somewhat pretentious opening moments with little dialogue, and a slow-moving build up that came to a wrenching halt with Denise’s death. From that surprising moment, the episode quickened its pace and ended on a satisfying note.

rosita and daryl

Fans of the comic book will notice that many elements from the 98th issue are recreated in “Twice As Far” such as one of the main characters being shot through the eye with an arrow. Only in this case, it was Denise instead of Abraham. On that note, it was good to see Dwight getting some payback for betraying Daryl in “Always Accountable” and we all agree with Daryl that he should’ve have killed him back in that episode.

The episode also focused some much-needed attention on Eugene, who has been underutilized this season and it showcased how he has grown as a fighter/survivor. Poor Denise had dead denisea similar arc but met an untimely death partly out of recklessness, but what was missing was the reaction of her death from her lover Tara Chambler (Alanna Masterson), one of the main characters. Given the build up to the season finale, it’s doubtful we will see those moments of grief from Tara.

The situation with Carol also felt shoehorned into the episode and out of place. Her development in the past always seemed natural and well paced. Here her story merely bookends the episode’s plot and does not have anything to do with it.

Next up, “East” the second-to-last episode of the season which sets up the fateful confrontation with the Saviors and their leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

Waldermann Rivera

 

 

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Twelve “Not Tomorrow Yet”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2016 by Starloggers

andy jeremy palko at savior sat station

In the twelfth episode of season six of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and several members of his group return to the Alexandria Safe Zone from the Hilltop community. He calls for a town meeting in Alexandria’s church and tells everyone about the agreement they made with Hilltop where they would get supplies in exchange for the Alexandrians murdering a gang called the Saviors, who are preying on Hilltop.

church meeting

Rick’s friend Morgan (Lennie James) argues that they should try negotiating with the Saviors instead, a couple of others seem to agree with Morgan’s viewpoint like Tara (Alanna Masterson) but remain silent. Aaron (Ross Marquand), the town’s scout, argues for Rick’s position and it’s decided to go after the Saviors and rescue the Hilltop resident Craig (Myke Holmes) who is held hostage by the Saviors.

That night the Alexandrians ready for the coming fight in their own separate ways. Carol (Melissa McBride), who is haunted by the deaths on her hands, is sleepless and goes out for a walk. She comes across Tobin (Jason Douglas) by his porch and they start talking. Before long, they share a kiss and go inside his home. Meanwhile, as that relationship commences, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) ends his relationship with Rosita (Christian Serratos).

The next day, Rick gathers a  group that includes Carol, Abraham, Rosita, Tara, Ross, Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Glenn (Steven Yuen), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Heath (Corey Hawkins), Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), along with Hilltop residents Jesus (Tom Payne) and Andy (Jeremy Palko). They depart in several vehicles and along the way, stop the caravan to kill a few walkers. The reason is that the Saviors demanded the head of the Hilltop leader, Gregory (Xander Berkeley), so Rick chooses one head of a dispatched walker that resembles Gregory.

showing gregs head

That night the group arrives outside the Saviors’ headquarters, an abandoned satellite station. Maggie and Carol remain behind with the vehicles, while the others creep up to the station. Andy drives up to the doors in his car, which attracts the attention of two night guards. As they inspect the head of “Gregory”, they are taken by surprise by Rick’s group and killed. They also manage to free Craig then enter the Saviors’ compound. Methodically, Rick and his people kill many of the Saviors in their sleep. The only ones who have trouble doing this are Glenn and Heath who never killed people before. Glenn manages to do this and spares Heath the ordeal of murdering someone by killing Heath’s intended sleeping target. Afterwards, they see several Polaroids of the Saviors’ victims: all with their heads smashed in.

Abraham and Sasha find a supply room that is locked and as they try to break in, a Savior discovers them. Abraham kills the man, but not before the Savior sets off an alarm. Their cover blown, Rick’s group engages the remaining Saviors in a series of swift and vicious firefights with their military rifles both inside and outside the station. Outside, Tara suggests that Jesus, Andy and Craig head back to Hilltop in their car. Jesus insists on staying to help out as the other two leave the premises.

The firefight soon ends with the Saviors killed Rick firesand Rick and his group victorious.  When they leave the station, it’s already morning and they come upon a parking lot with vehicles. Needing to recoup from the ordeal, Heath turns down Glenn’s offer to go back to Alexandria and relax. Instead he and Tara take off in their vehicle for a supply run in the countryside. Rick and Michonne wonder if one of the men killed was the leader Negan. At that moment, a lone surviving Savior tries to escape in a motorcycle that Daryl recognizes as his own that was stolen a few episodes ago. Rosita shoots him and he falls off the bike. Daryl catches up to the Savior and demands to know where he got the bike as Rick holds a gun to his head, just then a woman’s voice from the Savior’s radio is heard. She demands that Rick and the others lower their weapons and adds that she and her group have captured Maggie and Carol.

day after

“Tomorrow Not Yet” amps up the tension and the anticipation for the fateful encounter with Negan, while delivering a pounding, nerve-wracking action fest. The last twenty minutes of this episode was so intense and bursting with the type of action that one would see in a Die Hard film not The Walking Dead. It was brutal, ugly and unlike most action films it didn’t glorify violence. One point made in “Tomorrow Not Yet” is that killing isn’t always easy. This was best seen in the moments where Glenn and Heath are forced to kill. For them, and like many of us, coldly killing someone, even if deserved, isn’t something to be done casually. We feel for these two because they’re so much like us, as much as we want, we’re not Daryl or Michonne, two efficient killers. That is why seeing Glenn steel himself to deliver the killing blow at someone who is sleeping was so hard to watch.

heath and glenn

 

To this episode’s credit, it didn’t rely on mindless violence. There was adequate build up to the finale which explored many themes and characters, many of whom had memorable scenes. Take Carol, for example, who is now suffering from her past killing actions. Recently we’ve come to see her as this cold-hearted, practical woman who has little room for sympathy. She’s come a long way from season one where she was a timid abused housewife. In “Tomorrow Not Yet” Carol demonstrates that she still has a conscious.

Someone who doesn’t appear to have one is Abraham, who is spiraling towards his fate. Apparently, he seems to know that his days are numbered and doesn’t care about social niceties as seen with the way he callously breaks up with Rosita and leaves her heartbroken. Meanwhile, Gabriel is transitioning into something of a warrior priest by the way he delivers a prayer to a Savior before killing him (also in an earlier dialogue with Rick, he refuses to remove his priest’s garb because he still thinks of himself as a man of the cloth).

Finally, Rick and many of the others are paying for their hubris. They, especially Rick, assumed they could just walk into the Saviors’ turf and take them out. They feel this way based on their past success and at first their overconfidence is warranted given their victory but the final moments in “Tomorrow Not Yet” just prove how things do not always go as planned.

Lewis T. Grove

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Eleven “Knots Untie”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2016 by Starloggers

at hilltop

“Your world’s about to get a whole lot bigger” – Jesus

“Knots Untie” is the eleventh episode of The Walking Dead’s sixth season and takes place moments before the last episode where Paul “Jesus” Rovio (Tom Payne) walked into Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) bedroom in the middle of the night announcing he had to talk to Rick.

Outside in the Alexandria Safe Zone, Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and his wife Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) are checking on some crops they planted when they spot Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) rushing into Rick’s home. They follow suit and find Jesus in the hallway. Rick comes out of his room and tells them all to stand down. In a hastily held meeting, Jesus tells them his story. He comes from a town called Hilltop, which is a day’s drive away, and he is scouting to set up trade between any settlement he discovers. He invites Rick and the others to visit his town.

wreckage

The next day, Rick and other Alexandria residents, which include Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Abraham, and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), set out in an RV with Jesus and leave town. During the long drive, they come upon a car wreck with pinned walkers. Jesus realizes that the car came from Hilltop and panics about the fate of his fellow residents. They follow tracks to a nearby building where Jesus is convinced survivors from the car crash are located. Rick and the others rush inside and rescue the Hilltop residents, among them are an obstetrician, Dr. Harlan Carson (R. Keith Harris), who is grateful for Glenn rescuing him.

They arrive at Hilltop, a walled town much hilltoplike Alexandria, but more like a farming community with livestock and crops. Rick quickly realizes that Hilltop doesn’t have ammo by the fact that the town’s defenders are only armed with knives and spears. Jesus introduces the group to Hilltop’s leader, Gregory (Xander Berkeley), who is rather caustic and dismissive towards the group. Maggie meets with him alone and tries to negotiate a barter deal. Gregory scoffs and instead puts proposes that the Alexandria residents come to work in Hilltop for food. Maggie, already annoyed by his disrespectful and condescending tone, rejects this offer.

ethan stabs gregShortly after the meeting ends a group of haggard Hilltop residents enter the community. They came back from meeting with a Negan and his own group, the Saviors, and it didn’t go well. From later discussions, Rick and his group learn that Hilltop has to hand over half their food to the Saviors in return for being left alone. This time, the Saviors weren’t satisfied with the amount of food Hilltop provided, killed two Hilltop residents and are holding another hostage. One of the arrivals, Ethan (Justin Kucsulain), also has a message for Gregory from Negan – he apologizes before stabbing Gregory. This sparks a sudden battle between Rick’s group and the Hilltop people. Jesus is able to calm everyone down before it escalates, but by this time Rick has already killed Ethan, who had a knife to Rick’s throat.

STANDOFF

Later, as Gregory recovers from the stabbing, Rick meets with Jesus and offers to kill the Saviors in return for provisions. Jesus relays the deal to Gregory who then calls for Maggie to his residence. Once there, Maggie demands that Gregory hand over half their supplies in exchange for dealing with Negan. The Hilltop leader begrudgingly complies.

Soon after, Harlan gives Maggie an ultrasound exam to check on the baby, then Rick and his group leave for Alexandria. As they all relax in their ride home, Glenn and Maggie pass around an ultrasound photo of their baby. They all feel hopeful and quietly confident about the future.

wreckage walker

A marked improvement over the previous episode, “Knots Untie” throws The Walking Dead into a new ominous direction that will have Rick and his group confronting Negan and his Saviors. Anyone who follows the comic books already know that the encounter will be a fateful one as Negan is a villain as vicious, if not more, as the infamous Governor.

“Knots Untie” did a more than adequate hilltop fightjob of creating a building sense of dread in face of our characters stoic confidence about being able to handle Negan. We, the audience, at least those that have read ahead, realize that the Saviors won’t be your standard road gang. Forget about the Wolves or the Terminus residents, the Saviors are a whole other level of evil. Obviously, Rick, Daryl and the others don’t know this, all they have to go on are their past encounters with thugs and savages. Still, their positive demeanor about what lies ahead is disconcerting to watch. It’s as if we want to reach into the TV screen and yell a loud warning to them as they obliviously march toward doom.

One thing that this episode did so well is to keep us guessing as to who will die next. For most of the episode, it seemed as if it was Abraham’s time. The man seems unsure of his place in the world, sees no future based on his observation of Glenn and Maggie starting a family. Early in the episode, his budding relationship with Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) abraham in bedis nipped as she quietly spurns him. It’s hard to feel bad for him in that regard since he is already involved with Rosita (Christian Serratos), who even crafted a necklace for him (which was lost during the scuffle at Hilltop, another clue that Abraham will meet his maker soon). On the other hand, he is likeable in a tough, brutal way with his no-nonsense attitude and fortitude. He’s been lost ever since he discovered that his reason for living after his family was killed was a sham. It came as a relief (for now) that he didn’t die, but his death is being telegraphed. But as much as he is liked, this leading up to his death actually feels logical.

Then there is Glenn. Will his luck finally run out with Negan? On paper, it would seem so, but remember all that angst that viewers underwent when he supposedly died. That was very recent and to pull the rug out from under us like that would undo any good will from fans. The reaction to his fate will probably be worse than that of a typical Game of Thrones death. So if not Glenn, then who else? We won’t find out until the season finale, just a handful of episodes away, so we better steel ourselves.

José Soto

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Eight “Start To Finish”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2015 by Starloggers

jawless

Dolor hic tibi proderit olim – Latin phrase meaning “This pain will be useful to you”

The eighth episode (and mid-season finale) of The Walking Dead’s sixth season begins immediately after the end of the last episode. A watchtower has collapsed on the metal walls that surround the Alexandria Safe Zone from the undead walkers outside. Now that the flesh-eaters have open access to the town, the townspeople have no choice but to run for their lives.

panick

As people scramble this way and that from the seemingly endless tide of walkers, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the town’s leader Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh) fire upon the walkers. At one point, she saves his life from a walker but is injured in the melee. The duo are then joined by Michonne (Danai Gurira), Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Rick’s son Carl (Chandler Riggs), Jessie Anderson (Alexandra Breckenridge) and her son Ron (Austin Jacobs), who all make it to Jessie’s home before the walkers get to them. At her house her younger son Sam (Major Dodson) and Rick’s infant daughter Judith are already there.

maggie climbsElsewhere, Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) scrambles up on top of a scaffold beside one of the walls and is trapped there as walkers wait below. Outside the town, her husband Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and Enid (Katelyn Nacon) make their way to the gates and from the safety of a tree spot Maggie from afar. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) and Tara Chambler (Alanna Masterson) use a garage as shelter. Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) suffers a concussion while fighting off walkers and is helped to a townhouse by Morgan Jones (Lennie James). In that residence Morgan is keeping a Wolf gang member (Benedict Samuel) prisonerwho Carol wants to kill for attacking  Alexandria earlier. The Wolf is being treated for an infected cut by the town’s doctor Denise (Merritt Wever).

At Jessie’s home, Michonne and Rick find out that Deanna has a walker bite mark and is already feverish, indicating she will die soon. She gives Michonne written messages for Maggie and her son Spencer (Austin Nichols). She also tells Rick that he is now in charge of the residents and to protect them well. In the garage, Carl and Ron get into a fight because Ron is still bitter about Rick executing his murderous father. During the fight a window is broken which gives walkers access into the home. Despite efforts from everyone to barricade the walkers, the undead creatures soon flood the ground level which forces everyone upstairs.

Realizing they can’t remain, Rick comes up with a plan. He and Michonne kill two walkers, drag the bodies upstairs and gut the bodies. The plan (used by Rick and Glenn in the show’s first season) is to cover everyone with blood and innards of the walkers to disguise themselves.

Back at the townhouse, Carol feigns sleep carol standofffrom her concussion which drops Morgan’s guard. She bolts down to the basement where the Wolf is being held and attempts to stab him with a knife. Morgan arrives in the nick of time and the two begin fighting. Eventually he defeats her, but is then knocked out by the Wolf who grabs Carol’s knife and Denise as a hostage.

Moments later, Eugene, Tara and Rosita enter the room which is adjacent to the garage they were sheltering in. The Wolf orders them to lower their guns and takes one of the weapons. Keeping Denise as his hostage, the Wolf soon flees from the townhouse.

last message to michonne

At Jessie’s house, everyone, except Deanna, are donned with blood-smeared sheets. Michonne offers Deanna to kill her, but she refuses and brandishes her own gun. She plans to kill herself before she dies and turns into a walker.

They say their goodbyes to Deanna and slowly, hesitantly make their way downstairs. So far so good, the walkers ignore them and they make it outside holding hands. But Sam, who is visibly nervous, begins to call out for his mother and attracts the walkers’ attention.

disguise 2

In a post-credit epilogue, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Abraham Ford (Michael Cudltiz) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) are heading back to Alexandria in their truck. They are stopped by bikers  who demand their supplies who they say belong to their leader Negan.

“Start To Finish” was a nerve-wracking, nail-biting mid-season finale that had its share of faults, which undermine the episode to a small extent. In spite of them and they were frustrating, the episode was well crafted and suspenseful at many points. Especially in the final scenes which showed the slow, careful escape from Jessie’s house while intercut with Deanna’s final defiant moments.

defiant deannaAs the leading resident of Alexandria, Deanna was probably the most interesting new character with her wild and justified swings from boundless optimism to dark, catatonic despair. The character was played wonderfully by Tovah Feldshuh who made every moment she was on screen captivating to watch and never dull. In the short time Deanna was on the show she left an impact and will be missed.

One can’t help wondering if she second-guessed her decision to bring in the nearly feral Rick and his group. Most likely after this crisis passes (if Alexandria is still standing) most residents will certainly blame Rick and his group. They all had a plum life before Rick came along and now boom! People start dropping like flies, the town gets attacked and now the walkers have broken through the gates. In reality, it was only a matter of time before catastrophe hit them, but Rick makes a mighty convenient scapegoat. Let’s see if this plays out before Negan comes along with his baseball bat.

Will Alexandria survive? It’s hard to see how, disguisewhich makes the February episodes must-see TV to see how and if Rick and company survive their predicament. Most likely some won’t make it, the first victim will probably be Sam. That boy is clearly disturbed by what he sees of the outside world as seen by his macabre drawings where he is surrounded by walkers. But while his calling out to his mother puts the group in danger, one can’t help wondering what about Judith? Wouldn’t she as an infant be making noises? That would’ve been a more effective way to conclude the episode. This speculation also leads to wondering if the idea of disguising themselves was a sound one. The last time this ploy was used it had mixed results. Couldn’t most of them hide out in an attic or even the rooftop while Rick or Michonne did the disguise and went for the armory?

tobin tara rosita

Another person that should be culled at this point is Morgan. His unrealistic adherence to not killing is an endangerment to everyone around him. It was easy to follow this philosophy back in the cabin with Eastman where nothing was going on and there weren’t any dastardly humans around, but in that group it’s a hindrance. Oddly, while thinking on this, Morgan’s viewpoint are probably more in line with the softer Alexandrians than with Rick’s group. On the whole, expect the population of Alexandria to drop dramatically when The Walking Dead returns.

In any event, we’ll see what happens in a couple of months.

José Soto

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Six “Always Accountable”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2015 by Starloggers

“Ya’ll don’t think you’re being stupid right now?” – Daryl Dixon

The sixth episode of season six of The Walking Dead follows Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) as they lead a super walker horde away from the Alexandria Safe Zone.

As the episode starts, the trio are in their modes of transportation (Daryl in his motorcycle and the other two in a car) near the end of their mission. With the horde a good distance away, they go through an abandoned town and are suddenly fired upon by unseen assailants. In the firefight, Daryl is shot in the arm and separated from his cohorts. He winds up taking refuge in the woods and collapses. When he wakes up he soon finds two sisters Sherry (Christine Evangelista) and Tina (Liz E. Morgan), but their companion Dwight (Austin Amelio) comes up behind Daryl and knocks him out.

Meanwhile back in the town, Abraham at townand Sasha crash their car, but manage to defeat their pursuers with heavy gunfire. They then hide out inside an office building to wait for Daryl. In the office they chose for their respite, they discover a lone walker safely behind a glass wall of a conference room. Abraham is too eager to kill the walker and Sasha calls him out on his reckless behavior. He brushes this off and takes watch as Sasha catches some needed rest.

Daryl wakes up with his hands tied up in front of him and the trio think he is a member of a nearby group they are evading. They had enough of the harsh way the group was run and escaped, but that group is now pursuing them.

They march him through the woods as they hope to find their friend Patty. Daryl notices many charred walker bodies and Dwight explains that he and Sherry burned the entire forest before they joined the group. When they come to a parking lot where Patty is supposed to be, they find it infested with walkers and assume the worst. This gives Daryl a chance to escape with their duffel bag that now has his crossbow. Once he’s deep in the woods, Daryl finds a cooler storing insulin and knows that one of them (Tina) is diabetic.

more evasion

He goes back to them and returns their bag minus his crossbow then winds up helping them evade the mysterious group. Later they come across a burned greenhouse and Tina recognizes two bodies inside as her dead friends. She goes over to lay flowers over them but the dead turn out to be undead walkers and fatally bite her. Daryl quickly kills her as Tina dies.

Back in the town, Abraham leaves Sasha to search for supplies. At a broken bridge he finds a jeep with rocket grenades and the launcher still attached to a nearby walker impaled on the bridge fence and hanging precariously. Despite his efforts, Abraham can’t reach the launcher and gives up. Just then the walker’s struggle to get at Abraham causes its rotting flesh to give way and it falls away to the ground below. Fortunately, the launcher is left hanging on the fence.

hanging by a thread

Abraham returns to the office with his bounty and admits to Sasha that he’s reckless and attracted to her. She seems interested but reminds him of his relationship with Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) and he agrees to end it with her when they return to Alexandria.

In the woods, after Tina is buried, stupid darylDaryl offers to take Dwight and Tina back to Alexandria. They reach his hidden motorcycle and before Daryl knows it, they hold him at gunpoint and steal his crossbow and motorcycle. After they leave Daryl finds an abandoned truck that still works and drives it to the abandoned town. Shortly later, Daryl, Abraham and Sasha head back to Alexandria in the truck when the word “help” is heard on Daryl’s radio.

On the whole “Always Accountable” is a middling episode of The Walking Dead for a variety of reasons. But what hampers it the most is the script where characters behave stupidly and out of character in order to advance the story. It’s a common problem with most TV shows out there and sadly The Walking Dead is a victim of this malady.

the drop

The character that suffered the most for the poorly written script by Heather Belson was Daryl. A seasoned hunter and fighter he allows inferiors to get the drop on him not once but twice. The first time when he comes across the sisters can be overlooked, but when he turns his back at the episode’s end and Dwight and Sherry rob him, it just makes him look stupid for A) Trusting them enough to invite them back with him and B) Dropping his guard to relative strangers. His time on the road would’ve made him far too savvy to allow this to happen.

Then there are the new trio who come across as the most dim-witted human survivors in the history of The Walking Dead. When people gripe about how naive and useless the Alexandria residents are, there is a reason. They’ve lived a sheltered existence in the town’s safety. Dwight, Sherry and Tina look as if they’ve lived a hardscrabble life. But by the way they too easily allow Daryl to escape one has to wonder how they’ve survived the walker apocalypse for this long.

tina stupidTina does take the prize for being the most implausible and senseless survivor out of the three. In this time when corpses are the deadliest thing on the planet, why rush over to them without verifying they are actually dead? It’s like Tina stepped off the set of Fear The Walking Dead by her stupidity.

It’s also clear that the scriptwriter apparently doesn’t know how diabetes works because frankly Tina would’ve died much earlier. Insulin only has a shelf life of about a year if kept in a cold environment and has to be manufactured. In the middle of the walker apocalypse how was it possible that insulin could’ve lasted that long? There is show’s problem about gasoline still being viable, but that’s a matter for another discussion. Putting that issue aside, Tina as a diabetic would’ve been more at risk for having low blood sugar from the lack of food and injecting her with insulin as shown in the episode would’ve put her into a coma.

“Always Accountable” isn’t a complete loss, it does have its moments of good jump scares, some excellent walker makeup and introduces yet another dangerous enemy–could they be part of Negan’s clan? We’ll find out very soon as the mid-season finale is just two episodes away.

Lewis T. Grove