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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 Thirteen “The Same Boat”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2016 by Starloggers

 walker in freezer

“You’re wondering if there’s a way out of this. There isn’t, not unless I say so.” – Paula to Maggie

“The Same Boat”, the thirteenth episode of the sixth season of The Walking Dead begins shortly before the previous episode ended, but from the point of view of this episode’s protagonists, Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) and Maggie Green (Lauren Cohan), who are guarding the perimeter of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group’s attack of the Saviors in their compound.

forest prisonersThe two woman are in the woods and ambushed by one of the Saviors, who is called Donnie (Russ Blackwell). Carol shoots him in the arm but they are captured by three other Saviors, Paula (Alicia Witt), Molly ( Jill Jane Clements) and Michelle (Jeananne Goossen). Paula, who is the leader of the group, spots with her binoculars Rick about to shoot Primo (Jimmy Gonzalez) a Savior that he captured. She radios Rick and demands that he and the others drop their weapons and that she has Carol and Maggie hostage. After listening to Rick’s offer to trade Primo for the women, she tells him she will contact him later and the four take the women to a slaughterhouse and imprisoned them in a room.

While they are bound with duct tape and gagged in the makeshift cell, Carol finds a rosary on the dirty floor and begins hyperventilating. This attracts the Saviors who are disgusted by Carol’s weak behavior. Of course, they do not realize that she is only acting as a scared housewife. She tells them to spare Maggie because she is pregnant.

Donnie is in severe pain from paula and donnythe gunshot wound and wants to kill Carol, but Paula won’t allow this since she needs the hostages alive for a trade, at least until their backup arrives so they can all ambush Rick’s group. Enraged, Donnie attacks Paula, but she knocks him out and leaves him in the room. Michelle then takes Maggie away to another room to interrogate her.

Carol starts talking to Paula and tries convincing her to spare them and  make the trade with Rick because he will kill them if she refuses. Eventually, Paula decides to go through with the trade and radios Rick that the trade is on. She is suspicious that Rick is nearby though. After Paula and Molly leave the cell, Carol cuts herself free with the rosary and looks for Maggie in the slaughterhouse. She quickly finds her alone in a room and tries to get her to leave immediately, but Maggie wants to kill the Saviors. The two go back to their cell and discover that Donnie died from his wound and will soon turn into a walker; Maggie decides to set a trap.

walker gauntlet

Soon after, Molly enters the cell and is attacked by Donnie, who is now a walker. The walker manages to bite Molly before she kills it but Molly in turn is bludgeoned to death by Maggie. Carol appears and takes Molly’s gun before they leave. When they get to a corridor leading to the outside, they find the walls lined with impaled walkers who are meant to keep them from escaping. At that moment, Paula appears behind them and fires her gun but misses. Carol aims her own gun at her and tells her to run but Paula refuses to budge. A walker tries to attack Carol which causes her to shoot Paula in the shoulder. Maggie spots Michelle nearby and the two women begin fighting in another room. The fight ends when Carol enters the room and shoots Michelle in the head.

They go back to the corridor with the walkers and Paula lunges at Carol. In the melee, Carol shoves her onto  a stake that is impaling a walker. Now in a deadly embrace, the walker grabs Paula and starts to chew her face off.

paula eaten

Paula’s fallen radio crackles to life. It’s one of the coming Saviors. Carol pretends to be Paula and lures them inside the slaughterhouse to a designated spot, the kill floor. A few minutes later, three Saviors arrive and go to the kill floor that is drenched in gasoline. Carol lights up the room and traps the men inside as they burn to death.

saviors burned

The women make their way through the walker corridor as Maggie methodically kills all the walkers, including Paula, who is now a walker. When they reach the outside door, Rick appears on the other side with his group, which includes Maggie’s dead primo walkinghusband Glenn Rhee (Steven Yuen). Rick turns to Primo and demands to know who is Negan, the leader of the Saviors. Primo smugly announces that he is Negan, echoing an earlier pronouncement by Molly that all of the Saviors are Negan. In response, Rick shoots him in the head.

 

“The Same Boat” was gripping and gritty even for The Walking Dead. More than that, this episode was a tour de force for Melissa McBride, who gave her best performance as Carol since the fourth season classic “The Grove”. As with that episode, Melissa McBride largely carries the episode as Carol is the center of the story.

tough carol

Carol is still struggling with the guilt of her past killings and seems genuinely weary and at the end. She isn’t suicidal or has a death wish like some other characters in The Walking Dead but she is perilously close. At this point, she is still bothered by her actions and her place in the world. What probably disturbs her the most is how much of herself she sees in the Saviors, especially Paula and Molly. This point is even expressed in some dialogue that Carol has with Molly where the older woman, who is suffering from a lung ailment and still smokes cigarettes. Molly casually tells her, ” I’m a dead woman walking, which puts us in exactly the same boat.”

Also Carol’s inner turmoil is in the realization of the similarities between the Saviors and Rick’s group, especially herself, and how they are heading in the Saviors’ savage direction. Are they truly the good guys? We wholeheartedly say yes, but that is only because The Walking Dead is told from their point of view.

prisoners

The theme of dark reflections is also explored in Maggie’s scenes with Michelle. It turns out that the two had similar histories, but in Michelle’s case, she lost her lover and her unborn child. So Maggie must be wondering if Michelle’s story is a cautionary tale. But she does not seem to be reflective of this since she is the one who encourages Carol to kill the Saviors when they had their chance to escape. So will Maggie walk down Carol’s dark path considering what could lay ahead with Glenn?

As we ponder this, keep in mind there are only three episodes left until the promised climatic season finale. It’s a guarantee that our heroes will be tested like never before.

José Soto

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 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 Five, Episode Sixteen “Conquer”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2015 by Starloggers

morgan

Morgan: “What’s the ‘W’ for?”

Wolf: “The first settlers here – they put bounties on wolves’ heads. Brought the natives into it. Made them hunt them. Didn’t take them to long to kill them all. They’re back now…”

The pre-credits scene of episode sixteen – and the season closer – of The Walking Dead‘s season five, “Conquer”, opens with Morgan Jones (Lennie James). Waking up early morning in the woods, he sits by a small campfire for a hot drink. Out of nowhere, a young man (Benedict Samuel) with a “W” on his forehead approaches, and sits opposite Morgan, pointing a gun. In a quirky conversation, he explains calmly that he is from the “Wolves”, who capture and kill survivors, and makes it clear that he intends the same for Morgan. Morgan offers his supplies in exchange for being let go, to no avail. The Wolf is surprisingly cordial. He seems to enjoy the one-on-one, but there is an underlying tone of menace. Suddenly, Morgan is ambushed by another Wolf, coming from behind, but in a brutal fight he uses his staff and knocks the two unconscious. He leaves the two in a nearby car and honks the horn to see if walkers are around. Seeing none, he flees…

Post-credits, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) awakes, battered and bruised from his fight with Pete (Corey Brill) and the knockout blow he received from Michonne (Danai Gurira) in the previous episode. He discovers Michonne – wearing her constable’s uniform – keeping watch on him. She tells him that Alexandria’s leader Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh) wanted Rick placed in the room to calm things down and wants to know what is going on with him.

glenn abe and carolAfter a few terse exchanges, Glenn (Steven Yuen), Carol (Melissa McBride) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) arrive. Carol acts innocent and berates Rick for stealing the guns from Alexandria’s armory, even though she was the one who stole the weapons. Rick plays along and is coached by her on how to defend his erratic behavior in an upcoming meeting that Deanna is holding to decide Rick’s fate. When Michonne asks why should Rick give a concocted story Carol replies “Because they are children and children like stories.”

Rick then plots with the group to regain their weapons in case the meeting doesn’t go well, even if it means taking hostages. Glenn questions if Rick wants to go in that ominous direction and Rick replies that he has reached his limit with the naive townspeople.

Elsewhere in Alexandria, Deanna and her husband Reg (Steve Coulter) meet with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) as she pleads Rick’s case, but Deanna won’t hear it, as far as she is concerned Rick went too far in his confrontation with Peter and wants him exiled. Frustrated by Deanna’s obtuseness, Maggie leaves, but a sympathetic Reg goes after her and tells Maggie that he will plead for Rick because they are civilized people.

Outside of the town, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) is morosely dragging walker corpses into a mass burial site. She is at the end of her sanity after her long ordeal on the road to Alexandria. Morbidly, she lies on top of the decaying bodies as if she is one of the undead herself.

crazy sasha

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) are out in the countryside scouting for new potential Alexandria residents. They spot a lone hiker (Jason Alexander Davis) wearing a bright red poncho in the woods and decide to shadow him.

Carol visits Rick and hands him a gun. He asks why she lied about not stealing the guns. She admits that she wasn’t sure rick and carolif Michonne could be trusted. Rick vouches for Michonne, but expresses doubt about his plan and adds that he doesn’t want to lie anymore. Carol reprimands him as if he were a school boy, “You said you don’t want to take this place. And you don’t want to lie? Oh, sunshine you don’t get both.”

Meanwhile, Maggie tells Glenn that she plans to talk to people to bring them to their side. Once Maggie leaves, Glenn spots Nicholas (Michael Travnor) scaling the walls bordering the town and leaving. At the same time, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) also leaves the town and refuses any weapons offered by Deanna’s son Spencer (Austin Nichols) who is guarding the main gate. He claims that God will provide protection.

Rick goes home and is greeted by his son Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Rick confirms that where they are now is their new home. Also, he confides that he may have to use force against the townspeople. Carl implores that Rick use reason instead.

Later, Rick visits Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) at her place to check up on her. She tells him that visiting her isn’t a good idea and that he should leave. Reluctantly, he complies but not before he is seen from afar by her husband Pete.

The trail of the Red Poncho Man leads Daryl and Aaron to an abandoned, fenced-in lot, but they lose him. Aaron suggests they head back to darly fights walkersAlexandria which is 50 miles away, but before doing so Daryl comes up with the idea of raiding several food trailers behind the fence. However, once inside the lot their situation takes a turn for the worst. Opening one of the trailer sets off a trap that opens up all of the trailers, which are packed with hungry walkers that soon flood the lot. Daryl and Aaron barely escape being devoured, but wind up trapped in a stalled mini-van…

Carol visits Pete at another house and demands carol threatens petethat as a doctor he should be checking on Tara (Alanna Masterson) who suffered injuries during the episode “Spend”. Not liking his attitude, Carol threatens him with a knife and dares him to attack her. Pete doesn’t take the bait, not even after she chastises him for his weakness and leaves.

Next, Glenn continues following Nicholas in the woods, but loses sight of him. Along the way, he comes upon a killed walker and as he comes closer to the corpse he is shot on the shoulder by Nicholas…

Still trapped in the mini-van and with swarms of walkers trying to get inside the vehicle, Daryl and Aaron weigh their options. Daryl volunteers to leave the van first to provide distraction and give Aaron a chance to escape. Aaron insists they fight their way out together. Daryl agrees and trapped daryljust before they can open the doors a gunshot rings out killing one of the walkers banging at Aaron’s side window. This gives the two their chance to bolt out of the mini-van. Outside, they discover Morgan fighting off the horde. Together, the three make a run for it and escape the lot. With the walkers safely behind the fence, Aaron thanks their savior and extends an invitation. Morgan declines, saying he is looking for a friend and asks for directions. He shows Daryl the same map that Abraham left behind for Rick in “Four Walls And A Roof” that has Rick’s name on it.

morgan to the rescue

While strolling alone in the countryside Gabriel discovers a walker with a noose around its neck eating a person on the side of a road. Gabriel announces his presence with his arms stretched out and shouting “I’m ready!”

The walker turns its attention to the priest and gabe yanks walkerattacks him. At the last second, Gabriel changes his mind and instead fights the walker, killing it with the noose. Then he takes a huge rock and kills the half-eaten person out of mercy.

When he returns to Alexandria, Spencer asks to speak to him later about his spiritual concerns. Spencer doesn’t pay heed to Seth’s distant behavior or that the priest is having his own crisis of faith. He leaves his guard position and asks Gabriel to close the heavy gate. However, Gabriel halfheartedly does this and leaves the gate ajar…

Abraham visits an unconscious Tara, who is attended to by Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt). The two men are uneasy given their falling out in the episode “Self Help” and their conversation is strained. Eugene apologizes for lying about having a cure for the walker virus and Abraham too apologizes for attacking him after he learned the truth.

On his way back to the town, Nicholas is attacked by a wounded Glenn. The two struggle until Nicholas pins him down and leaves him for an oncoming walker. Before Glenn can fight off the walker, two more walkers approach ready to feast on him…

glenn attacked

Michonne visits Rick at his home to pick him up for the meeting. He admits that Carol and Daryl plotted to steal guns from the armory and that he lied to Michonne because he wasn’t sure where she stood. She tells him that she knocked him out for his sake and affirms her allegiance to him no matter what happens. Later, when he is alone a troubled Rick reflects on the dark path he is heading towards.

rick discovers gateDuring his rumination, he looks out his window and spots that the gate to the town is left open. Rushing over, he finds walker blood on it and after closing the gate securely, starts tracking a blood trail. His search takes him along the inside perimeter of the walls, thoughout the quiet town and into the evening. Before long, he runs into walkers within Alexandria. Rick dispatches a few walkers, but one pins him down and is ready to bite the constable. However, he manages to kill it, spilling walker blood all over him…

Gabriel arrives at his chapel and finds Sasha waiting for him. She asks for spiritual guidance but Gabriel coldly gabe yells sasharebuffs her. He then launches into a tirade that the actions of Sasha and the other survivors are beyond redemption, adding that her deceased brother Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) deserved to die. Sasha lashes out and the two engage in a struggle that turns into a tug of war over her rifle. The fight between Sasha and Gabriel reaches its conclusion when Sasha gains the upper hand and aims her rifle on the fallen priest…

Deanna convenes an outdoor nighttime meeting to discuss Rick’s erratic behavior and it’s evident from her opening statement that she feels Rick is an unstable threat to Alexandria and needs to leave.

Members from Rick’s group like Michonne, Carol, Abraham and Maggie argue in Rick’s defense and that he has the town’s best interest at heart. They add that he saved their lives and taught them how to survive and that he can pass on the same lessons to the townspeople.

Meanwhile, Nicholas stumbles about in the woods. Out of the darkness, Glenn attacks him from behind and begins to beat him viciously. With Nicholas subdued and pleading, Glenn puts a gun to his head, but is unable to bring himself to kill him. He winds up bringing Nicholas back to Alexandria.

red ponchoAs all this is going on at Alexandria, back at the lot that Daryl and Aaron escaped from, the Wolves tribe members that Morgan encountered earlier note that their trap needs to be reset. The Red Poncho Man that Daryl and Aaron were tracking is now their prisoner, but not for long. One of the Wolves slashes his throat and leaves him for dead to become a new walker. Afterwards, they lure the walkers back to the trailers. It’s also revealed that one of the Wolves has found pictures of Alexandria and its citizens, which were dropped earlier by Aaron.

During the meeting, Deanna reveals that Gabriel confided in her earlier that Rick’s group couldn’t be trusted. Angrily, Maggie leaves to go find the priest.

At the chapel, Gabriel tells Sasha to shoot him, but Maggie comes in and stops her. Gabriel breaks down and declares that “They all died because of me.” meaning the members of his previous parish. Maggie reaches out for his hand and helps him up. The three then pray together.

As the debate continues, Rick shows up disheveled and bloodied carrying the walker corpse. He drops the body in front of the shocked attendees and tells them about the gate being left open. Then he commences a passionate soliloquy about how vulnerable they are to the dead and the living. No matter what, danger will come to the town but he will show them how to survive. He confesses his intentions of using force against them but that he won’t do that because they will change to become better at surviving. Simply put, they have no choice.

Before he can continue or anyone can react, a pete killsdrunken Pete shows up wielding Michonne’s katana. He charges at Rick but Reg gets in the way to stop him. Pete lashes out with the weapon and fatally wounds Deanna’s husband before he can be subdued. Grief stricken and enraged, she tells Rick to “Do it” and the constable shoots Pete dead. At that very moment, Daryl, Aaron and Morgan arrive in time to witness the execution.

In an post-credits scene, Michonne is at her home and is about to place her katana back on the wall. She reconsiders and sheathes her weapon. Back at the lot, the Red Poncho Man is now a walker and shuffles past a car. On the vehicle’s side “Wolves Not Far” is seen spray painted on it.

morgan daryl and aaronAs far as season finales go, “Conquer” quite effectively finished the tumultuous fifth season of The Walking Dead while giving us a glimpse of what to expect for season six. In the wake of this episode’s airing there was rampant hyperbole that “Conquer” was the greatest season finale for the show, but that isn’t the case. For our money, the second-season closer “Besides The Dying Fire” was a far more impressive and thrilling effort. While “Conquer” does have many great and intense moments, some plot developments and illogical character behavior hampered this finale.

The actions of many characters strained credibility starting with Morgan at the beginning. Why would such a sharp survivalist be out in the open woods as an easy target in this post-apocalyptic world? For that matter why the out-of-left-field weeping regard for his fellow man and not kill the two young Wolves who tried to kill him? As we’ve seen earlier this season, turning the other cheek comes back to bite you in the rear end. Case in point, Tyreese didn’t kill Martin (Chris Coy), the Terminite who threatened Judith, Rick’s infant daughter in the season opener “No Sanctuary”. Soon enough, Martin showed up again to menace our heroes and was partly responsible for Bob’s (Lawrence Gillard, Jr.) death. In “Conquer” Morgan spared the lives of the Wolves, but later they kill the hapless Red Poncho Man.

glenn v nich

This unrealistic reverence for the sanctity of life is also displayed by Glenn. Everyone watching his confrontation with Nicholas was demanding blood. Nicholas was a coward and his actions led to Noah (Tyler James Williams) being horribly eaten by walkers. Not only that, Nicholas attempted to kill Glenn more than once in this episode! We can only hope that sparing this punk will pay off for Glenn, but given the karmic nature of The Walking Dead Glenn may regret his inaction. On that note, how did Glenn escape those walkers? He was pinned down and outnumbered, and looked like a goner; a bonafide nail-biting moment without a payoff. Sure, he’ s a tough hombre, but it wouldn’t have hurt to show how he fought off the walkers.

Then there’s Rick. This seasoned survivor behaved at times like a high school teen with a major crush. Why does he go to see Jessie? Any sane person would know that doing so is unwise given his precarious position at Alexandria. And this is a cop, mind you. He should know better.

crazed rickAlso, he had to consider that his arrival at the meeting all bloodied up and looking like a madman probably didn’t help his cause. Already, Deanna and others thought he was unhinged with his manic behavior in the previous episode. True, it was a spur of the moment action, but it’s all about image and presentation. Nice speech though, but it probably wouldn’t have swayed anyone, least of all Deanna. It took a drunken Pete to change her mind. By the way, how did he get Michonne’s katana?

But cut Rick some slack. These townspeople are rather clueless when it comes to basic common sense and security. What kind of guard is Spencer? He leaves his post without locking the gate and instead leaves his job to someone else. It’s a miracle Alexandria is still standing with such lax security.

Next season will reveal if they shape up and get with Rick’s program or suffer the same fate as Noah’s community. The Wolves are now aware of them and will come knocking at the door soon.

w walkers

“Conquer” leaves us anticipating many intriguing story developments for the sixth season. How much more will the group dynamic change in the town? Will they toughen up or at least get a clue before the Wolves arrive? And what about the comic book villain Negan? Will he show up and is he involved with the Wolves? Will we see other communities? And the wild card in all this is Morgan. It will be interesting to see how he and Rick relate to each other. The last time Rick saw him way back in season three, Morgan literally lost it and Rick was the sane one. Now, Morgan has done a 180 and from the shocked look he gave Rick at the episode’s end, in his eyes it’s now Rick who has lost his marbles.

Thankfully, we have the spinoff Fear The Walking Dead to hold us over this summer until Rick and the others in Alexandria return this fall.

José Soto with special thanks to Evan Rothfeld