Archive for Eugene Porter

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

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 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 Seven “Heads Up”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2015 by Starloggers

walkers gotta eat

You honor the dead by going on, even when you’re scared. You live because they don’t get to.” –Glenn Rhee

The nagging question about Glenn Rhee’s (Steven Yeun) fate at the end of The Walking Dead episode “Thank You” trappedis finally answered in the opening moments of the seventh episode of the TV show. “Heads Up” opens with the final moments of “Thank You” where Glenn and Nicholas (Michael Traynor) are trapped on top of a dumpster surrounded by walkers. After Nicholas kills himself, his body falls onto Glenn and causes both to fall to the floor. The walkers then begin feasting on them, or so we thought. In actuality, with Nicholas’ body on top of Glenn, the walkers engorged themselves on Nicholas’ body and ignore Glenn. This gives him a chance to crawl under the dumpster and wait out the walkers.

After a few days, the walkers give up and shuffle away from the dumpster area. Glenn crawls out and is tossed a bottle of water by Enid (Katelyn Nacon) who is on a rooftop. The last time she was seen in the episode “JSS” she left the Alexandria Safe Zone when it came under attack by the mysterious Wolves gang.

enid and glenn

Glenn tries to get her to return to Alexandria with him but she refuses and the two play a cat-and-mouse game in the town. When he finally catches up to her she holds a gun to him, but he grabs it from her and orders her to join him.

Rick stands guardBack in Alexandria, everyone is on edge as the undead walker horde encircle the walled town. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), the de facto leader of the town, inspects the walls keeping the town safe and notices walker blood leaking through. Later, he and his son Carl (Chandler Riggs) teach Ron Anderson (Austin Abrams) how to shoot a gun. What they don’t realize is that Ron holds a bitter grudge against them; he is jealous that Enid seems to like Carl better and is angered that Rick previously executed his father. After the lesson, Ron sneaks into the armory and steals bullets for a gun given to him by Rick.

Rick meets with Michonne (Danai Gurira) and ponder how to lure the walkers away from the town and consider having someone sneak out and get into to a car to distract the walkers.

By himself, Rick goes to the walls and tries to reinforce them. Tobin (Jason Douglas) soon joins him and offers his help, adding that the inexperienced residents are willing to learn from Rick’s hardened group.  Rick complies. As this goes on, the residents learn self defense from Rosita (Christian Serratos) and the town’s actual leader Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh) starts making plans for expanding the town, confident that they will survive the current crisis.

Just outside the town, Glenn and Enid discover all the walkers surrounding Alexandria. But he find some green balloons that were used by Rick and his group to distract walkers in the episode “First Time Again”. Glenn spots a helium tank in the bushes and more balloons that need inflating. He decides to use them to distract the walkers away from the town.

spencer on a wire

At this time, Rick, Tobin and Morgan Jones (Lennie James) spot Deanna’s adult son Spencer (Austin Nichols) trying to leave town by shimmying on a grappling line he erected from the town’s watchtower. Inexperienced, Spencer hangs perilously over the walkers who try reaching for him. The line weakens and he falls down. As Rick, Morgan and Tobin pull up Spencer back over the wall using the rope, Tara Chambler (Alanna Masterson) distracts the walkers by shooting several of them. Spencer is saved, but Rick screams at him for his foolish act. Spencer explains he was only trying to get to a car to lure the walkers, but Rick won’t have it because he endangered other people with his actions.

Once Spencer is safe, Morgan goes to the infirmary and asks the town’s novice doctor Denise (Merritt Wever) for some antibiotics. He wants to treat the young wounded Wolf (Benedict Samuel) that he captured and is keeping hidden from the others. Morgan is already at odds with Rick and the others because of his pacifistic ways that allowed surviving Wolves to flee town. Those same Wolves later attacked Rick when he was outside luring walkers back in the episode “Thank You”.

Denise convinces Morgan to let her come with him to treat the Wolf. However, Carol (Melissa McBride) sees Morgan and soon confronts him at the townhouse where the Wolf is held prisoner.

Ron sneaks up

At another part of town, Carl is walking along the streets. Behind him Ron sneaks up behind him and gets ready to shoot him.

Back at the walls, Rick and Tobin continue propping up the walls. Deanna comes over to thank him for saving Spencer. At this time, Maggie Green (Lauren Cohan), who is doing sentry duty on top of the walls sees balloons floating upwards outside town. She’s ecstatic because she realizes that her husband Glenn is alive.

But before anyone can celebrate, the fragile watchtower, weakened from Spencer’s exploit, collapses on one of the walls and breaks it down giving the walkers access into Alexandria.

First of all, let’s go over Glenn’s fate. After leaving us hanging for nearly a month the showrunners of The Walking Dead finally revealed what happened to him. Well, after all the angst and hand-wringing on the Internet commemorating Glenn, it turns out he survived. Honestly, his glenn hidessurvival is highly implausible and reeks of cop out. It’s hard to believe that even with bait on top of him that the walkers would completely ignore Glenn. Wouldn’t a couple try to reach for his protruding limbs? The entire affair is just like those old cliffhangers where you see the hero go over the cliff in a car and in the next episode you see him jumping out of the car just in time before it goes over.

While we’re all glad that Glenn is alive and somewhat well, it all feels like a play on our emotions and a cheat. There isn’t any way this can be replicated away in The Walking Dead, a series that is renowned for unexpected character deaths. What’s going to happen next time? Will audiences buy it? Doubtful. If the showrunners continue down this path then this will be the Jump-the-Shark moment for The Walking Dead.

glenn emerges

Still, we’re happy to see that Glenn made it out of that town. Now he can’t be killed off by Negan as in the comic books because he truly has nine lives. How about Abraham? He was losing his marbles for a while there and in the last episode seemed to have gone a road to inner peace–the perfect person to kill off in The Walking Dead.

As an episode “Heads Up” was rather enjoyable and terrifically sets up the mid-season finale with worthwhile cliffhangers that leave viewers hanging. Given the unsatisfying watchtowerway some recent cliffhangers were resolved (offscreen as with Rick’s escape from the stranded RV), the stakes are high for meaningful resolutions to this episode’s cliffhangers. The most cringeworthy being the final shot where the watchtower collapses. Still, expect given the fact that the next episode is the mid-season finale expect even more cliffhangers as the walkers swarm Alexandria.

It’s do or die time, literally, for the Alexandria residents. Thankfully “Heads Up” had some badly needed establishing scenes of the townspeople in training and starting to get into proper survival mode. It was also a relief to see that Rick and his group seem to be gelling in with the residents who are coming around to Rick’s way of thinking.

eugene learnsOne nagging thought comes to mind. In one of the training scenes where Rosita teaches a group on how to properly use a machete, her friend Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) is not only in the class taking lessons but is visibly hesitant about handling a weapon. We know that Eugene has a cowardly streak but last season he’s shown that when push comes to shove he will rise to the occasion so why the sudden reversal? Plus, he’s more experienced to the ways of the outside world unlike the Alexandrians. He should have more of an idea on how to survive.

In any event, expect lots of gore, action and thrills in the next episode. Plus, lots of water-cooler talk after it airs.

Waldermann Rivera

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Two “JSS”

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

carol and lennie fight wolf

Just Survive Somehow – A note written by Enid for Carl

The second episode in season six of The Walking Dead chronicles the citizens of Alexandria as the events of the previous episode “First Time Again” unfolded. They try to live as close to a normal life as possible being that they’re in the midst of the walker apocalypse. Still, an air of unease permeates the walled-in town, which culminates in an attack by the mysterious marauders known as the Wolves.

Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) is busy sharing recipes with a few housewives as she keeps up her veneer of being a meek housewife. That illusion is forever shattered later when at her home when she spots outside her window one of the wives viciously attacked and killed by a Wolf. From there Carol heads for the town’s armory. On her way, she kills one of the Wolves and disguises herself as one of them. The ruse works as she methodically gets close enough to several Wolves and kills them before they can get to the guns stored at the armory.

carol w 2

Along her route to the armory she finds Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and instructs him to stay home and defend his infant sister Judith. Soon, Enid (Katelyn Nacon) comes by the Grimes home to say goodbye to Carl because Alexandria isn’t safe and as flashbacks in the episode’s cold opening reveal she is a traumatized loner. Carl manages to convince her to stay at his home and help him defend it. While Carl is able to get her to stay momentarily, he is unable to convince Ron Anderson (Austin Abrams) to stay with him, even after he saves Ron’s life.

Unknown to Carl, Ron is jealous of Carl’s friendship with Enid and hates Carl’s father Rick (Andrew Lincoln) for executing his father Pete (Corey Brill) in the episode “Conquer”. Instead of staying at the Grimes household, Ron goes home in time to see his mother Jessie (Alexandra Breckinridge) kill an intruding Wolf with a pair of scissors.

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Spencer Monroe (Austin Nichols) is on a lookout tower and trying to pick off scattered Wolves with his rifle. He spots a cargo truck racing towards the town’s main gate and fires at the driver. Spencer kills the driver but the truck crashes into a wall and spencerthe vehicle begins sounding the loud, continuous horn that was heard at the end of “First Time Again”, which ruined the plan to lure walkers away from Alexandria. Spencer opens the driver side door and is greeted by a walker that is quickly killed by a newly arrived Morgan Jones (Lennie James). Morgan had been with the Alexandrians who were luring away the walker super horde and hightailed back to town when the truck horn started blaring. After he turns off the horn, Morgan senses Spencer’s fear and tells him to hide as he enters the town.

Spencer soon finds his mother, Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) outside the walls with Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Before the attack, Maggie was consoling the town’s mayor to resume her role and continue her late husband’s expansion. Deanna tells Maggie that she won’t go into the town because she’ll be a liability. Maggie tells Spencer to keep his mother safe as she enters the town to help out.

morgan fights wolf

Meanwhile, Morgan quickly defeats with his staff all the Wolves he finds and saves the lives of many residents including Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). His method of dealing with the Wolves contrasts sharply with Carol since he leaves the Wolves beaten but alive. On the other hand, Carol coldly kills them.

Slowly the tide turns against the Wolves, and they flee back into the woods. In the aftermath, Enid exits the town, leaving behind a note for Carl that simply states: “Just Survive Somehow”. Aaron (Ross Marquand) finds on the body of one of the Wolves his own backpack that contained pictures of Alexandria. He lost it during an encounter with walkers in the episode “Conquer” and now Aaron is distraught with the knowledge that those pictures led the Wolves to his town.

Morgan undergoes a crisis of his own when one of the last Wolves (Benedict Samuel) he finds is the same one he encountered in “Conquer” and spared. The two men battle and carol and morgan walk different pathsconcludes with Morgan delivering a decisive blow. This encounter rattles him because it undermines his non-violent philosophy. Throughout the episode, he implored any Wolf he battled that violence only leads to more violence. After the battle as he leaves town, Morgan and Carol cross paths without acknowledging each other.

“JSS” has quickly become a fan favorite, many touting it as one of The Walking Dead’s best episodes. For a TV show that boasts so many exceptional episodes, this bestowment isn’t a small feat. Featuring intense action set pieces, nail-biting tension, unexpected character examinations and minimal dialogue, this episode is a true standout.

A nitpick about the season premiere was that it ignored so many of the core characters. Well, now we know what they were up to when Rick was carrying out his master plan. What was so memorable about “JSS” is that most of the characters were more vulnerable. Consider this, if it was Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) who were in Alexandria we viewers wouldn’t be so concerned because they can take care of themselves. Now the only hardcore walker fighters were Morgan and Carol, who both had absorbing character development.

For Morgan, tantalizing clues are peppered about his past. How did he become so adept at using a walking staff as such a formidable weapon? When we last saw him in season three, Morgan was a broken man, so how did he find his way back? More importantly, were the suggestions that he was a much more violent man and his experience in “JSS” has threatened to disrupt his inner peace and revert him to a more violent person.

As for Carol, it’s astounding how radically carol disguise 2the character has changed from a meek, abused housewife in season one into a brusque and calculating killing machine. This transformation has been evident last season, but there are cues in “JSS” that there are cracks in her armor. By the end of the episode, she quietly starts to cry after taking stock of the carnage and seeing the corpses of the housewives she was friendly with at the episode’s start. This doesn’t make her weak, it just demonstrates that she still has a heart. But will this mean she starts going down Morgan’s more serene path as implied when the two combatants passed each other? It will be interesting to see the two popular characters reverse roles.

denise patientOther characters had very memorable moments, even a newly introduced one: Dr. Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever). A cowardly soulmate to Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt), Denise was appointed as the town’s doctor after Pete’s death even though she has minimal medical training. In “JSS” she goes through a fiery baptism where she’s forced to handle life-and-death emergencies and nearly buckles. Only Eugene’s encouragement to not give in to her fear keeps her going. Eugene’s actions in this episode were commendable in that he saw his cowardice in Denise and knew that she needed help and gave her the right words that she needed.

One of the most fascinating characters in jssthis episode was Enid. With little dialogue or explanation we understand her outlook in life and why she is so distant. After Enid witnessed her parents being eaten by walkers in the cold opener, she built up walls to keep her alive and sane. Sadly, while it enables her to survive a brutal world it disallows her from forming any meaningful relationships, chiefly Carl. Her fatalistic view of life prevented her from seeing that defending Alexandria was possible, although she knows that in the long term Alexandria is doomed so it’s better to leave while she can. Some have speculated that she may have been in league with the Wolves, but that’s doubtful, Enid is too much of a loner who operates under her JSS outlook. But, is just surviving enough? That is to be explored.

José Soto

The Walking Dead Season Five, Episode Fourteen “Spend”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by Starloggers

noah dies

The pre-credits scene of episode fourteen of The Walking Dead‘s season five, “Spend”, opens with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Entering an Alexandria church, he sees a welcome note left for him by the townspeople, elated that one of the new arrivals is a man of the cloth. Instead of receiving the note with joy, his guilt over his selfish actions and loss of faith cause him to tense up. In a fit of anger, he rips the pages out of his bible…

Post-credits, Noah (Tyler James Williams) sits outside with Reg (Steve Coulter), whom he requested to see. Evidently, he wants to learn how to build, and is requesting Reg’s expertise, since he constructed the walls surrounding Alexandria. As Reg wants the Free Zone to grow and thrive, he is elated that the young newcomer sees Alexandria as part of his permanent plans. Reg hands him a moving gift – a journal – for him to record his experiences for both himself and for the community.

investigator rickAs the new constable, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is making his rounds around the community, and pops into Jessie Anderson’s (Alexandra Breckenridge) house. Jessie is working on one of her sculptures, which has been vandalized. Rick offers to find the culprit, asking about possible enemies, but she politely brushes off his concerns. Rick is later approached by Jessie’s husband, Pete (Corey Brill), who tries to befriend him, even talking about how their kids should get together. Although cordial, there is a hint of menace in his tone…

Glenn (Steven Yeun), Noah, Tara (Alanna Materson), Eugene (Josh McDermott), Aiden (Daniel Bonjour), and Nicholas (Michael Traynor) go on a supply run to replace a part for the solar grid powering Alexandria. Eugene is hesitant to go, citing his ineptitude around walkers, but he is the only one who can identify the needed part. They leave for a warehouse outside of town via a van.

Once there, the group finds a way in and Eugene searches the darkened shelves. Glenn and Noah take a walk around the outside perimeter and note that the building’s front entrance is infested trying to save aidenwith walkers, but they are blocked from entering the warehouse itself by a cage. After Eugene finds the part, a cop in heavy riot gear reanimated as a walker approaches, and Aiden – against Glenn’s orders – shoots him repeatedly, triggering grenades strapped on the walker’s front armor. The blast leaves Tara with a serious head wound, knocking her out, and impales Aiden to a side wall. Even worse, the blast weakens the cage, enabling the walkers to start trickling into the warehouse.

euegene steps upWhile the others try to save Aiden, a frightened Eugene musters his courage, and carries the wounded Tara out of the warehouse, killing a pair of walkers on the way. As they Glenn and Noah try to free Aiden as Nicholas stands guard, Aiden admits that the deaths of four people on his previous team were his fault. Aiden is proving impossible to free, causing Nicholas to panic and flee. With the walker horde closing in, Glenn and Noah are forced to finally abandon him. In a horrifying scene, Aiden wails as he is eaten alive by the walkers.

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Glenn, Noah, and Nicholas attempt to flee the warehouse but end up trapped inside a revolving door blocked on both sides. Walkers have surrounded the door from outside and within the warehouse and are trying to push the doors to get to their meal. Eugene arrives in the van that is blaring loud music and lures some of the walkers on the outside away. However, Nicholas panics again and squeezes his way out of the revolving door, leaving Noah’s side open to the walkers. The hungry creatures grab Noah through a narrow opening and pull him into their side of the door. Quickly, they tear him apart as Glen, mere inches away separated by smudged glass, watches in helpless horror. Nicholas runs to the van and orders Eugene to leave immediately, thereby leaving the others behind, but Eugene refuses. Nicholas pulls him out of the van and tries to leave without him. By this time, Glenn finally escapes from the revolving door, reaches the van and knocks Nicholas unconscious. The four head back to Alexandria.

abraham saves worker

Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) has a new job on the work crew, working on building a new section of wall to expand the community’s borders. As they work, a horde of walkers emerges from the nearby woods and attacks. One of the workers, Francine (Dahlia Legault) gets surrounded by walkers. The crew chief, Tobin (Jason Douglas), chokes up under fear and orders the rest to fall back. Abraham rushes in and saves Francine, taking on the walkers by himself. The others begin to fight back against the walkers, inspired by his bravery. Once all the walkers are cut down, Abraham takes charge of the work crew and orders them to continue the building project, but this time keeping a more vigilant eye out for walkers. Later, Tobin goes to visit Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh), appearing before a panel that includes Reg and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). He resigns his position, admitting in a straightforward way that Abraham is a better leader than he is. Deanna agrees to promote Abraham but in a one-on-one with Maggie, reveals her concern that the newcomers are taking over all the responsible jobs in the community. Maggie explains that her group has experience and the community needs them if it wants to survive.

Father Gabriel later arrives to speak privately nutty gabewith Deanna. He warns her in a histrionic tone that Rick and his group cannot be trusted, as they have done terrible things on the outside in order to survive. Deanna explains that she will give it some thought. Neither are aware though that Maggie overhears the entire conversation.

Carol (Melissa McBride) is visited several times by Jessie’s young son Sam (Major Dodson), who keeps asking for more cookies. In a clever ruse to get rid of him, Carol tells him she will only make him cookies if he steals two bars of chocolate from the town’s food supply. Sam returns with the chocolate, and Carol agrees to bake the cookies. He asks Carol why she stole the guns, and Carol answers that she needs them to protect herself. Sam admits to breaking Jessie’s statue, but runs away when Carol questions him. Later, Carol goes to the Anderson home to try and talk to Sam or his mom Jessie. Pete answers, behaving oddly, and coldly turns her away. Suspicious, Carol approaches Rick, explaining that she thinks that Pete is abusing Jessie and maybe Sam, hinting on her awareness as a formerly abused wife. She tells Rick that the only way to stop it is to kill Pete…

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Like a clutch hitter coming up to bat after a weak lineup, “Spend” dishes up the goods just when it’s needed. It’s certainly one of the better episodes in the second’s second half. Briskly paced with tight dialogue, it avoids the “warm fuzzies” that has made us cringe on many an occasion. The soap opera-ish backstories – such as the paranoid Father Gabriel and the sinister, wife-beating Pete – are not presented as time-killing fodder to pace out the show but as real issues happening to real people. The character development supported the story, not the other way around – and with a minimum of dialogue. A sign of things to come? Time will tell. To round out the lineup, the action scenes were superb. Aiden may have been a shmuck on wheels, but it was still sad to see him go in what was one of the most gruesome and heartbreaking deaths the show has ever produced. It was surpassed only by Noah’s, coming a few minutes later, and I don’t think I’ll forget that look pressed up against the revolving door so fast. A brave young man indeed, looking to pull his weight – another character that we will miss.

aiden eaten

It’s clear that the Fee Zone residents have been living in a dreamlike oasis, almost like a hologram, cut off from the harsh reality. The people are clueless, their cocktail parties and spaghetti dinners are sapping their static food supply, and it’s a matter of time before the walls are breached or another gang of marauders or cannibals attack. If Rick and the gang are going to bring the community up to a level where they will be able to continue their survival, the writing is on the wall is that they are going to have exert force. The question is when…

Evan Rothfeld

The Walking Dead Season Five, Episode Eight “Coda”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2014 by Starloggers

Coda (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) – Something that ends and completes something else.

“Hail to Dorothy, the Wicked Witch is dead”MGM’s The Wizard of Oz, 1939

walkers at the door

In the pre-credits scene of episode eight, season five of The Walking Dead (and the mid-season finale), Officer Lamson (Maximiliano Hernández) bolts away, handcuffed, stopping every minute to catch his breath. As the fatigue slows him, the walkers close in. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) speeds after him in a police car, ordering him to stop. Lamson ignores him, so Rick hits him with the car, hostagesknocking him to the ground. Bleeding and severely injured, Lamson claims his back is broken, and asks to be taken to the hospital. With walkers approaching, Rick executes him on the spot. Aware that that Lamson’s death might result in violence between the two factions, he and his prisoners Officers Shepherd (Teri Wyble) and Licari (Christopher Matthew Cook) devise a story that Lamson was killed by walkers…

Post-credits, the hospital’s order begins to unravel. The cops in the field fail to respond to Officer Dawn Lerner’s (Christine Woods) attempts to communicate with them, and others soon begin to doubt her leadership abilities. Officer O’Donnell (Ricky Wayne) confronts Lerner, threatening to remove her as leader. After Lerner pulls a gun, the two get into a brutal fight, ending when Beth (Emily Kinney) pushes O’Donnell down the elevator shaft. Beth later accuses Lerner of manipulating her into eliminating Gorman (Cullen Moss) and now O’Donnell, who were both threats to Lerner’s leadership. She again promises to escape. Lerner denies Beth’s accusation, and slyly promises to remember Beth’s support. As they speak, Carol (Melissa McBride) begins to regain consciousness.

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After fleeing the church from the last episode, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) reaches the school where the Terminites set up camp earlier this season. Discovering the grisly remainder of Bob Stookey’s (Lawrence Gillard, Jr.) leg, laying maggot-ridden on a makeshift grill, he reacts with disgust, flinging it aside. Walkers break out of the school and chase Gabriel back to the church, where he is trapped against the fortified front door, unable to enter the church. Hearing his screams for help, Carl fighting church walkers(Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) break down the front door, allowing Gabriel and the walkers inside. They make a standoff in the church, with Michonne cutting down the walkers until the undead pour in massive numbers. With no alternative, the group takes Rick’s baby daughter Judith and escape through the hole in the floor that Gabriel dug previously. Once outside, they quickly reseal the front doors, trapping the walkers inside. At that moment, Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) arrives with his group in their fire truck, creating a barrier against the church’s front entrance. They exchange news: Ford’s group informs the others that Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt) Washington, D.C. mission was a lie, and Michonne tells Maggie (Lauren Cohan) that they know that Beth is alive and her location. They all head to Atlanta to link up with Rick’s group.

Meanwhile, in a deserted lot, Rick meets tradeoffup with another pair of officers, and proposes the trade of Shepherd and Licari for Beth and Carol. Although suspicious, they agree. Later, Rick’s group meets Lerner and her officers inside the hospital. As Beth gets ready, she is shown with a determined look on her face as she hides a pair of scissors in her cast. The trade is tense but smooth, unfortunately, as Rick and the survivors prepare to leave, Lerner adds a condition at the last second, demanding that Rick hand over Noah (Tyler James Williams), whom she states is her ward. Rick and Beth are hesitant, but Noah willingly agrees so as to prevent bloodshed. As Beth hugs Noah goodbye, Lerner makes a nasty comment to her in reference to their earlier conversation. Angry, dead bethBeth hisses at Lerner, saying “I get it now”, and stabs her in the shoulder with the scissors. Lerner instinctively fires her gun straight into Beth’s head and the young survivor dies instantly. Daryl (Norman Reedus), stunned, immediately kills Lerner by shooting her in the head. The two sides square off, weapons drawn, but the situation is defused by Shepherd, who tells the cops to hold their fire. She insists that Lerner was a problem all along, and that it is all over now that she is dead. Dr. Edwards (Erik Jensen) offers to let the survivors stay at the hospital for permanent shelter. Rick refuses, but in turn offers anyone in the hospital to join his group, but only Noah accepts. The survivors exit the hospital, just as Ford and the others pull up. Maggie she sees Daryl carrying Beth’s corpse and breaks down, wailing hysterically…

carrying beth

In a post-credits scene, Morgan (Lennie James), last seen in the season opener quietly hiking through the Georgian forests, continues to follow marks on the trees. He first comes across the school. Later, rummaging through the quiet church, he finds the map and note that Ford left for Rick by Abraham, and is surprised to learn that he is following Rick’s trail…

gabriel at doorMid-season cliffhangers in The Walking Dead are usually nail-biting action-filled rollercoasters, but “Coda” comes across as one of the weakest of the bunch. That’s not to say there weren’t good moments – the opening scene where Rick runs over the cop and then executes him in cold blood was nasty and hinted at possible cruelties to come. Also, the fight scene at the church was masterfully done and hearkened back to the great walker battles of yesteryear. But it wrapped up too neatly, as the cavalry in the form of Sgt. Ford and the good guys rode up just in time. It ruined what could have been an even better Fort Apache-style ending piece, with the group fighting through the night until (finally) Ford arrives. An even better idea (writers, take note) would be Michonne, Carl, and Judith, and Gabriel exiled and forced to hide out as Rick et al would return, shocked, to find a human-free church, thus providing the season’s remaining episodes with a kickass “find-and-rescue” storyline. But none of that was to happen. Instead, “Coda” felt a bit chaotic, coming across more like disjointed snippets that tried to tie together the loose ends without the classic buildup that pivotal episodes adhere to.

dawn and beth dutch angleWhich brings us to the late, likable, and doomed Beth Greene. Never a major character on the show, often not even receiving the minimal amount of lines or roles in many of the storylines, the pretty young farmer’s daughter met an ugly death just as she was coming into her own as clever, independent, and resilient. I’m not sure why the writers insisted on this, it seems like just a ploy to remind us that people can die and things change. The gal has been on the show for a long time, having been introduced in season two. No doubt her death will have a major impact – more so than Bob Stookey’s -on the post-Terminus euphoric high that the survivors have experienced. So what’s next? The show is best when there is either a) an external threat, be it walkers or dastardly villains, or b) a mission, such as Eugene’s invented Washington trip, a hunt for new living quarters, or a supply run gone south. To have them heading back to the church and milling around would make for a bland second half. But we hope that Morgan will meet up with them, which will make for a great storyline. See you in February!

Evan Rothfeld