Archive for Father Gabriel

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

Advertisements

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

 

 

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.

noah dies 2

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…

dying noah 3

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 Ten “Them”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2015 by Starloggers

Maggie: How much longer we got?

Sasha: Sixty miles.

Maggie: I wasn’t talking about that…

losing hope

The pre-credits scene of episode ten of The Walking Dead‘s season five, “Them”, opens as with the survivors on the road to Washington, D.C. Taking a much-needed break in a desolate forest, Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) sits under a tree softly whimpering. Attacked by a walker, she kills it almost mechanically, going through the motions. Done, she goes back to crying…Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) digs through the spongy earth, pulling out worms, which he swallows whole…Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) walks through a worn trail, looking for water. She notes an odd occurrence – dead frogs – leaving her frustrated. Run-down and tired, the three return to the others…

the walking dead

Post-credits, the survivors return to the road but their van runs out of gas, forcing them to continue on foot despite the blistering heat. Supplies are running low, and it is obvious they are weak and suffering from lack of food and water. Trudging along, they are followed fifty yards back by a herd of walkers, which Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) orders to ignore, as they are too weak to fight them. They begin questioning their chances of survival. Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) finds Maggie walking alone and attempts to console her for the loss of her sister Beth (Emily Kinney), but she rebuffs him coldly for locking his congregation out of his church:

“You were there to save your flock, right? But you didn’t. You hid. Don’t act like that didn’t happen…”

Daryl takes another walk into the forest for some food, joined by Carol (Melissa McBride), but finds nothing. Carol notes his grief underneath his stoic exterior and tries to console him, to which he reveals only a slight crack of emotion. She returns to the others.

bridge walkers

Rick devises a plan to dispatch the approaching herd of walkers by tossing them off a nearby bridge. The plan goes well at the beginning, but Sasha’s recklessness puts several survivors in danger, leading to an angry confrontation with Michonne (Danai Gurira), who warns her not to end up like her late brother Tyreese (Chad Coleman).

Joined by Daryl, they continue. Maggie finds a much-needed car, but out of curiosity peeks in the trunk, and is horrified to see a walker bound and gagged. She closes the trunk, unnerved at the sight of it. Glenn (Steven Yeun) catches up with her, opens the trunk, and kills the walker, puzzled at Maggie’s reaction…

Later, while the group is resting, a pack of wild dogs emerges from the forest, snarling ominously. The survivors flinch, unprepared for this new threat until Sasha takes them down by rifle lost gabefire. They cook the dogs for dinner. As they eat, a brooding Father Gabriel throws his priest collar into the fire, signifying his lost faith. On the road the next day, Daryl walks off on his own for a cigarette in the forest. He begins to self-harm, stubbing the cigarette out on his arm. Rejoined by Daryl, the survivors spot an odd sight, several full water bottles waiting for them in the middle of the road with a note bearing the words “from a friend.” Unsure of what to do – lest it be a trap – they are interrupted by heavy rain. The survivors, soaking wet, begin lapping up the water (Father Gabriel reacts to this blessing by apologizing to God for throwing away his collar) and replenishing their supply, but the beginnings of a thunderstorm force them to keep moving and seek shelter. They find a nearby barn and settle in.

we are TWDThat night, the survivors light a fire and talk about the reality and horror of the new world. Rick tells the group a story of his grandfather, a World War II veteran who survived by convincing himself that he was already a dead man. Rick explains that he would say to himself, “rest in peace, now go to war”, as he would wake up every morning. Rick instructs the group that like his grandfather, they have to live with reality and tell themselves that they are “the walking dead”. The group is silenced by his story… soon a herd of walkers attack, trying to break through the barn door. In an eerie, almost dream-like sequence, the group works together, straining to barricade the barn door as the storm outside rages.

The next morning, the survivors emerge into the sun to discover that the storm has killed or immobilized the walkers, although it miraculously spared the barn. While watching the aaronsunrise, Sasha and Maggie – both grieving the recent death of their siblings – share a private moment. Sasha confides that she doesn’t know how to carry on. The two are suddenly approached by a neatly-dressed man named Aaron (Ross Marquand). Suspicious of this stranger, they hold him at gunpoint as he identifies himself as a “friend”. He asks for Rick by name, claiming to bring “good news”…

sasha nuts

Regarding “Them”, let’s talk about expectations and reality. I expected that after the paint-by-numbers snooze-fest of episode nine “What Happened and What’s Going On”, the writers would return to the golden days of yore when the show was built around action, thrills, and decent dialogue. But the reality was quite different. “Them” was the dullest and most boring episode ever, full of cardboard cutout conversations, unfinished scenes, and horrendous dialogue, saved only by the sudden appearance of Aaron, a well known and major figure of the comics (I won’t reveal any more).

The Walking Dead has a group of writers who are getting paid good money and all they could come up with is drek, such as Rick saying to Daryl, “I know you lost something back there…”.The rest was no better. Music boxes? A priest renouncing his faith? Survivors admitting that they are at the breaking point of giving up, and others telling them to be strong? A storm harming walkers yet sparing the barn? Honestly, I cringe now when I watch this show. It’s as if the writers downloaded The Top 100 Hollywood Cliches onto their Kindles and consulted it while writing the episode. On the positive side, the show is so bad now that it can’t even get any worse, so the next episodes should be an improvement. Maybe – just maybe – we’re at the stage where Roger Moore was to the Bond films. That is where the series stopped taking itself seriously, but then shot back with a rejuvenated era. That’s a big “maybe”…

Evan Rothfeld

The Walking Dead Season Five, Episode Three “Four Walls and A Roof”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by Starloggers

gareth pleads

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The pre-credits scene of episode three of The Walking Dead‘s season five, “Four Walls and a Roof”, picks up right bob laughswhere the previous episode, “Strangers” left off. Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) lies grieving as the Terminites eat his amputated left leg. Gareth (Andrew J. West) taunts him, vowing to eat Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the others. Bob’s sobs turn to laughter as he shows them a gash on his shoulder where he was bitten by a walker, telling them he’s “tainted meat”…

Post-credits, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) patrols the church’s perimeter, looking for signs of the missing Bob. She catches a glimpse of someone spying on them, but is distracted by walkers. Joined by Rick and Tyreese (Chad Colemen), they realize that Bob isn’t the only one who has gone. Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) are missing, too…

Inside the church, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) gazes at a bible, holding the thick book in her hands silently before returning it to its place. Sasha comes in from the outside and confronts Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) at sasha confronts gabrielknifepoint, claiming that he is connected to the terrifying events: they are being watched and three survivors are missing. Gabriel stammers a denial, but Rick steps in, demanding to know what Gabriel did that he is hiding from them. The preacher reveals that at a certain point during the initial walker epidemic he began denying refuge to his congregation, since they helplessly began bringing the undead with them. Gabriel insists he’s damned to hell for his sins and breaks down crying.

Alerted to noises, they run outside and find Bob unconscious on the front lawn. Rick blasts away as cover legless bobas the others rush to carry him inside. Laying him down in the aisle, Bob gasps out his story, explaining that the Terminites – Gareth and five others – held him at a school and ate his leg. He reveals that he was bitten at the food bank (in “Strangers”) and shows them his gash. Although feverish and in intense pain from his leg and shoulder, he refuses painkillers. With Gabriel’s help, Rick clarifies the school’s location and plans a raid in retaliation, but Sgt. Ford (Michael Cudlitz) – agitated and somewhat hyper – backs out: the unfolding events threaten the life of Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt), and he declares his intention to leave immediately for Washington, D.C. with Porter and Rosita (Christian Serratos). Rick objects, explaining that two survivors – Daryl and Carol – are missing and that Ford’s help is needed. After a heated argument, where the two almost come to blows if not for the others intervening, the two factions cut a deal: Ford will stay for another twelve hours to help with the fight against the Terminites, and in return, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie will join them on their mission.

bob shows gash

Rick sets out with Sasha, Ford, and Michonne (Danai Gurira) on the raid. Moments after disappearing into the woods, Gareth and the Terminites, who have been hiding yards away, break into the church, armed. The survivors hide in the back office, breaking into chruchas Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Rosita ready their weapons. Gareth and the others slowly approach, calling out their intentions and demanding that the survivors give up. Once baby Judith’s cries reveal their location, the Terminites prepare to barge in, but Rick and the others enter, shooting and killing two of them. Rick shoots off Gareth’s fingers and demand the others drop their weapons. With the tables now turned, Gareth tries to reason with Rick, claiming that if he frees them, they will never bother them again. Rick reacts savagely, hacking him to death with a machete, as the others bludgeon, mutilate, and kill the remaining Terminites. In the aftermath, Michonne finds that one of the dead Terminites has her katana and she reclaims it. Meanwhile, the other survivors are shocked at the brutality, staring in horror. Gabriel speaks up in a feeble protest:

Gabriel: “This is the Lord’s house.

Maggie: “No, it’s just four walls and a roof…”

The next morning the others say their goodbyes to Bob. Sasha is unable to put Bob down to prevent him from re-animating as a walker, and Tyreese volunteers to do the job. The big man buries him next to the church. Rick comes to help, but Tyreese is mostly uncommunicative.

Ford hands Rick a spare map with which ford leaveshe marked his route to Washington, and sets out – with Glenn and Maggie, as agreed on, along with Tara (Alana Masterson) – in the repaired church bus. Rick looks at the map, and finds a message from Ford, explaining that the new world needs men like Rick Grimes and asking him to join them in Washington.

That night, Michonne, sitting on the front steps, hears a noise in the bushes and goes to investigate. She sees Daryl, and asks him about Carol. In response, Daryl looks towards the bushes and says “Come on out…”

blood splattered rickRaw. Savage. Nasty. “Four Walls and a Roof” brings The Walking Dead closer to its Darwinian roots – the source comics – arguably more than any other episode. Gone are the ponderings of a lost humanity or quasi-poetic soliloquies of a better world (how many of you fast-forwarded over those parts in seasons one to four?). Rick is back with a ‘tude, taking charge and cleaning up the town like the cop that he once was. Action and surprises are back, big time. The episode’s centerpiece began early on – in fact right after the credits – and played out as a mini-drama in itself, with the darkness adding a moody and frightening ambience (a filming style echoing “Bloodletting” and “Save the Last One” in season two). The result was a masterpiece of nailbiting suspense. Rick’s ruse to draw the Terminites into the church – by faking the raid on the school – was cleverly filmed and reinforces Rick’s abilities as a successful strategist and tactician. And finally, the episode’s major scene – the climactic church confrontation and its accompanying butchery – is a major change in graphic violence even for this show and I can’t begin to imagine how they will outdo it. It was so intense that the writers didn’t even try to hold the raw extremeness of the scene after that point, closing out the show with drawn-out goodbye scenes and forgettable conversations.

rick holds them at gunpoint

It seems that Walking Dead Heads are split into two camps, those who feel that Gareth and his cronies should have stuck around for a major part of the season, perhaps tracking the survivors until a season-closing standoff, and those who feel that it’s best that they got greased early on. There is no right or wrong answer. I personally thought Gareth was going to be around for a while, with flashbacks detailing the horrible events that turned his group into cannibals. It’s obvious the show has a plethora of surprises waiting for us, and this is just spring cleaning for more shockers later on.

Some assorted comments, in no particular order:

  • Goodbye to Bob Stookey (and to Gilliard’s dying bobexcellent portrayal of him). As a trained medic and soldier, they will sure miss his skills.
  • It was a shock to see Martin (Chris Coy) still there with his fellow Terminites. How did he survive an ass-whuppin’ from Tyreese? You could, however, see the swollen shiner that he got.
  • My hunch regarding Father Gabriel’s selfish past was correct, although it was fairly obvious from the clues. Will he redeem himself?
  • On the subject of Gabriel, Gilliam’s portrayal of the preacher praying as the Terminites enter the church was a silent tour-de-force, as we could sense him shaking with fear.
  • The show has attempting to institute a continuity factor – note the return of Sam (Robin Lord Taylor) and Morgan (Lennie James) in this season’s episode one, “No Sanctuary”. In “Four Walls and a Roof”, Glenn mentions the shell shocked Jim (Andrew Rothenberg), not seen since the early days of season one.
  • According to IMDB, the producers released a short involving the back story of Theresa (April Billingsley), the ill-fated terminate, also starring Chandler Riggs. I am unable to locate this. Anyone?
  • The scene where the Terminites are about the break into the church’s back rooms to locate the survivors: AMC cut to a commercial at the wrong time, taking a slight edge of the scene. Bad move, guys. However, they made up for in spades with the grisly aftermath.

So what is next? Can anyone make sense of the coming attractions regarding Beth? There are some out there who slow it down and scrutinize every frame for leads and clues. I have resisted that urge, but would be interested if anyone gleaned anything useful. Who is Daryl leading with him? What happened to Carol? Will Ford and the others decide to turn back and re-join the group? In my humble “o”, splitting up the group was a bad idea, especially with Bob gone and their muscle whittled down by two-thirds. Not great odds. If the Terminites are a sign of what waits for them in the wild, they’ll need all the strength they can get…

Evan Rothfeld