Archive for Hilltop

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

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

andy jeremy palko at savior sat station

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

church meeting

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

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

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

showing gregs head

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

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

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

day after

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

heath and glenn

 

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

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

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

Lewis T. Grove

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

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

at hilltop

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

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

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

wreckage

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

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

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

STANDOFF

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

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

wreckage walker

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

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

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

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

José Soto