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

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

negan and the lineup

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

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

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

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

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

rick and co.

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

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

carol on the edge

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

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

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

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

rick kills blockers

 

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

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

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

negan lectures rick

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

rick aaron and sasha

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

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

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

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

both negans

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

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

José Soto

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The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Fifteen “East”

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

carol surrenders

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

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

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

savior roadblock

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

carol caught

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

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

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

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

captured glann and michonne

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

last shot

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

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

caught up to daryl

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

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

lucille

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

José Soto

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

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

decayed walker

“Welcome to Stage Two” – Abraham to Eugene

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

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

eugene fights walker

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

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

denise and walker

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

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

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

railroad standoff

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

rosita and daryl

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

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

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

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

Waldermann Rivera

 

 

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

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

andy jeremy palko at savior sat station

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

church meeting

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

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

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

showing gregs head

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

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

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

day after

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

heath and glenn

 

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

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

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

Lewis T. Grove

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

more evasion

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

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

hanging by a thread

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

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

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

the drop

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

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

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

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

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

Lewis T. Grove

The Walking Dead Season Five, Episode Fifteen “Try”

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

 

crazy rick

“It’s their world. We’re just living in it…”Enid, telling Carl about the walkers

deannaThe pre-credits scene of episode fifteen – and the season’s penultimate episode – of The Walking Dead‘s season five, “Try”, opens as Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh), Reg (Steve Coulter), and their son Spencer (Austin Nichols) mourn Aiden (Daniel Bonjour), devoured by walkers in episode fourteen, “Spend”. Lighting candles, they sit quietly, each with his own thoughts. Deanna puts on a rock music CD that plays Nine Inch Nails, evidently something that Aiden treasured. Carol (Melissa McBride) brings a tuna casserole to the doorstep with a condolence note. Deanna leaves the casserole outside and burns the note…After seeing a remote light outside the community, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) go exploring and come to a shocking realization: the walkers are invading the territory in increasing numbers, and even worse, there seem to be people lurking around…

Post-credits, the show cuts between Glenn (Steven Yeun) explaining the ill-fated supply run to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), and Deanna watching a filmed Nicholas (Michael Traynor) giving a fabricated version, painting Glenn as the guilty and reckless one. Deanna bars both men from holding firearms and any further community exits until the issue is investigated. Rick sympathizes with Glenn and feels that the people of the community are ignorant of reality, and with a grim hint of possible things to come, tells Glenn that the community’s rules don’t apply to them…

Carol catches a tired Rick later that night, and tells him of further abuse at the home of Pete (Corey Brill) and Jessie Anderson (Alexandra Breckenridge), told to her by their young son Sam (Major Dodson). Rick goes out to watch the Anderson house, a pistol in his hand. Pete walks by and greets him, friendly enough, but is spooked when Rick answers in a menacing tone to go away.

The next morning, Rosita (Christian Serratos) notifies Michonne (Danai Gurira) about the missing Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), last seen in watchtower guard duty. While sashasearching outside the walls for her, they talk about how things have changed for them now that they are living in a protected community; Rosita notes that Michonne didn’t even bring her katana for this outside venture. Further along, they find freshly-killed walkers with bullet holes, and realize that Sasha is outside hunting walkers. They find her and try to bring her back, but she spurns their offer, and continues stalking, explaining that she is tired of being “on the defense” anymore. Just then, a large wave of walkers comes through the forest and attacks, and the three put them down. Sasha remembers how she told Noah (Tyler James Williams) that he was not going to make it. Tired by this outburst, she agrees to return with the other two.

rick and deanna

Rick interrupts Deanna, silently mourning at her son’s grave, and alerts her to Pete’s abusive behavior. He is surprised that she already knows, but is unwilling to separate him from Jessie or execute him because of his needed surgeon’s skills. She suggests that if it gets worse, she will have him exiled, to which Rick strongly objects on grounds that he can still pose a danger by seeking revenge.

carl and enidCarl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) links up with Enid (Katelyn Nacon) outside. They walk together and begin to bond over their shared experiences as young survivors in a new world. Walkers (one with a “W” carved onto its forehead) begin to emerge from the forest, and Enid distracts one by throwing an alarm clock, but the two are forced to hide in a hollow tree until the walkers bypass them. Carl briefly holds her hand, and the two gaze into each other’s eyes with an undercurrent of romantic tension.

Back at the community, Glenn confronts Nicholas. Livid, he struggles to control himself as he tells the veteran resident that men like him should have died at the hands of the walkers, and that he was lucky to have pulled through alive. Furthermore, he threatens Nicholas, warning him never to set foot outside of the walls again. Later, Nicholas sneaks away and retrieves a hidden gun, the same one that Rick hid when his group first arrived in Alexandria, but was stolen.

dead walker

Daryl and Aaron are also outside, where they encounter a grisly find: some dismembered body parts and a naked woman who had been tied to a tree and eaten alive by walkers, now a walker herself. There is a “W” carved into her forehead. They put the woman down, frightened at the revelation that this happened only recently…

Rick confronts Jessie at her home, explaining that he knows her dark secret. Jessie is unsympathetic to Rick’s fightposturing, telling him that he is only making things worse, and assuring him that she can fix her relationship with Pete. Rick remains unconvinced, but obsessed with Jessie, he returns later. She finally gives in, agreeing to his protection just as Pete comes home. Angry at Rick’s presence, he orders Rick out, but in a show of defiance Jessie orders Pete to leave. Pete blows up and attacks Rick. A brutal fight ensues, making its way to the street, where the surprised townspeople come out to witness it. Rick finally subdues Pete, pulling out his pistol and threatening to kill him if he steps out of line. Deanna orders Rick to stand down, but Rick points his gun at the crowd and goes on a rant telling Deanna how Alexandria has grown too complacent and will eventually destroy itself. As he is ranting, Michonne sneaks up from the side and knocks him unconscious. During the incident, Sasha is killing walkers from the guard tower, and kills one with a “W” carved on its forehead…

“Try” is one of the most mediocre episodes of the season, not nearly as sappy and boring as episode ten, “Them”, but not as good as episode fourteen, “Spend”. The emerging storyline with Daryl’s and Aaron’s finds is exciting and coming along methodically with great suspense. It’s likely the murderous outsiders will have a play in the upcoming season finale. Regarding Daryl and Aaron, there’s a strangely positive chemistry between the two, with some element of mutual respect, even though the two are from completely different backgrounds.

daryl and aaron

Same too for the worsening problems between Nicholas and Glenn. The decision for the viewers to hear Nicholas’ story via videotape was an interesting touch on the show’s behalf, adding a certain coldness and artificial impression to the young man’s fabrications. The confrontation between the two was one of the more well-scripted and believable this season. Beyond this, the episode begins to get shaky. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Rick is a seasoned cop yet just takes the word from Carol that Pete is an abusive father and husband. Wouldn’t he try interrogating him first before jumping to conclusions? When did he all go from being a level-headed and collected leader to someone who has no self- control?
  • Rick is aghast that Deanna is willing to look the other way because Pete is a doctor. She does have a point – after all isn’t he looking after Tara (Alana Masterson), one of Rick’s own? Wouldn’t Rick show some patience or at least tell Daryl and Aaron to keep an eye out on the outside for doctors? They are near D.C., and as the episodes in Atlanta show, major cities may mean the possibility of finding doctors, medical supplies and equipment. Why not just go to the capitol?
  • Last season, Rick ripped out the fight 2throat of a rapist, and has slugged it out with many a tough opponent. All of a sudden he has a difficult time taking out the unseasoned – and probably half-soused Pete? The fight should’ve been over in less than a minute.
  • The PTSD storyline with Sasha is so old that it’s even being edited out of the cliché books. Didn’t we go through this last season with her brother Tyreese? To make matters worse, the dialogue between Sasha, Rosita, and Michonne was awful.
  • With Nicholas proving to be a cowardly slug, wouldn’t Rick at least have one of his people keep an eye on him so that he can be seen outside the town, and they would know that he stole Rick’s gun?
  • With an increased amount of walkers seen on the outside – some even bumping up against the town walls – wouldn’t Rick have begun to advise Deanna on the importance of added protection, strengthening the existing foundations, or training the people to handle themselves better?
  • The storyline with Carl and Enid seems more like a feeble attempt to capture The Hunger Games-loving younger viewers. Watching carl and enid 2the two teens prance around in the woods, where the walkers seemed to be more like annoying nuisances, was the most unrealistic storyline this season – and there is heavy competition indeed to win that title. The writers seemed to be copying those older movies where lovestruck teens from industrial towns run out to the countryside where they can hold hands and dream about their future, far away from the hometown grit and smog. The only problem is, this storyline doesn’t seem to work so well when there are flesh-eating zombies around. To make it worse on us viewers, now they are fighting walkers with alarm clocks? Hey, maybe they can defeat the walkers by making them wake up every morning at 4:00. Soon they will be begging for mercy. And hiding in a hollowed tree? When was the last time you even saw a tree like that? And there just happened to be one right there?
  • With all these happenings in town, shouldn’t Rick and Carol be amping up the takeover or at least planning on leaving town since they’ve outgrown their welcome?

At this point, the only way The Walking Dead can redeem itself is by coming up with a rip-roarin’ season finale evocative of the memorable and thrilling second-season closer “Besides The Dying Fire”. It should have an invasion by – a) walkers, b) evil renegades, like those who killed that woman and carved a “W” everywhere, or c) both – is imminent. Morgan (Lennie James) was seen a couple of times this season, and perhaps this will be his return. I welcome it, not just because he was a likable character, but because he was a tough, straight-talkin’ dude who understands how the new world works. Also, it will add good dialogue and a realistic storyline. That’s a plus indeed.

Evan Rothfeld