Ugh!  They’re doing it again.  “They,”  the creative team at The Walking Dead are telling slow-paced stories with little interest that feel like filler between major events.  And “again” means that this is mostly what the show has been during it’s six-season run.

I didn’t even have the heart to review last week’s lukewarm episode.  I had a hard time even remembering what happened a week later.  Something about Spencer being a hypocrite about taking supplies from the pantry, Deanna scowling and banging on the fence and Aaron and Maggie having some loser plan to sneak out to find/save Glen.  The water-logged sewer zombies were pretty cool, but that’s it.  Bravo to zombie team.  Boo to writers.

This week we again have a very blah episode.  It’s like we got an exciting cold-opening to the season with 3 pretty hot episodes.  Now before we can get on with what everyone wants to see, we have to go figure out how Morgan came to be here and revisit how the Alexandrians may or may not have what it takes and, finally, touching base with our crew outside the walls: Abraham/Sasha (The Deathwish Duo) and Darryl.

In some ways, this could/should be a compelling episode.  Abraham has been pretty flat as a character, but Michael Cudlitz certainly has the acting chops to carry an episode and Darryl has been one of TWD’s standouts since Season 1.  However, I’m trying to remember anything good for Darryl since he fell in with those bad dudes who “claimed” things.  The writers have neglected him pretty badly in hindsight.

The problem is that the writers didn’t give us anything exciting enough to warrant the time with this Trio: attacked by faceless/nameless assailants, Military-Grade PTSD, awkward romantic passes, disposable new “characters.”

The problem with the Deathwish Duo is that I simply don’t believe that anyone still alive in the zombie apocalypse would be deathwish prone.  It’s been a couple years now.  The people with deadwishes probably lost hope and died around Day 30.  It’s true that the world facing out survivors in TWD is bleak, but imagine what the first month was like?  How could you maintain hope as your family was eaten, society failed and you started having to scramble (and kill others?) for food and shelter, and then totally slump into deathwish territory over the death of any singular person?  It just doesn’t make sense, and that’s why I have a problem with how Abraham and Sasha are written. I simply don’t buy the central premise of their characters.  They don’t act like I think people in their situation would behave.

Darryl is always kinda fun to be around, but these survivors he runs into are barely even characters.  They look highly disposable and one didn’t even make it until the end of the episode.

The other weak part of the episode is that it kept playing on Darryl’s new role in recruitment for Alexandria and how he wants to keep bringing in good people.  Rick’s Three Questions reared their heads again.  Yuck.  And it turns out that Darryl was wrong about those people anyway, proving that “not bad” is not the same thing as “good.”

There were a few good moments in this episode.  The zombies were pretty cool throughout.  All the lightly twitching burnt zombies were pretty affecting, but they do make me wonder why fire basically ruins their ability to move, but rot doesn’t seem to affect them much at all.  I mean, how do the tendons stay attached to the bones when you can push your hands right through them?  I thought the zombie highlight of the episode would be the mossy-dude who came after Darryl as he was struggling to get his crossbow out of a bag (thank goodness it was cocked and ready to shoot even if that doesn’t seem a very safe way to carry a crossbow in a duffle), but the zombies encased in molten glass really took the cake.  Just when I think the crew on TWD has run out of cool ways to present zombies, they keep coming up with something new and original.

-Dean Stell

Grade

C+

Conclusion

Very, very lukewarm. The show teased us with a hot start and the promise of an early climax and then has drug its feet for a few weeks. Get on with it.

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