The biggest problem with this episode is that it just doesn’t feel like there’s anything at stake.  The main/OG characters have felt invincible for a long time and that feeling was amplified by the fumbling of the Glenn Situation.

So, while it is somewhat nerve-wracking to see those zombies beating their way into the house where Rick & Co. have taken refuge, does anyone feel any real concern?  For a death to be worrying, you have to actually care about the character and the only characters we care about seem invincible.  If Carol died, that would be something.  But, I just don’t believe that TWD will kill Carol, so even when that Wolf Dude has both Morgan and Carol KOed on the floor and has a knife, my reaction is just, “Meh.”  I guess I worried a little for the doctor, but she’s barely even a character yet, so it isn’t like I’m that worried about losing that character.

Similarly, Michonne is in a dangerous spot even with her Zombie Cape.  But, I just don’t feel like she’s in any danger, especially when her group includes obvious targets like Sam, Jessie and Father Gabriel.  Honestly, I feel like the show will kill Father Gabriel this spring and expect it to be a BIG moment, except nobody will give a damn because nobody likes Gabriel and he has been a wasted character.  I also expect the show will kill little Sam and expect it to be a BIG moment because THEY KILLED A LITTLE KID!  But, it won’t be that big of a moment because half of the audience can’t remember Sam’s name.  Plus kids don’t just start whispering, “Mom, Mom…” in the middle of that sort of zombie crowd.  They do that when they’re waking you up from a sound sleep or in the middle of a movie.  Kids aren’t so stupid as to pull that “Mom, Mom…” nonsense in the middle of zombies.

Ugh! What the hell, TWD?

The main point of the show is that “Life is Fragile” and “Anyone can die” and that is precisely where the show has destroyed its credibility.  The scary thing is that the only way for the show to regain that credibility is to do arbitrary deaths of multiple main characters.  For example, have the Head Wolf kill not just the doctor, but also Carol and Morgan and maybe Tara on his way out.  Stab, stab, stab, stab.  Leave the audience going, “Oh shit.  Can’t believe that just happened.  Did that really happen?”  The obvious problem is that lessens a show that is already poor in interesting characters, and that is the true problem of TWD— too many characters not worth caring about.

Not much else to really talk about in this episode.  Deanna died, we think.  Maybe it was just a convenient camera angle though and she’s still alive.  I’m just kidding… Unless I’m not.  Hard to tell with this show anymore. Enid kept talking about how “this is what always happens” despite the fact that this seems to be the first time it has actually happened to her.

I guess the Zombie Capes were kinda cool.

If you were brave enough to suffer Into The Badlands (Bottom Line: A+ fight scenes, C-list plotting), you got to see a sneak peak for the Spring Season when Abraham/Darryl/Sasha run into Negan’s lackeys who insist that Negan owns all their stuff now (including Abraham’s RPG).  I don’t know… I guess the news of Jeffrey Dean Morgan being cast as Negan made me a little excited because I usually enjoy JDM.  But I remember being slightly excited about the prison and the governor, but look how that turned out…  Somehow the show needs to make sure that Negan isn’t just governor 2.0, but I’m not sure how they actually do that.  I also kinda wonder how they’ll adapt JDM to be Negan since the show is slavishly devoted to characters looking almost exactly like their comic counterpart.  I mean, JDM has a full head of hair and I kinda wonder how they’re going to slick it back to look like Negan.  He’s also one of those actors who has a trademark stubble and Negan was compulsively clean-shaven.  Hmmm… Worrying times, my friends.

 

-Dean Stell

Grade

C

Conclusion

A very limp mid-season finale because the show has removed any sense of stakes. The handful of characters we like are SAFE. Everyone else is disposable and nobody cares if they live or die.