Hands up for underwhelmed viewers! Can I just start by saying I would absolutely love to do a recap of the season so far for you before I begin to tear this—wait, what do people usually call these episodes? They’re not season premieres or anything, then what? That’s right; I’d like to start off by expressing my discontent with television shows doing this. What happened to good old fashioned breaks between seasons and not a random break within a season? If this is a ploy to keep audiences interested, it ain’t working! Serial storytelling is a way in itself to keep viewers at the edge of their seats, please stop breaking seasons apart as commonly seen with The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Suits, whatever. I am guilty of continuing to watch these shows even though they put me through hell trying to remember what happened before a 2 or 3 month break. But the point is that we shouldn’t have to rack our brains to piece the story back together in the under-a-minute “Previously on…” at the beginning of the show. Maybe I’m overreacting and am the only one who has mild amnesia in the midst of following a billion shows. Ignore me, if so. As I was saying, I would love to do a recap, but I pretty much don’t remember all of the details.
Here is what I pieced together from the “Previously on The Walking Dead”: Team Prison has migrated to a rundown prison where they have lived comfortably until a new group of people have shown up (the couple and two men or a.k.a Team Tyrese); Maggie was (I’m assuming sexually) assaulted by the Governor and Glenn was tortured by good ol’ Merle for info on their prison whereabouts; some of the group tries to rescue them when Daryl gets left behind; Michonne guts the Governor’s eye out; and finally, Daryl and Merle are put to a fight to the death against each other.
Picking up right where it left off, we see the Governor rallying up the mindless crowd of Woodbury—I mean come on, these guys are actually like sheep!—to cheer for this fight to the death between two brothers. The “townspeople” shout like savages—because no one cares to be reasonable after a zombie apocalypse—desperate for a victor, like actually may the odds be ever in Daryl’s favour, I mean…
I don’t really want to talk about every little detail that happened in this episode and I want to make a shout out to the last reviewer of The Walking Dead on nowhitenoise and take after their format of mentioning things that I liked and things that I didn’t. So, here goes.
Things that I liked:
I’ve always felt Daryl to be an underrated character in this series. He’s a lot more important to the group than the previous episodes have shown and he finally gets recognized for his efforts in this episode—talk about not realizing how important something is until it’s gone. Daryl stands by his “code” and doesn’t ditch his bro behind like everyone thought he should. To be honest, I don’t think Rick tried hard enough to get Daryl to stay but back at the camp, the group realizes just what an important strong player they’ve lost. Carol just couldn’t find enough ways to articulate it.
Hershel’s fatherly figure gives him this authority that no one else possesses in the group. I loved his father-son bonding time with Glenn and his father-daughter bonding time with Maggie. He’s really starting to take on the role of the reasonable voice that Dale had in the past. I’m not sure what lies ahead for Hershel as Rick gets crazier by the second but perhaps it’s foreshadowing a power struggle?
Let’s talk about the new group. Team Tyrese consists of a couple, Tyrese and Sasha, and two other guys, Ben and Allen. They’ve been on the outside fighting off walkers and lost their friend Donna on the way to the prison. Ben and Allen seem really sketchy but Tyrese and Sasha look like decent people. I’m definitely excited to see the couple move on to be a part of Team Prison. With Team Prison getting smaller and smaller, it could really use some kindhearted people like Tyrese and Sasha.
I’ve always liked the satirical/prophetic style The Walking Dead possesses. “These people exist because the world made them that way” or something of the sort. We take a moment to give thanks when the contrast is shown between the rowdy, barbaric townspeople of Woodbury, and the quiet, serene prison. Carol even drives this contrast home by saying she misses the noise. The show also takes another moment during Andrea’s speech to address how the “death [just] keeps coming” to maybe equate it with what’s going on now in the world or what might.
Things I didn’t like:
The townspeople of Woodbury.
Alright, let’s be more objective here and get rid of my own biases. I’m glad the show is developing Andrea’s character into one that’s hopeful. While the Governor is mourning the loss of his daughter (again, might I add, since she already died once…YODT: You Only Die Twice), Andrea steps it up and gives a cute little speech to calm the savages down. We’ve seen in the past just how cynical Andrea can be. She tried to die in that explosion with those other people in that place which I can’t seem to recall the name of. It’s like she’s been with us on a 2-3 month break and finally starting to piece the story together too. After seeing Michonne gut the Governor’s eye out, Andrea sees the light (how ironic!).
I mean it’s great that this show perpetually keeps us on the edges of our seats but I just do not like how this episode created more questions and answered probably none. I definitely wanted to know more about Michonne. Her character has been a huge mystery since her appearance. Why is she the way she is? What happened to her before that she won’t tell anyone, not even Andrea when they spent all winter together? I think she’s going to be a major help to Team Prison and if crazy Rick isn’t going to keep her around, something’s going to go down and she’s going to stay.
Beth and Rick had a weird moment when she kissed him on the cheek to thank him for bringing back everyone safely. I hope I’m just looking into that moment too much and may have misinterpreted it. She also seems like she’s the only one who has a connection with little ass kicker. Remembering that Carl has a crush on Beth, I hope the show won’t take a wrong turn with Beth and Rick. That’s almost too weird to imagine.
Glenn and Maggie seem to be going through a rough patch after their torture sessions. It’s obvious they still care about each other but not enough to leave poor Hershel out of it. I really hope they stay strong and talk it out with each other. I know The Walking Dead isn’t much of a romantic genre but please don’t be cruel and get rid of the sole surviving couple—after breaking up Carol and Daryl that is.
Was that scary woman in a white dress Lori? I couldn’t tell. It must be, because who else could it be? Whatever is going on in Rick’s head, I really don’t want him to screw the group over. I guess the series focused more on external (in relation to the group) conflict rather than internal in season 2, where they flipped it from season 1. It might be nice to switch it up yet again with some internal conflict but it feels like too much when the Governor is still alive.
As you can see, there were a lot more things I didn’t like than I liked in this episode and I completely felt underwhelmed. I was expecting something spectacular but maybe that was my fault, seeing how this isn’t a season premier or anything but just another episode in the season. The episode definitely did not reach its full potential and one of the major reasons for that was a lack of zombie killing scenes. Glenn smushed a walker’s head, and Andrea killed a few but I was expecting more for sure.
What are you guys expecting for the rest of the season based on some of foreshadows I’ve pointed out? Did you guys feel as disappointed as I did with this episode? Tell me your thoughts below!