Archive for March, 2016

Having returned back to a sense of normalcy after the fight against the Saviors, Alexandria seems to be in a state of cautious calm. Deciding that she wants to get out to an apothecary to scavenge for some medicine, she convinces Rosita and Daryl to join her. Their venture hits a couple of snags, but they find the store and are able to recover a significant amount of drugs. Meanwhile, Eugene wants Abraham’s help to uncover a possible new opportunity for their group. He unveils his plan to start producing bullets but gets interrupted by a walker. While Abraham goes in for the kill, Eugene calls dibs and struggles to overcome his foe. Abraham steps in and causes Eugene to get angry for taking his chance away. This causes a rift and Abraham storms off leaving Eugene to fend for himself.

BN-NE120_0320De_J_20160320120353Blossoming through Conflict: Eugene and Denise went through a bit of an evolution throughout the episode. While both had been growing independently and Eugene did get into the fight against the walkers during the swarm in Alexandria, neither had shown much success with fending for themselves outside of the walls. Both looked like they had something to prove to their peers to change the way they were viewed. Even Father Gabriel had a few moments recently to prove himself.

Eugene may have used deception to get Abraham to protect him, but there was room for growth. He does not quite have the recognition of Rick and the rest regarding his resourcefulness after his deception. He still feels like he needs to prove himself and fighting skills seems to be a way to do it. Abraham takes away his dibs kill, which sets him off and makes him say something he probably should not have said. It saved them later on from the group of Saviors because they were split up when Eugene was captured. Eugene was able to get quite a bite out of Dwight and survived a gunshot in the process.

rs_1024x759-160318095231-1024-merritt-wever-the-walking-deadAs for Denise, we learned that she lost her older brother, who seemed to be quite similar to Merle in personality. She always saw him as the strong one but she outlasted him. As a doctor, she has been making it up as problems presented themselves, but her brother’s strength has alway been important to her. Her moment in the stock room at the apothecary was a setback, but her fight with the walker in the car was a moment of redemption. While it was not the smartest idea to engage in the fight with Daryl and Rosita walking away, she survived and was able to call both of them out on their faults. Her death was a surprise, as it was Abraham who suffered a similar fate in the comics, but the Saviors have some ground to make up after the attack on their compound and the confrontation on the road with Daryl’s rocket launcher.

TWD_614_GP_1021_0086-RT-1200x801The Coming War: The season finale will either have one of the biggest cliffhangers so far in the series or one of the most gruesome deaths. Regardless of your awareness of the comics, it is clearly building to the Negan reveal and he is not going to be happy with the murdering of his group. The run-in with Dwight was important to this point because they know where Alexandria is and can probably guess they have a connection with the Hilltop. Dwight seemed ready to steal a bunch of their supplies and take some of the townspeople, but why steal people is not clear.

691x430Carol’s Conundrum: Seen early in the episode, Carol had a moment with Daryl where she continues to appear shaken by her deadly encounters. While the episode does not focus on her at all, her reveal at the end with the note and Morgan’s continued dissonance with Rick supports continued doubt building within the group about how they handle their business. When Carol got to emotionless with her actions at the prison, Rick sent her away. She returned just as hard during the rescue against the cannibals. Now, she has had enough time to stop and think about what her involvement in Rick’s plan means for her humanity and can no longer reconcile her actions with her faith.

Leaving Alexandria without speaking to anyone puts her and other in danger because no one is going to let her go without a fight. Next week will likely bring new challenges for Daryl and whoever follows him to Carol’s aid.

In Memoriam: Denise, several Saviors

Question of the Week: What does Denise’s death mean for Tara’s future in Alexandria?

After realizing that Carol and Maggie have been captured, Rick tries to negotiate a trade for the one surviving Savior from the compound for his people. Paula, the leader of the group outside the fence, takes her group and her captives back to another building and throws her prisoners onto the kill floor. As Rick and the rest try to negotiate the exchange, Paula consistently threatens the pending death of her captives. Carol slowly starts to break down and appears to be struggling with her situation. Whether this was an act or the real thing, the experience is hitting her strongly.

twd-carol-maggie-173719Carol’s Transformation: Having appeared to be acting timid to throw her captors off, Carol appeared less like she was trying to feel them out and more like she actually now regrets her violent actions and tendencies. While she has shown the emotion previously with Lizzie and Mika, her demeanor more recently has been more brutal. In this episode, she seems to rediscover her desire for her faith and regrets the person she appears to be becoming. Paula represents the end of her grasp on humanity and she fears becoming that person. While she will likely not lose her survival and protective instincts, she will likely be conflicted about continuing Rick’s assault on the Saviors.

 

c778b5d267cb4393c3d9b9c3a6c2943fMirror Images: Are we seeing double? Paula and ‘Chelle appear to actually be the Saviors version of Carol and Maggie. As their background are revealed, we learned that ‘Chelle had previously been pregnant and commiserated for a moment while interrogating Maggie. While ‘Chelle started off very aggressive, holding her weapon at Maggie and Carol while bound and unable to move, she seemed to soften up over time and let her guard down. Maggie shows significantly more leadership and autonomy, but there were some moments where the two could easily see pieces of themselves in each other.

For Carol and Paula, there were some clear similarities in their brutality and coldness. Carol was taking a strong turn toward regret, but she saw herself in Paula’s deadly personality. Telling the story of her first moments of the apocalypse with her boss had to be one of the more chilling moments of the episode. She also talked about how she stopped counting her kills, which was quite in dissonance to Carol’s recent challenges. Carol has had to be brutal to protect her people, as displayed by her dispatching the Wolves, but she had an image of who she could become as she watched Paula’s distant personality with her crew. Even close to death, Paula looked ready to fight to kill and Carol was not ready to make the quick decision until Chelle appeared and almost injured Maggie.

TWD_613_GP_1007_0049_gn-1200x800We are ALL Negan: While Rick may believe that he has taken out the real Negan, we all know that is not the case. Molls recites the line, which is also used in the comics, but it is echoed at the end by Primo as well. This represents the group mentality of the Saviors and their current protection of their true leader. Negan represents the brutal personality they believe is necessary to survive the apocalypse and control the other survivors. The real Negan is still on the horizon and someone from the core group will probably not make it out of this season.

In Memoriam: Paula, Donnie, Primo, Molls, ‘Chelle, and several other Saviors

Question of the Week: After Rick’s group has survived the end of the assault, what do you believe their fate will be when they actually meet the real Negan?

After returning from the Hilltop, Rick gathers the Alexandrians for a conversation about their upcoming challenge with the Saviors. Rick poses the plan to go on the offensive, but Morgan opposes and begs for a more diplomatic solution. When the town chooses to ignore his pleas, the team gathered to assault Negan’s compound gather their supplies and head out on the road. While first looking for a walker who looks similar to Gregory, they wait until the dead of night to make their approach. Claiming to have taken out Gregory and possessing his severed head, Rick and the group quietly work their way through the building until one of Negan’s crew pull the alarm, causing chaos to burst throughout the halls.

TWD_612_GP_0922_0165-RT-1200x800Carol versus Morgan Redux: With the episode having a much lighter-hearted tone at the start, Carol’s homemaker bliss was quickly disrupted and she was thrusted back into the fray. She is clearly not clear about what she really is comfortable with, as she writes down the number of people she has killed and is quite uncomfortable about what that means. Morgan challenges her for a brief moment, but she cannot quite put this conflict to words with him. When Morgan steps up during the town meeting, Carol stays surprisingly quiet considering her continued inner conflict. Later on when she is with Maggie during the raid, she clearly allows the conflict to let her change her tune as she begs Maggie to stay behind. Getting captured, in the end, may turn out to be a consequence of her indecision.

TWD_612_GP_0922_0190-RT-1200x801Innocence Lost: One of Glenn’s greatest qualities was his ability to claim that he has avoided ever having to actually kill another living human. He had fought for his life and killed plenty of walkers, but he had an innocence that was unlike the rest of his group. During the raid, he finally got his first string of kills and clearly was distraught over it. He was able to keep his head and save Heath from it for the moment. Even though they both had to fire through the armory door to fend off a group of the Saviors, it was a moment of defense rather than killing their enemies in their sleep. This also happened to be an episode that contained Tara’s first kill, but she seemed a little less afraid to take the shot, possibly as a representation for her belief in this group as opposed to the Governor. What this could mean moving forward is unclear. There is still an encounter with the infamous Negan in the near future. Glenn’s kills could put him back in the crosshairs for Negan’s wrath.

635928950622579769-TWD-612-GP-0922-0106-RTThe Raid: Breaking into the complex can be seen both as a smart move and act that could lead to some very unfortunate events. While there are the comics that seem to prescribe a possible shocking death in just a few episodes, the team seemed to initially come out of their mission unscathed. They have recovered a small armory and found a way to save one of the Hilltoppers. The end result was initially positive until it was revealed that Maggie and Carol were captured by a small group of women, clearly connected with Negan. It is not clear if they are as brutal as Rick’s group is, but their high ground has quickly been lost. Had they not taken the offensive, it is quite possible that Negan’s crew would have ended up at Alexandria’s doorstep. It can be difficult to forget that this world is truly brutal and these types of actions can determine the difference between life and death.

Many questions leading into next week, but the biggest of which is whether Carol and Maggie will survive their latest capture.

In Memoriam: Savior guards & crew

Question of the Week: Glenn got his first human kill in the walker apocalypse this episode. Does this change him? Will Glenn go through a similar inner conflict as Carol?

xy2xx2owrym1yu79j4geHaving been shocked by the escape of Jesus, Rick and Michonne are confronted with a challenge: trust their new stranger’s word or “deal” with him. Choosing to trust in Jesus, Rick pulls a group together to accompany Jesus back to a newly discovered community, the Hilltop. Along the way, they come across a flipped vehicle, leaving the group with a decision to search for the survivors or continue on without them. Finally arriving at the Hilltop, their welcome seems somewhat controversial and muted until they start to realize who the leader, Gregory, truly is. Rick entrusts Maggie to serve as their liaison and negotiate the deal to help their community recover its dwindling food supply.

mdikgxtld0b4mhbc6sjiThe Truth About Jesus: His introduction in the previous episode was met with confusion and question. He appeared to be an odd combination of caution and impeccable survivor skills. After his antics with Rick and Daryl on the road, there seemed to be a lack of urgency to keep him under closer watch, creating another strong sense of concern with his ability to escape and break into Rick’s house. In reality, he became a significant supporter in trying to help expand Rick’s world. He defended Rick at the gate, tried to lobby with Gregory for supplies, and agreed to be a part of Rick’s plan to benefit both communities.

eupmkhvwpldlh3nypkagAn Expanded Universe: The Hilltop provides a new community to debate as being good for Alexandria or potentially another competitive survival group like Woodbury. On the surface, the biggest challenge appears to be Gregory, but not in the menacing way of the Governor. Gregory’s issues seem to be his significant self-interest. While this can be somewhat understanding considering the difficulty with the trust versus survival debate, he seems to also be self-defeating when his own community members seem to be trying to provide supportive advice.

yytqlnbogkmgtr5vgo24Threats & Dangers Ahead: While he still has yet to officially appear, Negan is lingering on the tips of everyone’s tongues. Jesus finally shed some light on who he was, leading Rick to see a new target to neutralize. The problem remains that no one seems to know how much of an army this new threat has. Daryl dispatched the group on the road, and it is likely that Negan knows about the incident. With the way the show periodically kills off big characters and knowing what happens in the comics, several characters are in danger of a swift end when they finally come face to face with the new big bad.

Besides the clear threat, Abraham now finds himself in an odd place. He is struggling with Sasha to establish a real relationship but he seems uncommitted to Rosita. His conversations with Glenn seemed to help put some things into perspective, but Abraham may be losing his sense of purpose and focus at the wrong time.

In Memoriam: Nathan

Question of the Week: What was the best line delivered by Abraham from this episode?