THE WALKING DEAD [Season 6, Episode 15 Review]: The Time Is Nigh!
And welcome to another edition of The Walking Dead round-up. This week will be shorter than normal, since we’re gearing up for the 90-minute season finale that is sure to wreck your guts along with your hearts. We’ve heard that the final is going to be heartbreaking and Andrew Lincoln even called it the darkest one yet and that he felt “sick to his stomach after reading it.”
So without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s TWD.
Melissa McBride’s ‘Carol’ is starting to show the major crack and frayed edges that have started to plague her in this second half of the season, but that does not make her any less dangerous. You have to be pretty damn crafty to think of sewing up a gun into your jacket sleeve. Carol has become a killing machine and she hates that. When your heavy hitters all decide to leave the compound right after you decide to “go to war” that might not be the best battle planning. Keep it together Rick! And finally, Norman Reedus’ ‘Darryl’ learned a very hard lesson and he might just very well be paying for it with his life.
Everyone has been saying that they think either Darryl or Glenn is going to be killed off in the season finale with Negan’s introduction, but has anyone stopped to consider that we might be losing more than just one character? It’s not out of the ordinary during a finale for us to lose one or two characters.
So who’s on the hot seat? So on top of possibly losing Darryl or Glenn, and as much as it pains me to say this, we might be having to say goodbye to our dangerous “mama bear” Carol.
…Walking Dead rundown to present coverage from this past week’s PaleyFest LA 2016 convention! So please allow your lovable Cardinal, Robert Bexar, to step aside a moment for our “Divine” TV guru, Derek Vigeant, to present the fear.
Take it away, reverend.
If the first season of Fear the Walking Dead was about “discovery”, the TWD off-shoot’s second go-around will be focused on “reaction”. And with Season 2 also quickly approaching an April 10th release date, AMC delivered its full cast at PayleyFest LA 2016 to talk.. boats.
While the end of Season 1 saw the group hop on the Victor Strands yacht to flee from the zombified Kardashians taking over LA, does this mean they’re actually escaping their problems? “What we will find out very quickly is we weren’t the only people who had the bright idea to leave land,” Fear co-creator Dave Erickson explains. “So there is going to be threats on sea and on land”, with their main objective to “find a place where they can drop anchor and stay, ultimately.”
Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia Clark) gives us her take on the rest of the characters going through this crazy situation. “This all happened so quickly — LA falls in a matter of days. I don’t think you have any time to adjust, you just have to run with it and deal with it as it comes.” Then, there’s all those family matters. You have all these mothers, daughters, sons, fathers etc. If there is ever a time for some dysfunctional family issues to come out this would be the time. “Travis’ [Manawa, played admirably in the first season by Cliff Curtis] biggest concern is not the apocalypse; it’s the love of his son. It makes him very vulnerable”, the actor says, with his wife (played by Kim Dickens) Madison’s “number one goal to protect the children.” Dickens concerns us all with “a very interesting development in politics in this country: it’s not so far away from the zombie apocalypse!”
Now, I wonder if Drumph will be fear-watching the second week of April.
“You bit a man in the dick… and I mean that with all respect.”
Eugene and Denise both stepped up big in The Walking Dead’s 14th episode of the 6th season; but, much like the metaphorical baby birds that leave the nest–just like in nature–bad things happen to good people. The ep had a bunch of eye-catching moments, but the best saw Darryl reunited with his one true love: his crossbow. And, oh, did it just look oh-so-right. Dead-heads also witnessed Josh McDermitt’s Eugene chomp down on scarfaced Savior Dwight (Austin Amelio)’s “no-no man zone”–the character, not the youknowhat sickos; and we sadly lost two of Rick’s crew (one for good). Perhaps, the finest part of this episode was the message: don’t be afraid to live, get out there and enjoy your life. Once the season’s over we will, Dead writers, we will.
Stay tuned for next week’s episode wrap-up. Same undead time, same undead clergy!
“Let me tell you a story…”
Sadly, we are running down to just a handful of rundowns left, my lovely congregants, and — as per usual — The Walking Dead throws us another curveball with last night’s bad-ass female-focused ep. It all began with the Saviors’ Molls claiming that “guys can’t handle pain” and it was the next 60-minutes that likely went on to support that claim. As far as the more deadly gender is concerned we look to Carol, who appears, once again, the silent but deadly assassin playing the Saviors for chumps.
But was she really? Was Carol starting to show cracks in her War Machine armor?
Before anything, this Cardinal would love to give a special GHG round of applause for Alicia Witt‘s phenomenal performance tonight as Paula. She was sharp, ruthless, and heartless. We loved it! Like other The Walking Dead villains, Paula’s group demonstrates what Rick and Co. could become if things had gone a bit differently; almost Star Trek‘s classic “Mirror Mirror” episode, with seeing their evil counterparts. And Paula was — or maybe is — what Carol could become if she ever loses her humanity. Witt played Paula as chilling, captivating and compelling enough to make you wish the role lasted longer.
Lauren Cohan’s Maggie had her own moments where she showed a “Carol in the making” and — if you read the books — you know… OK, fine. I won’t spoil it. Melissa McBride‘s performance as Carol is a roller coaster of emotions. The most dangerous person on that show, she goes from cookie-baking mom to clean headshot killer in zero time. The struggle is real.
Dead-heads, let’s also give it up to the writers. This episode, other than for the very beginning, was shot in one intimate, tiny set, dialing up the intensity level to 11. There is nowhere to go, no place to hide; it’s just right there in your face. The deaths in this episode were all up close. Too fuckin’ close. And it really made you question just what is currently going through Carol’s head, since she’s practically now reached a place where she even questions herself.
BEST SCENE OF THE NIGHT
When you dance with Carol, you dance with death. But while the best scene wasn’t the kill floor death scene (seriously guys, Carol’s tenacity was at an all time high), it’s arguable that moment comes when she finally sees Darryl–maybe the one person who she can truly be herself with in an honest and true way. When she collapsed in his arms and confesses that she’s not okay, you realize that’s when she’s reached her breaking point. Rick, on the other hand, seems to break and piece himself back together on a seasonal basis; but Carol has always evolved into this rock — and even rocks tend to crack under enough pressure.
ART THOU MAY HATH MIST
- Is Carol finding religion again? The rosary beads had a few meanings this week. While Carol’s literal and spiritual salvation, at the end we find her clutching those beads so tight they made her bleed. Do remember: No scene on this show is a “throwaway.”
- Is Maggie done going on the raids? When she tells Glenn “she’s done”, there’s no doubt that this mom-to-be has had one-close-call too many under her belt. Seeing her doppleganger — and what she could very well become — may have been the final straw.
- “We Are All Negan.” We all know there is only one Negan, but the fanatic devotion of his followers shows the lengths these people will go to appease the great Negan. Stakes is HIGH!
Stay tuned for next week’s episode wrap-up. Same undead time, same undead clergy!
“You can do things that terrify me…”
And here we are GHG’ers! Let the countdown begin. We are getting just a bit closer to the end, a bit closer to that finale, and just that much closer to Negan. But before we unleash Lucille, let’s get down dirty into the logic of Abraham’s way with women.
The writers really wanted to delve into what makes Carol, well, the badass that she is and it’s very simple (and even The Talking Dead covered this): Carol is what she needs to be. But, the very simple act of her keeping a “kill-list” in her diary is a masterful story device. She is a woman who has evolved into a chameleon, who has not lost her humanity–a key factor that will come into play once up against Negan and his Saviors. How Melissa McBride has not been nominated for any award is beyond me; watch her more “sensitive” side with fellow Alexandrian, Tobin (Jason Douglas), for more captivating proof.
Oh Abraham, who taught you how to speak to women? Was it a certain orange-clad presidential candidate? The last two weeks saw GHG praise Michael Cudlitz for his strong performances, and — suprise — he gets the “Line of the Week” again: “…That’s like asking why dingleberries are the color that they are? The shit is brown.” Truly Shakespearean, and damn if it ain’t funny. Also, Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt) nerd-sincerity as Mr. No Clue closes the scene to both laughter and sym/empathy.
Those gearing up for AMC’s forthcoming Preacher may not have to wait as long expected: Seth Gilliam’s Father Gabriel is aiming for redemption, and there’s nothing scarier than a Warrior Priest. He’ll be dropping bible verses alongside shell casings. But at least it’s beat Morgan’s current state. Lennie James’ character wants to unleash that fire burning inside, but — to no on else’s fault but his own — is trying with every fiber in his being to hold back, choosing to build a jail cell at Alexandria. But Jesus (Tom Payne) said it best during the Act III raid, “This is the world we live in now.”
The Walking Dead has risen above and beyond the, ahem, Call of Duty at leaving room for great character moments during even the most action-heavy episodes. And this week, it was Glenn’s turn.
Having never taken a human life in all of the series’ 6 seasons (astonishing, really), it was both powerful and heartbreaking to see that next level of pain and anguish on Steven Yuen’s face. Here is a guy who has tried to stay true to himself, and to Hershel, and has always found another way out–usually through running or talking himself out of the situation. This only goes to show just how dangerous Negan is.
Finally, there’s no doubt that AMC shows is known for shows who have easter eggs, and last night we saw two possible outcomes: One, it has been widely rumored that Daryl would be this season’s “big death” — losing both his crossbow and his motorcycle to Dwight — but, with him finding his bike last night, does that mean he might be getting a reprieve? Two, are Glenn’s nine lives about to run out? Last night during the raid, he came across a few very disturbing images of heads having been bashed in by Negan’s bat “Lucille”. What does this hold in store for Glenn? Is this the future? Or merely a shout-out to the comics?
Stay tuned for next week’s episode wrap-up. Same undead time, same undead clergy!
“Your world is about to get a whole lot larger…” – Jesus
And welcome to yet another Weekly Walking Dead Wrap-Up with yours truly, Cardinal Robert de Bexar. I do hope that you have had as much fun reading these as I have had writing them! This week, we were gifted with another comic book character in Gregory, taken right off the pages by Xander Berkeley (more on that later); we got Abraham coming to a relationship crossroads (of sort); more Jesus(!!); more Rick and Michonne (ooooh); and, of course, more mentions of the mysterious Negan.
And since the Academy Awards were last night, it only made sense to hand out some awards to last night’s episode, too.
BEST CHARACTER OF THE WEEK: Abraham, played brilliantly by Michael Cudlitz. Cudlitz has added such depth to a character that could have easily come across nothing more than 2-D (no pun intended), a man torn between Rosita, Sasha and a possible burgeoning PTSD that is making itself more and more clear. Abes is burned out and Cudlitz is showing that ever-so-effortlessly over and over again. Despite his being the most fried, he also gets the best lines again when he asks Glenn, “when you poured the Bisquick, did you mean to make pancakes?”
BEST NEW CHARACTER INTRODUCTION: This week, us brave TWD fans were introduced to Gregory, the leader of the Hilltop. (Comic Book Note: Get used to this location and set). In the comics, Gregory is the cowardly yet vain “leader” of the Hilltop, and Xander Berkeley (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Taken) makes you hate him the moment he opens his lip. It’s proven that when the casting stays true to the comic book, it’s as if they pulled the characters off of the page. Berkeley is no exception. Tom Payne’s Jesus is perfect and brilliant — and I cannot say enough good things about him. Good thing–since he’s probably watching now…
BEST AWKWARD DAD MOMENT: Before Rick and the crew follows Jesus to the Hilltop, he and Carl have, what has got to be the most awkward-yet-genuine moment following Carl’s discovery of his dad and Michonne finally getting together. Andrew Lincoln and Chandler Riggs have a genuine father/son bonding moment — and while Lincoln plays the bumbling “oh, you caught me” dad nicely, it’s Chandler who plays the adult with maturity. You can feel that these two have been through a lot (just look at Lincoln’s play on Rick’s insecurity!), but I do wish that they would just let Rick hug Carl. Carl has had to grow up so fast that Rick feels uncertain how to treat his son.
BEST NEW LOCATION: The Hilltop! We finally see the Hilltop and, my God, the set designers do such a fantastic job. I mean, they do amazing jobs with every set they build, but this set is the staging ground for a lot of action that is coming our way.
BEST CHARACTER AWAKENING: Maggie wins this one. Lauren Cohan’s ‘Maggie’ takes the reins in this episode. Lohan is exuding the confidence and leadership (through Maggie) that former Alexandria leader Deanna said was in her all along (and if you know the comic, then you know how this will all play out). Rick sees this, and allows her to take charge when it comes to dealing with Gregory.
Also, congrats to Leo for finally winning the big one.
Season 6: Episode 10: The Next World
“We’re not kids…” – Enid
Welcome back, my congregation, to week 2 of your #GHGTWD bromance and romance extravaganza! This is your “Cardinal”, Robert de Bexar, once again breaking down The Walking Dead‘s juggling storylines like a carnie spins plates. So let’s start spinning!
Epsisode 10 skips ahead 2-months with a domestic scene featuring the Family Grimes. Patriarch Rick carves a new notch in his belt while Baby Judith plays nearby. One-eyed Carl has healed up enough to practice physical therapy and Michonne plays surrogate mom while wearing a bathrobe, as she tells Rick to bring her back her favorite toothpaste…
This becomes important later.
Rick and Darryl echo Butch and Sundance on a food and — sentimental — soda run. Thus, hijinks ensue. These two actually appear relaxed, almost enjoying their time out on the road. Rick has awful taste in music and sings off key; but, as usual, nothing that the Walking Dead does is a throwaway bit.
While on the road they (and the viewers) get introduced to Paul Rovia, or as he is better knows in the comics, JESUS! The great thing about this show is that certain names are finally being used and we get the proper pronunciation of the names (i.e. last week was Negan, this week Jesus). I was never sure if it was Jesus, or Hey-Zeus. Jesus steals a food truck and basically leaves Rick and Darryl to fend for themselves–but more on that in a bit.
Outside the walls of Alexandria, Michonne trails Spencer into the woods to see just what he’s doing; because when you see a guy going into the woods with a rifle and a shovel strapped to their back, you might get a tad bit suspicious. It does lead to one of the more tender moments of the season, where Spencer confesses as to why he’s out in no-man’s land: ***SPOILER ALERT*** he is out looking for his mom turned walker, Deanna.
It’s a moment that sticks with Michonne, because… CARRRRRLLLL… is just having the absolute worst luck when it comes to his “relationship” with Enid. Granted, he doesn’t have the CW Network to work with, but, damn, Carl, get it together! But, the sad truth is that the two are both traumatized people.. in an insane world.. trying to make something work.. that they don’t even know can — certainly, one of the more beautiful and haunting recurring themes of The Walking Dead.
Another reminder, my good people: when you are fighting a horde of the undead and in possession of a very valuable truck that is loaded with food, ALWAYS make sure that the parking brake is on. The absolute last thing you want is to watch all that food drop to the bottom of a lake. Then again, this is the apocalypse after all and all that cockiness was bound to catch up with them one day.
***NOW! MAJOR SPOILERS! IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE GO WATCH IT AND THEN COME BACK TO FINISH THIS ARTICLE.***
…Are you done? All the pets fed and the episode has been fully watched?…
RICK AND MICHONNE FINALLY HOOK UP!! And the best part was, it was just natural. They are just two friends who are finally having this nice, normal end of the day rap session, he gives her mints to make up for the “case of toothpaste at the bottom of the lake.” They kiss and then…Wham, Bam, Thank you ma’am!
Of course the two of them have their tender post-coitus interrupted by, who else? Jesus, who tells them ever so coyly, “We need to talk.”
For the NON-comic book readers and for the Comic book readers who might have missed a few things: Jesus will play a LARGE role in everyone’s lives for the next few seasons.
Michonne has taken the place of Andrea from the comics. In the books, Andrea and Rick become a partnership that is still going strong. This should make for interesting writing considering the other relationships that Michonne has in the books (maybe Sasha becomes the “Michonne” in later seasons?) Enid is the Sophia of the TV show. In the books, Carol’s daughter Sophia lives and is orphaned when Carol kills herself (Comic Carol does not resemble Badass TV Carol), so Maggie and Glenn adopt her and it seems that Maggie has taken a similar interest in Enid.
With so much plot movement in just the past two episodes, this season’s remaining six episodes are sure to be a wild ride. Prepare for jaw dropping shocks and more than a few tears shed before Season 6 ends.
Until next time faithful readers, this is your Cardinal wishing y’all happy hunting!
“This will be a story people will talk about.” – Eugene
Welcome, you wonderful GHG readers, to something new. I, your faithful “Cardinal” Roberto de Bexar, shall be covering The Walking Dead on a weekly basis; and, just like Daryl’s RPG, TWD came rocketing back into our lives and exploding into our Valentine’s Day hearts…
The long-running show brought together four equally intriguing storylines and tied them all back together like the surgical suture in Carl’s eye. Enough of the metaphors? Fine fine, but this year’s Midseason Premiere — Season 6, Episode 9 to be exact — saw the fate of Negan’s men with Abraham, Sasha and Daryl, the Anderson family and Carl match up with their comic book counter-parts; we watched as Glenn got saved YET AGAIN; we saw a Wolf maybe redeem himself. And, we saw a gigantic lake of fire — a wonderfully shot zombie massacre that looks like it was taken panel-for-panel out of Robert Kirkman’s comic books.
1.) “When you eat shit, it’s best to just bite, chew, swallow, repeat…”
Negan’s men show the viciousness that we, the readers, already know is coming at Rick’s crew like a damn runaway zombie train. They are going to shoot first and second and third until they get what they want. Their downfall? They underestimate the Worldclass Walkilling Crew, none more than good ol’ Abraham. In the books he’s a solid “B” character, sure; but Michael Cudlitz has created a fan-favorite that will hopefully be around for awhile (if you read the books you know his fate). Abraham continues to get the best lines and there is a reason for that: he delivers.
As for the rest of the ep to follow… Oh Barr… err.. Rick, will you ever find sustaining love in this zombie-ridden world? In the books, it was Andrea, but she died a few seasons back and we don’t see her coming back anytime soon. The viewers all thought that he would finally find happiness with Jessie, played wonderfully by Alexandra Breckenridge. HAHA!! Y’all got played. But how could she not go, with that unfortunate fatal flaw of having crappy kids.
But, let’s pause for a moment to give glowing praise to the premiere’s director Greg Nicotero. I’ve admired his work on the show before — beginning with his award-winning practical effects during Frank Durabont’s series-opening run — and it seems every time this Cardinal places a TWD episode into my Top 5, it’s one that Nico’s directed. His scene where Rick brutally detaches Jessie from Carl (complete with sweet-to-haunting-red flashbacks) was both unsettling and beautifully haunting. And of course this all lead to another big BANG: Carl is now going to be the Nick Fury Jr. of the group (eye patch, leather jacket–likely), with prosthetics, make-up and an eerie real-life-looking Carl doll that were all amazing.
2.) “Faith without works is empty”.
Look, I get that Enid (Katelyn Nacon) is broken inside and I’m sure I would be too if I saw my parents get brutally eaten alive; but it’s about damn time that we saw her, Eugene and Gabriel all step up to protect the Alexandria community. Enid comes through in the clutch by helping rescue Maggie from the rickity stand; Eugene jumps into the fray with his machete (#GeekStrong); and Gabriel… (despite being GHG’s resident “Cardinal”) I still would no way in hell trust my child to that weak and feeble man. But praise Jebus that he finally got off his ass and realized that all the praying in the world wasn’t going to do a damn thing if he didn’t out that faith into action. Even The Wolf, played by Australian Benedict Samuel, seemed to have redemption in this episode.
Glenn, Glenn, Glenn… you are a damn cat with nine lives and you have used up about 7 of them. We all know what is going to happen to Glenn once Negan comes into the picture and it is going to break everyone’s hearts when our star-crossed lovers have their fate sealed; but damnit, it’s just too good and exciting thinking “OH NO GLENN!!” and then the magical deus ex machina saves him. He keeps throwing himself into the fire to save others and it’s going to come back and bite him in the ass big time — but ’til then, don’t stop fighting for Maggie.
The explosion I’m waiting for though, however, is between Carol and Morgan. When someone says “I should have killed you”, it usually makes for an awkward conversation over a Christmas Dinner; but with Carol, you know she means it and Morgan knows she means it and we know she means it and could still do it. Whatever you do Morgan, if Carol tells you to look at the flowers, you do anything but!