Tag Archives: Television

The Walking Dead S7E16 The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

walking-dead-5 photoThe stakes continue to grow higher as paths cross; the group enacts an intricate plan.

The Walking Dead‘ wraps up its seventh season with a bloody extended episode that teases us a quick war that may end before it even begins.

Last episode saw Dwight defecting letting Rick know Negan is on his way and allowing for Rick to plan with the Scavengers to take on Negan and his Saviors. Things don’t go easy with double crosses and a shootout battle that feels like the cathartic release we’ve been craving this entire season.

But, the episode is an interesting one as it really focuses on Sasha in her sendoff episode. We know her character has to take off in some way due to the actress being cast in the new Star Trek series, but how will it go down?

That’s where the episode is interesting in that it teases you the entire time taking us through a construct of Sasha as she talks to Abraham in a dream-like sequence where we don’t know if this is her imagining things and hallucinating or if she’s dead and that’s juxtaposed with moments between Sasha and Maggie. It bounces between the two and it’s touching in numerous ways as an almost angel and devil on the shoulder debate.

I’m not going to spoil the crosses or the battle, but it’s absolutely worth it and the best moment of the season. This is the first volley in the massive war to come and there’s lots of emotional moments and small nods throughout the battle to keep you wondering who is on what side. Is Dwight turning into a face? Is it a put on? There’s lots of clues. And who turns and when is most interesting.

What I think is solid in this episode is that I felt like I was on the edge. I didn’t know where it was going to go and who was going to get killed and who would live. That’s impressive. I’ve read the entire series and still this episode had me guessing. Would it vear from the comics?

What’s great too is the Kingdom and Hilltop each have their moments as they still debate their actions and decide if they’ll rally or not. It’s quick but also a build up to the release.

But, it’s the end that stands out as Maggie and Rick recount what they’ve been through. It’s not just Rick, Maggie takes center stage as in the comics the series becomes her story as much as his. She steps forward as the leader in ways and we see that here. It’s solid and touching and as the episode wraps up it’s emotional. We’re taken through where they’ve been and get glimpses as to where it’s going as we’re reminded for all of the bang, the show is still about the people.

Overall rating: 8.65

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The Walking Dead S7E15 Something They Need

walking-dead-5 photoA group of Alexandrians embarks on a journey; one member of the group must make a heartbreaking decision.

The Walking Dead‘ is setting up the next season which most assuredly is “All Out War” as Rick and his crew head to grab the gun cache we discovered exists in the isolated community of women from earlier in the season, Oceanside.

The episode is an interesting one as it shows where Rick’s head is right now and sets things up for what’s to come. While there’s some negotiations in an attempt to get the guns, there’s also a full out assault, though a non-lethal one, and it’s interesting where things go and who is willing to stand up and fight Negan and who’s not.

By the end of it all ends there’s some good stand up moments and you can see some of the characters breaking out at some point and going mainstream.

What’s great is some of the walkers we see at this point. The episode really takes advantage that Oceanside is ocean side and we see walkers ravaged by water and some of what you’d expect. It’s some amazing make-up and the detail is amazing. It puts the Pirates of the Carribean to shame.

But, it’s not all Oceanside.

Sasha is slowly slipping into madness in Negan’s custody where she still plots to kill him and Negan attempts to bring her on his side. Then Sasha attempts to bring Eugene to hers with a twist that’s really interesting and throws up the question as to where Eugene’s loyalty really is. We know it won’t end well with Sasha as the actress is heading to another series, it’s just a question as to how she’ll go.

The final part of the episode involves Maggie and Gregory. Gregory is a snake and the episode goes back and forth between his attempting to take out Maggie and not. Will he snap and turn her and Rick in? That’s part of the tension of the episode and Gregory is one that’ll get is comeuppance at some point. But, things are revealed about Gregory that’s key like he’s never killed a walker before. You can see Maggie slowly standing up and taking over the leadership role at Hilltop and this episode is another piece in that puzzle.

Then there’s the end of the episode where… well I’ll leave that one to viewing.

The episode is all about the build-up to the season finale which is the next episode and then the eventual war that’s about to break out between Rick and Negan. This is the set up with the pieces of the puzzle coming together. This is slightly different than how it shakes out in the comics so as a reader, I’m fascinated to see where it goes and what changes. You can feel the tension building to what I’m sure will be a cathartic explosion.

Not the best episode, but there’s more than enough action and lots of interesting interactions that’ll keep fans pleased.

Overall rating: 7.85

The Walking Dead S7E14 The Other Side

walking-dead-5 photoThe Saviors visit the Hilltop unexpectedly, surprising everyone, with plans of taking more than supplies.

The Walking Dead‘ continues to build the tension as the episode focuses on Sasha and Rosita going after Negan and Negan’s crew heading to Hilltop to get a new doctor now that theirs is dead.

The episode falls into the slow and plodding but full of tension type of show with things building throughout and everything presented being rather subtle. You never know what will set off an explosion and lead to greater escalation. This is an episode full of subtle things.

An example is early on with Jesus talking the Maggie where he officially comes out on the show. It’s something fans have wondered since his comic counterpart is gay and its been confirmed that he is, but this is the first official nod to it. The interaction with Maggie is excellent and his movement and look to see Maggie’s reaction says more than words could. The same goes with Maggie’s reaction. It’s a touching moment.

There’s the Hilltop issue with Daryl and Maggie having to hide. The tension there isn’t the will they be found question. The tension is if Gregory will turn them over. The dude is a snake and it’s a question of when he’ll turn them in, not if. That’s the build up here. But, it gives Maggie and Daryl a moment to talk where Daryl has an emotional moment that you can tell he feels guilty over Glenn’s death. It’s great acting and as a viewer I felt the pain being presented on screen.

The bigger part of the episode is Sasha and Rosita’s plan to assassinate Negan. But, that goes sideways as they come across Eugene. Now, it’s left to the viewers to decide. Has Eugene really been brainwashed and going along with Negan? Does he have a plan? The show plays it really well so viewers are unsure of where things are going with him. Sasha and Rosita’s plan is busted though which leads to Sasha to take matters into her own hand. We know things are probably not going to go well for her since the actress who plays her is going to another show, but you never know!

The episode is good in the subtle things it does, but is another episode setting up the war to come. Not the best, but there’s a lot of small things to keep viewers engaged and looking to dissect. The episode is full of tension, but never quite delivers in that department.

Overall rating: 7.65

The Walking Dead S7E13 Bury Me Here

walking-dead-5 photoThings do not go as planned when a group of Kingdommers delivers goods to the Saviors during a routine supply drop-off.

The Walking Dead‘ focuses primarily on the Kingdom in this episode that ramps things up through tragedy and sees one character slip towards bloodlust. The episode is very Morgan-centric as it tests his pacifism as things become tense with the Saviors.

The episode focuses on the Kingdom’s payment to the Saviors which is sabotaged by a member of the Kingdom in hopes it’ll spark the war between the Kingdom and the Saviors. It’s a twist that was easy to see coming and of course if goes horrifically wrong.

Those events orbit Morgan who is forced to make a decision and teeters on the brink of going back to his blood fueled days or if he remains the pseudo-pacifist that he has become. He’s presented with the truth as to why things went wrong with tragic results and

But, at its heart is Morgan and all of the tragedy he’s experienced over the seasons. There’s lots to his backstory that we don’t know and you see some of it come out here. This is a man who is traumatized from his actions and like someone experiencing PTSD it comes out here in his actions and what he says after. It’s a flip in many ways with the killer released, the Morgan we knew seems to be gone, but at the same time it’s not the warrior leading an uprising. This unleashed Morgan seems more to have accepted the world as is and that it’s kill or be killed.

But also important in this is Morgan’s interaction with Carol who he reveals exactly what has happened in Alexandria. As much as Morgan’s shift is important, Carol’s reaction is more so becoming the catalyst for what seems like the Kingdom’s shift. We’re not 100% sure that’s the case, we have to wait until next week to be sure.

The episode is one that mixes slow with shock twists. There’s multiple deaths, interesting reactions, and character development and depth added. It’ll be a pivotal episode in some ways and the ramifications will reverberate for a long time to come. The Walking Dead is its strongest when it mixes character development and shocking moments and this episode gives us that and then some.

Overall rating: 7.95

The Walking Dead S7E12 Say Yes Review

walking-dead-5 photoThe group scavengers for supplies; back in Alexandria, someone must make a morally challenging decision.

The Walking Dead‘ gives us an interesting episode as various members head out to go scavenging in hopes of finding guns so they can pay off their end of the bargain with the garbage people. It’s an interesting episode because while there’s some solid action sequences a lot of the episode is focused on Rick and Michonne as they spend time alone. Rick keeps mentioning how he’d like a few more days to scavenge with her and it feels like it’s almost a vacation for the two of them.

It’s cute to see the two as they find supplies including weapons and food in a destroyed carnival that feels like the thing of nightmares at times. It’s all rather interesting because it feels like the series is foreshadowing death. It’s a topic the two discuss, so makes you think something is being set up that might shock the viewers. It also could just be moments to set up the relationship more and we the viewers will feel a bit more tension if either of the two is put into danger.

But, other than that, there’s not a whole lot that happens in this episode. Rosita and Sasha scheme to take out Negan, but it’s an episode focused almost completely on Rick and Michonne. This is one of the “character” moments that some fans seem to flip out due to lack of action. But, the episode is a solid one focused on relationships and how they exist in this new world.

The setting of a building and a carnival is amazing in that there’s so much detail and every little bit gives the viewers a story. The walkers, the weapons, where things are placed, there’s just an amazing attention to detail that tells a story itself and the viewers are left to figure all of that out themselves.

The moments are subtle, the acting is key, and you almost forget how messed up the world is. Almost. It’s a good episode focused on characters and relationships.

Overall rating: 7.85

The Walking Dead S7E10 New Best Friends Review

walking-dead-5 photoWhile searching for a missing Alexandrian, Rick and his group encounter a mysterious collective, its inhabitants unlike any they have crome across.

The Walking Dead‘ Is building up and this episode really gets the ball rolling as we find out about the mysterious group that we were introduced to at the end of last episode. Much of the episode is the politicking and maneuvering for what will be the eventual conflict to come.

The new group is interesting in that it puts together a couple of different plot threads from earlier in the season and it’s a new type of group we haven’t seen before. They’re more of a collective and not very vocal which is unsettling for a few so many reasons. To me, this new group reminded me of something we’d see in a Mad Max film, and while different, it works. They are clearly the numbers that are needed for Rick to go unilateral, but adds some realism as to how Negan will eventually be defeated.

There’s also some movement in the Kingdom as Daryl bounces around talking to folks and finds there’s some allies, though they might not see eye to eye as to exactly how to go about things. But, the biggest thing of the episode is an eventual reunion between Daryl and Carol. The two are some of the cutest things on the show and there’s a bond there that puts a smile on my face every time we see them together.

The episode is a good on in that it sets things up for what’s to come and gives us something new, but it’s not the most exciting episode. The new group is interesting, we get a new walker, we get some plot lines answered, and Daryl and Carol are brought back together. There’s a lot, but it’s not all that great.

This episode is the set up episode building what’s to come. As a bridge, it does a solid job, but on its own, it doesn’t quite stand.

Overall rating: 7.85

The Walking Dead S7E9 Rock in the Road Review

walking-dead-5 photoRick and the others are led to a new community, where they meet the residents and their ruler; a familiar face resurfaces.

The Walking Dead‘ returns after its winter break with kind of a new direction for the second half of the season. We left off with Rick and crew being reunited on Hilltop with a renewed vigor in a way.

Rick has a vision and that’s to unite the three communities to take on Negan and the Saviors, but will they go along?

The politics of the world is now in full display as each community leader is asked if they are willing to put their people at risk to take on Negan. The answers vary and the reactions differ showing off how different leaders view the threat in front of them. It’s nice to see things not go smoothly, but I think more importantly it’s nice that each answer has its own logic to it.

But, this is the beginning. For those who have read the comics, you know war is up next and the question is, will that war happen here or will we have to wait until next season? This episode gives some hints that it might be sooner than later with a pacing that’s much faster than much of the season.

Many have complained this season has plodded along and it would see the writers are addressing that somewhat. There’s some great action sequences with one in particular getting me to take notice and cheer along. But, what’s great is the series is really moving along as it sets up the showdown we all know is coming. The series is building up to an explosion and it’s one that feels like it can’t be missed.

The end of the episode really gets interesting as things can’t go smooth and a mystery builds involving Gabrielle. What’s he up to? I have no idea, but I’m intrigued as to where the story goes. Hopefully it’s not a distraction, but feeds into the greater story in an organic way.

If all of that wasn’t enough, that ending is an interesting one, one I didn’t even see coming. Who are the mysterious people? We’ll find out, but even when I thought I knew where things were going, the series zags.

The Walking Dead is back and it’s showing off it still has it.

Overall rating: 8.45

The Walking Dead S7E8 Hearts Still Beating Review

walking-dead-5 photoNegan’s unwelcome visit to Alexandria continues as other members scavenge for supplies; things quickly spin out of control.

The Walking Dead‘ this season has been criticized for being slow, meandering, and really down. Not the usual story of survival, community, and family that we’ve seen for the last six seasons.

This mid-season finale, while not the best we’ve seen, is the best of the season and is as much of a message to the viewers as it is to the people of this universe.

It picks up from the previous episode where Negan has been hanging out in Alexandria waiting for Rick’s return and being rather domestic by cooking and having dinner. It’s interesting in we see a relaxed, almost charming Negan. This is one that would almost be a productive member of society. But, we know that’s not the case.

It’s hard to describe most of what happens for the Alexandria setting of the episode. Two individuals die and it’s not too shocking as to who it is. That takes away some of the emotional aspect of it, but how and why is interesting. It ramps up the tension of the series and really sets into motion what those who have read the comics know is coming…. “All Out War.”

But the episode really is about that catharsis. Rick, when we get to those final moments, is back in his “don’t fuck with him” mode and ready to take on Negan for the greater good. Up to this point he’s been broken by Negan, but there’s a change here and we almost see the switch in Rick as he goes through some motions.

And there’s a hell of a lot of emotion as well. Daryl makes it out of Sanctuary and back to the group which results in a reunion where I teared up a little. But the group as a whole comes together and in those final moments march on to what happens next. It’s a reunion that screams the band is back together and game on. It’s the emotional moment which has been lacking for much of this year.

The end of it all feels like a message to the viewers as much as everyone on the show. Rick is back. Rick is ready to kick ass. Negan’s reign is coming to an end as Rick’s “ricktatorship” is back. Rick has a message for fans, buckle up because all hell is about to break loose.

Overall rating: 8.85

The Walking Dead S7E7 Sing Me a Song

walking-dead-5 photoA deeper look at the Sanctuary and the world of the Saviors; members of Alexandria look for supplies.

The Walking Dead‘ focuses on the Sanctuary in this episode that picks up on Carl’s trip to try and kill Negan. It’s an interesting one in that we get a much better idea as to who Negan is and what the “rules” of the Sanctuary and Saviors are.

A lot of the episode is Negan talking to and dealing with Carl after Carl kills a few of his members. It’s scenes that come straight from the comic as Negan breaks down and tries to figure out who Carl is and more importantly what he should do with him.

It’s an interesting episode because we see a different side of Negan. He is his usual dickish self, but he also backs up a little when he thinks and realizes he’s dealing with a kid. We also see Negan explaining his thought process is and how things run.

We run through Negan showing off the world of the Sanctuary and get a better idea as to how things work. It’s more detail than we’ve seen before and better sense as to how people react around him. And based on looks and reactions, it’s also clear there’s some issues within the ranks. We get a better idea that there’ll soon be an uprising against Negan and his loyal followers.

There’s other parts of the episode as folks look for items, but nothing really stands out. Like the previous extended episode there’s a bunch that happens, but nothing exciting and it felt like there wasn’t much of a reason to have the extra thirty minutes. Maybe an extra ten or fifteen (with ads, much less), but the extended episodes don’t feel like they take advantage enough of the time (and that says something for a show that tends to stretch things out).

The episode is the Negan spotlight we haven’t had and presents him in more depth than we’ve had before. What’s interesting is the live action version is just a slightly different version of Rick as opposed to the larger than life character presented in the comics. Still, he’s a slightly different challenge and based on how this episode ended, I’m looking forward to seeing how the mid-season finale wraps up in the next episode.

Overall rating: 7.75

The Walking Dead S7E6 Swear Review

walking-dead-5 photoAway from all the tragedy caused by Negan and his Saviors, Tara and Heath run into trouble after crossing paths with a mysterious new group. A brand new society unlike anything seen before.

The Walking Dead‘ really shifts the focus with an episode completely focused on Tara and Heath who have been awol for the season. I honestly had forgotten about both of them until this point, which I’m not sure what that says about their two characters.

We knew that Corey Hawkins (Heath) would be leaving the show in some way as the actor is the lead in the 24 reboot, 24: Legacy which begins soon. It’s just a question of how, not an if, and this episode sort of answers that.

The episode bounces back and forth between the present with Tara stumbling upon a new group of individuals and her and Heath’s journey. It’s an interesting episode as we learn about this new community as Tara does with little bits of information being teased out little by little. We don’t know if they’re friend or foe and honestly I’m not quite sure what the answer is by the end of the episode.

We learn they’ve had their run in with the Saviors. That they’re very distrusting. That they’re pretty well armed. And my guess is they’ll come into play later this season. It’s just a question as to how. And I have some ideas, but I’m not 100% sure.

The biggest thing about the episode is Heath’s good-bye. It’s an interesting sendoff and one… well I don’t want to spoil it at all.

But, the real emotional punch is the end of the episode as Tara makes it back to Alexandria. She’s been away through all of the events so how will she react? The last few minutes are the real punch to the gut and few words are said as Tara and Eugene exchange glances. It plays into something Tara says earlier in the episode and the impact is felt instantly. The show does some of its best work with what’s shown visually instead of verbally and that scene in particular is a perfect example.

The episode is a slow but interesting one that pays off in the last 15 minutes which show the emotional rollercoaster the show excels at and reminds us at its heart it’s all about those still living.

Overall rating: 8.15

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