#TWD had it’s mid-season cliffhanger last night and here is Smurf with his take on the heart stopping episode.
What I loved about the Walking Dead when it started was the suspenseful moments. Those on the run moments that you wonder if they will ever be able to recover from. To be honest I have always enjoyed the story more when they are moving both in the comic and the show. When the comic first started I use to describe it as the morning after Night of the Living Dead to sell it. I understand the importance of setting up a home but I always want to see what is going on in the world. That they should keep moving because setting up someplace permanent just paints a target on you and we have seen that both times at the Prison and Alexandria.
This week was so strong with suspense, on the run, mind screw with incredible visual moments to help build that story. Regrettably the whole episode wasn’t like that and could have really done without the teenage stupidity. I know Henry is a replacement for Carl in the story and kids will be kids even in the Zombie Apocalypse. But this is what we have to focus on? I am sure there are a lot more interesting things to show us besides getting wasted in a shack risking going blind off moonshine while playing ring toss with some walker in a pit. Maybe go a little deeper into what happed with everyone? Instead we get this rather lacking interaction with Machonne and Tara for what is the first meeting between them in a very long time. Something this show can excel in is interaction, great moments between people and all we get is a “You know what you did” and a huffy walk off from Tara? Sure she knows but the rest of us are in the dark trying to play catch up…lazy writing. Or is it the clueless writers are still trying to figure out what went on over those six years between Hilltop and Alexandria? We are in some uncharted territory now having veered so far from the comics. Instead of taking advantage of a moment and even give us a flash back, something out of context a simple well placed word to help build it up. Or use one of the other great tools they have before to expand a story instead we get the awkward mother estranged daughter exchange.
To me it felt like there were two different writers for this episode and neither one knew what the other was doing. While we have the under achieved Hilltop we have the great moment with Negan and Gabriel. Just the frustration that Negan can bring out of people and that Gabriel never seems to be able to get the girl is amusing. It really makes you wonder who is working for whom. This does lead to another moment from the comics but with an added twist that I don’t know how it will play out. I have high hopes there is something special in mind but that means doing more than just a foul mouthed exchange. The exceptional side to this story is the walkers and masterpiece that was painted before our eyes. The visual of the fog rolling in was a great touch to an already tense situation as the Zombies show a form of organization and thought. They know where they are going and more importantly who they want not falling for the same old tricks that have worked in the past. The fear and confusion you start to experience with Eugene, Aaron and Jesus is palpable as the three get lost in a cemetery to elude the walkers. The fog, the sound of the walkers closing in from all around, and the panic all done so incredibly well and a much cooler way of introducing the Whispers than they did in the comic. It’s just like we have seen in years past, when they look at the comic side of the story and then escalate it to an all new level giving it a life you didn’t expect. To see how the group reacts when a Zombie fights back is awesome and pure frightening all at once that no one was prepared for; group member or viewer. Just having the Walker charge right out of the fog was bone chilling and way better then the comic and them just saying we are here. For a midseason finally I have to say one of the best and a cliffhanger that took even me by surprise. For far too long characters have been safe and we have taken for granted them not wanting to “lose” anyone. Granted we didn’t see how it ended but if we are back to the concept that no one is safe again storytelling then the second half of the season could be very exciting.