Walking Dead

#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.

twd_908_gp_0801_0504_rtTo 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.


The Walking Dead

Here is Smurfs (Daniel Sharner) take on last nights #WalkingDead
Only one episode left before the mid-season break but it feels like we just got started. It still feels like the start of the season and I’m waiting for something to happen or the story to develop. It reminds me of when Rick and the group first arrived at Alexandria. It was a bunch of new fresh faces that I didn’t know anything about and feared they would overrun the show and be left with characters I didn’t have a great deal of attachment to. I am facing that very same dilemma but not just with the new characters even the ones that got us here.
the-walking-dead-season-9-episode-7-stradivariusI understand that there has to be a departure from the comics for storytelling purposes and the fantastic opening we got this week was one of those great moments. Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) does an amazing job as director capturing a very confused and fearful moment for Rosita. Surrounded by tress, on the run, the sounds, and worst of all the whispers. The buildup of suspense and emotion is great as she staggers around and worse of all, where is Eugene. The one element that has been missing for some time now has been the horror. True it’s never been the key element to the show and has always been a drama focused on the living element with the zombies as background. What I saw tonight was the perfect blending of both drama and physiological thriller. If only the rest of the episode had carried that instead of just the cold open. What we get this week is semi flat story telling and development. Don’t get me wrong, this was one of the better episodes in my mind and if this was the second one of the season it would have been great.
We get a little more on Daryl and his Dog living like a hermit and the same suspiciously placed scare as Michonne on the lower left side of his back. As we walked into his camp I got the feel of “All Clear”. Daryl just on the edge of his humanity one step away from being that crazy guy in the woods, still trying to find Rick even after all this time. The make him a mentor for Henry to get him out of the woods and rejoin the world is just lazy storytelling. Most of the episode is like that and has the feel of getting the band back together with the clouded history. The fact that the towns are not talking but they are is just silly as we get the big revelation of Maggie no longer being at Hilltop and hasn’t been there for some time. Jesus has been running it and for so long he’s been reelected with Tara as his aid. I would bet Maggie has the matching scare as Daryl and Michonne to help explain the fallout. What has been the most annoying about the season is we no longer know who these characters are. It’s great with the group that has just joined but the ones that we have been on this long road with shouldn’t be the case. Rick may have been the glue for the group but that wouldn’t change who they are. I find it difficult to believe that it would take the mention of Carl for Michonne to do what she would have done normally. I think the only character that I sort of recognize is Carol; operating behind the scene, blending and don’t see her coming till it’s too late. The same thing she did when they first arrived at Alexandria.
Maybe the days for hypothesizing and guessing the who’s and what’s are gone. Maybe its just telling a story and do it any way possible adjusting the characters to fill that need regardless of any established personality. I would like to think that’s not true. The new group shows promise and an established chemistry that shines in the quiet moments around the fire. Something that has been lacking from Ricks group for a few seasons. One thing for sure is they do know how to fight, that is some impressive skill with a slingshot. What do you use for ammo to cause that big of a hole? Marble? Ball bearing? Maybe it will be this group to help show you cant abandon your humanity no matter how bad it gets. #TWD #AMC #Stradivarius #SmurfsTake #5280Geek

The Walking Dead

Smurf returns to talk about last nights #WalkingDead episode as we jump forward six years.the-walking-dead-who-are-you-now-photos006-1541462915855_1280w

“Who Are You Now”

As we closed in on the final episode for Rick Grimes I wondered what his exit would be like. Getting swooped up in a helicopter to what I suspect is the same fate Heath suffered was not expected. I think that is the motivation of the multiple leaps in time for this season. The first to accommodate Ricks departure to the film world and now to the time they originally intended to started with I believe. Venturing so far from the comic at this point with only two characters left from the original group that started with the show. Neither who are in the comic and Maggie the only survivor of the farm group in both worlds.  Makes the next story line an interesting challenge since I always figured Enid was always part of the Whispers and the budding romance between her and Carl was going to take us down that road.

Six years is a big leap. You would like to believe that this would be the next pivotal part of the story but obviously things have happened and not all of them good. The relationship between the towns stressed even more than last we saw it. Daryl living out in the wild, Carol a Queen in need of  haircut, and Machonne a single mother of two kids and a lovely scar. Am I wrong in thinking the little boy should be older if Rick is the father? We know Rick was the glue that held the group together but I find it hard to believe they would fall this far apart where they are barely speaking. In the comics sure it was a slippery relationship but everyone was working together.  We can only hope that we get some backstory along the way like we use to filling in some of the holes (I miss that). Daryl living out in the wild isn’t that far of a stretch, always stating his comfort out there throughout the series, it just seemed odd when Carol and Henry show up in his field to get him. Like picking the kids up from school. It’s obvious now that Henry will pick up the Carl story from the comics as he ventures to Hilltop to start training. His right of passage in becoming a man in the new world because he has learned nothing over the last six years as he goes running off like an idiot.  I don’t know how I feel about Henry being labeled the prince for the Kingdom. It’s one thing to play a role but to fill a kids head with thoughts like that is just setting up t be a destructive mess.

What I saw this week  was another establishing episode. Have we gone as far as we can with these characters? I know major events can have an effect on a person but to see these people who have fought through everything together pull so far back from one another is ridiculous. There has been no growth. What surprised me was how much was pulled from the comics for this episode. Similar to the comics everything is set to happen at the community fair. The introduction of the new group who we got a little more of a set up in the comics then ill prepared one we saw sporting just crude knives. Is the story going to start moving from their point of view now? Best of all the Whispers have shown up and the terrifying scene lifted right of the page of the book as they go walking by Rosita and Eugene. Are we going to see a stronger return to the source material after the ratings drop the show has suffered? Will I be able to take Judith seriously in that hat play therapist to Negan? I can’t wait to see what is going on at Hilltop next week.




Walking Dead

“What Comes After”
ricks gun
#TWD Alright everyone let’s get out our Walking Dead Bingo cards and play: Rick on a horse, RV, RV breaks down, helicopter, apocalyptic writing on the wall, talking on a hand radio, Atlanta, excessive black blood head shot, dead pushing through a door, Rick talking to the dead and wanting to join them, and shots from the colt python in the free space.
And we’ve got Bingo, what do we win? A clip show… Really? They found a way to give us a clip show in a drama show, in 2018 when we’ve evolved TV passed that. And before you argue that Rick is dying and going through his past, that doesn’t change that it’s still poorly veiled filler. Oh these are new conversations with dead characters in old sets so that’s not the same. If the actor wasn’t leaving the show would this still be the dead horse taking up all this screen time? Is this really a journey of the mind we needed to take with Rick? Or is this just making sure we all know Rick is going away and not coming back?
The crappy metaphors beat the audience over the head with ‘hidden’ messages. Rick is at a crossroads, Maggie has a key in the lock, there are choices to be made, did you get that? Let’s do a conversation with Shane to explain it to make sure. Maggie can you explain why Negan crying and broken means that Negan is metaphorically dead? Good because we simple viewers couldn’t have gotten that on our own. Now Rick could you get up and cross that bridge so the show can be about characters and humanity being tested instead of big name actors and they’re weird farewell parties?
I got to say Beowolf-I mean Rick-it’s a hero’s job to die fighting monsters and not grow old and die quiet in bed. In that way, you were too far gone for what comes after. #TWD #WalkingDead #AMC #RedsTake #5280Geek

Walking Dead

“The Obliged”
#TWD A lot of people gave up on the Walking Dead in season 2 because it was boring, I thought they did a good job with what little they had to work with and made a week into a season. It wasn’t great but I felt the heart strings when Sophia came out of the barn… This week’s episode managed to do every filler technique from season 2 but even more pointless and even less happens.
Maggie goes on a road trip, Rick and Daryl fall into a hole, Negan is on suicide watch, and there’s trouble on the farm. Is this season 2?
I guess we’re supposed to ask if Negan should live or die…but we did that at the end of last season. We’re supposed to see all this time has gone by and progress been made except for all these conversations from before? I’m still wondering how everyone seems to know Rick is going away. It isn’t like Carl who knew he was bit and made his own memoriam episode. Weren’t there Whispers promised this season?
And it isn’t just me hating on a show I once loved. Walking Dead is now tied for most disappointing from their fans right now. I’m not sure there’s much that can fix it with everything already been filmed. But I don’t think budgeting is an excuse this time and I don’t think we’ll forgive this season.  #WalkingDead #AMC #RedsTake #5280Geek

Walking Dead

“Warning Signs”
Walking dead’s Warning Signs is apt. There’s no mistaking Rick Grimes is in his final episodes; he doesn’t want to be around these characters anymore either. He had his weird Brady Bunch day with Michone and Judith, he started talking to Daryl like he was young Carl, and he convinced Carol that his stupid idea about utopia is correct. Did anyone else notice that line of “every life matters” was way close to Morgan’s “life is precious” line? But Morgan got sick of these character’s back and forth developments and left to go play with other zombie characters, so now Rick gets full credit. Or something equally silly. Morgan seemed to know that these characters were played out, wish I could join him in apocalypse Texas. Maggie and Daryl have become the monsters they fought back in season four. Even I don’t like the Saviors or think they’re worthy of forgiveness. But turning a blind eye to a beaten people being snatched in the middle of the night to be killed, this is some Gestapo creepy shit. In fact there are a lot of parallels between this new world and Europe after World War I. Which just shows how much these characters haven’t learned a damn thing. This might as well be a new show with all new people and the same plot issues. Rick is on his way out and that’s the real warning sign! #TWD #AMC #WalkingDead#RedsTake #5280Geek

Walking Dead The Bridge

9x02-The-Bridge-Tammy-and-Jesus-the-walking-dead-41608504-1000-666#TWD Building bridges is important but boring and everything else has been done before. All the big things that happened in this week’s episode has already been done in this show. Spoilers ahead. I’m going to just dive into the end because it’s stuck in my craw. Clearly there is a mystery going on with the Saviors disappearing and reports are pointing to something sinister. At the end of the episode we get a hint of a someone the Saviors know and trust taking out people to stir up the ranks against Rick and the other groups. This is something we’ve seen over and over in this show. We saw it just last episode with Gregory against Maggie. Hell, it was Dwight with the Saviors all last season. It’s been done and done well, but now it’s done to death. We get it, there’s a mole and he or she wants to take Rick and his people down from the inside. At this point this plot device is like watching old mystery films and crying, “the butler did it!”
I did like some of the relationship developments with Maggie this week. I believe that at the core of this show, people being faced to look at themselves and each other and grow is what makes it great. When Maggie has that moment in the cells with Earl, she has to look back on her Father and her life before. I think that makes her still a likable leader and stay true to her character. We saw some growth with Carol and Ezekiel and also Gabriel and Anne. Finding joy in this broken world and for most of these characters I think these are smiles they couldn’t have in the world before zombies. They are not the same people they were, not even when the first appeared on the show. I think the characters have all become better versions of themselves. I love seeing this kind of character growth in the show.
What I don’t like is watching the characters that have already grown for the better turn into basic season one versions of themselves. Back when the rules went away and people pushed what they could live with. I don’t think Daryl’s anger makes sense to the character he’s always been. I don’t think he was ever the kind to believe the rules didn’t apply to him. He’s always made his own rules and skirted around them. But this bully beat down in front of everyone without justification, is just displaced anger. This isn’t the Dixon brother we rooted for all these years.
It feels like we’re in a cycle and not in plot device that will show a story arch. I hope the whispers show up soon to break this cycle of what we’ve seen before. #WalkingDead #AMC #RedsTake #5280Geek