Historically, The Walking Dead has a tradition of disappointing finales. Since the show does two finales per year (counting the mid-season finale), that gives audiences two massive letdowns to look forward to every year. Coda, the mid-season finale of season five, continued the not-so-proud tradition.
The thing that stuck out to me about Consumed is that we pretty much knew what was going to happen before the episode even started. In Slabtown, we saw Carol being wheeled into the hospital. The only question was “how did she get there?” Turns out the answer was a completely implausible car accident. How does that even happen in a world without traffic? Ninja car? Carol is officially the worst pedestrian in the apocalypse.
We knew from Strangers that Daryl returned to camp with someone and that he wasn’t exactly in a chipper mood. A lot of people guessed that Daryl’s guest was Noah after meeting him in Slabtown. The episode revealed how the two strangers met. Noah disarmed them and basically left them to die. They teamed up less because it made sense than because the plot dictated that they must.
What I’m getting at is that we already knew the outcome of all of the events of Consumed. What we didn’t know was pretty obvious. And sometimes the explanation I came up with on my own was better than the one the show gave us.
This is the second season of The Walking Dead for show-runner Scott Gimple and a pattern is starting to arise. The Walking Dead has always had a large cast of largely disposable characters. It was hard to get overly invested in characters like T-dog or that other guy who was not T-Dog when most of their screen time was spent waiting for their big death scene. Once a character like Not T-Dog bit the dust, the characters on the show would try to convince the audience of the significance of the loss by talking about a bunch of things we never saw the characters do while they were alive. Glenn was especially prone to telling us how important the show’s red shirts were after they had their names removed from the opening credits.
Last week, I took a break from my semi-weekly Walking Dead write-ups. Didn’t want to do it. It was only the third episode of the season. But Four Walls and a Roof was pretty much a continuation of the lackluster Strangers. I just couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm to write up an episode that covered so much of the same territory as the previous episode. Although I was tempted to do so just so I could point out how idiotic Abraham’s “let’s all split up in the middle of the night when we know we’re being watched” strategy was. Abraham wouldn’t last long in a slasher movie.
I really don’t have a ton to say about this week’s episode, Slabtown. I even considered taking another week off from writing up The Walking Dead. But then I thought about it further and I realized that’s probably what The Walking Dead wants me to do. How else to explain the decision to focus an entire episode on Beth?!? Last season, the show devoted an entire episode to Beth and Darryl which was a questionable decision that resulted in a poor episode. But at least the offset Beth with the show’s most popular character. No such balancing was in effect this time around. Slabtown is all Beth for a solid hour!
The Walking Dead has thrown down the gauntlet. They are now making episodes just to goad me into not writing about them. Although the episode offers very little to digest, I can’t NOT write about it.
After last week’s action-packed premiere (which I still maintain would have worked better as a season finale), it was unavoidable that The Walking Dead would slow down a little. And sure enough, the second episode of the season settles into the usual Walking Dead chat-fest built around an inventive action set-piece. That’s not inherently a bad thing. I’m on record as liking character development when it is done well. Unfortunately, The Walking Dead does a pretty terrible job of developing its characters.
“You’re either the butcher or the cattle.”
It’s the post-apocalyptic circle of life. The strong eat the weak. At Terminus, they really take that expression to heart.
The season five premiere of The Walking Dead is one of the most action-packed episodes in the show’s history. It sticks to the show’s strengths which makes it a very satisfying viewing experience. If I have a quibble, it’s that this episode should have been last season’s finale. The last eight episodes of season 4 built up to this moment. And then, they left us hanging. Now sixth months later, we finally got the bloody catharsis last season was building towards.
Spoilers after the jump.
Season four of The Walking Dead draws to a close this week. As we approach the season finale, it feels a bit like show-runner Scott Gimple is checking off a list of dangling plot lines. Last week, Gimple crossed off everything on the list from the first half of the season. In this episode, he ended another story-line that audiences were clearly expected to care about.
Spoilers after the jump.
This week’s episode of The Walking Dead TV series is one of the more memorable episodes in the series. The basic story is based on similar events in the comic book the series is adapted from. It’s been a while since I compared the TV show with its source material. So I thought this might be a good time to look at some of the differences between the show and the comic book.
Spoilers for both the TV show and the comic book follow.
I can’t discuss this week’s episode of The Walking Dead without spoilers. So, be warned.
I haven’t written about The Walking Dead much this season largely due to lack of interest. The show is marginally better than it was last season, but that isn’t saying much. The first half of the season was mostly padding so the show could set-up a do-over of the Season 3 finale (which was horribly botched the first time). I was cautiously optimistic that with a clean slate, the show could come back from the mid-season finale and do something interesting. Instead, it had been treading water more than ever before (if such a thing is possible).
This week’s episode, titled Still, is clearly intended to be a character study on Daryl (the show’s most popular character) and Beth (the show’s least defined character). I don’t mind a slower pace for a well-done character piece. But every single moment of this character study feels forced. After an hour, the characters feel less well defined than they did going in.