Final Fantasy VII Remake Review: The Remake I Was Not Expecting

There is something about Final Fantasy VII that has touched the hearts of the majority of the previous and current generation of gaming over twenty years ago, and now. It is considered one of the best video games of all time as FFVII brought JRPG’s to the mainstream level that we have never seen before. For years, many fans demanded a remake after the E3 2005 tech demo was shown to the world on what the visuals of that game would look like in a modern setting. With the release of Advent Children, Chrisis Core, and the Dissidia series, the demand grew more. In 2015, We got the first trailer and the announcement that Final Fantasy VII Remake was in development. Five years later, we can now say that we have this game in our hands again. What do I think of the remake, I will tell you right now as I review Final Fantasy VII Remake.

The casting choices for the character’s voices are very good. I even had to listen to old clips of Steve Burton, Rachael Leigh Cook, and George Lewbin from previous entries to see if I notice a difference between them and the new voice actors, and there were minor differences. If you were to tell me that FF7R’s voice cast have never changed upon playing this as my first Final Fantasy video game, I would have noticed. I also liked that many of the minor characters such as Wedges and Biggs had their stories fleshed out more as they feel like they mattered to the overall plot. But a slight knock on this is that many of the conversations with many of the NCP’s and minor characters arepointless as they do nothing but introduce them for them to be forgotten about when you move on to the next quest since they will not serve any relevance to the main plot. You would think that they fleshed out the minor characters out for a good reason. But logically, it made zero sense.

There were times that I laughed more than I did when I played the original game because there are pivital scenes that translated well from the original game, to the remake, but also added more depth to those scenes and made them feel much more alive. The biggest example, is the Honey Bee Inn sequence as Cloud had to be a cross dresser for a while. There is also a dance minigame at that Inn too. The cutscenes were done really well, and it felt like at times that I was watching Advent Children as I was playing the game. The cinematogrophy really blew me away from the start to the finish visually. The music did match the visual style of what we seen on screen, but I felt that the music is very over-orchestrated and I wish that we have an option to switch between the original music, and the current music.

When it was stated that the battle system would be revamped, they were not kidding. Even though there is a “Classic Mode” setting available, I would not recommend using it since this game’s combat relies on you to have full control of the character. The ground combat fixed all of the problems that Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 had, but there are some limitations. Not having to change your party’s A.I while you are controling your character is frusturating, but I had to get used to it. When the air combat happens, the cameras are all over the place like it is a WWE Raw production especially when there are too many enemies on the screen. The boss battles is when the controls and camera angles are much more scaled and controled. Remember the sphere grid system from Final Fantasy X? Well, FF7R takes a slight inspiration from that system to level your characters and their weapons. The leveling grind is not as punishing as FFXV and that is a relief. Also, bonus points for the seamless loading times. I still have my original Playstation 4, and I experienced not one slowdown at all.

Knowing that this is going to be an episodic series of games, I was curious on how Midgar, which is the first area that can be completed in five hours in the oirginal game, was going to be handled. That five hours turned into 45 hours for me as there were more sidequests than I remembered counting the time on this remake. I see why they did this, but I felt that it was not needed as backtracking in this game is very incidential and time wasting. I even questioned myself why is the reunion being mentioned this early in the game? And also, why did Sephiroth appear within the first ten minutes of the game? Sephiroth was mysterious and he appeared when it mattered to flesh out who he is as he kept you guessing what his motive is during the first half of the game. Not in the first ten minutes. Cloud and Tifa’s interractions were the best of the game in my eyes, but I cannot say the same for everyone else as the writing for each of the characters were all over the place and inconsistant at times. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the non-major characters have a personality on this game that you can clearly tell instead of reading text, but the excution was very choppy. Speaking of the story, there are a lot of changes that I did not like. The time travel plot just completly ruined the canon as this remake feels like it has to tie in the other related media of the Final Fantasy VII franchise. Those big changes also appear at the end of the game and I have a feeling that these changes will be very devisive among the community to the level of Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition. This is not what I had in mind when I wanted the remake as it really forces the player to accept this new direction of the game without being mindful to how and why veteran players appreciated the story and timeline.

Overally, I enjoyed most of Final Fantasy VII Remake. The art, visual graphics, and all of the characters feeling larger than life more than ever. But I cannot ignore the flaws that came with it. The most recent remakes on other video games had minor changes that made the experience better. But Final Fantasy VII Remake, changed to make the overall experience apalling to veteran players including myself. Final Fantasy V, VI, VIII, and XII are my personal favorites and this is not a review for me to favor one game over the other, but I perfer the original game over the remake. I was more frustarated, than satisfied with this experience. The fact that we also do not know when part two of Final Fantasy VII Remake will be released has more questions in my head than I can answer.

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Interview: Get to Know Paola Lazaro, The Princess of The Walking Dead

Paola Lazaro as Princess- The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

The newest character to grace our screens on The Walking Dead is Juanita Sanchez, but she wants to be known as “The Princess.” Her cool personality, and her look has won over the fans of The Walking Dead community including myself. But behind The Princess’ pink coat, goggles, and heavy machine gun, is Paola Lazaro as she has many credits to her name such as Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Lethal Weapon, and SMILF. Now it is time for you to get to know more about her in this exclusive interview!

I would like to get to know more about you. What was your upbringing like with your parents and your two brothers? And what were some of your early career goals?

PL: “When I was a kid back in Puerto Rico, I used to write poetry. I would say around like seven years old. Then my mom used to make me perform it for the family on the weekends when they would come for dinner and stuff like that. I have always been writing and performing in a way. And I always knew that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be an astronaunt, but then I saw Apollo 13 and that vomit scene in the spacecraft and then I realized right there that I do not want to be an astronaut. I always wanted to perform!”

You have graduated from Columbia University with your master’s degree in play writing. How big of an accomplishment was this for you?

PL: “I never thought that I would graduate high school. I never thought that I would really be too much of anything because of the things that were told to me when I was a kid. So to able to have done all of those things is a blessing, but school and degrees is not what defines us. But the fact that I was able push through what was told to me that I couldn’t do. For me, it’s huge and it is the fire that keeps me going every day. Columbia University, is (laughs) Columbia University!”

Last fall, it was announced at New York Comic Con that you will play as The Princess. Do you remember how you prepared your audition for the role?

PL: “Oh yeah, I will never forget that. I did not leave my house for two weeks. I pretty much self-quarantined for this role. I had the script with me in the bathtub, next to me in my bed when I slept, and the couch. I had it everywhere. I just did not leave my house and kept studying. Something in me was like ‘I know this character. I’ve lived certain things that she’s lived. I can do this.’ I then went in for the audition, and did what I did, and it was awesome.”

The comic book series of The Walking Dead releases their covers three months in advance before the issue is on the shelves. The first time I have seen her on the cover at the time, I thought that she looked straight from the 1980’s. How did you react when you seen her on the cover of that issue (#171) and her scenes in that issue?

PL: “Oh I flipped out and I was so excited! I really bugged out and I just started screaming and jumping up and down. I was like ‘she’s so cool’ and I was very pumped to bring this comic book character to life on the television show!”

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Paola Lazaro as Princess – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Did you include your own personality traits to The Princess since she has a great personality that shines very well on this episode?

PL: “Absolutely! The Princess is very similar to me, and to when I was a kid. All of this energy that I didn’t know where to put it and all this all this love for the world that I didn’t know how to convey along with all of this excitement and toughness and defensive mechanisms, is very similar to me.”

The Princess had to take a detour with Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Eugene to the minefield during this episode. How quickly have you bonded with Khary Payton, Josh McDermitt, and Elanor Matsuura? And what can you tell me about the day that episode was shot?

PL: “It was very awesome because the night before we shot anything, They all took me out to dinner. In fact, the whole cast took me out to dinner the night before to welcome me so that way, I didn’t feel like I was there to shoot twenty scenes and go. This connection that we had established that night I cherish in my heart and we’re so supportive of eachother. There is a true team there. Iv’e learned a lot from Khary, Josh, and Elanor and we support eachother. We are down to rehearse in between takes and scenes. Anybody that needs anything, or if we have to run some stuff down, and they are like ‘lets do it.’ Everyone is into it and I am thankful to have come in with them into this establish world. Now on the minefield, the first time it exploded, I jumped into Khary and Josh’s arms and cursed in spanish. It was hilarious and we broke out laughing so we had to reshoot it.”

Do you know how many times you all reshot that scene?

PL: “We shot it twice! We did good after we stopped laughing.”

One thing I was looking forwared to in the comics is The Princess meeting Negan. Since the comic book series finished last year, it might be possible to do this on screen. What do you think of the idea of The Princess and Negan in the same scene talking with eachother?

PL: “That would be exciting. That will be fun because, god knows what they would do together. I’m scared for the world and I’m scared for the apocalyptic world when these two people meet. They’re both pretty out there and they might get excited about eachother. Who knows what will happen to the world, but I hope that they do meet! I’ve watched Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the show and it would be great to work with him to bring these two characters together on the screen!”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 15 “The Tower” Recap: Beta Hears Voices

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Paola Lazaro as Princess – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

The current season of The Walking Dead is almost over. In fact, it is sad that we will have to wait for the finale since it will be delayed until the end of the year. So for now, this is the last episode for now until further notice. Here are my thoughts about “The Tower.” This review will be slightly different as I will review this episode by how everyone is split across the groups situation.

The Minefield Roadblock

I liked the verbal exchange between “The Princess”, Eugene, Ezekiel, and Yumiko. Most of the lines of this scene were straight from issue #171 word for word. I also got a laugh when Ezekiel introduced himself to Princess as he thought for a second to introduce himself as “King Ezekiel” as he did when he first appeared on the screen. But he held back as he knows that he is not the king anymore. Yumiko did not trust her for most of the trip and I could not blame her due to what they went through. The group also learns that The Princess’ name is Juanita Sanchez and she did not like her name at all, along with the fact that she does not like being called a queen. The scene where Juanita was counting while she was taking the group to the garage got me puzzled for a moment, but I understood why she counted since she had to trace where she walked. She sure walked them somewhere though as they seen the head of one of their horses on the ground. Right here at this moment is where Juanita tells them that the current area is a minefield. There were even walkers that triggered one of the mines along with the only water canister Juanita had too. Her personality and high positive and nervous mood really shines here, but my problem with this scene is, how did they all not hear the mine explosion from the horse when this all happened the same day in an empty city? You would have thought that since the entire city has no people for over a year, and is quiet, that you can hear a big explosion from miles away.

Yumiko was still not trusting Juanita at this point, and Juanita explained why she was stalling. Eugene also could relate to Juanita for what she did as he did the same thing too. I think I would like to see more of these two in scenes in the future as it is a very odd pairing, but I really want to see Princess and Negan meet. When Juanita showed them the bikes in that garage, that is when Yumiko invited her to travel with them and they hugged like they were best friends. Although the minefield was a filler sub plot, it is far better than how she stalled the group in the comics and she had a good reason to stall Eugene, Yumiko, and Eugene. I liked all of this and rest in peace to another horse!

Emotional Rollercoaster

Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan- The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

The second that these two were paired together this episode, I knew that it was going to be emotional. Cassady McKlency did a great job bringing out the tramua of Lydia on how she will move forward since her mom is now gone. And Negan was there for her to take her frustrations out on him as she does not think that Negan was a hero for killing Alpha despite that Lydia did not like her. What made Lydia mad even more, is that Negan told Lydia that he liked her mom and I was glued to the screen the whole time when these two were going back and forth. Also, bonuc points for the appearence of Dog, and Judith and Lydia having a scene together.

Carol and Kelly also talked, and it was good for these two to talk about what happened after they got out the cave since Connie is still missing. Kelly still has hope that Connie is alive, and I hope so too because she has not been seen at all in this second half. Kelly mentioned that she heard all the stories about Carol since she has been there, but assures her that she has a superpower and that she should not give up on herself whenever bad things happen. That is encouragement right there. Kelly also said that her superpower is sign language and everyone learned it because of her. This all happened while they were in a car getting wires and I will have to say this. Kelly is an underrated character and she proves how resourceful she is whenever she is on the screen.

Now on to Judith and Daryl as their scenes together were the best of the entire episode. It went from Daryl finding Lydia in the woods killing walkers by herself, to Daryl giving her hunting tips. After a cool walker kill sequence after Daryl shot one of those Whisperers with an arrow, they hunt down that Whisperer and found her in a ditch. Daryl asked that Whisperer questions of where they are heading to, and if they know that they are there. Daryl then killed that Whisperer with shooting another arrow to her head, and Judith seen this all happened. Judith, was very upset about this as her and Daryl talked about this later in the episode in an emotional conversation. Judith told Daryl what if that was him lost and nobody could find him as that Whisperer was (Also, that Whisperer was with Beta walking the horde, but more of that in a moment). When I heard Judith say that line, I compared it to the time in season 8 where Daryl killed that one Savior after he pleaded with his life after he gave Rick and Daryl the location of the weapons. Rick gave him that death stare because Daryl killed a Savior that was not trying to fight back. I could not blame Daryl at the time because he was a prisoner there, but thinking of that moment, made me see Judith’s point. My heart poured out for Judith because all she wanted, was for the family to be back together and she is afraid that Daryl will be the next to go. Daryl could not promise to stay because, he does not know what will happen. But he does know that there is a whole bunch of people at the communities that will watch over her and when she gets older, they will need her. Daryl took a realistic approach on this since they do not know if they will live another day as long as the world is what it is currently on The Walking Dead. Judith will just have to adjust to the idea for now. Also, I am happy that they brought up Michonne as well as he kept tryng to reach out to her.

Hide and Speak

I hate to say it, but this was the least interesting part of the episode. Aaron and Elden were practically playing hide and seak the entire episode as Beta and Whisperers walked the walker horde first into Alexandria, and then on their way to Oceanside. Aaron and Alden were first using sign language to tell eachother when to move. While Beta was leading the charge, he hears voices in his head. I thought it was slightly cool, but it did not add anything with the plot. He was even about to kill that Whisperer that Daryl killed later in the episode before his subconcious of his voice was heard. What I thought was also ridiculous, is that Beta finally figured out that everyone is stationed at the abandoned hospital (Negan called it the tower) by following a cat that was walking there. And before that even happened, Alden and Aaron noticed that their radio connection was jammed, and then they were surrounded by Whisperers and that is the last we see of them on this episode. The episode ends when Beta and The Whisperers with the very large walker horde are feet away from the hospital door.

Overall, I liked some parts of the episode, and I am split of the parts that did not move the plot forward. I am sad that this is the last episode for now due to COVID19. Easily, the Daryl and Judith conversation is the best storytelling aspect of the episode along with Negan and Lydia, and the gang with The Princess. In fact, that was comic relief and It did not feel forced at all as it blended well in between the scenes. Everything The Princess has done on this episode, really matches her character from the start to the finish. I really cannot wait to see more of her!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Melissa McBride on Carol’s Showdown With Alpha, Traveling With Norman Reedus, And Working With Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and a Farewell to Danai Gurira

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 10 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

We have seen Carol go through a lot of trauma on this season of The Walking Dead and her quest for revenge against Alpha has not only lead Alpha to a satisfying death, but it also lead to Carol making decisions that might affect her in the long run. With Carol questioning herself in her thoughts if she should have killed her in this episode, Melissa McBride breaks down everything between Carol and Alpha during this season of The Walking Dead along with a few more treats for the fans!

First, I would like to say that I have been a fan of your work on The Walking Dead for years. Before we get to The Walking Dead, how have you been doing since the COVID-19 crisis began and what are you doing to keep yourself occupied?

MM: “Thank you Julian! I appreciate the words from you. But I have been putting air in the tires (laughs). There has been online courses available and that’s been kind of fun. I have been also doing a lot of painting, and some things around the house. I have also been checking in on people and making sure everyone is okay.”

The dynamic between Carol and Alpha has been a highlight for the current season since it started. Would you like to break down how you and Samantha Morton develop that dynamic?

MM: “I don’t know if we went out of our way to do anything. I know that we were both looking forward to the time when Alpha and Carol casme face to face, but we did not talk about anything. The whole circumstance of the story created that dynamic and we finally came face to face. And then we came face to face later in the season with her at my feet looking at me (laughs).”

The community of The Walking Dead is divided on whether if Carol deserves the blame on putting everyone in danger this season during her quest to get revenge on Alpha. What is your response to this and do you agree that Carol deserves the blame?

MM: “Well I certainly think she bears responsibility for the way some things went down in her efforts to seek vengeance. I have to say yes, that she should take responsibility for the things that she put everyone else through and she knows it too. When I was watching as a viewer, I felt the same way to be honest!”

This episode marks the first time that you and Jeffrey Dean Morgan worked together in a full length scene. Have you always wanted to work with Jeffrey Dean Morgan since his debut? And also, why did Carol not hold up her end of the bargan yet with the deal she made with Negan?

MM: “I’ve always wanted to and I could not wait to have a scene with him. Although, I was glad that I was not in the scene where Negan was introduced with everybody was on their knees. I was always looking forward to working with him and having a scene with him so curious if and when it would come and what it would be like, and never did I think it would be this storyline. And to answer your other question, she asked him ‘what took him so long’ and everything going through her head, she got what she wanted, but really? Because it came with such a price. And all the things happened while she was trying to get to Alpha. And she had to think about what she wanted to do about that. And he was free and Alpha’s head was on a spike for everyone to see and Carol is now thinking ‘I gotta go, I got stuff to think about’ (Laughs).”

How has Carol impacted you personally over the years?

MM: “She has impacted me in so many ways. And just me even having the opportunity to play the character has been amazing and full of it’s own challenges. But to play this character from the beginning, and I was so hoping that if she remained on the show, that we would see an evolution to strength in which I’m really happy to see. Also, The way that the fans relate to this character and in part to me, has been a source inspiration for them in many ways is probably the greatest feeling. And the different aspects of Carol has been really fun for me to play. It’s been pretty amazing.”

Carol and Alpha had those scenes on this episode where Alpha has been taunting her about Sophia, Henry, and more people from her past. What do you believe was her state of mind at that time from when those hallucinations of Alpha began in the episode, until when she freed herself from the fallen debris?

MM: “I think it really was that all of this was coming to the surface and with her ramblings and rumbling through her subconscious about the damage done. And when the damage is done, it also means the losses that came with it. Alpha said something insteresting too ‘you chose me because I was the one to get it done’ and Carol is thinking ‘what do you mean by getting it done’. I liked the questions that this episode asked and these answers exhibited in Carol’s behavior and her actions even though we don’t necessarily hear the answers. But I think there’s more to explore in that subconscious. And I liked that Carol did eventually decide to go back to Alexandria. But at the end, she fought for her life. Alpha kept saying ‘what did you want’ and Carol wanted to either be alone or not. I still think that there is more that Carol wants.”

Danai’s last episode was the episode before this one and I know that you miss her a lot. What have you learned the most from Danai?

MM: “I’ve learned so much from her. She is such a well-rounded, very compelling, dynamic, multilayered person. She is very funny especially in the morning and she’s such a professional. Danai is also very focused, which I admire a great deal because , I have a very little focus and I am sort of all over the place. But when we shoot, she is very focused on her lines, and her actions in those scenes. She is also very encouraging and a inspiring person especially since there are girls all over the world that look up to her. I love her and I miss her!”

I wanted to bring up Norman Reedus. You and him filmed an episode of Ride With Norman Reedus in Scotland. Did you have fun traveling with him over there?

MM: “I am happy that you asked that! I had so much fun on that episode. That is one of the top of my favorite memories. Another one of those things is that I never thought it would be on a road trip with a Norman in Scotland, or anywhere for that matter. It was very fun and we seen so many things and places that we never seen before. I love spending time with him. He is such an adventurer and fun to be around. We had a lot of good laughs and it was very special to me. There were also people over there that reconized us from The Walking Dead and I was happy to see them as well. I would love to go back one day.”

The news broke last week that the season 10 finale has been delayed to later this year. Without giving too much away, what can we expect from you on the finale?

MM: “It’s going to be a really good finale and we are going to give everyone something really good to look forward to because, I know the finale is amazing. There was a lot of work done on that when we shot it last fall. But it will be something that people will remember and look forward to in the next season as well so I am grateful for the work that we have done. I am also going to binge watch the current season during this unexpected break that we have because I think that this season is amazing and I want to watch it all over again!”

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The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 14 “Look at the Flowers” Recap: Hello Princess!

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Last week, we seen the final episode Danai Gurira portray Michonne on The Walking Dead. While she made her exit last week, we finally get to see what everyone has been up to on this week’s episode especially since Alpha meet her demise in the hands of Negan. Here is my recap and review of “Look at the Flowers.”

In a flashback, Carol viits Negan in his cell. She talked to him about what he wanted and he said that he wanted a steak, and a beer. Carol offers to free Negan. Negan initinally did not want to take the offer as he told Carol what could happen if he got out. Carol then made a deal with Negan. He kills Alpha, in exchange of Carol letting everyone know that Negan did it so he can be seen in a better light. In the present, Carol puts Alpha’s head on a pike on one of Alpha’s borders. Negan asked her if it is what she wanted and for her to start spreading the word at Alexandria. Carol asked Negan again what took him so long to kill Alpha. Negan explained why it took long as he had to get her trust. Carol then told Negan that she is not returning there yet and told him to wait. Negan then asked her why is she not holding up her end of the bargin, and then Carol told Negan that he is free and that he can do whatever he wants.

Over at the house that the group stayed in, Ezekiel and Jerry had a conversation for a moment, and then Magna arrives to the house as Jerry was surprised to see her. Rosita is in pain and has a burn on her stomach from the battle at Hilltop and Eugene watched over her. Eugene assured Rosita that she needs to see Dr. Alex and Rosita told Eugene that he needs to go see Stephanie. This is where we see that Eugene announced to everyone that he has been in contact with Stephanie over the radio. Everyone reacted in a mixed way as they could not trust her due to what they went through with Dante. Ezekiel said to give Eugene a chance to talk about this before they can judge. Eugene explained who Stephanie was and said that he has to go, and that she is a friend. Yumiko and Magna talked for a few minutes and Yumiko wanted Magna to go. Magna insisted that Yumiko should go instead even though it is a bad time right now. Jerry had his daughter Aliyah over his head as he was walking and Ezekiel told Jerry that he is going because he is sick. Ezekiel also wanted Jerry to make sure that the legacy of The Kingdom to live on. They both then hugged after this.

Ryan Hurst as Beta, Mark Sivertsen – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Beta and two Whisperers are walking towards the border and Beta noticed Alpha’s head on the pike. One of those two Whisperers told Beta that he is the new Alpha. Beta told that Whisperer to take his mask off and to listen to what walker Alpha is saying. Beta then pushed his ear to her mouth and asked him what was she saying. He put it so close to Alpha’s head, that walker Alpha started to bite his ear and then Beta pulled him away as the second Whisperer ran away. Beta then took Alpha’s head off that pike. Negan is going back to the cabin where he placed Lydia and he sees that she is gone. Daryl punched Negan and asked him about the whereabouts of Alpha. Negan told Daryl that he killed Alpha and Daryl did not believe him. Negan then showed Daryl that he is in possession of Alpha’s mask. He also told Daryl that Carol let him out (Also referred to her as Daryl’s girlfriend).

While Carol is by herself, she hears Alpha’s voice. this is more of Carol talking to herself than a hallucination of Alpha. “Ghost” Alpha is here in a sense as a visual aid. Alpha says that she is always watching. Beta and that Whisperer that was bit, was walking in an abandoned town. A walker approaches both of them, and that Whisperer decided to take that walker down. Before he could do so, Beta stabbed that Whisperer through his back. He fell and then the walker devoured him. Beta then entered his secret house and all of his belongings are there including memoribilia of his career as a country singer. He placed Alpha’s head that is in a bag, on the table, and placed the note in his coat. He took a look around his room and looked at his poster for one second and proceeded to smash his guitar over and over again until it is smashed to pieces.

Carol is still walking by herself and hears Alpha in her head taunting her about Henry and Sophia, Negan killing her, and about Carol not accepting what she done. As she kept saying for Alpha to get out of her head, a walker behind a bush tried to grab her, but Carol killed the walker. It affected Carol because she used Lydia’s staff and the position after she killed the walker, was like one of Alpha’s pikes on the border with a head on it. Eugene, Yumiko, and Ezekiel are traveling by their horses and they are near traintracks. Eugene told a story about why those tracks reminded him of his mom and that this trip is the journey for the future of mankind. They even poked fun of chocolate bunnies as well. They all encounter two walkers that are locked up behind cages and then they stopped and investigated the area. Ezekiel struggled to kill the walkers on his own as he was coughing due to his cancer. Negan has his hands tied as Daryl is making him walk infront of him. Negan thinks that Daryl is mad because Carol did not let him know about the plan. Daryl flat out told Negan that children almost died because of the fire arrow attack that he was part of. He then told Negan to keep walking.

Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Beta is still by himself in his crashpad as he is playing his own record and reminnicing about his past. As the music plays, walkers are being attracted towards it as Beta is forming his horde. He even ripped off part of his mask as he watched his horde form. Alpha is still taunting Carol about not wanting to send letters to Maggie about Alpha. Carol was in a shed and climbed the ladder to check what was up there and Alpha yelled which caused Carol to fall and for everything on that large shelf fall on Carol. Back to Negan and Daryl as they are walking to the pike where he said that Alpha’s head was at. Negan finds out that it is not there and Daryl draws his crossbow at Negan as he does not believe him anymore. Whisperers appear at the border and told Negan that he is the new Alpha since she is dead. Negan then went to his old ways as a leader for a moment and told Daryl to get on his knees while also telling one of those Whisperers to hand him over Alpha’s shotgun. Daryl wanted Negan to shoot him right there, but Negan shot one Whisperer, and they both fought off and killed the other two.

While Yumiko and Eugene are sleeping, Ezekiel stays up and is the lookout. suddenly, his horse fell and Ezekiel examined the horse and noticed that his horse is bitten. Ezekiel put down his horse and was sad to do this. Yumiko seen this and Ezekiel told Yumiko to leave him there and for them to go on without him because he is sick. Yumiko told him that is not happening and that they need to find out what’s possible as she said that her and Eugene needs him there. In the morning, Carol is still buried beneath the debris. Alpha teases her about the people she has lost in her life, and the people she will lose from this point on since nobody will help her. A walker is approaching and squeezed through a tight space. Alpha even told Carol to look at the flowers. Carol was not going to listen to anymore of this as she got the strength to get up from the debris, and kill that walker. Elsewhere, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Eugene are on a bridge as they are looking at a skyline of buildings of a city.

Negan and Daryl was sharing water while they were sitting down. Negan does not think that Lydia is returning and Daryl thinks so too. Negan said that he meant it when he said that he “liked it” when he felt like his old self last night for a second and reflected on his time inside that cell for seven years. He said that it was nice that he felt like he was being respected and that he mattered, but Alpha went too far. Daryl was not interested to listen to this. Negan even tried to brighten the mood, but Daryl walked away. Later, Carol arrives at Alexandria. Daryl opened the gate, they said nothing, and Carol walked inside. Ezekiel, Eugene, and Yumiko are in the city. Ezekiel called for any person that is there. They see walkers, but these walkers were handcuffed and chained down to where they are and acting like people living their lives (It is better to see this scene than to describe it in writing). At one point, Ezekiel laughed at the walker that was handcuffed inside the car steering the wheel. They explore the area and see a skeleton walker with a pink scarf. Then they all look forward, and out of nowhere, “The Princess” makes her on screen debut as she greeted herself to the three of them that looked very puzzled and stunned in shock.

At the end of the episode, Beta reads the note and takes out Alpha’s head from the bag. He says “thank you” to walker Alpha and puts walker Alpha’s head down with his knife. He then walks outside his crashpad and and is seen with his mask fixed on the other side of his face that was missing with Alpha’s skin as he begins to walk with his horde.

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, ,Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

This episode is much better than last week’s episode and I love how sudden “The Princess” Juanita Sanchez debut was on the show as it was exactly the same way from Issue #171. I cannot wait to see more of her on the show. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus are great friends and I was happy to see them have a lenghtly scene on this episode as their chemistry continues to grow. Khary Payton continues to make a believer out of me as he is making me feel sad for Ezekiel each episode he is in ever since he revealed that he has cancer.

Ryan Hurst continues to knock it right out of the park as Beta and it was interesting to see why he wanted to get over who he was in the past. I also believe this episode is the best I have seen Carol with Alpha even though Alpha was practically a ghost in this episode in Carol’s mind. The dynamic between these two was a highlight of this season and it shows that Carol is struggling to accept whether if it was a good choice or a bad choice to kill Carol. Overall, a solid episode and there is a lot of development with the characters on this episode while there was action to blend in with everything!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Breaking News: The Walking Dead Season 10 Finale Has Been Delayed to Later This Year

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon; group – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

I have some unfortunate news to report. The season finale of the current season of AMC’s The Walking Dead will not air until the fall.

AMC Network released a statement in which you can read below:

Current events have unfortunately made it impossible to complete post-production of The Walking Dead Season 10 finale, so the current season will end with its 15th episode on Sunday, April 5. The planned finale will appear as a special episode later in the year.

This news comes a few days later as the world found out that The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s premiere date has been delayed until later this year as well due to the COVID-19 Outbreak along with halting the production of Fear The Walking Dead too.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 13 “What We Become” Recap: Michonne’s Final Episode

Danai Gurira as Michonne; single – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

This is the episode everyone have been waiting for ever since Danai Gurira announced that she was leaving The Walking Dead over a year ago and we are finally here. Michonne’s adventure comes to an end on this episode and her journey began on the end of season 2. How does Michonne make her exit on the series, that will be explained as I will give you my thoughts and opinions of “What We Become” right now.

Also to note, this episode’s structure is split between reality, and a “What if” scenario. With that out of the way, time to begin.

In the opening, we see the end scene of the season 2 finale when Andrea is being chased by walkers, but this time, it is from Michonne’s point of view. Instead of saving Andrea, Michonne does not save her as the screams of Andrea being devoured is heard by Michonne as she walks away with her pet walkers. In the current time, Michonne and Virgil arrives at the island and Virgil was handcuffed the entire time on the boat. Michonne uncuffs Virgil and he said that he could have done that five hours ago. They walk on the island and Virgil was stalling for a few minutes and Michonne told Virgil that she needed to get back. Virgil took some urbs and leaves for tea as Michonne asked about the brown building behind them. Virgi told her that it is best to stay away since wild animals go inside there. As they are also walking, a banner of the map of the entire island is displayed with markers of “groups” written on the map and Michonne stopped him from talking as she was becoming unpatient with him. She asked Virgil about the whereabouts of his family and Virgil then took her to a gravesite. Virgil told Michonne that his famly is dead and that a sickness killed them. He also said that the real reason that he brought Michonne to the island is to put his family down as they all turned. This did not make Michonne happy.

They both entered one of the buildings and Michonne killed one of the walkers. She then killed another one that was trying to walk through a table. Michonne and Virgil then proceeded to squeeze through the broken table and debris that was blocking the path and there were walkers further away from them. She grabbed one of the chairs to use as a shield to rush through the walkers and then Michonne killed more of the walkers in that room including the ones that were about to get Virgil. They both enter another room to see that there are hung walkers and Virgil picks up one of their shoes, and puts it back on the walker’s foot. Virgil then told the story of his wife and Michonne was not ready to hear it as she apologized for his lost, but lets him know right away that she needs to get back and does not want to be thanked. Virgil told Michonne that the boat might not make it through in the sea during the night because of the high tide so he suggested that they both sleep at night and leave in the morning.

Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC

At night, Michonne tried to use the walkie-talkie to alert Judith. She then goes outside and enters the building that she seen earlier. She then investigated one of the rooms and did not find anything. But she did heard other people talking. Virgil then appeared behind her and closed the door and left. Michonne tried to open the door, but it was closed shut. Then suddenly, someone told her to calm down as there are three people locked in another room next to her. It was two women (One of them named Lucy), and one male as they all told Michonne that they used to be friends with Virgil and that things got bad when other people that they found fought them and when food was getting low. Lucy then said that Virgil’s wife and kids are also in another room, but they are dead. Virgil then appears at the door to check on her. As Michonne begins to plead again to let her out, she begins to get dizzy and starts to hallucinate. Virgil told Michonne that she is in pain and he wants her to see that. This is when Michonne noticed that the tea she drinked, was drugged. In her Hallucinations, Siddiq appears and told her that she was supposed to protect all of them including Rick, Carl, and Coco. Also, the past version of Michonne pulls her into the past.

Remember the guy with the orange backpack from many seasons ago? Switch him out for Michonne as Michonne was calling Daryl for help. Daryl looked, and then left. While she was still walking, Negan and The Saviors arrive and Negan held her sword for a second while Laura given her an apple. Negan seen Michonne as an asset and then recruited her. Following this, is the scene where Rick and his group raid the satellite outpost from “Not Tomorrow Yet” (Season 6, Episode 12) and instead of Heath and Glenn killing random saviors in their sleep, it was Laura and Michonne sleeping as Glenn killed Laura in this “What if” scenario. Michonne then proceeded to shoot Glenn and Heath, killing them. Then we see Rick shooting down The Saviors as he did on that episode, but Michonne was behind the other wall as Rick did not notice her. After this, we go to the scene of Negan’s debut and the group on their knees from 6×16/7×01 as Negan started the “eeny-meenie-miny-moe” chatter and instead of Simon, Negan said that Michonne is his right hand woman. Negan then let Michonne decide who she was going to kill. Michonne with Lucille, decided that she will choose Michonne (One with Lucille is Savior Michonne, one on the ground was the current one at the time) to be the victim. We then flash forward to one of the battles with The Saviors during season 8 as Daryl shot Michonne with his crossbow bolt. As she was dying, Rick Grimes killed her by shooting her with his gun. At this point, the hallucinations are over.

Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Michonne snaps back into reality and Virgil gives her water to drink. She then smashed the fork into his leg and they have a small scuffle until Michonne got the upper hand. Michonne freed Lucy and the other two and they escaped the building (Which is marked Group #2) to only see the boat in flames. They chased after Virgil until he fell and Michonne captured Virgil. Lucy and the others wanted Michonne to kill Virgil, but Michonne told them that taking his life would make them lose themselves as she refused to kill him. Lucy then knocks him out. Virgil then wakes up in the same room where he locked Michonne and it is time for Michonne to get more answers out of him. Michonne said that she checked the entire area and did not find any weapons. Virgil told Michonne that he seen them, but Michonne does not believe him anymore and asked him what does he see when he drinks the tea. Virgil said that he sees his family and hoped that she would see that too.

Michonne then replied by saying to Virgil that she would see that too, but he took her family from her and that she sees hell now. Michonne then asked Virgil to take her to get her belongings. Once Michonne opened the room to get her belongings, she noticed boots on the counter that belonged to Rick Grimes. Michonne pushed Virgil towards the wall and grabbed him and asked him about how he got those boots. Virgil was unaware of who she was talking about and about the boots as he thinks that they washed up on the shore. They then go on a bigger boat and she goes through a book. In the book, there were locations written of Virginia, and New Jersey. She then seen an iPhone 4 with a chalk drawing of Michonne and Judith with Rick’s name on the top of it. Virgil realized that she is the drawing. Michonne thinks I that he knew about this the whole time, but again, Virgil assured her that he does not know who she is talking about. But Virgil also believes that it was not an accident that they meet and that she should look for him as he wants the other three people to help him with the engine of the big boat.

Kevin Carroll as Virgil, Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC

Michonne and Lucy with her two friends meet with Virgil and Virgil decided to stay at the island as he wanted to give flowers to his wife every day even though she is dead. They leave the island on the giant boat. Michonne started to cry when she seen the chalk drawing of her and Judith again. Michonne then used the walkie-talkie to contact Judith and she did exactly that and Judith responded. Michonne asked about Rosita, Coco, and The Whisperers. Judith told her that they are fine and even RJ talked to Michonne too. Judith told Michonne that Alpha will not hurt them anymore, and then Michonne told Judith that she found something from “The Brave Man” and Judith asked if he was alive. Michonne told Judith that she does not know yet, but she is hopeful that he is. Judith told Michonne to go find him, but Michonne was concerned for everyone at Alexandria. Judith then said that Rick might need her help than they do and that she needs to find him. One of Lucy’s friends told Michonne that they are close to the coast. Michonne then not only said her good bye to Judith and RJ, but she told them both that she loves them and that she will radio her every day until she cant.

Once on land, Michonne makes two new pet walkers. She then saved two people and they told Michonne that their people will leave them and not return if him and her did not catch up. Michonne agrees and the final shot of the episode is a wide-panning shot from above as we see an extremely large-traveling group with horses walking in formation.

Danai Gurira as Michonne, Kevin Carroll as Virgil – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC

On Rick Grimes’ final episode, it was about Rick reflecting on his courage, heart, and wisdom in the style of The Wizard of Oz. On Michonne’s final episode, it was Michonne reflecting on decisions and where would they lead you. I liked the idea of the way this episode was written, but it was also sloppy on most of this episode as I felt that her hallucinations were not needed to tell the story of why she would want to look for Rick Grimes. There were a few good moments that I enjoyed however such as her talk with Judith and RJ, those walker kills in that building, her finding Rick’s boots, and that scene where she begins the hallucinations with that out of body experience with her old self. That right there made me feel like I was watching a psychological film.

Danai’s performance on this episode is outstanding as she really made me feel worried for Michonne while she was locked in that room. Also, I found Virgil very annoying the entire time I was watching the episode and I rolled my eyes whenever he was on the screen. I believe after everyone watches this episode, Virgil will be the most hated character in the history of The Walking Dead.

My biggest concern of the way this episode is structured, is the status of the Rick Grimes movies. Rick was taken by the CRM group and the group that was shown at the end of the episode seemed like they had nothing to do with CRM. In fact, it seemed like that large group with the horses might be part of Virginia’s group from Fear The Walking Dead. Also, we do not know what Danai’s schedule will look like within the next few months when the movie begins in full production since nobody is sure what the cast will look like. I am hopeful that she is part of the cast though. The “What if” scenarios that happened on this episode, I could compare that to the Marvel Comics “What If” comic book series, or the TellTale Batman video game. That would have been fine for me if this was not Michonne’s final episode, but because of this, those scenes felt like a huge distraction to the main plot of the episode in a logical sense. But with that out of the way, It was produced very well besides one inconsistency and that was, Daryl’s vest. Why would I bring this up? Because when he killed Michonne in that “What if” scene during the war against The Saviors a few seasons ago, the wings on his vest were like brand new. But during season 8, the wings of his vest were decayed. I have an eye for detail and accuracy so I noticed that. And finally, lets assume that Rick made that chalk drawing. If he did, how would he know what Judith would look like now when he has not seen her in almost 7 years?

I am split with the episode overall as I most likely wanted more, but more questions were raised while I was watching it. I was underwhelmed and it was not like I was expecting a big blowoff to her exit. I would have had it differently, but that is my opinion. Danai Gurira will be missed and Michonne is a legendary character that will never be forgotten. I have been a fan of Danai for years and I am sad to see her go, but happy at the same time of the opportunities that she has gotten during her time on and after The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead family will always have your back Danai Gurira.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Demetria McKinney of Motherland: Fort Salem

Demetria McKinney is known for her time on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, The Rickey Smiley Show, SyFy’s Superstition, and most recently, A House Divided. With those credits to her name, she is also an singer and songwritter and her two singles (“Happy” and “Easy) from her first album “Oficially Yours” charted at #4 at the Adult R&B Songs. Demetria is also starring on FreeForm’s Motherland: Fort Salem in which she plays as Anacostia Quartermaine who is the drill sergent of that military. I recently got the chance to speak with Demetria McKinney to talk about her role on the series in this exclusive interview!

How has life been for you within the last few years going in between music and acting?

DM: “As an artist, you want to give your full attention to whatever you’re doing. And I’ve been blessed in the sense that I’ve been working pretty consistently for the last 15 plus years so when it gets to getting into the studio, I want to make sure that I put down the music properly. If I’m playing Anacostia Quartermaine and I’m a drill sergeant and I’m yelling at soldiers all day, then I really don’t have a singing voice to sing at that moment. I’m writing down all of the lyrics to my music on my free time, but then being in Vancouver for 6 months, I can’t properly promote it. It’s been i kind of a test, but it’s like a champagne problem because on one hand, you’re winning, and you’re working, and you’re staying active in one part of your passion. And then, once I get the chance to kind of get a 10 minute break, I can really kind of concentrate on this over here. It’s been a balancing act I have to say.”

What kind of trainig did you had to endure to prepare yourself as a drill sergent? And will we see some of the characters go through PTSD since this series has a military theme to it?

DM: “My mother was in the military so the discipline and the militant nature that she possessed, I kind of honed in on that a bit. As far as the physicality as we were there a month early to do physical training, we have to learn how to use a weapon none of us had ever heard of before. We also had to go into vocal training because, the details that were given to us about our characters. I learned a lot of what I knew as a vocalist and really concentrate on the craft person the beauty of it. And then on top of that, I had to adjust changing my mind set because, this is set in an alternate-America in the present day where women are in power, and women are at war. Women are not necessarily raising the baby here as there is magic in that military too. there’s just so many differences from what I was used to in the conventional stories that we see here, and know that every day, that I really have to kind of re-route and that was a great trip. The dicipline that my mother had, was passed down to me and I use it for Anacosita!

but at the core They are still women, they were still human, they still wanted love, they still had their feelings, they still long for family, they still wanted that connective tissue to one another, they still had their history in the past. You will see everyone go through it in their own way in each episode. All of them going through all that stuff, without question there’s definitely some moments that you see them go through PTSD.”

Who designed your costume? And did you have any input on what you wanted Anacosita to look like?

DM: “It was a collaborative effor andt they definitely have a costume designer but I think that it was pretty cut and dry. It’s not your traditional whitch stories, so there was no gowns and cape, brooms and things like that. It was military style so we really wanted to capture that aesthetic. They really did a great job with that and just making sure that everything seemed correctional, practical, and functional, but still had that little bit of a twist to it when it was necessary. We wore hoods which I think is just kind of a departure from what you see in the military. But it’s kind of a cool interaction between the military, and witchcraft so they’ve really went out of their way here to make sure that we look as militant as we need to but we still have the space to have the magic.”

How did you react to when the show was pitched to you?

DM: “I thought to myself that I think I got the holy ghost (laughs). I’m very into the magic phenomenon. I love X-Men, I love Mystique, I love all of that. I also love that they have the reality of war on Motherland. Nothing could come at a better time like getting to be a part of something so innovative, and so very detached from the cliche war story. Im really honored because I actually get a chance to live in that world. It’s been a ride and it’s been a blessing.”

What kind of relationships or bonding with other characters can we expect from Anacosita?

DM: “I don’t think that she intends to getting really close to people. She intends on teaching them, she intends on protecting them through with the knowledge and preparation. There’s something about them (the soldiers/witches) that catches her, and a lot of other people that they’ve got a spark to them that they hadn’t seen in quite awhile. So I think that she unintentionally gets involved with them because, I think she also see bits and fractures of herself within each of them and you know, in an effort to really come serve what we have is a precious resource of the military. Like we need everybody here and I think that she gets close to them unintentionally and it leads to some other stuff to transpire. But that’s really really cool so you’ll see a little bit about it.”

What is your favorite episode that you have been part of that you have interracted with the cast the most?

DM: “I think it’s episode 7 because if I remember correctly, it’s one of the big turning points from my character and we start to see a little bit of the fabric that’s been kind of wrapped around her.Raelle is one of my favorite characters on the show and General Sarah Alder (played by Lynn Renee), she’s an absolute badass and she comes in and learns her mother tongue. She speak all these different languages, and she’s absolutely stunning and once you put the uniform on and they yell action, You see that side comes out of her. On top of that, I get to watch her transform into something that is completely opposite of her. Scylla, (who is played by Amalie Holm) she is just a siren and she has this magic and this death and it’s so dark, but it’s so beautiful when she plays as her. Everybody’s been amazing, but as far as my interaction with people, those be my 2 favorite to work with.”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 12 “Walk With Us” Recap

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

As last week’s episode ended with The Whisperers shooting flaming arrows to Hilltop, everyone over there are caught in a very sticky situation. How will they get out of it? You will find out right now as I review the newest episode of The Walking Dead titled “Walk With Us.”

The battle from the previous episode continues as everyone is now behind the gates of Hilltop fighting off Walkers and Whisperers that tried to attack the members of the group. The ones with the shields try their hardest to hold the walkers back including the flaming ones. There is also fire everywhere at Hilltop and even some explosions happens too. The key moments that happens in this battle sequence is Carol using her arrows to take out the front walkers, Earl and Alden using a catapult, Lydia telling Mary that she will not walk with Alpha ever again, Ezekiel gathering the children and also looking for Judith as an explosion occured behind him, and Daryl using his morning star weapon to take down walkers and Whisperers. When Yumiko was about to use her bow, she sees Magna within the horde as Magna covered herself with walker blood. Carol looked at the destruction and burning of Hilltop all around.

In the morning of the aftermath of the attack, The Whisperers and Negan are walking around the outside of Hilltop and Negan seen one of the soldiers that is in severe pain and is dying. Negan kills him with his Lucille 2.0. Him and Alpha then talk and Negan thought it was a victory, but Alpha does not think so yet. Beta comes in and told Alpha that he will not stop until Lydia is home since they did not find her. Negan told Beta that he is at his service and Beta showed no interest. Negan then said “such a dick” as they seperated. Negan goes deeper in the woods and there was one walker that passes by him since he had a Whisperer mask on. More walkers are coming and Negan decided to take that walker down out of boredom. Negan also noticed that Lydia was walking and was very weak. Aaron was dragging Luke’s body and also found Negan as Negan was running. Negan tried to tell him that it would be stupid to kill him right there and Aaron draws his sword and told Negan that he will not listen to his nonsense. More walkers are coming and Negan leaves and Aaron takes down those walkers. Negan seen Lydia on her own and captures her.

Angel Theory as Kelly- The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Kelly, Alden, and Mary are walking in the woods with Adam as Adam is crying and Alden is trying to calm him down. Kelly tried to help and then Mary, but Alden refused Mary’s help until she instructed him on what to do. Alden then finally lets Mary watch over Adam and Mary got Adam to remain calm. Alden asks about Mary’s sister and Mary told him that Adam meant the world to Francis and that Francis should be there right now holding Adam and not her. Mary then senses that someone is coming and she told both Alden and Kelly to start moving. They go to an abandoned minivan as walkers were coming and they struggled to open it until Mary used her knife. She lets Alden and Kelly in with Adam and closed the door. Mary then lured the walkers away from the minivan and killed them by the lake. Then out of nowhere, Beta stabs Mary at the stomach. She tried to fight back and even ripped a part of his mask off as he told her to walk with him and she said “never.” Beta continued to stab Mary until she passes out and dies. Beta then dragged her body to a tree and Beta waited for her to turn. A Whisperer found Beta and even recognized who he is under the mask. Beta then proceeded to slash that Whisperer as he killed him. Mary then turned and Alden puts her down by shooting an arrow from a distance and Beta ran away.

Carol finished refilling her water canister and Eugene tried to fix the radio. Also with them, are Magna and Yumiko. Magna explained what happened in the cave and how she and Connie escaped the cave. But she also says that she lost Connie within the horde and has not seen her since. Carol, not wanting to listen to this anymore, decided to leave right there and Yumiko told her that she owed her an apology for putting her and everyone else through everything that happened. Carol was insensitivie about it and did not apologize and Yumiko punched her right at her mouth. Magna and Yumiko then continued their conversation and she did not want Yumiko to punch Carol. She also brings up that Yumiko had a right to kick her out the last time they talked. Carol then sat on a log and a walker rised from the ground that was buried under tree leaves. That walker tried to reach to Carol, but Carol toyed with that walker at first until she put that walker down. Eugene comes to talk to her and the topic of this conversation is having nothing for show who they are even though they want something so bad. Eugene also brings up his meeting that he will have within the next week and Carol told him that he should do it since it will be worth the risk. Carol also found Lydia’s staff while she was walking through the woods.

Cailey Fleming as Judith Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Daryl, Rosita, Jerry, and the rest are walking and looking for the kids at a cabin. As they reached the cabin, there were a few walkers there and one got shot down with an arrow by Dianne. Daryl realizes that the children are not there and Jerry assured Nabila that he will make sure that they are found. The children are in another cabin and Earl is giving them all water. Judith asks Earl if they are safe and he told her that they all are. Earl goes to the other side of the cabin and is visibly weak. He rolls up his sleeve to reveal that he has a walker bite. He revealed it after he hammered a spike on the table. Judith noticed the bite and asked Earl why he lied to her. He gave his explanation and also told her to tell Alden to watch over Adam. Daryl and Jerry return to Hilltop and found Ezekiel as he was under a debris from the aftermath of the battle. He lets Daryl and Jerry know that Earl is with the children. Earl proceeded to kill himself by smashing his head into the spike. Judith found his corpse and Earl turned and grabbed Judith. Daryl, Ezekiel, and Jerry arrived and opened the door to let the children out. He asked for Judith and found her sitting down on the floor crying as she had to put Earl down. Daryl hugged her and sat right next to her.

Negan meet up with Alpha and told Alpha that he has found Lydia. We also see that Lydia is tied up in a chair in a cabin. Alpha told Negan that she wants him to be her lion. Negan told Alpha that he does not believe that Beta would be the “Alpha” and then Alpha told Negan to walk. While Alpha and Negan is walking to the cabin, Lydia is starting to make her escape. Negan brings up his history with his wife and how she died of cancer. Alpha told him that her death set her free and that being here right now with Alpha is his strength. Negan told Alpha that she is pretending and does not really think that her way is the right way. Negan also tried to talk her out of killing Lydia and asked her if she loved her. Alpha says that she still loves her, but she has to do it because she loves her. As Alpha reached for the door, Lydia also reached for the door and Lydia escaped. It is then here we realize that Lydia is in a different cabin and that Negan lured her here. Negan sliced Alpha’s throat as she turned around in which it killed her. He also kissed her as she was dying. Negan then brings Alpha’s head to Carol as Carol told him that he took long as it seems like that they are both satisfied that Alpha is dead as the episode ends.

Cailey Fleming as Judith Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

I cannot remember the last time that I have given high praise to The Walking Dead three episodes straight. This one started with the continuation of the battle from the last episode and showed us the aftermath of the battle that the group lost. That battle was worth the one week wait and I am so glad that there was zero music during the battle as the focus needed to be on the battle itself. Cailey Flemming was great in this episode as she showcased how it feels to not only have your character kill someone for the first time at a young age, but to also put down a loved one or family member. I compare that to the Telltale Games series when Clementine had to do it. Also, we got three major deaths on this episode and Alpha’s was the biggest. Samantha Morton brought that character to life from the comics and she will be missed. I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, but Samantha Morton as Alpha really brought out the terror of The Walking Dead that needed to return after a while of not having that feeling. She is a high ranking on my list for villans of the series. Also, bonus points to Beta for killing that Whisperer and Daryl going medievel with his morning star mace once again!

There is one critisim I have to make even though I love this episode. Why did Carol put the group on a high risk mission when she knew that she got Negan out of jail to kill Alpha. I think that the idea of using him as a backup incase if her plan did not work would have worked if she did not do these plans at the same time. It just did not make any sense and that punch Yumiko did to Carol was well deserved as that felt like what we as the viewer felt this whole season about Carol.

This backhalf so far has been amazing and I am interested to see what will happen for the rest of the season. Danai’s last episode as Michonne is one week away so we have to have our tissues ready for her exit and I am not ready for it.

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Interview: Cassady McClincy Breaks Down The Current State of Lydia

Cassady McClincy as Lydia – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

One character of The Walking Dead that has been intriguing since her debut is Lydia as she has suffered too much trauma in her past before and after the apocalypse while she was with Alpha. Lydia has went from fearing Alpha in season 9, to fully going against her in season 10 as she grew to be more of herself as we seen during the current season. Lydia has gained a positive reception among the community of The Walking Dead and Cassady McClincy, who portrays as Lydia, breaks down everything about Lydia within the last few episodes in this exclusive interview!

The battle at The Hilltop on the most recent episode is some of the best battles and cinematography I have seen especially since it has also came from the source material. Can you share me some of your memories being part of that battle?

CM: “Well, I can say that it was very hot, sweaty, dirty, and a lot of fun! One of the things that I loved the most about shooting the battle scenes was that most of the cast were all together on those days, and even though it was hard work, it was just so great to all be together. Because TWD has such a huge cast and there are so many different story lines going on at once, it’s very rare to have everyone all together like that, so when it happens, it’s just really awesome.”

I have not seen the behind the scenes footage of the battle yet, but can you tell me how all of the fire was controlled if you know?

CM: “Honestly, I wasn’t there to see them set all of that up, but Greg Nicotero was directing the amazing tech/pyro team and I know a lot of planning and direction went into that. They work really hard to make it look so fantastic and realistic!”

The dynamic between Lydia and Alpha has been a great topic of discussion ever since the both of you debuted in season 9. And now we are here in season 10. I would like to know what has Samantha Morton learned the most of you and what have you learnedmost of Samantha Morton?

CM: “Ahhh it has been SUCH an honor to get to work with Sam! She’s just a beautiful person, inside and out and pours so much of herself into bringing Alpha to life in the most incredible way. I’ve learned so much from just watching her! Every subtle movement, facial expression, and even moments of silence; all are every bit Alpha and she just kills it!”

Negan had a good plan in mind when he got Lydia to safety while he was going to kill Alpha. Do you believe Lydia will forgive him?

Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC

CM: “Lydia feels very hurt and betrayed by Negan and she has no idea of his plan or actions. I think she has a lot of emotions to work through about everything that has happened and it will take awhile for her to face what she is feeling and what her relationship is with everyone, including Negan.”

Now that Lydia has been fully accepted into the community and no longer defined as a Whisperer, is it safe to say that Lydia does not have much to fear anymore as she did when she was with Alpha?

CM: “I wouldn’t say that Lydia is fully accepted into the community, but I do think that by fighting in the battle against the Whisperers, she was able to prove to many that she stands with them. She still has a lot of fear and mistrust to work through, but it’s a lot different than what she felt as a Whisperer. Being a Whisperer forced her to become numb and push any feelings and emotions aside to survive, so when she joined the community and saw how they lived,  it was overwhelming for her and I think it still is.”

I noticed the “H+L” sign that Lydia looked at before she had her talk with Carol. Do you remember whose idea it was to make that sign there? And do you have any Melissa McBride stories you would like to share?

CM: “That was in the script, so it was most likely the idea of the writers, Julia Ruchman and Vivian Tse! They are fantastic and really “get” Lydia and are able to convey the feelings and actions of what a girl like Lydia would actually be going through. I loved it when I read it, because I felt like that is something that Lydia would have definitely done. She’s learned to read and write in the community and is also still a young teenager and it’s such teen thing to do to express themselves and young love. Melissa McBride! Words can’t even describe how much I love her and enjoy working with her! We just have a lot of fun when we get to be together, and she has the BEST taste in music! She’s so down to earth and sweet and I just feel really honored to get to spend time with her.”

Lydia’s hair in the comic book series is blonde, and on the tv series, her hair is black. When you were casted for Lydia, was there any discussions for you to dye your hair blonde for the role, or was Lydia’s hair on the show was going to be black the entire time?

CM: “It was never mentioned or discussed, at least not with me? So maybe production discussed it prior to my first day, but luckily for me, TWD is flexible when it comes to casting!”

When Lydia seen Alpha for the final time on 10×10, it was one of the most emotional scenes I have seen in some time. How did you and Samantha Morton prepare for that scene?

CM: “Sam was actually injured when we first shot that scene, so we had to reshoot it a few weeks after. It was a difficult scene to shoot with the awkward angles and dream like feel, but working with Sam is always just so amazing and once the cameras start rolling, she just “becomes” Alpha, so it’s very easy for me to be Lydia with her. Sam is a legend, and even when shooting emotional, crying scenes with her, I can’t help but to still be incredibly happy for the opportunity to be working with her.” 

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