The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 14 “Scars” Review

The last time I could say “that was extremely dark” on a video game was when I heard the torture cassette tapes of Paz on Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Around that same time, We got one of the darkest episodes to have ever premiered on The Walking Dead and that was “The Grove”. I questioned if an episode could get to that level again and that was the season 7 premiere (Still one of my favorite episodes of all time). But now, I think that the newest episode just surpassed that in tone, theme, setting, and storytelling. Here is my review of “scars”.

This episodes jumps back and forth with the current time, and to a few years ago while Michonne was pregnant with Rick Grime’s baby. I will break down the flashbacks first. A woman who was close friends with Michonne from before the apocalypse was injured during an attack and she had a group of children that she has adopted. She showed up at Alexandria and can I say that pregnant Michonne is still a badass? She told her story to Michonne wanted to take them all in to live at Alexandria.

I could not blame her at all since Rick is gone, she has pretty much nobody. We also did get a good monologue with a scene of Michonne finding Rick’s gun from where the bridge exploded as well in the beginning of the episode in one of the flashbacks. Going back to the flashbacks, It turns out Jocelyn trained those kids to fight and murder people. Jocelyn eventually turns on Michonne and gathers all of the children (including younger Judith) and steals everything from the infirmary. When Michonne and Daryl finds this out, they both go after her but they are both captured. One of the kids proceeds to brand the “X” marks on their backs and she even brainwashed the kids to go after anyone with that mark (which is what I believe happened to the adults that used to be with her). You can see the pain in Michonne’s eyes and hear her scream loud while she was branded since she was also pregnant. Daryl gets loose without her noticing and frees Michonne before anything worse could happen and they begin searching for Judith. After Michonne kills Jocelyn after Jocelyn tried to kill her (including when her pregnant stomach was slashed), Michonne had no other choice but to kill most of the other children to save Judith so that way they can go.

In the present day, Judith and Daryl talk about the stories that the group went through to defeat Negan and The Saviors and Judith believe that they can do the same thing to The Whisperers. Judith also wants Daryl to stay at Alexandria again, but he refuses. Siddiq patches up Henry’s leg when they arrived there and after that, Daryl, Connie, Lydia and Henry leaves. I would also like to point out that Michonne still does not trust Lydia.

Elsewhere, Judith goes off somewhere to find Daryl after they leave and Michonne even asks Negan if he had seeen her and Negan told her not since yesterday. They also got into a small heated argument and Negan had to remind her that she is a mom and Judith was not someone that would take things lightly just like her. While they were clearing walkers, Michonne finds Judith in the woods and saves her from approaching walkers. They also have a heart to heart after the encounter as they talked about what she remembers and how much they love eachother. Michonne also talked to her about making a promise to never bury any bodies at the spot they were standing at and gives the reason to why they never accept new members into Alexandria. Michonne wants to protect everyone that is there as her and Judith held hands as they walked away from Carl’s grave. Michonne eventually caught up with Daryl and the rest as they head to The Kingdom since the fair is under way. The last scene of the episode shows us that The Whisperers has found The Kingdom.

This episode I have a feeling will spark controversy in a bad way, but it is what The Walking Dead needed in a very long time. A dark and gritty episode that will put shivers to our spine. Now we have a reason to those “X” marks, but it also leaves us with more questions. What caused the rift between Michonne and Maggie? My theory is that Maggie found out that she murdered kids but could not do it to Negan. But her anger has been justified since it has been building up since episode 6. Seeing Michonne branded while she was pregnant made me almost close my eyes because that scene was sickening but not as sickening of her killing the kids that attacked her. I also think that brainwashing kids to kill people that are branded is compared to training combat dogs but I will not go further than that. As of the episode itself, It is one where you would not watch with your kids at all and It is a good episode you have to watch if you are curious to know why Michonne is the way that she is.

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Gotham Season 5, Episode 8 Review

In my opinion, this felt like more of a filler episode, especially with all the content we received in the episode prior. We were able to get a good amount of character development though throughout this episode, mainly for Harvey Bullock, who has always been a solid fan favorite. I’m sure that this episode was one of the extra ones they had gotten to bump the season up from being a 10 episode season to 12 episodes. They were even able to check off something from the Gotham To-Do List when it came to introducing the much anticipated, yet to do classic villain, Scarface.
With Harvey, we are really given a sense of character development in this episode. The fans get a glimpse of his backstory in a way we haven’t had before on this show. It gives Harvey a sense of standing as an individual. Rather than being just another cop or the sidekick of the more popular Jim Gordon. 
The episode begins with two former cops, Boggs and Lewis, who are in the Sirens Club for a drink. That is until their old partner, and a familiar face to a fan of this show that has been watching from the beginning (or has gone back to watch the first season), Dix. The last time we saw Dix was in Season 1, Episode 6: Spirit of the Goat, and in it he was wheelchair-bound, but when we see Dix now he is standing upright and there is definitely a sinister air about the appearance. One that proves to be so when “Dix” drives a knife into both Boggs and Lewis and kills them right in the middle of the packed Sirens Club. There was nothing else that particularly stuck out in the scene. Unless you count in Barbara’s snappy attitude towards the cops for not giving good enough intel so that they could be allowed entrance into the club. I understand that her club is one that is mainly for youth, and especially for women, but what is so abhorrent to her about some old timers coming in for a drink? I feel like she was making a much bigger deal out of it than was probably necessary. 
The interaction between Barbara, Harvey, and Jim as a trio when she had called them in to investigate the crime scene was solid as always. Especially, with Barbara’s sassiness mixed with bitterness that she brings to the scene. I think it’s obvious that when Boggs and Lewis are revealed under the sheet that Harvey is shaken by it because of his history with both cops. Harvey is put into an even further state of disbelief when Barbara mentions that Dix, his former partner, was the one that had come in to kill them. Dix, however, had been paralyzed and wheelchair-bound for the past fifteen years and the Dix that had come in was standing and walking upright. However, Barbara doesn’t care about that since she only called them in because the two were former GCPD cops.   
Then the scene jumps to Jim and Harvey’s conversation. Jim tells him that they should go and talk to Dix and that really showcases all of Harvey’s emotions about this situation. Dix is his friend that he’s been taking care of for years, that he has a clear respect and care for much like that of a son trying to take care of their elderly father which I’ve always admired because it brings out another side to Harvey that isn’t always able to come through, which is his ability to care and even nurture. He had been taking care of and making sure that Dix had everything he needed for some time now, even before Dix’s first appearance in the first season. I think it is very evident that he does regret not being there more for him because of all of the craziness of Gotham getting in the way. 
We really get a look into Harvey’s backstory before Jim came around when Harvey was just a rookie cop and he wanted a higher up position within the GCPD. He had worked with Dix, Boggs, and Lewis on a case of a woman who had murdered her husband. The woman, named Victoria Cartwright, was formerly an average, boring citizen working as a bank teller who had “snapped” and shot her husband. It was later revealed that Harvey was only working the case with the other cops to get his new position he desired within the GCPD as Detective and he didn’t have all of the information on the woman’s history with her husband at the time, which it was revealed that the husband had beaten both his wife as well as his daughter, Jane. 
This brings us to Jane Doe’s position in this episode, who was formerly Jane Cartwright until she was forced by Harvey to give a statement which had gotten her mother convicted and she was named as a ward to the state. She was also sent to multiple institutes before landing in Arkham Asylum. The experience in Arkham was clearly traumatizing for her and it didn’t help that she was clearly put in there around the latter half of the second season when Hugo Strange was introduced and she ended up being one of the inmates that were taken down to Indian Hill. She was clearly an experiment similar to that of Basil Karlo, aka Gotham’s version of Clayface. It’s obvious that she was meant to be a stronger version of Hugo Strange’s transformation experiment and one that had clearly gotten away maybe in the second season’s finale so that she could try and find the ones responsible for her mother’s conviction. Jane is determined to get justice for her mother, however; she was damaged.   
Jane was tortured by, not just Hugo Strange and his experiments, but also the ordeal she had been put through and forced to give a statement to when she was a small child. Jane is and was probably the most heartbreaking character we have seen in the entire series. I think she represents greatly what happens when a character goes through such a tragedy and instead of growing from it and becoming a force for good, she falls deeper into her depression and has a thirst for revenge against the ones responsible. Ultimately, she either wants to live by knowing that she has executed all of those that had had the deeply personal effect on her which she has been able to do in the form of Boggs, Lewis, and Dix, and end it all with Harvey who she says had destroyed her soul; or she wants to die and hope to be free of all of the pain that her life has been since that fateful night when she was only seven years old.
Next, we have the beginning of the Jim and Barbara exchanges in this episode. Jim wants to try and reason with Barbara, who is cold to Jim, and firm with him that she doesn’t want him to be a part of their child’s life. However, I think this could just be a mask because deep down she probably still holds a small form of love for Jim. If she didn’t love Jim in some way, then she wouldn’t have gone to him for any sort of carnal affection like she did at the end of the fifth episode of the season. I feel like a part of her coldness towards Jim when it comes to the baby is that she wants to remain independent, she wants to show Jim and everyone else that she is fit to be a mother. There wasn’t a whole lot more when it comes to Jim and Barbara for this episode. It was pretty much what we’ve seen so far and I’m fine with that because this episode shouldn’t be about them. This episode is not for Jim or for Barbara, to me, it’s for Harvey to give him the last few moments before Gotham’s final season comes to an end. However, there is a small break in the comic relief, when Jim and Harvey are trying to decide on which was the “real Barbara”. This happens when Jane has transformed herself into Barbara. I’m not going to lie, I did laugh at this part. It was a small moment that the comic relief was slightly used to soften an otherwise heavy scene, in which, the pregnant Barbara was being held at gunpoint.
The episode then shifts over to Bruce and Alfred. They are seen in the hospital room, where we have seen Selina recovering early on in the season. This moment is also after Jeremiah’s body had ended up in there in the Ace Chemicals episode. In this room, Bruce and Alfred are speaking with a woman who looks absolutely beaten up. We learn that the woman and her husband belong to a shelter with many others. Some that have gone missing within the tunnels of Gotham and they had both gone to look for them, but he was missing while she was able to get away. Since Selina isn’t in the hospital anymore and she’s up and about, I think it’s a little random for Bruce and Alfred to just be in the hospital room, and I think that some background as to how the woman was able to get in contact with them should have been included or at least hinted at. If I’m missing something, feel free to let me know, but as far as I know, I don’t think there was any clarification on how this meeting came about. 
Eventually, though, Bruce and Alfred do take the mission on of finding the woman’s missing husband in the tunnels. I don’t think their entire arc in the episode was anything new for either of them. There was the same thing where they find the victim, the villain, who in this episode was a Killer Croc-type character because they’re obviously not officially calling him Killer Croc. Although, it was nice to see Bruce getting some Batarang training in with those spikes that Croc had shed. It was a good way to take him down without killing him off like another certain villain in this episode, whose death I really did not agree with. Also, Bruce’s speech to Alfred at the end about how losing Wayne Manor wasn’t his fault and how they view family as being strong for one another really pulled at the heartstrings for me because of the depth that was put into saying those words. The acting in that scene was my favorite from both David Mazouz’s Bruce, which he has only perfected throughout the years that seemed to have just blown right by for this series, and the extremely talented Sean Pertwee’s Alfred (who is my favorite Alfred right along with Michael Caine’s in the Dark Knight Trilogy). I think this moment even beats out the Bruce and Alfred moment in the previous episode mainly for the reason of the emotion that it was able to bring out of me, as the viewer. 
Now we come to the most entertaining part of this entire episode, definitely the part that I enjoyed the most, Oswald and Ed “working together” again. We first see that Edward is hard at work
For the first scene, Ed has strung up some bells to the ceiling of his workspace. This is a form of an alarm system because of his paranoia that someone has been watching them. It turns out, as it almost always does, that Ed was right about someone watching them with the entrance of the revived form of the newly named “Arthur” Penn. Arthur then reveals the most anticipated villain they had yet to do on the show with Mr. Scarface. To me, the look of the dummy was spot on, as if they had just plucked him right out of Batman: The Animated Series, and the way Andrew Sellon portrayed Scarface, as well as Mr. Penn, was absolutely magnificent. I love the fact that in real life, Andrew Sellon was once a real ventriloquist. I think that experience of his really shined through and I enjoyed the entire performance. Not only in the way he played Scarface, but also the way he brought the real emotion out of Penn as well. It made me feel bad for the character as a whole, even though I already felt bad for poor Penn. Oswald treated him terribly, but by way of using Scarface he was able to vent all of that out to Oswald, in my view he was able to gain another personality in order to defend himself. I think Penn finding Scarface and using his abilities as a way to bring out that side of his personality that was very deep down and hidden is the stronger version of Penn. Even though it is coming through an object controlled by Penn rather than he himself.
While we’re still on the subject, I think that towards the end was probably the most heartbreaking and emotional part of this arc in the episode. This starts with the confrontation between Scarface and Oswald, with Scarface berating Oswald for his poor treatment of Penn. This is after Oswald attempted to make the point to Penn, that he never asked him to kill anyone like Scarface was making Penn kill Oswald. The argument makes a dramatic and sad turn when Scarface is shouting at Oswald that all he does is take from everyone until Penn finally is able, in his own way, to find his voice from Scarface. Penn reveals his anger and his disappointment at his poor treatment from Oswald. It made my heart just ache for the Penn character.

Yet, I was also happy because he was finally able to find his own way of just telling Oswald everything he’d been wanting to say for a very long time, I’m sure. However, the fact that they ended up killing off Penn as well as shooting off Scarface’s head was an extreme disappointment. Here was this villain, this character Scarface that the show had been wanting to do for years. They give him one appearance in an episode and then kill him off at the same time. It makes no sense to me why Gotham can’t just let some characters go off and be villains. We can make up our own story for what they’re doing and have it be an open ending.

In the end, I do understand that with Gotham death doesn’t always mean finality for a character. However, with them just killing off a villain that they have wanted for years makes no sense to me. Let them go off, do their thing, and we can imagine what they’re doing even if they aren’t showcased in another episode later on.

With that rant over, let’s go to Oswald and Ed. Oswald has definitely grown at least a little bit in this episode. He understands that he hasn’t been a good friend or even a good employer to anyone, including Ed. He’s been killing off all of the ones that help him steal supplies, like Ed stated in the episode. I think the evidence of him not being a good friend is just too obvious to even mention as there are countless examples. Although, I think it is noticeable that he deeply regrets his actions since they’ve all led up to him being alone, abandoned, and friendless. In that moment, when hearing everything from Ed and Penn, I think he grows a little. He has at least learned that he needs to start treating the people around him a little better if it means that he won’t have to be alone. Something that I belive to be his greatest fear. 

The fact that he even got a dog, and then, he named Edward speaks volumes. He misses the companionship that he had with Ed, misses the love that he felt for Ed in previous seasons, and he wants all of those things back. Hopefully. he really will learn from that scene, and that everything that was said to him and learn how to treat those who he admires or considers to be a friend with more respect and love. Even if he does learn from this, and he does start to show a change in the way he deals with the people around him that he trusts, and or wants to trust. We still face the uncertainty of how long this will last because, he could fall back into old patterns. This would be a wonderful character development for Oswald if he does learn from this, then apply it to his actions, and his decisions in the future.

Continuing on with Ed, who was mostly a background character for this episode in my opinion. He wasn’t really doing much else except for either working on the submarine, arguing with Oswald or faking a deal with Scarface. It wasn’t really his moment in this episode, but he did get a good chunk of what he also had wanted to say to Oswald as well when the point was brought up by Penn about Oswald’s mistreatment of others, and boy did he say something to shake Oswald up. He was absolutely right when he said that Oswald deserved the treatment, and what would have ended up getting him killed if Penn had let the gun go off, because he was also having enough of Oswald’s poor treatment for a very long while as well. Something that had led to their hatred, mistrust, and dare I say trepidation of working together again as a unit at least for Ed. 

Now, Ed didn’t get much, if any, character development in this episode, even though there’s still room (hopefully) for something to happen for him before the series ends. I did like when he was able to voice his own grievances towards Oswald, which he was never shy to do, unlike Penn. I think that just as much as Penn’s argument got to Oswald, Ed’s may have even been the stronger of the two, which I would think is because Oswald has a very different relationship with Ed than his relationship with Penn and I think that makes Ed’s argument in the scene the more pivotal for Oswald’s character.

Overall, this was a very good episode. Yes, it was filler, but it was filler with a purpose, if that makes sense. That purpose being character development, mostly for Harvey, but a little development for Oswald as well like I stated already, and also a chance to introduce a few familiar faces of the Rogues’ Gallery in Scarface, Killer Croc (I know they didn’t specifically say that it was Croc, but come on, you have to admit that it was the closest they’ve come, even when you count in that other Croc-like character that got mowed down in the beginning of the third season), and of course the heartbreaking Jane Doe.

As for Harvey, we have been shown his deepest regrets, the inner darkness he kept inside, and how much of a troubled road he had been on. Between the time of becoming a Detective to before Jim Gordon arrived and became apart of his life. It was Jim, who seemingly began to turn Harvey’s life slowly. I think that Jim has really made him see what having a real partner is like. A partner that wants to go by the rules, but, is still willing to break them as well. Both men have done some questionable things, however; Harvey knows that his decisions were always the worst. I think he got thrust into the position of Detective, one that he had wanted when he was a rookie cop, in the most troublesome way. Since he had gotten the job, he had been doing questionable or just outright terrible things, breaking every rule, moral and not.

I think with this experience coming back to haunt him has put him into a state of depression over the decisions he’s made. By the end of the episode he wants to give Jim every detail of what happened. He wanted to air out every wrong doing he did within this case. It shows just how horrible he feels about himself and about the person that he allowed himself to become. It helps him face his future and maybe growing from his past to become a better form of himself. I think he wanted Jim to just be the one he confessed to, the one he let everything out to because he is probably his closest, or only friend.

I think this episode had just about everything one could want. It had a good balance between humor, action, heartfelt moments, emotional scenes, and truly heartbreaking stories. I would put it in at one of my favorite episode. Quite possibly my 5th favorite or maybe just a little lower on my Top 10 list, but this one is definitely one for my Top 10.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 13 “Chokepoint” Review

The Walking Dead this week has a boat load of action along with the debut of a new group that has not been seen in the comics that is exclusive to the show. With the fair beginning to take place, there is a road block that comes in the way. Here is my review for the newest episode titled “Chokepoint”.

At the end of the last episode, we seen Daryl and Connie rescue Henry and Lydia from The Whisperer camp. This episode continues the escape and Henry notices that they were not going the same direction to The Hilltop as he thought. Can I mention how resourceful Connie has been ever since her introduction? Anyways, Daryl told all of them that there is no way they should return to Hilltop because Alpha will return there to kill everyone now since that deal went sour. Daryl also kept giving reasons to why Lydia cannot come with them but Henry told him that they will go alone. After arguing about it for more minutes, Daryl had no choice but to follow Connie to the old building that Magna used as a hideout. Daryl also takes advantage of the building to see a Whisperer and walker herd from above. Lydia did however told Daryl about Beta but we will get to that soon.

Remember that red symbol that was shown a few episodes ago? Well, I initially thought that it was The Whisperers marking their territory but I was wrong. It turns out that it is a new group that is called “The Highwaymen” and they act as extortion pirates that is similar to The Saviors. They are lead by a man called Ozzy and they steal people’s belongings as a toll in order for people to pass the road. Ezekiel and Carol were talking about this when they read the letter. The Highwaymen demand items from Ezekiel, Carol, and Jerry and they refused and they told them that they have nothing to offer. A little more back and forth of words along with Ozzy and the rest point guns at then and then The Kingdom made a deal with them so that they can hire Ozzy and his men to watch the roads while the fair is going on in exchange for The Highwaymen to attend the fair. I found this scene creepy from the way Ozzy and his men stood in the darkened area with other cardboard cutouts of humans before they came to the light. Carol even asks Ozzy when was the last time they seen a movie.

While Tara and others such as Magna, Yumiko, Earl and others are on the road, they encounter a number of walkers and during the scuffle, Earl was close to being bitten which also gave me a jump scare. The Highwaymen also rescue them and escorts them to the fair. It also seems like Tara is going to tell Carol about The Whisperers as well.

The fight between Daryl and Beta that everyone was looking forward to finally happens here during the last half of the episode and Beta, who is tall and intimidating, throws Daryl around like he is a pillow. Daryl even tries to stab Beta with a knife but he realizes that Beta has armor under his clothes so that did not help. That also caught me off guard too. There were times that Daryl tried to sneak attack Beta and that did not work until the end of the fight where Daryl jumps on Beta from behind and pushes him down a elevator shaft. There were also Whisperers that was also killed by Daryl, Connie, and Henry during the time that they hid Lydia and the dog in a closet. Henry was also stabbed during this fight as well. The episode ends with Beta waking up from the hard fall.

This episode picked up the pace from last week’s episode and everything is starting to come full circle. The Daryl and Beta fight took up the majority of the episode and I love it. The Highwaymen i am curious about if they encountered The Whisperers before or other groups during the 6 year time skip. Speaking of that, the next episode will reveal how Daryl and Michonne got those “X” marks on their back and I am looking forward to it!

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 12 “Guardians” Review

Are you ready for more of The Whisperers and Negan? well get ready for it because this week’s episode of The Walking Dead is dedicated to those along with more plot points that move the story in a great way and it makes me fear the impending doom that is to come with the upcoming gathering at the fair. Here is my review and thoughts on this week’s episode of The Walking Dead titled “Guardians”.

Ryan Hurst as Beta – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

I would first like to say that Ryan Hurst as Beta is a great casting choice. He looks very intimidatng as he towered over everyone else since he is close to seven feet tall as his comic counterpart. He also sounds very scary as his voice is exactly how I imagined it when I read his debut issue a few years ago. The way him and Alpha interact shows how much the both of them has high authority over the other Whisperers. We will get to more of that in a few paragraphs.

Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Alpha talks to Lydia about what happened at The Hilltop and about her time there when she was captured. Lydia lied to her about most of the information she told her and she also says that there are not too many guns over there and that The Hilltop does not trade with other communities. Henry, who went after her in the last episode, is captured by Beta after Henry fought off another Whisperer beforehand. I did love the way Beta just grabbed him so easily. It made me laugh. Beta takes him to the camp they are staying at and he gets tied up so he will not escape. Lydia notices Henry and Alpha also sees that Lydia knows him too. Lydia could not give away that she liked him so she punches him to not have her cover blown at all. Alpha also wants Lydia to kill Henry right there but they are interrupted as Lydia was hesitant to do it.

Father Gabriel finds out about Rosita being pregnant and also that she cheated on him. That disappointed him and he wanted to break up with her because of her actions. This was until Eugene convinced him to stay with her and continue the relationship. Gabriel should have listened to Negan when they were talking about Rosita a few episodes ago. Speaking of Negan, him and Michonne were talking and he mentioned that he could help her lead Alexandria since he believes that her leadership is starting to go thin due to the current conflict. in fact, there was also a vote at the council to see if Alexandria should go to the fair or not. This conversation mirrored Negan and Rick’s from issue #149. Michonne was not having it at all as she ordered for his window to be closed for good due to him eavesdropping. Michonne also talks to Judith about her not wanting her (Judith) near Negan ever again.

Danai Gurira as Michonne, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Daryl and Connie went after Henry at the end of the last episode and here, we are shown that they are directing a herd to The Whisperers camp and another scene from the comics is here where Daryl wears a Whisperer mask to blend in with the herd. In the comics, it was during The Whisperer War where Dwight got the idea to do this so that he and the rest kill Whisperers when they blend in with the herd with knives and swords.

A good and brutal moment that happens in this episode is that two Whisperers tried to challenge Alpha since Alpha broke her own rules just for Lydia. When this happens, Alpha ends up stabbing the Whisperer to death and Alpha beheads the girlfriend of the stabbed Whisperer with a piano wire. Pretty gruesome to see this happen. More Whisperers were killed when the heard made its way to the camp. Daryl and Connie rescues both Henry and Lydia as the episode ends.

Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Although the episode had a slower pace than the last episode, it was a great character driven episode and Beta is the star of the episode in my eyes. The incident at the end of this episode will be crucial to what happens during the fair so that is what I am looking forward too. I am also glad to see Negan again in this episode and time will tell when he will get out of his cell again.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 11 “Bounty” Review

There are a few words that I can sum up Alpha and that is “creepy as s***” when she arrived to The Hilltop on last week’s episode. This week, the story of that continued along with a little buildup to what divided the communities during the six year time skip. Now it is time to give my thoughts of the newest episode of The Walking Dead titled “Bounty”.

Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The episode begins with a flashback during the six year time skip of Carol, Ezekiel, Tara, and Jesus (I still miss him so it was great to see him again) as the first two were waiting for Jesus and Tara to arrive as both Carol and Ezekiel were clearing a path of walkers. When they arrive, Tara gives Ezekiel a document that she says that she has stolen from Michonne’s house since she claims that it was gathering dust. Tara also says that she has stolen medication from there as well and that she will never return to Alexandria ever again. For those few minutes, it makes me question more to what happened within those six years between the communities and how did both Daryl and Michonne got those “X” scars on their backs.

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Kingdom soldier Jerry also announces that he and Nabila are having a child. The kid must be a few years old by this point but either way, it is good to know that there are more babies part of the group now (more one this in a few more paragraphs). In the current time, The Kingdom is planning to unite the communities once again with a fair and Ezekiel and co. are scavenging for a movie projector bulb so that way, they can show movies to everyone at the fair. I will have to say this, as Carol and the others were shooting arrows at the walkers at the abandoned movie theater, there was music being played as this happened and it sounded like it came out of the mid 1980’s. Great action sequence though and the chemistry between Ezekiel and Carol grows each episode. Even the minor characters got to shine on this episode as well.

Back at The Hilltop, Alpha demands to everyone to bring her daughter back and she reveals that she has captured Luke and Alden. Every time a hostage situation happens on The Walking Dead, someone dies. But this time, that did not happen. Alpha exchanges both of them for Lydia. But before that happened, Henry tried to hide Lydia from everyone to prevent the exchange to happen but Daryl and the rest found him in that shack that we have seen on episode 8 of this season. Lydia did not want to go, but she had to since she thinks that her mom will kill Luke and Alden. Lydia kissed Henry before she left and when Lydia says “mom” to Alpha, Alpha slapped Lydia so hard across the face that you would think that she stolen the cookies from the cookie jar. Alpha was disgusted and tells Lydia to address her as “Alpha”.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

As walkers were showing up, Alpha demands another Whisperer to leave her baby on the ground as the baby was crying. Alpha wants the walkers to devour the baby and the whisperer left her baby on the ground. The walkers were close to eating the baby until Connie, Daryl, and the others come to the rescue to rescue both the baby, and Connie. Thank god that they rescued the baby. Earl and his wife Tammy adopted the baby and that is another baby that will be at The Hilltop (remember the other baby Rick Grimes saved at the Savior outpost back in season 8, he is still there at The Hilltop as a kid now as well.

Henry decides to go after Lydia without anyone’s permission and Daryl with his dog and Connie notices this as they now go after Henry as the episode ends.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Cooper Andrews as Jerry – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

This episode showcased how messed up Alpha is as a person and as a leader and she is far more feared than what we imagined. Most of the hostage situation along with Henry going after Lydia is directly adapted from the comic series as well so I was happy to see that. The Carol and Ezekiel subplot is actually better than what I expected as those two continue to shine in their scenes. Good episode overall as the plot is moving forward to that infamous fair that we got in the comic series.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 10 “Omega” Review

Another week, another review of a episode of the AMC Network hit series The Walking Dead. Last week, the show returned exactly where it left off last fall with some great moments and a head scratching moment (who let Judith outside the walls again all alone?) and it ended with the long awaited debut of the leader of The Whisperers, Alpha. This week, we not only follow up from the ending of last week’s episode, but we also get a backstory of Alpha and Lydia which was told in flashbacks during the episode. Alpha did not get a backstory in the comic series yet so this was an interesting twist. Without further ado, here is my thoughts of the episode..

Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

This episode begins with one of the many flashbacks of Alpha and as I am writing this review, I will put all of the flashback scenes on this section of the review. Alpha had hair and it was the beginning of the apocalypse as her along with her daughter Lydia and her husband Frank are in a shelter with many other survivors. Frank wanted to leave the shelter with other people because their supplies are running low and that they need to get more. Alpha did not agree with this at all as she believes that it is too dangerous to even search for supplies. She also brings up that she does not want to give Lydia away if they both die out there. Frank also comes off as abusive with the way he talks to Alpha (side note, during these flashback scenes, Alpha’s birth name was never mentioned at all) and Lydia had no choice but to see them argue. Alpha did calm her down with a game of checkers afterwards and these flashback scenes showed the great bond she had with her daughter. In another flashback during the episode, Alpha smothered a man to death as she believes that he was “too weak” and that he would eventually get the entire group killed. As this was happening, Frank who is now afraid of her, holds Lydia as he was disgusted of what he had just seen. The next flashback, Alpha, who now has her head shaved, says that the dead body needs to be removed, but everyone in the room said to wait until the morning to do so. But the dead body turns into a walker as Lydia walked towards him as the walker attacks. Frank saved her, but the walker bit another person and after they put the walker down, it was there where Alpha decides that they all have to go. Frank refused, but Alpha pushed him against the wall and told him to be quiet in a “shhh” gesture. Alpha and Lydia leaves from that point on.

Daryl is still interrogating Lydia and she reveals to him that she was abused by both her parents and that Alpha killed her husband. Lydia also tries to convince Daryl that he more of The Whisperers than he is with his group. Daryl was not having it at all on this scene as he fired back at her that he was not. After that, Henry and Daryl have a conversation as Daryl believes that she is a waste of time to try to get information but Henry wants to give her more time. Daryl however, does believe that she is not a bad person, but damaged and scared.

Tara leads a group to search for Luke and Alden and they seen a few walkers eating horses (more horses are now gone *sad face*) and Yumiko told them to watch the walker’s hands to make sure that they are not carrying knives. They do realize that the horse was cut open before the walkers devoured the horse. I am starting to like Tara as a leader now if you ask me. As this was going on, The Whisperers were watching them the entire time. Later that day, Magna found a new set of tracks that could have been done by The Whisperers. There were walkers that tried to take them out, but that was not happening at all. They all questioned if it was worth saving him since they all could have gotten killed. When the group splits up, we see that more Whisperers were watching without notice.

Towards the end of the episode, the group at Hilltop notices that The Whisperers are approaching the gate and then we get a similar scene from the comics as Alpha walks right through The Whisperers and stands in front of the gate as she demands The Hilltop to bring her back her daughter.

I like character development episodes especially since we did not get a backstory on Alpha in the comics. Henry and Lydia’s interactions were a little puzzling since in the comic series, Carl Grimes was there with Lydia. Daryl also improved as the person to ask the questions and I believe this episode, he has said more words than any other episode he has been on. The Whisperers are to be taken seriously and I love how the show is making them a big threat as to when Negan and The Saviors were. Another great episode of this great ninth season so what more could I ask.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 9 “Adaptation” Review

After a very long three month break that felt like forever, The Walking Dead is back on television on Sunday nights. With the new threat of The Whisperers along with Negan out of his cell, what can possibly happen? The beginning of the second half of the ninth season sets up all of those questions along with how the group will come together after the death of Jesus. The next challenge of our characters is only under walker skins and they are not as easy to take out as it seems.

The episode continues from the cliffhanger of the last episode as Michonne, Yumiko, Daryl, Aaron, and Magna kills the remaining Whisperers at the graveyard. They did not have enough time to grieve about Jesus at the time, but they will once they bury his body at The Hilltop. On their way back, they encountered a mix of walkers and Whisperers on a bridge and this time to make sure tell which is the difference, Daryl shoots the herd one by one with the crossbow bolts at the legs as a number of them stumbled over and fell as some of the walkers devoured them. One of them raises their arms up and surrenders as the group unmasked the Whisperer. Here, we find out that it is Lydia (played by Ozark’s Cassady McClincy). Michonne and Daryl takes her back to The Hilltop and interrogates her about The Whisperers but she just lies to them during the conversation. I would also like to note that I liked the interaction between Michonne and Daryl on their way back as they both talked about Rick Grimes. Daryl locks Lydia in her cell and Daryl noticed that Henry has his attention to her so Daryl decides to listen to their conversation from the window outside the cell.

Negan escaped his cell on the mid season finale and he is walking around Alexandria Safe Zone to see how much it has changed since he has been in the cell. This goes on for a few minutes until he begins climbing over the wall. As he does this, Judith encounters Negan and tries to stop him. But Negan told her a story about how Rick and Michonne told him that he would serve a purpose for the future (The conversation they had at the season 8 finale). He also told Judith that he promises to never hurt anyone again. Judith believes him and she lets him free. There was also another funny scene where Judith says to him “Language, i’m a kid asshole” after Negan cursed up a storm after falling off the motorcycle. Negan does go back to The Sanctuary but to only find out that it is abandoned everywhere besides a few walkers. He noticed that one of the walkers were one of his former lieutenants before he killed him along with a few other walkers. He also went back to Alexandria with Judith after his trip back to The Sanctuary.

Rosita finds out that she is pregnant and you would think that Gabriel is the father right? Nope. It is Siddiq as they both were a couple in secret before she started dating Gabriel. Eugene as nosy as he is, overhears this and it makes me wonder if he will spill the beans to Gabriel.

The episode ends with a similar scene on issue #132 of the comic series as Alden and Luke were captured by Alpha and The Whisperers. The looks on their faces of seeing and hearing The Whisperers were priceless.

Great episode in my opinion and although we did not get an answer to the mysterious X scars on Michonne and Daryl’s back, I have a feeling that we will get that resolved within the next few episodes. Who else is ready to see Alpha in action? I would also recommend watching 908 and 909 back to back as the transition from one episode to the next is very seamless.

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Gotham Season 5, Episode 5 Review

After last week’s shocking ending, we return to Gotham this week for a much more intimate look at Ed Nygma. This episode reveals what’s been happening to our amnesia-stricken foe whilst furthering the complicated relationship between Bruce Wayne and Selina. All of this culminates in a climactic reveal at the end of the episode that leaves the door wide open for next week. As always, spoilers ahead!

The story opens this week with Jim Gordon hot on the trail of the gun dealer who sold Edward Nygma the RPG. Upon finding this out, and running into one of his old army buddies back in Gotham to help, Jim Gordon bursts into The Riddler’s lair and holds him at gunpoint, declaring him under arrest. Of course, things are never quite what they seem and it turns out the floor is wired with pressure plates linked to a bomb. After being forced to let Nygma go for now, Gordon puts out the call to the remaining G.C.P.D. cops to find The Riddler and bring him in.

It turns out they’re not the only ones looking for him and as word gets to Penguin, he begins plotting his own crusade into finding his former best friend. After escaping from a crazed hillbilly family, Nygma winds up face to face with him and the two bitterly reminisce on old times. It’s at this point where all forces converge on Penguin’s lair and all hell breaks loose. Ever the opportunist, as the reinforced police arrive, Barbara shows up and informs Riddler she may hold the answers he’s seeking.

Nestled between this predominant story is the continued complicated relationship between Selina and Bruce Wayne. After killing Jeremiah, Bruce finds Selina at the Ice Lounge, drowning her problems in booze. Knowing this behavior all too well himself, Bruce tries to talk sense into his friend only to receive an ice cold retort back and a moment to ponder over what transpires. All the while wondering if this is the right call of action.

There’s no time to dwell on this though and it’s at this point where the main storyline reaches fever pitch. Barbara’s tip leads Nygma straight to Hugo Strange who nonchalantly shrugs him away, declaring he doesn’t know anything. We don’t have to wait long to find out if he’s telling the truth though and what follows from here is a climactic finale that eventually results in Nygma chasing Jim Gordon out into the streets of Gotham.

The final scene of the episode revealed a big secret and the return of another villain to the fray. Promising to deliver a showstopping ending, Gotham’s future is left in the balance with only Jim Gordon and a handful of police left to try and hold the peace.

Whilethere is some good story work done here and the episodes themselves are okay, it all feels a little underwhelming given this is the last season of Gotham. There’s been little in the way of Bruce’s transformation into Batman and it often feels like the characters are going round in circles without any meaningful development. Don’t get me wrong, Gotham is a lot of fun and the villains have always been the star of the show , but with 7 episodes to go I just hope Gotham really pulls it out the bag and delivers a finale worthy of remembrance. For now though we’re left with another good, but somewhat forgettable, episode to digest until next week.

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Gotham Season 5, Episode 4 Review

Well, given the context of this season and going a little bit on The Dark Knight Rises side of things, this episode made for the returns of both Victor Zsasz and Jeremiah and the use of a kangaroo court to which Oswald tried (and failed of course) to get his former killer for hire bumped with a guillotine and some mob justice.

Before he even protested his innocence, I didn’t peg Zsasz down for the Haven bomber. It’s just not his overall style but the conflict he had with Gordon, the GCPD and Oswald certainly earned him a gagging order as Oswald tried to convince everyone that he was guilty of blowing Haven up.

It really didn’t take long for Gordon and Oswald’s little truce from the last episode to come to an end with this one. Oswald couldn’t help letting power go to his head and trying to get a little paid (which is funny as Barbara sidelined her own opportunity to do exactly the same thing) and Jim yet again, wouldn’t let Oswald do what he wanted, which means the pair of them are at loggerheads once again.

As for Zsasz, he got to live another, there was a near shoot out with him and Gordon but overall, neither of them got hurt. I personally wouldn’t be letting someone like Zsasz loose on the street and given that we’ve got another ‘trial’ coming up in a later episode, don’t be surprised to see Victor popping up at least once more this season.

As for the Haven bomber though, it’s Nygma and he seemed rather shocked by his actions. Not shocked enough to throw an old woman out of a window so she couldn’t blab though but still shocked enough. Personally, I’m less shocked given his mental state this season but I did rather enjoy the team up with him and Lucius this week. Kangaroo courts and bomber identities to one side, this episode also heralded the return of Jeremiah and I have to admit, in some respects his scenes were the weakest of the episode. Not to mention the fact that there’s no way in hell despite her best efforts did Selina actually succeed in killing Jeremiah. Nope, don’t buy it for a moment and neither should she, Bruce or Alfred either. As for Ecco, she seemed to be a bit on autopilot but at least the episode did show some appropriate shades of Joker/Harley with Jeremiah and Ecco’s fleeting interactions here.

Last but not least there’s Barbara. This week she seemed a lot calmer than she’s been in a while. She chose to prioritize finding the Haven bomber over getting revenge on Oswald (though I don’t doubt she’ll be back on that soon enough) and even seemed to understand Gordon initially thinking she might have been the bomber too. Then there was that last scene with her and Jim that would’ve been a shock had the trailers not spoiled it weeks ago. Still a good way to end this particular one though.

– Another voice cameo from Jaime Murray this week. When are we actually going to see her character properly? Nice to see the show hasn’t forgotten Sofia Falcone, even if we’re not likely to see her this season.
– It seems that horrible gang from two weeks ago are actually working for Jeremiah and Ecco. Jeremiah killed the leader.
– Aside from Leslie not being accounted for (c’mon show, time for her to come back now), we didn’t see Edward the dog either.
– Chronology: Exactly from where Penguin, Our Hero left off.

Ruin was an entertainingly daft episode, boasting the clear OTT manner of the Kangaroo Court and having Zsasz throw out a few fun zingers but the Selina and Jeremiah plot just lacked the intense and that was after last week’s exciting confrontation she had with Ecco. As for the Jim/Barbara hook up, it was okay enough I guess.

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Gotham Season 5, Episode 3 Review

With Gotham now into its last season before it comes off air, the third episode of this fifth season continues to impress with another solid 45 minutes of action. With a smartly worked dual storyline and some interesting characterization, the gang wars and Selina’s crusade to find Jeremiah both see some serious development this week. The latter resulting in quite the surprising appearance from a new face in Gotham. With the episode finishing on a massive cliffhanger, it’ll be interesting to see where the show goes from here but for now, Gotham continues to up the ante and excitement as we draw nearer to the finish line.

The episode begins with a look at Jim Gordon’s newly acquired haven for refugees. Bullock grows ever more concerned that this will paint a target for the gangs to come looking for them and unfortunately that target is being painted by our very own Penguin. After most of his cronies up and leave him to go to Haven, Penguin enlists the help of the street gangs to clear out the camp and bring everyone back to where they belong. This being Gotham of course, things inevitably go awry and results in Bullock sneaking off to enlist the help of Barbara.

While things escalate for Jim Gordon, Bruce and Selina embark on their own crusade after a rather unsettling nightmare spurs our femme fatale into action. Together, they travel deep into the heart of the Dark Zone where Jeremiah is rumored to be held out only to find a familiar face to anyone who’s read the comics or knows the lore around Batman. I won’t spoil this here of course but suffice to say it’s a bold choice and something that actually works really well, given the context of the story.

We leave both of these plots unresolved for now and finishing on pretty big cliffhangers. Bruce and Selina are still in the Dark Zone and Jim Gordon has a big job on his hands come next week after the dramatic events that unfold at the end of the episode. How our grizzled cop deals with the ramifications of what’s happened is up for debate but if I had to wager a guess, this is going to lead Jim into the Dark Zone to find Jeremiah and our three protagonists possibly joining forces.

While the story itself continues to move the pieces forward, there’s a good amount of action this week to chew over. Selina’s newfound acrobats are put to good use as her and Bruce tackle one of the many gangs in the streets while the sprinklings of gun fighting inside Haven helps keep the episode moving at a quick pace. The real talking point here is likely to be the new character that’s come into the fray and it’s here where the fan-base is likely to be split.

Personally, I think the character choice is a good one and the new design and maniacal persona is a really good fit given the mood and tone of Gotham in general. The acting during these segments are excellent and there’s some really interesting juxtapositions between Selina and the new character regarding the way they flirt with death. In a way, it’s a useful tool to show just how far Selina could fall down the rabbit hole if she continues to stare death in the face but for now, these moments are fleeting as the story continues to move toward its finale.

Given the ending we’re dealt this week, it’ll be really interesting to see where Gotham goes from here. The two storylines work well to keep things fresh although it seems likely now that a lot of the supporting villains are going to be reduced to cameo appearances this year given the relatively short 12 episode run for Gotham. I’ve said it before but as individual episodes, Gotham really thrives and has had some wonderful stand-alone pieces over the years. Gotham is a lot of fun and it still packs quite the punch.

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