THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 9, EPISODE 8 “EVOLUTION” REVIEW

The final episode of the first half of the ninth season of The Walking Dead ends with a shocking surprise along with a shocking death as well. The episode is a reminder that The Walking Dead is a horror show and for the first time since Negan gave Glenn and Abraham their brutal deaths, the horror of the show has been set in tone as we finally got the brutal attack by The Whisperers. There were also great moments during the episode as well that involved Carol, Megan, and Michonne. Now it is time for me to give my thoughts about the newest episode as The Walking Dead will not return for a few months after this episode.

Over at Alexandria, Father Gabriel has been given the role of taking control of Alexandria after the others leave to look for Eugene. He visits Negan in the cell twice as the first time, Negan kept bouncing a ball off the wall while he talks to Gabriel about Rosita and again later that day as Negan taunts Gabriel. Gabriel wants no part of taking Negan’s humor so he tells him for once in his life to shut up. Negan asks what is going on as Gabriel tells him that he should be out there helping Rosita but he is there with him right now. As they finish talking, Gabriel leaves but the guard that was with Gabriel forgot to lock the cell and Negan escapes later that night when he noticed the door was not locked after his ball went through the cell! I did not think that he would escape this early, but I am glad that he is out now.

Henry has taken Carl’s role from the comic as he wants to learn about crafting weapons. He later meets Endid, Alden, Gage, Addy, and Rodney during dinner. Henry along with Gage, Addy, and Rodney decided to drink alcohol later that night and when Henry notices that Rodney and Gage were toying with a walker that was under some wood, Henry decides to put it down but he is stuck at the pit the walker was in. Henry ended up at the cell in The Hilltop as Earl told him that he will be there for two days for him to think about his actions. Earl also told him that he will speak to Jesus about releasing him early.

Also at Hilltop, Michonne brings Magna and her group there and there is still disdain between her and Tara over the years (which has not been explained why yet, but we will find out) as Tara does not want anything to do with the group, but she does say that Jesus and her will talk about it. Tara also updates Michonne about the status of Eugene and Rosita as Michonne was not aware about what happened to them. As Michonne and Siddiq were seeing Rosita, Siddiq apologizes to Michonne to not letting her know about Maggie and then Rosita wakes up to tell them both that she knows where Eugene is.

Thanks to Daryl’s dog, Eugene has been found at the barn as Eugene thinks that the herd from two episodes ago is looking for him since he said that he heard them circling around a few times. Eugene also mentions that it was not a normal herd at all. Daryl tried to divert the herd by using an alarm earlier that day, and firecrackers at night and even his dog tried as well but that did not work as The Whisperers were directing them. When Michonne, Magna, and Yumiko finally show up at the haunted looking graveyard, the action begins as they help clear the herd. Jesus even showed off his badass looking ninja skills to take down some of the zombies. As Jesus was clearing the herd in the graveyard that was trying too get through the gate, he is viciously and shockingly stabbed to death by a Whisperer which caught him off guard. After Jesus was killed, everyone kills some of the other Whisperers that were approaching them and then goes examine one of the walkers that they killed and they realize that it was a person wearing zombie skin as the group looked in horror. Following this, The Whisperers and the heard circle back around the group as they whisper more words as the episode ends.

This was an amazing episode as the horror and the atmosphere was jumped up more than a hundred times. The surprise attack of The Whisperers was very well done and it was also creepy to see it play out on screen. I also loved that they used the graveyard for that scene because the fog added the terror of what was not coming. With Negan now out, Ezekiel planning the fair, the threat of The Whisperers, and situation with Henry, We are ready for a jam packed second half once it returns in a few months. We also did not get Alpha in this episode, but I have a feeling that she along with Beta will appear within the first few episodes of the second half. The first half of Season 9 has been refreshing and even with Rick Grimes’ exit, the show is still strong while he is not there. What will come in the second half, we will have to see.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 7 “Stradivarius” Review

After last week’s shocking ending of the episode with the debut of The Whisperers as Eugene and Rosita were hiding from them, This week, we have a character driven episode as we witness more of Magna and her group, Daryl and Carol and much more. The Walking Dead usually does great with their character driven episodes and it was no stranger that this one is a very good one which sets up the mid season finale on next week’s episode. But now, it is time to give my thoughts about the seventh episode of the ninth season of The Walking Dead.

Rosita was running in the woods as she was escaping The Whisperers but we do not see Eugene with her. She hears whispers from different directions during this as she was horrified from realizing that the dead were talking. She passes out and while this was going on, Aaron and Jesus found her after they see that a flare was fired. Aaron and Jesus were also trainning as well and it is finally great again to see Jesus acts like his comic counterpart as far as action goes. Rosita mentioned to them that she left Eugene in a barn for him to be safe and for her to alert the rest for help.

At The Hilltop, we find out that Jesus is now the leader, but he seems to not liking the responsibility of leading a community since he was a scouter. He is a leader by name, but Tara is running the place and it is about time that Tara had a better position from what she was in the last few seasons. You would most likely ask yourself “where is Maggie?” Well that question has been revealed as Siddiq revealed to Michonne that Maggie went with Georgie from Season 8 to build another community. This explains the “open ended” way to have her return in a future season. But I wish that she got a better sendoff.

Carol and Henry visit Daryl as he has stayed there for six years. He was originally looking for Rick’s body, but he got used to the area so he just stood there. That is Daryl being Daryl everyone. Carol wants Daryl to help her take Henry to The Hilltop so he can learn how to craft weapons as a blacksmith. Daryl also has a dog now that helps him build traps for incoming walkers. There was also a scene with the dog being trapped in one of the traps as the walkers were about to eat him alive. Daryl tried to save him, but Henry winds up saving them both. As a dog owner myself, I was on the edge of my seat hoping that the dog would not die in that scene. Another thing I liked about Carol and Daryl’s interaction is that these two has had chemistry going back to season 3 and it finally was displayed here once again. Carol also gives Daryl a much needed haircut and I bet that the fans wanted that for the last 5 seasons.

Michonne changed her mind of taking Magna and her group to The Hilltop and decided to do it but once a few scouts from Hilltop notify Michonne that Rosita needs care, she goes.  She still does not trust her after the introduction meeting with the counsel on last week’s episode as Michonne was very suspicious of Magna. When they went back to the area where Judith found them, they discover that everyone else at the camp is dead so they spent a night at an old building until the next morning. Michonne notices that the walker herd is the same one from when Magna’s group were introduced. Magna and her group did not want to put down Bernie since he turned so Michonne did it. It has been a long time since we had a scene like this. Michonne and Magna’s conversation is also very good as the writers of the show did not hesitate to make Magna and her group big parts of the show.

Based on the information Rosita gave to Daryl, Aaron, and Jesus, the three of them go out to look for Eugene and this is where the episode ends.

This episode is worth watching as it is building up to the impending doom of the danger of The Whisperers (especially since the next episode is called Evolution) so how the rest of the group will react to them will be something to look forward to. Daryl and Carol’s scenes were my favorite parts of the episode along with his new dog and once again, it is great that Tara is not taking a backseat anymore. Even Enid is now the new doctor of The Hilltop and I believe the reason for that is the way she saved Aaron when he got his arm injury. This season continues to grow stronger each week.

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The Walking Dead is on AMC Network every Sunday at 9:00 PM EST.

The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 6 “Who Are You Now?” Review

Six long years has passed since the disappearance of Rick Grimes as the rest of the characters are moving on. But some of them are still grieving in different ways that I have never thought of. Rick has been the one person to lead the right way for the last few years and it struck me even more when I did not see Andrew Lincoln’s name on the opening opening sequence and we will have to get used to that every week from this point forward. With the end of last week’s episode when we got introduced to Magna’s group and a 10 year old Judith Grimes, it is time to dive deep in “Who Are You Now?”

Michonne visits the area where her and everyone else last seen Rick Grimes as they still think that he is dead. She has a great monologue about how they are pushing forward for the last few years. We are also shown Daryl as he is fishing and living by himself in the woods. Also to add, Carol and Ezekiel are full fledged married and she even has longer hair now. When Michonne leaves the area, she sees the bridge as we found out that it was never rebuilt since the explosion. Michonne is also the new leader of Alexandria as she has toughened up to not let any new survivors in at all. But that will soon change.

Carol has also changed in the last six years as she is much more bold and stronger now than ever and I believe that is what love does for you. She takes Henry (who is now a teenager) to the Hilltop so that he can learn how to craft items as a blacksmith. During the trip, they run into a few Saviors and who would have think that they were still the bad guys six years later. I also wished that there was an explanation on the fallout of the riot before the time jump but that might happen in a few more episodes. Regina and Jed of The Saviors has robbed Carol and Henry and they also took Carol’s wedding ring and Henry was shocked to see that Carol just let them do that. She later tracks down the Savior that took her ring and burned him and the rest alive. That was pretty dark and it reminded me of when Carol burned those Saviors alive way back in Season 6.

There were also scenes of Rosita and Gabriel as Gabriel wants to try to communicate with other survivors via the radio. This was an interesting twist from the comics since Eugene is the one to do that in the comics. When they realize that the signal is very weak, Rosita and Eugene heads to the water tower to place an amplifier to boost the signal. But the trip back will have a shocking discovery with them but more on that towards the end of my review. Also, can we have Gabesita trending because Gabriel and Rosita are now a couple.

Judith Grimes brings Magna and the rest of her group to Alexandria as she also pleads with Michonne to let them stay. Gabriel and the counsel which includes Aaron, Michonne, and others also interviewed all of them and asked them questions about what they were doing before the apocalypse and who they are as a person now. This scene mirrored the one in the comics as Rick Grimes was the one to ask them the questions. Michonne does not fully trust Magna since she lied about her background as she notices a prison tattoo and a knife in her belt (can I also note that Magna has a knife everywhere she goes because she had a few more after this scene). Michonne wants to take them all to the Hilltop. We also find out that Michonne has a son so this must mean that she was pregnant before the time jump. Imagine if Rick comes back from wherever the helicopter took him to find out that he has another son?

We get a nice scene with Negan helping Judith with her homework and he is still in the cell. Negan tried to play a mind game on her to reveal who the new people are but Judith was smart enough to know to not buy into his tricks at all. I would like to see more scenes with these two.

 

The episode ends as Eugene and Rosita tries to camouflage themselves from a zombie herd. But the shocker is straight out of issue #130 of the comics as some of the “zombies” were whispering asking where were the two that they just seen. Eugene and Rosita were shocked to hear this as this is the first appearance of The Whisperers!

This episode moved up the pace from last week’s episode but there are two questions that rings into my head. What was the fallout of that camp riot with The Saviors and where is Maggie and how will her disappearance be explained for the rest of the season? Other than those two questions, this was a great episode that not only dealt with the emotions of the three characters that were tied to Rick Grimes the most, but it gives us more exciting story lines to look forward to especially now since The Whisperers are now here. There are two more episodes left for the first half of Season 9 and we are just getting started.

The Walking Dead premieres live every Sunday at 9pm EST on AMC Network

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 4 “The Obliged” Review

There’s no denying The Walking Dead is enjoying a resurgence this season. The Obliged was another fantastic episode.

Michonne was heavily featured tonight as we see her life in Alexandria running everything in Rick’s absence. Michonne is doing a little of everything from settling gardening disputes, playing with Judith, and tending to the sick. And when she’s suffering from some sleepless nights, it’s time to go kill some walkers.

That led to an interesting scene as Michonne spots a black walker hanging from a tree. Now Michonne has a new problem — Negan won’t eat. He’s on a hunger strike as he wants a conversation. He chats Michonne up about his wife dying from cancer, their desire to have a child like Carl and ultimately how her death helped to not make him weak.

Humble Negan is a far more interesting character this season. Season 8 Negan never had to resort to mind games like this strike to learn Lucille’s location. Negan tried to find some common ground with his dead wife and Michonne’s dead children, but Michonne wasn’t biting. Still, Michonne’s growing unease whenever she sees a bat is telling.

There really wasn’t enough time to spend on Gabriel and Anne this week and their subplot felt very under served. Anne seemed to consider giving Gabriel the old tie ’em down and let a walker devour them trick she pulled on Negan, but had a change of heart. She knocked him out just long enough to roll out. Gabriel broke down presumably at the thought of no more sweet, sweet junker loving.

While last week made it appear as if Maggie and Daryl were heading to kill Negan immediately, she went back to Hilltop to get supplies while Daryl returned to the camp. But now it’s payback time.

Jesus seems torn on his loyalty. He accuses Rick of making a bad call in keeping Negan alive, yet sends a warning to Rick that Maggie is headed to Alexandria. Pick a side dude!

Rick’s got enough problems as Eugene tells him the bridge is a wash. A new storm is coming to basically wipe it out. I’m wondering if the plan is to give Rick a death like Madison from Fear the Walking Dead where he gets washed away, but with no body there’s some chance he’s still alive. That would give Judith a reason to stay with everyone at least.

The only problem with Rick’s pending departure is it’s placing the burden of his focal storyline — that the Saviors can be redeemed — onto other characters. Carol basically told Rick she wasn’t interested in being the Saviors’ keeper any longer and they were going to have to fend for themselves. These conversations are really starting to feel like goodbyes for Rick. He left both Carol and Eugene with a comforting pep talk and encouragement.

Upon learning the news of Maggie’s march, Rick sets out for Alexandria, but Daryl offers him a ride. Rick quickly realizes something is up when Daryl misses the turn. They get into a tussle and fall into a conveniently placed cliff. Hard not to agree with Rick and wonder if Daryl set it up.

One huge improvement this season has been the writing and this pit conversation was a highlight of the night. Daryl called Rick out for not avenging Glenn, but saying he wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for him. Rick countered reminding Daryl that he spared Dwight, but Daryl dropped the Oceanside bombshell.

Rick explains that if Negan dies, he becomes a martyr and all those people will have died for nothing. Daryl says Rick doesn’t have enough faith in their crew and that he’s chasing something for Carl that isn’t meant to be. Daryl has a point. The strength of the writing is that neither guy comes off like an idiot and they both have viable points. However, we got the first live F-bomb on The Walking Dead and it came out of nowhere!

They don’t fully hash things out before another fracas breaks out at the camp. Jed and the Saviors have somehow figured out Oceanside killed their crew. That’s some impressive powers of deduction. Carol’s Kingdom troops get ready for a brawl and enough shots ring out to attract one of the two nearby walker hordes. This is not good news.

But for those of us who love creative walker death traps, The Obliged delivered again. Rick and Daryl trying to climb out of the pit while walkers slide down was pretty ingenious. The walkers always come off so much more dangerous when they’re a menacing obstacle capable of wrecking any great plan with their overwhelming numbers. Rick pulls Daryl up after telling his ‘brother’ to take his hand. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m going to miss the Rick and Daryl brotherhood immensely the rest of the series.

With the horde closing in, Rick spots a horse and uses it to lead the horde away from the camp. Daryl thinks now is the time to blow up the bridge, but Rick isn’t having it. Daryl seems to understand Rick’s grand purpose for the bridge, which is still escaping me.

In a nice callback to the first episode, Rick’s horse gets spooked by the walkers and he gets thrown off onto a cement block. Maybe he avoided a broken neck, but he’s impaled. As both hordes slowly converge, this definitely looks like the last stand for Rick Grimes.

The Obliged set up a strong Michonne/Negan conflict, let Rick and Daryl reaffirm their brotherhood and set the final steps in motion for Rick’s death/departure resulting in another strong episode.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 3 “Warning Signs” Review

 

This week they did well and the series surprises us with a good episode. Warning Signs contains surprises, action, dead people who walk and above all, a great script and a fantastic ending.

The idea of ​​ending the episode with those who would, logically, Rick’s successors, have been brilliant. We have already seen the alarm signals of the rebellion, we know that the great schism is coming on us and for some reason, the enemies that were friends before are much more afraid than The Governor and Negan together.

There were warning signs on the ground, yes, also some signs marking things … but the sign that gives name to the episode are not the physical signs, but the clear sign that Rick’s reign is about to collapse and that they will be his best friends who stab him in the back in the not too distant future. And this, that the good friends, the family, that we had as protagonist is divided and conspire against the other part is a marvel. We saw coming that this would happen, but even without the surprise it is delicious to taste it.

It has not been suddenly, for once they have done well, they have been gradual and motivated. We know Rick’s reasons, we understand Maggie’s discontent. When she looks at her son she remembers Glenn, we remember the pizza boy every time we see Maggie, or Rick … or anyone. When Rick looks at the saviors, think about the future Carl wanted. The spectators also loved Carl and sympathized with his optimism and hope. We can empathize with both factions. The writers have not taken shortcuts this time, they have simmering discontent. Rick has forced the survivors to live with the murderers of their loved ones and this could not go well, we all knew that it can not go well. The story has been shaping up to the point where most of the viewers understand the women of OceanSide and the decision of Maggie and Daryl to look the other way.

For a moment I feared that Maggie and Daryl will avoid the execution of Arat, which would not only have been inconsistent with the feelings of these two characters, but also a trash scene instead of the magnificent sequence we have seen. Maybe that’s why I’m so satisfied with this episode, because seeing how two of “the good guys” look the other way before a few murders and position themselves with those who break the rules has been great. Especially if this is the little push they needed to become mutineers.

I think Daryl has been keeping his position clear from the first moment, his relationship with Rick is already quite deteriorated and the three episodes this season have enhanced that feeling. However, Maggie did not have everything so clear: Michonne convinces her to share her food with the saviors, Gregory motivates her to take the revenge she needed, but La Viuda did not finish having her position clear. In this episode he confesses to Daryl that he would like to look to the future as Rick does;then he feels guilty for encouraging the women of Oceanside to take justice into his own hand … although finally, when he discovers what Arat did, he understands that the saviors do not deserve to be forgiven either by the death of Bea’s husband or brother of Cyndie, or of all the innocent men and women murdered so that the Mafia clan of Simon commanded by Negan would benefit.

For the rest: Rick and Michonne want to have a child, which would be interesting for both … but it’s hard to believe that they happily choose to increase the family when they live in such complicated circumstances and when both have lost their children because of the walkers. The intervention of Zach MacGowan has been shorter than expected, but at least it has served as a spark that ignites one of the most exciting plots of the series … or so it seems. As a subplot, the story of Jadis brings much more than meets the eye and we are about to discover who are the A subjects and who the B and what the helicopter types want them for. I made a theory about it right here.

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New Theory of a Missing “The Walking Dead” Character Explained

Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead bought in a new theory that I have come up with when I have seen a particular scene of the episode. When Jadis/Annie arrived at the junkyard that she used to live at before with her group before Simon and the rest of The Saviors killed them, she was on the radio with a man. But this man is also the pilot of the mysterious helicopter that was first seen in Season 8. They were talking about “A or B” in the discussion and she then revealed to Gabriel that she trades people for supplies. Gabriel told her that he will tell Rick, but she knocked him out after trying to convince him to change his mind. When I seen this whole scene happened, the first thing that came to my mind is Heath.

If you forgot who Heath was, he was a resident of the Alexandria Safe Zone. He was last seen on that episode with Tara way back in Season 7, Episode 6 of The Walking Dead as when him and Tara were trying to escape a heard of zombies, he was in further distance away from her and when she went to where he was, there were car tracks, his glasses, and  “PPP” card on the ground which means that he was kidnapped. There were some theories going around to what have happened to him, but the one I thought of makes the most sense. I believe that Jadis traded Heath for supplies.

The reason this theory might be true is because I looked back at Season 7, Episode 11 and at a closer inspection at the scene where Rick is on top of the junkyard, you can see the RV that Heath and Tara were driving in the background. You can also see a helicopter pad in the same scene as well. The other reason I believe this theory might be true is because Scott Gimple said in an interview that his disappearance will be explained in some form in Season 9 of the show. We know that Corey Hawkins left the show to do his role on 24 Legacy for one season before it got canceled so his return to The Walking Dead has to happen or be talked about with that helicopter that has a connection with Jadis. Also, it seemed like she was about to do that with Negan in Season 8 as he was tied up and he seen the helicopter arriving after Jadis light up a flare. Another thing I would like to note is that Rick was held hostage in the junkyard at Season 8 as well that was marked with the letter “A” which was also an option of “A and B” and Rick has also seen the helicopter as well in Season 8 but not at the junkyard.

If this theory about Heath being traded for supplies is true, you have read it here first. What do you think?

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 2 “The Bridge” Review

 

Rick Grimes and his friends are working hard to build a new world. The remains of the old world, as established, are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. No gasoline, no canned goods, and a crumbling infrastructure that is making travel and trade between the sprawling collection of city-states difficult, if not impossible. Without tractors, modern farming is impossible. Without food, life is impossible. Sure, plows and wagons will help, but there’s only so much that can be done, and the zombie menace is omnipresent, especially considering that bullets must be hand-filled and recycled. The only way to accomplish any big project is via lots and lots of manpower, so that means when the bridge needs to be rebuilt, everyone has to pitch in, regardless of any hard feelings they might have in the past.

On the surface, as Rick talks about the camp in a framing device with Negan, things are looking good. There’s a big camp and everyone seems to be working together fairly well, getting back a piece of how things used to be, if Rick is to be believed. The goal isn’t to forgive, or to forget, but to move past, build trust, unite the divided communities by sharing resources. Alexandria has bullets. Sanctuary has ethanol and manpower. Hilltop has food and farming equipment. Oceanside has fish. And the roads, as Ezekiel says in the episode, are how these communities live and die. It might not be the sort of exciting story Henry will tell his grandchildren, but without the bridge, Henry might not live to have grandchildren in the first place.

Trust is key in Rick’s new world. Trust and second chances. That’s reiterated in David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick’s script repeatedly, yet that point isn’t pushed too far, if that makes sense. The establishment of trust, and of moving forward, is stated repeatedly, but it’s not really hammered on in an obvious way. It comes in little moments. Rosita rigging demolition charges with Arat, the woman who cut her cheek. Arat questions their proximity to the blast, and they exchange mutual admissions of distrust (never mind the fact that Rosita wouldn’t blow herself up to kill one Savior). Siddiq trusts Enid to take over medical needs at the bridge camp. Gabriel and Anne (formerly Jadis) bond over their lack of trustworthiness and the fact that they were given second chances by Rick and company. Maggie gives Earl (John Finn) a second chance at the best of Tammy Rose (Brett Butler) after his attempted murder of her.

The only one who doesn’t seem to be getting a second chance, because he hasn’t reformed a bit, is Negan, who gets regular status updates from Rick on the formation of the new world and who appears in presence in this week’s bookend segments. Essentially, his presence is only via shadows and a few tight close-ups, allowing Rick to give his speech to camera. Negan, as always, antagonizes. Rick isn’t building for the future, he’s building a monument to the dead. Rick’s family is gone, as is Negan’s. Rick’s in charge, for now, but how long will this tenuous peace he’s built last given that the Saviors are disappearing or walking off the job and resources are stretched thin to feed the mouths of all the Savior manpower? Maggie further moves away from Rick’s sphere of influence. The Saviors are either on board with the new world or fighting against it (literally in the case of Zach McGowan’s Savior character).

That unease is there, and it colors a lot of the interactions, but in previous years, it would have been addressed directly and repeatedly. It’s still mentioned, but it’s more subtle; it’s the implication more than anything. Tension is the order of the day, and even the relatively happy camp is troubled. They’re struggling to rebuild the bridge, working with primitive equipment, behind schedule, undermanned, and they have to worry both about the weather (the levee will break eventually) and the omnipresent threat of the zombie hordes that have been drawn to the area. Certainly, they have a plan to distract the horde, but that plan requires trusting in the people who have to man the air raid sirens and execute the distractions.

Of course, since this is The Walking Dead and those distractions depend on the assistance of the grudging Saviors, things go wrong. Daisy Mayer maintains a very dynamic camera in this week’s episode, with lots of tracking shots through Rick’s camp, lots of smooth transition between scenes based off following characters as they split off from groups and walk away, or stay behind. It helps the episode flow more smoothly, and the action sequences are exciting and clearly executed. The walker attack on the logging camp is especially fun, with lots of inventive special effects courtesy of Nicotero’s crew.

It would be understandable to think that after 117 episodes that they’d be running out of ways to smash zombies, and yet, there’s still creativity with the set pieces. There are a thousand ways to smash a head, apparently, and this week’s exhibition in special effects skill and the blending of the digital with the practical is especially impressive, and a much-needed dose of fun in what is an otherwise tense episode. If nothing else, it’s something that I haven’t seen before, outside of perhaps a Final Destination movie, and it’s that kind of novelty that is appreciated so deeply into a show’s run.

My favorite parts of the episode was seeing the portraits of Glenn, Hershel, Beth , Shawn, Annette, and Josephine on the wall as Maggie and Jesus were talking. I also liked to see that Aaron is starting to look like the current comic book appearance of Rick Grimes along with the conflict between Daryl and Justin. Speaking of Justin, I do not know who kidnapped him at the end of the episode, but I do not think that it is The Whisperers.

The direction remains solid, and the acting and writing seem to be more consistent thus far. With the major upheaval coming in the cast, it’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out and what new direction the show takes.

Big changes in front of the camera, and bigger changes behind the camera. If nothing else, for the moment, the show feels fresh again. Perhaps rather than being a soap opera with zombies, The Walking Dead can become a Game Of Thrones with zombies. Trade baby daddy drama for political intrigue, city-states working together to accomplish bigger goals while scheming against one another in the background? That seems like something that could refresh a popular show that’s been in a creative and ratings slump.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 1 Review

 

Fresh out of New York Comic Con, the latest episode of The Walking Dead just aired and this one was a massive episode. Not only because it’s the season premiere, but also because it’s the first episode for a new arc after the massive All Out War arc we had which was great in my opinion. I was so excited to see what Season 9 of The Walking Dead would bring us and how things with Negan no longer in charge would go for Rick and his group.

The name of this episode is called “A New Beginning” which also takes the name of volume 22 of the comic series, and the subtitle of Issue #127. The episode started off quite strongly with all of our core main characters working together to pull an old wagon out of an old museum. It was nice to see Rick, Daryl, Rosita, The King, Carol, Maggie and everyone else from the core character set share a single scene with one another. It does seem a long time since we’ve seen them all work together on something as they’re often separated and in different locations. They all went to a museum in Washington, D.C to retrieve supplies, such as plows, canoes, seed samples, and a covered wagon. I loved the dialogue that was exchanged between the characters. I also wondered if anyone noticed the bloody handprint on the “Civil War” part of the large artwork Michonne was looking at. The group almost lost Ezekiel as he fell through the glass floor while there were walkers under beneath but the group saved him just in time.

But as the episode progressed we could see that our once close group of friends who we know work together well, are actually having a lot of issues.

For the most part, the struggle for our group at the moment post Negan is with leadership and the limited resources available. There just isn’t enough to go around and people living under Rick’s leadership are getting annoyed.

Further tensions occur on Maggie’s side of the group which she now leads after winning an election. Gregory is still alive and is stirring dissent among the ranks and gets quite a bit done after ken dies on the wagon mission. This gives Gregory a chance to build up an assassination attempt on Maggie during a brief period of severe unpopularity. Gregory fails though and Maggie ends up having him hanged. It’s quite brutal really, but it represents a shift in Maggie’s character to a more ruthless side, which I think might develop further if her character doesn’t have anyone to counter balance what she’s doing. This moment on the show also happened on issue #141.

We see a conversation in this episode between Maggie and Rick where they talk about building a broken bridge and the resources involved. Between the two groups, it’s tough to organize and Maggie’s unpopularity at the moment makes it tough for her to commit strong resources to help Rick. I feel that going forward, we will probably see some tensions between the groups for resources and it might strain the Rick and Maggie friendship quite a bit, but it’s just a theory.

The thing I’m most sad about at the moment is that if you’ve been reading up on Andrew Lincoln news lately you’ll know it’s his last season. I really don’t want him to go and the actor, particularly in this episode had so much screen presence that it’s hard to imagine the show without him in it. It’s going to be a tough season to watch but I’m happy with this premiere episode. I’m looking forward to seeing how both Rick and Maggie develop as season 9 progresses and how they handle leading both their groups Also interesting is where some of the other characters are heading right now such as Daryl and Carol who both had a few interesting moments in today’s episode and I’m keen to see both those characters develop.

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AMC Network Announces The Walking Dead NYCC Panel

AMC today released new unit and behind-the-scenes photography from the highly-anticipated new season of The Walking Dead, premiering Sunday, October 7 at 9/8c.

In addition, select cast and producers from the show will be at New York Comic Con for a panel, moderated by Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead), at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, October 6th and 8/7c.

Cast members including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride and Jeffrey Dean Morgan join Executive Producer and Showrunner Angela Kang, Executive Producer and Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert and Special Effects Makeup Supervisor and Executive Producer Greg Nicotero to discuss the show’s exciting new chapter and what’s to come in Season 9.

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 7 at 9/8c.

SDCC 2018-AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead Press Conferences

More San Diego Comic Con news came out as I was invited to attend both of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead press conferences. The Fear one started first as the cast and producers of the season made their way to the long table. The cast included Colman Domingo, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lennie James, Danay Garcia, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace and Jenna Elfman as they all talked about what to expect from the second half of season 4 as the back half of the season deals with more character development and a natural disaster. I also spoke with Alycia and Maggie for a few minutes after the conference to talk about Travis’ death way back in season 3. I also spoke with Scott Gimple as we talked about the comic series of The Walking Dead, his new comic series with Robert Kirkman Die!Die!Die, and future possible storylines of The Walking Dead especially since Volume 30:New World Order just finished not too long ago.

 

Here is the audio

https://youtu.be/ikNbhSCan_Y

 

After that conference was over, The Walking Dead started and we learned more information to the upcoming season and Andrew Lincoln’s departure of the show. That got sad to hear him say it because he loves the show and working with everyone there. The Press conference was very funny also as Norman and Andrew Lincoln had a “stare down” after the rest of the cast arrived, along with Jeffery Dean Morgan stealing the show over there with his very funny humor. Other cast members that were there was Danai Gurira and Lauren Cohan along with Greg Nicotero and the new show runner Angela Kang and Executive Producer Scott Gimple. The panel is a must listen!

Here is the audio from the conference

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huBlQfcTTow&t=6s

Meeting Andrew Lincoln face to face is a dream come true of mines and I am happy that it happened!

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