The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 2, Episode 3 “Exit Wounds” Review

Alexa Mansour as Hope, Will Meyers as Mason – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Steve Swisher/AMC

If you are dying to know how corrupt CRM are, this episode of World Beyond is a great directory for it.

Like The Walking Dead’s The Commonwealth, the current CRM location has it’s flaws if the characters are not obeying their laws. But how the CRM wants to restore the world is really moving the plot faster than the first season. I also believe that the CRM. is getting more interesting the more people know about it.

Hope is front and center for most of this episode. She is dealing with the other teenagers in class and meeting unwanted friends for the first time. All of this is going on while she misses her sister Iris. I have a good feeling that Hope and Iris will reunite very soon! Plus, Hope’s conversation with her dad gets bonus points for me!

Everything with Percy and Elton is a mixed bag for me. Especially the action sequence. Since World Beyond started airing, the stunt choreography for the most part has not been good. That happened here while they were taking down empties. It visually looked good when that camouflaged empty woke up to try to devour Elton. But the scene followed that could have been done better. Especially since I could not believe the teens took them out the way they did. But when that eye ball was being taken out, I thought that was cool.

Alexa Mansour as Hope – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Chip Jackson/AMC

It also seems like they are having Iris and Percy develop a relationship as their bond gets closer. This could be dangerous down the line as Percy is not a person to be trusted. But we will see how the story unfolds!

I believe this episode of World Beyond is one of the stronger ones of the series. For the first time since late into season one, I am looking forward to the next episode!

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Fear The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 1 “The Beacon” Review

Colman Domingo as Victor Strand – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

Fear The Walking Dead kicked off their seventh season this week with an interesting episode. And it is all about Strand!

Continuing the anthology format, “The Beacon” tells the story of what Strand up to a few months after the nuclear bomb dropping in the area. Strand made himself the leader of The Tower that he first entered at the season six finale. He is different and I believe Fear The Walking Dead’s plot is setting him up to be the villain for this season. This has not happened on any of the three shows before. To see how this is being planned out caught my interest.

Strand has always been a character where he tries to make sense out of everything with his motives. Regardless of how good or bad they are, he is a great character.

The setting and the look of the episode is a nice shift. It is Fear The Walking Dead meets the Fallout video game series mixed with the film The Mist. I did thing it was strange that the horses were suddenly not affected by the radiation. But the shootout that happened was really good though!

Gus Halper as Will – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

Will makes his one and only appearance on “The Beacon” as Strand kills him by the end of the episode. Sorry, we hardly knew you Will. But it makes me wonder what will happen when Alicia will reappear this season since she was nowhere to be found when they looked for her.

Overall, I really like this episode. If I can summarize “The Beacon” I would say that this is comparable to the season six premiere except we are following a character that could be a villain.

Let’s hope that we see a good showdown between Strand and Morgan!

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 8 “For Blood” Review

Ritchie Coster as Pope, Lynn Collins as Leah – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

You would think that The Walking Dead would stop repeating their mistakes over and over again. But that is not the case with tonight’s mess of an episode titled “For Blood.”

That is because the tired gimmick of a “cut to black” cliffhanger was used again here! It comes off as the writers not knowing how to finish the first half of the final season. Sure, there may be some context to why the abrupt ending happened like this on the production side. But for the casual viewer that watched this show for years, it is enough.

Did The Walking Dead learn from past cliffhangers not to do this again? In fact, most of this season’s episodes ended in a cliffhanger that did not move the plot forward at all. If I had to sum up the first half of the final season of this world renowned series, I would say that Maggie and her friends went on an RPG video game-esque side quest to get food. That is the general summary.

On to the episode itself, the only scene I actually liked was the opening minutes. Negan and Maggie killing those reapers in the style of The Whisperers is badass. There are also some parts in Alexandria that I do like too. From Rosita killing those walkers, to the storm, there is some good stuff. But then, my brain turned on.

Cailey Fleming as Judith, Annabelle Holloway as Gracie – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

How could the storm happen in Alexandria but not yet to where The Reapers are? Both scenes are at night so I do not know the explanation at all. And as good as Rosita killed those walkers, the way she knocked the door was too casual for someone who is desperately trying to get back in the house. It took me out of the moment. However, the shot of her once the door opened is really cool.

Then we are back with The Reapers. A field of landmines and firecracker arrows along with Pope’s anticlimactic death just fueled the laughter in me. Pope talked all the game about how much of a leader he is with his religious ideologies and military background. All of that for him to be killed from Leah like that. And now I am supposed to believe Leah is a threat? Pass! Maybe Leah realized that she was with the wrong family. But she talked a big game about family before she even killed Pope. Tell me what is making sense anymore please!

I do not mean to crap on this mid season finale of The Walking Dead, But I believe it deserved this criticism. Everything with The Reapers has been wasted potential and I do not care to see them again. It is the final season and we got the same formula again when it is time for the 8th episode. And how will they even open the next episode? It does not matter now because AMC premiered their 11B promo this week ahead of the cable airing of “For Blood.” When the The Walking Dead returns in 2022, please continue everything with The Commonwealth because that has been more interesting (Along with the Connie’s Horror House) this entire season so far. An unsatisfying mid season finale cliffhanger that can be outclassed by a local high school theater play is my lasting memory of The Walking Dead for the rest of 2021.

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 7 “Promises Broken” Review

Teo Rapp-Olsson as Sebastian – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead just debuted one of the most hated characters in the comic book series. That is, Sebastian.

If you are not aware of who Sebastian is, he is Pamela Milton’s son. Sebastian killed Rick Grimes on issue #192 of The Walking Dead. Now that he is on the main show, the question that will be drawn out for another year is who will take comic book Rick Grimes’ death!

The actor Teo Rapp-Olsson does a great job of bringing the spoiled kid to life on The Walking Dead. From his scenes with Eugene, to the scene with Mercer and Lance, I am sold on Teo Rapp Olsson playing this character. Now on to the episode itself!

Michael James Shaw as Mercer, Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

There were some good things that I did like on “Promises Broken.” The Maggie and Negan saga that has been ongoing this whole season, finally reached a point where I am glad that these two had a conversation. Negan admitted that he would have killed the entire group when they first met was cold! Not as cold as to why he told Maggie this in-front of her face. The point for this scene, is that these two needed to talk no matter if they liked it or not.

Another thing I did like is that Negan learned something from The Whisperers as he taught Maggie how to herd walkers. I got a laugh out of Maggie wearing a Whisperer mask. Believe me! I did felt that it was random for Elijah to finds his sister as a walker at the end of the episode. That is just me.

Everything with Daryl and Leah I did not care about. The Walking Dead is seriously forcing these two to have scenes together to build a lost bond. But it does nothing for me. But at least they found some survivors. The survivor’s wife went out in a horrible and sad fashion.

I will also have to say that Yumiko’s character progression is a bright point for this first half of the final season. It will take some time for her to get used to the old ways before the apocalypse hit. Yumiko is going to be a central figure in The Commonwealth. And she even saw the real Stephanie! And I can say that I am happy that Ezekiel is feeling much better! Next week is the last episode of The Walking Dead of 2021!

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Movie Review: The Many Saints of Newark

As a huge Sopranos fan, I was disappointed by the movie. What made The Sopranos so great was the organic character development where you’d see beefs and alliances develop between characters over the entire season, snappy dialogue, and motifs/devices that injected a touch of the supernatural/fantastic (think Chrissy’s crow, the ghouls following Paulie around, Tony’s many dreams) while also helping to explore the complex psyche of Tony Soprano.

The Many Saints of Newark is not that. In many ways, it feels like a parody of the show – many have already commented about the cartoonish characterization of the young Silvio (his first appearance in the film is cringeworthy, and borders on parody on the level of an SNL skit), Paulie, Pussy, and Junior (how many times does Junior say “Your sister’s ****”?) which often feel jarring in the moment.

I felt as if I was brought to a Sopranos themed amusement park, where the main attraction and draw is seeing the characters in their youth, played by actors whose main performance notes seem to be exaggerations of whatever mannerisms the characters had on the original TV series. This experience might be delightful to some – personally, it was charming for a second before it descended into camp.

The plot is largely unremarkable – there’s a lot of screen time given to Giuseppina, who mainly exists to be a Helene of Troy-type deal for the male protagonists despite all of her talk of wanting to be an independent woman; there is a half-assed, exposition-heavy exploration of how African Americans fit into the organized crime scene, and a few scenes depicting the 1967 Newark Riots that felt very much like the film was reaching to strike a historical note, in the same way Godfather 2 did with the Cuban Revolution.

The difference between MSoN and Godfather 2 (and the problem with MSoN) is that Many Saints of Newark seems to never be sure of what it wants to be – it perpetually seems to be stuck between the three modes of pandering shamelessly to fans of the franchise (like the Star Wars sequels), making a statement/paint a scene of the racial tensions in Newark in the 1960’s, and exploring the character of Dickie Moltisanti, the movie’s eponymic protagonist.

With no clear direction and emphasis on the second and third desires, the movie ultimately ends up as little more than a trip to Sopranos-land, and the end credit score feels like another grab at the fanboys more than anything else.

There is something to be said about how Many Saints of Newark was marketed – as a movie focusing on Tony Soprano’s young self. Like many other fans of the show, I expected many scenes form Tony’s youth alluded to in the TV show – the jacking of Feech’s card game, Tony’s brush with his football coach, an exploration of his relationship with Young Carmella. We see none (or very little) of that in the movie, and I couldn’t help but feel taken advantage of.

Overall, the only “prequel” for the Sopranos are still Scorsese’s mob hits like “Goodfellas” or “Casino” for me – especially “Goodfellas,” for its influence on The Sopranos, not to mention the number of casting overlaps between the two. For a fan, I think Many Saints of Newark is still worth a watch – but if asked if the movie stands alone by itself, I would have to respectfully disagree.

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 6 “On The Inside” Review

Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Kevin Carroll as Virgil – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

The Walking Dead just delivered one of the most scary episodes of all time!

That is right! A mini psychological horror film graces our screens with “On The Inside”. Lauren Ridloff and Kevin Carroll did an outstanding performance on bringing the tone of a horror movie to this episode. This ranged from how they acted, to the exchange of communication between the two characters, and the clever use of the sound design.

The Walking Dead is usually great with their sound. But here, it is on another level because there were multiple times that they switched to Connie’s perspective on how she is dealing with the creepy house they were in. I was also caught off guard by the well-timed jump scares.

If you were to tell me that there would be humans that would act like they came out of that film The Ring in a zombie apocalypse, I would have thought the idea would be crazy. They were used in such an amazing way on The Walking Dead! Too bad that there was no story to why they became like that, but maybe that could open the door for this on a future Tales of The Walking Dead episode.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Glenn Stanton as Frost – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

There were also subplots that involved Daryl being part of an interrogation sequence to prove his loyalty with The Reapers while also helping them search for Maggie, Negan, Gabriel, and Elijah. Though these short adventures move the plot along, I remain uninterested in The Reapers. All of them just have “get off my TV” heat with me!

Kelly’s search for Connie has also been a long one since early in the previous season of The Walking Dead. I can say that I am glad that they resolved this at the end of this episode. The trail of clues that Connie left for Kelly to follow throughout the episode helped Kelly find her. It was smart for Connie to do this as she knew that they would find her.

“On The Inside” is a great example of The Walking Dead being a television show in the horror genre. It is easily now in my top 10 favorite episodes and on e of the most memorable in the series. I give it my high praise as an awesome episode!

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Returns With a Confusing and yet Enjoyable Second Season

Alexa Mansour as Hope – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Steve Swisher/AMC

The Walking Dead World Beyond’s first season concluded with a cliffhanger that will be explored on the second season. The reception of the first season has been mixed. I, for one can agree with the reception as I felt like it was a chore at times to get through the first season with the exception of the last half of the first season.

With all of that aside, I got a chance to watch the first two episodes of the second season. Here are my non-spoiler thoughts broken down by each episode.

Episode one titled Konsekans, follows up with the end of the very first episode of the series in a massive way. Although I cannot say what happens at the moment, but there are missing items from the first season about CRM that are addressed right away. The thing here is, why was this moment not shown on the first season of World Beyond? Elizabeth is also heavily featured on the first episode as well as she wants Hope to work with CRM.

My take on some of the dialogue exchanged between Elizabeth and Huck is that the two actresses do not have good chemistry on screen together. But I am sure that it will get better more episodes into the second season of World Beyond. Speaking of following up, Will told Felix and Hope the story of what happened to him prior to the season one finale of World Beyond. It is an interesting story. However, I wished it could have been fleshed out more for me to care about the character.

There are things that do get a bit confusing with one of the character’s hallucination sequences. Get ready because it is there for the majority of the second half of this episode. The end of this sequence is satisfying though. It is just how it begins and what happens in between is what boggles my mind.

Iris became my favorite character on this episode. Especially towards the end when she does something major. In the universe of The Walking Dead, we are used to seeing adults and kids doing this whether if they are in a community, or not. Here on World Beyond, it strikes different because everyone never left their community before to deal with doing what needs to be done at that moment. It is a good scene!

Nicolas Cantu as Elton – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 2, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Steve Swisher/AMC

If you take out the hallucination scenes and watch this episode of World Beyond, it is enjoyable. The second episode titled Foothold is better than the first episode. There are a large number of things I cannot spoil, but you will learn more about CRM on this episode than the entire first season of The Walking Dead World Beyond.

I can also say that the plot is moving very fast this time just on these first two episodes alone that is keeping me engaged to learn more. There is also dialogue that is still suited for a high school play. But not overbearing like the first season. Overall, this season starts off stronger than the last even though parts are hard to follow.

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 5 “Out of the Ashes” Review

Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Ladies and Gentlemen, “Out of the Ashes” is the best episode of the first half of the final season. The Walking Dead proves time and time again why it is the show to watch on Sunday nights and this episode is one of them.

Whenever Ross Marquand’s character Aaron is the central character on an episode, he knocks it out the park. From the nightmare sequence that brought back past villains such as The Wolves, The Saviors, and The Whisperers, to him waking up back to reality, Aaron is dealing with the pressure of being the man in charge of Alexandria missions. One of them, is for them to make sure the walls are up. And another sets them off to a trip to The Hilltop.

The reason for this trip is to see what tools are left over there to use due to the attack of The Whisperers. Aaron and the rest that are with him such as Lydia, Carol, and Jerry, realize that the last remaining members of The Whisperers are hoarding walkers around. It is here that Aaron goes to a zone we have not seen him in before.

Desperate for answers, Aaron interrogates the one Whisperer and I got a quick laugh out of it when he asked for his name while also reiterating to him “No Alpha or Beta ****.” The interrogation did go too far as Carol pointed out and they did stop until he revealed the location of where Connie is. I found these scenes very engaging and well acted!

Speaking of Acting, Cailey Fleming made me feel for her as Judith misses Michonne very much. The bullying of her by those kids in the episode and the nearly destruction of her last memory of Carl Grimes made me even more sad for her. However, Judith stood her ground and showed those kids why she should not be messed with. In addition, it’s great to see her train the next generation!

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Margot Bingham as Max – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Over at The Commonwealth, Yumiko finally meets her brother for the first time in over a decade, Princess and Ezekiel tried to help Eugene as he wanted to use the radio to contact Alexandria. He did, but he paid a price for it by getting arrested at The Commonwealth. Even though Lance let them free, they will have to pay for it. And do you think it is crazy that The Commonwealth uses money as currency?

I also wonder when the real Stephanie is going to introduce herself to Eugene. We saw her at the ice cream truck for a quick second as he was still with the decoy Stephanie. The reveal must happen soon! Maggie and Negan did not escape my mind. As for their ongoing feud, I think it’s safe to say that it has me siding with Negan on Maggie’s current status. It is important to understand that I am referring to Maggie’s reckless decisions at the moment, not to what Negan did to Glenn. Maggie was right about one thing, though. It is to wait until other people arrive. And Gabriel and Elijah did come later that day.

This episode of The Walking Dead saw the plot advance for the first time since the first episode of this season. The Walking Dead’s final season has a great bright spot in “Out of the Ashes,” after an awful episode last week. Every episode of this franchise should feature great acting, fast-paced action, and an engaging story. And all of that is cramed into this week’s episode! Also, that 90’s themed introduction to The Commonwealth reminded me of Wandavision for a moment! I cannot wait for next week’s episode!

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 4 “Rendition” Review

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Do you eat the same steak at the same restaurant each and every time? Do you have intercourse with your significant other without romance or without spicing it up at times? Or do you like the taste of chicken without any seasoning? If your answer is yes, then this episode of The Walking Dead titled “Rendition” is for you.

I can personally say that I did not like this episode. This is mainly because it has been wash, rinse, and repeat whenever Daryl Dixon encounters a new villain. In fact, I can use the same analogy of how the filler bad guys of this show are introduced. Did we need to see Daryl in this situation again? No.

There are some things I did like in “Rendition” though. The opening minutes had action and the dialogue exchange between Pope and Leah. But this Pope character played by Ritchie Coster, does not interest me at all. Am I supposed to care or take this guy seriously after he killed one of his own men due to what happened on the last episode? No because we already seen this happened in the past. The only positive I can give to the character, is the upcoming comparisons to Breaking Bad’s Walter White in the looks department. Congrats AMC, the Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead crossover finally happened.

Alex Moraz as Brandon Carver, Robert Hayes as Paul Wells, Brandon Box as Fisher, Ritchie Coster as Pope, Michael Shenefelt as Bossie- The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

And let’s bring up The Reapers. Three episodes in, I am hooked. The moment we got their backstory on this episode is the key indicator of the intimidation factor falling to zero. Honestly, this group is more suited for Fear The Walking Dead than the main show. This group is just filler.

I will also praise the stunt work on that fire scene. But as a viewer, I did not believe a single second that either Daryl and Leah will be killed in that small cabin because there is a Daryl and Carol spinoff happening. No matter how many times Daryl or Carol will be in danger during this season, I cannot suspend my disbelief at all.

This episode would have been more interesting if another character was in Daryl’s shoes in that situation. Maybe Gabriel could have been the one captured. He and Pope would have some great dialogue about their ideologies on religion and the current state of the world. Even have Gabriel talk with Leah too and Then somewhere later in the first half, Daryl and Leah reunite. This reunion did not need to happen this early. This is one episode I will not go back to unless it is for research purposes.

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The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 3 “Hunted” Review

If “Hunted” was a glorified bottle episode, I would have not liked it. But The Walking Dead pulled off a great episode.

The opening sequence is one of the most insane intros The Walking Dead has had since “Walk With Us” in the sense of the nonstop action. Goodbye Cole as we learned nothing important about you.

I wish the opening credits had continued because the abrupt cut away immediately took away the energy of the first three minutes. Where were those badass looking members of The Reapers that we saw at the end of the previous episode? Because they were nowhere to be found on this episode.

The Walking Dead is clearly preparing for the confrontation between Negan and Maggie, which may end with one of them dying. In spite of liking the performance between Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan when it came to building the tension for Maggie to make another difficult decision, I am growing impatient with both of them.

The two of them should not have to work together all the time, and I do not expect them to resolve their issues early on. The ending scene also deserves some kudos, as I felt like I was watching The Last of Us with the way the church and cross were shot.

No matter what Maggie said to Negan, Negan made it clear that her opinions did not matter at that moment as she needed to face reality to make a decision for Alden’s current state.

One of the best parts of “Hunted” are the scenes between Carol, Magna, Kelly, and Rosita. We have not seen someone on The Walking Dead trying to capture a horse in a really long time. The scenario here with the four appealed to me. In addition to discussing lingering issues from the previous season, the characters were also talking about them during this short mission. Carol’s decision to kill one of the horses, however, is controversial. On one hand, the residents need food. Additionally, the residents need horses. I am sure that this will be up for a discussion among The Walking Dead fandom.

As with many episodes of The Walking Dead, “Hunted” starts with a great action scene followed by a great character development across the board. Nothing felt out of place to me as I really enjoyed it! And I think I want to see more from the younger kids playing cards! And this week’s winner of the line of the episode goes to Gabriel!

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