After a two-week wait, Young Rock returns this week for a brand new episode.
“Check Your Head” is centered on Dwayne Johnson’s college football time period in the early 1990’s. If you remember, he played football in the University of Florida and while things were looking up for Dwyane, things came crashing down quickly. That is because he suffered a shoulder injury that prevented him from playing for the rest of the season. This was devastating news to his mom since she is still coping with Dwayne Johnson not being at home anymore.
But it was great to see Dwayne starting to give back to his parents when he bought them a television. It shows that Dwayne kept his word since he was younger that he would give back to his parents. The injure really affected Dwayne’s self esteem as he stop attending team meetings and his classes. I can sympathize with him because a lack of motivation kills everything that you are passionate for and it can affect everyone in your circle.
Dwayne Johnson’s depression was also picked up by Rocky Johnson as he noticed it while they had the conversation about it in the gym.Rocky Johnson assured Dwayne to not give up because he never gave up no matter what anyone said about him during his wrestling career.
There are also a few things I enjoyed about “Check Your Head” that I want to point out. One of Dwayne Johnson’s iconic photos is the fanny pack photo. His look early on in the episode is based on that photo and he also went to the club with that look. I also like the cameo of his coach at the end of this episode during the interview. A decent and fun episode!
Whenever Aaron is paired with someone for a duration of an episode of The Walking Dead, expect it to be good. In the past, Aaron has had episodes with Daryl Dixon, Rick Grimes, and even Negan. An Aaron and Gabriel pairing is something that I did not know that I wanted until now.
This week’s episode titled “One More” takes us on a journey of what Aaron and Gabriel has been up to after the aftermath of The Whisperer War. Their adventure lead up to a life or death situation by an individual named Mays (Portrayed by Robert Patrick). I have to say that the casting of Mays for this one episode is brilliant. Robert Patrick made a believer out of me when he appeared on screen. His presence, attitude, and acting really stood out to me from when he encountered Gabriel, to his sudden death by Gabriel.
I will admit that I was really bummed to see Mays killed off on The Walking Dead. But his death lead to a dark discovery that I was not anticipating. It is one thing to tell a story about how your brother died to anyone. But it is different when you find out that the brother is actually handcuffed and locked away in the roof.
The depressing scene when his brother committed suicide after Aaron and Gabriel let him loose shows how bad a mental state can go when you are isolated for years at the end of the world. It made me wonder how and why did Mays did this to his brother. A memorable performance by Robert Patrick!
I also did like Gabriel and Aaron’s interactions. Most of the conversations were focused on the both of them recounting who they were at the early years of the apocalypse and what gave them less motivation to continue what they were doing. Gabriel took the most of this as he did not want to preach anymore. But Gabriel sure did when he and Aaron were faced with the Russian Roulette game.
Small detail that I noticed is when the roulette game happened, the cards Aaron and Gabriel used to play were still on the table. To me, that signified that the game they are playing now is real and not for fun over the fun game of cards they played the night before. Also, anyone caught that whisky bottle that had Duane Jones’ picture on the front?
The other easter egg my eyes caught on too involved Gabriel. The water tower that he mentioned, and the walker that Aaron killed that landed on the machete in which its guts fell on Gabriel is a nod to his comic book death by Beta at the start of The Whisperer War.
It is too early for me to rank all of the extra The Walking Dead episodes, but “One More” is the best of the three so far. “One More” is an episode that is close to the classic episodes of The Walking Dead from the earlier seasons that I appreciate! A hidden gem of the 10th season.
This episode of The Walking Dead titled “Find Me” tells the story of what Daryl was doing for those five years while he was looking for any clues about Rick Grimes. I must say this. The opening between Daryl, Carol, and Dog is one of the best openings to any Walking Dead episodes I have seen within the last few years since “A New Beginning.” I thought it was charming, light-hearted, and warm to see them all in a care free spirit. Any fan of The Walking Dead will love that scene.
But the nice mood stops here as Daryl is faced with the conflicting past once they go to the cabin. We learn here that Daryl lived with a woman named Leah a few years ago. It is told in flashbacks during the episode that spans five years. At first, Daryl is by himself doing anything that he can to search for Rick. Daryl goes through a lot as he tries to survive even during the worst of the weather that destroyed his map that got him really angry.
Dog is also in these flashbacks and the original owner of Dog is Leah. In fact, Leah is the one that gave Dog the name “Dog” and I thought that Daryl was the one who named him. Leah’s backstory is that she was part of a group with her sister and her sister’s son. After she lost her sister, she adopted her son. And she eventually lost her son due to a walker bite and had him buried behind the cabin.
I think that Leah was just thrown in for the sake of expanding Daryl’s five year journey. When they first met, she was about to kill him. And in due time, it becomes a will they/won’t they situation to be together. Daryl told Carol that he told her about Leah a while back, but Carol did not know the full story until now. This did upset Carol as she found more pieces to the puzzle such as a note Daryl left for Leah, and some of her belongings that she found. More on that in a few paragraphs.
I think that Lynn Collins did a great job portraying Leah. But I am not too invested with the new character yet. It is also implied that Leah had sex with Daryl and that their bond grew closer towards the end of “Find Me.” But unfortunately, Leah gives Daryl the ultimatum to be with her or not. She decided to not wait as she left Daryl. But it was not all about Leah and Daryl in these flashbacks as Daryl and Carol also meet up several times during that time. Carol was still with Ezekiel, and Henry was still alive during this time. She updates Daryl about Michonne, and what is going on with the communities.
After all the flashbacks, things take a turn for the worst between Daryl and Carol. Daryl finally told Carol off about her reckless behavior while Carol told Daryl off about him trying to be a hero all the time. This was raw and emotional as real life couples or best friends argue like this from time to time. You can feel it when it comes out of their mouths and it is one of the most heartbreaking conversations in the history of The Walking Dead. Norman Reedus really pulled it off here. But at the same time, I feel that there was an unbalance during the argument as I wished that Carol would have had an equal amount of words to fire back at Daryl. Put it like this, Daryl had more time to let his frustrations out while Carol had little time to do the same.
I really see the point across of Daryl finally letting his anger and frustrations out on Carol. That is because they have not talked about the backlog of issues ever since the cave incident. But I really wish that there was some balance in between the argument for the viewers to see both side of the point of view because Carol also needed to drop some truth to Daryl at the same level that he did. But overall, it is a great acted scene!
Personally, I liked “Find Me” more than “Home Sweet Home” because the story on “Find Me” felt like it advanced the character development over “Home Sweet Home” as that episode was an episode to set up the mood for the next season. Also, I find it more believable now that Daryl stayed in that cabin for years over him being in that tent back in season 9 after the time skip. At that time, it was believed that he was there the whole time. These two episodes are really solid and I am looking forward to the next round of episodes.
This week’s “Young Rock” sees the debut of more big names in the wrestling universe. More specifically, Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and King Kong Bundy. There is more to unpack on this episode “Forward Together” than the debuts however.
The central story is Rocky Johnson seeking out for an action figure deal after he sees that Andre The Giant got a prototype of his figure. This all happens while he and Young Rock were planning the next autograph session. Towards the end of the session, a toy developer comes to Rocky’s table to pitch to him that he can make Rocky Johnson figures. You can tell that this person is shady due to his cowboy boots being the same color as UWF promoter Herb Abrams.
Now to Vince McMahon. Mark Taylor plays as Vince McMahon. It took me a few minutes to not think of the Vince McMahon character that I seen on television for years and to see this version of McMahon on a business side. While I did not sense or see the mannerisms and voice of Vince that Mark Taylor acted, He did good on the way Vince McMahon was in the early 1980’s when he was a boss than a character.
Kevin Makely as Macho Man did not work for me. He looked, talked, and acted like a cosplayer than me suspending my disbelief to believe that he could be Macho Man at that time period. Macho Man was a force to be reckoned with even outside of the ring.
Kevin Makely did not bring that larger than life persona of the WWE legend on the screen. I was really looking forward to seeing him as Macho Man. But it turned out to be the Nacho Man.
There are also great subplots on this episode of “Young Rock” that I did also like. Ata watching home movies with Sika and Lia. The barbecue where they all discussed the battle royal plans and discovering why King Kong Bundy and Junkyard Dog backed out the match. And Young Rock asking for an alcoholic beverage before Ata and Rocky joking with him that he cannot have it are bright spots.
The end of this episode is an ad for his presidential campaign and this was an odd choice to end an episode. Other than a few hiccups, I enjoyed it!
The Walking Dead has finally found the actor to play as the head of security at The Commonwealth Mercer. That person that will be Mercer is Michael James Shaw.
Michael James Shaw is best known for his roles as FBI Agent Daryl in Limitless, and Aiden Shaw on Blood & Treasure. Most recently, Michael James Shaw appeared on the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame as Black Order member Corvus Glaive.
Mercer first appeared on The Walking Dead comic book series back in 2018 on issue #177. He is also on the cover of that issue and it is also an introduction to the character. From issue #177-#193, Mercer attempts an uprising against Pamela and The Commonwealth due to how things are operated over there. Mercer also has a number of verbal conflicts with Pamela’s son Sebastian during the time as well.
Mercer’s attempted uprising was stopped by Rick Grimes as Rick did not want a war against The Commonwealth. Outside of the uprising, Mercer develops a close relationship with The Princess and they eventually become a couple. On the last issue which was #193, Mercer and Princess are still together over 25 years later and they both have a dog that they both love.
It will be quite interesting to see how the television version of Mercer will be similar or different than his comic book counterpart. But I know for sure that fans of The Walking Dead are ready to see Mercer and The Princess team up to take down walkers!
Are you excited to see Michael James Shaw as Mercer? Or do you think someone else should have been Mercer?