Hook, Line, and Sinker
After crossing the halfway point last week, many fans were worried that The Walking Dead would answer fan questions and venture into new territory. Luckily, this episode didn’t do anything of the sort and kept story right where it was.
Wait…that’s not what you wanted? Oh, no…
This episode was essentially a recap episode with an emotional coat of paint. The story didn’t progress in any substantial way and characters continued to discuss their feelings about the last 24 hours. Now I’m not completely emotionless…I understand that discussing a trauma right after it happens would be the best thing for these characters to do to heal and move on.
But the characters don’t actually do that. They just sort of…linger. They basically retell the events over and over again all while looking around the town and saying “Yeah, this sucks” to themselves. It was disappointing to see the characters just mill about for an hour. They dig graves, move bodies, and all-around wallow in self pity without actually discussing anything meaningful. The closest thing we got to an emotional first step was from the town nurse, but even that was a baby step.
That being said, there were a few good ideas buried within the episode. The confrontation at the pantry and names on the wall, specifically, spoke to the overwhelming pessimism in the community. Despite Rick’s assurances, everyone believes Glenn and the others to be dead. In the same vein, Maggie scrubbing Glenn’s name off the wall filled us with a little bit of hope that he might still be alive after all (somehow).
I’ve mentioned previously how Glenn’s death is a Catch-22 for the show. Bring him back and lose integrity, or keep him dead and have the character end on an unceremonious note. A character death should be a truly unique and emotional moment, but if we question it, as we do with this one, then it loses all purpose. It’s classic “Boy who Cried Wolf,” except with zombies. With our doubts about whether or not Glenn is dead, Maggie’s wall-scrubbing lacks all dramatic irony or emotional weight. We’re not optimistic or devastated, we’re just confused. You could argue that that’s the whole reason behind handling it this way; we lack the same answers that Maggie does. That’s a risky move, though, and everything really needs to fall into place to make a “through their eyes” plot device work. And it doesn’t work here.
The episode ultimately didn’t earn it’s runtime. The content of the show was watered down a bit too much, all in the name of stretching out the story and keeping us on the hook for another week. I like cliffhangers, don’t get me wrong, but right now this show is transparent about each one. It’s clear exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it. They want to stretch this thing out as long as they can.
What’s the rush? There are still three more episodes to go…
Alex Russo likes to talk about television. You can read more of his insane ramblings on Twitter.