If anything, the writers for The Walking Dead want the viewers to know that yes, there is hope. Hope is wonderful and can be the catalyst for many great things however, I just wish they didn’t feel the need to hit us over the head with it time and time again. Yes, we all understand what’s going on, what’s at stake and how swell it is to have the gang back together, (more or less) but too many speeches and marches of solidarity if you will left me feeling impatient and just wanting the show to get on with it.
It was great to see the old Rick back in the saddle again, leaving the confused and bewildered one behind. I swear, two or three times a season this show re-invents Rick in some way, shape or form to better suit where the story is going. This is not a bad thing as when he is the ‘Rickinator’ he is one hell of a force of nature but seriously, this guy would be a psychiatrists wet dream. I guess a zombie apocalypse will have that effect on you.
The newly re-united friends visit the Kingdom in hopes of getting King Ezekiel to sign off on letting his people join the uprising against the Saviors. I will admit, I love seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they walk into his ‘court’ and see both Ezekiel on the throne and his pet tiger by his side. The reunion with Morgan was cool and collected, as was the discussion about Carol. Morgan takes the news of the deaths in the group at the hands of the Saviors in stride, standing by his ideas that they should always look for a peaceful solution first, something that continues to influence story lines in the show in many different ways.
I understand the need to catch people up on what’s been happening and why they all need to get together to fight the Saviors. Cowards like Gregory, who at least has been consistent as the sniveling snit of a ‘leader’ of Hilltop, need to be removed to get people prepared for war. However, there are too many times in this episode where the writers feel the need to bombard us with that fact, as if we don’t it already. Getting the communities of Alexandria, Hilltop and The Kingdom together is going to take some work but please, let’s just get to it and leave the speeches and exposition behind, ok?
One of the great moments of the episode had to be with the explosives and the zombie horde. This is when The Walking Dead shows off its strengths, building tension and then finishing it off with a great action sequence. Who would have thought two cars and some wire could do so much damage? It goes to show you that during a zombie apocalypse it’s sometimes good not to overthink things when it comes to actually killing zombies.
In the past, mid-season premieres have been a big deal for The Walking Dead but this year it was almost like watching the show take a deep breath, tell everyone over and over about how there is still hope as it prepares to get real messy in a war that will most likely take out a few more cast members. While not the best of episodes, especially to kick off the second half of the season, it did serve its purpose. Now, let’s stop talking about Abraham and Glen, about how hope is so great and go kick some Saviors ass. Oh yes, and the zombies. They are kind of important, aren’t they?
Three stars out of five
- Always good to see most of the gang together again
- Great action sequence with cars, wire and zombies
- Good to see the old Rick back in the saddle
- Hope is great but don't drown the fans in it. Please.
- Too many speeches, some of which were almost laughable