The Walking Dead Review: Some Things Change, Some Do Not in “Who Are You Now?”November 13, 2018
*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD*
After last week’s episode, I think everyone on the planet who watches The Walking Dead knew there was going to be a bit of a letdown. I mean, Andrew Lincoln’s departure from the show is not something that you can just bounce back from. That being said, “Who Are You Now?” did an admirable job of setting up where they are now and what is going to come next, even though there were a few things that either still nagged at me from last week or annoyed me outright this week.
Another time jump has occurred, this time moving about six years into the future. Many things are as we left them, although people have gotten older, wiser or a bit bitterer with age. I do find it hard to believe that The Kingdom and Alexandria are still in one piece, given how there is always some chaos surrounding these safe havens. However, something has happened at Hilltop, not sure what yet, which might explain why Maggie is no longer around. (It would have been nice if they let us know last week that she wasn’t coming back this year)
We are introduced to some new characters, the ones we viewed briefly at the end of last week’s episode, and they seem interesting. I enjoyed the council at Alexandria, the one that listened to and questioned the hopeful new additions. It was a great way to get a bit of background and show very quickly how much Alexandria and those residing there had changed in tactics but not really changed much as people. Michonne is angry and understandably so, as security is her baby. But the grief and anger she still has is something worth noting, something that could turn ugly down the line.
Carol is looking mighty old, with her long hair almost completely white. However, we are quickly reminded that she is far from feeble and still has that cold, calculated streak in her, as demonstrated by how she dealt with the reappearance of our old Savior friend, Jed. Jed was always an ass hat and I’m glad they chose to deal with his character the way they did. Season nine is marching along quite nicely, there is no need to go back an revisit crappy storylines as a reminder of just how poor the last couple of seasons really was.
With this time jump, it is hard to gauge not only the unknown plot arcs but how the characters have changed as well. Cue the spotlight on Negan, who looks a helluva lot better than he did last time, both in appearance and demeanor. Nice haircut, smiling, cool conversation with Judith, and still behind bars. Again, with six years passing it’s hard to get a grip on a character but this is not what I expected, not at all. Let’s hope that’s a good thing. At least he’s not as annoying as Henry, who as a character just seems to be there to cause trouble due to his idiotic behavior or impulses.
The last scene of the episode gives us our first real look at the next threat, that being The Whisperers. For those of you who have read the comics this won’t be a big surprise but to everyone else well, you are going to enjoy this bunch. They are not your average threat or something we’ve seen before so I have high hopes for them as they enter the TV universe of The Walking Dead.
“Who Are You Now?” was always going to be a tough sell after last week but it wasn’t a bad episode at all. The story moved forward, we met some new characters, met the newest threat and Daryl is living in the bush and still not bathing. All in all, I’d say that’s not a bad way to launch the post-Rick Grimes era of The Walking Dead.
Three and a half stars out of five