TV Review – The Walking Dead: ‘Chokepoint’March 11, 2019
While season nine has been good, even great on occasion, we have reached a point in the back half where episode padding and bloated, unwanted storylines are raising their ugly heads. Thankfully, ‘Chokepoint’ is a much better episode, thanks in large part to Beta (Ryan Hurst) and Daryl, who continues to cement himself as the CCOTY (Comeback Character Of The Year), thanks in large part to the writers actually giving him something to do.
After Daryl and Connie rescued Henry and Lydia from the Whisperer’s camp, they take refuge in a building, the idea being the dead can’t get up to the top floors and so they’ll be able to pick off the Whisperers. Ok, interesting idea, although I don’t know why they didn’t keep moving until they found friends at one of their better-defended camps. The Whisperers are coming, no matter where they run, so you might as well put yourself in the best spot possible to defend yourself. Be that as it may, the building did provide the setting for one of the best, if not the best, fight scenes this show has ever seen, as Daryl and Beta go toe-to-toe.
Beta is scary as hell, huge and intimidating while Daryl is no fool when it comes to hand to hand combat. Fists, knives, hell, whatever was around were used as these two locked horns. Thankfully, it looks like we could see these two go at it again as there was no one was killed and Beta is now really pissed off. Ryan Hurst was a great casting choice who looks and feels menacing whenever he is on screen. He and Alpha make a great team in terms of villains so I’m hoping for more great things from them moving forward.
Let’s forget for a moment about the romance the show is pushing, at lightning speed I may add, between Lydia and Henry. Teenage puppy love aside, it is too rushed and well, Henry is still annoying…because he’s alive. Killing him off would be great but I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I don’t know what’s worse, these two or the love triangle/square between Rosita/Siddiq/Gabriel/Eugene but they are both annoying as hell. If you want to talk real romance, let’s talk about the possibilities of Connie and Daryl hooking up. They make a great pair and Daryl needs someone to keep him grounded and in the fight.
Speaking of good romances, King Ezekiel and his Queen Carol run into some issues with a group that calls themselves The Highwaymen. It seems they are setting up shop as bandits around The Kingdom as they won’t let anyone get past them without payment. Ezekiel, Carol, and some others go to see if diplomacy could prevail and after some tense moments, they manage to come to an understanding, thanks to Carol’s great question that seals the deal. It was a wonderful moment, something that makes everyone realize how much they miss the little things from the old world.
The biggest downfall of the episode involved Tara’s group and the fallen log/tree in the road. There are enough people there to simply lift and remove the log but instead they break out axes and start chopping at it, making the task take so much longer and creating a lot of noise. Making characters do stupid things is still something The Walking Dead needs to work on and this was one of those times. I don’t know if this is what attracted the walkers but they did arrive, which did bring some interesting action.
Small stupid things aside, this was a solid episode. Beta is a great bad guy, Daryl continues to impress and we moved one step closer to the chaos that will happen at this fair. Let’s hope the remaining few episodes are as good as this and not just filler.
Four stars out of five.