TV Review: The Walking Dead Returns with a Solid But Unspectacular Premiere in ‘The Lines We Cross’October 7, 2019
*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD*
While The Walking Dead may never return from its glory days many seasons ago, showrunner Angela Kang has breathed some much-needed life into the show, starting with last season and now with the season premiere The Lines We Cross.
The episode begins with a very cool training exercise at the beach, using zombies as practice targets for different combat scenarios. It seems that the ceasefire with The Whisperers is not something people are expecting to last forever so in the meantime, they are preparing for the worst. It is a strange sight, this medieval/western/current day combo of strategies but it seems to work and what’s more, is a fun way to open the show.
We watch the episode unfold through the eyes of different groups, specifically centered on a satellite crashing in the forest. It’s an interesting way to open the season, not groundbreaking in any way, but allows all the groups to then converge on the satellite crash site and the forest fire it created to help put it out. This sets up crossing into Whisperer’s territory and fighting off the zombie hoard that is attracted to the chaos.
The fight with the zombies is quite a treat, actually. What starts out as a minor skirmish turns into something much more, with many zombies, smoke and fire making the situation tenser by the minute. This is something the show has done much better with King as the new showrunner, making situations more suspenseful and outcomes more in question. The fact that it was the threat of a fire going out of control, and not the satellite crashing down, that made the threat seem so real is a credit to careful planning and good writing.
There are still some strange things going on that need to be addressed, though. The complicated and weird love quadrangle going on between Rosa, Gabriel, Siddiq and Eugene is still a storyline, but I still can’t figure out why. The dynamic doesn’t work, the characters don’t have the greatest chemistry together, making the whole thing awkward and sometimes painful to watch. Also, does anyone have a clue about what they are going to do with Negan? This episode showed me the answer to that is no, and that needs to be rectified sooner than later. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is too talented to waste on what they have him doing right now.
Then there is Carol and Daryl. This episode demonstrated again, with an idea the characters were bouncing around, that there is more there that needs developing this season. Carol is badass and Daryl is no slouch himself (see the fight with Beta last season for proof) so these two need some kind of longer plot arc together. Might never happen but hey, I’ve said that about a few things on this show so we’ll see.
The episode was basically a recap of what’s what and who’s who and the end brought it all together with what is going to happen next. While it wasn’t that surprising, just like the episode itself it was a solid if not unspectacular way to start season ten.
Three and a half stars out of five