TV Review – The Walking Dead – ‘The Calm Before’

TV Review – The Walking Dead – ‘The Calm Before’

March 25, 2019 0 By Jeff Fountain

*SPOILERS AHEAD*
To say this was a pivotal episode would be an obvious understatement. In fact, this was one of the more brutal pre-finale episodes that The Walking Dead has ever done. It was obvious the way things were set up that people were going to die and I must say, the choices they made were very interesting. Alpha and The Whisperers retaliation for taking Lydia seemingly put an end to things in their eyes…but we all know this is not going to be the case.

The episode starts great as we watch a couple, who have survived together, celebrating many anniversaries together, finding Hilltop and safety. We watch them pack up and leave for the Kingdom and the fair but they don’t make it. They are ambushed and we watch Alpha singing and very carefully scalping the blond woman, a very creepy scene. This is significant because Alpha uses this disguise to infiltrate the Kingdom and investigate the fair, scouting out places (and as it turns out people) and even has a very weird conversation with King Ezekiel.

This is where, with obvious help, she captures people as part of her overall plan of revenge. What made this easier was a lot of the leaders/fighters had gone off to reinforce Hilltop, where they thought Alpha and the Whisperers would be headed. They were wrong. Even worse, they were led into a trap after splitting up (because splitting up continues to be such a great idea) Alpha then has a chat with Daryl, explaining the new borders they need to obey or face the consequences, part of that being the enormous zombie herd the Whisperers have somehow gathered, corralled and hidden from everyone. She sends him on his way, saying he and his captured friends are safe, and tells him he will understand what she’s talking about when they make their way back to the Kingdom.

This is where they find the pikes with the heads.

Here is the list of the dead, as they appeared on screen one by one:

1. Ozzy
2. Highwayman (the second-in-command)
3. DJ
4. Frankie
5. Tammy Rose
6. Addy
7. Rodney
8. Tara
9. Enid
10. Henry

In the end, only Tara, Enid and Henry could be considered main characters but it was still shocking to see so many go down at once. On the one hand, I like it, as there are too many characters on the show and this really helps thin out the herd, so to speak. I thought maybe one or even two bigger characters would go down (maybe next week?) but this will do fine. I find it funny that Alpha believes that this will be the end of things. For all her so-called wisdom, she is pretty dumb sometimes. I mean, why didn’t she kill Daryl, Michonne or Carol? These are the people to fear, that are fighters, that can do the Whisperers some real damage.

I was a bit surprised that Henry died, although killing the person Lydia cares about does double the damage, to her and those in the group. He looked like he was being set up to be around for a while, to annoy us all with his moronic decision making that would be fluffed off as teenage hormones, youth, etc. In the end, I won’t miss him. Tara had been around for quite some time and Enid was just starting her own romance, so those two deaths, while initially shocking, are just more ways to get the rage flowing for those who cared about them.

The communities, banding together for the festival, are now united in grief and rage. Next week’s finale is called ‘The Storm’ and honestly, I have no idea what to expect, now that this carnage has happened. I haven’t forgotten about Negan either, who will probably play some important role next week, but what this is, I have no clue. What will happen to Lydia now? Will Daryl now be given a bigger leadership role? (at this point, he deserves it) It will interesting to see how it all plays out but I’m guessing that zombie horde is going to be unleashed and total chaos will ensue. I can’t wait.

Four and a half stars out of five