A Sashurai’s Review: The Walking Dead – Season 6×05 (Just stop taking sewer routes. No good comes from that)

TWD 6x05

SUMMARY

Routines and realizations run through the wounded town of Alexandria as Rick returns to a walled neighborhood full of doubting townsfolk unsure of their survival. Maggie and Aaron unite to try and search for Glenn while Spencer, Jessie, and Denise come to terms with their place in the dying world. Carl and Ron argue over what may be happening to Enid and Deanna decides she won’t let her town be ruined by the walker threat. No one knows for sure if Glenn, Nicholas, Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham are still alive.

INITIAL THOUGHTS

It’s difficult judging an episode when all you want is a straight answer on whether Glenn is alive or not. You can ignore or absorb the internet proof and the pictures released to the magazines and tabloids, but not knowing for the second week in a row is starting to leave a nasty frown. In any case, this episode is sitting back in the idle spot to allow the survivors time to breathe and understand how they need to move on. This was more “get to know” the Alexandria crowd from Jessie to Spencer and get them on the same page as Rick, Michonne, and the rest. They’re nowhere near the star caliber that our fan favorites are at, but even they had to start somewhere. Characters like Denise are showing positive output while Spencer and Jessie’s son are still living in perpetual unknowns. There’s more determination than fallout here and that’s the first positive sign we’ve seen all season long minus the flashback with Morgan.

RECAP

Deanna observes the town from a lookout point as she witnesses a large group of walkers approach the gates. Rick is seen racing through them and makes it back inside unscathed. Throughout the day, Spencer convinces a small group from taking shares of food away but takes some for himself thinking he’s owed a reward for saving the town from the truck accident previously. Carl wants to search for Enid, but Ron argues that he’ll tell Rick and the two have a brief altercation. Denise struggles to help Gabriel but Tara reassures her and eventually Denise finds a way to help Gabriel’s infection and later thanks Tara by kissing her. Maggie prepares to leave in search for Glenn and Aaron accompanies her until they reach a gate through a sewer path that is blocked by roamers. Maggie accepts that she can’t search for him and reveals to Aaron that she’s pregnant. Jessie finds a woman who turned and kills her in front of a group and gives a speech about accepting the way life is now. Later at night, Rick goes to her and the two share a loving embrace. Deanna believes Rick should lead them in this new world but promises to rebuild the town as it was meant to be to survive.

THE GOOD

Growth is important for all characters on a show regardless if they are minor, supporting, or starring. The Alexandria survivors needed their screen time to adjust and face the truth that they can’t pretend the world isn’t dead outside of their neighborhood. If we’re going to start caring about characters outside Rick’s group, now is the time to accomplish this task. Denise, so far is proving to be the most charismatic of the small bunch, and I do rank her above Jessie right now, because Jessie I think has armor on the show and the rest, including Deanna really doesn’t. Spencer is easily the next person on the list that’s going to crack, but there’s still time to turn him around if people like Rosita can help keep in the positive.

The walker gross factor had one genius moment when a pair of zombies crawl through the sewers completely caked in mushy flesh and decaying eyes. These effects were great and the way Maggie pushed through the soggy skin was horrific. Hats off to the effects crew for making that unstable scene shine through the episode.

THE BAD

Carl and Ron’s tussle was unnecessary and didn’t result in anything resolved in this episode. Are we supposed to believe that these two characters don’t like eachother and that Ron will eventually do something stupid or vengeful because he thought Enid was his girlfriend? There’s fluctuations and teenager angst that isn’t translating well right now and I wouldn’t be surprised if Carl has to shoot the kid just to keep him from doing something dangerous.

Not resolving Glenn’s death. This show is nothing if not patient and it’s my thought that they may not reveal Glenn’s fate until the end of the first half and if they want to get truly sinister, they may wait till February of next year when Jesus is likely introduced. The downside to this kind of torture is that the longer you wait to tell us the more we know that Glenn isn’t dead. Imagine in 4 or 5 episodes, someone walks past Glenn’s corpse or worse yet, stumbles into a walker version of Glenn. That won’t be make for a happy fanbase. Just tell us now, please.

FAVORITE MOMENT

I liked when Maggie and Aaron stopped the sewer walkers and then shared a moment by the sewer gate that included Maggie saying she was pregnant. This is important because as a comic fan, Maggie also gets pregnant with Glenn’s child and it makes for an interesting change in her character. Here she continues to question whether she could have helped Glenn but will never know and later Aaron helps keep hope alive by erasing his name off the wall. These small bonding moments are what help keep the emotions alive on this show that don’t include despair and apathy.

CHARACTER MVP

I believe this episode was meant to showcase Deanna’s resolve. It began and ended with her by the wall seeing the walkers approach and then banging back on the fence at the end as a sign of defiance. She’s not selfish or deluded in her position as the town’s leader, and knows when the time is right to believe in Rick’s assessment and direction forward. Her attack of a local walker was part of that rage finally coming out that she couldn’t protect them the way she had done things and needs to change to evolve now. She’s turning into a character that understands which puts her in a position to survive at a much higher rate than others on the show that are still struggling with that concept.

ENDING THOUGHTS
I’d need to have more of a medical background, but was all Denise needed to do was remove the puss from Gabriel’s wound to stop the infection? I felt like we were missing a key step either before or after to help sell that she figured out how to treat him. I’m sure Gabriel will be up and crazy again in no time.

I know sometimes it’s easier to just show that a character got out of their walker problem, but they completely skipped how trapped Rick was in the RV and then showed him running through the walker crowd untouched. I know Rick will always be an OP on this show, but that was still a dangerous situation to be in and it would have been just as fine to show us a moment on how he escaped.

Is Ron actually trying to learn to shoot or is he warming up to Rick for some strange reason to get back at Carl? I don’t know where Ron is going with this direction but I can tell whatever he ends up doing it won’t be good. My guess is he’s preparing to search for Enid himself either with or without Carl to prove himself either to her or to him, I’m not sure yet.

Seeing as Morgan was talking to the wolves member at the end of last week’s episode, I don’t know where in the storyline that places the scene in tonight’s episode. Chronological is the standard, but since nobody mentioned or showed the prisoner and Morgan had one background seen, am I just to believe no one is guarding him or talking about him at all? Seems this information was oddly missing tonight.

With Rick and Jessie now an item, does this mean Jessie will replace Andrea in the comic as the new resident bad ass? She made a step in the right direction tonight, but she still has a long way to go. Everyone who reads the comics knows that Rick eventually got together with Andrea and it this situation was in the cards since last season.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Things slowed down for the group and rightly so, but that doesn’t change the fact that most of the storyline revolved around telling us how the Alexandria folk are dealing with the recent massacre which takes time away from our prime actors and actresses. No Glenn resolution, but we did get confirmation that Maggie is pregnant which will put strain on her as the months progress. With as slow as this story is being told that could be a long while. The sewer walkers were very well done practically as was Deanna’s gruesome bottle stabbing at the end. The town is going through a rough patch of stress where everyone is dealing differently with the world still ending. One thing is for certain, we know the neighborhood is still the place to survive and folks like Rick and Deanna will preserve it to the best of their ability. I think the wolves plot was cut short too quickly and getting answers from the prisoner should be the next order of events once we get back from Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham’s adventure outside. Thanks for reading.

No more words

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