The Story So Far
Since coming to Alexandria, Rick’s group had an interesting time among its people dealing with threats on the outside as well as the inside. So far, the group faced off against a canyon-load of Walkers, a group of outsiders known as the Wolves as well as disgruntled townsfolk who are more than happy to see our group gone. For a good amount of time, the group split up into different directions allowing growth, development and interesting interactions. Most notably Glenn’s time with Nicholas really messed with the fans as we were left wondering whether or not he was dead. Thankfully that did not happen in the end. However now the town is faced with a dead town leader, the threat of hundreds and hundreds of Walkers as well as the threat of prominent comic villain Negan.
No Way Out
This week’s episode features the coming together of all the separate arcs into what must be one of the better episodes of the entire show. We first start off where the mid-season cliffhanger left as Abraham, Sasha and Daryl are stopped by this group known as “The Saviors”, led by Negan (to be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan). This could have ended badly for the three on any other episode but the hilarious turn of events involving Daryl and his Rocket Launcher upped the ante and left some of us laughing. At the same time, this should provide an interesting encounter with Negan/
Meanwhile in Alexandria, everything is in chaos. On one front, we continue a plot thread stemming from the previous episode whereby the Wolf(Benedict Samuel) kidnaps Denise(Merritt Wever) the town doctor. From here, he makes an attempt to have both of them escape from the town. Things got interesting between the two as the episode somewhat humanizes the guy and briefly makes the doctor feel sorry about the guy. We even got to see some brief interplay of Walker-killing. It all gives the feeling that he could have been redeemed but at that point, after his entire time on the show, the character was already dead weight and it gave some much needed trimming. I guess that they want to remove unnecessary villains to make room for Negan?
Speaking of removing dead weight, the arc involving Rick and Co. also brings a much needed trimming. From when we last saw them, the town leader Deanna died and now they’re wading through the horde to make it through to safety. The most shocking part of it all was none other than the infamous triple death leading to Carl getting shot again. Given that for the most part, the Anderson family were the least liked among the audiences and would often come across as annoying, their collective deaths were rather satisfying. What provides the icing on the cake is Rick’s finest hout of Walker killing. What soon followed was the rest of the group along with the townsfolk of Alexandria standing up and joining in the fight. The quick-cut montage of each person hack-and-slashing a Walker was really entertaining to watch and provided a much needed high in a show where depressive outcomes are commonplace. It shows a real growth to the people of Alexandria, who were once upon a time oblivious to the apocalypse. The action was further ramped up when Daryl and crew came back, all guns blazing bringing a spectacularly visual end to the Walker horde.
Overall, this episode was a fantastic way to kick off the rest of the season. It reduced the dead weight of unnecessary characters, gave us great action and a decent lead-in to Negan.