The Walking Dead Review – “Here’s Not Here” S6E4

We were all thinking a few things during “Here’s Not Here”. What happened to Glenn? Why is this all about Morgan? Ok, this is actually pretty good. It’s a lot like The Karate Kid. The original. With Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. Not the remake. And it’s also sorta like Yoda and Luke. So we are getting a derivation of the Hero’s Cycle. This is good. And it is damn beautiful. This is a nice breather from the first three episodes. That was really good, but seriously, is Glenn okay?

Alright, maybe that wasn’t everybody, that was us, so let’s get on with the review of “Here’s Not Here”.

Pros:

EASTMAN!!!!: First and foremost, let’s take a moment to applaud the acting here. John Carroll Lynch, who just also happened to play Twisty in AHS: Freakshow, was just outstanding. This is also a testament to the writing; however, he had the most dialogue in the episode (and of most episodes for one man in the TWD universe), he had to embody a zen master, a man of the woods, a survivor, and a killer all in one person. It’s amazing, and we are sure there are too many other actors out there who could have brought the same ability to the episode.

The Walking Dead - Here's Not Here 2

As far as the character goes, what a guy! He is absolutely hilarious, for one. When he asks Morgan “What’s your name?” and Morgan replies “Kill me,” Eastman doesn’t drop a beat and says “That’s a stupid name.” What a way to get us to instantly side with this dude. The way his story is unfolded was just brilliant. There were a lot of misconceptions the viewers could have had about him just based off his looks. But as the 90 minutes went on, more and more of his layers were peeled back. This man had more character development in that short amount of time than most characters on TV ever do. Eastman alone made the whole “what the hell happened to Glenn” thing bearable.

MORGAN!!!!!!!: Oh so that is how Morgan got this way. It took a lot of coaxing and coddling and Aikido training to get him from “Clear” to “Here’s Not Here.” The strides he made in this episode alone were significant. Again, the acting here was superb. Lennie James has by far had to deal with the most changes in the shortest amount of time. This episode showed a pretty large scope of emotions for our beloved bo staff wielder. His zen-masterness is finally explained and it was a wonderful ride to watch.

The Walking Dead - Here's Not Here 5

Pacing, story, and character development: While some may have thought this episode was too slow, we thought the pacing was perfect. This was meant to be the full explanation of Morgan’s ways. If his full on crazy to zen master had been rushed, it wouldn’t have been believable. Additionally, the unfolding of Eastman’s story was perfectly executed. His interactions with Morgan and the way he slowly told him (and us) about his past life including Creighton Dallas Wilton, the man who murdered his family, were everything we needed for character development. This episode should be shown to writers who are looking to advance their own skills into how to develop characters.

Call backs: The amount of thought that went into the dialogue here was mind-boggling. The re-use of Morgan’s dialogue into Eastman’s dialogue was incredibly well planned. Practically everything Morgan has said since he resurfaced in season 5 came from his short time with Eastman. From “sorry” to “I don’t have friends” to “All life is precious” it became clear (see what we did there?) that Morgan’s character plotted and that his story is incredibly integral to the overall story.

Video Game Camera: Many people may have hated this, but we personally think it was a great way to make viewers feel like they were “in his head.” Morgan’s manic state was reflected well by the blurred and shaking camera. Thankfully, it was used sparingly.

It was damn beautiful: We are pretty big fans of montages, and this episode had some great ones. The scenes of bo staff training were just breathtaking.

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Cons:

Eastman’s exit was wiggity wack: Here we have yet another plot hole we’re going to ignore because the rest of the episode was stellar. We knew Eastman had to die. There was no way a character that dynamic could live past the single appearance he was awarded, but the way he died just felt lazy. He just ran up on Morgan and shielded him like he had a gun pointed at him. He could have easily shoved the walker to the ground, or used, I don’t know, his freakin bo staff?? You could do better, AMC.

 

Easter Eggs & Other Tidbits:

TMNT: As Chris Hardwick pointed out, there are a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles references in this episode. Morgan has been called Donatello for a while now, but it is safe to say Eastman was the original Donatello. Additionally, Eastman is wearing a shirt with a turtle on it, and his name is Eastman, a.k.a. the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman. It may have all been coincidental, but it had to be noted.

TabithaShe has her own fan base ya’ll. Not kidding. She more popular than characters that lasted seasons.

The Walking Dead - Here's Not Here 3

The cheese does not wear me: This is a bit of a Buffy reference. All right, it’s a full-on Buffy reference, but if you follow Hush Comics, you know we love Buffy. There was an episode in the series called “Restless” which seemed like an episode that didn’t fit with the rest of the season, but included a lot of references to things in the past and in the future. “Restless” is a cult followed episode because of all the references (and the weirdness of it). In ways, “Here’s Not Here” reminded us of that episode because suddenly there was a lot about Morgan that made a lot of sense.

Wolf in the basement? Why does that sound familiar?: Morgan is (secretly?) hiding the lone Wolf in some random basement. We’ll ignore for now the fact that this will most definitely blow up in his face somehow and focus on the jailing part. It’s a clever parallel to what Eastman did to Wilton in the story, but it’s also a distinct Easter Egg to what Rick does to [some guy] in the comic books after winning All Out War. Neat.

It took Creighton Dallas Wilton 47 days to die?: At first this fact was a bit mind boggling. Would it really take 47 days to starve to death? Welp, it turns out that this number is surprisingly accurate. Gross. 

The Art of PeaceThe book was written by Morihei Ueshiba who is the founder of the Martial Art Aikido. He developed the art because of three separate awakenings he had between 1925 and 1942. The Art of Peace is widely considered the book of Aikido and its spirituality, but can stand alone from the art.

Morgan is A-OK: We finally get a look at Crazy Morgan marking the trees that we see in the Season 5 opener. It makes me wonder what Morgan actually did before the apocalypse; he’s been asked a few times now and has redirected every time. What kind of normal man would go into full commando mode and exhibit the “clear” tactics Morgan did back in Season 3 (“Clear”).

Morgan and Eastman have a lot in common: Other than both being zen master badasses, of course. Morgan was for a long time a character everyone loved, but had appeared in only one episode. It wasn’t until years later we saw him again. Based off one episode, Morgan had quite the cult following. Nowadays, that title can go to Eastman. Don’t believe me? Just check out Tumblr. Below is some amazing fan art based around this following. You can see the artists whole page here.

The Walking Dead Eastman Fan Art


Hush Comics gives “Here’s Not Here” an for an incredibly brilliant and beautiful episode. The way it was filmed, the pacing of story, and the character development created it’s own standalone movie, something all TV series strive for, but rarely attain.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page.

The Walking Dead Review – “Thank You” S6E3

Okay, okay. Everybody calm down. This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was somewhat of a nuclear clusterf*ck. We cried. We threw beverages at the television. We cursed the names of Robert Kirkman (let’s be honest, it’s all his fault), Greg Nicotero and Scott Gimple, Angela Kang (rhymes with Krang, you evil lady!), and Sturgess (the event and the stupid ass character). It was quite an event. Well, the smoke has cleared, and our minds are processing everything that happened. More than anything, it was just nice to FEEL something about the show again. Six seasons in, and I look around at the handful of friends that are actually up to date on TWD and it makes me sad. Our living room used to be packed with a dozen friends all pining to see whether or not Shane would kill Rick (ha. n00bz). So cheers to the show that showed us it still has our hearts by the balls.

Oh, and by the way, there are SPOILERS. I feel like if you made it to this website without finding anything out so far, you are the Moses of the internet. However, I am Pharaoh, and I will not let your people go. This metaphor took a strange turn…

Pros:

Alexandrians are the Red Shirts of TWD: It may not have been nice, but Rick was right when he said that Glenn and Michonne needed to watch out for themselves first. The Alexandrians just keep getting picked off one by one, and that is okay. We have almost no attachment to any of them, and the don’t have the same family mentality our group has.

The Walking Dead - Thank You 1

David was a brave motherfucker: David, despite being an Alexandrian, was amazingly stoic when he was bit. He did admit that he had been on the road before and that Aaron found him. It does feel as though he has been in Alexandria a while, but he didn’t forget “where he came from” so-to-speak. When he was bit, we were shocked but pleasantly surprised at the “I know what it means” line. And when it was time to climb the fence, he chose to go last because the rest of his crew was in better shape than he was. Brave motherfucker you were, David.

Daryl vs. Abraham: “That’s the mission”: Daryl and Abraham have both been soldiers. One if comfortable in that position, the other isn’t that comfy. It was a good reminder that Abraham will always do the job, especially with Rick as his leader. Daryl on the other hand is his own dude. Rick may be treating Daryl a little bit too much like Merle did. Daryl needs respect and isn’t getting it right now.

Michonne tells it like it is: Michonne is a woman who has changed greatly on this series. There was a time that she wouldn’t speak. Now she is a leader. In one of her first moments leading, Heath gives her some attitude. (From Heath’s perspective, it does make some sense). Her speech to him about living and dying and surviving was one of her finest moments on the show. And gave us some serious goosebumps.

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If we turn back, its because we’re afraid: One of Rick’s manliest statements. He has two kids back there, he hears gun fire, and tells the rest of the group that if they go back it is fear causing it?! Yeah, not many people would do that. Accidentally leading the herd back to Alexandria could be worse for the innocents back home. This was one of his best calls yet.

Simultaneous Arcs: There are a lot of actors on TWD. A lot of well-paid actors. The best way to slow down a story and not have to pay everybody to make an appearance is to run simultaneous episodes for each focal point. It’s effective, and elaborate if done correctly. Done too often, though, and it can get predictable, and frustratingly repetitive. So far, we aren’t in that territory.

A man and his gun: It was soooooooo “Nebraska”! Without all the hesitation. Rick took out not one, not two, but five Wolves. It was simply amazing, and made the episode that much better. He is the smartest, badassiest (it’s a word now, people) in The Walking Dead, and that won’t change.

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All these feelings: It may not have been what anyone wanted to see or experience, but when a show can make EVERYONE feel so many things, it is a testament to how well written some of these characters are. It would be impossible to feel this way about our beloved pizza delivery boy if he wasn’t written and acted well in the first place.

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Cons:

Where did Daryl’s fortitude go?: Back when Daryl and Rick had that moment – you know, the one where Rick tears that guy’s throat out with his teeth – he and Rick were equals. Brothers. So just when did Daryl become the pouty kid who runs away when his feelings are hurt? Would people even riot if he died anymore? Are those same people even still watching this show? This show (and Rick, honestly) needs badass Daryl back, and pronto.

The Alexandrians are kinda f’ed up: We’ll include Michonne in this. Annie was clearly not doing well with that foot. When she tripped again, everyone just looked back at her, mouths agape. They could have helped her. They had guns, swords, knives. And when David died, everyone just looked on as he screamed in pain. Put the dude out of his misery. and kill some walkers while you are at it. Ugh. With the whole “don’t leave anyone behind” theme, they sure did leave people behind. Talk is cheap, Heath.

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Where’d all that blood come from, Heath?: You know when Heath looks at his reflection and see his face covered in blood? While poignant, it didn’t really make sense. It was a major goof by the crew. The last time Heath had reason for blood on his face was when he was shooting walkers at a close range to save Michonne. If you look at his face then, it isn’t that bloody. It keeps getting bloodier as they get closer to the water with no explanation.

Easter Eggs & Other Tidbits:

Round of appalls: That’s it. Rick has zombie AIDS! As badass as it was to see him dispatch that group of walkers on the road, he ended up shoving his hand into a machete that was buried into the chest of one a walker. He was holding his hand gingerly and losing a lot of blood. Does the infection spread through blood transfer, or is AMC just dangling one-handed Rick in our faces because they like to see us squirm?

The Crystal Ship: It’s about damn time the RV saw some action – and from the looks of it, will see more next episode. Here, we see Rick hop into the RV, and put a bunch of bullet holes into the side of it to kill some Wolves with some blind oscillating machine gun fire.

Remember Fear The Walking Dead? Yeah, me neither: It wasn’t a month ago when that abomination of a show made its way onto the television. We were so desperate for some TWD that we entertained the idea of it being an acceptable substitute for the real thing. Since legitimate shows have returned, I haven’t given a single shit in the honor of FTWD.

Morgan’s cheek-turning practices almost got Rick killed: Let’s pretend that Rick isn’t the post-apocalyptic version of Rambo. By Morgan letting that group of Wolves go – along with that pistol – he openly invited them to kill Rick. Looks like Morgan is gonna have to learn some Hard Knocks if he wants to survive with a group.

Glenn-isms: There are a couple callbacks when Glenn is getting ready to head out with Nick. Over the radio, he calls Rick a dumbass, the same endearing term he radioed to Rick in Atlanta for the Pilot episode. Tears. Just so many tears. Also, in telling Michonne that “we all have a job to do,” he echoed Maggie’s last words to Beth. They really went out of their way to make it sound like he was saying goodbye.

Keep movin’: It is said several times by Glenn, Michonne, et al that they just need to keep moving. Is this the writers way for subliminally telling us that we need to keep moving? Despite what is going on? We think it could be.

Rick is kinda always right: Seemed weird for Michonne and Glenn to just shrug Rick off when he told them to leave stragglers behind. THEY AIN”T ABOUT THAT LIFE, you guys. Why save people who aren’t capable, resourceful, or at all damn useful. No matter how messed up Rick seems to be getting mentally and how dark his plans get, he’s always got a valid point. And that drives the “decent people” on this show crazy. Not me, though. I’m jaded as f*ck.

Insulation: Call it P.BrBa.S.D., but I can’t help analyze every single frame and think there’s a bigger meaning to it. When Glenn’s group was in town checking the abandoned vehicles, there was a notable white truck with the text “Insulation” across it. I want to say that it was code for Glenn using Nicholas’ harvested corpse to curl up and hide in, not unlike Luke used the Tauntaun to stay warm… but it’s an obvious reach.

Predictions:

Glenn: It started as a prediction, and then we found out that the entire internet felt the same way.

There are so many ways that Glenn could come back. It is still hard to believe that even if the walkers are just eating Nicholas (yeah, yeah, Nicholas fell on top of him and intestines aren’t in Glenn’s chest), that Glenn would make it out alive with walkers surrounding as far as the eye can see. Maybe he’ll use his flare? Maybe he will cover himself in guts and they don’t smell him? Maybe someone will come along and distract? Maybe it was all a dream? At this point, whatever the internet thinks, none of it matters until we see him again. We just hope that with Scott Gimple’s statement, that seeing “some part” of Glenn again doesn’t wind up being that he is the new ghost for Rick, a la Lori.

Rick: So Rick is pretty screwed. There is a part of a herd coming toward him. Where did they come from and how can he get out of this without being able to start the RV? Well he does have a walkie, so that is good. We will have to wait and see, but it is looking grim for our hero.

The Walking Dead - Thank You

Questions:

Why leave the pocket-watch in the bag?: Glenn makes it a point to leave Hershel’s pocket watch in the bag. When he and Nicholas are in the town, Glenn is holding onto the bag, so what was the point?

Why not light the trees on fire?: They are more flammable than buildings.

Why let Nicholas lead?: We understand Glenn’s moral ground, but Nicholas is way too much of a loose cannon. As proven at about minute 45 of the episode.

Why not split up to try to take on the herd?: The town is basically a main street. If they had split up in two different buildings to try to split the herd to make it smaller, and then killed them that way, could that have worked?

Why not go up the stairs?: When Glenn and Nicholas are in the town, you can see that almost every building has stairs leading up to roofs. The last time we saw a walker go up stairs was in season one. They could have used their flare on the herd itself from above.

Why make us think Glenn is dead?! It’s a cruel, cruel world, and we don’t like all these feelings!


Hush Comics gives “Thank You” an for use of sequencing, character development, and allowing the audience to feel in a constant state of fear.

Before we go, here is tribute to one of Glenn’s finest moments, ya know, in case he really is dead:

The Walking Dead

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page.

The Walking Dead Review – “JSS” S6E2

ERMERGERHD! This week’s episode truly outdid it self in the “badassery” department. Forget Donald Trump Halloween costumes. It’s all about the Carol costumes now. No really. Co-Owners of Hush Comics, Adrian and Sherif, both plan on being Carol this year. And maybe forever after that. Watch out world, because are baking some serious casseroles.

Pros:

Carl got some balls!: Carl was the 2nd most badass character this week. Not only did he do good work with some good ole killin’, but he started to encroach on some dangerous pre-teen crush territory. Good work, kid.

Alec Rayme as Shaved Head Wolf  and Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Alec Rayme as Shaved Head Wolf and Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Father Gabriel is really trying: For some, it may be too little, too late. But Father Gabriel talking to Carl about forgiveness seemed genuine. And starting with the machete? A preacher with a machete sounds pretty cool. Added to which, there was all that foreshadowing for what was about to happen to Alexandria.

Smoking Kills. as do machetes: There was a point in this episode where we thought, “God, I hope this one isn’t slow. Last week’s episode was balls to the wall the whole time. And this week all we are getting is ladies bickering about kitchen ingredients.” Then the smoking lady got killed with a machete, and we were pleased. Don’t judge that sentence by itself. It sounds really bad. Anyway, Smoking Kills, as do machetes.

The horn was Alexandria’s fault: After the horn went off last week, we hoped it wouldn’t be predictable that some dude was just sitting in the woods holding onto the horn. But as it turns out, the wolves just crashed into the Alexandria wall with a semi truck. It makes sense, and it wasn’t predictable.

We miss violence on TV… Jessie goes in: Honestly, up until this point, Jessie seemed pretty damn useless. Who needs a hairstylist when the world ends? I never thought that her profession would be THAT useful. The sheer amount of unadulterated violence she displayed on the wolf was magnificent. Just fucking brutal. Yes!

Marcelle Colletti as Feral Wolf and Alexandra Breckenridge as Jessie Anderson - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Marcelle Colletti as Feral Wolf and Alexandra Breckenridge as Jessie Anderson – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Fucking Carol: The star of the night was most definitely Ms. Peletier. She is always willing to do what no one else wants to do, but should. Cream of Celery?

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Casseroles: How hilarious was it that Carl is baking casseroles after just shooting some guy in the face? I’d make a white people joke, but really, if there’s any baked food (other than cookies) to survive the apocalypse, it’s casseroles. In all seriousness, this just goes to show that murdering fools is business as usual for our group, and they look like a bunch of badasses for it.

Cons:

JSS: Kind of overwhelmed with the meaning of this ominous phrase that Enid kept throwing around. “Just survive somehow” was much less exciting than our proposed “Jumping Sex Snakes.” Plus, Enid’s flightiness makes me think she might be involved with the Wolves as a scout or something. That would be a letdown.

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Tara: She was such weak sauce in this episode! Her only purpose seems to be to make other people feel bad for what she is too inept or sheepish to do. She could have offered any kind of help to Denise, but instead just whimpered and pouted that Denise was a coward for not picking up surgery. It’s not like riding a bicycle at all, Tara!

Can’t these people die in silence!?: That is now TWO Alexandrians that had to die because they couldn’t keep their trap shut and die with dignity. Seems like Rick and Carol have a lot more in common than they used to. They should totally bang.

What kind of hippie farm has Morgan been on?: Morgan’s “turn the other cheek” mentality just doesn’t hold up in this world. Sure, maybe when you’re a lone wolf (no pun intended) and you have the option to move on and only fend yourself you can spew that nonsense, but when you’re protecting a community against butchers and rapists, you need to kill or be killed. I would’ve thought enough time out in the world would make that abundantly clear.

Lance Tafelski as Horseshoe Mustache Wolf and Lennie James as Morgan Jones - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Lance Tafelski as Horseshoe Mustache Wolf and Lennie James as Morgan Jones – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Easter Eggs & Tidbits:

TV Denise < Comic book Denise: Another notable character from the books makes her debut. Denise was already a well-established doctor in the community by the time we met her in the books. She was sharp and witty, and never went through the panic attacks and trauma that she’s going through in the book. If this show followed the books, I’d say to look for her to have a budding romance with Heath soon.

Carl has a new toy: Carl finally gets to use that big ol machine gun he’s been lugging around! While his TV counterpart Chandler Riggs is 16 years old, comic book Carl was just a preteen when he decided to sneak into Negan’s camp and unload on the Saviors with this gun (Issue #104). Thankfully so, because in this episode, Carl had no problems putting a clip in one of the Wolves.

Train car A: It’s subtle, and I don’t know if it was on purpose, but after Carol puts a knife in the back of Erin’s head, Carol notices a red marking on the steps next to her. It’s the same letter that was on the train car that the group was corralled into at Terminus. No matter where they go, they are trapped. That shit is so deep, AMC!

B team: In the whole episode, there was no Michonne, no Rick, no Daryl, no Glenn, and no Abraham or Sasha. “JSS” relied on the under-billed stars to carry it, and I feel it largely did a great job. This disproves the theory that F*** the Walking Dead was crappy because it didn’t have stars. No, it was crappy because it was shitty TV. Shame on you, Robert Kirkman.

Predictions:

Morgan’s friend is still Jesus: Prove me wrong, AMC. I dare you! Morgan learned all those moves from a cheesemaker? You mean carpenter?? Paul Monroe has been cast and will appear this season. There’s no reason to have characters ask him that question if you’re not going to have this character premiere.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier and Lance Tafelski as Horseshoe Mustache Wolf - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier and Lance Tafelski as Horseshoe Mustache Wolf – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Lost opportunity at infidelity: Well, Holly died before Abraham could bone her. Comic book continuity ruined. There’s other people that Abe can get nasty in front of Eugene with, though. Our top candidate is Sasha right now. Although, I’m honestly not getting the feeling like Abraham and Rosita are even together, so maybe they’ll avoid it altogether.

Love triangle… OF DOOM!: There’s some weird stuff going on between Carl, Enid, and Ron. For some reason, Enid is always sneaking off with Ron while Carl handles business – whether it’s babysitting, casserolling, or shootin Wolves in the face. At the end of the day, we know Carl is the alpha teenager on campus. But he’s still soft, and emo Ron might shoot him in the face. That’d be kinda cool, but Denise needs to step her surgery game up if she’s gonna fix this up:

twd carl shot
The Walking Dead #83

Hush Comics gives “JSS” an A- for use of sequencing, character development, and allowing the audience to feel in a constant state of fear.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page.

The Walking Dead Review – “First Time Again” S6E1

This summer, the only thing we had to pull us through the TV slump was Mr. RobotFear the Walking DeadArrow, and The Flash have all been disappointing at best. But The Walking Dead brought back some quality television. It seemed impossible to follow up Season 5, but the episode not only succeeded, but stayed on a par with the level we ended with last March. Without further adieu…

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Pros:

Thank God F*ck the Walking Dead is over: The sense of excitement, chaos,  absolute gore, music, color scheme, and terror the perfect introduction after the severe disappointment of Fear the Walking Dead. And all of that just took place in the first five minutes. Can we also talk about character development, story sequencing, and the use of suspense to create terror? Fuck you, Fear the Walking Dead. I hope you are all dead at this point in the ‘pocalypse.

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Still the good guys?: It’s beginning to become clear – much more so than in the comic books – that Rick is not a good guy. Sure he went off all half-cocked and beat the shit out of Pete in front of the whole community, but that was a victim of passion. In this episode, he’s plain cold-hearted. Refusing to bury the guy you shot in the face? He’s not even making friends amongst his own people anymore.

Rick is a total Shane: While Morgan has gained a sense of calm “after” via the bo staff and meditation, Rick has spiraled into an aggressor. Morgan is the Season 1 Rick Grimes while Rick is now the Season 2 Shane. Additionally, Rick makes comments that seem like what The Governor would say.

Hair game proper: It was funny, but note, Eugene: Dreadlocks are much different from your mullet. There is no game whatsoever in a mullet.

Real talk with Morgan Jones: “I’m a killer, Rick. I am and you are, too.” The ability for Morgan to call out Rick is a rarity in this series. The problem is that any time any one from “our” group has called out Rick, he has turned out to be right. Morgan “knowing” Rick but being a group outsider will hopefully allow for a voice of reason in our anti-hero.

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Protein Bars: One of the best moments in the episode was the exchange between Michonne and Morgan about his last peanut butter protein bar. Not only did it break up the tension, it was true. Michonne did actually take Morgan’s protein bar.

Tara/Nick parallel: Glenn saves people. That’s all there is to it. Tara would be prison chow if Glenn didn’t go out of his way to rescue her from her miserable situation. And same goes for Nick. Although, Tara was much more caught in a bad situation than Nick, who created bad situations, but when you’re a good guy like Glenn, you just save people. Shoot, even Rick Grimes owes his life to the pizza boy.

Use of black and white for flashbacks: From the first scene of the replay of Rick’s crime switching from color to black and white, and the use of black and white a color through out to signify time was a brilliant use of medium. Even more so, it was absolute fan service (in a good way) and a great homage to the comics, which are all drawn in blacks and grays only.

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This plan is kinda stupid, but it was forced to be: The first go-through, it was a little unclear about why the plan of driving the walkers out 20 miles was even a plan. And while that was the plan all along, upon the our second viewing, we realized that when Rick and the Alexandria compound groups showed up, they did not expect to have to herd the herd that very minute. Carter yells, “This was supposed to be the dry run!” and Heath says “This was supposed to be a dry rehearsal.” With the latter line, it was pretty clever for Glenn to say “And I’m supposed to be delivering pizzas.” It’s a pretty good metaphor for life, pre and post zombie apocalypse. We are all supposed to be delivering pizza, but instead we are doing what we need to do to survive.

Alexandria is full of pussies: Rick may have been a tad bit of an ass, he is also kinda right about the people of Alexandria and their quest for survival. His power play of showing that A) the people of Alexandria don’t know how to handle walkers and B) that Rick and group do (and so well) is proof that they need Rick as much as he needs those walls.

Building the Walls (AKA Character): We could go on and on about the use of black and white, but one final piece about it: The black and white flashbacks provided great character insight and therefore development. Something we sometimes lack when things are too fast-paced is development, so the quiet moments paired with the action and how people react allowed for a lot of great reflection. Additionally, when Rick had a gun to Carter’s head, he admitted that the community was about him. He has used the other group member’s name for so long, but rarely admitted that this is about himself. Finally admitting that was a big thing for him and a show of self-awareness.

Cons:

Where’s Carl??: Our only mention of Carl is when he is sitting with the Wolf girl and Ron looks on. While I understand that we are supposed to gain sympathy for Ron because things keep getting taken from him (he family unit/dad, his girlfriend, his community), The Walking Dead is the story of Rick Grimes. Most of what informs Rick’s decisions are based around Carl, Judith, and the safety of both. It needed to be mentioned why both children were virtually missing this episode.

Daryl’s passive-aggressive response: After such a strong bonding moment last season (ya know, where Rick took a bite out of that one dude’s throat?), Rick and Daryl should be like THIS. The way Daryl handled the situation was super childish, especially considering he missed the opportunity to call bullshit when Rick said that people out there need to learn to survive on their own. Excuse me, Rick??

The Wolves are not a priority… At all?: There have clues dropped for a half-season now. Massacred bodies, truckloads full of corpses, decimated communities… not normal shit. But also not really a concern to the group. I can understand that there is a more pressing matter at hand, but shooting off dozens of flares when you know they’re nearby is moronic.

Where were they leading the walkers?: 20 miles out? And then what? Were they going to be just corralled there until they all escaped again? What is their plan as far as Daryl on his open bike and 1000’s of walkers? It doesn’t make sense.

The Walking Dead - First Time Again 8

Easter Eggs & Tidbits:

A budding romance: With both Abraham and Sasha bonding over the previous tragedy, it seems like they are getting close in more than a natural way. I mean, just a bit ago, Sasha was lying in a pile of bodies. And now they’re giving each other winks and smiles. This could be the affair from the comic books that split Abe and Rosita. By the way, where was Rosita? That’s okay, we don’t care either.

F*ck Wit Dre Day: Welcome to the show, Heath! Viewers may recognize actor Corey Hawkins from Straight Outta Compton, where he played Dr. Dre. Heath is a big deal in the comic series, so look for him to stick around a bit, unlike that Noah asshole.

The Crystal Ship: Whoo! A BrBa reference! While it wasn’t the exact model of Walt and Jesse’s methmobile, it was a reminder that AMC does/did other stuff than TWD.

The Walking Dead - First Time Again 1

“That isn’t the only reason”: The f*ck’s that supposed to mean, Maggie?? We think she’s preggo. That would sure fit in with the comic book storyline. It’s also uncomfortably close to the demise of one beloved character… Too soon, AMC!

Father Gabriel’s new purgatory: As big of a dickbruiseface as Father Gabriel was by narcing on the group, you can’t help but feel bad for him. He was confused and afraid, but those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Let’s just say that Gabriel gets shit on a lot this episode. Deanna tells him he was wrong about Rick and Rick straight-up dismisses him when he asks if he could help out.

Morgan’s friend: Who is Morgan’s friend? Who taught him all those fancy moves? Well, you can bet your sweet ass it wasn’t Donatello. All signs point to it being none other than Paul from the Hilltops… Or Jesus as he is commonly known as. That would open A Larger World to fill in the gaps.

 

Eugene, world’s worst spy: Have you ever like Eugene more than you did in this episode? He is a buffoon, but he is our buffoon. In the books, it’s Glenn (much less adept and clumsy Glenn) that stumbles upon the conspirators in the book. In the comics, Nicholas (coincidence? I think not) beats the crap out of Glenn and goes a bit ballistic on the town before Rick arrives and gives his speech.

The Walking Dead - First Time Again 4

Predictions:

Carl turning a blind eye: Ron got that super creeper look on his face. Maybe he figures that if Rick takes his dad away (useless piece of poo that he was), Ron will get back at Rick by taking Carl away from him. Of course, Carl now has the power of puberty on his side, but all signs are pointing to him getting shot in the face.

Wolves at the gate: There’s no way that The Wolves aren’t the ones causing issue for Alexandria at the end of the episode. It’s pretty obvious that they’re the ones that set up the trucks, and I’m guessing they were prepared for the truck to topple. Maybe they were using the walkers for bioenergy? Who knows?

Wolves used quarry for “safe keeping”: Heath said there were “maybe a dozen” walkers last time he was there. Plus, the only other time we have seen semi trucks in the series was when Daryl and Morgan got caught in the semi truck trap. Was this whole plan devised by the Wolves? Including the horn?


Hush Comics gives “First Time Again” an for use of sequencing, character development, and allowing the audience to feel in a constant state of fear.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page.

SDCC 2015 – New Season 6 Trailer for ‘The Walking Dead’

The Walking Dead

A new extended trailer for Season 6 of The Walking Dead premiered at San Diego Comic Con and oh. My. GOD. Fear the Walking Dead has been getting a lot of attention recently, but let’s not forget where it all started. The Walking Dead is a show and phenomenon that is impossible to top.

The new trailer shows us how the group will be pulled in different directions, largely because Rick seems to go even deeper off the deep end he already went over. Morals and allegiances will be questioned and compromised while Morgan and Rick seem to be on opposite sides of all the issues. The Alexandria Safe Zone seems wildly less safe and like it is being torn down from the inside and outside. Oh, and let’s not forget the Daryl will face off with The Wolves.

A lot of comic fans have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the worst person ever, Neegan. So far there is no sign of him in this trailer, but I don’t think that means much. It’s hard to tell at this point how much it will take from the comics and how the story will depart from them, but I think it’s safe to say that by season’s end Alexandria will have fallen.

Ho. Ly. Crap. I cannot wait for Season 6 to start. You can check out the trailer below, and don’t miss the season premiere on AMC on October 11, 2015.

New Set Photos from ‘The Walking Dead’ Prove that Daylight is Creepy

With San Diego Comic Con here, AMC and Entertainment Weekly have been slowly teasing us before the official Season 6 trailer drops tomorrow.

What we have gotten so far are startlingly bright set photos of Rick, Daryl, Maggie and Glenn. Rick is sporting some scars, and noticeably is not wearing his Constable uniform. Daryl looks like he might be modeling for an archery magazine. Maggie and Glenn are both aiming guns at someone, or something. Glenn also has scars, probably from his Season 5 scrap with Nicholas (that fuck boy).

The only thing I can gather from these photos is that we aren’t going to jump ahead in time. I am pretty thankful because the premiere is sure to be one high anxiety hour.

Don’t forget the Season 6 poster was also released. Rick and Morgan appear to be “facing off.” It remains to be seen how their relationship will grow, or wilt, more than likely.

TWDS6 sdcc poster

Again, the Season 6 trailer will be released at The Walking Dead panel tomorrow at SDCC. The Walking Dead Season 6 will premiere on AMC this October.

The Walking Dead Review – “Conquer” S5E16

Another great seasons in the books! The 90 minute format for the season finale was spectacular, and I hope that AMC will continue to present finales like that in the future. I know that AMC likes to borrow inspiration from the comic books, but this episode’s core story (Rick vs. Alexandria) was almost ripped panel for panel from issue #77 of the comic books (we’ve included the panels below). The events in Alexandria up until Jesus arrives (issue #91) are regarded as kind of boring, but this episode showed that there are more than a few ways to make the subject entertaining until then.

Pros:

Still the good guys: The take-away from his whole kerfuffle is that our team is still “the good guys.” Sure, Rick went off the deep end, but there were several opportunities our crew had to completely slaughter the Alexandrians and the chose the high road – notably Glenn.

TV Morgan > comic book Morgan: Another great separation between the book and show is Morgan’s character. No longer is he the frail insane man we met earlier. He is a Transcendentalist now. He must have found Walden somewhere on his trek from Crazy Town. And he’s a freakin’ ninja.

The Walking Dead - Conquer 6

Minor characters made the big difference here: While the finale focused on the big showdowns (Rick vs. Everybody, Glenn vs. fuckboy Nick, Sasha vs. Gabriel), it was words and small actions by the characters who had the least screen-time that made the difference. It was Michonne and Carl’s words that made Rick decide not to go all “Option 3” on everybody. It was Rosita that brought Abraham and Eugene together again. Jessie was the only one from Alexandria to speak in Rick’s defense. And it was Maggie’s reassured hands that led Sasha and Gabriel together in prayer – arguably the most powerful moment of the show to me.

The Walking Dead - Conquer 4
Raise your hand is you saw this coming.

 

FINISH HIM!: Mortal Kombat fans will be plenty pleased with this episode’s creative fatalities. Whipping a chain to lop off three heads? Check. Decapitating a mofo with an Alaskan license plate? Hell yeah, license plate collecting just gained a whole new generation of collectors. And then there’s my absolute favorite: sticking a gun all the way up inside the rotting head of a corpse and pulling the trigger, while the insides shower you from above. It’s pretty disgusting, but in a creative way.

“Like at Terminus”: No, Rick, not like at Terminus. This is “Option 3” from Gotham all over again. Why is the next step to grab the leaders and threaten to cut their throats? You saw how well that worked at Terminus, and those were actually the bad guys. Rick has been finding a reason to overtake the camp since day one, and I’m glad Glenn could put it in perspective for everybody.

What did the five fingers say to the face??
What did the five fingers say to the face??

Abraham, the eloquent: I don’t know how he does it, but Abraham Ford knows just the right words to tug at heart strings and make me laugh uncontrollably. When the mood gets too harsh, Abe reminds the citizens that there is a “vast ocean of shit that people don’t know shit about. Rick knows every fine grain of said shit… and then some.”

Eugene and Abraham bury the hatchet: Abraham repeatedly slapping things out of Eugene’s hands has become a household joke here at Hush. There was even a cosplay idea to just follow one of us around and continuously slap water out of Eugene’s hands. But in all honesty, it was really good for the show to have them finally take a moment and talk things through – especially after the transformation Eugene has gone through lately.

The Morgan-Rick dynamic: As happy as we were to see old friends reunited, Rick and Morgan have taken on completely different paths since they last saw each other – not only in skill, but in psyche. Morgan’s zen-like approach to the Wolves at the beginning (we’re assuming he trapped them in the car to buy himself some space, but we’ve heard other theories, too) is so far left of Rick’s presumed response of “kill them all, brutally.” I can’t wait to see how that plays out.

The Walking Dead - Conquer 3
Donatello still lives on!

 

Cons:

The hype: I know the stars have to do something to hype up the season finales, but this one was a bit much. Nobody important died. I didn’t need to bring my Kleenex. The anticipation of somebody dying (it could have happened multiple times with multiple characters) altered my expectations of the episode change, and so, when nothing happened, I left feeling a tad dissatisfied. It’s like when the people ahead of you in a roller coaster tell you it’s going to be the most terrifying ride ever – even if it’s scary, it’s still not as good as if you had no pretext.

How have the wolves not been mentioned yet?: So it’s not just me, but multiple people in the group have had run-ins with the aftermath of The Wolves. Mutilated bodies, desecrated communities. You would think that somebody would have to mention that “hey, there’s a roaming band of psychotic assholes out there” to Alexandria. Or even to each other.

Oh yeah! And there's a group of people mutilating bodies not too far from here.
Oh yeah! And there’s a group of people mutilating bodies not too far from here.

Still a better love story than Twilight: Jessie and Rick are the most boring story on the show right now. The connection between them doesn’t feel nearly as organic as in the comic books. He wants to play alpha male and take the most attractive female as his mate. Meanwhile, Jessie just wants the R. It’s not romantic, therapeutic or entertaining. Bleh.

What is this, Survivor?: Too much pre-apocalyptic television is to blame for this malarkey. The one-by-one story defense on why they shouldn’t vote Rick off the island is just dumb. It took the town hall thing a little too seriously. It looks like it worked, though, and both Pete and Reg were voted off in Rick’s stead.

Come at me, bro: Carol’s complexity has turned her into a frighteningly-unpredictable character. After throwing Rick under the bus like that in front of the group, I’m not so sure that she’s not playing double agent. If she’s turning into a sneaky two-timer, her stock will plummet for me.

The Walking Dead #77 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
The Walking Dead #77 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

Sasha is so emo right now: How sad and dead inside do you have to be to lay down in a pile of corpses? We get that she’s really sad about Bob and Tyreese – I mean, Rick went bonkers for half a season… But Sasha isn’t Rick, and watching her incrementally break down with PTSD is just as scary as it was with Rick.

The Walking Dead - Conquer 5
Life is pain… I think I’ll lay next to some corpses.

 

Glenn and Maggie are a couple, right?: In the books, Glenn and Maggie are inseparable. They are the Jay-Z and Beyoncé of the zombie apocalypse. In this show, they barely speak to one another. It’s a letdown, as there aren’t really any other couples left in The Walking Dead (aside from Aaron & Eric and Abraham & Rosita) aside from our power couple, so why is the show afraid to let love in?

Easter Eggs & Tidbits:

Morgan’s staff: Just as Michonne flicks the blood off her katana after a fresh kill, Morgan tries to do the same by cleaning off his bo staff. However, he finds it much more difficult to wash out the blood, which is perhaps a metaphor about how each stroke affects the characters. Because of Morgan’s past, wiping the sin clean is a more difficult thing to do for him. Also, Michonne’s sword has now slaughtered two close human characters, Herschel and now Reg.

Pete’s drunk murder: Long, sharp objects are not toys, and when Pete stumbles in drunk to get angry with Rick, he accidentally slashes Reg’s throat, almost an exact parallel of the comic book murder of Douglas’ wife Regina’s murder.

The Walking Dead #77 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
The Walking Dead #77 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
TWD 77 rick do it
The Walking Dead #77 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

 

Alexander Davidson: The origin of Alexandria began with this man right here. Aaron mentions him by name and details the story of how he was exiled for his manipulative rule over the community. It’s a theory that The Wolves are led by Davidson, as they follow similar scouting tactics as Alexandrians do.

Father Gabriel shirt: During Father Gabriel’s stroll, which included a walker kill, a good cry in the fetal position, and a tussle with Sasha on the ground, his shirt stays white. There’s no way that was an accident – these writers are too clever. I played around with the idea of purgatory, that God is mocking him by keeping his clothing pure and white. I don’t know; I’ll leave that metaphor up to somebody with a better theological point of view.

I don’t need my sword here: Michonne played around with the concept in the book, and that’s just what it turned out to be: playing. As much as she wanted Rick to blend in and accept the new system, there had to be a part of her that knew the world outside the walls were still as dangerous as ever.

TWD 80 sword
The Walking Dead #80 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

 

Face full of Band-Aids: If you’re thinking to yourself, “there’s no way Rick needs that many Band-Aids,” then you would be right. However, after the scuffle with Pete in the books, both Rick and Pete must have shared a toilet paper roll between them to put their faces back together.

TWD 77 rick bandages
The Walking Dead #77 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

 

Predictions:

Domino effect of bad crap: There was a lot of shitty things set into motion here. If the TV show continues to directly follow the comic book lore like they have been, it would appear that The Wolves are going to be the group of DC Scavengers found around issue #75-80. Their tactics are congruent with those of the Wolves, and they even use the same “you got it, I want it” mentality. Engaging with them also brings on a massive horde of walkers to Alexandria, killing several key players (including Douglas) and giving Carl a big ol hole in the head in the process.

However, in the TV show, they are much more frightening and sadistic. Also, the wall is much shorter in this rendition of Alexandria, and The Wolves seem much more intelligent and sneaky than in the books. Knowing that AMC wants to drag out The Walking Dead forever, we know that they will want to make The Wolves the main antagonists for the first half of Season 6, but there’s also a lot of The Saviors (Negan’s group) in this group of bad guys, so blending the two stories together seems logical since not much happens between the DC Scavengers and meeting Jesus.

TWD 75 trapped
The Walking Dead #75 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

 

TWD 78 little pig
The Walking Dead #78 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

 

Glenn is going to regret not killing Nicholas: Once a snake, always a snake. Glenn has turned the cheek too many times. He may have bought whatever coward’s loyalty he gained from not killing Nick this time, but he’s bound to switch sides on The Survivors the first chance he gets. In the comic books, his coupe for power is met with “Do you have any fucking idea who you’re talking to?” and a good punking, but things were pretty close to going the other way, too. Watch out for that guy…

Steven Yeun at Emerald City Comic Con 2015
Steven Yeun at Emerald City Comic Con 2015

Music from the Episode:

The song that made the walkers boogie oogie oogie into the food trucks was “Love and Mercy” by Gazelle Twin. You can find it on the upcoming Season 5 soundtrack, here, but below is the original Brian Wilson track.


 

Hush Comics gives “Conquer” a A- for doing the phrase “season finale” justice without needing to go over-the-top with a key characters depth, and showing us that The Survivors are still the good guys. It just could have done without so much fluffing.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page.