Saturday, 20 October 2018

#TWD The brilliance that was Season 6, my favourite episodes, and thoughts on Rick's demise... #TWDFamily

Review: S9:2 The Bridge
Picture post: They turned...

Like most TWD addicts, I've watched my favourite episodes so often I could almost act them out myself.  Do you agree with some of mine?  (Click title for more details)

S1:3 Tell it to the Frogs

S2:7 Pretty Much Dead Already 
S2:13 Beside the Dying Fire 
S3:4 Killer Within 

S3:15 This Sorrowful Life 
S4:8 Too Far Gone 

S4:14 The Grove 
S5:1 No Sanctuary 
S5:9 What's Happened and What's Going On 

S7:8 Hearts Still Beating 
S7:13 Bury Me Here 

... I haven't worked out which are my favourites of S8 yet, but S8:13 Do Not Send Us Astray is definitely one of them.

One season from which I can't pick my favourites, though, is the fabulous Season 6.  Not only is every episode a winner, but they come together as a whole to produce the best of televisual characterisation and slow-build menace.  From the quarry to the Wolves, to Morgan and Eastman, Dwight's first appearance, the trade agreement with the Hilltop, and the 'new world'....  'We have to come for them, before they come for us.'

S6:1 First Time Again is my top TWD episode of all time, with its to-ing and fro-ing in colour then black and white to show what happened between Reg and Pete's death and Operation Quarry.  Fabulous Walker action, lots of great character conflict and coming together, a bit of posititivity, and reminders of the past ~ it's got the lot.  'I ask, you answer; it's just common courtesy, right?'

It took me a couple of viewings to realise that the first nine episodes (ending with 9: No Way Out, with the best Walker despatching in TWD history!) actually take place over only three days, in TWD time.  Superbly plotted, eps 1-9 hardly contain a scene that isn't totally riveting, and the continuity is masterful.  While Rick was running to the RV, Alexandria was getting beseiged by the Wolves, Michonne was tussling with Heath, and Glenn and Nicholas were in a tight spot.... and Daryl was in the burnt forest in 6: Always Accountable, where we first heard word of the Saviors, later to discover on the road what he, Sasha and Abraham think are just a bunch of assholes.

From 10: The Next World to 16: Last Day On Earth - one of the most subtly terrifying TV episodes ever - the slow reveal of the Saviors storyline is genius.  Rick, Daryl and the Hilltoppers' misguided and almost cocky lack of understanding about how huge, resourceful and truly ruthless the Negan army is, makes the sinister unfolding of that last journey, and the final scene when our group is trapped in the forest, tired, scared, and utterly, utterly out of their depth, possibly the best TV climax I've seen.

It's just.... brilliant.   Which is why I hope we are going to see something similar with The Whisperers, in Season 9.  I suspect we saw the first hint of it at the end of 2: The Bridge ~ yes, yes, I know some say that they were first mentioned back in S3, when Rick met the unhinged Morgan back in King County and he talked about people wearing dead men's faces, but that was 3 or 4 years ago and several hundred miles away.... I'm not convinced!

Talking of S9, I'm trying to stop myself reading stuff about the possible demise of Rick.  Which I think might be even more traumatic than Glenn's death....I actually wonder if that was partly responsible for the drop in ratings.  EVERYONE loved Glenn!  But anyway....

  >Spoiler Alert, skip the next two paragraphs if you don't want to know anything else > 

Seems like Rick's going in the mid-season finale, and I've noticed from the IMDb cast list (this is the stuff I look at when the writing's not going well, okay?!) that also no longer listed in S9B are Jesus, Enid, Jerry, Nabila, Cyndie, Diane, Saviors Arat and Laura.... and, interestingly, Judith.  So perhaps he's not going to die.... perhaps he really will wander off over the horizon?  Leaving Michonne to lead everyone?

Yes, I know.  It could mean that Judith is going to die too, ie, be killed by The Whisperers.  Which is just too, too horrible.   I've heard tell of a Whisperer wearing Rick's face.  Waaah!  Good news is that it looks like Dwight's back, at the back end of S9B.  I'm just hoping that Rick won't die saving Daryl, who already has so much imagined guilt hanging over his head about the deaths of Denise and Glenn that it's a wonder he can see through it.  Oh no, that's his fringe.  Mwah, Daryl.  Always love you.  But lighten up, now and again....  oh, and I won't tell you what happens to Ezekiel in the comics... unless you really want to know...

>It's okay, you can look again now>

Thank you for reading, and I'd love to hear your views on how it might happen, your favourite episodes, etc!  Meanwhile, here are some nice bits :)

Monday, 15 October 2018

Some hold fast, while others collapse.....Review: THE BRIDGE #TWD S9:2 #TWDFamily #TheWalkingDead

Review: S9:1 A New Beginning

An all-encompassing title ~ brilliant episode, all about the shaky state of not only the physical bridge but also the metaphorical ones.  Rick tries to stop all he has built from crumbling once more, as former enemies join hands in comradeship over turbulent waters, but the clash of egos chips away at the supports beneath....

~ Michonne~
As ever, the queen of level-headedness tries to reach solutions to suit everyone ~ so, you need your blacksmith to mend the plough, but he's locked in a cage.  Um, why don't you, like, let him out...?  She sees all points of view, and every contour of the bigger picture.  Seems like she's the only person who can truly put aside all issues and prejudices, all that happened in the past, and just get on with the business of surviving.

~ Maggie ~
I'm getting a bit fed up with seeing her glum face; yes, yes, of course despatching Gregory was the right thing, but the business with Tammy and Earl?  Unnecessarily harsh.  If Michonne hadn't stepped in, would she still be stomping around, unmovable, with that downturned mouth?  Is this the woman Glenn fell in love with?  Nice to see a bit of the old Maggie at the end, though, when she compared Earl's situation with Hershel's, and relented.  I like Earl; he seems to be a good guy, give or take the odd bit of attempted murder, and he and Tammy are old-school authentic characters.  
>Spoiler alert>  I looked on the cast list on IMDb, and he's only in six episodes, so my guess is that he'll meet a sticky end ~ something else for Tammy to blame Maggie about?

I assume that little conversation with Jesus about Maggie joining Georgie The Key lady means that's where she'll go, at the end of this season.  Can she leave little Glenn behind, please? 

~ Daryl ~
It's realistic but so frustrating to see him always at war with Rick.  I want them to be brothers, working together...though he does talk sense: 'You may want to move ahead, but does everyone?'  'Are we, though?  Are we on the same side, Rick?'  The thing that Rick forgets, when he's trying to have meaningful dialogues, is that Daryl was a redneck ruffian before the zombie apocalypse brought out the best in him.  He learned from both his father and Merle to thump first and think later; even though he's evolved from that, it has to still be a part of him.  

But he's right about a lot of stuff.  Justin Savior deserved every thump. 

~ Rick ~
Oh, how good it is to see Rick smiling again... and just when I thought he was getting too 'we're all going to live in peace and harmony together' Deanna-ish, he came up with that excellent 'I used to be cop' speech to Justin Savior, letting him know who was boss.  Rick, we want you to remember who you arr-rrr, but it's good when you don't suffer Negans gladly, too.  Talking of whom, I imagine the Negan-Rick chats will continue to be a feature of this season, though I'm not too sure about the way in which Negan still seems to have the power to intimidate Rick.   

As for Alden with his 'They work for you, you protect them ~ who does that sound like?', I'd have been tempted to tell him to bugger off and go build a windmill, or something.  

~ Carol ~
Isn't it great to see her with her new family?  Even though many wish it was Daryl, not Ezekiel.  I'm pretty sure she is going to break the King's heart, somewhere along the line.  Generally, though, she just gets more and more awesome all the time.  Like Michonne, she sees what is really going on, not what she would like to see... as Michonne is the voice of reason between Rick and Maggie, so Carol is the fair, realistic middle ground between Rick and Daryl.  She has more of a nose for danger than Rick; she knows Daryl is right about the Negans.

...and talking of bridges, d'you remember this one?


~Love is in the air.... ~
Jerry and Nabila, Carol and Ezekiel ~ and Jadis-Anne and Gabriel???  Not sure I'm totally convinced by this one yet, but I suppose now that she's drawn him a picture of the woman he loved who he shut out of his church to be ripped apart by Walkers, anything could happen. 

Remember this, in S5:2 Strangers?

This season is all we could have hoped for so far, I'm loving it.  But I do want Rick's happiness to last longer than the odd day... and I think that the Atlanta Three ought to sit down with Michonne and thrash it all out.  Preferably with Maggie, too, if she can put her bottom lip away for long enough.  

Last of all - wasn't that a terrific ending?  Questions....
  • What's happened to the missing Saviors who've gone missing en route to Hilltop and back to the Sanctuary; are they deliberately sabotaging the bridge, or has something more spooky (whispery...) happened to them?  Does not bode well...
  • Are we ever going to find out who is in Jadis-Anne's helicopter?  
  • Would Siddiq have been able to save Aaron's arm?
  • Will Rosita pay Arat back for slicing her face? (She might want to think about Olivia while she's doing it, just in case she gets cold feet)
  • Please can we have Eugene's dialogue in subtitles so I can hear all his witticisms first time round instead of not catching them all until the fourth viewing? 
  • But most of all, which idiot is going to let Negan out of his cage? 

We wait with baited breath....

Future blog post ~ The Walking Dead Best Amputations?

Monday, 8 October 2018

Review: #TWD Season 9:1 A NEW BEGINNING #TWDFamily #TheWalkingDead

Review: S8:16 WRATH
Great Hershel Moments 

I'd like to start with saying how fitting it was, that on the day we heard about the death of dear Scott Wilson, we saw that Maggie's baby is named Hershel after his most loved character.  RIP, Scott and Hershel Greene.

Now: a big thank you, AMC, for giving us our show back.  It's what we want: the people, the survival and the Walkers.  A great start, giving an overview of what life is like in all the communities now; I loved the new opening graphics.  This is the real recovery, learning how to live again, not just get up, fight walkers, rinse and repeat (to slightly misquote Abraham).  A year or so since Season 8, Rick, brought back to the man he used to be by Carl's letter and maybe Morgan's last comments to him, too, believes he can build a Utopia.  

 But human nature isn't going to let him....

 ...for there is trouble at mill.  Like the defeated Royalists during Oliver Cromwell's time, some secret Negans are hatching plots.  The heads of Hilltop, Sanctuary and Alexandria  cannot agree on the way forward.  Sensible Michonne, always the voice of reason, has suggested a charter: a beginning of law, to which all will adhere.  But since when did all the people in a community of any size agree to kowtow to rules laid down by the leaders?  I love Rick, but he can match Deanna in idealism, at times.  Just because he is filled with renewed hope, it doesn't follow that everyone else is.

In any primitive society, it's always going to come down to food.  When Maggie said that she's fulfilled her obligation to the Saviors by not killing them, and that she doesn't have to feed them as well, I kind of agreed with her.  They don't have to live in the Sanctuary; they can go and get themselves a farm.  As Daryl pointed out, it's a factoryThey can't grow enough food there, by definition.  Why did Negan go out demanding meat and veg with menaces in the first place?   

But just when I was starting to think, yes, Maggie's got her head screwed on, she displays shades of Negan by executing Gregory in public.  In an echo of the Big Man, she was saying: 'Mess with me, and this is what happens to you'.  Gregory could have been despatched, quietly, but Maggie wanted to make a statement, one I think she might come to regret.  In the words of the late, great Joe Strummer: He who fucks nuns will later join the church.  Don't continue down this road, Maggie.  Don't defeat the tyrant only to take his place.  What would Glenn and Hershel have said?

By doing what she has done, so publicly, she is instilling fear, as did Negan.  Depends how you want to lead, I guess.....

I saw an echo of Season 2, when Rick's group faced their first serious dilemma in the newly lawless society - do they murder to keep themselves safe, or do they stay humane?  As before, children turned up unexpectedly, as Carl did just as Rick was about to execute Randall.  

Then, it was enough to jolt Rick back to his senses. This time, when Michonne called out that there were Hilltop kids present, Maggie went ahead and did the deed.  Perhaps the memory of how they used to be is too long ago, now.

Talking of the old gang, I'd like to shake Daryl's hand.  'There ain't no us anymore.  Everyone's everywhere.  That small group we had in the beginning ~ that was right' They were all on the same page; they got this thing.  Now, there are too many to manage, spread too thinly.  Our main gang (Rick, Carol, Daryl, Michonne, Maggie, Rosita, Eugene, Tara, and possibly Gabriel, Aaron, Enid and Jesus too, as they have now earned their place in the main title credits) should be together.  I totally get Daryl ~ 'Thing is, you changed it, Rick'.  Like I said, Deanna-like idealism...

So sad to think that five of these are gone now

As for Ezekiel and Carol.... and I am sure that lovely scene with Daryl and Carol will give all #Caryl fans hope for the future!  

'Does he snore fancy, too?'
 'He's alright.  Bit corny, but...'

I will end with a few questions:


  • How come pre-zombie apocalypse Health and Safety allowed that dodgy glass floor/ceiling in the museum in the first place?
  • How come Jesus has transformed from cool, snarky guy into Mr Sensitive with a man bun?  (No, Aaron; you can do better)
  • When will one of the Saviors say, hey, how about we go and live somewhere that isn't all concrete, so we can grow some spuds and shit like that? 

...a special mention for the 'de-evolution of man' in the museum, and the evidence that there were once people camping there who, presumably, became the Walkers within.  Also, the way Carol saved the day for the 199th time, by overhearing Daryl telling Rick that he wasn't happy managing the Sanctuary, and offering to take over.  Now, excuse me while I go and watch it again....

The Many Faces of Daryl Dixon