Monday, 25 March 2019

'I have a feeling it's going to be a hard winter' ~ Review: #TheWalkingDead S9:15 THE CALM BEFORE #TWD #TWDFamily

Review: S9:14 SCARS

An episode that has to go down as one of the TWD all time greats - a round of applause to Laura Belsey for directing, and Geraldine Inoa and Channing Powell for writing.

Jaw drop in amazement time, or what?  There was me, thinking that Carol turning round to wave goodbye to Ezekiel as the gate closed meant that it would be he who died... little knowing that all those cute/positive/amusing scenes with Enid, Tammy Rose, DJ, Tara, etc were to be their last.  I was even thinking, you know whatI'm really starting to like Tara now.  

She was the one who saw that as long as they had Lydia, everyone was at risk.  When they sent all their best fighters off to Hilltop, I so wanted to do that 'he's behind you' thing ~ knowing that Alpha had already been told that everyone was at the Kingdom.  Would Rick have made the same decision, I wondered?

Oh, but that ending...TWD gold.  The discovery of 'Alpha's border' was so emotive, with the grey sky and the wind blowing, and the mournful violin music as background (round of applause for that)... and Daryl trying to stop Carol from seeing the end spike.  Then the final scene, with Daryl and Lydia on the hill, the first flakes of snow blowing across the ground.  Perfect suspense, atmosphere, acting, everything.  Bravo.

The only aspect of this brilliant episode that I wasn't so sure about was the end of Siddiq's speech, when he talked about the ten lives being cut short, them dying as heroes but honouring them (that was the sort of talk that got Carl killed, mate); the terrible scene when the hapless ten tried to fight off the Whisperers could still have been shown, but I thought Siddiq's heartwarming sentiments came too soon after the losses, and were not in tune with the shocking, stark horror of the end, which was every bit as tragic and heart-wrenching as the morning after the night in the woods with Negan.  I think if anyone had made a similar speech to Maggie, Sasha and Rosita on that day, it would not have been well-received.

How will the lost of Henry impact on Carol and Ezekiel?  Well, we did say that he was going to get people killed...



The fair itself was a delight to see, and Ezekiel's tribute to Rick, Carl and Jesus most moving, though someone ought to have reminded him that whenever he does rousing and inspirational, lots of people die... Jerry should have nudged him and said, dude, remember Some Guy?

Some lovely reunions, though, the one between Michonne and the King bringing a tear to my eye, and Carol and Judith; I was waiting for Carol to tell her about when she first saw her :)

The pre-titles part was inspired, too—I do love a flashback showing how someone got to where they are now.  Later, it was pretty gross to think that Alpha was not only wearing Hilda's hair but her scalp.

The anticipation of the horror to come built when Alpha took Daryl high up, to see the herd that the 'skins' walk amongst, steering them... Daryl still showed no fear, when he said that Alpha's people living 'as nature intended' was 'just the bullshit you feed your sheep to keep them following you'.

Alpha talked about marking the border between their territories, but what filled me with dread was just before; she said that as the alpha she had to assert herself, and Daryl said, 'What did you do?'.  His voice was laden with apprehension, the fear returning, like he just knew that something horrendous had gone down.  I expect I'm not the only one who thought it was going to be Ezekiel's head, as per the comics, though I give myself a pat on the back for not falling for the Rosita red herring later on!

Then there was the relief when he was reunited with Carol, Michonne and Yumiko in the sunny dawn, with the slightly mournful but 'it's okay now' music... not knowing what awaited them.

Other stuff I liked:
  • The scene with Rosita and Eugene; loved how he got a bit bold, and she said, 'Don't push it.'  Abraham would have been proud of her.
  • The grown-up Rachel from Oceanside - very well cast.
  • Michonne's speech at the signing of the agreement between the communities, about giving people a chance.
  • The lingering look that Daryl gave Connie when he asked her to look after Dog...💓

~ Maybe there is a TWD afterlife, where Enid can go to be with Carl again ~

~ RIP ~

(couldn't find a picture of just Rodney and Addy!)

The storm is coming....



  1. I totally thought it would be the King on the last spike--as you know, I LOVE the King--so like a jerk I was a bit relieved it was Henry. That scene (for me) topped the Negan brutality, even though we lost Glenn. The overkill, the cruelty, the theater of it was so grotesque, so inhuman...yes, one of the all-time great episodes but also one of the most disturbing.

    1. Oh, I'm just glad not to have to be irritated by Henry every time he's on screen anymore, though am sad for Carol! Yes - I agree with all you say. I feel saddest about Enid and Tara, as Tara is the longest running character after Daryl, Carol and Michonne (and Judith, I guess!), as she appeared early in S4, and Enid was such a darling all round! And I wish they hadn't got rid of the hunky DJ - he was a worthy addition to the whole show! And Tammy Rose... I really liked her.

  2. Bloody hell!! The feeling of dread was easily on a par with the Negan in the woods scene. Alpha brilliantly played by Sam Morton is chilling. The Whisperers are acting like a Native American war party attacking wagon trains & scalping victims. Yes we had a problem with Henry but none of them deserved that fate & Alpha will regret poking the Wasp nest called Carol.

    1. And also like the Vikings - leaving one alive to tell the tale!

      I think it was, in some ways, better than the Negan in the woods thing. It was more raw, less theatrical. And I liked that there hadn't been the big build up so much as the 'who shot JR' type thing between S6 and 7. Everyone thought it was going to be Ezekiel, anyway!!

  3. Was it Ezekiel in the comics who was killed? Although like Bond/Scooby Doo baddies, Negan/Whisperers explain their "wicked plans" & leave the people who can stop them alive!

    1. Yes, it was, and Rosita! And haaa - you're right!

  4. Oooohhhh, well, I've taken your advice and caught up. It did get better, thank goodness, but I still don't like all the time hopping and was really miffed at all the opportunities there have been to get rid of Negan AGAIN! But what an evil character Alpha is! Quite chilling. SM plays her brilliantly. I'm now up to date again :-)

    1. Doesn't she just? I wouldn't have thought there could be anything as frightening as Negan, but this is something else.

      Yes, I thought that Maggie-going-down-to-kill-Negan-then-not was a bit lame. I love the flashback - time jump stuff. I know a lot of people wish, like Daryl said in ep 1, that it was still just their small group, but I think it had to evolve, as life would.

      I believe Negan stays alive for some time yet in the comic books, and I would imagine he was kept in the TV series because he's such a popular character, and JDM is so good.

    2. ps, glad you're back on board!!!!

  5. I'm so loving this season. Alpha is indeed ruthless as is Beta. I think Beta has a whole other level of uglyness waiting for Daryl. The fact that Daryl outsmarted him....I don't think he's taking that very well and I fear for the things he has in store for Daryl to show him some payback. The skins are very smart. Alpha is not some dumb woman who just thought of the right idea. She knows exactly what she needs to do to keep her group following her and she blends in so well when she wants to.

    The deaths of Enid, Tara, Henry and the others didn't really get to me (sorry). I never liked Henry with his pouthy lips and dumb actions. Never warmed up to Enid and Tara as well. I would've like the Highway men to evolve though since I think they would have been a great group to have on your side.

    I agree that the speech after their deaths was a bit to much. If it would've been my loved one I probably would have decked him on the spot.

    I can't wait to find out what happens next and if Carol will go into Beast mode again! She's so amazing and she makes one hell of a team with Daryl. I'm so sad that she keeps having to deal with these losses.

    Absolutely a bone chilling season!

    1. Totally agree - I am glad to see the back of Henry!!! Stupid pouty lips, indeed! I feel sad about Enid and Tara because they've been with us a long time now. And yes, I think it was a waste of DJ and the Highwaymen.

      So glad you agree re the speech - and EXACTLY, I would have decked him too! Especially coming from Siddiq, without whom Carl would still be alive. If it had come from Michonne or Carol it might have stood up more.

      Agree all you said re Alpha and Beta - and this season is TERRIFIC, isn't it?!

  6. Amazing thing is...anyone missing Rick? I'm not.

    1. I still feel sad about him if I think about him, but him not being there anymore has made it a different show - just as good, but just... different.