Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Walking Dead Reaction: “Now” (6x05)

After our flashback in last week's episode, The Walking Dead returns to the present. Here's what we thought of the return to Alexandria. (The Walking Dead is rated TV-MA, so please proceed with caution.)

Jameson C. Smith

This week’s episode brought us back to the present to see how the Alexandrians are holding up after the Wolves attacked. What a day it’s been, eh?

(A statement the writers probably haven’t made this season.)

Actually, the tight timeline really adds to the suspense this season, so I think containing so much of the season to a single day has been a successful narrative choice. Anyway…

There’s a big rift between the Alexandrians now, and it’s intriguing to see which side everyone is falling on. Either you accept that the world is dangerous and dark now but try to do what you can in spite of it, or you give up. Major Alexandria characters are leaning toward the former—Deanna and Jessie—so I’m really curious to see how their decisions will impact the others.

Deanna has been under a lot of pressure and has experienced so much loss during that short time. This week, we finally saw more of how she is handling everything. I thought it interesting how she still wants to see Alexandria succeed and believes that it can and how the confrontation with Spencer prompted her to see problems she wanted to look past. It would be great to see everyone stand together and defend Alexandria instead of giving up.

Aaron also had some big moments in this episode. He finally admitted to everyone that he feels responsible for the attack because he lost the photos of Alexandria. He also volunteered to help Maggie in her quest to find Glenn, which also acted as his own search for redemption, I think. I really liked how he and Maggie were feeling a lot of the same things this episode and were able to help each other.

I think the storyline that most had my attention this week though was the one regarding Maggie. Maggie has been in this situation before (not long ago in the show’s timeline), and I think that played well into her decisions in the episode. I also like how she is so resilient and doesn’t want to just give up on Glenn, but she knows that she needs to accept the way things have played out, whatever the end result may be. Beyond Glenn’s possible death, I think she was also allowing herself to accept what had happened to the rest of her family. (Also: Maggie is pregnant!)

Other stuff and things:
Morgan is still keeping the Wolves’ leader a secret but for how much longer?

I don’t trust Ron. At all.

I think they’re trying to make it too obvious that Glenn is dead, which makes me hopeful. But I also know better than to trust the writers of this show.

Confession: I don’t ship Rick and Jessie. I think she is an interesting character, so my mind could change later, but I just don’t think they would make a good couple right now.

The Ricktatorship has returned. (Though I admit I kind of wanted to see Carol take over as leader of Alexandria...)

Erinn Leach

Glenn is the new Sophia, except his intelligence is way more mature and adapted to this world than that poor child. I was sad to not see Carol or Michonne in this episode; I mean, they took down a savage group of people in such a stealthy way! An appearance would have been nice, so that Rick would know they're stable. Father Gabriel was missing as well, but then again, I don't care too much about his whereabouts.

I guess we'll assume that Rick is Road Runner and managed to just run away from the hoard of zombies that surrounded the RV. Rick gets smooched by his lady friend, Jessie. I guess she's over Rick shooting her husband. Good, because I was sick and tired of her making excuses for that abusive man. Now Rick is teaching her son to shoot...I don't have a good feeling about that. 

Deanna has a thing or two to learn about how to deal with zombies. Like how to keep them out, how to not freeze up in fear, and how stabbing it in the chest repeatedly will do nothing to something that is already dead. What's up with Spencer getting hammered? He's as bad as his brother.

I'm also sad to see that Rick isn't gung-ho about finding Glenn, which is another reason Glenn's situation reminds me of Sophia. They searched how long for her? And they didn't have the slightest clue where she was. They know the general location of where Glenn would be, and Maggie is about to scale a wall for her man. I don't think climbing would be the best thing for the baby. I'm equally elated and terrified of the road ahead for Maggie and her unborn.

I know that every show needs a filler episode, and this one helped ease that tension I have in my neck. My biggest complaint is that Carol and Michonne weren't filling in Rick on the attack. Those women are not the type to hide away after a big moment. 

Sky Destrian

It’s hard for me to sum up my thoughts on this episode. On one hand, it had several good moments and spent some time to develop its characters and plot lines. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that it was slightly boring. We started off with a jam-packed, shocking first three episodes, and then the past couple of episodes have been slower-paced. After the flashback Morgan-centric episode we had last week, I was expecting to return to the heart-pounding excitement in the present—and we kind of did, just not as much as I would have liked.

I think part of my problem is that we have so many characters now that it’s hard for me to get attached to the new ones (Deanna, Spencer, Ron, etc.), especially because they haven’t been quite as developed as much as I would have liked. That said, I do think this episode did help with character development. A lot of this episode dealt with how the Alexandrians are adapting to what life is like outside the walls. Denise is forced into the role of doctor, which has to be terrifying. Aaron deals with his own guilt, as does Spencer. Some of the Alexandrians have decided to just give up, which breaks my heart. In addition, Deanna’s acceptance of reality was really good to see, as was all of the Alexandrians’ perspectives on “the world falling apart.” (Though I’m not happy at all with Spencer’s hypocritical stance on the food supply.)

The parts where the Alexandria residents wrote names on the wall was poignant. It was a brutal reminder the humanity amongst all of the chaos. We got to see Jessie’s struggle with her son, Sam, who’s traumatized from what happened and doesn’t want to come downstairs. We also saw a new Jessie, a more determined Jessie. I’m looking forward to seeing where her character goes as we move forward. (But to echo Jameson and Erinn: where were Carol and Michonne?!)

Some of the Alexandria residents, however, are determined to protect Alexandria from the Wolves and the walkers. They’ve set up watch, and Rick has told them to be quiet as a graveyard. (This is something that people violated at least three times throughout the episode, but who’s counting?)

Quick side note. My question is this: obviously Alexandria is hard to defend since you need to watch it from four sides. Why hasn’t our crew tried to go to a coastal city yet? Then they would have to defend less, since the ocean would be behind them. (Unless there are walkers in the ocean, which I’d really rather not think about.) Better yet, why don’t they go to an island, as my brother suggested?

I don’t know what’s up with Ron, but something doesn’t sit right with me about him. Maybe I just don’t like the idea of him potentially taking Carl’s place, but he bugs me. I also hope we get to see Judith soon; I miss her.

I’d have to say my favorite parts about this episode were the scenes with Aaron and Maggie. His comment about Aaron being a unisex name was extremely adorable. I also liked the sewer scene, which provided enough horrifying-walker factor for me to be satisfied with this episode.

Maggie’s perspective on Glenn was heartbreaking. I hate that she’s having to face the idea of life without him, especially after the rest of her family’s deaths. Her comment about burning the picture of him broke my heart; it was a nice reminder of that moment, and it really brought home what’s at stake, not only for Glenn, but Maggie as well. (Their love ruins my emotions.)

Okay, also, can we talk about the fact that Maggie is pregnant? I’m sure we all kind of saw this coming but wow. I’m not surprised, and I’m in fact happy for them, but pregnancy in the apocalypse is not going to be easy. Considering how Lori’s pregnancy turned out, I’m concerned for what lies ahead for Maggie (and Glenn, for that matter, who is still lost who-knows-where).

As we move forward, there are a lot of threats to consider. I’m concerned about the immediate threat of the walkers outside the walls. What was with that scene at the end? I guess the walls are bleeding, as Chris Hardwick said on The Talking Dead. My personal theory is that it’s blood from the walkers banging their heads and various appendages against the wall.

Also, this episode reminded me of not only Glenn’s fate, but Sasha, Abraham, and Daryl’s fates. They’re not out of danger, either. Next week’s episode preview promises to show us lots of Daryl at least, so I’m excited about that. In the meantime...

Have you seen “Now”? What did you think? React with us in the comments!

(P.S. It's official: The Walking Dead's infamous comic villain, Negan, will be showing up later in season 6.)


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