Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Chad Coleman, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Lennie James, Sonequa Martin-Green, Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, Jeffrey Dean Morgan | Created by Robert Kirkman
I’m a fan of The Walking Dead, but I have many complaints about how the show often presents itself. One thing that it does well though is the slow build-up, and it does it confidently. That is why episode 10 is a good sign for season seven, as the army to take on Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) begins to form.
Having found Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the group also discover a new collection of survivors who at first are aggressive. While Rick is trying to form an alliance with the new group and being tested, Daryl (Norman Reedus) meets an old friend on the outskirts of the Kingdom.
It is always interesting to see new characters appear in The Walking Dead, they can be quite refreshing. The Scavengers also known as the “Heapsters” may not be friends yet, but there does seem to be a level of respect from their leader Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh). Though she does test him first.
The test is by far the most interesting encounter that Rick has had in the second half of the season, and comes in the form of Winslow, the zombie covered in metallic spikes. The scenes are reminiscent of Army of Darkness with Bruce Campbell doing battle with Deadites in a pit. Though where Ash has a chainsaw on hand, Rick only has his wits.
While Rick is battling for the respect of the ‘New Best Friends’ Daryl is having a reunion. This features emotional scenes, but also telling ones. The fact he holds back certain facts from her lets us know that he understands where she is as a character right now. The revealing of Carol’s location to Daryl also shows a weakness in the Kingdom, so it will be interesting to see where this leads.
It almost feels refreshing that the focus on the Heapsters takes the place of Negan. The building of an army to take care of him and his Saviours, if anything it seems more important to build up the forces and not let him have more fun at other’s expense. I’m sure we’ll be seeing him soon, but for now it feels good to know that he may be there, but we don’t have to go through another set of scenes with him parading his ego around. Though it seems we get some Negan focused story-line next week.
The route that The Walking Dead is taking now is showing a lot about the characters. From Daryl and his protectiveness of Carol, to Rosita and her almost viscous new look on life. These are traits in the characters that are revealed to set things up in the future, and that is a good example of the long-game that The Walking Dead does so well.
While I lacked confidence in The Walking Dead in the first half of Season 7 I have to admit I’m liking the direction the show is taking now. The new characters, especially Jadis, are adding interest and the build up to the battle against Negan has begun. Horror fans will love the addition of Pollyanna McIntosh to the show. Now just to see if the rest of the season lives up to what appears to the build-up in anticipation that is taking place.
The Walking Dead screens on Fox in the UK, Mondays at 9pm.