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
The Walking Dead can be a depressing show, which seems fitting when it focuses so much around the dead and dying. We always look for that glimmer of hope though, that things will get better for the survivors. Then of course we remember, this is The Walking Dead. You almost have to be a masochist to watch this show sometimes.
When things go wrong during what should be a routine meeting between The Saviours and the Kingdom Morgan (Lennie James) has to take action. With these actions though he starts a chain of events that may see the people of the Kingdom and most importantly Carol (Melissa McBride) join in the war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
With the direction that The Walking Dead is taking, the final episodes of this season better have some positive developments for everybody but the Saviours. I kind of feel though that this won’t be happening. What this creates though is a problem, and that is that people can only take so much depression for so long then they start to look for something a little lighter in tone. We saw this take effect after the deaths at the start of this season and the show is still dealing with this problem to this day. While it is understandable that in story terms, it still puts a strain on fans. If we look past the doom and gloom though, some important character development took place. Firstly, Carol found out for herself the truth that has been hidden from her. The changes in Morgan have also pushed her to some realisations, which has started a chain of events that will make Rick happy at least.
The character of Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is interesting, because he holds back from violence to protect the Kingdom that he has built. In many ways, he can be compared to his tiger companion who is capable of violence, yet is domicile and doesn’t attack. We know the tiger only has to strike though and the damage would be done. This is the power that Ezekiel and his Kingdom has. The fact that it looks like he is prepared to fight is a good sign for the war to come.
Things don’t look too good for Morgan though who is broken by the actions he takes this week. It seems that the actions of Richard (Karl Makinen) and some revelations from his past have opened old wounds for Morgan. The fact he mistakenly mentions his son’s name shows how deep the wounds are. In many ways, these are wounds that Carol has too, because of the way she makes herself the mother to many, and let’s not forget the loss of her own daughter. This makes it no surprise that the ripple effect of what Richard did, and his reasons for doing it, has affected the people around him.
The fact that truly breaks not only Morgan, but also Carol and in a way Ezekiel too is that their inability to act causes a tragedy this week, and a realisation that the status quo cannot continue. Morgan cracks because of it, Carol has a realisation, and Ezekiel understands his Kingdom is failing. Now they all have to act, in their own ways. So, in a way Richard finally got what he wanted, he pushed them to do what has to be done.
The fact we have only three episodes to go, and now Carol is pushing the Kingdom to take action means we are nearing the end game for this year. The fact that so many characters seem to be going towards inevitable doom isn’t a good sign for those of us who want to see something positive happen. If the Saviours come out on top, people may lose patience with the show. Though (like me) they will no doubt keep watching as that seems to be what we do with The Walking Dead these days, just keep going.
The Walking Dead is one of those shows that you can hate, but keep on coming back to. While this episode may have been depressing, it was still well made and the acting was second to none. Now that we’ve had some sadness, maybe next week can bring some positive…maybe? (doubt it).
The Walking Dead screens on Fox in the UK Mondays 9pm.