I was really prepared to dislike this episode. Seriously, my finger was on the big red button. The almost deaths this season have become a bit infuriating. How many times has Glenn almost been eaten? Too many to count, honestly. Kill the guy already, if that’s how you feel.
The world of The Walking Dead seems to have increasingly become a world of no consequences. Yes, terrible shit does happen to these characters on a constant basis. I just mean that if a zombie creeps up behind you and knocks you down on the floor, you should be dead. Getting mauled by a zombie should be like flag football. They grab you, you’re dead.
So when we saw Eugene fall to the ground in tonight’s episode, a zombie on top of him, I was sure he was a goner, only he wasn’t…And when Aiden was impaled at the warehouse for being a dumbass, he took a few more breaths than we needed, and I was enraged. You can’t keep teasing us with stakes if you’re just going to keep revoking them. This is a message to the writers, of course.
You’ll imagine my glee when zombies finally started feasting on secondary characters tonight, after a season that’s been actually very tame in terms of character deaths. Aiden did end up dying in a sequence that would make George A. Romero so very proud. It reminded me of all those dismemberment scenes in Day of the Dead. Delicious. And good for the writers to get rid of Aiden, who was a big dick anyway. His pal Nicholas better be coming up next. He’s the worst.
Noah’s death had a bit of a satisfying arc. After beng the indirect cause of Beth’s death in the midseason finale, losing his community in the midseason premiere, and indirectly getting Tyreese killed, Noah needed a new start. And he’s promised one, as Reg agrees to teach him architecture and how to keep Alexandria’s walls up. His death pretty much signifies the hopelessness of that notion — that the group will ever be able to stay safe anywhere.
The entire set piece that would prove to be Noah’s last is especially brilliant. The revolving door is creative and exciting. I was almost sure Nicholas would be the one to die in that scene. I gathered that Glenn was safe and that Noah would be, too, but I should’ve known better. Noah expressed hope and a general benevolence in the beginning of the episode. And you should know that means you’re about to die on the show.
Let’s talk about how gross his death is, as the zombies hands dug into Noah’s face, ripping apart the flesh, Glenn watching on the other side of the glass in horror. It will probably absolutely be my favorite death on the show. Of course, it’s sad to lose Noah, though. I liked him, even if he wasn’t particularly important to the plot.
Oh, but this episode was also pretty predictable in terms of set pieces. You knew the supply run was going to go very poorly, that a minor character might die. It seemed like Eugene for sure, but he proved to be a welcomed break in the tension throughout the episode. Maybe I was supposed to take him seriously, but it’s impossible. Not with his robot-speak and mullet. Eugene luring zombies in the dubstep band is some of the funniest television I’ve seen courtesy of The Walking Dead. I was ready to say Eugene is pointless and should be killed off, but maybe I can handle a few more episodes with the coward, if only to see him grow some balls. Then the writers can kill him off.
Tara, on the other hand, is pointless and should probably be written out of the show. Why exactly should we care about a character we’ve barely seen on screen, and who really doesn’t have much to contribute in terms of story? Saving her tonight seemed like a missed opportunity. Or maybe she dies from her wounds next week?
Okay, we’ll talk Rick, Abraham, Carol, and Gabriel real quick, even though this was more of a “what are the minor characters up to?” episode. It almost seemed like a whole lot of filler, as we approach the end of the season, but the deaths saved the episode. Because who really cares about most of the characters in this huge cast anymore? I’m glad they’re slowly starting to thin the numbers on the show and focusing in on the main characters. Of course, Noah and Aiden’s deaths advance the story in a very interesting way. Both sides have now lost someone. Tensions are going to really rise now.
Ah, I didn’t talk about Rick, Abraham, Carol, or Gabriel, did I? Let’s make a list to end things:
BEST OF THE REST
– Carol is the wicked stepmother that Sam never really wanted. He’s just in it for the cookies. I love watching Carol interact with children, especially after all the shit the younglings have put her through in the series. Carol will warm up to Sam, I think.
– This isn’t actually a good comment: the owl statue mystery was annoying. Who cares about the owl statue? Do you? Tell me why in the comments.
– Rick is going to kill Pete.
– I like seeing Maggie lobby for more leadership roles. This is obvious foreshadowing. Maggie is a great character, and she needs a much larger role on the show. I have a feeling that Deanna won’t last forever. What do you think?
– Gabriel’s monologue at the end of the episode is fantastic. It reminded me of Donald Pleasance trying to convince everyone that Michael Myers was evil. So good. His struggles with faith, on the other hand, are pretty boring. We see ALL of these characters struggle with that all of the time. No one needs a very LITERAL translation of that conflict.
– Abraham’s PTSD is not new, and I doubt we’ve seen the end of it. I think he’s going to end up killing some people on accident. It’s cool he’s Bob the Builder now, though.
– Daryl has a motorcycle again. Time and space have been righted.
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