The Walking Dead: “First Time Again” Review

The Walking Dead is back! Finally! Our favorite characters have returned in Alexandria and the stakes are high this season. Thing pick up in a nonlinear fashion, shifting from flashback scenes in black and white, to the present timeline. It was refreshing to see the TWD in black and white and was a great nod to the first season’s episodes without color. This 90 minute episode was chock full of action and things going wrong so let’s dive right in.

We get a lot of rehash in the flashbacks, which provide some nice moments between Rick and Morgan. I think that worked best to refresh the audience on what’s happened while getting Morgan up to speed. Morgan quickly sees that Rick is no longer the risk-taking second chance kind of guy of the past and realizes how ruthless he is becoming. Rick was quick to kill Pete, although he could have jailed him, as Morgan suggested. He didn’t want to bury him either and would have quickly killed the conspiring Carter in that moment (for a second, I thought he was). Morgan may serve as the “moral guideline” or antithesis of Rick this season and one could guess that since the trailers leading up to the season heavily hinted at a conflict. My guess is Morgan will die. The moral symbol always dies. RIP Dale, Hershel, and Tyrese.

In the flashbacks, we see how things are still very unsettled as Deanna is still grieving and the town is semi-fearful of Rick and his plan. Carol said it best noting that while Deanna is in charge, Rick is in charge. He is running the show and she’s just following his orders essentially. Rick actually had a great plan of diffusing the shit ton of Walkers that were found in the quarry. By the way, what was up with all of those Walkers?! You had to think that there was something holding the zombies back from overrunning Alexandria and that was a great explanation. My only gripe with that is who positioned the trucks to block the zombies off?

While that many walkers being present was one of my favorite parts of the episode, the best thing had to be the interpersonal relationships and fun dynamics between partners. The aforementioned Rick and Morgan dynamic is a great contrast. Rick was more humane and Morgan was at one point crazy, so the two being around each other echoes remnants of the past. Now, they almost switched rules, being that the former has almost given up on humanity and the latter hasn’t. Glenn and scumbag Nicholas is also another interesting dynamic, since Nicholas got Noah killed, left Glenn for Dead, and flat out tried to kill Glenn. Glenn being the good guy that he is, is trying to reform Nicholas but is weary of letting him help in important situations. It’ll be interesting to see if Nicholas gains his redemption of some kind. The car ride between Sasha and Abraham (“We’ll do it live!”) was great. Abraham is, well, Abraham. He does make note of Sasha’s previous suicidal tendencies of the last season.

Let’s wrap with the Walker Parade failing thanks to a well-timed horn. Who sounded the alarm? Who ruined the almost flawless execution of Rick’s plan? Was it one of Rick’s conspirers? The Wolves? I guess we’ll find out next week.

Last Points:

  •   Daryl is a complete badass.
  •   Morgan, Michonne did eat your last protein bar!
  •   Glenn’s pizza line= Perfect
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Walking Dead #141 Review

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This issue picks up with Rick finishing up his route between the communities and heading back to Alexandria to some unwarranted news. Let’s check out what happened in our favorite zombie themed comic.

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So right off the bat, Rick has a surprise meeting with Dwight who’s been having concerns regarding his role as leader. He doesn’t want the position anymore as head honcho of the Sanctuary. This interaction between Rick and Dwight already creates a major difference in the characters. While Dwight assumed power following Negan and now wanted Rick to choose the next leader, Rick thought what most good leaders would, and proposed an election. This whole issue focused a lot on how Rick has to be better or as he puts it, more capable than the rest. He has to make the higher decisions. The tough ones that may not be the popular opinion but the overall right thing to do to keep society going. We also go to see that the people of the Sanctuary are still not liked. I suppose it makes sense but you’d think the time and changes would affect their incorporation into society.

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The highlight of this issue however was the payoff of for the big reveal of last issue: Negan was free from his cell. What would he do? How many would he murder in Rick’s absence? Would he try to escape or take a hostage? Short answer is no, none of the above. When Rick finds Negan calmly waiting in his unlocked cell, he immediately assumes the worst and this is where we get to see Negan at his finest. You can’t help but love Negan’s style and attitude. While he explains he did nothing to begin building trust between the two, Rick still destroys any hope Negan has of establishing that and the age old question arises once again. Why is Negan alive?

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Of course Rick gives Olivia, who was responsible, a tongue lashing and is entirely upset with the situation but why not kill Negan so this can never happen? His conversation with Andrea, which was very soap boxy, explains how he has to be more capable than others to keep things together essentially. While Andrea sees and understands that for Rick’s just reasoning, Negan thinks otherwise, describing Rick’s decision as a means to justify that he is not the monster he may believe himself to be. I thought those to contrasts were great points and both just as valid when looking back throughout the series.


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While Rick is taking the high road to keep the community from destroying itself from the inside out, Maggie does quite the opposite. I’m sure her decision to execute her inept assassin will have lasting consequences at the Hilltop. People are already starting to distrust her and her actions and this will only cause more chaos as the story unfolds.

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Look for Issue #142 to continue following the events of Rick and company and of course, updates from Negan’s Cock Fan Club.

 

 

The Walking Dead Episode 414 Review

 

“The Grove” focuses on Carol and Tyreese this time around as they continue their trek to Terminus. They find an abandoned house to rest up in and that’s when things get interesting. Lizzie and Mika are really highlighted in this episode and how they feel about killing Walkers and people. Tyreese and Carol’s impending conflict is also foreshadowed as Carol’s guilt grows.

Lizzie and Mika

As many of us have seen, Lizzie has a very different understanding of the Walkers. While she isn’t afraid of killing people she is opposed to killing Walkers since they are her “friends”. Lizzie has a very obscure perception of the dead, viewing them as non-harmful or really threatening. On the other hand, Mika understands how dangerous the dead are but does not want to harm anything. This presents a problem for the girls and Carol since she knows they have to kill to survive. In that world, there’s no room for people who can’t kill or those who have a twisted perception of what Walkers are.

Lizzies decision to kill Mika as a means to display her beliefs was horrifying and sad. It was a nod to the comics when one of the twins, Billy, murders his brother for a similar reason. That scene was such a tough moment. It was beautifully shot and the present danger for the well-being of everyone in the group was now in danger. Who’s to say baby Judith wasn’t next to die for Lizzie to prove her point? And I think that’s why Carol knew she had to do what was necessary for the group.

Although Carl kills the murderer in the comics it is Carol who carries out the deed in the show. You could tell it was tough for Carol to kill Lizzie since she was a mother-like figure to the girl. However, Carol has killed for the “greater good” before and is now a hardened character. The scene was also a nice allusion to Of Mice and Men when George has to kill Lenny. Lizzie just could not live in that world.

 

Carol and Tyreese

Tyreese was happy to see a familiar face in Carol when she first arrived a few episodes ago. That causes Carol’s guilt to grow as Tyreese confides in her and opens up about the loss of Karen. Talk about awkward. After multiple conversations in which Tyreese discusses Karen, his comfort and trust in Carol, and the idea of avenging Karen, Carol breaks down. I think that was impart to the deaths of Lizzie and Mika. She was pretty distraught afterwards and even tells Tyreese to do what he needed to do. I assumed Tyreese would forgive Carol in that moment but I don’t think he would have back at the prison. The wound heals with time and his time with Carol has affected his outlook.

It’s a shame the whole staying at the house idea didn’t work. It was pretty secluded and their was game present to hunt but after the children’s death it was the right decision to continue on to Terminus. They couldn’t stay there anymore. I really enjoyed Mika and Lizzie’s performance’s and the growth of Tyreese’s character.

 

You did what?

Last Points

Mika, nice guys finish last.

Glad we found out Lizzie was feeding the Walkers and dissected the rabbit at the prison.

“Look at the Flowers”.

 

9/10 Flowers

The Walking Dead #123 Review

Following the events of issue 122, we find Negan’s camp preparing for their assault on Hilltop. I just want to take note of the cover. Dwight may betray Rick?Let’s find out.

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The issue opens with Eugene being freed along with all those captured with him. They make their escape just as Negan is about to attack and a couple of Negan’s followers join them. They aren’t discussed in the rest of the issue at all and I’m curious as to where they went. Considering the impending battle, they could have made for zombie infested Alexandria but other than that, I don’t know where they could go. On the other side of the wall, the camp is eating dinner and we get a glimpse of how this war has changed some people. While conversing with Andrea, Maggie reveals how depressed and lonely she is (and will be). She feels there won’t be anyone else for her but I believe she is really still healing from the loss of Glenn. Time heals most wounds. We also see that Carl is in a sort of in between zone. He is neither child nor adult in this zombie apocalypse since he isn’t allowed to “be a kid” and he doesn’t gain the responsibility of the actual adults. He can’t even converse with Sophia, although she was always… loopy.

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Rick also gives us a bit of his optimistic side which is abruptly interrupted by Negan’s assault. His strategy conserves bullets and results in a definite kill. As Negan’s men enter the camp, chaos takes over as Rick’s group is not completely prepared for such a sudden attack. Once again, Negan’s strategy to not let up or give them time to recover gives them an upper hand. He really is a smart militant character.

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Amidst the chaos, Negan and Dwight flank Rick and have an open shot to take out the hero. Negan knows without Rick, the rest of the group can’t win this war and charges Dwight with taking out Rick with a mucked bolt.The cover really foreshadowed this event and we see where Dwight’s loyalty lies.

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Now Dwight takes the shot but I’m having a hard time believing he used an altered bolt. Earlier in the issue he did make note of how they shouldn’t be altering the weight of the bolts and Negan had his back turned so there’s no way he could have known. If Dwight did take out Rick, there would be no way for him to be free of Negan as things would eventually go back to the way they were. We’ll see next issue.

The Walking Dead 123-022 Overall

A lot of action in this issue following the slower pace of #122. Rick suffers a potentially fatal wound in the battle at Hilltop which could shift the tide in Negan’s favor. With Negan’s men causing havoc in Hilltop, it’ll be interesting to see where Kirkman takes this war from here. Only three more issues until the arc is over and we’ll need some type of major change at the end of it.

 Negan: “What-the-Fuck-Ever. Christ”

7.5/10 Kittens

I do not claim the rights to these images. Images are from Image Comics “The Walking Dead”. For review purposes only. 

Walking Dead 122 Review

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The Walking Dead issue 122 picks up with Eugene being held at the Saviors camp. In the previous issue, Eugene and all those working at the ammunition station were captured by Negan. Inside man Dwight talks with Eugene to make sure he doesn’t try anything to get himself killed. It’s been hard to tell whose side Dwight is really on. He’s been trying to help when he can but his alliance is shaky at best. Dwight ends up being overheard by another member who to his surprise wants to help. That goes to show that Negan scares his people and they would rather have someone else in the leadership position.

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Back at the Hilltop, the people of Alexandria are just getting settled in, while Maggie adjusts to her leadership position. It’s obvious that Maggie’s seen what is required of the leader having been with Rick for so long. It’s no wonder why she isn’t sure she wants to be known as the leader but she is one of the best choices for the position. Ezekiel’s camp, the Kingdom, also move to consolidate all of their forces in one central place. Basically, there was a lot of downtime at Hilltop as the large group was adjusting to the changes and planning their next move.

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We get to see how the characters are adjusting to the changes caused by the war. Heath deals with Denise’s death but I don’t feel like her character was that significant. She was a doctor but there have been countless losses and hers was not a heart wrenching moment. (I do understand how in the apocalypse, your love options are that much slimmer though.) Ezekiel is finally out of the dumps and decides he’s going to protect those still around him. It’s about damn time. It was annoying seeing him so weak.

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Rick also tells the group he plans on eventually moving back to Alexandria once the war is over. In the last issue while packing to leave for Hilltop, Rick leaves the iconic telephone he used to “talk” to Lori. We thought it was a sign that he was leaving that chapter behind him but maybe it was temporary since he’ll be returning later on.  Now over at Negan’s camp, he has a new strategy utilizing the fact that everyone is infected to his advantage. By taking the blood/”muck” from the dead and putting it on their weapons, even the slightest scrape or cut will eventually turn his adversaries into the Dead. It’s a pretty smart move that uses what resources they have considering ammunition will always be limited. His character is so unpredictable and sick you can’t help but love him.

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Rick’s new plan requires at least a day to prepare for Negan’s next attack but we know they won’t have that time. It’ll be interesting to see how the crew deals with Negan in their unprepared state.

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Last Points

Although the issue wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t very action driven. A lot of down time and a slight build up to the next issue.

6/10 puppies

Best Moments From Walking Dead Season 4

The first half of Walking Dead Season Four had a lot of pivotal game changing moments. There was a lot of homage to the comics and some more light shed on characters like the Governor. With the second half of Season Four picking up on February 9th, let’s look back on some of the most memorable moments of the first half. (If you haven’t seen the First half of Season Four, you’re warned. SPOILERS ensue)

 

Carol’s Exile

After an illness broke out,  there was someone in the prison who killed two infected members, Karen and David, brutally. After a short period, it becomes clear that Carol was the one responsible and she eventually just admits it to Rick after being asked. As a result, Rick decided to exile Carol, although her inhumane efforts had good intentions. Daryl lost his friend/companion but will she return in the second half tomorrow?

Hershel Losing His Head

Death Scene Here

Hershel was definitely the group’s moral center point after the death of Dale during Season Two. He was also the group’s doctor and a main member of the council. After the Governor captures Michonne and Hershel, he attempts to bargain their lives to Rick but to no avail. In the comics, it is Tyrese who is beheaded by the Governor but I’m assuming since he was more recently added to the show, the writers allowed him to live. Ultimately Hershel’s death was a heart wrenching moment for the group, especially his children Maggie and Beth.

 

The Death of the Governor

After seeing how horrible the Governor truly was, Lily decides he needs to die. His death was pretty identical to the comics since in both versions the Governor is killed by a lesser character. Who knows if he will appear in the second half of the season although he is dead. (Maybe appear in visions like Lori did)

 

Classic Governor Reemerges

There were many instances where the Governor showed promise of change. When he was with Lily and her family, for a moment, you could actually see the Governor being a good family man. But no. He quickly reverts to his true self and desires power or who knows what. He murders Martinez and his second in command to ascend as the leader of the group but the way he killed Martinez was brutal.

 

Attack on the Prison

After the Governor convinces his camp that they need  the Prison and Rick is bad news, they plan to assault their enemies. When the deal goes south, the battle begins and there are heavy loses on both sides. The use of the tank was a nice connect to the comics! Ultimately, the prison takes heavy damage during the fighting and won’t be safe haven for anyone.

 

Tyrese vs. Rick and Daryl

Here’s the Link

After his main squeeze Karen is found burned, Tyrese essentially loses it and lashes out at anyone in his path. Rick and Daryl try to get him to calm down but things escalate. The beat down was intense as the allies collide. Tyrese is not someone to be tested and it takes the two of them to stop him.

Walking Dead returns Sunday February 9th at 9pm on AMC. Be sure to watch the return as Rick’s crew is scattered and on the move once again.

Walking Dead 119 Review

The Walking Dead 119 coverThe war against the Saviors rages on as this comic focuses on the aftermath of Rick’s and Ezekiel’s raids on the outposts. This issue isn’t action heavy but serves to show the falling action. It begins with Rick and Jesus start out piling up the men they lost and converse about their actions. Jesus comments on whether or not the Walkers are “laughing” at the living as they kill each other, making it easier for them to feed. He brings forth a legitimate question as the living continue to fight and kill each other, leaving the dead to pick at their remains. Jesus seems to hint at the idea of trying to resolve issues other ways since more and more people end up dying for a cause that may be lost. Speaking of those lost, Aaron, a member of Rick’s community, is suffering from the loss of his lover during the attack. It interesting to see the scorn of someone who was once a cheerful character.

RIP Shiva

While Rick’s group experienced very little causalities, Ezekiel suffered major losses during his unsuccessful raid. As we saw in the last issue, Ezekiel lost his companion, a zombie eating tiger named Shiva. He spills his heart to Michonne, revealing he hadn’t lost any family during the outbreak since he wasn’t close with his mother or father. Since Shiva was his closest companion and he basically led his men into a slaughter, he decided who could not go on and lead anyone. Luckily, Michonne did exactly what I was thinking as I read it and punched him. She tries to talk some sense into him but he seems to be deep in grief. Ezekiel is becoming more human as the pages move forward and his persona and theatrics diminish. Shiva’s death has left him distraught and weak during a time when men need to be led to battle. The King has fallen of his horse, well in this case, his tiger.

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We pick up with Carl and Andrea discussing patrols when Rick and crew return. Although Carl is a tough, gun-wielding bad ass now, you can tell he’s still just kid who missed his father as he scolds Rick for being late. Carl hasn’t had much time to be a kid during this war and I don’t believe he wants to but its clear he wishes things could be less dangerous. Rick is informed of Ezekiel’s failed attack and calls a council meeting for briefing. I like how even though Rick has just returned, he’s quick to plan out the next move.

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No breaks if Negan has the chance to bring the fight to them. And then…

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Speak of the Devil, Negan brings the house down! At first he appears to offer peace with Rick and even releases Holly back to the community but things turn south fast.

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The issue started off slow and finished with a bang as the Saviors are on the attack now. Rick and crew may suffer some major causalities with Negan right at their doorstep.