Alexandria Safe Zone
After what seemed like ages, The Walking Dead finally made its triumphant return to the small screen with a brand new season and a few new characters. While Fear The Walking Dead did its darnedest to satisfy our hunger, it can’t hold a candle to its daddy. I hope that Fear The Walking Dead gets better with its next season, but I don’t have a lot of hope for it. With no intentions of beating a dead horse, I just can’t commit to any of the characters. They are shallow and forgettable, and the show’s future looks bleaker in my mind than The Walking Dead’s future.
Okay, enough about that. Let’s get to last night’s premiere.
****WARNING!!! WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE****
STOP READING NOW UNLESS YOU WANT SPOILERS!!!!!
Last night’s episode opened up with a bit of craziness. That whole quarry full of walkers was interesting to see, and my old school Whovian vibe hit full speed. Why? Because anybody that watched classic Doctor Who during the runs of Tom Baker or Peter Davison know that a lot of serious stuff went down in quarries for both of those Doctors. Whenever I saw that quarry, I didn’t think about it being the primary reason that Alexandria appeared to remain fairly safe. Nope, I figured that it was a massive walker pit set up by the Wolves. I’m sure that they will play a much larger part during this season of TWD, and I can’t wait to see where their story will collide with Rick and the gang.
Also, the episode played with flashbacks to the setup of the walker parade with black and white footage. While I can appreciate the artsy attempt to differentiate between the past and present, I didn’t see it as much of a help or hindrance. If anything, I would have gone with a darker filter (maybe brown out the flashback sequences) instead of the old B&W standby. Still, that was just a minor bug up my backside.
For the most part, the episode was very solid. It wasn’t my favorite season opener (Season Four and Season Two are tied for that spot), but I really appreciated how it used confusion (with the flashbacks, keeping us guessing as to what really is going on), group tension (the uneasy truce of Rick and Carter and the different reactions of characters to Glenn and Nicholas’ relationship), downright idiocy (Abraham’s seeming fall into goofiness), and humor (I’m looking at you, Eugene, and that glorious hair of yours).
We also got to meet a few new characters. I’d like to focus on two of them specifically. First of all, let’s take a look at Carter (Ethan Embry). Carter pops into the group as the primary source of resistance to Rick’s master plan to get rid of the walker quarry herd. Rick being Rick, he patiently waits for Carter to screw up and, surprise, he does. He pulls a gun on poor ol’ Eugene (who plays off the whole interaction with a “Hello” that is hilarious in the minds of the audience). This is when Rick lays down the law and Carter meekly agrees to help him out.
Carter almost derails the plan when he is grabbed by a walker that has somehow twisted itself into the branches of a tree just off of the road that the herd is being paraded on to their eventual destination twenty miles away. Carter, not used to being monster meat, screams in terror and then screams in pain as the walker takes out a chunk of his face. This draws the herd into the woods for a bit, but leave it to Rick, Morgan, and Michonne to put an end to all of that nonsense. It must have been very fulfilling for Rick to shut Carter up!
The other character I’d like to talk about is Heath (Corey Hawkins). While we don’t get to see much of Heath, his few moments on the screen are golden. From his first encounter with Eugene, who immediately recognizes him for the follicly fashion-forward man that he is, to his nervous but much-needed assistance given to Glenn and Nicholas, I can see Heath being a key character for at least a few episodes. Hopefully he will stick around longer than Carter.
The show held my attention for its entirety and gave myself and others brief glimpses into the development of Morgan as a character (he’s a bit miffed about his peanut butter protein bar and appears to be on to Carol’s deception of the natives of Alexandria), Michonne becoming even more sure of herself, and Deanna trying to keep things together after losing her husband and a bit of control over Alexandria.
I see this season as one where a few major characters will bite the dust (my money’s on Glenn and, possibly, Abraham) and a couple of newer characters (Deanna and Heath) will take key roles in the new chaos that awaits them just outside the walls of Alexandria.
Oh, and that HORN!!!!!!!
As always, thanks for reading. I’ll be at Louisiana Comic Con this weekend in Lafayette, LA. I’ll be sure to post photos and a write up about the event in the week that follows. If you are attending the event, be sure to track me down. I’ll be cosplaying as Charlie Brown on Saturday for most of the day and on Sunday I’ll be the Discount Dark Knight along with a few other members of the Just Us League. I hope to see you there!