Walking Dead: Season Nine: Episode Five: What Comes After
I gave this a 45 on Robin's scale. I hated this episode. It also confirms severe plot armor for Rick Grimes. That's on AMC and Scott Gimple. After plugging this episode for weeks as Rick's final episode, you have to sit through every minute of it (literally) thinking at this point Rick will pass out; get eaten and he doesn't. Instead, they lurch the story forward (like a decaying walker) for an hour and in the final seconds (ridiculously beyond near death) he is then whisked away by a helicopter (that no one hears or sees but Jadis out of hundreds of people from multiple colonies); trolling the whole audience. This just emphasizes how this show has turned from zombies into a huge troll. They don't do much either to perpetuate his own personal introspection during that process. He doesn't come to any sort of life acceptance or epiphany or final thoughts on his life journey. It's just WAKEUP!!
I think the makers of this series have lost touch with what is needed (through character interaction and story movement) to truly keep the soul of the show going.
Following the program is an episode of Talking Dead where Scott Gimple breaks the story that Rick's arc and character are far from over. In fact, they are going to make several feature length movies on him. Again, serving up the audience with a mixture of feelings of being trolled and confused about show direction.
From feeling Trolled to lapsed confusion...
What they seem to be forgetting is that Rick Grime's story arc is the over arching arc of the current TV. How do they expect that show to survive when they remove its arc and Rick Grimes; especially if you continue his story line in separate movies?
I think there has been minimal character interaction and story movement over the past couple of years to continue the show inertia without Rick Grimes. I suppose Judith will go on. We know Maggie won't be much longer. Daryl, Carol, Eugene and Michonne will probably all go on. The other characters after that have about as much story impact as nothing. There would need to be a lot of character development and emotional impact with them for me to care about them and their importance is secondary to Rick by virtue of cannon.
Why was Rick important?
I think the key with Rick is that we saw the man dealt with the apocalypse as it unfolded; he kept going; interacted with everyone we met along the way. (Just like he did in this particular show.) We are well into the apocalypse now and we don't have that with *any* other character; nor can we. So for me, no one can take Rick's place. You can have new characters talk about how their lives were before the outbreak and get a story as to what they were doing up until now, but that would not have the same impact as Rick's journey would it? It's not something that can be done in one episode and it's going to lack that interaction with our surviving characters because they weren't with that new character since the outbreak so they won't have the bonding or interaction history that is now missing due to Rick's departure.
The show has literally become a dead walker
I have heard folks say they think the show ended a year or so ago and abandoned it already. Why? The most common thing I hear is they lost interest; no forward motion of the plot. The times the story didn't move had little character development and interactions or normal complexity of human thoughts to merit interesting television for them. It's finally starting to happen now (the character interactions) because it will have to in order to keep going.
It appears the majority of watchers of the show left are the ones that like plot twists (regardless of whether or not they make story sense or not).
This is really sad for me because the comic books are in a much better different place then the TV show. I am not sure after this Season there will be a show to write about or if I want to continue to write about it. I really liked seeing how the show Rick Grimes worked with Daryl and tried to make a life with Michonne and that's all gone.
Perhaps the logic was that the Rick Grime's story-line deserves better treatment then it has been getting the past few years so let's save it by moving it to another show? It comes across to me that way. The damage with the current show renders it unwatchable now for me.
I would also like to mention that events that I believe are coming in the show revolved specifically around Rick with other characters (yet to be revealed). I am not sure how that's going to work now. It's not going to have the same impact for sure.
Rick pulls himself off of the rebar; climbs on his horse and continues to lead the massive herd away from the settlements. Rick finds an old house and uses it to bandage up his wound that keeps bleeding.
Shane revisits him in his dreams to help him find his inner rage; while Rick tries to find his family and insists he has no more anger. He escapes nearly being bitten and gets back on his horse and rides out of there.
Jadis radios the helicopter who checks on her position and whether or not she has an 'A'. Jadis gives her position and lies about having an 'A'(It turns out this scene is a flash forward scene.)
While, Rick hallucinates, bleeds out and leads walkers away, Michonne is with Judith when Maggie shows up and asks Michonne to step aside so she can kill Negan for the sake of others. Michonne pushes back and tries to convince her that killing Negan won't end everything but start up something new. Michonne asks her if she can live with what comes after and Maggie says she can't live with it now. Michonne hands her the keys to his cell. Maggie can't kill Negan because he's a formal shell of himself which she surmises is worse than death and she emerges from his cell area with a bloodless crowbar and Michonne concludes she didn't kill Negan.
Rick continues to limp forward with the story-line and walkers onward and hallucinates trying to find his family. He goes to Hershel's farm and we are greeted by angelically lit Scott Wilson (RIP...He just passed away in real life from Leukemia). Rick apologizes for what happened to him. Hershel says Maggie and his grandson are strong. He tells Rick he doesn't need to find his family and we will all get there (to normalcy.) He tells Rick to wake up which jolts him into reality and the task of moving the walkers along.
He hallucinates back to the hospital from the first episode and busts through the doors that say Dead outside don't come in. He sees a pile of people (not walkers). This includes Carol, Jesus, Daryl, Beth, Maggie, Rosita, and Sasha.
Sasha gives a speech about how everything crosses over to the good and that those that sacrificed themselves is a behavior picked up by survivors and what they do is for everyone; not themselves; toward the brave; toward love. (SEE: The Bad). She says he won't find his family because they are not alone (I am not quite sure what that means and what about Michonne and Judith? Aren't they part of his family?) and that he is not lost and reminds him to wake up.
He wakes up (yet again) inside the bridge building campsite and continues to bleed yet again and is slowly approached by the walkers of the camp that were the remnants of the fight with the Saviors (It took me a while to realize it was the same camp.) He fires his Python at all the ones that try and attack him and he gets up and staggers to the bridge (this the third time he is jolted into reality. At this point the plot armor is getting beyond ridiculous.)
He hallucinates again about Michonne (SEE: The Bad) who tells him he won't die because he's a fighter that won't ever give up. He says he finally found his family and it isn't real and he wakes up at the bridge.
His people find him for real and fight off the walkers trying to attack him. They go to the other side of the bridge and try to fight the walkers there. Rick fires a bullet from his Python into some dynamite on the bridge which blows up and most of the walkers spill into the raging river below. Everyone thinks Rick dies in the explosion; including Daryl who appears devastated. The montage continues with walkers falling into the river and Michonne; Carol and Maggie being devastated. Daryl walks off into the woods.
Jadis sees the explosion and then the helicopter appears (SEE: The Bad). She spots Rick on the bank of the river as the helicopter pulls up. The helicopter has an A on it. Jadis makes a deal with the pilot and it lands. Rick is loaded inside to the hip hop beat of 'Welcome to My World' and Jadis tells Rick he will be okay and he's flown away to parts unknown.
Same place he took off we fast forward to the future and five people are surrounded by walkers and five shots ring out. The group meets Judith Grimes a little older who not only has a katana but she's also brandishing Rick's Python.(SEE: The Bad).
To keep our attention they show scenes from the next three shows. It appears Henry is also older.
Nothing I liked except Daryl crying at the loss of Rick.
* Repetitive near death too many times for any suspense to really hold me. I was actually laughing when I saw Rick half dead on the bank of the river.
* Rick is looking for his family in his hallucinations and can't find them. Then Michonne shows up after they rationalize that *everyone* is his family. So what are they saying? That Rick never considered Michonne as part of his direct family? Was that a conscious story-line decision or one they went with because they couldn't get the actors for Lorie, Carl or Judith on camera?
* Hershel's scene was a bit angelic with it's lighting.
* Why specifically is Sasha picked to give a speech about how it's 'okay to die'; 'you did your part' and it's 'all for the best' (even if you are ripped apart by walkers). Aren't there more impactful choices?? This is Rick's mind. What about Lorie?
* No one sees or hears the helicopter and runs toward it? I am finding that hard to believe. According to this web page a helicopter at 500 feet makes about 87 decibels in noise. That's pretty loud. You can look up comparisons to other things here. Jadis and Rick leave the site with no one spotting them? Impossible.
* Judith Grimes being a crack shot with Rick's Python (which is about the size of her head) isn't believable to me and a bit ridiculous.
* Where was Rick taken in the helicopter?
* What happened to Heath?
* Who owns the helicopter? Who was Jadis trading with? The fact that she wants to trade so she can go with those new people says a lot about what they may have as a society.
* Was Jadis trying to torture Gabriel?
* Are there other groups out there?
* Where is Sherry?
* What will happen to Dwight? Will he meet up with Sherry?
* Who will provide the system of charter enforcement once Michonne is done drafting it?
* Is Michonne pregnant? Does Rick Grimes have a true heir left with this old group?