Episode 16 - Conquer
1 April 2015
This was a bit disappointing as an episode of TV. But I was very pleased with the way the overall storyline worked out. For a long time I've felt that the show would benefit from having a stable home for our characters. Don't listen to people who tell you that a slow Walking Dead is a bad show. The Farm became dull because we weren't getting to know the characters not because we weren't on the move. These last few episodes have done more for characterisation than almost anytime on the run. So yay for the Wolves staying out there. And yay for the formation of a new community, however long it may last.
The good side of this was seeing Glenn choosing not to kill Nicholas. Or Sasha and Maggie showing Gabriel compassion. Our survivors are generally good people who want to make this work. That's what we as an audience are rooting for even if darkness and tension can be more fun.
Rick's decision not to pull a powerplay fitted with this. And I would have preferred a peaceful ending over the clumsy deaths of Reg and Pete. I didn't really buy Deanna suddenly approving of Rick's murderous ways only seconds after the shock of losing her husband. It was too sensationalistic. Pete hadn't really proven he was unforgivable, he'd just been a hopeless drunk. In a way it would have been more effective to just have Deanna crumple in grief and see Rick barking orders and the whole community following his lead. But I suppose next season most viewers won't care or remember Reg and Pete. Whereas Morgan and Rick swapping places on the mental health scales will be interesting.
I won't go into the other plots in detail. I'm glad no one else died. I think next season will see new relationships form or old ones deepend. And even if it's all in the service of more tragic and interesting death sequences I think it will be worth it. However the note of caution I'd like to sound is that the show keeps screwing up tension scenes. They should never cut away from someone being attacked by Walkers. It's always a giveaway that they will survive. Glenn was almost squashed by three zombies. Darryl and Aaron were doomed to suffocate. Rick was in desperate circumstances. And yet there was no real sense of danger after the initial encounter passed. The writers seem to have forgotten that Walker scratches are deadly and now characters just manhandle them with no fear. It's a vital part of the show to reclaim.
It's been another up and down season. Just like last year the middle portion was unbearably bad at times. But ultimately they reanimated my interest in the show as they always seem to do. I don't know if I will be covering next season but I will be watching.
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