‘The Walking Dead’ Returns to Bad Form (TV REVIEW)

“Now”

I suppose it was inevitable, that after the sixth season came hard and fast with three breakneck-paced episodes, which was slowed down dramatically last week for its unnecessarily long flashback into Morgan’s past, this week finds us back square in the midst of The Walking Dead’s famous drudgery. With some cliffhangers still unresolved, some new ones created, and some simply shrugged off, it seems we’re finally settling back into the show that everyone watches, seemingly just to complain about.

Deanna spends most of the episode bewildered, aimlessly wandering around Alexandria, now ravaged by a murderous resident, herds of zombies, and a homicidal attack by The Wolves, her community has been rapidly brought up to speed on the state of the world outside their walls. While it’s inevitable to wonder how they were insulated for so long, with people like Aaron out looking for recruits, even those few who ventured outside the walls surely would have some kind of inclination, something they’d have come back with.

Rick makes it back, completely blowing off the “oh, shit, Rick’s surrounded” moment from a couple weeks ago, simply sprinting to the entrance, keeping everyone up to speed on the semi-disastrous attempt to lead an enormous amount of walkers away from them. “These walls will hold, will you?” he asks them in their collective haze of disbelief and confusion. He also gets his long-anticipated moment of romance with Jessie, who after stabbing a former neighbor in the head, begins to understand his take on how things work now.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Aaron take the sewers to go look for Glenn, and while Aaron has an excuse, being from Alexandria and all, Maggie seems woefully out of practice, as just two walkers from the sewage emerge, causing a much bigger problem than it seems like they should have. We’re also brought back up to speed on Maggie’s love for Glenn through a lot of “I’m coming with you” and “No, you’re not” back and forth between her and Aaron.

Which, speaking of, enough with this, already. Every time there’s a few minutes short of taking for-fucking-ever to handle a small number of zombie kills (who are still managing to sneak up on people, by the way), there’s some kind of exchange like this. You’ve all collectively made it years past the end of the world. It’s time to start using the buddy system and stop arguing about it.

The big moment of insight comes at the end, when a zombie goes after Deanna in the dead of night, complete with “logical” explanation of why that was able to happen courtesy of Rick, who shows up just time to remind her that, when it comes to stabbing, it’s head first (seriously, have they not gone over any of this before?). Covered in blood, she thanks Rick, now more determined than ever to make her community thrive, despite all of them, including her, being grossly underprepared for it.

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