The Walking Dead Review – Episode 416: A

It doesn’t matter if you’re a marauder or even a cannibal, always remember not to mess with Sheriff Rick Grimes.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen A yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd416_01So AMC’s The Walking Dead season 4 is finally over and, after all those flashbacks, introspective moments and just a few minutes of sheer violence (I was expecting a lot more of that, based on what the producers of the show were promising) in the last episode, curiously named only “A”, all fans will have to wait until October to get some extra doses of brutality and lots of answers for many things that were not explained at all, such as where Beth, Carol, Tyreese and Judith are, who will die on the hands of the people at Terminus, and how Rick and the others will escape from that nightmare.

I must admit the first five minutes were awesome, with that flashback showing our beloved hero Hershel back in the day where the prison was still a safe place, always helping everyone with his words of wisdom, and Rick was trying to be more human in order to become a better father, and then Rick covered in blood a totally away from reality. How did Rick reach that point? When did he snap and why? All that tension and mystery already put “A” well above most of the episodes from the second half of season 4, but unfortunately that didn’t last as long as we were all eagerly waiting for.

Of course, that sequence where Joe and his gang finally find Rick, Michonne and Carl, and the vision of Carl almost being raped by one of the marauders turning Rick into a merciless wild beast, was simply amazing. Our sheriff ripping Joe’s throat with his own teeth, like if he was some type of “alive zombie”, was awesome and showed why he and Carl have survived the apocalypse up to now and, of course, proved once again why the walkers are the least dangerous of all their problems. Rick almost surpassed Stallone ripping a guy’s throat with his own hand in the last Rambo movie in terms of bestiality, but let’s admit it’s pretty hard to be more violent and reckless than Mr. John Rambo.

Anyway, as I said, that scene was too short and Rick, Carl, Daryl and Michonne started the last part of their journey to Terminus. That bite surely turned Rick into a different person, and his survival instincts are now stronger than ever, which could be easily seen in each and every moment before and when the group reached the “sanctuary for all”: he left a bag full of weapons outside Terminus (which will most likely be their salvation next season), and he didn’t seem to trust any of the people there, especially this new guy, Gareth. Well, he was more than right, because when creepy Mary and Gareth offer them some food, Rick sees those strangers wearing Maggie’s poncho and Glenn’s vest and watch, and he then realizes that’s no sanctuary at all.

twd416_02But the worst was still to come, when amidst all the shooting Rick notices they were aiming at their feet and that they were not trying to kill them. Do you want to know why? Just think about the meat that Mary was serving them before and you’ll get it (and probably will be disgusted by that). They end up being caught by Gareth and the others members of that dreadful cult and sent to a train wagon, where not surprisingly they reunite with Glenn, Maggie, Bob and Sasha, and get to know Sgt. Abraham Ford, Eugene and Rosita.

And to end this season in a very exciting way, badass Rick doesn’t seem worried at all with the fact that they’re about to become Gareth and his bunch of cannibals’ afternoon snack. “They’re screwing with the wrong people.”, our sheriff said. Any doubts about that?

And this will be the last review about The Walking Dead on this website. Not because the show is not good anymore (it’s still awesome), but because the focus will be exclusively Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. So unless Rick starts listening to AC/DC during his fights against zombies and other humans in the following seasons, like Andrew Lincoln said he does prior to shooting some of his scenes, that’s all, folks.

A (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 409 (Mid-Season Premiere): After

Carl is growing up, while Michonne goes shopping for new pets.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen After yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_409_01“After” all the killing and devastation from the previous episode, and of course after Rick’s whole crew was split in smaller groups of maximum three people, it was more than expected that the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead yesterday was going to show us what happened to some or all of our beloved characters. Well, the first ones selected were our sheriff Rick, his son/savior Carl, and the badass Michonne, each one going through a complete different journey even being almost in the same place.

Although Rick was almost killed by the Governor and lost Judith to the walkers (or maybe someone else?), I believe Michonne’s path was the most arduous one here. First, our katana girl goes back to the prison in search for either a zombie Governor, a zombie Hershel, or any other zombies or survivors that might still be there after the war. The Governor was dead for good, and any glimpse of hope we might have had to see him as a walker was gone thanks to Lilly shooting him in the head (unfortunately , she didn’t miss the shot). However, Hershel’s head was still there, moving, trying to bite some fresh meat from a living person: a superb job done by Greg Nicotero’s team I should say, but another extremely sorrowful moment in the show. I don’t know which moment was more melancholic: if Michonne having to kill Hershel’s zombie head, or Daryl having to kill his zombie brother in the last season. Anyway, in the middle of all that suffering and destruction, Michonne chose to get back to her basics, which was symbolized by her two new “pets” and by her walking among the living dead as if they meant no danger at all.

That was the original Michonne we all got to know during the show, but then we were able to see a side of her character that everyone has been eager to know since day one: how she became Michonne. Not that she wasn’t Michonne before, but through her nightmare (which was a lot stronger than any flashback) we could see somehow what happened to her, how her life was before the zombie apocalypse, her child, her lover becoming a zombie, her katana mixed with regular kitchen knives, everything showing us how human she used to be. After that nightmare, she was about to go crazy, just wandering around like any walker, but fortunately the vision of a “zombie Michonne” (a zombie walking beside her that kind of resembled her) made her get back to reality, slay a whole herd of walkers, cry a lot, and choose to get back to her previous path with Rick and the others. It was amazing to see her “road to recovery”, and kudos to the awesome Danai Gurira for an outstanding performance.

twd_409_02And then, we have Rick and Carl. Or should I say an almost dead man walking and his angry son? Rick was horribly wounded and beaten, but even so he was worried about Carl and wanted to protect him. The problem is Carl didn’t see that: for him, his dad was pretty much dead, and every atrocity that happened to them and all the others was Rick’s fault. It was sad to see Carl blaming Rick for everything, while the guy was trying to stay alive with all his injuries, but that’s how a relationship between father and son has always been, right?

Anyway, Carl is growing up and becoming a man, facing zombies by himself and fighting as an adult even being just a kid. When he said “I win” to that pile of zombies he killed I’m pretty sure he was saying that to himself and to life in general, trying to prove to the whole world a new man was born. Of course there was that incident with that zombie that got his shoe, and that huge can of chocolate pudding, but we cannot blame him for acting like a teenager sometimes, even if it’s in the middle of a zombie outbreak.

And last but not least, that final scene with Rick moaning and crawling as a walker after being asleep for hours and hours, and Carl crying for not being able to shoot him, was really touching. Of course Rick was not dead and was not a zombie, we all knew that, but the mere thought of having to kill his own father was too much for a kid trying to be a man. Well, some people might ask why he was able to shoot his dead mother in the head, but not Rick, which is a damn good question. In my opinion, Carl couldn’t do it for a very simple reason: Rick is not only his father, but his hero, his protector, and his reason to live. Without Rick there’s no Carl, and vice-versa, and it will be really exciting to see how their relationship will grow in terms of loyalty, respect and love. And that, my friends, is how a boy becomes a real man.

After (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 408 (Mid-Season Finale): Too Far Gone

The darkest days have arrived for Rick and the other survivors.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Too Far Gone yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_408_01I’m still shocked with everything that happened yesterday in The Walking Dead’s Mid-Season Finale. That was absolutely EPIC, and I don’t know how the producers will be able to surpass what was done last night in any future episodes and seasons. There was a lot of good dialogues, emotion and vengeance for fans that love a good storyline, and total fuckin’ annihilation for fans that love every drop of blood that falls in the show.

As I mentioned last week here, there was no way that the combination of the Governor and a tank could end up in a monotonous episode. From the very first minute, he showed us he was totally consumed by rage and would do anything to kill Rick, Michonne and everybody else. He was so crazy that he didn’t even kill Michonne and Hershel at first, because that was too easy. Kidnapping them and using them to blackmail Rick was a pretty wise move, and the way he “hypnotized” all his new crew to attack the prison makes him an excellent candidate for any election.

However, when he realized Rick was never going to give up the prison, he grabbed Michonne’s sword and prepared to decapitate Hershel in a last attempt to make the sheriff surrender. Well, Rick was too stubborn tough for that, and the Governor knew his plan was not going to work. As soon as he pronounced the word “LIAR”, just as he saw in that sign attached to a decapitated body in the previous episode, I knew it was the end for our one-legged hero. I must confess that I cried a little with that scene, especially by seeing the desperate reaction of Maggie and Beth, and after by seeing the partially beheaded Hershel dragging himself on the floor, trying to go somewhere but actually knowing he was going nowhere. And then, the Governor finished what he started. That was one of the saddest moments of the show so far without any doubt.

Just when you thought that was enough, there comes Lilly with a dead Meghan on her arms, previously bitten by a zombie by pure and total lack of attention from herself, her mom, the Governor and anyone else from that camp. Why going to war and leaving a child behind like that? That was a huge price to pay, but it seems the Governor didn’t care too much about her as he cared about Penny, by simply shooting the dead girl in the head with no remorse. That was the moment when any vestige of humanity in him was gone and his tyrannical side exploded. Poor Rick for having to fight him that way, and what’s even worse, with a wounded leg.

twd_408_02“KILL THEM ALL!”, the Governor said. All Hell was breaking loose, with a war between Rick and the Governor, all the walkers attracted by the sound of gunshots and explosion, the prison falling to pieces, and the desperate cry of the survivors. Rick was going to die, and everyone else was going to die too, if it wasn’t for the toughest woman on Earth, Michonne. Fortunately she got back to “normal” and instead of smiles and jokes, there was our warrior piercing the Governor’s body with her sword and saving Rick. But she didn’t kill the Governor, she simply let him to die and become a walker, which would have been an eternal punishment for him. Well, Lilly didn’t allow that, by shooting him in the head and ending the life of one of the most frightful characters in the history of TV and comics. That chess piece on the ground with the eye-patch, being stepped by a walker, was another epic moment in The Walking Dead.

In the end, there were so many deaths and so many survivors taking different paths that it’s difficult to predict anything that will happen in the second half of the season. What happened to Rick’s baby, Judith? Was she sadly eaten by a walker, or saved by one of the survivors (maybe Michonne or Tyreese)? Where are Maggie, Beth, Tyreese, Sasha, Bob, Lilly, Glenn, those kids that shot Alisha in the head (a perfect shot, by the way) and everybody else going now? What about Rick and his (one more time) savior Carl? Where is Carol? This show is just getting better and better.

R.I.P. Hershel. And the Governor, well, may his soul rot in Hell. When The Walking Dead returns in February 2014, we’ll finally be able to see how Rick and the others will survive their darkest days on Earth. It won’t be easy, not at all, and I can’t wait to see it.

Too Far Gone (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 405: Internment

According to our “hero of the day” Hershel, a sad soul can kill quicker than a germ. However, not as quick as Rick and Carl together.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Internment yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd405_01Holy shit, the intensity of this episode was insane! I don’t even know where to start (maybe by saying that there was no sign of Carol?). There was so much going on at the same time, so many characters giving outstanding performances, that it will be hard for the producers to surpass Internment in terms of action and adrenaline. And regarding our friend Hershel, he was a total badass dealing with walkers, kids and the virus, all at the same time, and finding time to even make some jokes. I think he deserves the “Spaghetti Tuesday” on Wednesdays now, if they can find some spaghetti anywhere.

From the very beginning of the episode, I bet everybody was worried about losing Hershel (to the walkers) or Glenn (to the virus), although we knew somehow those two would survive. The thing we didn’t know was how they were going to make it through all that chaos, and both were great, especially Hershel. This was HIS episode and nobody else’s: he showed everyone he’s not only a wise man, but he also has the heart of a lion. The way he handled everything, from not killing people/walkers in front of the kids to risking his life to save Glenn, was amazing. It was interesting to see an episode so full of action and tension without Daryl or Michonne, who would usually be in the middle of the fights and action scenes. Hershel is now the official “badass one-legged grandpa” of the crew, his lonely tears at the end holding his Bible were touching, and from now on we know the group cannot survive a single day without him.

twd405_02And what about that “zombie massacre” provided by the dynamic duo of Rick and Carl? That was probably the start of a beautiful partnership between father and son, something that we have been all expecting from them since the TV show started. The look Rick gave to Carl when the kid was annihilating all those walkers with a machine gun was so cool! It was almost possible to see a very proud father pointing to his son and screaming to everybody else “You see him? You see how strong my son is? That’s my boy!” Let’s wait to see what happens next, but if the show follows the comics, this partnership will become stronger and stronger each day, guiding The Walking Dead to a “Rick and Carl” exclusive storyline, with no one else included except for the herds of zombies, of course. Based on what we saw last night, they’re more than ready for that.

One thing is certain: they have to leave the prison as soon as possible. It’s not a sustainable environment, everybody is dying, and the fences are not holding the walkers anymore. There was an important message last episode when that guy said he and his girlfriend do not wait until a place goes bad, they simply move on. I hope Rick gets the message really soon and they get out of the prison, which despite being an important “character” in the show, is turning into a hassle for everybody inside.

And last but not least, just like almost every episode of The Walking Dead, when we thought everything was fine and everybody was safe and ready to toast some marshmallows outside, there he was. The Governor is back (even if it was for less than 5 seconds), and as I said, it’s going to be brutal. I cannot wait for next week’s massacre episode.

Internment (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 403: Isolation

Tyreese goes crazy and Carol finally does “something”. Oh, and there were over 7,500 walkers!

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Isolation yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_s04e03_01Although Isolation might not have had as much action as the two previous episodes, there was a lot of improvement in terms of the storyline for some characters, especially for Tyreese and Carol. And that mega-herd of walkers was amazing! I’m hoping it will head to the prison before everybody leaves, and then we’ll see if those fences will be able to hold over 7,500 zombies eager for some human flesh! While that doesn’t happen (if that happens), let’s discuss about each relevant item of this episode and what to expect for the next one.

First of all, I’m happy to see that Tyreese is finally becoming more important for the whole story. In my opinion, he was a bit lost in the low-card before the end of the Infected episode, but now with the death of his beloved Karen and the likely death of his sister Sasha he’s moved to the mid-card and will probably play a crucial role in the next few episodes, just like everyone else in the show that either takes an unexpected decision or simply goes crazy (or both, which is his case). He’s at least more violent now: he punched Rick in the face, threatened Daryl, and killed dozens of zombies with just a small hammer (being crowned as the “zombie killer of the week”), things that no one was expecting from an easy-going guy like him before.

Then we have Hershel, the most clearheaded character of all, trying to help as many people as possible putting himself into a lot of danger by getting exposed to the deadly virus. I bet everyone got worried about Glenn being one of the infected, but the way Beth and Maggie reacted to Hershel’s decision made me think that we won’t probably see our wise elderly friend for too long. Hershel gave us a lot of “clues” about his ending, with those speeches about making choices and risking your life for this or that reason. Let’s just hope he’s “wrong” about it and we can see him until the end of this season, because when he’s gone it will be a huge mess for the rest of the group.

Carl not killing two zombies and Rick’s gratuitous violence were also great improvements to their characters, but the most shocking development last night was with no doubt what happened to Carol. I’m sure no one saw that coming! Everybody was thinking about Dr. S or that other black dude being responsible for killing and setting fire to those two bodies, but Carol? What happened to her? The Walking Dead’s “Jamie Lee Curtis” suddenly revealed herself as a cold-hearted person, or at least she has become that within the past few episodes. I honestly don’t know what Rick will do about Carol’s actions or what will happen to her, but at least we can celebrate she has finally done “something relevant” to the show after so many episodes being almost useless.

twd_s04e03_02And last but not least, there was that amazing mega-herd of zombies blocking the super-team’s way to the hospital! The sequence of the car accelerating over the heads of some walkers and the following fighting scenes were pretty cool, and as I said it was awesome to see a fierce zombie-killer Tyreese in action. However, did you notice why over 7,500 walkers and a lot of killing were added to that scene all of a sudden? Think about it: Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne and the other black dude were all paying attention to that weird radio transmission about a “sanctuary” a few seconds before the action started, but nobody could actually reason anymore about it when the massive herd of zombies appeared. Will they remember to tell about it to Rick when they get back to the prison? What the hell was that? Is it going to be their true salvation, or maybe it’s just part of a gruesome ambush being prepared by the Governor?

Oh, I almost forgot about a VERY important part of the whole thing: right after last night’s episode, there was the nice show Talking Dead, but unfortunately this time with Marilyn Manson as one of the guests. It was a torture for anyone with at least two neurons working listening to what that stupid motherfucker was mumbling all the time. That freak is an annoying joke! The person responsible for inviting him to the show should be fired! I’d rather be eaten by a zombie than watching one more minute of Marilyn Manson talking again, and thumbs up to the host Chris Hardwick for being able to handle that fuckin’ idiot so well in the end.

Isolation (FULL EPISODE)