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)

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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 407: Dead Weight

Now the Governor we were all waiting for is back for real!

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Dead Weight 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_407_01This post is going to be as fast as the Governor when killing people due to the amount of work that is, well, killing me. Last night we learned a few lessons while watching episode 7 of season 4 from The Walking Dead, most of them taught by our “friend” the Governor, who simply deceived all of us last week with that “I’m Brian and I’m a good person” character. It took him only 5 minutes this week to throw all that garbage away and get back to what he really is: a violent and gruesome man who will kill absolutely anyone that stands on his way or tries to fool him. And it’s amazing to see him back in action like that.

The first lesson was to avoid at all costs playing golf with a crazy man you abandoned to death in the past. In fact, you shouldn’t do anything with that guy, because he will kill you for sure. That was the last lesson learned by Martinez, right before becoming an afternoon snack for a bunch of starving zombies inside a pit. Why the hell did he think the Governor was going to accept all his new rules and become one of his henchmen? Did he really think he could have more power than the Governor? That was a really stupid decision, but at least he died having some fun, playing golf after drinking some beers. Goodbye, Martinez! You were a great guy, especially for having the honor of being killed by two of the most badass characters in recent history: the Governor and Chev Chelios (if you know what I mean).

The second lesson was that there’s no such thing as a safe camp in The Walking Dead. Just forget about it. If you join some campers, you’re either going to be killed by other humans or devoured by zombies, and we had both examples during last night’s episode: first with the mysterious death of all people in that other camp, and then by Meghan almost being eaten by a walker that appeared from out of nowhere. Even the prison is not really safe, as we were able to bear witness in the past few episodes. In my opinion, moving on from place to place is the best you can do to survive because this way you might face some trouble, but at least you won’t be waiting for all the trouble to come to you.

The next lesson is so basic that we almost have an example in every single episode: extremely good people cannot survive a zombie apocalypse. It doesn’t matter what they do or who they are, if they are too good they will either die or get someone they love killed. Last night we saw Mitch’s brother, Pete, trying to be some kind of Good Samaritan, and then ending his days on earth as an underwater zombie. Of course people have to protect their families and friends, but that doesn’t mean they have to be good, right? I hope Michonne sees that as soon as possible, because her current “happy version” won’t be useful at all when the Governor attacks. I have a feeling she won’t do it, she seems too happy now, and because she’s chilling out so much the Governor will have his vengeance against her before she notices his presence.

twd_407_02And the final lesson was that, despite all the violence and madness, there’s still time for love in The Walking Dead, although we know the ending is never good for both parts. We saw the Governor and Andrea, Rick and Lori, Glenn and Maggie, and now we have the Governor and Lilly (doesnt’she look a lot like Maggie?) and, surprise, Tara and Alisha (it’s interesting to see a lesbian couple in the show now). As Martinez said a few moments before being hit in the head with a golf club by the Governor, he wasn’t ready to get married or have a family again in that world, and normally when one of the characters says something like that it’s because it’s true. We all know those couples are not going to last much longer, and that the pain they’ll suffer for losing someone they really love is a billion times worse than anything else. We saw what happens when the ones you love become zombies, when they reached that cabin in the woods last night, right?

In summary, the Governor has a new family, a new camp, new soldiers, even an expanded new version of his “aquarium” for walkers, and his thirst for revenge is back in full swing. Besides, he has a fuckin’awesome tank now, like in the comics, so it’s time for things to get as awful as they can be for Rick and his crew! Let’s get ready to say goodbye to some of our favorite characters next Sunday during the mid-season finale.

Oh, I almost forgot about the last and most important lesson: Cogeco sucks here in Toronto. I pay them to watch just TWO HOURS of TV per week, and guess what? It wasn’t working last night during the entire episode of The Walking Dead and later during Talking Dead. Great job, Cogeco!

Dead Weight (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 406: Live Bait

The Governor is back, although more human than anyone was expecting.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Live Bait 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.

twd406_01I’m absolutely sure that every fan of The Walking Dead (including myself) was waiting for a massacre this week, with the Governor and his “evil” army back. However, we were all surprised with an episode showing a very human person, abandoned by his henchmen, lost in his thoughts and wandering around as “live bait” for any walker crossing his path. Was that going to be the end of the Governor? Was he going to live the rest of his life and die in such a melancholic way? Well, as DevilDriver says in one of their best songs, “not all who wander are lost.”

The story went back to when the Governor slaughtered almost all his army after that failed attempt to take over the prison and ran away with the only two survivors, one being his right hand Martinez. We were all left thinking about what happened to them, and when they would come back for revenge, but instead we saw the governor being forsaken and starting a completely different journey in his life. He was about to give up (even with his pretty cool new “Snake Plissken” look), when the vision of a young girl made him reconsider his almost-suicidal thoughts.

Does anyone doubt the first thing that came to his mind was his daughter Penny? At least this time it wasn’t a ghost like when Rick was seeing Lori, but a real girl called Megan who had been hiding for a long time inside an apartment building with her mother Lilly, her aunt Tara and her grandpa Don. Again we were expecting him to go wild and kill everybody, but that didn’t happen. We saw a man asking for shelter and offering his help to the family, and I was really impressed with how open to a guy with an eye-patch, a huge beard and a gun those two women were. It was probably the Governor’s charm striking again! Or should I say “Brian Heriot”, the name he randomly picked from that spray-painted wall full of names? Why choosing a different name, and why talking about his time as the Governor of Woodbury in the 3rd person? Was that a sign he was ashamed of his past and willing to start a brand new life?

This was the beginning of a story that in my opinion will be great to show everybody that no one is born a villain; it’s our society that creates them. While Rick’s group is killing innocents, casting away people that were once considered an important part of the family, and teaching children how to use machine guns and knives, we saw a man looking at a child as before the apocalypse, in other words, just like a real child and not like a soldier. Don’t you think this makes him less evil and more human than most of the members of Rick’s team, especially than Rick himself? By the way, the Governor and Rick have so much in common: they seem to be strong, wise and focused leaders, when in fact they’re nothing but regular people doing something they don’t really want to do, and that due to all the stress and external pressure they can explode at any moment, just like what happened to the Governor twice during this episode when he killed an old man/walker with an oxygen tank and when he brutally assaulted three walkers with his bare hands to protect that little girl.

twd406_02Talking about the action, although it was a more emotional episode than the previous one, there were some awesome moments of violence and tension. The Governor risking his life going to that “zombie nursing home” to grab some oxygen tanks, and as I mentioned before, saving Tara from the zombie Don smashing his head with one of the tanks and saving Megan in the zombie pit was some good action, and the beginning of a strong relationship between him and his new friends. Moreover, he simply burned his old picture with his original family, which in my opinion means that inside his head those people were his family now. He said he will do whatever he needs to keep Megan safe and well, so we can stay assured our good old Governor is back in action for real, especially when we see Martinez out of the zombie pit to “confirm” that the old life the Governor had will never abandon him.

“Nobody ever mentioned just how boring the end of the world was going to be,” Lilly said. Well, not anymore. Now you have the Governor by your side (literally), you’re about to be on the road with a bunch of mercenaries killing zombies, and you’ll probably cross the path of sheriff Rick Grimes. Nothing can be more exciting than this.

Live Bait (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)