Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 16

Score Technician: Joe Hemmerling

With the way Walking Dead was firing on all cylinders this season, it was almost inevitable that they'd blow a few out eventually. The second half of Season 5 found Rick & co. taking up more permanent digs in the town of Alexandria, a gated community that seems to have been sheltered from the worst of the zombie apocalypse. Four and a half seasons of protecting those he loves from the dangers of this new and brutal world have transformed Rick into the apex predator, and now both he and the audience are forced to consider whether he is too far gone to live in civilization. It's an alluring question, but unfortunately, in the process of formulating it, The Walking Dead has backslid into some of its old vices: sidelining female characters and forcing others to behave in totally irrational ways simply to advance the plot. Let's see if Kirkman and crew can get their shit together long enough to give the show's most remarkable season the finale it deserves.
  • Housekeeping #1: Pretty good half-season bonus. = +40pts (+10pts for each awesome episode) 
  • Housekeeping #2: We lost Bob, Tyrese, and Noah this season. It's like someone tipped the writing staff off to the fact that nearly half the cast was black. = -9pts 
  • Housekeeping #3: Between accidentally unleashing a hoard of zombies on their base camp at his church during the midseason finale and ratting out the rest of his group to the president (or whatever) of Alexandria, Reverend Detective Carver has officially established himself as the new Laurie, a character with no consistent motivation whose sole purpose for existence seems to be to make the worst decisions imaginable under every circumstance. = -20pts 
  • Housekeeping #4: We're also kind of over Sasha's grief spiral. = -5pts 
  • The cold open conversation between Morgan and the "Wolf." = +10pts 
  • Has Morgan spent all his time training in an ashram between now and the last time we ran into him? His fight scene was something straight out of a '70s kung-fu movie. = +7pts 
  • Reason to love Carol #1. Carol explaining to Michonne why she intends to tell the people of Alexandria what they want to hear rather than leveling with them: "Because these people are children, and children like stories." = +3pts 
  • Reason to love Carol #2. "We have knives. That's all we'll need against them." = +7pts 
  • Admiral Ackbar has an important message for Daryl and Aaron. = +13pts 
  • Daryl's triple decapitation by chain. = +3pts 
  • Zombie head crushed in car door. = +2pts 
  • Reason to love Carol #3. Carol, after utterly emasculating the town surgeon/drunken abusive asshole in his new home: "I want my dish back clean when you're done." = +8pts 
  • Morgan really works that staff during his rescue of Daryl and Aaron. Aaron's definitely into it. Ayoooooo! = +4pts 
  • Reverend Detective Carver can't even close a gate right. = -10pts 
  • Glenn's still alive! = +11pts 
  • Rick missing his own show trial because he's too busy exploding walkers' heads with his bare hands. = +14pts 
  • Showing up to your kangaroo court hearing covered in the ichor of the living dead. = +6pts 
  • Is Reverend Detective Carver never going to die? = -55pts
  • After a season-long search, Morgan is once again face-to-face with Rick, only to find him caked in walker brains and still holding the smoking gun he used to execute Dr. Drunken Asshole. If the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme came up during that scene where the two of them stare wordlessly at one another, it wouldn't feel totally out of place. = +5pts 
Total Score = +34pts
Season Score = +357pts

Overall, the season stuck a decent landing. The wrap-up to the Reverend Detective Carver/Sasha grief spiral arcs felt pretty contrived and unsatisfying. Still, the episode featured some truly spectacular zombie kills, and we finally have a name for the mysterious walker-tagging Wolves, as well as a deeper insight into their methods. We're eager to see how that storyline develops in the next season, if nothing else.

No comments:

Post a Comment