I’ve been kind of pondering all day how I was going to address this review and I came to the conclusion that I should just be honest. I found last nights episode of the The Walking Dead to be “meh”. I wanted to like it and held on to the belief that something terrible could happen (if you recall my review called for a character death *insert sad trumpet noise here*), but it came apparent that this was just one of those Walking Dead episodes that fell sort of flat despite the fact that it’s going to end up being super important down the line. I would put slightly above being just a normal filler episode.
I’m actually having a tough time trying to organize my thoughts here, I think some of it is due to the episode being underwhelming and not providing a lot of depth to grasp, and the other part is my mind might still be goo from last night’s episode of Westworld (quick question, am I a host? Seriously guys, I’m not sure). I think I’m going to cheat and break this thing down using bullet points which is the writers way of cheating. I’ll hit the high and low points and then we can move on and prepare for next week.
- For starters, while I still believe Tara to be an expendable secondary character, I thought she did a great job of carrying the episode. I would argue that she was the best part of it. Alanna Masterson was witty, endearing, and vulnerable and while the rest of the episode was kind of just there for me I thought she was a real standout. I also love how giving the finger is becoming her trademark.
- Did anyone else get some serious LOST vibes when Tara washed ashore? The way the two girls who discovered her were dressed and the community as a whole just screamed the Others to me.
- I also was reminded of Y the Last Man and the Amazons with a community entirely made of militaristic women (more on that later).
- The one stand out of this episode was the huge stash of weapons located at Oceanside. These women are packing heat and that’s going to be important moving forward. Rick and Company currently have one gun with no bullets and that’s problematic when possibly going to war. I know that Tara promised not to tell anyone about the existence of Oceanside (and already she’s stuck to her guns… ooooooh accidental pun) but can we really expect her to remain silent? I could see her tune changing after her first real encounter with Negan and the Saviors, but this begs a brand new question. If she tells Rick and Rick leads a group to take the weapons (cause I imagine an accord will fail with the whole shoot on site ideology) does that make them any better then the Saviors? The underlining theme of this episode was do what you need to survive, and it makes sense, but some characters aren’t constructed to live with those consequences. Tara being one of them. Could she live with herself if Rick and Company stormed Oceanside and took what they needed? Probably not.
- How could Rick plan on an assault on Oceanside when he has no weapons himself? What’s he going to do, use harsh langue? I would imagine a relationship with the Kingdom might be useful here. Again though this raises the question of what does this make them? In order to beat monsters you have to become them? Is that the world you really want to create or fuel?
- Not once did I believe any of the stories coming from Oceanside. I don’t believe that the Saviors killed all the men as it seems counter productive. Think about it. Negan told Rick and Company that he doesn’t want to kill them he wants them to work for him (I believe the phrase was “I’m not building a garden” whatever that means. Seriously, what does this mean? This line has bothered me for months). With that in mind how would killing all the men in the village be productive to him? I understand he’d want to make a statement but there’s no way that I could see Negan signing off on killing all the men. Which leads me to believe that these fisher women are the ones who killed them off (which is what reminded me of Y the Last Man). Why? I’m not sure. Maybe they want to build a society where women are dominant and in charge, and hey I’m all for that. Maybe they did have encounters with the Saviors but the men bent the knee and kissed ass, and the women chose to stand and be stronger. There are a number of different ideas I have circling my head (actually those were my only two) but again there’s no way that the Saviors did that.
- You mean to tell me that Tara could walk all the way back to Alexandria, no problem, but Heath couldn’t drive back. Yes, I know his glasses are broken but he still managed to escape and he didn’t crash the RV (how many of these things are there?) because Tara would have found it. So now where’s Heath?
- I was happy to find out that they were taking Tara off to the woods to kill her. Not because I wanted her to die but because the whole “sure let’s check out your camp and then become friends” mentality didn’t fit the shoot first and burn the bodies attitude from the start of the episode. I don’t like dramatic shifts in character tones so I was happy to see the writers keep these women dangerous and non trustworthy. Which is again why I don’t believe their story about the men.
- Tara’s discovery that Denise and Glenn are dead was heartbreaking. There’s just something about seeing Eugene and that broken puppy dog face that gets me right in the heart strings.
There you have it Geeklings. I wanted to like this episode but for the most part it was just there for me. It’ll be a distant memory as the season progresses until we circle back to the fact that there’s a boat ton of guns waiting to be used against Negan and company. What did you guys think? Outside of Alanna Masterson’s excellent performance did this episode resonate with you? What roll do you think the guns will play in the future? Do you think the Saviors killed all the men in the Oceanside village? Sound off in the comments below or as always you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32. If you’d like to follow more of my head thoughts you can stop by my blog, I Am Geek.
Images from AMC