WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD BUT NOTHING THAT RUINS THE EPISODE
The Walking Dead closes its tenth season with a whopper of an episode. What is now being dubbed as a “The Walking Dead Special Event” and no longer a Finale (six more episodes to come in early 2021), the episode acts as the end of a chapter with plenty of finality to move the show forward into the future. While it’s an entertaining episode for a die-hard fan, the show remains somewhat predictable with its bag of tricks.
The episode, titled “A Certain Doom,” has a distinct stamp from its director, Greg Nicotero. The episode plays much more like a horror film than the standard The Walking Dead style dramatic episode. Nicotero brilliantly builds intensity and plays on the unknown. Nicotero seamlessly moves the episode along, bringing it to its climactic ending.
As there have now been countless teaser trailers and released images, the episode heavily leverages the fact that the Whisperers move in and out of the hordes of walkers undetected but can easily detect the living. Beta’s mega-horde has our Survivors confined to the hospital and their escape requires the use of the meat suits. The plan to escape and end the battle with Beta and the Whisperers is the central focus of the episode but the episode also carries some significant dramatic moments with certain characters that create some closure.
Although the episode is action packed and greatly entertaining with the return of Lauren Cohan as Maggie, along with Eugene’s mission to meet Stephanie, the episode is still predictable and relies too heavily on many of the same things that other major Walking Dead story arcs have relied on in season’s past. These are things like escape the bad guy, lose everything, fight the bad guy, kill the bad guy, and repeat. Moreover, for a show that once took great pride in its ability to kill favorite characters without notice, the show no longer has that going for it – either because Carol and Daryl are clearly surviving into the future or that viewers are not invested in the remaining ensemble like they were with the characters of the earlier seasons.
However, there is clear finality in this episode. Angela Kang, The Walking Dead‘s showrunner, ties up potentially every loose end and sets the stage for the final remaining thirty episodes of the show. Viewers will be satisfied with where this “special episode” leaves their favorites and excited about what’s to come when the show cuts to credits.
The episode has perfect balance of dramatic character moments, action, and a couple of laughs built in for levity. Seth Gilliam provides one of his finest performance as Father Gabriel. As well, the episode deviates just enough from the same story in the comic book to keep fans of the comics and the show off balance and able to be satisfied with the outcome of the episode.
The Walking Dead is sitting in a strong position as it heads for the finish line. After a couple of dismal seasons, Kang has brought the show back to its strengths and sets it up to end in a fashion that fans are again excited about.
I give the episode a strong B+ and believe its one of its best episodes of the past several seasons. Fans will thoroughly enjoy it!
Covering superheroes, anything dark, horror, and more! Lead writer for Fan Fest