Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16: Last Day on Earth

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I had a number of big things going on which made it difficult to maintain this site on top of my film writing and my podcast, so I had to step away for a while. Now that everything has calmed down a bit though, I’ve decided to resurrect Blogging Dead. Plus, after I saw the explosive and divisive Walking Dead Season 6 finale, there was no way I could just sit back without saying anything.

Big changes are coming to the site (mainly in how recaps are structured), but I’ll catch you up on those and tell you more about what I’ve been doing in an upcoming post. For now, let’s just talk about the Season 6 finale.

As usual there are spoilers ahead, so don’t read on unless you’ve already seen it.

The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16: Last Day on Earth

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16

In the entire time I’ve been a fan of the show, I’ve never been as on edge about a character’s fate as I was after the previous episode “East.” Seeing Daryl get shot in the final moment of the episode was so nerve-wracking that I had to rewind it at least three times to make sure he wasn’t dead. So going into the finale I was already anxious about that. I became even more frightened though due to a wild theory I developed that Rick might die. This theory was mainly based on an interview with Andrew Lincoln where he mentioned staying up all night after reading the finale’s script, a fuzzy screenshot featuring Negan’s baseball bat Lucille with a person wearing a white t-shirt in the background, and Rick’s new romance with Michonne. Killing him off would be daring and really change the show’s dynamic.

On top of those worries, the finale itself was an exercise in tension. Between the situation happening with Carol, and the one with Rick and his crew, I was scared for everyone. I spent the entire time clutching my fiancée’s hand tightly, ready to pee my pants long before Negan uttered his famous line about doing so, thanks to Greg Nicotero’s masterful direction. When Negan finally made his debut in the episode’s final minutes, he was amazing. Jeffrey Dean Morgan knocked his big scene out of the park, to use a baseball metaphor. One thing Scott M. Gimple and his writing team did not knock out of the park though, was the episode’s ending.

After building up tension to a volcanic peak, the season ended on a bullshit note with a first person shot of an unknown character getting their brains bashed in by Negan. On Talking Dead, Gimple said his reason for doing so was because this character’s death marked the end of one arc and the beginning of another one next season, but that’s not only baloney, it’s just unfair to do to your audience following that level of build up. Sure he cited other television shows that have done cliffhanger finales, although those situations pale in comparison to this one. Showing who died would have just as much impact, if not more because you’d be left wondering how things could continue.

Now that I’ve properly vented, let’s talk theories about who died. I’ve heard a few like, Glenn because that’s how it goes down in the comics, Eugene because he was finally starting to find his way, Sacha because Abraham would lose it, or Rosita because it would be a blow to the Alexandrian army she has been training. I plan to rewatch the finale again to come up with a rock solid theory, but here are the two most promising ones I’ve heard.

Abraham

The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

“Last Day on Earth” was a big episode for Abraham. He expressed the desire to have a child with Sacha, he made up with Eugene, and he refused to be intimidated by Negan, sitting up straight to look at him. When Negan swings Lucille and declares that whoever it is took it like a champ, Abraham might be the only one who could take a beating like that without dying on the first blow.

Daryl

The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The episode’s other first person shots were of Daryl or someone else in the van covered in a hood. Also, Norman Reedus now has a motorcycle show on AMC which would probably conflict with shooting the Walking Dead. Plus, he’s the only cast member who has said publicly that he knows who died and it’s “gut wrenching.” Finally, Daryl is one of the only characters not in the comic so killing him on the show would be a game changer.

Until I re-review the episode, my money is on Abraham, because I just don’t see how they could kill Daryl without a fan revolt.

Who do you think died in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16? Take the poll below or leave a comment with your thoughts and theories.

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailers: Surviving Together and Another Day

Hey everyone, I know it’s been ages since I’ve done a post and that I’m way behind on recaps. Sorry about that. Things have been super crazy with graduate school and other endeavors. Eventually I’ll finish recapping Season 4 and the first half of Season 5, but I thought I’d return with some thoughts on the two most recent trailers for the second part of The Walking Dead Season 5. Check them out below.

Note: Normally I’d just embed them, but I can’t figure out a way to embed them without having both autoplay at once, so I’ll give you links to spare you the dual audio.

Surviving Together

“All that matters is surviving together.” That’s basically the only thing that’s said during this teaser for second half of The Walking Dead Season 5. The trailer doesn’t tell you anything, but it’s still fun watching Rick and his crew marching through the foggy woods, looking really determined while they fire heavy artillery at unseen forces. Are they fighting humans or walkers? Does it really matter? The show will still continue to ask tough questions and to keep us guessing about what it means to be human in a decaying post-apocalytpic world.

Another Day

This trailer for the second half of The Walking Dead Season 5 tells you a little more about what we’ll be seeing, but not a whole lot. Looks like everyone is back on the road again, fighting through zombie-filled roads on their way to some unknown destination. Maybe they’re headed to Virginia like when they take residence at the community in the comics? Despite all that they’ve been through, people still seem to be hopeful about the future, especially Tyreese and Michonne who are talking about things not being over and living to have another chance.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when the show returns. How about you? What do you think will happen in the second part of Season 5?

Home Alone 6: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9

Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. 

Since everyone was just forced to run away, you wouldn’t expect The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 (After) to resume at the prison. But episode director Ernest R. Dickerson takes you back again to remind you about the carnage that transpired there as he moves his camera that through thick smoky clouds, past The Governor’s corpse, before settling on Michonne.

It becomes clear in this opening scene that our solitary heroine will be a focus of this episode, which is great because we still haven’t learned much about her. Unfortunately our payment for spending time with her is witnessing her somber task of destroying Hershel’s zombie head and making new walker pets.

Michonne is a lonely soul, so tortured by her inner demons that she pushes everyone else away. But in this episode she realizes that isolation just leaves her with mindless shambling corpses for company, a discovery that comes when she angrily massacres a group of walkers. Although the outburst is satisfying on a visceral level, it also represents and important emotional turning point for Michonne. She needs humans to give her life meaning, particularly Rick and Carl. I’m happy that she decides to track them down.

Another gratifying part of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 is finding out more of Michonne’s back story. I’m thrilled that the show’s writers made her an upper-class person like Robert Kirkman implied that she was in his Walking Dead comics. The only thing that I think sucked about this section of the episode though, is that Michonne’s tale takes the form of dreamed hallucinations,  so it’s difficult to tell what actually happened in her life.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 also focuses on another character who is on his own: Carl. After Rick’s injuries leave him incapacitated, Carl must fend for himself, as he stars in an annoying film I like to call, Home Alone 6: Lost in Zombieland.

Understandably Carl harbors a lot of hatred toward his father for what he perceives as Rick’s failures as a leader. Carl gets pretty sassy while Rick’s still conscious and even tells him off once Rick is out cold. Yet as much as Carl wants to think he’s an adult and try to act like it, he still needs Rick. You want to smack the boy as he carelessly walks around looking for food and nearly gets bitten several times due to his lack of caution. The dumbass even loses his shoe.

As stupid as I feel that segment is, I think the episode wraps up nicely once Rick regains consciousness and reconciles with his son. The icing on the cake is a charming moment where Michonne finds them and knocks on the door. It’s cute and funny when Rick laughs and says to his son “It’s for you.”

What do you think Michonne was doing on the other side of the door? Holding comic books? Holding Carl’s shoe? Or just waving? And finally, this week’s poll: Did you hate Carl seeing on his own as much as I did?

Showdown at the Prison: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 (Too Far Gone)

Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8

Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 (Too Far Gone) will make you want to yell at your screen for lots of reasons. In the episode’s opening you’ll want to scream because The Governor feeds his troops the infuriating baloney that people from the prison are murderers who destroyed his old camp. The Governor also claims that he can take the prison without killing anyone. No effing way, you manipulative prick! You want to holler again during this speech, since the scene flashes back to him knocking Michonne unconscious and capturing Hershel at gunpoint.

A couple of people try to talk The Governor out of attacking the prison, including Lilly, and poor Hershel who makes a heartbreaking appeal for his daughters’ lives. However Hershel’s words only elicit a shitty consolation, “You’re a better man than Rick, Hershel.” Even though you know that The Governor won’t listen to reason, you still hope desperately that he’ll change his mind. Because he won’t, you feel like shouting at him.

Back at the prison, Daryl finally finds out what Carol did, although he doesn’t believe Rick at first. The two of them track down Tyreese to break the news, but before they can tell him, they discover a dissected rat. Is it Lizzy’s? We don’t get a chance to find out because a tank blast announces The Governor’s arrival with his army. After that you’ll make a ton of noise due to all the insane events that occur.

First, you’ll struggle not to chastise Lilly for awful parenting while her lazy supervision allows Meghan to get bitten by a buried walker. Then you’ll want to smack The Governor for insisting that Rick negotiates with him, even though Rick has stepped down from his leadership role. Tears will come to your eyes when The Governor decapitates Hershel with Michonne’s sword and when Rick discovers that his baby could be dead. I made the most noise though when Daryl gets pinned down by shooting. Because the scene cuts away from Daryl while a zombie’s attacking, you’re worried that he has bought the farm. Thankfully he continues his badass streak by shielding himself with a biter, before he tosses a hand grenade into the tank’s barrel.

As much as you’ll cheer for Daryl, you will probably applaud even louder after Michonne stabs The Governor and Lilly shoots him. Michonne is much nicer to The Governor in the show than in the Walking Dead comics. She shows him no mercy there, but then again, he does more horrific things to her in the comics. Miraculously, most of the people make out of the prison alive, including Tyreese who is rescued by children?! Unfortunately everyone gets scattered to the wind, including a very injured Rick and his son Carl, who stumble away without looking back.

What do you think is next for our heroes? Were you satisfied by the end of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8? And this week’s poll: Do you think The Governor got off too easy?

Talk it Out: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4

Melissa McBride and Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4

Melissa McBride and Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4

An alternate title for The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4 (Indifference) could be “Everyone Stops Feeling Sorry for Themselves,” since the entire thing is a series of conversations where individual characters realize they’ve been stupidly dwelling in their own issues. By watching these people talk it out with others, we’re privileged to witness the remarkable moments of clarity that they each achieve.

The episode’s opening is slightly ominous as we see Carol conversing with Lizzie through glass before she and Rick depart on an emergency supply run. This dialogue gives us a window into Lizzie’s mental instability, when the girl admits that she’s fine with dying because “at least she gets to come back.” Maybe another hint that she was feeding the walkers? For a moment you’re feeling inspired while Carol gives Lizzie a pep talk about staying strong and fighting, but that’s short lived. The wind gets knocked right out of your sails after Carol says in the most cold-blooded way, “Don’t call me Mom.”

From there, The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4 alternates between two search parties: The Daryl/Michonne camp and the Rick/Carol one. Both narratives have unique events, however the characters follow similar emotional arcs.

Daryl and Michonne pal around in a cute way, especially when he teases her “Stay in one place more than a couple of hours, [you’d] be surprised what you pick up.” Almost seems like the show’s writers are setting them up for romance. Any Daryl/Michonne shippers out there? There have to be.

On the other hand, Tyreese acts like a real pain in the ass for that group, lagging behind, whining, and being dumb about chopping the vines with zombies behind them. Thankfully Michonne straightens him out, “Anger makes you stupid. Stupid makes you dead.” In the process of chastising Tyreese though, you can see on her face, that she decides to give up hunting The Governor for the same reasons.

Also during this portion of the episode, you find out that Bob Stookey has a drinking problem because he’s a “witness” to destruction. It’s awesome how Daryl supports Bob by reminding him that he’s not on his own anymore. It’s less awesome when Daryl has to get in Bob’s face later on though, after his pursuit of booze almost gets them all killed. The group’s mission is successful, but you’re left wondering if they’ll get back to the prison in time to actually save lives.

Rick and Carol get some much needed time to chat during their outing as well. Carol seems really intent to justify herself about burning Karen and Dave, which you can tell makes Rick uncomfortable. He really doesn’t want to talk about it, yet she keeps pushing the issue and eventually Rick is forced into a decision. After their depressing cul de sac supply run, Rick shocks us by sending Carol packing. He knows that Tyreese will never forgive her for what she’s done and her presence will cause more trouble than they need at the prison.

Talk about a bombshell. Didn’t see that coming. Did you think Rick would make Carol go like that? Tell me your thoughts and be sure to take this week’s poll: Did Rick do the right thing by forcing Carol to leave?

Tyreese Comes Out Swinging: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Until now Tyreese has been a level-headed character. However at the start of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 (Infected), he does a complete 180. After discovering his smoldering dead girlfriend, he comes out swinging. Was she torched as a walker? Or murdered? Tyreese doesn’t care. He just puts Daryl in a choke hold and punches Rick. I’m glad to see Tyreese becoming more nuanced like he is in the Walking Dead comics, but I wish his development would happen under less depressing circumstances.

Despite Tyreese’s grief-stricken state, Rick doesn’t take kindly to sucker punches, and loses his shit. He goes full-on crazy, turning self-defense into a total beat down. I can’t blame Rick for returning blows, because I would too, except I’d exercise more restraint. If you know about Rick and Tyreese’s epic entanglement from the Walking Dead comics, you’ll be pumped to watch this episode’s brawl, even though the show’s reasons for their fight are less complex.

Later on in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3, Tyreese comes out swinging again, this time with his hammer. When he, Daryl, Michonne, and Bob Stookey accidentally drive into an enormous herd of walkers, their car gets trapped on a hill of zombies, forcing them to fight their way out. Tyreese stays to take on a swarm singlehandedly, which seems like a sacrificial play if you haven’t read the Walking Dead comics. Using a situation similar to one in the comics, the show’s writers have Tyreese channel his rage into walker-killing superpowers. Like the Rage Mode from Doom, Tyreese angrily and rapidly destroys his foes, leaving him exhausted, yet alive.

Back at the prison, everyone left there tries to combat the mystery illness killing people off. Even Glenn and Sacha catch it, leaving us devastated. Get well soon guys! Most uninfected prefer quarantine to stem the illness, while their friends search for supplies. Although Hershel is willing to put his life on the line to help. Once again he thrives as the show’s emotional anchor, especially when he delivers one of his famous knock you on your ass powerful speeches about risking your life for what’s important. Aw snap, Rick and Maggie, you got served!

Following this season’s theme of answering a previous episode’s questions while raising new ones, we learn that Carol burned Karen and Dave. Now that Rick knows about she did, we’re all left wondering, is there anything he’s going to do about it?

This week’s poll: If you were in Rick’s position, would you tell anyone it was Carol who torched Karen and Dave?

Are you happy with Tyreese’s character development? And if you were Rick, would you have fought back against him? Click here to leave me a comment.

Bloodletting: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2

Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2

Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2 (Infected) proves that the show’s writers haven’t lost their penchant for eerie openings. This episode’s pre-credits sequence is creepy as f*** and it’s not just because it follows the season premiere’s foreboding ending.

In his opening, director Guy Ferland tantalizes us with a mysterious figure feeding walkers live rats at the prison’s outer fence. Then Ferland transitions indoors, where Tyreese sings to his girlfriend Karen. After that, he follows Karen as she travels perilously toward the newly zombified Patrick. Until she retires safely to her cell, Ferland has you on the edge of your seat because you’re suspicious that undead Patrick could jump out at any moment. Ferland finally delivers the gore you’re expecting, when he has walker Patrick chomp into the juicy throat of some poor sleeping guy. And…cue the show’s opening credits.

During the chaotic events that follow in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2, there are several haunting scenes that stick with you long after the end credits.

  • Cell block D’s fight for survival
  • Michonne’s tearful breakdown
  • Pig sacrifice to the walkers
  • Rick’s fire and rearming
  • Discovery of Karen’s torched remains

The fight in cell block D is unforgettable because the episode’s music reaches a peak that deftly conveys the frantic tragedy of the situation. Then as things settle down, the score comes crashing down, leaving you emotionally winded. Michonne’s breakdown while holding baby Judith is memorable since she hardly shows emotion. While she sheds tears, you can’t help wondering if she lost a child of her own. Rick’s sacrifice of his pigs for the safety of his settlement gives horrifying validity to the expression “bleeding like a stuck pig” as he cuts them and throws the unfortunate squealing animals to their death. The spray of blood and somber music here are gut wrenching. Following that mess, when Rick burns the pig area and puts his gun belt back on, you become certain that there’s nothing but trouble ahead for him. Lastly, Tyreese’s discovery of the bloody trail to Karen’s burned body is heartbreaking since he never got a chance to say goodbye or know for sure that she turned.

Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2 provides answers on how Patrick got sick (pig meat) and whose gun Rick dug out of the garden (Carl’s). However the episode leaves us with a brand new questions as well. Who burned Karen’s body and why? Plus the subject of this week’s poll: Who is feeding the walkers rats?

Who do you think torched Karen and why? Click here to leave me a comment.