(Written for Filmoria)
We’re at a point in the series where The Walking Dead is getting a bit too serious… or at least that’s what the writers seemed to have in mind. Since the mid-season break, episodes have been stretched out and theoretical rather than fast paced and full of explosive action, as if the writers got to a point where they thought, “Now that we’ve lured in a big audience, we’ve got to take the series to a whole new level.”
But it’s not getting there, and viewers are getting bored and frustrated. Instead, we’ve continually been left wanting more, and wanting to know more, as these first three episodes have almost fooled us into thinking that something big is going to happen.
Sadly, Episode 11 doesn’t fulfill the promise of something more either. Once again, it throws in a new character and a twist in plot, but it doesn’t actually achieve anything other than to move the story on two steps forward and another step back.
Usually, The Walking Dead leaves its audience wanting to see the next episode out of pure, uncontrollable excitement, but lately we’re wanting to move quickly to see if the story is actually going anywhere.
Rick’s paranoia doesn’t help, as he quickly beats down anybody’s optimism or fresh ideas, and even knocks them out with a single punch just to get them to shut up. How can the story progress any further if Rick uses his Batman voice to keep the rest of the group from making any decisions? Well, this time he had no choice but to listen to the rest of the group as they step up to his cynicism, with Michonne being the voice of reason for a change.
Now, it’s decision time, and the group have got to come together to judge whether the stranger that has been watching them, Aaron, is one they can trust. With the promise of an unlimited supply of applesauce, how could they not be tempted?
After a lengthy attempt of Aaron trying to convince the group that he is worthy of their trust, the group are persuaded to travel to this new ‘Safe Zone’, called Alexandria, with Aaron’s promise of a protected environment and trust-worthy community. But this is the first time the group have been promised this, so it’s only natural for them to be concerned. But they can’t survive much longer on their own, so something has to happen.
On their way, there’s a great scene where half of the group, who are travelling in a Cadillac down an unsecured road overflowing with Walkers, make a bit of a bloody mess, providing the episode the gore that is needed and a few twists to throw the audience off track a little.
Ending with the group arriving at the gates of Alexandria, it seems like the series is finally going somewhere. We can’t know for certain whether Alexandria will be a new home for the group where they can live without threat or whether it will be another bump in the long, long road, but we can look forward to a new set of characters and another familiar environment to make things a little more personal.
Is it too good to be true? Let’s hope so. Episode 12 will let us inside the gates of Alexandria, and I, for one, am hoping that there’s something dodgey about this place, too. The group have had enough time to get over Woodbury, The Governor, and Terminus by now, and they’ve united as a family once again, so it’s time to pick up the pace!