The second half of this season has really stepped up storytelling and filmmaking wise. Last week’s episode had basically a flashback with Michonne while this episode opened with a narration by Beth. These storytelling devices are often overused in modern media, but when they are featured for pretty much the first time in a program in four years, it’s actually quite interesting. I wonder if they are resorting to those tactics because they are running out of ideas to progress the story in the same fashion they have been, or simply because they want to engage the viewers in more creative ways. I’d personally like to believe the latter.
So we open with Daryl and Beth, which actually felt very strange. Both felt very out of character. Beth was overly hopeful, something that she hasn’t seemed to be in a while, and Daryl was a bit of a Debbie Downer, not expecting anyone to still be alive. Although Daryl has always been more so of a realist, he’s never been so much of a pessimist. But he plays along with Beth and becomes the tracker, looking for Mika, Lizzie and the others, actually stumbling upon their tracks.
We back track in time here to see Mika, Lizzie, Tyrese and unbelievably Judith (which I think we can all agree was absolutely surprising— something I didn’t expect especially basing it off the comics). Lizzie appears to have retained her innocence, and I guess you can say the same about Tyrese (and Judith by default); but Mika on the other hand has evolved into Carol Jr. by basically almost smothering the baby, which I will admit that was probably one most disturbing and tense senses The Walking Dead has had in years. For once I was actually happy that Carol showed her face and muddled into things. Fortunately she didn’t feel the need to burn Judith into a crisp because crying and coughing are two totally different things. But it will be interesting to see the how the whole Tyrese/Carol thing progresses because Tyrese still has no idea what she did.
Furthering the broken groups we meet Sasha, Bob, and randomly Maggie. Maggie at this point only really cares to see Glen and meet up with him. So she has the most motivation, Sasha doesn’t have nearly as much motivation to see Tyrese as I thought she would, and Bob doesn’t have any motivation for anything— even alcohol. When Maggie came across the bus and hacked pretty much every walker in there, she was doing that because of her love for Glen. But it’s a bit strange that she wouldn’t think to go back to the prison to look for him, being that he was passed out there and everything.
Meanwhile, Glen naturally awakens at the prison. In his heart he feels the same passion to see Maggie as she has for him. That being said, the rest of this season is probably going to similar to the whole Jin/Sun separation arch on LOST, and some how they will magically find each other like Rick and Lori once did. Let’s just hope Maggie doesn’t get pregnant and give birth at a prison. Regardless his motivation is strong even when meeting Tara Chambler (Lily’s sister whom the Governor met and traveled with towards the end) who was in shock of what happened during the prison attack. Glen gets her to help him out, but she is in no way as confident as he his in meeting up with the others, Maggie, or just simply surviving.
And of course the episode ends with Glen and Tara meeting Rosita Espinosa, Sgt. Abraham Ford and Dr. Eugene Porter instead of Rick and Carl meeting them like they did in the comics. This was an expected tease for anyone who knew that the characters were coming up, but all in all it’s actually really exciting. With the inclusion of new characters, it opens a whole new door, especially with this pairing of individuals. Last episode was absolutely amazing, but it ran too close to the comics. This week, however, appears to be remixing the comics a little better by mix-matching the groups and such. Although this episode started off a bit slow and some of the characters felt a bit off, it seems like they are back on to the right track and balance of plot and character development and I couldn’t be more excited to see what will come next.