Monday, March 30, 2015

The Walking Dead -- Conquer

Photo: Greg Nicotero and friend, from the Wall Street Journal's photojournal page, at this website.

Well, this one was sort of anti-climactic.  Interesting towards the end in that you were expecting a climax involving:

--Glen and the townie trying to kill him;

--Daryl and Aaron getting killed in a car by a horde of walkers;

--Rick getting kicked out of Alexandria.

It was also to see any one of several things happening to the good turncoat priest, including:

--Father Gabriel committing suicide by zombie;

--Sasha killing Father Gabriel, or

--Maggie killing Father Gabriel, or

--The Walkers killing everyone in Alexandria because Father Gabriel left the door open, or

--The Wolves killing everyone in Alexandria because Father Gabriel left the door open.

Truth be told, I'm rather surprised Father Gabriel didn't buy the farm in this episode.

And maybe that was the whole point.  Nicotero (who again directed) and Co. are being very smart.  They're mixing it up.  They know we've seen the climactic episode at the end of every season.  It usually ends in a rush and someone dies.  Since they know we know that, this one doesn't.  It's that simple.  It is very smart as an artist to respect the intelligence of your audience.  These guys do.  They, like us, have seen it all before--but they acknowledge that we, the audience, are as knowledgeable of this genre as are they.  So they change some things--the tone, the pace, the endings.  They've seen it all before and they know we have, too, so they change things to keep themselves as interested as us.  They are not just content with the status quo; they know we won't be.

And so Father Gabriel and Sasha get their confession and redemption.  How long that keeps either of them from falling off the cliff is anyone's guess, but the key is that they're still surviving.  One day at a time.

Daryl and Aaron live to fight another day, since Morgan the Jedi arrived just in time.  Aaron will probably clean off that Alaska plate and add it to his collection.  (That was new, by the way: Death by License Plate.  Though those damn things can be razor sharp on the sides, for those of us who've nicked ourselves while putting one on.  And extra points to the guy who thought up the Death by Chain.  Why hasn't that been utilized before?)

Rick doesn't get thrown out of Alexandria, and even gets to kill the wife-beater that he--and all of us--has wanted to get rid of for awhile now.  (Storming the meeting to kill Rick with a machete was ill-advised.  Why not wait until he's alone with him somewhere?)

(How Alexandra Breckinridge's character responds to this bloodletting will be interesting...As is everything, probably, that Alexandra Breckinridge does.  I'm just sayin'...)  And that's a name right out of Jane Austin, too.

Carol gets to out-Machiavell Machiavelli.  While cooking casseroles, demanding the bowl back, and calling Rick "Sunshine" at the same time.  And threatening the wife-abuser at the same time.  She was so angry, you just know she was seeing Ed.  I mean, red.   

Glenn gets to stay Glenn, and not turn into Rick or Daryl, which is probably good for him.  (Though Daryl and Rick--and probably most of us--would've wasted that guy, especially after he let a pile of walkers fall on Glenn.)

And Michonne now gets to carry her sword, which is her third arm, without pretending she's over it.

Which is a good thing, because the big, bad Wolves are coming.  (Get the red poncho guy, now?)

See ya in a few months.  Thanks for reading.


  1. I agree it would have been predictable if Gabriel had died. Most people (on Facebook) are calling him a traitor, but how well does he really know Rick and the gang? And he's seen them do some pretty gruesome things. Gabriel is a complex and tortured character living in a world he simply cannot handle. So it's somewhat understandable why he would warn Deanna that Rick would destory Alexandria. Because in a way he kind of has. So, I hope Gabriel sticks around and finds his way. Maybe he and Sasha can help each other out.

    Overall, it was a good season with an enjoyable yet underwhelming finale. I'm looking forward to Morgan joining the crew.

    See ya in the fall!

    1. Yes, I like how the makers of this show usually stay away from the done-before. Even when that means that the season finale is underwhelming, rather than the typical violent craziness. And the hope insinuated by the end was nice: rather than the whole place blowing up or tons of characters dying, Rick learns he can handle something non-violently.

      And then he shoots a guy.

      But still...

  2. At least Rick waited for permission to shoot the guy. Yes, the finale could have easily turned into a bloodbath much like when the Governor chopped off Hershel's head. That sort of ultra violent moment will lose shock value after a while.

    I read there's a character introduced in season 6 (from the comics) who will make the Governor look like Prince Charming. Let's stay tuned.

    1. Yup. Probably one of the Wolves. There'll undoubtedly be a big, bad wolf.