Sorting among the wreckage that was The Walking Dead’s infamous mid-season finale is something of a reoccurring theme among viewers. It’s amazing to me that the writers can create such giant catastrophes (such as the barn being attacked at the end of season 2) , sending almost every character in different directions, and still develop each character perfectly along with implementing new story mechanics. Watching these crazy displays of mastery over a writer’s massive story like these will never get repetitive.
The episode opens with our sleeveless, redneck duo Daryl and Beth running away from the burning wreckage of their previous home. Beth quietly narrarates over gory footage of Daryl and her running through waves of zombies creating a surreal and interesting contrast. They eventually reach a safe area and discuss their main objective of finding other survivors, mainly the young children that supposedly are all alone. Daryl sticks to his strict character model of being very pessimistic, claiming that it’s almost impossible that anyone other than them can be alive, which in my opinion, is a very lazy move for the writers. After being with Daryl for nearly four seasons, his character hasn’t changed much. Sure, he is a little less skinhead, and more of a gunslinging leader but his pessimistic qualities are still relentlessly apparent.
Moving to a more severe situation, we find Tyrese with a total of three young children, two of which are constantly crying. Tyrese is not capable of fighting because he’s carrying an infant, so he and his group must constantly run from whatever threat they meet, which quickly has taken a toll upon them. A little later into the episode, Tyrese hears screaming in the distance and prepares to go help whoever is dying, so he leaves Judith with the two young children and tells them to run in his direction at the sight of any danger. In TWD fashion, everything that can go wrong does, and Judith begins to scream and cry at the top of her lungs as soon as Tyrese leaves, to combat this Lizzie, one of the small children whom Tyrese left begins to suffocate young Judith to know end until our previously forgotten character Carol pops from the bush and rescues the girls.
Carol’s return is very interesting because she is paired with the man whose lover she killed in an effort to combat the virus that was rising up in the prison a few weeks ago. Carol doesn’t know if Tyrese knows about her dark secret so I believe their relationship will be very interesting to watch as the season unfolds.
Finally, Glen awakens, still stuck in the now abandoned prison. With some help from a remaining survivor of the raid on the prison, he makes it to the main road and begins his search for his wife. After collapsing from exhaustion, Glen’s new friend meets three new characters from the comic books that I’m sure will weave the story through many twists and turns.
I’m optimistic towards TWD’s future, especially with the introduction of these new characters. As long as the writers take it slow and don’t try to get too ambitious and complex like the comic books, the show could continue like this for a few more seasons. As for this episode: I generally liked it; there were some slow points, but big events and tons of suspense really sealed my thoughts on the show. Score: 8.5/10
Alex Troutt/Senior Staff Writer