Hello and welcome to “Gut Check: The Walking Dead” where I spout off at the mouth about the most recent episode as soon as it is done airing. No thought, no research just the feeling in the moment. Let’s begin.
Tonight on The Walking Dead: The Dukes of Alexandria
Alternate Title: Got a Mint?
Alternate Title 2: You’ve Got a Friend in… Paul
The Walking Dead
The Next World
Well, this week made last week feel even more like a finale rather than a premiere. There was a two month leap into the future; we didn’t sit through the cleanup phase of last week’s melee. We just got on with it. It made it all feel like the first episode of a new season, not the second.
This is how you do a slowdown episode. It was paced slowly, but there was a lot of development, the time wasn’t wasted it was paced. The Walking Dead really struggled with this in the past so when they get it really right it is noteworthy. “The Next World” is all about new beginnings. We are starting to feel out the characters’ roles in the world, getting to know Spencer a bit more, seeing relationships develop, and best of all we had a debut comic fans have been waiting to see for a while.
In my book any Eugene is a good thing. I really need a spotlight episode for him. Josh McDermitt brings the character to life in such a fun way and he needs some time and space to really spread his wings and go for it. Enid is becoming domesticated after being nearly feral and she seems to be taking up Sophie’s role from the comics in all respects.
Chandler Riggs’ acting has really been developing, making Carl a lot less of an annoyance. That is a really nice change. The fact that the character is also being a bit more sage in his wisdom is a very good progression. Michonne is starting to truly accept her role as the person who welcomes others to the family, shedding her Ronin past. Her words to Spencer showed her new side incredibly well. Spencer for his part was his most likable ever. The fact he took on responsibility for his family; he had to be the one to do this horrendous deed is a strong change for him. The fact he went off halfcocked on his own with no real plan showed he was still kind of the same dumbass.
Rick and Daryl got to have a buddy road trip and it did wonders for them to be isolated and Rick not needing to be the most manly of men. More so, Rick got to be rational again. It was starting to seem that was a thing of the past. The absolute best part of this episode though: The guys found Jesus and he was ready to take the wheel. I mean, sure he was stealing their truck, but he works in mysterious ways. It was great to finally see a favorite from the comics on the screen and better yet, he looked and felt right.
He did manage to steal the show a few times. The truck stunt was fantastic, and that entire scene just worked on all levels. The slow build to that one flurry of action made it feel special. Jesus has got the moves, he was whoopin’ Daryl and Rick. The second best part was that he interrupted the afterglow of Michonne and Rick getting freaky-sneaky. By the way, they really telegraphed the “Slick Rick beds the Samurai” moment. When Spencer was talking to Michonne in the woods about what she wanted I spouted out “She wants RICK” and she had him.
“The Next World” was a great damned episode. It was paced well, we moved things forward, had one great action scene, and we had time to breathe. Hopefully they learned from this episode and we can settle into more paced episode and less of the “everything hits the wall at all times” or “nothing happens for an hour” pace so many episodes have.
Please Check out my other writing at:
Video game writing www.diehardgamefan.com/diehard/skess
Gut Check’s original home and where my random thoughts go http://a-faceless-name.tumblr.com/
Tags: The Walking Dead 6, Walking Dead