Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Walking Dead S6E2 JSS Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Visceral, Haunting and Full of Action


In my recap of last week’s episode I had some mild disappointment for the season opener not topping the first episode of season five for action and gruesomeness. Little did I know the showrunners where just holding back for the second episode of the season.  Leaving off from last week I figured we would get an hour long zombie kill fest for episode two. When they started out with Enid’s storyline I wasn’t sure what to think, and then they backed that up with more setup before the horn sounded. What I did not expect was wolves within the walls brutally murdering the citizens of Alexandria.
Starting off the episode with Enid and her backstory was an interesting start to the episode, and I’m guessing she is going to play a bigger role later on in the series. Her transformation in just a few short minutes at the start of the episode was nothing short of amazing. Now is it believable that she was able to survive on her own for however long? Not sure, but the framing and telling of the story didn’t make me question the decision. Her scene with the turtle was raw and believable. It was framed in a way to showcase her looking like a walker. It shows just how far this young girl came in a short amount of time. It would not have been surprising for someone to happen upon her at that moment and think she was a walker. I almost expected it to happen, and for that to be the way she was brought into Alexandria. Showing she walked and found the town, and then decided to leave tonight was a nice bookend to the episode.
Carol tonight was the true star. At the start of the episode she is still in full homemaker mode, and she quickly turns into bad ass at the drop of a hat. Calling her a hero at the start of the episode was a good use of foreshadowing of things to come.  The use of the cooking timer was brilliant. She started it and  at the end of the episode it went off showing just how short amount of time had passed. In that short amount of time, everything for the town had changed. Her quickly realizing what was going on, and taking action is what has made her a fan favorite on the show for the past three seasons. From the first season she has had the most stunning character growth of almost anyone on the show. She is as cold blooded as the wolves she is hunting. It is the only way she thinks she can survive, and she is probably correct in this thinking.
On the opposite side of Carol’s way of thinking is Morgan. He is the only person from the group who is herding the large group of walkers who makes it back. Morgan is the counter balance to Carol in this episode. He is also a hero, but he is still trying to save the wolves and not kill them. He doesn’t hesitate to kill walkers, but at every opportunity he tries to encourage the wolves to run. One of the best exchanges in the episode is after Morgan saves Gabriel and has tied up one of the wolves. Carol walks up and shoots him in the head. Methodical and necessary, she sees no reason to show them any quarter.  Morgan feels differently and lets some of the wolves go. In fact this is the second time he did not kill a particular member of their gang. He warned them off and told them not to come back. The end of the episode is a bit of a mystery. Did he end up killing the wolf in the house, or did he just knock them out? It sounded like he killed him with the apology, but we will just have to wait and find out.
The wolves of the episode are terrifying. The fact they were able to quickly enter the town and mutilate and kill so many town members was stunning and horrifying. The way they kept hacking and disfiguring bodies added to the terror of the episode. The way this season has been set up is brilliant. We have a new gang of enemies for our group to defend against, along with the always present zombies. The next episode looks to flash back to Rick and the others trying to get the herd of walkers back on the road. I am guessing they are able to manage it to a degree or a ton of walkers would have been showing up at the town during this episode.
This is probably my only complaint about the episode, and extremely small and nitpicky.  I understand wanting to separate the two storylines, but it would have been nice to at least get an update about the other group. As quick as Morgan made it back to the town, the others should had been able to make it back as well. Only when seeing a tease for next week did I realize they must have been able to reorganize the herd to try and drive it from the town. The horn didn’t go off for that long of a time, so they may have been able to distract them again. We will just have to wait until next week and see. I just kept expecting the rest of the team to show up, and was surprised when they didn’t.
Usually a director for a television show doesn’t leave their mark on an episode. Most of the time each episode follows the same type of flow and feel, however Jennifer Chambers Lynch put a firm stamp on tonight’s installment. The framing and shot selection tonight really stood out. Showing the wolves hack away, without showing the gore was masterfully done. It had the same gruesome effect as showing the body being mutilated. The shots of blood splatter, pools of blood, and blood running just heightened the feelings of tragedy for the episode. The feeling of devastation leaked through and the evolving changes coming to the town keep happening at a rapid pace.
I speculated last week that Glen is being setup to be a leader to the entire community. With the way Maggie was able to take charge, they may both become co-leaders of the entire group. They both still have their humanity and Deanna is obviously unable to cope with the way the true world works. Her whole life has crumbled around her in a few weeks. Rick is too ruthless at the moment to lead the entire group, but Maggie and Glen are a good blend to unite everyone.
It was a fantastic second episode and one of my favorites from the entire series. The setup and then the unexpected action was an excellent way to pace the episode. The first two episodes of the season have been great and are upping the ante on what is going to happen next. I know some filler character episodes are coming, but for now they are front loading the season with tons of action and high impact drama. Is it next Sunday yet??

Tell me what you thought of the second episode of season six? Did you think it was as fantastic as I did? I was stretching to find something wrong tonight, how about you? Like, share, and share please and thanks!! 

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