I’m coming back to this thread for discussion of the show, as the companion thread for Tom’s front page post is more for talking about the changes that have made the show interesting again, and not actual episodes and plot lines (at least I assume so).
Mid-Season Finale was certainly the best episode of TWD in years. We had movement among the cast that made for some good inter-personal drama, we had plenty of creepy and suspenseful scenes, we had a semi-major character death (more on that in a minute) and topped it all off with an introduction to an entirely new threat. That’s like an entire season of old TWD in one episode! ;-)
I am really enjoying the glimpses into Alexandria, Hilltop and the Kingdom through the eyes of the various supporting cast. Henry is the new Carl, disgusted by the immature attitude of his peers at Hilltop while looking to contribute both there and back home in the Kingdom. I suspect he has an important role yet to play.
What I am not enjoying is the friction between the settlements. It’s obvious that Michonne is at the heart of it, and that Kingdom and Hilltop are still on somewhat good terms at least, while Alexandria has chosen to isolate itself. The question of “WHY” however is never answered, instead we just get brooding looks from Michonne and cryptic references to protecting her people. At first it was mysterious, but now it’s just annoying. What the hell could possibly have happened to completely reverse Michonne’s desire to unite the three settlements? Was it Rick’s death, because that seems like the total opposite of what Rick would have wanted. It can’t be some major event that nearly destroyed Alexandria, because the settlement is thriving and none of the characters from there are dead or missing in action. So what is the fucking problem with Michonne, and why won’t the other members of the council at Alexandria simply override her decision and open up relations with the other settlements? It seems so counter-intuitive.
The death of Jesus was a big blow. With Maggie gone due to the studio’s fight with the actress who played her, Jesus was the obvious choice to become the (albeit reluctant) leader of Hilltop, and he was a charismatic character. This is also apparently a huge departure from the comics according to people who have read them. It seems like the character of Jesus never got the development he deserved, and now he’s the first casualty in what looks to be a new conflict with a new enemy. Frankly, it sucks that he’s gone, as his storyline was a big part of what’s made the past few episodes so much better than previous seasons of TWD. RIP Jesus.
As for the new enemy…so far they seem very interesting (and way creepy). Seems like they took the zombie guts camo thing to it’s logical (and disgusting) conclusion. Why use camo just to move through herds when you can use even better camo to control them and use them as both a defense and a weapon? I’m guessing there is also some screwed up psychology at play, that the Whisperers probably have a cult thing built around the zombies. Still, it seems like they wouldn’t be that hard to defeat if you were coordinated and well-armed, as it’s not like they can use vehicles, horses, firearms and other advanced tactics…they just control the herds, so mow down the herd and take out the Whisperers among it as well.
For the first time in a very long time, I am actually disappointed that the season has ended (mid-season break), and am eagerly looking forward to the show’s return in February.