- Warning: There are mild spoilers ahead for the next two episodes of “The Walking Dead.”
- The best moment of the review filters comes in the final minutes of season 11, episode 18.
- It looks like the show has a lot to wrap up in the remaining episodes as spin-offs are in the works.
If you were frustrated with the way Rick was killed in “The Walking Dead” comics (helpless and in bed by the spoiled son of Commonwealth leader Sebastian Milton), then the next two episodes of the show are for you. .
I screened “Lockdown” (Season 11, Episode 17) and “A New Deal” (Season 11, Episode 18), the beginning of the final eight episodes of the apocalyptic drama that debuts on AMC and AMC+ on October 2, and while there’s a lot to enjoy, there is at least one infuriating oversight.
When we last left the show, Max (Margot Bingham), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and more in the Commonwealth helped Connie (Lauren Ridloff) gather enough evidence to publish a scathing article accusing to the governor’s son, Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olsson), of being connected to a growing number of missing people in the community and at least one death.
Simultaneously, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and more are in the crosshairs of Lance, the Governor’s right-hand man. Commonwealth. Hornsby (Josh Hamilton), who has gone rogue with some members of the community militia.
After Daryl blindly shot Lance, leaving him with a considerable scar on his face, Lance took over the survivor communities by force. Now Alexandria, Hilltop and Oceanside are under Commonwealth control and Lance is thirsty for blood.
We walk in as the fallout from Connie’s article and Lance’s search for Daryl’s group begin to converge. Naturally, those are not the only stories that happen in the last eight episodes. The trailer for July’s San Diego Comic-Con also teased the threat of a more intelligent race of zombies on the prowl, who don’t appear in the episodes I screened.
Does it get too much for the last block of episodes? Not yet, but with six episodes left to screen, I’m concerned if the show will be able to neatly wrap up these stories or if it will be overwhelmed by the creation of its many spin-offs.
A big change from the comics is the highlight of the first 2 episodes.
The October 2 premiere is fine.
You get zombie action, a weird car chase, and it ends on a nice cliffhanger. We spend time with most of the survivors and even have some sentimental moments between some longtime characters. Carol fans will be happy to see plenty of screen time with Melissa McBride, one of the few remaining actresses from the show’s first season.
Best of all, the premiere finally offers some scenes with fan-favorite Jerry (Cooper Andrews), who hasn’t had much time to shine in the show’s final season.
But of all the actors, Hamilton goes on to deliver a spectacular performance as the Commonwealth’s power-hungry social climber, Lance Hornsby.
You have to give “TWD” its due for casting some phenomenal villains in its final seasons. Physically scarred and suffering from a badly bruised ego, Hornsby is on the warpath and I worry that anyone on the wrong side of his anger will move on. This man has nothing to lose and, in the zombie apocalypse, he is someone who is usually willing to take anyone down with him.
Otherwise, the premiere is stronger during two separate interactions for the first time that I won’t spoil here, as they are a joy to watch on screen. One of the two is teased in the Comic-Con trailer.
The second episode, which also debuted on AMC+ on October 2 and on TV a week later, is a cut above the first. Though it’s delayed in places, it makes up for it with a twist at a moment in the comics that should more than satisfy fans who were disappointed in Kirkman’s series when it ended abruptly in 2019.
That has been a core strength of the series. In recent years, “TWD” has been notable for improving the comic by further exploring the Whisperers and adding unexpected twists. Here the history of the Commonwealth is best used to offer commentary on the disparity between social classes in America.
Also, make sure you don’t overlook the title sequence. The familiar “TWD” score found in the opening credits has been slightly expanded to include some new animated sequences. 10 actors have been added to the opening credits.
There is a slight time jump in the first 2 episodes which makes for a frustrating premiere.
The April midseason finale of “TWD” ended on an unsettling cliffhanger, culminating in Lance lining up the Oceanside community at gunpoint. As the Commonwealth soldiers waited for an order, Lance tossed his lucky coin into the air, caught it, and placed it casually in the opposite hand. Before Lance could look at the coin, presumably to decide the fate of the group, the screen went black.
For about six months, viewers have waited to learn the fate of the Oceanside group. If you wait for a resolution, you won’t get one, at least not in the next two “TWD” episodes I screened.
Instead, the next episode of “TWD” starts off frustratingly with Lance in a completely different place, on the trail of Daryl’s group, as if the Oceanside lineup never happened.
Oceanside may be revisited in future episodes (there’s a small mention of them in season 11, episode 18), but it’s the first big sign in these final episodes that the show may have cut moments to get to the finale. line.
With that in mind, I’m afraid certain storylines will be skipped and truncated to set up the show’s three future spin-offs with Daryl, Maggie, Negan, and the long-awaited return of Rick and Michonne.
The nostalgia feels a bit forced in the next two episodes. It’s still hard to see an end in sight for the series.
These next two episodes of “TWD” don’t feel like the beginning of the end. They just feel like mid-season episodes.
The only thing that makes them remotely feel like the show’s culmination is that both episodes start with narration and flashbacks of iconic scenes from the entire show. I imagine this is how each of the last eight episodes will start.
But it works?
Aside from caring a bit about the character reciting the narration, who I’m not going to spoil, it feels a bit shoehorned in, as if the episodes need to remind fans that we’re coming to the end of the zombie series that began. in 2010.
I can gloss over the somewhat clunky storytelling as everyone from the cast to the producers were caught off guard when AMC decided that season 11 would be the show’s last in 2020. At the time, future seasons were being discussed.
It’s evident that Kang, who was given the series during a tumultuous time anyway when Andrew Lincoln was leaving the series, the writing team and producers are trying to do what they can for fans to make these episodes final. feel like they were always planned. be the final eight.
In July, executive producer Greg Nicotero told me that doing this last season nearly killed them. In previous months, the cast relayed to me how tired they were after working a more demanding schedule to complete the final season. Some, including Reedus and Morgan, held injuries and kept working. And that’s why I view the episodes with a slightly more forgiving eye.
If anything, I watch these episodes and it makes me a little sad. Not only do I wonder what was originally in store for the series outside of a pandemic, but it’s obvious that the final episodes don’t get the same sendoff as AMC’s Emmy-nominated and critically-loved “Better Call Saul.”
Instead, like the decaying walkers in the apocalypse, it appears that “TWD” is slowly marching toward its grave with little fanfare. Although he appeared in person briefly for a fan party, the cast did very select interviews in July at San Diego Comic-Con and none of the series’ biggest stars did much press outside of Entertainment Weekly before the final episodes.
It seems that AMC is already looking beyond “TWD” and is more focused on its three future spin-offs.
And that’s depressing.
Two episodes into the last eight of the series and I am concerned about the show’s ability to wrap up stories and set up new ones, while also delivering a satisfying conclusion for longtime fans.
It doesn’t help that the show also throws smarter, faster zombies into the mix.
At SDCC, Kang told a group of press including Insider that this variant strain of the dead is a nod to some walkers from season one, but it’s clear there’s also a connection to a zombie seen more recently in a spinoff. This more intelligent race of the undead will likely be at the center of the upcoming Daryl spin-off as well.
While Kang and the execs told me that the series will have a definitive ending and that the final episodes are not simply a tool to set up spin-offs, it’s hard not to feel like that might be the case.
For a long time I thought “The Walking Dead” had a chance of having a superior ending to the comic book.
I hope you still do.
“The Walking Dead” returns for its series finale on October 2.
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Source : www.insider.com