"The Walking Dead," both the comic and the television series, is an exercise in self-flagellation (and it isn’t even Holy Week yet). You are emotionally invested in the characters and the storyline knowing fully well that someone you like is going to be zombie kill at some point. If not, murdered by someone who has lost his mind in the zombie apocalypse.
And the mid-season premier literally starts out with a bang with massive ramifications for the show.
Here are points to take from the mid-season premier titled, “No Way Out.”
1. The walker siege of Alexandria provides a moment of clarity for many characters.
Sasha has been dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Fr. Gabriel is tormented and borderline wacko. Morgan thinks his pacifist ways will tame this wild wild zombie apocalypse. Eugene is a coward.
The Alexandrians have been living an incredibly foolish idyllic life thinking no one would dare destroy what they have created. And that naiveness or stupidity costs them. It is that naivete that divides them with many believing that Rick Grimes and his crew have brought on destruction to Alexandria. The arrival of Morgan who allies himself with the Alexandrians after adopting a rather irrational pacifist way in the middle of a brutal zombie apocalypse that tilts everything towards a “civil” war. However, it was only a matter of time before their quiet life attracted predators of the living and undead kind.
Case in point, it is Aaron’s flyer to recruit well-meaning survivors to Alexandria that brought on the Wolves, those gang of brigands and murderers whose attack also attracted the attention of the herd.
Just when all seemed lost and in an unlikely manner, Rick, who previously battled PTSD following the death of his wife, Lori, nearly losses it again after Carl is shot in the face by a vengeful Ron. His recklessness and desire to save Alexandria galvanizes the townsfolk including all the spineless denizens to beating back the herd of walkers. That snaps Sasha, Fr. Gabriel, Morgan, and Eugene among many others back to reality that life isn’t what it once was and it will never be the same again.
2. The entire cast is back.
Just like the events leading up to the Terminus, everyone is back in one setting.
Rick, Carl, Judith, Michonne, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, Carol, Sasha, and Tara (the remnants of the battle with the Governor); plus Abraham, Rosita, Eugene, (from the battle with the Terminus cannibals) plus Father Gabriel and Morgan. And there are the Alexandria folks — Pete, Denise, Aaron, Eric, Enid, Heath, Olivia, and others.
Who was lost in the last two episodes? Deanna, Jessie, Sam, and Ron are gone.
What I liked about “No Way Out” was some characters were pushed forward — Rosita, Denise, Gabriel, and Eugene.
The large cast makes it difficult to juggle everyone’s face time much less character development. So every bit is good. But to make way for some characters to step into the limelight, the eventual culling will happen. For now that the Walker siege of Alexandria is over, Negan is on deck.
3. If you thought the Governor was bad, wait ’til you get a load of Negan.
Daryl blows apart that hunting party of Saviors at the start of the show with an RPG. And really, it is satisfying to see them blown to kingdom come. But you know that Negan, who has been Tweeted and mentioned ad infinitum in social media by those like me who follow the comics, will not take that lightly and will demand more than a pound of flesh.
Thus far, the Governor has been the one major foe who last for quite a while. The Terminus cannibals and the Wolves were threats but to a lesser extent. Negan… is going to be BAD for the survivors of Alexandria (if the television script writers follow the comic book storyline and every indication is he will be even more brutal) and he will cause massive disruption. And you know the Whisperers are yet to come.
While those who read the comic book know that the arrival of Negan foreshadows the ugly, brutal, and disheartening death of Glenn, I think that it is a red herring and someone else will fall pray to Negan and Lucille.
I figure the next episode will show Rick Grimes and crew rebuild what is left of their town. It will be the calm before a Hurricane called Negan.
I shudder to think where "The Walking Dead" is going.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.