daryl

RECAP: TWD, S06E16, Finale: Last Day on Earth

RECAP: TWD, S06E16, Finale: Last Day on Earth

By Nicole Robinson

On the bright side of this week’s cliffhanger ending, there is nothing to spoil this time. No one died…. Well sort of. Someone died at the hands of Negan and Lucille in the dynamic duo’s first appearance during this Sunday’s finale “Last Day on Earth”. However, viewers will have to withstand the wait until October to find out who got the bat due to the world’s most unnecessary cliffhanger. However, Jeffery Dean Morgan shined as the psychopathic Negan in an outstanding performance. He was spot on in his portrayal of Negan’s charm and wit while he was threatening the lives of Rick and friends. In the line-up of possible Lucille victims….

Rick, Michonne, Maggie, Carl, Rosita, Daryl, Abe, Glenn, Sasha, Aaron, and Eugene

After a season of cliffhangers and fake out deaths, there should be no surprise that the writers at AMC and the powers that be decided to end the season this way but fans are still outraged. And rightfully so. 30 more seconds was all it would take to have a cliffhanger with fans in tears wondering what is going to happen next after one of their beloved characters just got beat to death with a bat. On the other side of the argument, this is good for ratings and when the show returns this October, it will no doubt be one of the most watched episodes in the show’s entire run. However, for some comic readers, this was a let-down. Cliffhanger aside, the episode had viewers on their seats as Rick and friends attempted to get Maggie to the Hilltop only to be blocked at every road by The Saviors.

Saviors Blocking the Road to the Hilltop. Photo Credit: FOX/AMC

Saviors Blocking the Road to the Hilltop.
Photo Credit: FOX/AMC

Meanwhile, East of Alexandria finds Morgan searching for Carol on a horse. He finds her wounded and weak, in a library camp, unwilling to go back to the community because she can’t kill anymore. She meant it when she said she was leaving for good and even pulls a gun on Morgan when he refuses to leave. Knowing she won’t kill him, he stays. While he is out checking the surroundings, she sneaks out only to be gunned down by the last Savior from her gun fight on the road. Morgan, in a surprising move, proves he is willing to kill for Carol to protect her. After he shoots the man, he is greeting by the armored man he stopped Rick from shooting in the last episode. He asks for help and the man and his companion oblige.  This is the last we see of Carol and Morgan this season.

Morgan meets a knight from The Kingdom Photo Credit: AMC

Morgan meets a knight from The Kingdom
Photo Credit: AMC

Ricked learned very quickly just how big of a mistake it was acting on impulse when attacking The Saviors. This episode saw Rick slowly gain a clear picture of who he is dealing with as the numbers in Negan’s army grew at every stop and Alexandria is out-numbered and out-smarted.  The Saviors display intimidation tactics, hanging a man from the library camp group, shooting into the air, chains of walkers blocking the road with two of Michonne’s dreadlocks attached to one and Daryl jacket on another, setting fires, and shooting at the feet of the group to lead them north. As Maggie’s condition worsens, Eugene suggest the take her on foot while he drives the RV to distract the Saviors. It is getting dark and this plan may work.

Aaron, Sasha, and Rick Photo Credit: AMC

Aaron, Sasha, and Rick
Photo Credit: AMC

Eugene hands over the plans to make bullets just in case and assures Rick he will not let him down. Rick finally admits what every viewer should know and that is that they are lucky to have Eugene. While strength and bravery may not be his best assets, intelligence is just as valuable. The ability to make bullets is going to be an important weapon for Rick in the war against Negan. This season has seen Eugene change very much for the better much as Father Gabriel has changed as well.  If he survives Lucille, Eugene has the potential to be a strong member of the Alexandria army in the future.

The plan is quickly foiled and Rick and friends are ambushed, having been lead right into a Terminus style trap by the Saviors. Surrounded and with true fear in his eyes, Rick is brought to his knees in a humbling and symbolic moment when he finally comes face to face with the notorious villain Negan.  Daryl, Glenn, Rosita, and Michonne are added to the line-up by Dwight and every single person that Rick loves in the zombie world is now a potential victim of Lucille with the exception of Carol and Morgan who are off discovering new settlements.

Jeffery Dean Morgan takes on the role of comic villian, Negan Photo Credit: Skybound/AMC

Jeffery Dean Morgan takes on the role of comic villian, Negan
Photo Credit: Skybound/AMC

“Are we pissing our pants yet? Boy do I have a feeling we are getting close” Negan says with a charming smile on his face as he carries the lovely Lucille on his shoulder, her barb wire glistening in the headlights.

There is a twinkle in the eyes as he examines the group on its knees in front of him. It is obvious he is really enjoying this. He introduces himself as Negan and explains that Rick and Alexandria work for him now and he is not happy that Rick has killed his people. He is even more upset that when he sent more of his people to kill Rick’s people for killing his people that Rick and his people killed more of his people. Not cool Rick. Not cool at all.  Time to pay the price.

Rick meets Lucille Photo Credit: AMC

Rick meets Lucille
Photo Credit: AMC

“This is Lucille” He smiles, holding his beloved bat to Rick’s face, “And she is awesome”.

Negan walks the line-up trying to decide who he is going to kill. He figures out Carl is Rick’s son before giving up and playing eenie, meenie, miney, moe, to decide who gets the bat. At this point the camera switches perspectives to the unknown victim.

“Anyone moves and I’ll cut the boys eye out and feed to his father and then we’ll start. You can breathe. You can blink. You can cry. Hell, you’re all gonna be doing that” and Crack!!! Down comes Lucille as the screen fills with blood and the credits roll as Negan says “Taking it like a champ”.  The viewers are left with the sweet sounds of skulls cracks as Lucille takes out…….

You will find out in October.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S06E15, East – The Death of Daryl Dixon?

RECAP: TWD, S06E15, East – The Death of Daryl Dixon?

By Nicole Robinson

Glenn and Michonne

Things are not looking good for Rick and friends now that the Saviors are starting to retaliate against the Alexandrianites for their attacks on the mysterious group. With a large section of muscle missing from behind the walls, the community is left exposed while Rick and Morgan team up takes off to look for a runaway Carol in a porcupine car and a disapproving Glenn gains the help of Michonne and Rosita in chasing after the ever impulsive Daryl on his hunt for Dwight. The smartest words of the episode were spoken by Glenn when he said “Daryl is going to get himself killed”.

Despite the warnings of Dwight’s burnt face, Daryl went chasing after the Saviors out of revenge for Denise’s untimely death last week at the hands of Dwight. This is a clear set up for the highly anticipated first appearance of Big Bad Negan. The end of this week’s episode put Daryl at the mercy of the Saviors, cutting to black after being shot and blood splattered the screen leaving viewers to wonder if Daryl is still alive after the credits rolled.

The end of Daryl Dixon?

Deep Breaths. Do Not Panic. Put down the riot gear…..  For now.

“Exactly what you see happens, happens. It’s not a trick. It’s definitely Daryl getting shot. I won’t tell you where he’s getting shot. But you see [Dwight] pull the trigger, and that’s Daryl’s blood,” Norman Reedus told TVLine.

At least they are not trying to fake out the audience like the dumpster mess.

Several viewing and pausing frenzies later point to a shoulder wound for Mr. Dixon leading to the belief that he is indeed alive and injured. How bad he is injured remains to be seen but is likely really regretting not killing Dwight earlier this season on a whole new level. One thing is certain, this is not going to end well. Daryl has made a lot of stupid decisions this season, but this was by far his worst. Dwight clearly stated that The Saviors knew where Alexandria is so he was eventually going to show up at the gates. Daryl did not need to go after him.

The puzzling transformation of Carol from scared survivor to warrior back to scared survivor began to make more sense last night. How else do we expect our characters to discover just how big this new world is if they stay behind the walls? Something has to drive them beyond the safety of Alexandria besides food runs back and forth to the Hilltop. With so many other important character focused on the Saviors, Carol’s subplot allows for a pleasant distraction and real glimpse into the psychological effects this world has on those who live in it. The build-up between Morgan and Carol this season made it obvious he would go after her in hopes of saving her. This is all leading to something.

Carol surrenders

While Rick and Morgan were out searching they came across a farm where a man was looking for a horse. As this man was running away, Morgan stopped Rick from shooting him allowing the camera to show viewers a very specific glimpse at the man’s attire. Morgan hit the nail on the head when he said that man was not from the Hilltop. Comic readers may have recognized the armor the man was wearing and Glenn did say the world is bigger than they thought. It is hard to believe that the three communities so far are the only ones out there in the New World. Having gone the opposite direction than The Savior’s camp, Carol led Morgan to unexplored territory and it is unlikely he will find nothing in his search.

This episode accomplished the goal of setting up the 90 minute minutes season finale coming this Sunday. It ended with some dark twists. With Maggie having severe abdominal pains and Denise being dead, her choices are to stay in Alexandria on the hope she won’t be eaten from the inside out by her baby or head to the Hilltop Ob doctor with the ultrasound machine. The choice is clear and she will not go alone. Rick and friends have another journey ahead. With The Saviors at every turn, it could be the most dangerous one they ever take.

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S06E14, Twice as Far

RECAP: TWD, S06E14, Twice as Far

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By Nicole Robinson

The end of last night’s episode of The Walking Dead saw Daryl reunited with his crossbow at the cost of Denise when a burned Dwight returned and shot her through the eye during her pep talk to Daryl and Rosita. Denise, being one of the valuable assets that Alexandria had, will be sorely missed as the only doctor in the community. Her training as a psychologist also could have been helpful in the war against a Negan that is undoubtedly coming - something that her death will escalate once Rick finds out it was Dwight and The Saviors that are responsible.

Olivia counts the pantry stock, Father Gabriel patrols the grounds, and Eugene and Sasha stand watch at the gates while Morgan practices with his ninja stick. Carol smokes her cigarette. These day to day activities of Alexandria give the illusion that Rick and friends are safe in their community, safe behind the walls and closed doors that provide protection.

The Walking Dead, S06E14

Daryl checks out his bike, stolen with his crossbow earlier this season by one of those strangers he tried to help in the burnt woods.

“I should have killed him,” he tells Carol over a smoke. He is right. He should have, and this mistake will come back to haunt him later.

Eugene’s intelligence has always been his best weapon, and this episode proved exactly why. Eugene knows how to make bullets, and bullets are more valuable than the guns that shoot them. After all, guns are no good without bullets. Out with Abraham, the two find a metal shop that will allow Eugene to get to work. A very proud Abraham sings Eugene’s praises before being interrupted by a metal head walker. Eugene calls dibs, and Abe steps back.

The Walking Dead, S06E14

The walker has been coated in metal, so when Eugene tries to machete it, his knife just bounces off the walker's chrome dome. Eugene gets pinned and is unable to reach a weapon causing Abe to step in and save him. An insulted Eugene chastises Abraham, who reminds him that thinking, not killing, is his best skill. Eugene responds by dismissing Abraham, stating “your services are no longer required”, and Abraham storms out while telling Eugene he can find his own way home.

Denise drags Daryl and Rosita outside the safety of the walls to search an apothecary for medicines that could be useful to the community. If it’s more apothecary than boutique, she reasons, it’ll have drugs. Having to abandon the truck after running into a fallen tree blocking the road, Denise tries to convince Daryl to take the tracks because it is the most direct route. He refuses.

The pharmacy is still locked when the three arrive, so all the meds are still safe and sound. While Daryl and Rosita clean out the place, Denise find a baby shoe in a sink full of blood in the back and reflects that perhaps she was not as ready as she thought. On the way back she tells Daryl the story of her twin brother, older by six minutes. She describes him as brave and angry, reminding Daryl of his own brother, Merle.

At this point, the episode seems more like filler. Aside from the realization that Eugene is able to make bullets, this episode was fairly sleepy.

After Denise risks her life for a can of soda and vomits on her glasses, Daryl yells at her in a very big brother sort of way for doing so. She stands up to him, yelling “I have training in this sh**!” She brought him because he reminds her of her brother and makes her feel safe. She should have gone with Tara and told her she loves her. She brought Rosita because she is inspired by her strength. In short, she is tired of being afraid to survive. She is sick of the fact she is not out in the world trying to live, and to live you have to take chances.

Suddenly an arrow pierces Denise through the eye. A group of Saviors come out of the woods and they have Eugene. Daryl looks at the man who stole his bike and crossbow. His face is burnt now, and he introduces himself as Dwight. Daryl was right; he should have killed him when he had the chance. The arrow came from Daryl’s crossbow, but Denise wasn’t the one he was aiming for. Dwight wants to be let into Daryl’s complex, and wants to be allowed to take whatever and whoever they want. If his demands are not met, they will kill Eugene, then Rosita, and then Daryl.

The Walking Dead, S06E14

Eugene takes one for the team, grabbing a mouthful of Dwight’s manhood after spotting Abraham hiding behind some barrels, apparently having been following Eugene. He surprises the group and starts shooting. Rosita gets the guns, and Daryl slashes a neck before he starts shooting. Gunfire erupts and walkers descend causing Dwight to call for the Saviors to fall back. Eugene is shot in the crossfire. The three carry him back to Alexandria. Luckily he was only grazed, and the antibiotics will likely save his life. Abraham apologizes for doubting his abilities and says, “You know how to bite a d*ck – and I mean that in the nicest way possible.”

The Walking Dead, S06E14

Daryl retrieves Denise’s body, and buries her in their graveyard while holding a vanity keychain she took from the store. It reads "Dennis", which was her twin brother's name. Carol joins him and they dig mostly in silence. She sees what the audience sees as well. This one is going to have a lasting effect.

“You were right,” Carol says. “I knew it when you said it.”

The Walking Dead, S06E14

In a last tragic twist, Carol leaves Alexandria, leaving behind only a letter for Tobin to find that says she can’t face another threat and she cannot kill anymore. This letter is addressed to the community as a whole:

I love you all, and I would have to kill for you. I can’t; I won’t. I can’t love anyone because I can’t kill for anyone anymore. I am going like I always should have. Don’t come after me, please.

This is not the last of Carol no doubt. Someone will go after her despite her request not too, likely Daryl. The death of Denise will have a resounding effect of Alexandria now that the only doctor is dead. When Tara returns from her supply run with Heath to find her having been killed, her reaction is going to reopen this wound for Daryl. She came to him for protection and she died as result of mistakes. Not killing Dwight has come back on him in the worst way possible, and that kind of guilt is hard to live with. It clouds judgment and leads to careless mistakes. Daryl may actually end up getting himself killed despite his good intentions.

The Walking Dead, S06E14

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S06E12, Not Tomorrow Yet

RECAP: TWD, S06E12, Not Tomorrow Yet

By Nicole Robinson

A gruesome wall of what appeared to be bludgeoned heads during "Not Tomorrow Yet", last night's episode of The Walking Dead, foreshadows a huge mistake made by the Alexandrianites. Rick and friends acted on impulse, attacking The Saviors in full force before understanding who their new enemy is. Something says Rick may be in over his head this time. Perhaps his confidence has gotten our hero into some trouble?

The fearless leader

After making a deal with the devil in last week’s episode, Rick and the others return from the Hilltop with the news that they are going to have to fight for their dinner by killing the leader of The Saviors. So far all we know about The Saviors is they have big guns, an unknown amount of people, and their leader, Negan, remains unseen. Morgan naturally objects to Rick’s plan. He was quickly shot down by Aaron and a given friendly reminder from Rick that he doesn’t have to like killing, just accept it if he is going to remain in Alexandria.

While the episode centers around the assault in Negan’s compound, the character development was focused on Carol.

Suzy Homicidal

Now that Carol has settled in to her new home, she's baking cookies and keeping tabs on how many people she has killed, the names of whom she’s written down in a notebook. For the record, it was this:

R

K D

L

Terminus/Courtyard 3?

Candlewoman 4

Ws 7

 

R is Ryan, Lizzie and Mika’s father. K and D are Karen and David, from the prison. L is Lizzie. Terminus you remember, the cannibals. Candlewoman is Mary (Denise Crosby) from Terminus, who Carol shot in that room full of candles. Ws is the Wolves. With how much damage she did in Terminus, the number could be higher, but she got a grand total of 18 humans killed so far. This number clearly does not sit well with Carol, and she wanders the streets at night, smoking, with that number heavy on her mind, until she encounters Tobin. The two share a smoke and discuss the idea of her being able to do things Tobin cannot which leads to an awkward kiss before she leaves him sitting on his porch. Meanwhile across town, Abraham walks out on Rosita by telling her she is not the only woman on the planet, and Tara declared her love for Denise.

Something Very Bad Is Coming….

Even the select few who have managed to stay away from the media storm surrounding the casting of Jeffery Dean Morgan as Negan watched in apprehension as Rick lead the assault team on the march to the attack on The Saviors compound. It is clear that Rick is acting on impulse and without a full understanding of what he is getting himself into. In the past, Rick and his group have managed to defeat every threat, allowing a confidence to build in the strength of Rick’s warriors. Riding that confidence to The Saviors front door without even knowing who Negan is was a huge mistake and, marking the words of Maggie last week, this will cost the group something… Or someone.

Not Tomorrow Yet

Without scouting the area or getting an estimate on the number of people in Negan’s group, they take a walker’s head and have Andy pretend it is Gregory. He shows up at the door to The Saviors compound, which appears to be some kind of old broadcast station, and manages to pass off the walker. The guards fall for it, even playing some pretty tasteless games with the head, before they themselves are killed. The assault team gets inside, leaving Maggie and Carol guarding the RV and fans wondering what Maggie is doing there in the first place. Tara, Jesus, Father Gabriel, Andy, and the hostage Craig are waiting in the car outside the front door. As one of The Saviors comes out of the bathroom, he encounters Abraham, slicing his arm and setting off the alarm before being killed.

The Walking Dead has never been shy about violence. In the past, Rick and friends have defended themselves against their enemies. This would be the first time they attacked a group unprovoked, without knowledge of whether or not their victims are deserving of death. Even Father Gabriel pulled a Pulp Fiction/Boondock Saints style moment of awesome, reciting a prayer before shooting a man begging for his life and saying “Amen”.

Not Tomorrow Yet raid

In eerie foreshadowing, as the group inventories the win after Glenn and Heath capture the armory, Glenn finds a wall of Polaroid pictures showing several heads bashed in on what seems almost an intentional trophy wall similar to the Governor’s fish tanks in season three. Comic readers know what this means, and Lucille is coming. While counting the inventory of wins the group racked up in the attack on The Saviors, the tables turned. After sacrificing one of their own to send a walkie out to the group, a female voice (Alicia Witt) announces they have Maggie and Carol as hostages.

With three more episodes and the finale left in season six, it is clear that The Walking Dead is building up to something big. With all the hype around Negan, the anticipation of his appearance has fans sitting on the edges of their seats waiting for the infamous villain. When he makes his appearance this season is not completely known, but whenever it does happen, it is bound to have a major impact.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
The Walking Dead: Who is Negan?

The Walking Dead: Who is Negan?

By Nicole Robinson

Negan

Fans of The Walking Dead comic book series have long awaited to find out who was going to be playing the notorious villain Negan. It was recently announced that The Good Wife and Supernatural alum, Jeffery Dean Morgan, was cast, bringing about speculation that Negan will be appearing sometime during season 6. This was all but confirmed after that mid-season finale’s sneak peek of Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham’s encounter with The Saviors. For those fans that do not read the comic series, you are probably wondering to yourself “Who is Negan and why should I care?”

For those of you wondering this very question, here are some answers.

Negan is a very important comic character and first appears in the series during issue #100. He is the leader of the Saviors. The sneak peek gave us our first introduction to Negan’s group in a very accurate portrayal of their comic counterparts. This is not a small group, but in fact is an entire community like Alexandria and Negan is their leader. He uses fear and brutality to secure their loyalty with burning faces with an iron as example of one punishment for breaking the rules.

From the very beginning, it is very clear that Negan has a special type personality. In his first appearance, his introduces Rick and friends to Lucille, a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire which he uses to random choose his first victim. He knocks at the gates of Alexandria demanding HALF of everything. Half of all of the supplies, weapons, and ammo that the community has collected in exchange for protection. The protection they need is from The Saviors.

Negan randomly choose a victim from a subdued group which happens to be Glenn. While a pregnant Maggie, Rick, and Michonne watch, he beats Glenn to death with Lucille in one of the most memorable and graphic scene of the entire series. This also establishes a lot about the character that is Negan and his impact on the dynamic of the story.

The death of Glenn is one which strikes at the very hearts of Rick and Maggie as well as the rest of the survivors. We learn very quickly that Negan is very narcissistic and charming with absolutely no sense of remorse. He hears Glenn beg for his life and yet he still smashes Lucille into his skull and at one point even laughs and says “He is taking it like a champ”. Rick swears to avenge Glenn and kill Negan but this does not even phase him. He just laughs more and beats Rick with his bare hands before leaving.

Negan is a psychotic, witty, intelligent, and brutal. He occasionally will display a warped sense of sympathy but lacks empathy completely. And he is coming to the TV counterpart during the second half of season 6. Jeffery Dean Morgan was recently announced to have been casted as the iconic villain settling any questions as to whether or not Rick would come face to face with Negan before season 7. Does this spell the end for Glenn?

So far the television series has mixed up the death count to be different from the comic counterpart. Bob replaced Dale as tainted meat. Tyresse died at Shirewilt Estates last season in a reverse of sorts having first appeared at Wiltshire Estates previous to the prison in the comic. Sasha seems to be taking over the role of Andrea as the sniper. Chances are the writers will do the same for Glenn especially after the whole dumpster ordeal. One major theory that seems to hold the most weight is that Daryl will be the one to meet Lucille if and when Negan shows up this season.

Before you start getting out the riot gear, think about this a little. We have been seeing less and less of Daryl this season as if we are being weaned off of him. His story seems to have become very stale since Beth died. What more does Daryl Dixon really have to offer The Walking Dead? He has come to terms with his past and who he is. He trusts people a lot more now, even going out as a recruiter for Alexandria. He became a valued member of the group, really growing out of the whole racist redneck image we had of him in season 1.

Another aspect to consider is that Daryl is second only to Rick as the most popular Character on a show that claims “No One Is Safe”.  The moment that Negan arrives and brutal ends Glenn is one of the moment significant moments of the entire comic series. Glenn has played second fiddle to Daryl since the start, having has a much larger role in comic series as well as being a fan favorite. Whomever gets Lucille has to make a huge impact.

The major point about Glenn’s death is that is makes the readers really hate Negan. There is no one else besides that Daryl that could make the audience hate Negan on the level we need too for the TV series. The legions of fan screaming “If Daryl Dies We Riot” can only keep him safe for so long. The appearance of Negan brings about a new chapter for The Walking Dead and Lucille is thirsty.

It will a long wait for the 2nd half of season 6. The first 8 episodes started out strong and ended…. Well…. Good. When season 6 picks back on Valentine’s Day with the episode “No Way Out”, here is to hoping they make it up to us with a lot of death, especially for Sam. He really needs to die for speaking a syllable while walking through a herd in a walker gut covered bed sheet.

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, EDITORIALS, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
AMC’s The Walking Dead: Start to Finish

AMC’s The Walking Dead: Start to Finish

 No Way Out

By Nicole Robinson

Walkers take Alexandria

Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead saw the wall of Alexandria come tumbling down when the tower fell and “Start to Finish” picked right where it left off after a foreshadowing opening scene of ants devouring a cookie in Sam’s room.  A flood of walkers came pouring into the streets of the community where the group calls home and Rick has fallen to the ground.

Rick being Rick, shots at the incoming herd in a fury of wasted bullets as he screams for everyone to get into their houses and keep quiet. Deanna is injured after she falls on a blade and is bleeding from her side and leg.

The action came fast and furious after that as the survivors all separated into different hiding spots — Carol and Morgan in one house, Rick, Carl, Michonne, an injured Deanna, Jessie, and the kids in another. Maggie is trapped up on a tower, while Eugene, Rosita, and Tara are in a garage. Denise is stuck with the Wolf that Morgan has locked up.

Each group takes stock of their situations, none of which seem to be very good considering the streets are quickly filling up with zombies.  Deanna discovers that, in addition to her other rather painful and threatening wounds, she had been bitten in the side during her fall. In what are probably the most appropriate words of the entire episode, she says “Well Sh**”.

Carol appears to have a concussion as the result of a fall and tricks Morgan into thinking she is resting so she can escape and kill the wolf he has locked up. The two fight after a stand-off but both are knocked out just as Tara, Eugene, and Rosita walk in and the Wolf takes Denise hostage with a knife to her throat. He demands their weapons and Tara and Rosita kick over their guns while Eugene surrenders his machete. This is a seemingly odd move considering they had two guns and outnumbered him but for entertainment purposes we can let it slide. He escapes with Denise as hostage leaving us wondering if one or both of them will survive the mega herd that is flooding into Alexandria.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, teen angst posterchild Ron locks Carl in a garage in an attempt to kill the son of the man who killed his father. Walkers break up the fight and get into the house.  Carl takes Ron's gun and gets in the best line of the night in response to Ron's attack, "Your Dad was an A**hole". Deanna takes on the herd until her six bullets are gone in a final stand of strength that results in being eaten off camera.

The group decides to shroud themselves in bedsheets covered in walker guts to make an escape by walking right through the crowd. Sam decides that walking through a massive herd of flesh eating zombies is the perfect to get his mom’s attention and says “Mommy” right before the credits role and we are left to process until the show returns on Valentine’s Day next year.

 

LUCILLE IS COMING

Meeting Negan's henchman

During the first commercial break of Into the Badlands a 2 minute sneak-peak showed Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl on their way home in a truck when they are stopped by a group of bikers with big guns. A shiver of glee goes down every comic reader’s spine as the speaker for this group tells them ALL of their property belongs to… Negan. That’s right. The Saviors have arrived and Lucille is coming.

Negan and the Saviors, first appear in issue 100 of the comic book counter part of the series and knocks at the gates of Alexandria demanding half of everything in exchange for not killing everyone. When Rick turns him down he uses a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire named Lucille to beat to death fan favorite Glenn as Rick, Maggie, and the rest of the survivors watch helplessly as Negan taunts them, saying things like “He is taking it like a champ”.

The Saviors are a mix between a biker gang and a psycho cult and Negan is the most ruthless one of them all, using fear to exploit supplies and loyalty out of the members as their leader. He does the same to the Alexandria and Rick as well as the surrounding communities that we can look forward to coming soon as well. The Hilltop also appears around this time in the comics and that brings about the arrival of resourceful badass Paul Monroe aka Jesus. Tom Payne was announced to be playing Jesus back in September bringing the assurance we will be seeing him at some point during the second half.

Not long ago it was announced that Jeffery Dean Morgan has been casted to play Negan and will appear during the second half when it returns in February. For those of us that read the comic, it will be a long winter break waiting to find out how this is going to play out on the small screen. Looks like there is going to be a lot of itch a**es until The Walking Dead returns.

In case you missed the sneak peek, watch it here: 

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S06E04, Here’s Not Here

RECAP: TWD, S06E04, Here’s Not Here

HERE'S NOT HERE: MORGAN'S BACKSTORY

By Nicole Robinson

Morgan disposes of walkers

The Walking Dead slowed things down this week with the 90- minute fourth installment of the AMC zombie drama’s sixth season. Here’s Not Here changed the pace after the last three back to back intense blood bath episodes, focusing on the backstory of how Jedi-Zen master Morgan (Lennie James) and his magic walking made it to Alexandria to reunite with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). We were introduced to Morgan’s Yoda, Eastman played by the always outstanding John Carroll Lynch.

When we were first introduced to Morgan in season one’s pilot episode, he seemed to be a calm man, mourning over his zombie wife and protecting his son Dwayne. When he and Rick parted ways at the end of the episode, non-comic readers probably forgot all about Morgan and his son. As a major player in the comic series, readers knew he would pop back up eventually, which he did in the season three episode Clear.

In Clear we found Morgan had gone a little cray cray after watching his wife turn his son into a Walker snack. Despite being offered the chance to join Rick at the prison, he turned him down because he still needed to Clear. Here’s Not Here picks up right after the encounter. We find Morgan is continuing his self-destructive path, killing every Walker or man that he meets, even if he doesn't have to.

In the midst of this kill-everything-and-everyone adventure walk through the woods, Morgan happens upon an isolated, peaceful cabin with a goat out front and tries to steal it. Instead of getting away with the goat, he is captured by Eastman, who may be the only person in the apocalypse that wants to HELP other people instead of killing them.

Morgan and Eastman

Turns out Eastman is a former forensic psychologist who worked with some of the most deranged prison inmates, perhaps at the former home of Rick and friends. His goal is not to hurt Morgan, who is sitting in a cell in the cabin, but to rehabilitate him. The question remains…. Is Morgan too far gone?

Eventually Eastman opens the cell door—or rather reveals the door had never been locked. Morgan exits and of course attempts to kill Eastman but he just can’t allow that to happen. Eastman uses his Jedi powers to hand Morgan his a**, and the defeated, distraught Morgan slinks back to the cell of his own volition, closing the door that does not lock as if to lock himself in. At this point, Eastman goes about his business, although still trying to engage Morgan in conversation.

Most characters in The Walking Dead have come close to or already have succumbed to the dark side. Eastman’s characters is a refreshing change from the usual kill now question later attitude that comes with the apocalypse. He is the most unambiguously good character we’ve had on the show since Herschel (RIP) and holds on to the mindset most of humanity held dear before the world crashed and burned, All Life Is Precious, even the most evil of people . Life matters to him so much that he has his own Walker graveyard complete with names taken from ID cards etched onto wooden grave markers.

The amazing part about this respect for life that Eastman holds is that he not without his fair share of suffering. Over dinner he tells Morgan his own story about the man who killed his family before Walkers had eaten most of mankind. After ruining the man’s chance at parole, Eastman’s wife and children were violently murdered by him. The man broke out of prison just to kill the Eastman family and surrendered to the cops covered in their blood. Eastman built the cell for the man, taking him from his prison highway flower planting job and throwing him in to let him starve to death over 47 days, after which he swore to never take another life.

We Cannot Be Comfortable With Killing. They all heal, some more, some less.

After a bit of violence and lot of prodding from Eastman, Morgan eventually settles into a master/apprentice relationship with his new buddy, practicing Aikido, becoming a vegetarian and generally re-learning how to be a merciful person while tending to Tabitha, the goat. Eastman’s experience with violent criminals turns out to be a very handy skill during the process of bringing Morgan back from insanity, otherwise known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is intelligent, kind, observant, and most importantly, patient. And while he seems to be a generally good-natured guy, there is a sense that the apocalypse is getting to him. He needs Morgan just as much as Morgan needs him. He needs a companion, and he needs a project. Morgan provides him with both.

Morgan and Eastman spar one final time

The first mistake Eastman made was trying to be the voice of wisdom on a post-apocalyptic TV show. He dies of course, having been bit during magic walking stick practice. This brings us to the moment when we find out the meaning behind some of the items Morgan had on his makeshift-alter at Father Gabe’s church in season 5. The lucky rabbit’s foot belonged to Eastman, given to him by his dead daughter, which he gives to Morgan as a parting gift. The Goo Goo Clusters were Eastman’s favorite, which he points out to Morgan during the episode.

Here’s Not Here gave a sense of calm that was much needed after the last three intensely violent episodes. Sometimes we need a break from chaos when more is on the way. Don’t forget the Mega Herd is STILL coming. This season has offered us some edge of our seat moments and more are on the way. The calm episodes will be few and far between, enjoy them when you can.

Sadly viewers are going to have to wait a little while longer to find out the fate of Glenn.....possibly longer than they expect. Did anyone else notice that Steven Yuen’s name was removed from the opening credits this week? The herd is still on its way to Alexandria and that means at least a few people are going to die. Morgan has a Wolf locked in cage. The RV won’t start. The death count is already high so far.

 

In lighter news, The Walking Dead and Talking Dead have both been renewed for season 7! AMC announced a new reality series starring Norman Reedus on a motorcycle currently titles, Ride With Norman Reedus. The show will feature Reedus traveling to places around the US, exploring exciting things like tattoo parlors and bike shops. Seems kind of hard to film both. Perhaps this is a clue to the demise of Daryl Dixon at some point this season? Stay Tuned.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S06E03, Thank You

RECAP: TWD, S06E03, Thank You

By Nicole Robinson

Last night’s Thank You, episode 3 in the sixth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, had viewers screaming at the small screen and jaws dropped as they watched one the longest surviving members of Rick’s group possibly die in front of their very eyes. They warned us! No one is safe!

****SPOILER ALERT! If you have not watched the episode yet, why are you reading this?!****

Last night’s episode, Thank You, left most viewers either horrified or confused by the end, curious about the fate of our favorite pizza delivery guy. Most of us are sitting here wondering “Did he really just DIE?!”. It is possible that the blood and intestines we saw the walkers snacking on was not Glenn. It could have been Nicholas who knocked Glenn into the heard after shooting himself in the temple on top of the dumpster they were trapped on. Looks like Nick may have just killed Glenn after all.

Nick is trouble

But first, maybe we should go ahead and recap a little of the events from the rest of the episode so it looks like an honest review before we go through this whole Glenn dead or not dead thing...

This episode takes place during the events of last week’s blood bath. We catch up with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Sasha, Daryl, Abraham, Glenn, Nicholas, and the rest of Alexandianites that are trying to deal with the giant mega herd that is STILL heading right for home. It has become really obvious to all of the viewers at this point that not everyone is going to survive this. Rick even says he knows this, and he seem to be totally cool with it. He pulls Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Glenn (Steven Yuen) aside, and flatly tells them, “Try to get the others back home, but not all of them [meaning the Alexandrians] are gonna make it.” Michonne and Glenn—who know how the zombie apocalypse works—are still kind of horrified to hear Rick say it out loud. But, Rick is still right.

Rick tells Michonne and Glenn to leave them behind

Sadly, it is obvious how bad the Alexandrites are at killing walkers. Even the wounded ones tell the others to go on without them. They already know.

Rick splits off from the group to go get the RV so he can use it to redirect the horde. Glenn and Michonne take the survivors and head towards Alexandria. Sasha, Daryl, and Abraham lead the part of the horde that was not distracted by the horn to the drop point. Rick’s hand is wounded on the way to RV while fighting some walkers. He pushes forward, killing more walkers and making it to the RV only to be attacked by wolves inside.

Attacking Rick Grimes is probably no a smart thing to do. These Wolves find out, dispatched as quickly as they attacked and Rick finds three more wolves sneaking up the side of the RV. The threat is short lived as he shoots them through the wall. Problem solved except now the RV won’t start. Anyone else miss Dale?

Glenn and Michonne’s group of Alexandrites with one bitten and one wounded, get trapped and Glenn’s idea to save the day is set a feed store on fire to distract the herd away. He takes Nicholas (Michael Traynor) with him and the two get cornered by the herd in an alleyway leading to being trapped on the dumpster.

Is Glenn Dead?

Considering that we did not actually see Glenn die and he was not on the “In Memorium” on Talking Dead, one could question if he really did get brutally eaten by the walkers. Yes we saw blood…. A lot of blood.

Glenn meets his demise

We saw walkers eating SOMEONE. It would take a miracle to get out of an insanely large group of walkers like that and if Glenn did survive the buffet, there better be a really good storyline as to how. Nicholas could have fallen on top of Glenn and shielded him from the herd. Maybe Glenn was able to shimmy under the dumpster to hide while they ate poor Nick. Or maybe Nick actually ended up being the one who kills Glenn after all. It appears we will be waiting awhile to find out. Next week’s Morgan centered backstory episode will finally be showing us how the Jedi master zen came to be with his magical stick. If Glenn is dead, chances are Maggie will turn up pregnant in the near future. This also leaves open other story lines from the comics that are highly anticipated to bring about the demise of other character’s in Glenn’s place. Or just good old fashioned great storytelling.

No matter what the case, this season started with an adrenaline rush that has not let up yet. Three back to back intense, gut wrenching episodes into season 6 have shown us that this is shaping up to be the best season yet of the zombie drama. We certainly do have something to fear this season…

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 1 comment
RECAP: TWD, S06E01, First Time Again

RECAP: TWD, S06E01, First Time Again

By Nicole Robinson

TWD herd

The Walking Dead returned to AMC on Sunday with an intense 90 minute premiere entitled “First Time Again” that still has fans talking. In the first 60 seconds of the start of the mega hit zombie drama, we found our fearless leader, Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, standing in front of what can only be described as a mega herd trapped in a quarry not far from where our survivors our laying their heads at night. Surrounded by new and old faces, the group watches as one of the 18 wheeler trucks blocking the herd into the quarry falls off the side, leaving a path wide open for the herd to escape.

*WARNING: If you have not seen the Season 6 Premiere of The Walking Dead. STOP reading now. Spoilers ahead.

In an interesting twist on the storytelling, the season premiere used flashbacks in black and white to show us on what our survivors have been up to since we left them back in March after Rick shot Pete. Rick and his group have taken matters into their own hands to protect the Alexandria Safe Zone. With the new blessing of a grieving Deanna, (Tovah Feldshuh) the survivors have been given carte blanche over the future of the town and its inhabitants.

Not all of the residents of Alexandria are quick to allow Rick to start setting up shop as the leader of the Safe Zone. Carter (Ethan Embry), an outspoken resident, clearly does not trust Rick or his plans to lead the mega herd away. Carter quickly learns that screwing with Rick Grimes is a terrible idea after putting a gun in the face of everyone’s favorite mullet. Rick gladly offers him some friendly words of advice and everyone goes back to playing nicely. Carter was sparred... For now.

TWD Embry

The crap your pants moment arrives when Daryl slowly creeps his motorcycle as the massive horde of decaying flesh eaters trial behind him like a redneck pied piper. Even Daryl looks a little scared right then. Over the course of the seasons we have watch as the walkers slowly decay in front of our eyes. This mega horde of walkers puts in front and center just how disgusting they have gotten over 6 seasons and we cannot wait to see what else they have in store for us in the first half. And bravo at the ping pong walkers, bouncing off the steel walls. Seeing those exploding heads gave us all that warm and fuzzy feeling that we missed all summer.

After weeks on the rode out on a supply run, Heath returns quickly finds himself herding the dead with our group of survivors, showing his potential to be a valued member of the group in episodes to come. Teaming up with Glenn and Nicholas, who seems genuinely sorry for trying to kill Glenn last season, Heath takes out a store full of walkers successfully preventing the noise from drawing the mega herd off the chosen path. So far so good.

It wouldn’t be an episode of The Walking Dead if everything went as planned. First, after admitting Rick was right after all and making the mistake of redeeming himself during the apocalypse, Carter gets a kiss on the cheek from a walker. Screaming in terror as his face is being bitten off, he draws the mega herd off the road towards him. Thankfully Rick comes along and sticks a knife into his skull, allowing the group to redirect the herd back on track. Just when they thought the plan had worked, an obnoxiously loud horn starts going off from the direction of Alexandria turning the mega herd back where they came from.

TWD flares

We will have to wait until next week to find out how Alexandria handles itself against the massive walker horde. Most of the people living inside the walls have been there from the start and are not well equipped to defend themselves. Those steel fences are strong but not strong enough to keep a herd of that size from ripping it down.

Next week will also be exploring the even more of the relationship between Morgan and Rick. Morgan is clearly trying to get a read on the new Rick as well as dealing with everything he has been through on his own. He started as a man trying to protect his son Duane and grieving for his wife, then he slipped into madness after Duane’s death at her walker hands. Now, he’s a ninja warrior, with a six-foot long stick, the deadly use of which was taught to him “after”, he says. These are two men who have been profoundly changed since they first met, and need to completely rebuild their relationship. We assume that means Morgan’s going to be a big part of this season, which is great because Lennie James does a wonderful job with the character, and that stick...

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
The Walking Dead Season 6 Returns Sunday!

The Walking Dead Season 6 Returns Sunday!

The Walking Dead
Season 6 Begins October 11, 2015

By Nicole Robinson

Rick, Carol and DarylThe excitement is building as viewers wait for The Walking Dead to return this Sunday to AMC for its sixth season after a very long summer for fans. The premiere of the season 6 trailer at this year’s San Diego Comic Con panel left viewers on the edge of their seats. Many are curious how the high adrenaline zombie drama will play out after last season’s cliffhanger. That ending made the summer so hard for fans they had to provide a spin off show to get them through it.

*****Caution: Spoilers Ahead.
Read At Your Own Risk*****

After the intense season finale "Conquer", we left our favorite sheriff turned anti-hero Rick Grimes played, by English actor Andrew Lincoln, who had just come face to face with his past in the form of fan favorite Morgan, marking the return of actor Lennie James. Last time Morgan and Rick came face to face in the season 3 episode "Clear", Rick found Morgan, alone, with an arsenal of weapons.

Walker 2

Robert Kirkman, the driving creative force behind The Walking Dead universe, has stated the reunion “will be the spine of season 6”. Does this mean fans should be prepared for a showdown between Rick and Morgan? Or will we see these two combine forces to lead the Alexandria Safe Zone during what is sure to be an action packed season? It seems at the forefront of this season will be the inevitable conflict between these two characters and the effect it will have on the residents of the safe zone.

Last season and the later end of season 4 showed leader Rick Grimes move to sheer brutality to stay alive and protect his family. From ripping Joe's throat out to save Carl, Michonne, and Daryl to killing Pete without a second thought, Rick has evolved into a fearless leader willing to do whatever it takes to survive. Season 6 brings something more than survival. Rick will be fighting for his home and he will defend it at any cost, against any threat, even if that threat comes from within.

Scenes of a large herd at the gates of the Alexandria Safe Zone shown during the trailer lead us to believe that the new home of Rick and friends will be invaded. Considering the "No one is safe" theme behind the show along with the new found abundance of new characters to kill off, the possibilities are endless. This also brings in a new factor: characters are now replaceable.

New characters Denise, Heath and CarterWith the ability to now introduce new characters in the form of Alexandria Safe Zone residents, the “No one is safe” theme could very well find its way into the group. Last season’s death count was rather disappointing aside from the death of Emily Kinney’s Beth, which managed to divide viewers. Who were either happy she finally stopped singing or angry that Daryl’s heart was broken, and spawning petitions to bring her back, even though she was shot in the head. This could mean that we are in store for some gruesome deaths this season and possibly of characters that have been with us since the beginning. There is a chance could be the season that rioting begins...

The trailer spoiled a new character coming to the series in the form of Heath, played by actor Corey Hawkins, who recently played Dr. Dre in NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. A well-known character from The Walking Dead comic (YES, there is a comic), Heath is a Washington D.C. survivor who goes on supply runs with his best friend Scott (who could be the other new character for Season 6). A familiar face found in the trailer was that of Ethan Embry, known for his role in films such as Empire Records and Can’t Hardly Wait, who will be playing Carter, according to showrunner Scott Gimple. Not much is known about the character or the role he will play in the Alexandria Safe Zone but it exciting none the less to see how he will fit in with Rick and friends is the upcoming episodes. Other characters that have recently been announced include, Paul “Jesus” Monroe, played by Tom Payne, and Dr. Denise Cloyd, played by Merrit Weaver, as well as a casting call for a brutal psychopath who is narcissistic, egotistical, quick to braggadocio and anger, his own skin is his principal concern... Hmmmm... should we worry?

WalkerSeason 6 is expected to pick up very soon after the events of the season 5 finale, no doubt showing viewers how strong personalities with a will to survive will mix inside the walls of the Alexandria Safe Zone. This will be a crazy and intense season for fans with lots of surprising events coming to shake up Rick and his crew. Tune in this Sunday at 9 PM EST on AMC to watch the 90 minute premiere of season 6 of The Walking Dead followed by our resident therapist Chris Hardwick for the season premiere of The Talking Dead immediately after the show.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments