‘The Walking Dead’ 605: Season 6’s 1st Skippable Episode


What goes up… must come down.

Why did I start this review with that analogy? I’m referring to the trajectory of the first 5 episodes of Season 6 of The Walking Dead. After 3 insane episodes kicked off the season, we received a Morgan episode that allowed us to catch our breaths, but while it was slower in pace, it added a lot to the story by filling in a lot of the blanks with Morgan’s character. Back in Alexandria, I was expecting a return to the nonstop madness, but instead, episode 605, Now, was the very defintion of a ‘filler episode.’

For starters, Carol was completely absent from the episode. Shouldn’t we hear something from the person who basically thwarted the Wolves’ attack all by herself? She’s rapidly becoming the most popular character on The Walking Dead, and it beats the hell out of me why she wouldn’t even show herself after Rick had made it back. Is she like Batman? Does she only appear when people are in danger?

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Apart from Rick, though, and a little bit of Carl, Now was definitely an episode for the lesser-known Alexandrians and other small characters. Rick gives the citizens a speech about how they can survive by waiting out the zombies and staying quiet. However, many of them feel like they’re going to die, regardless, and attempt to raid the food pantry so they’ll at least not starve, despite Olivia’s pleas for them to stop. Deanna’s son, Spencer, discourages them from being so greedy with a heartfelt talk that seemed like it was supposed to make him more likable (as opposed to the dorky, desperate loser he was in the comics). Deanna herself later butchers a walker with a broken beer bottle as she slowly adapts to the way things actually are.

The doctor, Denise Cloyd, found herself a new romance with Tara. After a very brief talk, Denise kisses Tara because it’s “the end of the world.” Maybe so, and I get that, but the kiss (and blossoming relationship?) felt kind of… meh. It just didn’t feel natural and was just another moment in the episode that felt like it was designed to flesh out our bit characters a little more. If Denise is with Tara, though, then I guess that means she probably won’t wind up with Heath.

The kiss between Rick and Jessie, though, didn’t feel so off. I suppose it took Jessie being forced to kill to protect her family to finally understand Rick. He isn’t a monster, he’s a survivor, and he wouldn’t be if he hadn’t done all of those dastardly things he had to do.

The most interesting subplot in the episode was with Aaron and Maggie. Aaron, consumed by his guilt for leading the Wolves to Alexandria, insists on joining Maggie as they try to leave the town by way of the sewers to search for Glenn. Honestly, I’m kind of getting tired of Maggie searching for Glenn all the time, but it was easy to relate to her character. As fans, we’re still not entirely sure whether Glenn is alive or dead, and that’s exactly what Maggie is feeling. With no signal from Glenn, does that mean he is dead? Or, is he going to come back to town at any minute? After realizing there was no rational way to look for him herself out there, she and Aaron reluctantly head back to Alexandria while still carrying hope. She did, however, reveal that she was pregnant— this was certainly the most significant thing that happened on the show.

Come to think of it, how could Glenn simply walk back, should he be alive? The same can be said for Daryl, Abraham and Sasha. Rick talked like they would just be back at any time, but there was never a plan discussed as to how to get them back inside safely. Alexandria is surrounded by walkers ’20 deep’ and they’re not going to be able to stroll up to the front gate.

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In any case, though, it was disappointing not to find anything else out with Glenn. The producers know what they’re doing and I’m sure they’re loving the fact that everyone is talking about this, but I don’t want the mystery of Glenn’s fate to be a season-long storyline. We suffered long enough by sitting through last week’s bottle episode, followed by this mostly-filler entry that didn’t give us any further hints. Three weeks will be long enough, so I’m really hoping for a development there next week.

I get that Now seemed slow because there are so many characters and subplots going on, and they just didn’t have the time to get to everybody. Why, then, couldn’t this episode have been 90 minutes? That was basically my biggest problem with last week’s Morgan episode getting the extra time. It wasn’t a horrible episode or anything, but it only featured two characters and was allotted an extra half hour, while back in Alexandria, they’re trying to cram ten pounds of zombie guts into a five pound box. Let’s hope next week’s The Walking Dead picks the pace back up again.

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