The Walking Dead: Now Review


By Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

The Walking Dead is adapted from previous source material. This review is not meant to compare similarities and differences between the show and comic. It’s meant to be read purely as a take on the episode as it stands.

That being said, SPOILERS AHEAD.

“The walls can hold together. Can you?”

After last week’s jaunt down memory lane, “Now” proved its effectiveness as an accurate descriptor of the episode’s events. And from the outset, one major cliffhanger from “Thank You” is resolved in terms of Rick’s safety. With the RV’s engine stalling, Rick basically just ran all the way back to Alexandria, bringing with him half of the horde they were trying to lead away. Their arrival punctuated the assault on the village, which threw the settlement into even further turmoil and required Rick’s rallying.

Rick’s steeliness is a marked contrast to that of Deanna’s, who still seems to be shell-shocked by all that has happened. Even though there was a long gap between seasons five and six, the events that ended season five occurred immediately prior to that of season six. Deanna was understandably shaken by all that happened in such a quick time period, so it’s easy to see how she would be so traumatized. She came to a sobering realization when facing off against a walker within the walls—frozen, she struggled between fight or flight, choosing to mercilessly maul the walker until Rick put it out of its misery.

Her sentiment was echoed by many of the other Alexandrians, as evidenced by how quickly fear overtook them. Deanna watched as some of them started to raid the pantry, wrecking the schedule for rations in place for the entire village. Many of those in the village seemed more content to simply remember the way things were as opposed to finding a way to deal with the way things are now. Spencer confronting Deanna was especially harsh in many ways, primarily because of him blaming her for their naivety when it comes to handling the real threats of the world.

Before Rick and the gang arrived, the citizens were blissfully ignorant of what was occurring outside the walls. That’s been (and is becoming) a point that the season is almost belaboring a third of the way through the season. The Alexandrians are woefully unprepared for survival and are learning on the fly from Rick’s group. There are clearly some within the original settlers who still find it difficult to cope. Part of that coping is remembering the fallen, highlighted by Alexandrians painting the names of those they lost on the wall.

Glenn’s name was focused on at the end of the names and much of the episode revolved around the specter of his “death.” His fate hasn’t exactly been revealed as of yet and it’s implied that he was on the wrong end of a dogpile of zombies in an alley. His uncertain fate at least gave Maggie a role, as she’s largely been marginalized this season (and most of last). It was admirable to see her wanting to go out after Glenn, yet her trip through the sewers revealed to her that if Glenn were alive, she would know by now.

It’s something of a tricky judgment call to make, in that there’s really no way of knowing one way or the other whether he is or isn’t alive. It’s also further evidence of the aforementioned narrative differentiating Rick’s group from the Alexandrians. Instead of mourning the dead, Maggie chose to gear up and seek the truth as far as Glenn’s safety goes. Maggie managed to demonstrate enough common sense to realize that wading through a horde of zombies wasn’t the smartest decision, especially since she’s pregnant. Maybe something about her bond with Glenn advised her that Glenn was still alive.

“Now” was a pretty strange episode honestly. It offered something of an anticlimactic conclusion to Rick’s fate against the impending herd. Glenn’s fate was referenced as a little murkier, with some characters choosing to believe he was dead while others chose to believe he’s still alive. There have been rumors swirling as to the veracity of his fate, with some even saying it’s basically a feint by the showrunners. Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl are also still out in the wind and it’ll be nice to visit their plights next week.

Where “Now” did keep the pace going was with emphasizing the difference in preparedness between Rick’s and Deanna’s crews. At first it was a point that had some merit, but now it’s getting to be a little blunt. It’s not quite as easy as asking the Alexandrians to suck it up and get better, yet at some point they’ve got to come to a conclusion that Rick’s way of life is necessary to get to Deanna’s way of life. The peaceful silence of the community is now replaced by the constant drone of a walker horde and Deanna is forced to reconcile her wishes for the settlement with the realities they’re faced with.  Rick’s plan has sort of backfired and now the survivors are adapting on the fly and struggling to find a way out. At least the season continues to move forward, albeit a little clumsily at points.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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