The Walking Dead: Try Review

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By: Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

Like Game of Thrones, 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.

“We don’t kill people. This is civilization Rick.”

The Walking Dead has always been a gruesome show, but “Try” was downright macabre at times. The episode’s alarmingly sinister tone centered on the dichotomy between Alexandria and Rick’s group as a support system. Alexandria is much more naïve, whereas Rick’s group has seen their share of loss trying to survive. It seems as if there’s no chance of reconciling the aims of the two groups. For instance, Pete’s transgressions against his family have raised the ire of Rick and Carol. Deanna is a little more practical in her approach, realizing his value as a surgeon. Rick’s execution approach is their way of doing things, while Deanna’s more patient and measured response is exactly that as well.

Still, Rick’s not as patient when it comes to meting out punishment, realizing that a tiny misstep could be the difference between life and death. It’s an approach that borders on paranoia, as he’s becoming relentless in his affinity for Jesse and keeping her safe. And while Deanna wouldn’t allow Rick to do anything to Pete, Rick decided to that approaching Jesse directly would be a better path. It’s really hard to say if Rick is right or wrong in this instance. It’s possible that his knowledge of the world gives him a unique perspective that will vindicate his decision. It’s also possible that he’s so insistent on “being right” that his decision-making will only make things worse (both for Jesse and their standing in Alexandria). Turns out though that not even Michonne was content with Rick’s recent power-trip.

For as much as Rick’s group was clamoring for some consistency, once they got it things get a little, well, boring. Michonne for instance has to suit up everyday in her sheriff’s uniform, but you get the sense that maybe a regular life isn’t nearly as exciting for Michonne. In that complacency, she’s even taken to venturing outside without her katana, something that would seem outlandish if it happened more than a few episodes ago. She’s motivated by a search for Sasha, who’s taken it upon herself to hunt walkers for sport. Seeing her surgically take down a mini-horde triggered something in Michonne, giving her flashbacks to a time when she was more ruthless herself. Those flashbacks wouldn’t stop Michonne from knocking Rick out cold when he was caught monologuing to Deanna about her way of life. Rick’s diatribe reiterated what he’s felt strongly since arriving at Alexandria: that their way of doing things was child’s play compared to the survivor’s way of doing things.

Another instance of difference in opinion came in the different recounting of Glenn’s run. Glenn’s version was much more remorseful, lamenting the loss of Noah and his general effort in attempting to get everyone out alive. Nicholas’ retelling was a bit more one-sided, blaming everything on Glenn. It was also quite intriguing to see Glenn tell his side to Rick and Nicholas tell his side to Deanna in the video confessional, both breaking down to the mode that’s most comfortable for each side. It got to the point where Glenn confronted Nicholas and essentially chastised him for his decision-making in the field, more or less threatening him with never venturing out again. It’s one thing to put your own life in danger for acting like a fool, but Glenn watched Nicholas make such a selfish decision that Noah was torn apart in front of him.

“Somewhat Damaged” by Nine Inch Nails was a perfect song to open the episode, as it more or less encapsulates the state of everyone still alive in The Walking Dead. It also sums up Rick’s persona at this point, as he’s made the transition from completely unaware lawman to cutthroat survivor. Rick’s made it a point that he’ll never let those he cares about get hurt or killed as best he can, but his devotion to that cause can get a little too myopic. By the end of the fracas with Pete, it was Deanna who looked like the calm, measured leader that Rick has generally been for most of his run.

“Try” was an episode where everything clicked. All the characters got some screen-time that advanced both their characters and the overall plot. And there were quite a few more references to some sort of stalker in the wild, marking walkers with a “W” etched into their heads. The season finale is next week and it’s readily apparent some tough decisions will be made, both about Rick and the others in the group. Carol is really the only one left who’s nearly as committed to surviving at all costs as Rick is, but the others won’t just abandon him to stay in Alexandria. The season is going to end with fireworks and a difference of opinion when it comes to making your way in the new world.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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