Review – The Walking Dead: Season 6, Part 1

Rick rolled…

It’s hard to believe, after the steamroller of nail biting tension that was the closing episodes of Season 5, that we’re already at the Holiday half way point (no flesh eating on Jesus’ Birthday!) of The Walking Dead Season 6. I’m reminded of the similarly paced second season, where we were in a full-on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie “let’s just hang out at this farm for a while” fallow period before the barn full o’ zombies was discovered, Sophia busted out, and things kicked into high gear for the season in general and the series as a whole.

Hopefully the back half of this season ramps thing up just like that one did, because in spite of the rampant bloodshed, death and peril that the series is known for being on full and consistent display throughout these 8 episodes, not too much has actually happened, and things have been kind of… dull. Yes, 8 whole episodes have aired since October and aside from the admitted standout “Morgan’s backstory” Episode 4 and the largely pointless snoozefest Daryl, Abraham and Sasha-o-rama in Episode 6, I’m struggling to come up with any truly memorable moments throughout the season so far.

Except the whole thing with Glenn.

Yes the Glenn… thing. A series that usually includes a hefty bit of fan service, that produces official merchandise emblazoned with the slogan “If Daryl Dies We Riot”, has seldom received this kind of fan outrage and backlash. It turns out Glenn’s potential death was the riot-inciting one, and his lazy, backpedaling not-death broke the internet even worse than Kim Kardashian’s gross naked ass. This definitely could’ve been handled better, and should teach the showrunners not to pull this kind of fake-out bullshit in the future.

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If Glenn (maybe) dies we (sort of) riot!

HOWEVER, and mild spoilers for comics readers, I guess: Glenn will, and should, die, relatively soon, and if he doesn’t it might be seen by those in the know as even more reactionary backpedaling from the writers. I guess, just like our intrepid heroes, they’re screwed either way, and putting a relatively innocuous character like Glenn in the series dead pool before his time was a huge mistake as far as telegraphing and stealing the thunder of his actual death, an error the comic was smart enough not to make, which made the impact of that violent loss as mind-blowingly shocking as it was when first published and continues to be for new readers. Spoilers over.

Yes, a storm of violent, meaningful loss is coming. Comics villain Negan, a childish sadist who makes The Governor look like, well, a real Governor, has been cast. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who knows a thing or two about being an ink and paper born son of a bitch from his brilliant take on The Comedian in Watchmen, will be filling out the leather jacket and brandishing the spiked bat in the last half of Season 6. His men, unnamed thus far in the series but dubbed “The Saviors” in the comic, are the ones that have been pestering  Daryl, Abraham and Sasha and they even mention him by name in the teaser below.

Though last season’s Alexandrian intrigue and in-fighting was interesting enough to carry the series, it was never better than when our protagonists were set against a clear and true, singular villain, as they were with The Governor. A return to that type of storytelling, however repetitive and formulaic (as many accuse the comic of being), will be welcome compared to what we’ve seen in this season so far.

The Walking Dead returns on February 14th, 2016.

 

 

Kevin Hawkey is the co-founder, head writer and editor of Riot-Nerd. He enjoys Fighting Games, Metal, Marvel, Horror and all the weird shit in between. A lifelong Philadelphian just as comfortable in a circle pit at Underground Arts as he is drooling over the new Hot Toys figures at Brave New Worlds, Kevin’s idiosyncratic sensibility gives this site it’s unique dichotomy between “riot” and “nerd”.
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