The Walking Dead: 605 “Now” Review
Reviewed by Owen Bush.
After a truthful and beautiful, albeit slow, look at the life of Morgan last week, would The Walking Dead return to its usual format of ritually entertaining gory action? Well, it seemed not. This week’s episode, titled ‘Now’, was once-again a more subdued, quiet and character-based episode, and whilst I’m not complaining, last week’s episode used its tone in a suitably satisfying and elegant way, it seems as if this week’s was more ‘filler’ than ‘fearful’. Whilst a few moments hinged on something oddly intriguing, the episode lingered, and hopefully next week the pot of ideas Gimple has been steaming up, will finally begin to boil over into something brutally brilliant.
This week, it was all about the aftermath of that shocking premiere, the Wolves’ take-down of Alexandria, and of course, Glenn’s hugely unacceptable death – which, I am still not mourning on ’till we get fact he’s not alive, as Now still lingered its lips tauntingly on the pathetically huge question of Glenn’s fate. However, nothing really got answered, rather a rehash of the tragic events after the slight-fall of Alexandria, that was already saw in JSS, whilst it was fascinating delving into the some of the more subtle lives of the once-quiet neighborhood (Rick really does just bring bad luck doesn’t he?), it all feels out-of-place and empty in regards to how easy characters on TWD seem to leave the show, sure, some gems are to be found in Alexandria – but how long will the touching, bittersweet personal remarks last before they are a mere reminder of what could have been of these characters.
Yes, you’ve probably recognized that I believe this isn’t the best episode we’ve had this series, and suitably, considering it’s obviously not the most dramatically important episode of the series’ arc. However, there was a few moments that I truly wish the episode let loose a little more, that being especially the raw and eager speech of Maggie’s. For me, this was the highlight of the episode, the true nature of the harsh reality of losing a loved one in the apocalypse, it was finally Maggie stepping away from her fragility, but rather her bitter peace with herself, recognizing that loss is the most human thing of all.
Like I previously mentioned, there was glimpses at hopeful future favourites within this episode, and a few mysteries subtle fracturing the as-such peaceful waters. Aaron had a few touching moments with Maggie, whilst ever-since his cryptic introduction we have seen little expansion on his comforting atmosphere, it was a nice touch to see the innocence and trust of his nature to contrast with the distraught and extensive emotions running high. Deanne had a few ruthless moments as well, whilst not making anything much of a fiasco in terms of development (we’ve seen this craze and fragile side of her before), and of course, a few lips locked in some rather random, albeit interesting moments.
That’s right, the ships are (kinda) sailing this week. By ‘kinda’, I mean, well, was anyone really expecting these pairings? Whilst I’m not particularly bothered by one – and if I calculate it, I can see where this unexpected moment derived from, but another seems to have touched a nerve within fans, and if I’m honest, rightfully so. Denise and Tara I have never seen as anything more than acquaintances, however, I can applaud the writers fore subtly sneaking in references of romance within there, and it’s sweet, whilst completely unnecessary, it’s sweet.
Rick’s found new love – unfortunately not where I wanted it to be found. Jessie, Jessie, Jessie, I get it, she’s a nice character, she balances Rick’s intensity, but for me, this coupling is a little too manufactured. This was another moment that felt totally out-of-place, due to the nature of episodes expanding over sometimes a day, other times a much larger period, it feels like the audience is still barely understanding Jessie for her to be already romantically linked with Rick – whom is a character we’ve known for so long. Sure, we can’t have dread and sadness every week, but this happiness feels all a little too much, too soon – there’s been subtle glances and such, but I’d rather get to know Jessie, before she is already linked to our faithful hero.
The main problem here is, this episode really doesn’t hold much. Meandering from one character to another, it all feels drastically thin, a lack of direction and stumbling between characters we, honestly, don’t really care about much especially as quickly as TWD kills characters off, it’s unusual to say that there isn’t much point promising a hope for these stranded souls when really, this may be the only episode we see much of them – which is a shame, truly, but once again, is the fatal flaw of a show that has such a large cast. As previously said in another review, sometimes I believe The Walking Dead would feel so much ruthless and less distant with a smaller, more profound character-list. I get it, it’s based off comics stuffed full with characters with such diversity, but the show falls terrifically flat when it tries to please everyone – and Now is a perfect example.
Verdict : 7/10
‘Now’ definitely isn’t horrendously bad, but it falls on a lackluster tone, stranded plot and an obsessive need to show every character in every light. Mediocre, but still holding some compelling moments, Season 6 of The Walking Dead is still holding strong, but it’s time to delve into the real meaty core of the series, because currently, I’m unsure in the future of the inconsistent story-line stumbling around as far.