Dead Inside: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
“Dead Inside” is a featurette from That Geek Show, written by contributor Ken Fair. In each article, Ken will delve deep into the world of The Walking Dead, bringing new insights and perspectives to the uber-popular TV show and comic series.
A Review of the Walking Dead Episodes 7.10, 7.11, and 7.12
Now, I feel like I should preface this review by saying I have not given up on The Walking Dead . . . not yet. As a reader of the comic I know big and exciting things are coming up and the show is bound to get there (I hope). But this season has some problems and I hope they fix those problems soon.
I should also state that I am not some purist that is going to hate every deviation from the comic. I have loved some of the new characters and plot deviations. But I am also not a Walking Dead apologist that is going to lavish praise on every creative decision.
Now that I have my prefatory remarks out-of-the-way, lets discuss why the last few episodes have mostly sucked.
Jadis and the Scavengers (The Ugly)
This new group, not in the comic, is one of the lamest additions to the show. Episode 7.10 introduced us to this group that seems like they would fit better in some B movie Mad Max rip-off. The Scavengers live in a well-organized junk yard and are led by Jadis. In the few years since the collapse of society Jadis seems to have forgotten how to speak in complete sentences and postures herself as shrewd and tough while using phrases like “the up-up-up” to refer to a lookout. Her followers moon around like cult members without the ability to do anything but parrot the incomplete sentences uttered by Jadis.
Rick, however, agrees with a smile to arm these idiots to the teeth, these same idiots that took Father Gabriel in the middle of the night and robbed Alexandria, the same idiots that threw Rick off a pile of garbage to face a walker covered in spiked armor, in the hopes that they will help them defeat the Saviors . . . this plan is so flawed, I really question why anyone follows Rick.
One of the reasons I like The Walking Dead is that the characters are real, relatable. We can imagine ourselves in their shoes and ponder if and how we would survive if society broke down. These new characters are not real and not relatable and were a poor addition to the show.
Eugene at the Sanctuary (The Good)
This episode was actually pretty good. It was also not in the comic (see! Not a purist!!). The episode focuses on Eugene’s life at the Sanctuary now that he has been taken hostage by Negan.
Eugene is fun to watch because he is the consummate coward. He is pretty much peeing his pants every time Negan comes by (and Negan loves it.) But once Eugene realizes he is actually valued for his knowledge, that he is important, he shifts. He almost becomes a bully, taking from others. This is so important to understand why anyone in their right mind would follow a maniac like Negan.
This episode was also great in the way it maintained the tension throughout; not tension from walkers, but tension from volatile people from whom you do not know what to expect from moment to moment (as was seen when Negan threw Dr. Carson into the furnace.)
Rick and Michonne (The Bad)
The last episode largely focused on developing the relationship between Rick and Michonne as they scoured the countryside for guns. The romantic relationship is not in the comic and for very good reason: Michonne is too damaged to have an intimate relationship.
In the comic, Michonne has two relationships – one with Morgan and one with Ezekiel. Both fail. Michonne is unable to be close to anyone. She is messed up and is destined to be a lone wolf.
The TV show robs us of this key aspect of Michonne, which made her such a fan favorite: The wandering samurai with the Katana. They have replace the cool Michonne with a fearful and insecure Michonne.
Additionally, there is no chemistry between the characters. Love stories need sexual tension, a build up. Glen and Maggie had it. Rick and Michonne do not. It is not part of their characters or the parts they play on the show.
The only good part of this episode was the ending when it was revealed that Sasha and Rosita are going on an “Army of Two” mission to try to take out Negan. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I do not think they will succeed . . . Finally, something to look forward to!
So, I will wait it out, hoping the season gets better. But hopefully the producers will stop trying to improve on what is already a compelling story arc by adding any more superfluous story lines or ridiculous characters. While they may be attempting to stretch out the story arc to make it last two seasons, there might not be many left to watch if the show keeps going at this numbing pace.