We are nearly halfway through the sixth season of THE WALKING DEAD and the mid season finale can’t come any sooner. ‘Heads Up’, like the previous instalment, was a stinker, not because it was too talky or didn’t have enough action, but because it was so insanely ‘meh’, that when comparing it to the superb opening four episodes of the season it falls nowhere near. It’s like the show is being run by two teams where one has interesting things to say and the other doesn’t.
We know with this show that there are milestones throughout each season where you can expect your ‘big’ moments, your exciting incidents, these being the first one or two episodes, the mid season finale and the season finale. Season 6 was at first shaping up to break this rather annoying trend but alas that never happened, we are now well and truly back to the mundane and it’s a bit of a chore.
The question everyone wanted answered during this season’s first half — one way or another — was of course being if Glen was alive, and if he was, how the frick did he manage it, because let’s be clear right now, all those guesses how he might have survived were dumb, like really really dumb.
Well, surprise, surprise, Glen was shown to be indeed alive — how furiously disappointing. Not because Glen is a bad character (which I actually kind of think he is) but because it’s so obvious. Even with the outlandish claims at how his survival may have taken place, having him be alive is just so, well… obvious. It’s just as everyone suspected, he somehow managed to not get eaten and use Nicholas as a shield to then crawl away to safety. It sounded preposterous when discussed weeks ago and it’s just as silly now, but more than that it is just an annoyingly safe decision to make.
We needed to see some balls from TWD, the courage to do something big and perhaps unpopular. I mean to kill off a character that had become stale and boring two seasons ago actually really wouldn’t have been that brave, though it would have at least been something… but I digress.
Again, this was a pretty bare bones episode, both in terms of plot points but also in terms of information and character. Amongst goings on was Glen bumping into Enid out in the wasteland — them teaming up and then not getting along until they did get along — then another prime example of how Carl is the absolute worst ever. By this I mean the character and I am sorry to say, the actor as well. It’s not his fault per say; the actor was cast when only a child, but unfortunately he hasn’t turned into someone that can act. His scenes this week involved him being a dick while Rick tried to teach Ron how to shoot a gun, it was… well it was something.
Speaking of Rick we found him having a talk with Morgan about the latter’s desire not to kill and that Morgan let the wolves go during the attack, the same wolves that later attacked Rick. This was a well acted scene and the writing was fine in terms of dialogue, but there was no new information to be ascertained from this conversation, just a repeat of why Morgan does what he does and that it might someday become dangerous. Obviously we are building to something here but they sure are telegraphing it — lets hope for a swerve along the way.
One of the more interesting moments of this episode was Carol finding out about Morgan’s prisoner — the wolf he had locked up from a few episodes back. This will have repercussions for sure and I am interested to see how it plays out, if Morgan will have the will to keep to his code or if he will cave into pressure and despatch this man like he surely deserves.
This was about all we got however during the meat of the episode, though things did come to life right at the end, after the group saw the signal Glen and Enid released to declare their safety. As soon as this happened, an old rotten building collapsed on the edge of town, crushing the wall, which we know of course will allow the horde to flood in, setting up THE WALKNG DEAD mid season finale. I am sure it will be an exciting episode but we can map out pretty much what will happen next week. There will be blood and guts and maybe one of the main group of characters will get left behind — if we’re really lucky one will kick the bucket — but it’s gonna be your typical mid season ender. Or maybe something so crazy will happen that will blow us all away. I doubt it though.
What this show needs is casualties and a lot of them. It needs to find interest, things need to change, things NEED to be shaken up for us to remain interested in all of this. Perhaps cutting down the cast, making it more concentrated, focusing on a very small number of characters would be a better way to go. Something new and different at the very least because what’s happening now is just not working. The show needs to be brave. It needs to take risks; it needs to produce something drastic. Change is scary and some viewers might be put off if it ever happens, but change is exactly what this show needs to keep from becoming stale, becoming a relic of a show that you used to be great. This is still good TV, good TV with moments of greatness, but they are too few and far between.
THE WALKING DEAD is fine, but fine isn’t enough, I don’t have time for fine, I don’t think any of us do.