9.15: The Walking Dead - The Calm Before

ctg

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The fair at the Kingdom is underway, with all four communities coming together in celebration for the first time in years; while some pacts are renewed, other deals will come at a much steeper price.
 

ctg

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Let me just say I don't look forward writing the review. Not one bit. I am scared that above picture illustrates the least of all the bad that is happening in the season final. This season has been a major change from what it used to, and I'm glad that we don't have to be so scared as what it was during Negan's rein in the small screen.

The Walking Dead has become an industry icon during its decade long run in the small screen. It has shocked the audiences, but also studio bosses by proving that the least likely Science-Fiction and Fantasy genre can be successful. To me personally, it has been glorious time, but it doesn't make writing the review any less easy as Angela Kang has to put her mark down as the showrunner, or otherwise there is going to be new lead next season.

That picture alone is making me fret as I like all the characters. I don't want any of them to die. Not even the Horny Henry. But if have to, the horror writing rules makes him the most likely candidate to be one the heads in the spike, as in those rules it says: "Do not be a character that falls in love or have sex as you are likely to be the one that's going to die!"

Who are the nine others?
 

ctg

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This extended episode is so beautiful. It is creepy, but in the same time, it show supremely beautiful scenes that end with death and loss of hope.



This one is one them, but it is also showing taxidermy shiva raising above the people of Rickland as if it is a glorious monument that symbolises hope for so many of them. King Ezekiel dedicated the far for Rick, and he admitted that "it took them too long to put the whole thing together." And he is right is make it an annual event, because it will build the community just like Jimm's beer.

Too bad it took them fifteen episodes to get back together and deal with the issues that has been grinding the relationships down. I kind wished that they would have shown more of the Rickland raising against the dead and uniting after Rick went away. Instead they degressed to a state that is unhealthy to whole Rickland.



What a good meeting. Michonne defended well of her granting Lydia asylum in Alexandria SafeZone. She brought the grudge of Tara appearing on the side of the Governor all the way back to the Prison, and how Rick granted Tara a new life, just like he did the same thing to Michonne.

I was more surprised that the threat of Whisperers made Michonne to make a Mutual Defence Pack between the other three communities, literally uniting the whole of Rickland under one banner. I thought it was already forged during Negan's time.

Maybe it wasn't, but now that the Communities have signed the Ezekiels deglaration of independence, they are one step closer to rekindling the power of the old world by taking steps that are historically significant. In few hundred years they will remember this moment as significant change ... hopefully to better.

I cried when Father Gabriel signed the paper, but it is missing one thing, the signature of Negan as the head of the Sanctuary. Maybe it should be there as a reminder that even the black sheep are important.



"Movie?" Lydia. "I haven't seen one since I was little kid." She was completely baffled that there could be old world culture moment in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. It's just I feel the fair on it own is culturally significant as it gathered togetehr so, so many people. More so it gave minority characters time to have a screen time as we saw the old way coming back.

The first moment of hate I felt was when later on Hilltop youngsters came to tell Lydia that she should back off and leave Horny Henry to the Red Haired Girl, as if it is a birth right of some people to be nasty. It was none of their business what Henry does and who he falls in love with, same way as it goes with Lydia.

The whole exercise of bringing her to the fair, was to give her and Henry a chance to be together. In a way they need Lydia to be a teenage mum. To be frank there is a great need for babies. Without them the whole civilisation in the Rickland is doomed.

Unlucky for Henry, he didn't fixthe situation before the movie started. He left Lydia hanging to meet her Mum instead of her boyfriend.



Why Dr Evil is so interested on the base radio? Why can't he rebuild the telephone infrastructure and utilise what is already there than doing the difficult and create a base-station?

Is this a plot-line device rather than what they really need to unite the communities?

They don't have battery technology or a capacity to create them. But the thing is, they have what the old world already put in place, and I'm certain that there are plenty of supplies just laying around to repair whatever damage was done. All they need afterwards is 12 DC technology to get it operational. The radio however is going to need much, much more.



Why King Ezekiel is so dump? Why he couldn't see through Alpha camouflage that she was anything but someone who arrived with Michonne? How did she got in the market in the first place? And how did she got those ten out, before she went to meet Daryl in the forest.

I consider Alpha is commanding at least 5 000 strong horde. I suspect she might have another 5000 stashed somewhere. It is wrong that she lives to do such damage to Rickland. I think she made a mistake by killing Henry, therefore triggering Carol's psychopathy.

On the deathlist are most that showed love and happiness, instead of anger and misery. Starting from Martin, Casper, Ozzy, Alek, DJ, Frank, Tammy, Rodney Adeline, Enid, Tara and ... Henry. Goodbye the Highwaymen and the best hope for the Rickland.
 

Dave

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Why Dr Evil is so interested on the base radio?
You probably know more about this subject than me. Could they really run the old telephone system using car batteries for power? Personally, if it was me, I would try the radio first. That hurricane is likely to have brought down and cut the lines if it was sufficient to wash away bridges. Many people today (and even 10 years ago) no longer had landlines. It would have the advantage that portable radios could be used where no telephone line exists. He also mentioned a "repeater station" which would make it easier. However, I agree with you that it sounds as if this is the set-up of a much bigger plot - maybe they hear radio signals from further away - something not possible if they just re-connected up the telephones.

Why couldn't {the KIng} see through Alpha camouflage that she was anything but someone who arrived with Michonne? How did she got in the market in the first place? And how did she got those ten out, before she went to meet Daryl in the forest.
I wanted to know that too and the problem with these non-linear stories is that they can conveniently miss things like this out and it appears perfectly sensible until you ask these questions.

I consider Alpha is commanding at least 5 000 strong horde. I suspect she might have another 5000 stashed somewhere. It is wrong that she lives to do such damage to Rickland. I think she made a mistake by killing Henry, therefore triggering Carol's psychopathy.
I never thought about Carol. She seems so settled and calm these days. Do you think that the "calm before the storm" episode title is referring to Stormbringer Carol?
 
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ctg

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Could they really run the old telephone system using car batteries for power?


This is the most basic form of telephone, all thanks to the DC technology. They could run this with the solar panels only. The cables has been in the ground, or attached to the poles since 1800's. Even if it's broken, it's not so broken that they couldn't fix it with what they can find. The radio components are much harder to acquire, and you might have to go through loads of electronic trash before you have a good network, with the repeater stations and so. But, even then, there is usually a telephone line going between the stations - just as a backup.

We engineers like redundancy and I believe that the old landline is the best choice for the long distance communications. Sure, it can be sabotaged, but you can develop plans and protocols for those situations, and attaching two cables together is ten times easier than fixing electronics.

I never thought about Carol. She seems so settled and calm these days. Do you think that the "calm before the storm" episode title is referring to Stormbringer Carol?
Maybe. We have seen what happens to the psycho's, when they have been triggered in the FTWD. I doubt she can bottle that ill feeling inside her and turn her other cheek. Something has to give. Is it her sanity or will she follow her nature and cause further conflict?

I believe that Ricklandia can handle Alpha's horde, but it's going to hurt. "The Winter is Coming," Alpha said.
 

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Two excellent episodes in a row. Had TWD turned a corner? I hope so.

The wrong heads ended up on the stakes. Alpha has left the the more dangerous people alive. A dump move by her although not quite as dump as Michonne splitting the group.

I was sorry to see the Highwaymen story end so quickly. They had potential and added an interesting sideline to the overall show. Poor sods didn't even get to see the movie. Cruel out of the writers.
 

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What is going to happen with Hilltop? I can't think who will lead, Maggie is gone, Jesus and Tara are dead, Enid who I always felt Maggie was teaching to be a leader is also dead.
One of the newcomers could probably step in but they are an unknown quantity. Aidian wouldn't be trusted as he was originally a saviour, the blacksmith wouldnt be trusted either.

I'm upset losing Enid, although I should have known this was going to happen after she became a medic. Surprised Sadiq has lasted so long.

Poor highway men, brought in as cannon fodder.

I liked Sadiq's speech.

Alpha is going to discover true evil if and when Carol gets her.

I can imagine the very last episode Carol and Daryl will be the only survivors.
 

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Holy Alpha Romeo!
My dumb DVR stopped recording this episode when Lydia's mom joined her at the theater. I didn't realize what I had missed until I saw the heads on pikes pic posted by @ctg.
I'm in a Red Wedding state of shock. I can't imagine how whatever is coming next week in the season finale can top this episode, but it's going to be epic!
Bye-bye, Henry. I wish I could say I'll miss you.
 

ctg

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I didn't realize what I had missed until I saw the heads on pikes pic posted by @ctg.
These are the original 4 pages that shows who got to stuck in the pikes.

I personally haven't read these since season 2, and I stopped here, at #144 because losing King Ezekiel was too much. Besides people were saying that I was spoiling them.



 

REBerg

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I cried when Father Gabriel signed the paper, but it is missing one thing, the signature of Negan as the head of the Sanctuary. Maybe it should be there as a reminder that even the black sheep are important.
I thought, for a moment, that Negan, not Eugene, was the dunk tank guy -- a thought reinforced when Judith hit the mark and shut him up. Chaining Negan to the plank would have been a great way for him to participate.
 

Judderman

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There was a stroke of genius in the writers choice of deaths here. First, a lot of them are the Highwaymen. A group of novelty characters introduced just two episodes ago. Next, Henry has been extremely annoying. Lydia, had potential, but it makes sense that Alpha would sacrifice her for being a traitor. Then next Enid and Tara were surprises. But hardly essential characters.

However I still think that there is too much dull sections in these recent episodes to say they are great. Often we are shown results/surprises without what really happened. I'm still having a hard time keeping my wife watching! At least the fair and the cheesy town signing is finally out of the way now. But only with one episode left this season.
 
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Judderman

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Oh and also more on the deaths. We had some impending doom when 3 of the most important and interesting characters went off to chase the trail. With a plus one who was at most risk. But they escape unscathed! Not only that but Sadiq who is perhaps the most important person for saving the community also survives a close shave! The writers took care not to remove anybody too crucial. Yes, some youngsters, but the show surely will be no more than another 3 seasons anyway.

Not showing how the victims were caught was bizarre (similar to Daryl and Michonne's escape from bonds the previous episode). Somehow picked off during the movie? This kind of scene of action has really been missing recently. The whole group of people would have to be hostage, and just a selection got taken. How many Whisperers are there? And you have to say the security situation has been a disaster in Kingdom et al. I don't think the King has mentioned the Whisperers has he? Surely they would vet every entrant.
I suppose they could have a further flashback next episode, but a finale should be action packed. Seems quick for there to be a battle straight off though.
 

Judderman

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Oh my mistake about Lydia. Seems she didn't die. So even less significant deaths then. But they do have some meaning so work for future stories. Such as for Carol.
 

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The cynic in me tells me that the choice of the ten heads had much more to do with actors with contracts up for renewal that any "stroke of genius." I was surprised at the comic #144 spoiler post by @ctg with the radically different choice though.
 

ctg

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And you have to say the security situation has been a disaster in Kingdom et al. I don't think the King has mentioned the Whisperers has he? Surely they would vet every entrant.
They claimed to the HighwayMen that they were going to allow them to pass into the fair and therefore into the fortified bit of the Kingdom. Lydia said to Ezekiel's face "I came with Michonne" and yet Ezekiel couldn't remember even though he greeted the group.

So, yeah, they are vetting every entrant, which makes sneaking 7 people off the heart of the Kingdom so much more difficult. Maybe the guards were on cherry?

It's just I wish they would show those intriguing little details, but for the defence of the TWD writers, Kirkman did the same thing.

Seems she didn't die.
Did she and Henry put bun in the oven? I don't really understand what Lydia's function is inside the Kingdom, and why mummy dearest would decapitate the lover.

I was surprised at the comic #144 spoiler post by @ctg with the radically different choice though.
Yeah, Kirkman really went there big time. The loss of Ezekiel is a big thing, so was pregnant Rosita.
 

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The cynic in me tells me that the choice of the ten heads had much more to do with actors with contracts up for renewal that any "stroke of genius."
Just a dash of reality behind the fantasy?
Did she and Henry put bun in the oven? I don't really understand what Lydia's function is inside the Kingdom, and why mummy dearest would decapitate the lover
A future Henry Jr. or Henrietta? What a sweet and doting grandma Alpha would make. :love:
She couldn't bring herself to kill her own daughter, but killing Henry was not a problem. Perhaps she held him responsible for "turning" Lydia.
Then, maybe was just as tired of him as viewers were. :rolleyes:
 
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ctg

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Perhaps she held him responsible for "turning" Lydia.
I know men can be super protective on the daughters, but usually mothers and daughters have problems when they are going through the daughters switch to the Young Adulthood.
 

Judderman

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I expect Negan will at some point be released and add his symbolic signature to the document. Though it would go against Rick's expectation of life imprisonment. Mentioning Rick, maybe his new community/captors will be on Eugene's new radio... Perhaps a side story on one of the planned films.

It had seemed the Whisperers conflict was moving quickly initially. But now I can't see it ending next episode.. could it take the whole next season? o_O
I hope it is a few episodes of action, and then for some reason some of the surviving heroes go off an adventure elsewhere. But my expectation is the slow story. One reason that could have folks moving soon is if Alpha/Beta release the horde through a couple of the communities before their demise.
 
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