The Walking Dead: Recap S6E05 Now

9 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Walking Dead’ recap spoilers: Still no resolution for Glenn’s fans.

In the wake of a run of events that have offered some of the series’ grizzliest, most compelling stories, ‘Now’ is something of an oddity, an episode that initially suggests another adrenaline-heavy hour of intense action but never really delivers what it promises.That’s why the heroes of The Walking Dead spent the episode on Sunday, Nov. 8, pairing off like it was going out of style — or substituting food for love with a shameless pantry-raiding attempt. “Now” found our survivors facing down a new threat, fresh on the heels of the invasion by the terrible rogue gang known as the Wolves.

There’s a moment in The Walking Dead’s fifth Season 6 episode, “Now,” in which Deanna—an ex-congresswoman who once ruled Alexandria but whose main job these days is ordering everyone to shut up and listen to Rick—makes a haphazard attempt at slaying her first zombie.The creators of AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama know that fans are desperate to find out what happened to resourceful, loyal, all-around awesome dude Glenn (Steven Yeun), who appeared to have been devoured by the undead two weeks ago. Rick made it back to Alexandria mere moments before the giant zombie horde, and as we speak, only a perimeter of sheet metal and reinforcement beams stands between the Alexandrites and a very, very bloody end. She plunges a broken glass bottle over and over into her enemy’s decrepit torso, seemingly expecting it to die. “Come on, you son of a bitch,” she growls, blood splattered across her face as she stabs and stabs at everything except the damn thing’s brain.

With last week’s 90-minute episode focusing solely on Morgan (Lennie James) and his backstory, we figured this would be the week when Glenn’s fate was revealed. While a number of dramatic gems are introduced the most exciting elements feel frustratingly out of reach. ‘Now’ thrusts Deanna and her failing leadership into the spotlight as she struggles to cope with the tragedy that has unfolded around her. It’s about how life is for them, “now.” And, of course, that was the title of the episode, taken from Jessie’s line “This is what life looks like now.” (As always, AMC gives you the episode name and makes you wait until the end to figure out what it means.) This theme is a little dull for us, the viewers, because this is what life has looked like for the past five seasons.

Frustration and despair set in as this, the wisest woman in Alexandria, keeps stubbornly, pointlessly plunging into nothing—an exercise roughly equivalent to what it’s like watching “Now,” a gloom-and-doom filler episode in which nothing quite happens, though not for the characters’ lack of trying. Instead, it focuses strictly on the aftermath of the murderous Wolves’ attack on the walled town of Alexandria, which left many people dead and some key characters unaccounted for. But when her relationship with son Spencer takes a surprising turn, a glimmer of the old Deanna is revived and she rediscovers her much-needed survival instinct. Fortunately, Deanna’s (Tovah Feldshuh) son Spencer (Austin Nichols) stepped in and sent everyone home — but only so he could steal all the water crackers and then blame his mom for letting everyone inside Alexandria’s walls be too confident and unable to protect themselves.

Even Deanna’s son Spencer, a steaming pile of white male entitlement whom I was certain would be walker meat by episode’s end, manages to escape “Now” unscathed—and with a belly full of contraband crackers, to boot. The past few instalments have built up a wealth of questions needing answers, so it’s something of a let down to see so many of them squandered or ignored here. This sent the Internet into a frenzy over whether the beloved character — who first appeared way back in the series’ second episode” — is alive or dead. Last week’s detour-isode didn’t shed any light on that, and neither did “Now.” What it did instead is unlike the handling of any other major character death: it was left open-ended. “I don’t get to know what happened,” Maggie tells Aaron, almost giving up, and almost talking to the audience. (Very meta, TWD.) “I have to live with that, you do, too,” she adds, twisting the knife. Aaron (Ross Marquand), the town recruiter who inadvertently led the Wolves to Alexandria after losing his intel-filled backpack in an ambush, is seeking forgiveness and redemption.

And Deanna, who had been sketching an awesome inspirational map of all her great plans for Alexandria after they survive this ordeal, was so stricken by the accusation that she wandered out into the street and barely survived an attack by a stray zombie. In the Alexandrians’ case, the episode was ostensibly meant to give us one last glimpse into the psyche of this dysfunctional, spoiled little town before its walls cave in from the weight of 5,000 walkers. (If the intended effect there was to make audiences wish horrible deaths on most the town’s useless, whiny denizens, then it succeeded.) But the episode’s meatiest emotional arc came with Maggie and Aaron’s ill-fated attempt to rescue Glenn.

She got busy right away digging a grave for the lady Wolf she killed, only to be interrupted by Rick (Andrew Lincoln), who reminded her about the ixnay on burying murderers inside the walls. For a few brief moments it seems as though the struggling Deanna will have to rise to the challenge when the walkers arrive, so it’s disappointing that they spend the whole episode simply lined up around the gates. This happened on “Homeland” after Brody’s death, on True Detective at the end of season two and again this week, as Maggie revealed that she’s expecting. Where Deanna is well utilised is in her scenes with Spencer, her last remaining family member and part of the reason she shakes herself out of the slump she’s been in all season.

Instead, Jessie found another way to make herself useful: After discovering one of their neighbors had been zombified, she did the dirty work of taking her out with a knife to the eyeball. If we don’t fight, we die.” For Denise, it’s discovering she really can make a difference when she figures out a way to help an ailing patient, and then plants a long, lingering kiss on Tara (Alanna Masterson), who’d given her a crucial pep talk.

Tensions are also mounting among the Alexandrians, as half of the massive walker herd has now surrounded the compound, “20 walkers thick,” as Rick said. For Jessie’s older son, Ron (Austin Abrams), healing means ratting out Carl (Chandler Riggs) and sucking up to Rick, but I don’t trust that kid’s motivations for one second. Andrew Lincoln and Alexandra Breckenridge share a strong chemistry as Rick and Jessie respectively, a very different dynamic to his past relationship with Lori but one that feels believable for both characters.

It would take a superhuman feat of storytelling for Glenn’s “death” to come off as anything but a craven stunt at this point: If Glenn is really dead, then he was given an abominably anticlimactic end. (The man once took out a walker while bound and tied to a chair—but Nicholas’s incompetence is what killed him?) And if he isn’t, if Glenn is actually alive, then the show has spent the last few weeks creating artificial suspense over nothing—even going so far as to remove Yeun’s name from the credits. From their understated reunion scene (Rick’s first words to her alone are ‘We don’t bury killers inside the walls’, which is Walking Dead speak for ‘Glad you didn’t die. Show runner Scott Gimple has also gone on record saying that we’ll see “some part” of Glenn again—giving fuel to rumors that he’ll return as a zombie. (Which seems unlikely.) We’ll be here watching either way—just don’t string us along for nothing, Walking Dead.

Meanwhile, Glenn’s wife Maggie (Lauren Cohan) gears up to go looking for her husband, hiding her pain with pure pragmatism: “If he’s alive he needs my help, that’s why I’m doing this,” she tells Aaron, who insists on going with her. “And if he’s dead, I don’t want to be waiting on him.” But after the two narrowly escape a zombie attack in the sewer tunnel they were using to try to sneak out of town, Maggie finally breaks down and confirms our suspicions: she’s pregnant. “I just want to see his face,” she weeps. While Steven Yeun’s name was missing from the opening credits for the second week in a row, I still think the show’s producers are being infuriatingly coy about Glenn’s fate. I suspect he’ll be back, although at this point, with so many other loose ends to tie up – including the whereabouts of Daryl, Abraham and Sasha – we might not see him again until the Nov. 29 midseason finale. Right off the bat, they ran into trouble — in the form of two disgusting zombies so waterlogged and decomposed that they looked like sentient phlegm wads.

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