The Walking Dead: 5.10 Them

Wow so Scott Gimple wasn’t exaggerating when he said it would be a very different The Walking Dead that returned from its midseason break. Bleak doesn’t even cut it. The pre-credit sequence consisted of Maggie crying, Daryl eating a worm and Sasha doing something with dead frogs. Huh and *sad face*.

From there things didn’t really cheer up, but all in all this was a fantastic episode of the show; possibly the most touching ever. A a study of grief and its effect on people Them was spot on. It also contained the single most thought provoking moment of dialogue the show has ever written/said: “Whatever we find in D.C., it’s okay, because this is how we survive. We tell ourselves that we are the walking dead.” The end of Rick’s story of his grandfather was a like a punch to the nose; a moment of confusion followed immediately by clarity.

That scene in the barn was one of many small scale moments that played to the strengths of the show, it’s characters and the time invested in those people; by the audience and writers. When you see the full cast walking down the road together it’s the first time you really appreciate the scope of the show and how successful it has been at getting the viewer to invest in that number of people; it’s some achievement

At times it’s more than downbeat, it’s tough to watch: Daryl self harming with the help of a cigarette butt; Maggie barely being able to bring herself to bother saving herself from a walker; Sasha seeing the red mist of loss and jeopardising the safety of the group. There are nicer touches, a tender moment between Carole and Daryl; a great scene near the end between Maggie and Sasha.

Entertainment should challenge us sometimes, and this was a slow moving hour of television that painted a painful picture of loss and coping with it.

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