The Walking Dead Mid-Season Review
The Walking Dead has kept zombie loving fans occupied for a number of years, yet the unanswered question is where the show will go, and what new ideas will be brought to the table to keep viewers coming back week after week. Season six brought the show to new heights with a run of standout episodes back to back, yet couldn't keep the momentum going up until the end of it's first half.
The season started with 'First Time Again', which brought a threat of thousands of walkers right to the doors of Alexandria, with Rick conjuring a plan to keep the group safe. The episode brought gave the series strong start, as what seemed to be a perfect plan was foiled at the last moment by a horn sounding back at Alexandria. The cliffhanger of an ending was perfectly executed leaving fans wanting to come back for more.
Then we had 'JSS', a standout episode, it took out attention away from the problems that arrived during the season opener and brought a new fear, one that could only be stopped by Alexandria's B Team. Carol took center stage during the "Wolves" invasion, and firmly took her place as one of the shows most dynamic characters, whilst Morgan showed that his ideas about taking lives could leave the group in serious danger. With Alexandria being attacked from two different angles the series was running at full steam.
'Thank-you' featured two scenes, both towards in end that truly stood out. The first featured Rick being attacked by the "Wolves" who Morgan had previously let live. This event showed that Rick needed to ensure that Morgan did not become, through his inability to act, a danger to the group.
Secondly we had Glenn's "Death" one of the most shocking events in recent times, (A season one character had not been killed for a very long time) a moment that left most fans of the series dying to see the next episode.
"Here's Not Here" was not that, it was a slower episode featuring some insight into Morgan's backstory, it left many fans agitated, as most of the questions they had were left out in the open. A slower pace worked at this point and with some truly standout performances from the cast, I appreciated the turn the series had took. From this moment on, the series lost a little steam. Although none of the episodes were of a poor quality, I believe it never got back to the excitement brought on from the first few episodes.
'Now' wrapped up the some of the events of 'JSS', starting with Rick making his way home with a Horde of walkers behind. It featured Alexandria's inhabitants trying to come to terms with the likelihood that the town may be seeing it's final days, whereas 'Always Accountable' had a more character focused feel to it, following Daryl, Sasha and Abraham away from the city. We had previously seen a fantastically executed personal look into a single character in "Here's Not Here" but this episode failed to stand out.
"Heads Up" answered the long awaited question of Glenn's fate, and whilst most viewers had a sigh of relief seeing Glenn escape the horde, it also meant one of the biggest parts of the season so far held no weight, although "Heads Up" did build tension towards the Mid-Season finale and did a great job in this aspect.
It all came to fruition during the final moments of the previous episode and the start of 'Start To Finish'. A fallen tower let the army of the Dead walk straight into Alexandria. The sense of dread as the town fell apart was masterfully executed, with no main character seemingly safe. What was confusing in the episode however was its sense of chronology. Characters would open a lock-pick on one side of a door yet seemingly take 15 minutes to pass through, even with loud events happening right at the other side, it seemed disjointed. The show always lands on a cliffhanger and this was no exception, ending midway through a scene, with most characters in extreme danger.
Overall a strong half-season, and while the ending never quite lived up to its stellar introduction, it featured a number of stand out performances and episodes. The events that surround the group are starting to feel slightly repetitive, with no respite in sight for the misfit bunch of survivors, but with such a high caliber of story telling, The Walking Dead will always keep me coming back for more.