AMC's "The Walking Dead" has always had an aptitude for manipulating its viewers, but this year's hyper-disaster season premiere went too far. In truth, it went so far that we canceled our ongoing series The Walking Dead Quitter's Club, with co-author Bryan Bishop self-denying the entire show.
Now, Nick Statt is trying to change his opinion. Instead of tearing the melancholy, Nick will be finding something to spotlight. It might be a subtle change in character, a great action scene, or a new development in a narrative arc. But every week, he'll be seeking out things that remind us of the very best of The Walking Dead - the moments that might just give viewers a reason to come back.
Welcome to The Walking Dead Redemption Club.
Another episode, another opportunity to bring you back from the brink of zombie apocalypse oblivion. It's been two weeks since the fateful season seven premiere of The Walking Dead, and I can safely say that 14 days is the recommended grieving period for fictional television characters (in the scientific study I just made up).
That said, I know it's more than just the brutal deaths of longtime characters that're forced you, and others, away from the show. It's the constant push and pull between what TWD aspires to be and what it shamelessly falls back on when elevated storytelling gets too tough. Last night with "The Cell," we got another completely standalone episode, and I'm beginning to think that the show could be better if it stuck with this format through and through. Alas, we'll have to come back to Rick and Maggie and their soul-crushing grief eventually.
For now, let's savor the departure.
The Road To Redemption
Like last week's episode "The Wall" or "The Cell" released all viewers around the globe from the misery and outcome of the debut by taking us somewhere new and focusing on world-making. These are the best gusto cleansers the show must offer, because even at its best, The Walking Dead still has bothered deciding what show it wants to be - even seven seasons in the making. But thankfully, the film is starting to see the scales tip away from the ultra-violence and back towards a potential as a more epic and significant tale of life in a society without boundaries.
But as per follower knew all too well, the moment The Walking Dead tries to weave its plot lines together is when it tends to fall back on acrobatics and pointless theatrical sceneries. These last two episodes have been a much-needed change of treads given all that audiences have seen, and it's about time we come back to Alexandria. That's when the show can prove it wants to tell a story, instead of just beating us over the head with blood, guts, and not-so-surprising character deaths.
Will the show pull it off? Well, that's another question. Stay tuned when it happens.