Support Us!
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



Tuesday, October 4, 2022

“The Walking Dead” Review – First of Final 8 Episodes Brings Carnage, Car Chases, and Brisk Narrative Pacing

The time has finally come. The final eight-episode run of AMCs “The Walking Dead” has kicked off with the Greg Nicotero-directed “Lockdown.” Picking up directly after the events of Episode 16, our survivors are on the run from a tyrannical Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) and his vicious militia. Inside the walls of the Commonwealth, the rest of the gang witness the downfall of the Milton family’s power in light of allegations against Sebastian Milton (Teo Rapp-Olsson). With the series finale creeping up on the horizon, “Lockdown” pushes full throttle with its pacing as it sets its sights on the highly-anticipated conclusion. 

“Lockdown” delivers a healthy-dosage of action sequences paired with proper character-centric scenes. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) execute a pretty gnarly car-chase, featuring camera movement and stunt-work that feels exhilarating and intensive, on a scale that reminds you of the genre-dipping “The Walking Dead” is capable of. The wide and fast-moving framing during this chase gives proper exposure and attention to the impressive set-design deployed to make the environments of the show look dilapidated. 

While the series as a whole looks vastly different cast-wise and narratively than its iconic beginnings, “Lockdown” still rewards long-running fans of the series with callbacks and references to the long path we’ve traveled. The episode begins with a somber montage of Rick’s quest for survival throughout the seasons, narrated by what appears to be Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) much later in the narrative (perhaps taking Carl’s role in the comic series’ ending). While it borders on being gimmicky, the attempt to emphasize the finality of these last episodes definitely works. As fans, we’ve come so far to arrive at this home stretch.

Other instances of callbacks include a line about Daryl proclaiming to Maggie (Lauren Cohan) that Glenn would want him to protect her any chance he gets (in reference to him having to slay his lover-turned-antagonist Leah to save Maggie in episode 16). Little moments like these reinforce the impact and importance of the events we’ve spent over 10 years witnessing. During his pursuit of Commonwealth soldiers, Negan makes use of a Whisperer mask, blending in with a horde to sneak up on his prey. Once again, moments like this reward longtime viewers and add to the realism of the main characters’ development. The main crew will do whatever it takes to adapt and survive, even if it means taking on former-enemy strategies. 

With its vast, and ever-expanding cast of characters, the show often misses out on more focused character dynamics. “Lockdown”  lets Negan team-up with Carol (Melissa McBride) to investigate Sebastian Milton’s disappearance. In a much more controlled (and not life-or-death) environment within the Commonwealth’s walls, the comedic banter of Negan is able to come through much stronger. It’s clear Carol only regards Negan as an ally in the communal fight for survival, and certainly not an actual friend. Negan disregards any hostility stemming from Carol and lets his foul-mouth fly. 

He even tries to pluck some sympathy from her by mentioning his new (and pregnant) wife Annie (Medina Senghore). Negan, despite his horrendous history within the show, continues to be one of the most consistently written characters in the series. He has properly adjusted to his place amongst the survivors, but has certainly not sacrificed his personality and ego. Jeffrey Dean Morgan continues to elevate the character, making him one of the strongest of the current cast. 

As with most of the series’ recent episodes, for every solid narrative decision, there’s often a few negatives that set-back the overall quality of each installment. The journalism storyline involving Magna (Nadia Hilker), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Kelly (Angel Theory), and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) continues to pale in comparison with the literal life-and-death stakes of the show’s other happenings. It just isn’t an interesting or serious-enough storyline to truly captivate viewers. Luckily, this storyline takes up minimal screen time, allowing the rest of the characters to move the narrative along at a steady, and intensive pace. 

Another element of the episode that rings hollow is the manner in which the citizens of the Commonwealth protest the Miltons’ leadership. Something about the design of the signs and direction of these “protest” scenes just lacks any sort of depth. Perhaps there’s a sense of tackiness and even a low-budget aspect of these scenes that make them stand out like a sore thumb. Although, when the Commonwealth soldiers do intervene and threaten the safety of the citizens, things feel much more tense and cinematically in-line with the tone of the show. 

As with most of my coverage on the world of “The Walking Dead,” it’s impossible not to praise the always-extraordinary special effects makeup work seen within this episode. With Nicotero at the helm as director, it’s almost always a given that there’ll be stand-out grisly sequences. “Lockdown” checks those boxes with several ghoulish “Walking Dead” style treats. Horror fans will certainly notice a sewer-dwelling walker that bears quite a resemblance to iconic slasher Freddy Krueger. This burnt, Elm Street-sizzled walker isn’t the first time the show has paid tribute to classic horror characters. Another standout sequence sees an unfortunate member of the Commonwealth completely (and slowly) torn in half, as Mercer holds onto the pleading torso. Nicotero doesn’t shy away from the aftermath, lingering the camera on the blood-splattered feeding frenzy. No other zombie show executes the carnage of the undead quite like “TWD.” 

While “Lockdown” features a few points of weakness, the fast-paced plot advancement alongside its great action set-pieces, walker moments, and exciting character dynamics result in one of the stronger episodic offerings of “The Walking Dead’s” final season. Hopefully, this momentum can continue and bring fans to a satisfying conclusion for this beloved story of survival. 

The post “The Walking Dead” Review – First of Final 8 Episodes Brings Carnage, Car Chases, and Brisk Narrative Pacing appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!