• NATALIE BLAND

SEASON 9; EPISODE 4


Episode 4 was very Michonne-centric, juxtaposing her life as a caring, nurturing member of her community, with her warrior-like identity. Michonne has always been a great character, a complicated character, and I enjoyed spending some time with her without her merely serving as a device to prop up or provide a sounding board to another character, like she often has done over the past couple of seasons. The opening scenes hinted that she could not ever be completely as peace being a care-giver, she will always have to fight; she will always need to. The way the scenes are directed suggest she actually finds that the mechanics of battle may come more naturally to her than the role of community planner. The only fly in the ointment of her existence is Negan – as proved when she realises, in horror, that she has used a Lucille-like-bat to fend off a Walker.

This episode was another strong episode with the conversations between Michonne and Negan and Rick and Daryl being centrefold. The scenes between Rick and Daryl were touching but their arguments are circular. However, they did manage to return to a place of respect. I’ll admit, it was hard not to feel the tug of emotion when they called each other “brother”, but little was resolved given the fact that this will be the last scene these characters share.

Negan was desperate for company (somewhat unsurprisingly) and spoke a little about his past and more specifically, about his wife. Negan often makes the mistake that he and his feelings are relatable – and as such, he repulses Michonne with the suggestion she is relieved she doesn’t have to look after her family in the world they now inhabit. When he speaks of Lucille I struggle with the notion he is referring to the bat – or whether Lucille is somebody to him, thus explaining why he chose to name a baseball bat.

Elsewhere, the Saviours realised that Oceanside were responsible for killing their people and as such, Jed led a group of Saviours and attempted to ambush Carol. The ripple effect of this attempt will likely be huge and shape the rest of this season. I have to say, I am quite excited about the prospect. It feels meatier and more interesting than the overly-hyped conflict at the centre of the last season. I hope Carol is safe – I imagine she is, given how much the Walking Dead has been publicising exits of major characters this season, and I have yet to hear anything suggesting Melissa McBride is leaving the series. Carol appeared to be gaining the upper-hand at the end and…the smoothness in which Carol switches from “deer-in-headlights” to absolute bad-ass is brilliant, and always a joy to watch.

Most importantly, we have likely seen how Rick is going to die. The realisation that Rick’s death is the result of little more than a small mishap is traumatising but it is also rather refreshing. Dare I say this (given the fact that this is a TV series set during a zombie apocalypse) it is more realistic than the deaths of some of the other characters in this show. I’ve always wondered why more characters haven’t perished after needless, split-second errors in judgement, or bad luck. I imagine the next episode will focus almost solely on Rick’s departure. I doubt they will handle his demise flippantly; there will be plenty of reflection, goodbyes, tears…I am already bracing myself for it.

Other thoughts:

I’m still confused by Anne and Father Gabriel. Where is Anne?

#walkingdead

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