Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ delivers its best episode in a long time

Spoilers Ahead.

Excuse me while I try to compose myself.

Wow………….That. Was. Fantastic.

When The Walking Dead returned from its midseason hiatus I found myself questioning why I was still watching the show. Was it because of how popular it was? Did I like watching people kill zombies? Your guess is a good as mine but what I can tell you is that tonight’s episode singlehandedly justified why I’ve continued to watch a show as inconsistent as TWD.

This episode delivered the most breathless action sequence the show has produced since “No Sanctuary” back in season 5. More than that, the show presented a moral dilemma to our heroes that we hadn’t yet seen them deal with. All that together makes “Not Tomorrow Yet” one of The Walking Dead‘s finest hours.

Picking up where “Knots Untie” left off, the people of Alexandria successfully negotiated a deal with The Hilltop that would provide them with the food they desperately needed. The catch? Rick and the gang have to eliminate a menacing group called “The Saviors.” We are more than accustomed to seeing our “heroes” retaliate against those that have attacked them but never have we seen them be the first to strike. The people we’ve watched for the last five and a half years are becoming that which they had long sought to keep from becoming.

Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with several members of the group. Morgan (Lennie James) continues his insistence on being able to survive without killing anyone. While even Carol (who by all accounts is the most vicious character on the show) seems to be fed up with the amount of death being dealt (she’s killed 18 people btw). But the best material came from Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Heath (Corey Hawkins) both of whom had never killed another human before and the quandary they found themselves in.

Both men were not looking forward to ending the life of another human, even if they were part of a group as terrible of The Saviors. Yet both knew that if they were to survive it had to be done. The moment when Glenn kills the sleeping savior is just heart-wrenching even as you realize that this group likely would have come to Alexandria and killed a lot of our main characters. Especially touching is when Glenn kills the other guy in the room so Heath doesn’t have to. Depressingly enough though, a firefight breaks out and both men are forced to kill for their own survival, rendering Glenn’s gesture a moot point.

Here is a group of people who had long taken the moral high ground in this post-apocalyptic world of ours. Yet here, they were tasked with striking against those who had done nothing (yet) to wrong them. But if they don’t do this then they have no food and it is likely these “Saviors” will make their way to Alexandria. It’s an impossible situation that is illustrated wonderfully by the show.

This being The Walking Dead and all, even a “victory” such as this is rather hollow. Make no mistake, our “heroes” just did a horrible thing but at what cost? They didn’t eliminate all of The Saviors and worse still, those that weren’t at the base when the group attacked have now captured Carol and Maggie. So for the first time in a long time, I’m very much looking forward to next Sunday.

I’m the type to procrastinate on writing blog posts (because they do take time) but I knew as soon as I finished watching the episode I had to write about it. So here I am, typing words as fast as my mind can process them. Hopefully, the above was coherent enough for you. If you’ve been lagging behind on TWD now is the time to catch up. With the arrival of Neagan (the most celebrated antagonist from the comics) imminent, things are about to get very dire – then again, this is The Walking Dead, things are always dire – for our characters.

That was good. That was very good.

Some stray thoughts:

  • That guy Carol was flirting with? According to IMDB his name is Tobin and he’s been in 11 episodes of the show. I don’t remember him at all. Granted, TWD has been very hit or miss with establishing it’s tertiary characters. That little bit about him telling Carol how he believes she fights as hard as she does? That was worth it though.
  • No Carl this week, didn’t miss him.
  • It’s slightly more unsettling to me just how good the group has become at combat. I suppose it’s a sad fact of the world they live in.

What did you think about “Not Tomorrow Yet”? Did you find it just as intense as I did? How do you think the group will deal with what happens next? Let me know in the comments below.

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