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The Walking Dead – Try Review

"A Strong Episode to Lead into Next Week's Finale"

Was “Try” a perfect episode? Nope. But it did exactly what it needed to do: set the stage for next week’s The Walking Dead season finale. Based on the level of tension both within Alexandria and outside of its walls, things are about to explode. And, considering the short-sightedness of the residents of Alexandria, I have a feeling Rick’s ravings may turn out to be true sooner rather than later.

I will admit to missing the clues hinting at the impending arrival of “The Wolves” until about two weeks ago, but at this point, it is painfully clear that we are about to meet-up with these truly awful humans. Tying a woman, naked, to a tree and leaving her to be walker food is in a whole new realm of sick, even for a show like The Walking Dead. And judging from the even saw cuts on the mystery woman’s companion, this new group of baddies aren’t exactly lacking in the weapon department. Considering how poorly things are going back in Alexandria at the moment, should Daryl and Aaron come across The Wolves and need to make a hasty retreat back to safety, I worry there might not be a place they can run back too.

As for Alexandria, we all knew it was only a matter of time before Rick realized that the people within the walls were far too soft to actually survive the realities of this new world. And yes, he was right in his rambling speech. The town does need the grit of Rick and the coldness of Carol at their helm if they want to survive what is outside their walls. But man, Rick really needs a PR person, because his “pitch” made me wonder if he was a bit crazy and I know that he is right. To begin with, walking into Jessie’s house and telling her she needs to leave Pete all while insinuating that he is only doing this because of his feelings for her is such an awful way to confront an abuse victim. And then telling Pete he was going to kill him if he didn’t leave? Oh Rick. I will say, that was a fine bit of hand to hand fighting- just scrappy enough to sell it as a real fight and not a choreographed precision piece. And watching Carol smirk as Rick pummeled Pete was also a nice touch.

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That being said, I do not fault Deanna one bit for her reaction. Rick looked completely unstable, and coupled that with what Nicholas had to say about the failed supply run, the Grimes Gang looks like a liability at the moment. There have been moments in this back half of the season where the comparisons between the clueless and weak people of Alexandria and Rick’s bunch have been far too heavy handed. With no clear threats on the horizon, it certainly looked like Rick, Carol, and Daryl’s constant vigilance was a bit over the top. But, considering the terrifying nature of The Wolves and their apparent close proximity to Alexandria, there is a growing sense of urgency for us as an audience. We have known that there is danger in general, but now there is a clear threat. We know that once The Wolves come knocking on the gate, nothing good can come of it. It is easy to forget that no one inside Alexandria, including Rick, knows that The Wolves are out there. So, Rick’s rant is the product of his reaction to the general danger the walkers and the unnamed masses that might still be alive present. Sure, Alexandria is not ready for anything. But I do still understand where Deanna is coming from. I also understand why Michonne knocked Rick unconscious. Rick is talking crazy. And for people who desperately want to cling onto the idea that they are safe, hearing the ravings of someone who wants to tell them that they aren’t isn’t going to go over well at all.

I don’t know if we will meet The Wolves in next week’s finale. My best guess is that we’ll get our first glimpse of them as a cliffhanger for next season (a la Michonne’s first appearance several years ago, which was shown in her flashbacks this week). But I like the idea of having another serious threat to our group. Safety behind walls is fine. Having a base is fine. Watching squabbles over the current state of preparedness in Alexandria isn’t all that interesting week in and week out. But watching our gang fight for their lives? That makes for good television.

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Final Thoughts:

— Sasha is really deteriorating quickly. I’m assuming it’s PTSD, but the show hasn’t been all that great about illuminating the reasons. Although, after everything she’s been through, I completely understand her having issues.

— It appears Tara is stable.

— It was really great to have Michonne and Rosita have a real conversation, and then go off and solve an issue on their own. Turns out, Rosita is a badass fighter. Who knew?

— Hey, Carl was back! Shame I didn’t miss him.

Rating
8.5
Pros
  • Good story building for the finale
  • Strong characterization of The Wolves
  • Made Deanna not seem like the bad guy
Cons
  • Jessie-Rick-Pete triangle still a mess

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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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