Another One Bites The Dust
Well that’s unfortunate. The Walking Dead series has been known to pull the rug out from underneath viewers, and this episode was no different. Unfortunately the ‘big surprise’ felt unwarranted, and felt like a way to quicken the pace of a few slow moving episode. While in all accounts not a horrible episode, “Home” felt like it tried to juggle too many stories and moments and all together came out as a jumbled mess with a surprise ending.
The beginning of the episode showed great promise, as viewers came to see that Rick is still not in the right state of mind. I loved the panning shot, as Rick looked over the prison, only to spot a white woman in a gown, who was none other than his dead wife Lori. It was nice to see Sarah Callie return for a cameo and made the scene that much more impactful. However, what was far more intriguing was Michonne seeing Rick interact with this none-existent figure. In the comics, Michonne is not in the right state of mind, similar to Rick, and hopefully they come to explore this in the show. Not only would it create a common bond, it would also lead to some interesting character development in which Michonne sorely lacks thus far.
Unfortunately,from here the episode took a downturn. While there were some intriguing developments such as the Governor offering Andrea a leader position in Woodbury, this ultimately came to be cast aside by the Governor asking Milton, a.k.a. creepy scientist, to watch over Andrea as she cannot be trusted. I do not know what sort of games the Governor is playing but this felt entirely forced and atypical of what any villain would do.
As I feared last week, the writer’s came to struggle with Merle and Daryl’s side of the story. While it was good to see some brotherly character development amongst the brothers, there story all together felt rushed as a means to get them back to the prison. That being said, the bridge fight seen was a great action montage that showed off Daryl once again being awesome, while still affectionate (look at him save that mother and child-so adorable) despite being ultimately unnecessary.
While the Dixon adventure was rather forced, it was nice to see Glenn take more of a leadership role at the prison, now that Rick is off being crazy and Daryl is having an adventure with his racist brother. It was nice to see Glenn take action, wanting to strike Woodbury and the Governor as soon as possible. However, this whole “man on a path for vengeance” archetype did not sit too well with Maggie, who is still coming to slowly cope with what happened to her in Woodbury. It will be interesting to see the toll this has on their relationship, and how far Glenn is willing to go to avenge Maggie.
After all these lacklustre side adventures, the writers decided to pull something out of their hat with a moment that surely surprised viewers. Seeing Axel get shot in the face, came as a surprise to say the least. However, I should have expected it seeing how the writers cannot help but make a character spew out their pointless back story before their penultimate death. This is a shame because, I really liked what they were doing with Axel and Carol – both creating a budding love and adding intricacies to characters in which very little attention are paid to in the comics.
While the following shootout was quite a spectacle, with Merle and Daryl arriving just in time to save Rick, I could not help but question two things: where was Tyreese and his group during all of this, and why such poor timing on the Governor’s behalf? The Governor’s actions were simply meant to add some excitement to the episode, while not having Tyreese there to aid Rick was a poor choice on the writer’s behalf as this could have proven to Rick how valuable Tyreese is to his group. As great of an action sequence this was, I would have liked to see an actual reason given to it, aside from making Axel cannon fodder.
After last week’s episode I feared that the writer’s would struggle to juggle three stories. This came to be proven, for while some scenes did have potential, many stories felt forced and at the cost of excluding others (*cough Tyreese). With only six episode remaining, this leaves me worried as to how the Governor will emerge as a true threat by the ending of this season, or if they will decide to expand the Governor story into another season. Hopefully they quicken the pace in the remaining episodes and add some great action sequences at no cost to character development- however, that might be asking too much.