This post contains SPOILERS.
This week’s episode starts off with some music. Was it just me that got flashbacks to previous episodes where this has happened? At least this time the music was actually quite nice and it didn’t go on forever. It was also nice to see a glimpse of the Kingdom which, if you don’t watch promo videos or check out what the next episode is going to be about, gave a clear indication that we were back with them this week.
We then move to Carol, and admittedly going in I knew that this episode was going to be a pretty big one for her. Back during episode 10 I wondered what they might do with her, because they couldn’t have her sitting on the sidelines, unaware of what’s going on, for too long. Now we have an answer.
Her return was so good to see and very entertaining to watch. That bit where she’s in the tree with the road sign was both hilarious and incredibly smart. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as she just walked straight into the Kingdom, ignoring the people who had come outside to help her. It was clear that she didn’t really believe what Daryl had told her, only that in that moment she needed to, so it was nice to see her questioning it and trying to find the truth.
As the episode opened up and continued on there was this calming sense. The background music played a huge part in this, but it just felt nice to watch, although there was this underlying sense of anxiety and fear creeping in as the episode went on. You could feel the unease of the characters which contradicted the calming background music and ambiance in an interesting way. In fact, the music (at least during Carol’s journey to the Kingdom) reminded me a lot of some of the music in the game Life is Strange, which I highly recommend if you’re into games.
As well as that, the cinematography in this episode was just beautiful. Bad CGI aside, the Walking Dead can pull off some amazing visuals, and this week even the smallest scenes were pleasant to watch.
“You want to be like your brother.” I don’t know what it is, but sometimes you can just tell who is going to die in an episode of the Walking Dead. Perhaps it’s the fact that there’s a touching moment involving them or they finally stand up and take control of the situation/their lives. Well in this case, from that touching moment where Benjamin overheard that his brother wanted to be like him, it was clear that he was going to die. There was also that moment where he gets nervous over a girl that indicated that something big was going to happen with Benjamin.
Jerry continues to be a shining light that I hope is never put out. The way he says “Don’t interrupt the King” is a glimpse of the tough Jerry I’ve been wanting to see. Although I do like that he’s lighthearted and funny, I did want to see a more serious side to him. And I think we all shared a moment of anger when Jerry was hit on side of the head.
I will admit that when it came to Benjamin’s death, there was a fleeting moment where I thought it could be someone else. The gun is pointed at Richard and we saw Jerry get struck for speaking out. Both made perfect candidates to set an example, but ultimately it was no surprise when it was in fact Benjamin. Plus, Ezekiel and Morgan are too important, and the others aren’t as well known by the fanbase so wouldn’t have had the same impact.
Although I wouldn’t say that Benjamin was a favourite, they still managed to make his death emotional and I found myself genuinely sad at the fact that he was gone.
Richard has always tried to do things his way, and to extreme measures in order to get the Kingdom to fight back, and it was clear it was always going to go wrong. In this case, Benjamin died. It was no surprise that he had something to do with what happened, and admittedly I was very glad when he was finally taken out. Especially when he was so easily able to push down his guilt and jumped fairly quickly into justifying his actions. It seemed more fitting that it was Morgan to do it, and it was more powerful that he chose to strangle Richard as opposed to something much quicker.
This week we meet a new character, Nabila, whose introduction is one of my favourites. The way she’s too afraid to go near Shiva, which is actually something we haven’t seen yet. Ezekiel and a few others feel okay getting up close to Shiva, but others are usually a safe distance and there’s other things going on so we don’t really see fear, mostly shock that there’s a real life tiger. – “I think I just pissed myself.” – I definitely think she’s going to be a favourite for me, hopefully we see more of her in the future.
One interesting thing is that when the Saviors find out that Benjamin is dead, the man in charge of that little group seems genuinely distraught. It was the same when he realised Benjamin was the one that got shot. It just adds once again to this idea that the Saviors aren’t all bad, that some of them have limits and some of them are only doing what they need to do to survive.
Carol showing up at the end and telling Ezekiel that they need to fight (and him agreeing) was a turning point. Each community (except Oceanside) has so far agreed to start fighting, with only 3 episodes left we’re most likely going to see Rick and that contact Oceanside and conclude the season with the start of the war against the Saviors, or something equally as big that could throw the show in a completely different direction.