TV Show Review

TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD: Season 5, Episode 15: Try [AMC]

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AMC‘s The Walking Dead Try TV Show ReviewThe Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 15: ‘Try,’ set up a tipping point, for head townie, Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh), and head roadie, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), over how threats should be handled, and just who most constituted that threat, domestically.

I like Reznor as much as the next occasional sociopath; but it’s hardly music to commemorate loved ones by. That said, Deanna & Reg (Steve Coulter) lasted pretty long. The music was mostly for our benefit, anyway, because things in Alexandria were fraying in something of a loud, rope bridge failing sort of way.

Deanna’s reaction to Carol’s (Melissa McBride) condolence gesture was meant to impress upon us that Deanna had already made up her mind. I want to give her more credit than that. I’m prepared to suggest that it was an exercise in remaining neutral – consider her pointing out the major hole in Nicholas’ (Michael Traynor) recount (a point she should have brought up with Gabe). On the other hand, she did know about Porch Dick Pete (Corey Brill) abusing Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge), but applied the same rationale to it as a certain hospital did. Maybe I’ve been giving her too much credit….

As far as that last point went, Rick had officially pissed at PDP’s feet (for Pete’s sake), while fixating on a red balloon, to keep his center. He should have chosen a more relaxing object. With Deanna putting her foot down, regarding Rick’s final solution to such problems, Rick opted to take the matter to Jessie – you know, like a recovering alcoholic choosing a bartender for a sponsor.

On a side note: if the red balloon “means something” I worry that it might be more along the lines of Schindler’s List, than a mountain of mashed potatoes.

Rick wanted to push an outcome – force a reckoning that starts with Pete, but ends with the whole community coming around to his way. It’s entirely possible that he had the same breakdown that Gabe did. Only his was triggered out of a fear of losing loved ones; while Gabe was just afraid of losing a chance at paradise. Unfortunately, Rick’s passion poison had a snake coiled around it; and Rick was not above provoking it. He wasn’t above taking his provocation to its end, right away, either.

I won’t go into much detail; but what went down, went down pretty down & dirty. Compliments to the choreography done for the scene. Nothing like a giant of a man, going full Hyde, to keep things from being as one-sided as fans might have expected.

On the surface of things, there was no way for Rick to salvage what happened; but then, I thought of Deanna burning Carol’s note. Rick just lit a fuse under the whole town; but there’s no way that bridge is going to burn. Some mitigating action, by Michonne (Danai Gurira), will likely help, in that regard.

For some reason, Michonne didn’t think that anyone noticed her not toting her sword, anymore. Well, they did. While she pondered replacing her sword, with the deputy’s uniform, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) was brought to her attention, as a potential burn-out risk, and it was off with Rosita (Christian Serratos) to nip that in the bud. She left her uniform behind, in the process.

Sasha had decided that the best therapy was a good offense (which is not how the saying goes, mind you); but strictly as a solo player sport. What I saw was a serious waste of bullets. When it was made clear that Sasha was almost dangerously opposed to her help, Michonne took the time to help herself. She may have left the sword behind, but she hadn’t fully embraced the trappings of being behind the walls, either.

I had to wonder why Sasha had no secondary weapon. I suppose she needed to be made vulnerable; but she seemed completely oblivious to the fact that she would have died without the help she rejected. It was more than ultimate target fixation, though, as there was some guilt about a previous prediction. Frankly, I think she deserved a little grief, for dicking on Noah; but this self-destructive bender (that occasionally risks the lives of others) really needs to go somewhere useful – if not final.

Elsewhere, Daryl & Aaron (Norman Reedus & Ross Marquand) finally made an issue of the marked Walkers. They weren’t just being marked, they were being created. That fact should have been a tip off, as to what Alexandria was coming up against (assuming Deanna doesn’t already know this, too); but the scouts stayed on mission – meaning that the word on W won’t be factoring into town events, just yet. Besides, Daryl prefers it outside.

As long as everyone was enjoying the terrorizingly therapeutic value of being outside, again, Carl (Chandler Riggs) found some of that magic, himself, when his… inexperience was called out on by Enid (Katelyn Nacon). She’s much livelier, outside the walls. Apparently, there was some mutual bad seed appeal, between the boy-in-the-hat, and she-of-the-pouty-lips-&-birthing-hips. This is to be expected. Somewhere between dodging Walkers & shippers, however, Enid managed to evade answering any of Carl’s questions (and I guess ours, by extension). One particular shot, of slow-mo splendor, left me wondering if this was really the halcyon years, for Gen Z kids, like them.

Not everyone was enjoying the call of the wild. I have been particularly impressed by Glenn’s (Steven Yeun) brand of cool, collected contempt for oil-slick-Nick. Still the panicky one, Nick had a way of getting out from under Glenn’s shaming, in a reveal that threatens to pit townies against roadies, over the Rick flair up.

I have reason to believe that Rick’s roadies will wind up running Alexandria. The real question becoming just how many townies will go along – or be left to choose – by the time a choice is forced (courtesy of the letter W). Rick overplaying his hand was merely meant to cast doubt upon that outcome.

As for that mitigating factor, that Michonne brought to Rick’s barn burner, the most important part may have been that she was in full deputy’s uniform, when she did it.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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