TV Show Review

TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD: Season 6, Episode 5: Now [AMC]

Tovah Feldshuh The Walking Dead Now

AMC’s The Walking Dead Now TV Show ReviewThe Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 5: ‘Now,’ might be considered an episode that may have been necessary, but not necessarily welcomed. If ‘Here is Not Here’ was a breather, from season 6’s running start, then ‘Now’ could be considered the come-down.

Even as elements of previous episodes converged, the effect was one of despair & desperation. Necessary, in that the denizens of the town, that Reg & Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) built, had to get some firsthand experience as to how the world was, now. Unwelcomed, in that we’ve been through this process enough times to make us sympathize with Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) impatience with it.

If Deanna had seemingly abdicated to Rick’s direction before, this episode made it official. She was made to realize that there may no room for a politician in a Warlord’s world, and surviving son, Spencer (Austin Nichols), wasn’t helping. Being the hero-of-the-watch was useful in nipping fatalist hoarding in the bud, but Spencer was no hero. He was just keeping up appearances – not just as a responsible resident, but also the dutiful son. I don’t care how drunk he was, guilting Deanna at that moment, in that manner, could have had dire consequences. Still could, actually.

Aaron (Ross Marquand) – to his & the show’s credit – didn’t try to sit on his role in attracting Wolves, instead serving as a sounding board for Maggie (Lauren Cohan). With the understanding that logic & reason are luxuries I can afford, but Maggie couldn’t, I was under the impression that Aaron only wanted to watch her back, until she came to her senses. At the end of their short odyssey, however, it seems like Maggie was the one to make the sensible call. I never did understand her burning of Glenn’s photo, as it seemed like a lot to ask of the universe; in this case, however, Glenn had left her with the ultimate reason to be risk averse.

As weary as the Prison arc morass had gotten, I’ve had less patience for the Townies of Alexandria. While Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) has come a long way, and doing her best to bring her neighbors along, her sons haven’t been shaping up too well. Sam (Major Dodson) has somehow managed to invert Carol’s ‘teachings,’ and created an agoraphobic safe-zone for himself that even cookies couldn’t defy (tip to Jess: get Carol to bring the next batch… then leave them alone together). So Sam’s easily the most useless walking, talking Alexandrian; but at least he’s not the dangerous sort of dead weight… yet. Other son, Ron (Austin Abrams) remained the prime killing weight candidate, taking his apparent feud with the Grimes to a new level. No, I don’t mean playing fluttering slap hands with Carl (Chandler Riggs), I mean using Enid to pick a fight, then using Carl’s concern for Enid to weasel Rick into gunnery lessons – by way of ratting Carl out. Anybody buying Ron going rat for Carl’s benefit, or learning to shoot for noble reasons?

Rick may have evolved into the ultimate prepper; but I’m not sure blended family is something he has fully accounted for – or at all. Well, it looks about ready to happen, anyway, ready or not.

If I can give the episode credit for anything, it’s for the ongoing shake up of source expectations. Romantic undertones brought a light-hearted resolution to Denise’s (Merritt Wever) ongoing Dr. Atlas funk – and something of a reward to Tara (Alanna Masterson), for having been cheering her on, this whole time; but this suggests a departure from what was expected of her character, relative to another recently added Alexandrian. Given the result of Tara’s confidence building efforts, I was also left wondering why Rosita (Christian Serratos) was being so nice to Spencer – but that was probably me just not forgiving him for going emo on his mom.

For her part, Deanna did get her mojo back (maybe too much at once, given how much she put into punishing ‘the one that got away,’ instead of just killing it); but with this show, that could be a mixed blessing – especially with Alexandria’s external problems starting to bleed into its internal stress points.

I have to say, in light of how this season kicked off (and despite bracing for a repeat of last season’s slow down), I wasn’t overly fond of this episode. Maybe I’ve had to deal with too many come-down cases, in real life, and felt the need to hang out in the kitchen, until the intervention got past the resolution phase. Whatever the case, this all needed to get out of the way. The Townies getting over themselves may not be as compelling as when/ how the Roadies did it; but still necessary. At least there is more room for levity & distraction, inside Alexandria, than on the road (or back at the prison); so even if the show doesn’t get back to Alexandria vs the Now World in timely fashion, it could still do better than let its characters sit & stew.

“Yeah, it sucks to be afraid.”

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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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