DEADtime TV: The Walking Dead ‘Them’

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The newest episode of The Walking Dead titled ‘Them’ is less about our survivors’ struggle against reanimated corpses, and more about them succumbing to starvation, dehydration, and depression. Somehow it has taken the group 5 seasons to find themselves without food or water. I know in the season opener a couple of years ago it showed them huddled in a house, desperate enough to consider eating dog food, but you never really felt a sense dread. I’m not talking about what supposedly happened beyond what we were shown, but they’ve never really portrayed the group as desperate, no food or water, no hope for survival. That’s what you get here. The sun is beating down in full force, drying up all of the creeks and streams. There’s nothing to hunt, therefore nothing to eat, and some members of the group are wondering if it’s even worth trying to survive anymore.

This episode of the show was both interesting, and a little boring. I like that they are showing us these moments in time that are usually skipped over in past episodes. But at the same time, they led up to this point with a series of nonsensical episodes, with some useless characters being killed for no reason other than shock value, and other characters that were badasses in the comics, finding their demise, while never achieving their full potential. I’ve always defending this show from the naysayers, and I still do to an extent, but even I am growing tired of some of the patterns this show uses as crutches.

It’s a little annoying that Maggie didn’t really seem to give much of a shit about her sister Beth until she died for no reason. I know that the entire group was a little preoccupied with other things, but still, that’s her last living relative. She just assumed her to be dead without confirmation? Anyway, little else is going on within this episode other than the desperate search for food, water, and the will to go on. It’s a stronger episode than the two previous, but it’s still a little meandering. It’s hard for me to defend the show from all of the hatemongers, when I find myself bitching about it as well.

The end of the episode is what caught my attention. Just as the group are at their most desperate, in walks a clean, seemingly well-fed survivor named Aaron. If you’ve read the comics, you’ll recognize that name. Aaron was from the Alexandria Safe-Zone. If that’s our group’s next location, that means “All Out War” is on the horizon. I wasn’t a fan of how they ended that arc of the comics, but a lot of the ride to get there was pretty intense. I have my doubts that Glenn is going to have his brains bashed in by Negan’s baseball bat, but I’m sure somebody will suffer that fate. They have a long history of doing that when adapting specific things from the comics. They work them into the show’s storyline, but have it happen to a different character. I won’t be surprised if the same thing happens with the death of Glenn.

When the credits began to roll, I was a bit more satisfied with ‘Them’ than I have been with previous episodes, but it still feels like filler. Some of the good stuff may be around the corner, but I’m getting a little tired of waiting for it. Of course I’m going to stick with it though. I’ve invested too much time into this series to just give up on it after a string of weak episodes. Which means I’ll still be here, telling those that care to listen my feelings on each episode. So, until next week, try not to die.

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