The Walking Dead: 603 “Thank You” Review
Reviewed by Owen Bush.
Now swooping into the third episode, we’re diving straight forward into this year’s season of The Walking Dead, and my, my, it’s all kicking off rather soon. It seems as if the format of jumping from one group to another for each episode is returning, as this episode centered itself back to the abyss of havoc and chaos after the premiere’s startling cliffhanger. Blood was seemingly sure to gush, and as-such, the episode almost returned back to the shocking nature, mystery and intrigue that became a little lost as the show grew old. But not all was perfect, for an overwhelming death may have been shrouded by something a little, well, frustrating.
Ahh, back to good-old running days. Yes, the herd were set free, and with that, there seemed to be a wild scrambling of humans trying to make their little one-line characters away from the riveting claws of zombies – Sunday Television really is great, isn’t it? In some seriousness, it was incredibly pleasing to finally see Glenn and Michonne return to spotlight, ironically, both have been on my ‘TWD Favourite Character Wall of Fame’, so it was refreshing to see them act back in their quick, level-headed, subsequently bad-ass ways… it’s a shame those around them weren’t so credible.
Glenn and Michonne, as leaders, almost pulled together the threads of the groups similar mentality, for both, seemed as if they were the versions of Rick that wouldn’t leave anyone behind, unfortunately, that Rick was blinded by death and monstrosity, and Glenn and Michonne are fragments of that spirit – casting an unlikely shadow on why that persona is not one that can be upheld, and should be upheld around the horrors occurring. Sometimes, I do wish The Walking Dead didn’t have so many characters, for, whilst this episode shone a distinct light above these characters – when will this happen again? Not for 5 or 6 episodes? It seems as if the sea of personalities almost pushes any singular and subtle character development away, and the only development seen is that of random episodes scattered around the seasons, which is a dear shame. Nevertheless, “Thank You” finally reminded us what we saw in these two, because how substantially crucial they were.
On one hand, characters such as Glenn and Michonne – and even, may I say, Heath, whom personally I believe is an excellent addition to the cast, are bold, brash and amazing characters. On the other hand, this episode continued to add useless characters to the death-toll, and granted, I know that’s necessary, but some of the actions of those sub-characters made them to be dumb puppets being only there to give the audience a reason to applaud those bigger, more epic characters previously mentioned.
For example, the women who “tripped” and acted as if she had broken her leg, or even, may I say, lost her leg, felt as if an excuse for Michonne to groan about not leaving anyone behind. It all just becomes a little tedious, the ambition of any new characters is fatally flawed by their demeaning and short exits. It’s like the writers are waving juicy meat towards us as if we are dogs, only to stop, and put that meat in the bin for no real reason (yes, it’s a ridiculously eccentric analogy but I’m sure you understand). TWD works best in small, well-awarded characters, I understand that can’t always be done, but how many wasted personalities did we see in this week’s episode?
Akin to the premiere, this 45-minute spectacle reminded me how eerie and ghastly the Walkers actually are – for, they seemed like a threat, rather than an subtle excuse for a cool shot filled with suitably euphoric CGI. The trembles of fear ran down the characters similarly to the blood splattering the concrete, this, rather than another repetitive human-threat, personally, spiked more dread as a light dimmed upon the consequences of the characters actions.
Well, well, well. We haven’t had a surge of deaths this magnificent for a little while (I’m not counting last episode, because it really wasn’t that magnificent), from the classic gate-falling, to the cliched death notes, to even the shock suicides, whilst not completely co-ordinated, it felt like the gruesome return of emotionally terrific shocks. The best was saved ’till last, it seemed, as the first few deaths were a little mediocre, whilst gory, and truly a eye-opening image, these weren’t big characters, and even with the teasing of Michonne making it very clear she’d get them home, and the cliched death message, it was a predictable, whilst enjoyable sight (without sounding too creepy).
However, the biggest deaths/death (you decide) of the episode, was, of course, that of Nicholas and/or possibly Glenn. Honestly, this completely shocked me, the whole essence of Nicholas’ death was unexpectedly new, honest to his character and fulfilling as his end – and that, I don’t say often on TV shows. His suicide was heart-breaking, critical, and true. However Glenn’s death was not, and cast a shadow on that beautifully sad and crazy moment, for it took away the substance to be covered in theatrical tricks, and removed the shock of Nicholas (whom is a small sub-character) onto the rather fan-disdaining shocks of whether Glenn is alive or not. This crucially removed the elegance of “Thank You”‘s message, core, and the deep and meaningful truth behind the episode.
Strangely, its been six seasons following our hopelessly addictive hero, and I’m still not bored over Rick’s antics. Personally, that’s why I think AMC got the killer ratings for the show, for, whilst the plot can be excellent (albeit sometimes tedious), Rick is a main character whom is fuelled with adrenaline and passion – and we continue to see it here. Andrew Lincoln once again captivated our screens this week, his ruthless run and murderous instincts make him so interesting to watch, and with this, of course, we’re left with a teasing look at Rick, who has supposedly been trapped with a horde of flesh-eaters. But this is Rick, and I can’t wait to see how he slaughters their attempts.
Verdict : 8.5/10
“Thank You” had a lot of very interesting, honest, and truthful moments that electrified the mystery and tension that began to get a little lost in TWD’s tedious popularity. However, it was shrouded by the show’s usual flaws: its large spectrum of characters, whom are wasted by pitiful deaths or dumb actions that leave the audience a very easy message. “Thank You” may be my favourite episode thus far in Season 6, but it certainly isn’t perfect.