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Lennie James as Morgan Jones- Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Lennie James as Morgan Jones- Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Review by Nolan P. Smith

For the second episode of the new season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, we needed something big to happen. With a very slow season of “Fear the Walking Dead” and last week’s somewhat uneventful season premiere, we needed the pace to pick up and for the fear of this apocalyptic world to return.

Well, you are in luck.

Spoilers below if you haven’t seen it yet.

As most of the heavy hitters of Rick’s team are gone, trying to dispose of the thousands of zombies we saw last episode, it leaves the stronghold of Alexandria weak in defense- a horrible time for a new faction to attack. What starts as a slow episode goes from 0-60 real quick, as a group of grungy, psychotic men and women begin to lay siege to the quiet dwelling. With “W” on their heads, we see a connection to the zombies we have seen in the past with the same insignia.

The stars of this episode are Morgan (Lennie James), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge), Carl (Chandler Riggs), and Carol (Melissa McBride). Well, let’s go ahead and just say it: Carol once again steals the show and continues to prove that she is one of the strongest characters on the show. The siege by these “Wolves” showed who people were deep down: some were cowards, and some were far stronger than they thought- like Jessie, who showed that when it comes to protecting her children, she can and will do anything.

The main conflict, however, is more philosophical. It’s about what constitutes killing in a world filled with the undead and the living. The shoot first, protect your own ideals of Carol no doubt saved the day, but the no-kill state of mind that Morgan carries shows the humanity still left, especially in someone who has lost as much as Morgan has. Who is right? Well, unless we end up in a situation of life or death, we really couldn’t say. In my opinion, I think Carol made the right call, and took a bold and violent stand.

Eugene gets a nod because, well, he’s Eugene. His obnoxious, yet likable personality helped balance the brutality seen in this episode. When he tells the new doctor that she “doesn’t want to be a coward”, it hit with a smile and a laugh for me. Carl shows that he is his dad’s son, as he holds his own against the violent Wolves.

This was a HUGE step in the right direction- this is what we want to see in The Walking Dead- a real threat, suspense, violence, and characters realizing who they are deep down, of rather who they have become.

Rating: 4 out of 5. Thank you, The Walking Dead, for giving us something to fear again.

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