Considering the ‘wooh yeah! Let’s sock it to them!’ optimistic high point of the mid-season, it doesn’t take long for a sense of realism to come crashing down to earth.
First Gregory refuses to help out. No surprise there; he’s a snivelling coward after all. Just as unsurprisingly, Ezekiel refuses to help out either – he’s got a Kingdom to rule, after all.
It doesn’t take a complete novice to work out what needs to happen here: even with all the can-do spirit in the world, Rick and co remain heavily outgunned. They need something to even up the odds, which they duly find.
So we find ourselves with the kind of scene-setting episode corner that the show writes itself into every now and then – although if you’re still watching this by now, chances are you either don’t mind, are related to one of the show’s cast/crew members, or have been writing episode reviews since time began and find it too weird to stop now.
Anyway, we digress. The show needs something so implausible to happen – Rick’s gang to defeat the Saviors, despite having no weapons – that impossible things need to happen.
To aid this, we have moments that stretch credibility even for a show set in a zombie-filled wasteland: at exactly what point did they all become experts at safely removing explosives, for instance? And who exactly are this new group of survivors?
Add to that their sudden, convenient trust of people who have never really earned it – like Gabriel, for instance. When he absconds with their remaining weapons, they’re all, “Naw, he’d never do that.” Eh? You all hated him before, and now you’re shocked by his apparent display of betrayal? Make your mind up.
Still, clearly there are reasons why people keep coming back to The Walking Dead, one of which being Rick and Michonne’s car-cable assisted takedown of numerous walkers, which admittedly is pretty cool (even if they nearly kill themselves by inexplicably stopping right in front of the rest of the herd).
Then we get a nice scene with Aaron and Eric – what feels like their first together in a long while – which sadly means that one of them is probably about to die. Boo.
In the meantime, what we have is a fairly solid set-up episode. But nothing more than that.