Well, this is it. The big finale. The thing that everything’s been building up to. But is it worth the wait?
It depends on what you were waiting for. If you were waiting to see what Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance would be like, then yes, absolutely.
Admittedly, his “pee-pee pants city” monologue translates as badly to the TV screen as we suspected it might, but otherwise, he’s brilliant. Grinning, gleefully sadistic and utterly horrifying, he’s the Governor replacement we’ve been looking for, only a lot, lot worse.
The slow build of the episode contributes greatly to its horror movie-esque overtones: first there are few Saviours blocking their path, then a few more. Then a lot more. Then they’re forced out on foot, a sick Maggie in tow until… well, you will see.
The side plot of Morgan rescuing an injured yet still unwilling Carol barely registers in light of what happens before: Denise’s death aside, this season has lacked consequences for their actions. The show allowed us to vaguely ponder the notion that the group had destroyed much of the Saviours’ personnel. As we discover, we are wrong. Horribly wrong.
All throughout the season, the show has been threatening to radically alter the status quo. Now, it has carried out this threat, and not before time.
In truth, The Walking Dead has been plodding along for too long. Sure, there’s been the odd shocking, can’t-believe-they-did-that moment, but not enough, and in ever decreasing amounts. Now, things will genuinely never be the same again. But we’re fine with that; six seasons in, The Walking Dead was in dire need of reinvention, just like any show would be in the same position. Now, it finally has that, and for the first time in a while we’re genuinely looking forward to seeing where it’s going.