The Walking Dead has one last chance to change this season – tech2.org

The Walking Dead has one last chance to change this season



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The Walking Dead has returned, and for us here at The Verge this is an opportunity to examine how effective the program can be in creating a complex villain. As played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the great evil Negan has always been violent. But thanks to his man-baby antics, he has remained stubbornly like a comic bully, without ever becoming the nuanced character that the program so badly needs.

Each week, I will badyze the program through his presentation of Negan: how he acts, how he presents his jokes and threats, and most importantly, how his character develops in contrast to our supposedly virtuous heroes. We will see all the traits in which a villain is supposed to excel, including those we detest, and we will reduce it to a single rating in what we call the Neganometer ™. A score of 10 means that he is the most complex villain we have ever seen in his life; a score of 0 means that it is more or less the same & # 39; Negan that has always been.


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Warning: There will be spoilers.

This season of The Walking Dead has been one of the most challenging. Ratings have plummeted, history has circled, and the program has not yet justified why it is spending so much time with Archmage Negan, beyond the obvious debt of its source of comic material.

That said, the program has shown that it can still be good when it wants to be, which is what makes the last two episodes before the mid-season break so crucial. They are the last shots of The Walking Dead to show that the season has been worthwhile, and that dead ends and constant bottle episodes have been part of a larger and more meaningful design. The show has been wavering since the presentation of Negan and the death of Glenn. If the showrunner Scott Gimple wants to prove that there has been a point for everything, the episode of the previous night, "Time for After", it's time to start doing it.


Photo by Gene Page / AMC

Eugene becomes a Savior

The Walking Dead has not paid much attention to Eugene this season, despite the great role he played in the run up to conflict between Rick vs. Negan "Time for After" breaks that streak, delving into the role that Eugene plays in the Sanctuary, and the naked sensation of self-preservation that shapes every facet of his life. In the process, the episode offers a portrait of Eugene that goes beyond the comic relief cartoon redneck, lover of thesauri that has been up to now.

It begins during a conversation with Dwight, in which Eugene confronts him with information that implicates Dwight as the renegade. Eugene threatens him and tells Dwight that he will deliver him if he does anything else to endanger lives in the Sanctuary. At the request of Negan, Eugene embarks on a plan to take the zombies away from the complex using an RC plane with an attached iPod.

In a subtle but revealing way, Eugene has developed a savior complex, not unlike the one that has made Negan a leader So attractive to the Saviors The villain may not really believe his own exaggeration, but use rhetoric as a strategic form of psychological manipulation, but it seems that Eugene has convinced himself that only his intelligence can save innocent bystanders of the Sanctuary. However, beneath that varnish there is a more obvious truth: Eugene always puts himself first, and is only trying desperately to prove that he is valuable enough to stay alive.

In a pivotal scene, Eugene forces a confrontation with Dwight, who has him at gunpoint and explains that only Negan has to die to end the whole conflict. Eugene does not seem to believe him, or at least thinks that his chances of surviving are higher by sided with the head of the Savior. Perhaps knowing that Dwight can not kill him without raising suspicions, Eugene takes the RC plane to the horde of zombies, only for Dwight to shoot him before he fulfills his mission.


Photo by Gene Page / AMC

Daryl becomes a full-fledged antihero

Daryl Dixon has always been a wild card in The Walking Dead mainly because he does not exist in comics , which allows AMC and Gimple to do whatever they want with it. This season, that meant turning Daryl into a bit of an antihero, with a thirst for revenge and contempt for the ethics of armed conflict. When we reached him in "Time For After," he is aligned with Tara, still heartbroken over the death of his lover, Denise, and Morgan, who has renounced redemption over the course of the season. After rescuing Michonne and Rosita in the previous episode, Daryl and his gang drive to the Sanctuary to kill the rest of the Saviors.

Suddenly, Michonne and Rosita tear apart. The two do not believe they can go ahead with the murder of dozens of innocent workers, seeing that Daryl's mission-justifying-the-media is morally out of place. Despite being directly related to some of the biggest issues explored this season, the disagreement, however, feels shabby, and highlights the program's trust in characters that charge a penny each time the plot demands it. It is not clear why Rosita was fine with shooting a role-playing game to someone she had never met in last week's episode, but she has concerns about unleashing zombies inside a warehouse full of other people she has never seen in this one. Philosophical questions like these are supposed to be the throbbing heart of the show, but character inconsistencies reduce their impact every time they arise.

Nor is it that Rosita and Michonne are instrumental in Daryl's plan. They simply move away from the scene and things continue as planned. Of course, when Dwight knocks down Eugene's RC airplane, he inadvertently launches Daryl's attack. Thinking that they are being shot, Daryl drives the truck into the building with Morgan and Tara fire, making a hole in his side and letting the zombies enter. It ends by adding another violent punctuation to a scene apparently preoccupied with the idea of ​​nonviolence


Photo by Gene Page / AMC

Eugene and Negan have a moment of union

Just when the public begins to question the Eugene reasons, why, for example, will you win Negan's approval? mental state is exposed. As he watches the Saviors take up arms to defend themselves against the horde of zombies, Eugene begins to lose her. He is terrified and anguished because he does not want to die, and he says it when he attacks Father Gabriel (who has been bedridden due to an infection that, we are told, may be due to the zombie guts next to Negan a couple of episodes ago) .

Eugene criticizes the priest for asking him to help smuggle Maggie's doctor, and actor Josh McDermitt gave him his best performance to date. Indeed, Eugene will do everything necessary to survive, regardless of the cost or what he says about his moral position. He tells Gabriel that he will never help him, and that he will help Negan in any way he can, even if it results in the total annihilation of Alexandria, the Summit and the Kingdom. Later, in a last effort to become essential, Eugene launches a plan to drive away the zombie by reconnecting the Sanctuary's speaker system. Negan lavishes it with praise. "How does it feel to be the second most important person here?" Negan asks, and it's very clear that Eugene's path has been established.


Photo by Gene Page / AMC

Rick and Jadis redux

Last week, Rick found himself trapped again by Jadis and his group of scavengers, and "Time for After" registers with the pair throughout its execution time. Rick routinely trots out half-naked from a shipping container to be photographed by Jadis for the purpose of "sculpting," and is completely ignored when he offers a deal. The situation reaches a critical point when Jadis finally decides to execute Rick by placing him against another gladiator-style walker with a spiked helmet, similar to the battle he faced last season. It is another effective sequence Mad Max based on the cult ritualism of Jadis and linguistic peculiarities out of the ordinary. Rick, of course, manages to turn the walker against Jadis to force her to negotiate, and finally agrees to help, on the condition that she obtains a quarter of the savior's supplies.

Although his tactic was successful, I kept scratching my head about why Rick would do everything possible to add the Jadis group to his coalition when it is clear that he can not be trusted and will probably only betray him again. It would seem easier to recruit the Oceanside women's militia instead, something that could very well happen in the future. But Jadis, who for a long time has stayed more than expected in the program, has become another novel character with a nonexistent background story that can no longer be justified.

What the program has planned for her and Rick, may not matter much. In the final "Time for After" scene, Rick takes Jadis and his people to a water tower to explore the Sanctuary. They discover that Daryl's truck crashed into the building, without the walkers could find it. If Eugene was successful and Negan is now free, or if this is just the consequence of Daryl's plot, it is not clear. But in the foreground, it is obvious that Rick is not happy, since the actor Andrew Lincoln seems to have seen the end of the world.


Photo by Gene Page / AMC

Evaluating the villain:

Although "Time for After" contained some fragments of Negan here and there, it was largely an episode about Eugene, and to a lesser extent, Rick, Daryl and Dwight. This is, at least, one step ahead of the four episodes this season that were completely skipped to the head of the Saviors. But it is disappointing to praise the program for incorporating its main villain for five minutes each week, when instead it could reduce its arguments and build a much more concise and powerful narrative using the characters that matter most.

Charisma: The few appearances of Negan showed some of his most insidious behaviors: his ability to recognize specific weaknesses and fears in people and exploit them. Negan praises Eugene not because he likes Eugene, or even because he thinks he is very intelligent. On the contrary, Negan seems to know that Eugene will do everything possible to save his own skin, and uses praise and the promise of protection as a weapon. As a result, Eugene pushes his limits, works to thwart Dwight's overthrow plans, and is eager to support Negan, even resulting in the death of all his former friends.


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Negan-o-meter ™: 3 out of 10

Moving the needle:

In a not so surprising turn, the audience made a last backup week, presumably because the previous episode actually focused on Negan for once. It was an object lesson Walking Dead : focus on the character audiences have been waiting for and will come back to. Why is not Gimple and the writing team putting all their efforts into doing exactly that? Surpbades me.

Around 8.5 million viewers per episode, The Walking Dead faces the kind of numbers he has not seen since his second season. Unless serious changes are made in the way he tells his stories, the way he adapts the comic material and how Negan's character manages and the "All Out War" bow, viewers are not likely to compete to see the program every week. This could simply be the new normal, with AMC content to see these numbers decline given that The Walking Dead remains a very successful show despite the fall. At this point, it's doubtful that any mid-season reward will be able to lure the lost viewers back for another eight-episode stretch, anyway.

However, in recent seasons The Walking Dead & # 39; s the mid-season finale has served as an indicator; an episode that reveals the kind of tactics and approach that the second half will likely use. After half a season of stepping on water, next week's episode could indicate whether AMC, executive producer Scott Gimple, or anyone else involved in the production has realized that their current approach is not working. That episode, more than anything else this season, may end up establishing expectations for what fans should expect, and if they should bother to see it at all.

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