The Walking Dead Rewatch – Season 1, Episode 5 (Wildfire)

Because The Walking Dead season 10 finale has been delayed thanks to the real-world virus, I have decided that to fill the void left in the schedule, to start a re-watch of the series. I live tweeted the episode as if it were playing live in the regular 9pm GMT slot on FOX TV UK. You can see all the tweets here or embedded below.

Wildfire never really gets going. It deals with the aftermath of the attack at the camp, but spends too much time lingering on the death. I understand this is the first real loss of living characters we know, but we are hardly invested in them so it makes their deaths just that.

We know Amy (Emma Bell) had a sister who was considerably older than her and their father loved them, treating them as they needed to be treated. We really know nothing about Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) other than he helped around the camp. Morales (Juan Gabriel Pareja), despite surviving the attack decides to leave, there are tears from the others, but why do we care that he is leaving? We don’t know these characters.

The only person this dwelling on the dead benefits is Carol (Melissa McBride) and her mourning is rather glossed over as she smashes her former husband in the head repeatedly with a pick-axe, getting a sense of relief and pleasure as she does so.

The tensions continue to rise in the camp between Shane (Jon Bernthal), Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) as they try to reach an agreement about heading to the CDC, each hoping Lori will side with them. But Rick gets his way and they’re off.

Upon arrival, the place is in a heck of a mess. Bodies are piled everywhere which only makes you wonder why other cities don’t sport this type of body count later in the series. After some desperation and begging from Rick at the closed shutters of the CDC, the single doctor alive inside decides to take pity and help these new-comers out.

It’s a transition episode, moving the characters from one place to another. Exploring a little bit of grief and dealing with death, both the instant sort and the played out one with Jim’s bite. The problems come with dwelling too long on characters we hardly know and not focusing enough on the main protagonists and their delicately balanced relationship. Sure, Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) walks in on Shane holding a gun to Rick contemplating shooting him as his back is turned. But nothing comes of it, not yet. Hopefully the finale will be more explosive.

Overall Rating: 6

The Walking Dead Rewatch – Season 1, Episode 4 (Vatos)

Because The Walking Dead season 10 finale has been delayed thanks to the real-world virus, I have decided that to fill the void left in the schedule, to start a re-watch of the series. I live tweeted the episode as if it were playing live in the regular 9pm GMT slot on FOX TV UK. You can see all the tweets here or embedded below.

Vatos is the first episode of The Walking Dead that pulls the “nobody lives happily ever after” trick. This is where characters seemingly find happiness only to have it ripped from them, sometimes quite literally. It starts out slow, with Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Amy (Emma Bell) out on a boat, fishing and reminiscing. They share a tearful memory of their father who loved his daughters, despite them being so different. They later return to the camp with armfuls of fish.

Having spent too long in the sun, Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) starts to dig random holes around the camp, grave like holes. After being physically stopped and restrained by Shane (Jon Bernthal) he starts to return to himself and claims it was all part of a vision he had. In that vision he saw Rick (Andrew Lincoln) being a hero to them all.

In Atlanta, Rick, Glenn (Steven Yeun), T-Dogg (Irone Singleton) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) hunt for Merle (Michael Rooker) having found his hand atop the roof. This is the first real signs of Daryl’s tracking skill. Having discovered that Merle is a real bad ass, having cauterised his own wound on a stove, they decide to make a play for the guns first, before they wander the streets looking for him.

Whilst making a play for the weapons, the group are ambushed and Glenn is kidnapped! Luckily, Daryl takes one of their too which allows for a switch to occur later. The standoff is tense and the threats seem all too real. It looks as though it’s not just the zombies who are dangerous if encountered. Hostilities run rampant, until an old lady appears and diffuses the whole situation. Turns out these guys are just custodians and orderly’s at a care home trying to keep everyone alive.

The gang head back to camp but find their van is gone, maybe Merle took it? Luckily, at camp all is fine and they poke fun at Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) for still wearing a watch. He recants a tale about time, whilst over at Ed’s (Adam Minarovich) tent he is bothered by someone scuffling outside. Thinking it’s his wife he goes to lash out at her, only to find it’s a walker who tears his face off. There are walkers in the camp! Dozens of them! Everyone flees, some don’t survive, including Amy. Rick and gang return just in time to help out but not to save them all. Jim then suddenly remembers his vision and why he dug the graves.

The episode ends with a fantastic brawl at the camp, under the cover of darkness makes it even more frightening but the gore is no less bloody. The stand-off in Atlanta played out with a bit of humour with the hand interrogation tactic and Satan’s hounds, but ultimately felt like it was slowing the episode down.

Overall Rating: 7.5

The Walking Dead Rewatch – Season 1, Episode 3 (Tell It To The Frogs)

Because The Walking Dead season 10 finale has been delayed thanks to the real-world virus, I have decided that to fill the void left in the schedule, to start a re-watch of the series. I live tweeted the episode as if it were playing live in the regular 9pm GMT slot on FOX TV UK. You can see all the tweets here or embedded below.

Tell It To The Frogs is an episode that is mainly used to flesh out the survivors in the camp. We see some more of Carol (Melissa McBride) and her husband Ed (Adam Minarovich) and the abusive nature of their relationship. What’s surprising is how open Ed is about treating Carol like dirt. He wants her by his side all the time, doing everything he says. The women are doing the clothes washing and Carol manages to open up and laugh with them, only for Ed to come along and verbally abuse her in front of everyone.

There is a good call made in this scene, in the division of labour has seen the women do the cleaning and the men do the hunting. This is another interesting thread that doesn’t get pulled on too much, eventually everything will even out, but in the early days of a crisis, it’s interesting to see how we fall into our neanderthal ways.

One of the hunters is Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), brother to Merle (Michael Rooker). When his deer kill is eaten by a walker – who is brutally pounded on by all the men in the camp who look to be trying to vent their frustrations – Daryl begins calling out for his brother. When he’s told what happens, a scuffle ensues but is quickly resolved by Shane (Jon Bernthal) who is not happy Rick (Andrew Lincoln) wants to take a small group back to go and fetch Merle.

Venting frustrations continues after Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) tells Shane to keep away from her and her family. It is revealed that Shane told Lori that Rick had died. It isn’t clear if this was just so he could try to woo Lori or if, like anyone would have thought, he genuinely believed Rick would not have survived. Lori’s revelation comes just as Ed is beating on his wife, so Shane goes over and smashes Ed’s face in. It’s brutal and we learn we should never mess with Shane.

The episode is bookended with Merle on top of the roof of that department store. At the start he is rambling incoherent mumbojumbo and begging God to help him. But that quickly turns to hate for a God that he never asked for help from before. He tries to reach Dale’s tools in the hopes something will be able to get him out of the cuffs as zombies bash at the door. At the end of the episode, when Rick and crew arrive, Merle has gone. All that is left behind is his hand.

Rooker is excellent as Merle and this last scene is pure horror. An excellent way to end the episode, even if we do think Merle is the kind of person who would have taken his hand with him. It also begs the question, if you could saw through bone with that hacksaw, you could have gone through the pipe…but that aside, another great episode.

Overall Rating: 8

The Walking Dead Rewatch – Season 1, Episode 2 (Guts)

Because The Walking Dead season 10 finale has been delayed thanks to the real-world virus, I have decided that to fill the void left in the schedule, to start a re-watch of the series. I live tweeted the episode as if it were playing live in the regular 9pm GMT slot on FOX TV UK. You can see all the tweets here or embedded below.

Whilst Days Gone Bye was an incredible introduction to the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, Guts opens that even wider by expanding the group of living survivors and exploring more of what the dead can and can’t do. Again, we learn some new zombie tricks here, like they can climb, but this won’t happen outside of the season so we’ll ignore it.

Rick manages to escape the tank with the help of a voice over the radio, the plan – just run for it. Rick meets Glenn in an alley and together they climb to the roof of a department store and meet up with more survivors inside. We meet Andrea who blames Rick for getting them into this mess by shooting wildly outside and attracting the dead. But up on the roof we meet the real star of the episode, Merle Dixon.

The first season of The Walking Dead was a lot like the first season of Game of Thrones. It threw in excessive violence and nudity (in the case of GoT) to attract an audience. Once that base was there, the subsequent seasons were toned down somewhat, maybe to appease the censors or maybe to secure a better time slot. Guts uses Merle to showcase some of the more adult themes. He’s a redneck hick, racist to boot who throws around the ‘N’ word as well as spits on T-Dogg just because of the colour of his skin.

In any other circumstances, Merle would be the person you keep away from or exclude, but in this world, he might be just crazy and sadistic enough to save you from the dead. But Rick doesn’t think his attitude is fit for the world before or the world now and so handcuffs him to a pipe. Despite his viciousness, Merle is an interesting character and his dynamic that can be used to bounce off Rick and the rest of the group is very much what he is there for.

To escape the department store, the survivors need a vehicle. There is a van in a construction site, but it is a few blocks over, through a swarm of the undead. To get to it, Rick and Glenn decide that they should smell like the dead, so chop up a corpse – after giving him a sort of send-off. This idea of the dead being people too is explored in the second season but doesn’t really continue. In the early days, it’s understandable. The dead haven’t been walking long and murder is against the law so it can mess with your head.

Covered in sticky, stinky guts, Rick and Glenn head for the van, but rain comes and starts to wash off the scent. But it is an important lesson learnt that you can smell like the dead and they won’t attack. This obviously becomes more prevalent in season 10 and sort of surprising that it was found out so early on.

Back at the store, T-Dogg goes to release Merle but he drops the key. That shot was a one-in-a-billion, but of course it goes down the drain leaving Merle trapped. Without really explaining anything to him, T-Dogg runs off to escape in the van, he could have promised Merle he’d come back for him later. The rest give him a disapproving stare, but its clear they all thought Merle was a bad egg.

At the camp, Andrea managed to radio in and tell them they were trapped, but Shane refuses to send anyone to help them. He is brutal in his honesty. Although that doesn’t make for a very good leader. Why are the rest of the camp accepting of this? Just because he was a cop?

The series continues strongly and the world is opening up to us, but it’s not looking any prettier.

Overall Rating: 9

The Walking Dead Rewatch – Season 1, Episode 1 (Days Gone Bye)

Because The Walking Dead season 10 finale has been delayed thanks to the real-world virus, I have decided that to fill the void left in the schedule, to start a re-watch of the series, starting at season 1, episode 1. I live tweeted the episode as if it were playing live in the regular 9pm GMT slot on FOX TV UK. You can see all the tweets here or embedded below.

The debut episode of a series that would go on to spawn at least ten more seasons, was really rather good. We are introduced early to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his search for fuel. He stumbles upon a little girl who has turned into a zombie. He does not hesitate to pull the trigger and put her down. Cut to pre-apocalypse. Rick and his buddy Shane (Jon Bernthal) share their woes on a lunch break. They are both cops and a call comes in about a car chase. They’re off and this results in a crazy shoot-out where Rick gets hit and puts him in hospital and a coma.

When Rick awakens, he finds the world has gone to the dogs. The hospital has been decimated, bodies devoured and something is moving behind locked doors. He finds body bags, army vehicles and half a moving corpse by a bicycle. He heads home where his wife and son are gone. He meets Morgan (Lennie James) who explains the new world to him. Don’t get bit. Hit them in the head. They are attracted to sound and light. Rick heads to the police station and teaches Morgan how to use a rifle before headed off to Atlanta to try and find his family. En-route, his radio call reaches some people in a camp, but he can’t hear them. It’s Shane and he’s with Rick’s family!

The camp are unable to warn Rick that he’s headed into danger, Atlanta is over-run with the dead. But he soon finds this out, taking refuge in an almost abandoned tank. The episode ends with Rick trapped in the tank surrounded by zombies when a voice comes through on the radio. There are others still alive.

Days Gone Bye is a great introduction to the apocalypse. We see things through Rick’s eyes who is also seeing it for the first time. Lennie James is outstanding as Morgan, showing such incredible emotion as he struggles to deal with his wife’s death and turn into one of them. We get the plot twist about Shane and his shenanigans to draw us to return as well as just how will Rick get out of that tank?

The zombies are gruesome and the special effects are so well detailed. We’re still on the rather fresh undead here so there isn’t too much rot to them outside of flesh wounds and crazy eyes but they sure know how to devour a horse. The zombies themselves possess special qualities that don’t follow through with the rest of the series or indeed the general tropes about zombies. These zombies appear to have memories. They can turn door handles as well as crawl and climb. If you know the history of the show then you know why this is and you know why it didn’t last. If you don’t know then I will explain everything in another post once this season is over.

Days Gone Bye is a juicy bite into the world of the Walking Dead and a fabulous set up for what is to follow.

Overall Rating: 9

Season 10 Rating Overview

All of The Walking Dead reviews I write for get given a rating out of 10. Even though the season finale is still yet to air, because we don’t know when that will happen, I thought I would give you a graphical representation of the season so far.

The average rating for the season so far is 7.73 / 10. That’s a good score, but considering I have been saying the season has been full of “big-feel” and “season-finale-like” episodes, that rating doesn’t sound like it suggests that.

It is brought down dramatically by episode 8, The World Before, which was the mid-season finale. It was let down by a feeling that we’d done all this before and some bad character choices that felt more like they were done to get the story where it needed to be rather than those characters being forced to do something.

In fact, the run took a slip after episode 5, What It Always Is, the Negan centric one that saw the character wrestle with his past.

It should be noted that I am both a harsh critic and a realist. I don’t give out high ratings for the sake of it or clickbait. Rating something 8 is, in my opinion, very good. The 9 rating is excellent – which was given to Michonne’s final episode. I very rarely give out top marks unless the episode has been exceptional, and nothing this season so far has. I also rate based on my experience and across the series as a whole. So hopefully, over the course of the series, episodes will be able to be compared with one another on a solid basis. Look out for my series so far ratings coming soon.

When the finale airs I will update the graph and we can see if the average rating can get closer to that 8.

Sneak Peek at the Season 10 Finale Reveals MAJOR SPOILER!


Although I can’t find it released through any official channels, a number of reputable Walking Dead YouTube fan accounts have posted a sneak peek from the season ten finale – A Certain Doom. I’m not going to link or embed the video, it’s easy enough to Google if you so wish.

The only thing I have to say about it is, “why”?

These sneak peeks have been happening all season, usually aired on Talking Dead and contain the opening minutes of the episode. When the sneak peek for Walk With Us was released, it almost spoilt the episode, as it practically revealed the entire, intense, battle at Hilltop. The sneak peek for the finale reveals another HUGE SPOILER and it left me frustrated and annoyed that I watched it.

I understand that ratings need boosting and fans need to be encouraged to return or to watch, but don’t give away MAJOR plot points or deaths or anything in teasers. Movie studios have been doing it for years, the art of the trailer has fallen by the wayside, with the best jokes, the best action sequences, all revealed in the trailer. Why bother watching it at all? Sky TV released a trailer for Avengers: Endgame when that was due to air on Sky Movies that contained a pretty major spoiler that was one of the key (and best) bits of the final battle. It saddens me.

It might be easy to say “just don’t watch then”, but when it is plastered across social media, the title cards on YouTube reveal the SPOILER in question, it is hard to avoid. I’m a Walking Dead fan account, I need to interact with you, the community. If I blocked every keyword that might spoil the episode I wouldn’t be able to do that. Marketing should be better. Sure, tease the episode, give us a sneak peek at a scene, but don’t spoil the blasted thing.

While the sneak peek from Walk With Us did contain almost the entirety of the Battle of Hilltop, the episode went on and delivered some astonishing moments and was one of the best episodes of the season. Hopefully, the finale can follow suit and just because we’ve seen one thing, doesn’t mean it’s spoiled the entire episode.

Trailer: The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 16 (A Certain Doom)

The Walking Dead’s tenth season finale may be delayed, but that doesn’t stop AMC from whetting our appetite with this teaser for, what looks to be, an epic conclusion.

Finally, it looks as though the survivors are going to use the Whisperers tricks for their benefit and sneak out of the tower dressed in the blood and masks of the undead. I never understood why someone hadn’t done this already to get close enough to the Whisperers to either take them out one by one, or at least knock off Alpha when she poops in the woods.

AMC have teased us that maybe not everyone will survive the finale, they’ve done this before. If I were a betting man, I think I’ll put death at Father Gabriel’s (Seth Gilliam) door. But that does mean Rosita (Christian Serratos) is going to be on her own to raise Coco.

Check out The Walking Dead on Fox Monday nights at 9pm and read my review of the episode over at once it goes live after the episode airs.