The Walking Dead Episode Review: Who Are You Now?

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 9 television episode that first aired November 11, 2018

Synopsis: Six years after Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was seemingly killed, the remaining survivors have turned their communities into safe havens. However, when Rick's daughter, Judith (Cailey Fleming), insists a new group of survivors be helped and brought to Alexandria, an overprotective Michonne (Danai Gurira) doesn't want them to stay.

Review

After last week's farewell to Andrew Lincoln, I honestly wasn't expecting to see another episode of this series until next spring. As a result, I was kind of surprised to find out we weren't on this show's mid-season break just yet and would get a glimpse into the series' future sooner rather than later.

Overall, after watching what I think was essentially a series reboot last night, I have to say I liked what the showrunners did, though, admittedly, there were a couple things that did leave me scratching my head a bit too.

I'll start out with the things I like about the series, which is now set several years into the future. The big one has to be the much-older Judith Grimes.

At first, I wasn't really sure what to expect from that. I didn't know if she was going to be an interesting character or if she would just be there for the cuteness factor (little child zombie slayer). However, I thought her character was cleverly written.

If nothing else, she answers one of the big questions about the series - how will a child born during the zombie apocalypse turn out? I liked how the writers gave her some real-world common sense while still keeping some child-like qualities. I'm not sure how much of a role she will have in the series overall, but it made her fun to watch.

I also found I enjoyed how the writers managed to remind us how Carol (Melissa McBride) can still be a hard-core bad ass when pushed too far. The way she got some revenge on some of the saviors was a nice throwback to what her character used to be.

As is usually the case when there's a time jump in a series like this, there were some awkward gaps. Judith, for example (thanks to being played by a new actress), looked older but some of the adult characters didn't seem to age a bit. Heck, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) actually looked younger. I'm also a little confused by the little boy we caught a glimpse of. I'm guessing that's supposed to be Rick and Michonne's son. But, if that is the case, he looked way too young (maybe she found a new man?).

I'm also still trying to figure out what kind of direction the series is taking minus Andrew Lincoln. Is this going to be an ensemble thing going forward with no real "leader" of the group? Or, is someone eventually going to be the featured character? If it's the latter, this series didn't give any real hints about who that would be since Carol, Michonne and Judith got pretty much equal screen time while Daryl (Norman Reedus) received only a few minutes of screen time.

Personally, based on this episode, I do think the ensemble approach is the way to go since most of the holdover characters have yet to convince me they could be the main hero and Judith, while likable, seems to be a character that will be better in small doses. I guess I'll have to wait to see what happens though.

The Walking Dead: Season 8

The Walking Dead: Season 8 DVD

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Final Opinion

I was left with some questions. But, overall, I thought this episode was a fun one to watch and, if nothing else, seems to have breathed new life into what was becoming a stagnant series. For the first time in years, I'm excited to see what happens next.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/12/2018, StevenHelmer
 
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StevenHelmer on 11/14/2018

Sadly, we don't really have one. My youngest is still into cartoons while my oldest prefers anime. We focus on family movie night instead.

DerdriuMarriner on 11/13/2018

StevenHelmer, Thank you for the summary and trailer. I appreciate such a fine write-up since this is a series that I tend to stay away from, and others in the scary genre. Now I'll know the backstory to what everybody's talking about.
What is your family's favorite family night series?

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