Gabriel Brown reviews the first episode of the new season of The Walking Dead. Check back for reviews of future episodes.
First Time Again has definitely the most interesting visuals The Walking Dead has ever attempted.
The episode begins with a flash forward of Rick and co at a walker-infested (and when I say infested, I mean infested) quarry, and then jumps between these flash forwards and flashbacks, which follow the storyline of what happened after the end of season 5, leading up to the opening quarry scene again.
When I say interesting visuals, I mean just that, as all the jumps ahead are shown in colour, while all the flashbacks are shown in black and white.
As clever as this was, also paying homage to the original comic book, it often became frustrating; especially when one of the two ‘flashes’ lasted only a couple of seconds, meaning a constant adjustment between colours.
In terms of overall story, moving the quarry walkers down a homemade path in the direction away from their safe zone, is a simple idea done brilliantly too.
If you thought Rick would be in charge now, you’re half right. I figured people wouldn’t exactly welcome him with open arms, considering he shot a man right in front of them, but you know how people can be.
Lots of people are still wary of him, such as newcomer Carter (Ethan Embry) and most likely Heath, a popular character from the comics, portrayed by Corey Hawkins. However the ‘Ricktatorship’ is kicking back into gear again, with Deanna practically stepping to one side to let Rick lead, and educate, the Alexandrians on surviving. (Aka, let them fail at killing walkers, before stepping in to save their, as Rick put it, pretty much worthless lives).
On an even greater note, Morgan is back! He’s gone through the transition of a caring father, to a lonely psychopath, to a zen ninja. Now THAT’S character development!
I was looking forward to seeing conflict between him and Rick, more so interested to see if there would actually be any, after being highly exaggerated in the trailer. Both fortunately and unfortunately there is next to none, meaning we may see some down the line.
The episode does a great job of including the majority of the cast, while still making way for newcomers and beefed up roles for minor characters, people I look forward to seeing more of as time goes on. Without spoiling anything, the scene at the end, involving Rick, Carter, a walker and a knife is well executed, with an intense moment turning into a somewhat predictable (In my case anyway) scene that is amazing all the same. Following this with a tense cliffhanger shows they know how to end an episode.
With character conflict, the return of Morgan, the introduction of new characters, walkers galore, a nicely done final sequence and an incredibly badass Rick moment, First Time Again sets a high bar for the rest of season six, even if the black and white moments are slightly frustrating.
Catch episode two of the new season of The Walking Dead tonight, 9pm, Fox.