Tuesday 11 October 2016

The Walking Dead: Season 6

With the 7th season of AMC’s zombie behemoth The Walking Dead upon us, the previous season has finally reached our shelves in the form of DVD and Blu-ray releases. Let’s take another look at it, shall we? It goes without saying this review will be full of brain-chomping spoilers – you have been warned!

Presumably, if you’ve come past the spoiler warning then you’re all caught up with the series. Or you’re just a spoiler addicted monster. Either way, we don’t have time to discuss every single character and moment (as much as I’m sure we’d enjoy it), so let’s just focus on the big moments.
Season 6 of The Walking Dead comes in two parts, as is common with most television programmes nowadays. The first half covered Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his merry band of survivors leading the Alexandria community through a series of problems including the threat of a large herd of undead bastards making their way to their fortified town, as well as dangerous scavengers known as the Wolves violently making their presence known. The second half introduced more survivor communities including the Hilltop colony, as well as the cruel Saviors led by the ruthless bat-swinging Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one moment we need to discuss in this season. A moment so powerful, so unforgettable, so chilling…Morgan being taught how to hit people with a stick by that bald chap in the woods. I joke - of course, the moment I’m referring to is the harrowing cliff-hanger that has already gone down in Walking Dead history - the introduction of the iconic villain Negan. The season ended with Negan taking his barbed-wire-bat to someone’s head, smashing it to smithereens leaving the audience shocked and confused as we could only hear the sound of screams and crunching bone. This ending left a lot of people disappointed and angry. A LOT. But for me, it was without doubt one of the finest and bravest moments of the series so far. Not knowing who Negan smashed up only adds to the horrifying disequilibrium of Negan’s presence. It doesn’t matter who he killed. All that matters is the fact he brutally executed somebody in front of the rest of the group. It’s what he did that is important, not who he did it to. That was the point he was making to the group – even he didn’t care who he killed, that’s why he eenie-meenie-minie-moe’d it. It was about sending a message. Message received, you mad bastard. People are acting like they’ve never seen a cliff-hanger before…

For me, the finale was one of the best episodes in years. Funny, because some critics called it one of the worst. To each their own! Jeffrey Dean Morgan disappears into the role instantly, making Negan a new favourite character to many people with only a few minutes of screen-time to his name so far. Oozing terrifying cool and charisma, he is easily the best thing to happen to the show since David Morrissey’s Governor. The Walking Dead is at its best with a strong living villain – zombies are scary n’ all, but they just stumble around confused, don’t they? Provided you don’t find yourself outnumbered by the fuckers at an undead birthday party, they’re pretty easy to escape. Psychopathic people, however…they could catch you. They’re scary. They’re smart. They’re cunning. And most of all, they’re believable. With Negan pulling the strings, Season 7 could just be the best yet.

But enough about the leather-clad lunatic. What else happened in Season 6? Not a lot is worth discussing when compared to the over-the-top brain-bashing. Abraham had many people screaming at the screen when he made the preposterous decision of throwing away his relationship with Rosita over the smallest hunch that Sasha might be interested in him. I doubt it, mate. You’re lucky Rosita is prepared to get near that moustache, which I imagine is full of all sorts of dark materials. Daryl’s legions of fans will be happy to know he’s around in this season, being Daryl. Although it does feel like his story is coming to an end…He just seems there for the sake of it now. Carl’s eye got shot out so now he only has one to look for tubs of pudding. Rick and Michonne get it on. Wolves fuck shit up. Saviors fuck shit up. Lots of zombies get twatted by our heroes. Carol does bad-ass things, and bakes. Hey! There’s your new Bake-Off host, right there. Carol. Look at the flowers, Paul Hollywood…

Don’t get me wrong, The Walking Dead is a superb show. It’s engrossing, entertaining and thrilling. But to review one season of it is to review any season – the same sort of stuff happens each year. The majority of this season felt like a build-up to the next, but I’ve a pretty strong theory the next could just be the best one yet. I for one am excited for it. Are you? The Walking Dead: Season 6 is another solid chunk of episodes in the show’s history, with one of the best cliff-hangers I’ve seen in years. Yeah, I said it. 4/5


Sam Love

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