Season 6 of The Walking Dead is sprinting towards an epic conclusion.
|Hey man! You seen a shower anywhere?|
I'm kinda feelin' a little scuzzy in my drawers.
I'll be honest. Last year, The Walking Dead bored me to tears. It seemed that the well had run dry and that Rick's group of flesh bashing zombie killers was turning into a dire episodic show that couldn't escape the sins of former storylines and bad character development. Still, we stuck by hoping that at some point, The Walking Dead would begin to show shades of its previous self, high on action while the world continues to crumble into absolute soulless anarchy and skull crushing violence.
Out of nowhere, this latest season has done that impossible deed. After my continuous love/hate relationship with the series, I'm fully onboard with everything this writing staff is doing now. This is one of the first times in the history of television that a show dangling on the cusp of absolute shark jumping has brought itself back from the dead. No pun intended.
Since returning from the mid-season break, the characters have been put through a hellacious, stomach churning series of events that have questioned their morality, their unrelenting support for one another, and their humanity as a whole. Seeing Carol continue her decline into utter madness while a pregnant Maggie ventures into a hornet's nest was one of the best things the show has ever done. The tension last week was at an all time high. And it's continued this week with Twice As Far. At long last, we as an audience can feel the human elements bleeding through on the show while the evil that surrounds them becomes more apparent and pitiless. We've always known that no one is safe on The Walking Dead and we've had the instinct to see that their fictional world is a metaphor for our own surroundings. Through the long story arc that's unwound up until now, the zombie filled landscape has had some embellishments of hope. With season six, that hope is rapidly becoming nil.
With this week's episode, Twice As Far, audiences are taken even closer to the presence of the fearless leader, Negan. Insinuating a cult like following for the character with an opposing, mirror like image of our 'good guys' is a perfect design, handled by a writing staff that is finally back online, offering us a quality driven version of The Walking Dead. The boredom inducing episodes are nowhere to be found as the story pushes forward, preparing us for a finale we're all scared to death of. In the next two weeks, a lead player is almost guaranteed to die at the end of Negan's weapon of choice as we kiss another season goodbye. They've been carefully manipulating the stage for a great finale and all their chess pieces are almost in place.
Twice As Far is a shining example of a writing staff that's pulled their heads out of their asses, upping the ante of the series as a whole, while taking no prisoners. The deaths and actions of this episode serve as a boilerplate for things to come. Even though this chapter didn't move at the same pace as last week's, positive momentum was made, steering us into the uncharted territory of what may be the darkest moments of this show so far. Bring it on. I'm a Walking Dead fan again.