The Walking Dead
You couldn’t ask for a better set up for the season 5 finale of The Walking Dead. The last few episodes have taken the Alexandria pot from a simmer to a boil and it’s about to get out of control. While Carl’s romance and Sasha’s craziness aren’t particularly enthralling, the emphasis on the wolves, Rick’s brawl with Pete, and his maybe-too-crazy final scene have opened the door for a ton of possibilities heading into next week’s 90 minute finale. No one is safe and as Rick aptly put it, “You fight or you die”.
– Excellent tone setter for the finale
– Spotlight given to some characters who have been riding the bench
– Teases the Alexandria boiling point and leaves us hungry for more
– Carl frolics his way to a cheesy romance
– Sasha’s subplot is lacking compared to all the conflicts clashing in Alexandria
The following review contains spoilers for the Walking Dead season 5 Episode “Try”
Ready To Fall
The last month has been steadily turning up the heat on Alexandria. The arrival of Rick and company was pretty as a peach for all of 5 minutes as trust issues between the current residents and the newcomers quickly entered a downward spiral. It seems as though the whole team, from directors to writers to actors, has 100% bought into the direction the show is taking and it shows, big time. There have been very few flaws with season 5B (minus “Them”) and the ride to the highest point of the roller coaster was tense, terrifying, and sometimes even humorous. Imagine what it will be like when we enter the free fall.
To me, I couldn’t ask for a better run of episodes leading up to the finale and “Try” was an excellent tone setter for next week. There have been so many different angles shown to the multitude of subplots and conflicts that the show has created a seemingly endless list of options for the 90 minute finale. The Walking Dead is, without a doubt in my mind, at its best when you truly don’t know what’s coming. We have survived a rut where the show seemed to have developed its own tropes and the scares were minimal but there’s only one thing we can count on heading into the finale; chaos.
The Boiling Point
A lot of the conflicts we’ve been watching unfold seemed to be nicely summarized by the final scene of “Try”, easily the highlight of the night. After getting the affirmation he was looking for from Jessie, Rick and Pete threw down and grabbed the attention of the entire community. It’s clear Rick is teetering on the edge of sanity and his speech to Deanna was the most real and troubling moment yet. Rick is clearly mentally unstable at this moment in time but he isn’t completely gone yet and it’s hard to argue with his point. Alexandria is clearly flawed, we know this because the leaders are as naive as Rick and company were when the show first started. They need someone like Rick and if they don’t make the choice to work with him, it could cost them everything they’ve worked for. Andrew Lincoln did an excellent job in this scene, he really sold the matter and while we are on his side, he seems to be perilously close to going off the deep end. All in all, an excellent cap to the night that was well executed across all fronts. Rick’s speech is when the Alexandria pot hit its boiling point. Corey Brill deserves just as much credit as anyone else for this scene, he did a great job revealing Pete to be a legit creeper and threat.
While “Slabtown” was one of the weaker entries of the season, director Michael Satrazemis brought his best this time around. A few things stood out in the Rick and Pete fight that greatly helped boost the impact the ordeal was having. First, taking a panel right out of the comics when Rick and Pete go soaring through the window. A bit over the top but pretty awesome. Second, both of the fighters hit/shoved away the person closest to them. Pete backhands Jessie who tries to pull him away and Rick shoves Carl soon after. This was an excellent touch, it made it hard to root for anyone and it made the whole fight seem like an out of hand mistake.
Try Final Takeaways
- Earlier in the season, we talked about Glenn’s tough guy act falling flat. Whether it’s improved writing or Steven Yeun simply bringing his A game week in and week out, he’s doing an awesome job as the tough guy now. He also played a major role in the tone setter of the night, a back and forth involving him, Rick, Nicholas, and Deanna. What better way to drive home the uncertainty of current events than show us both sides of the story while also rallying us up against Deanna and her family in preparation for the finale.
- The directors are getting a bit experimental at times in season 5B. While the Nine Inch Nails soundtrack to Deanna’s family grief, Carol’s baking, and Sasha’s craziness felt a bit odd, these out-there moments are a breath of fresh air and are much needed.
- There were two nice throwbacks in “Try”. The first was Carol’s heightened interest in Jessie’s affairs because of her abused past with Ed. The second was Michonne’s brief stumble into crazy land as she mowed down walkers amidst flashbacks from her earlier days when she still kept the company of chained loved ones. It’s nice that the creators aren’t forgetting where these characters have come from and it keeps hammering home the point that everything is coming full circle in Alexandria.
- While I wasn’t completely sold on Carl and Sasha’s plot lines, it was nice to see them come off the bench and play a significant role in the episode. It was especially nice to see Rosita get more than 30 seconds of screen time and to actually have a conversation with someone besides Abraham or Eugene.
- I would be shocked if the wolves don’t show up in the finale. While the hints were subtle the last few episodes, they were too blunt and plenty in this episode to not introduce this mysterious group next week.
For the first time in a while, The Walking Dead has become truly unpredictable and terrifying thanks to the plethora of possible paths the show could take in the 90 minute finale “Conquer”. Sunday night was the perfect set up, bringing all the conflicts to the tipping point and, on top of that inevitable explosion, there’s a tantalizing group of wolves out there somewhere surely ready to pounce. Season 5 began with a bang and another set of fireworks has had its fuse lit, sit back and enjoy the finale.
What were your thoughts on “Try”? Does Rick need to dial it back or should the group rise up and take over Alexandria? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to rate the episode!