Check out my spoiler review for this episode here
After last episode’s colossal cliff-hanger, the next installment of The Walking Dead could not come soon enough as fans worldwide have been waiting for seven days to find out what happened to Rick and co when the brave plan went wrong.
Well, here’s the bad news. In this week’s episode, titled ‘JSS’ we don’t find out how Rick and the gang cope with the giant horde of Walkers. The episode starts with a brief flashback of how Carl’s love interest, Enid, ended up in Alexandria.
It then switches forward to present time and catches up with the rest of the Alexandria residents who stayed while the others went on their mission. Carol swaps recipes with the other middle aged women. Jessie and Ron have an argument about his father’s death and her relationship with his killer, Rick. Carl mopes about after seeing Enid talk to Ron. Blah blah blah blah blah.
These scenes of day-to-day drama is exactly the stuff which we don’t particularly want to see following such a monumental opening episode of the season. All while these scenes take place your thinking, “Come on! Show me what happened!”
And then, out of the blue, sh*t suddenly goes down. In a major way. For about 15 minutes, the writers cleverly toy with the audience and tease us into thinking this episode is going to be one of those occasional slow-burning ones focused more on character study and drama rather than action. And then they turn the dial way up to 11 as a seemingly dull episode is flipped on its head and transformed into an insane one.
What ensues is absolutely mental as carnage and mayhem erupts in a totally gripping way. The intensity of the action has your eyes glued to the screen, even if the brutality makes you want to close them. You’ll completely forget about wanting to see the resolution of last week’s ending (although the source of that horn is revealed) as the pandemonium will have you wrapped up in this week’s action.
One of the show’s recent standout characters, Carol, shines once again in this episode as she switches from smiling calm and collected domestic goddess to a ruthless bad-ass killing machine. When we all started watching TWD, surely none of us ever thought that such a shy, quiet and seemingly uninteresting woman would become one of our favourite characters. Carol has definitely joined the ranks among Rick and Daryl of characters we really don’t want to see die.
Morgan kicks some ass too as he displays his effective ninja skills with a stick once again. What he goes through in this episode further suggests that his arc will be very interesting throughout the rest of the season.
Amongst all the insanity, some characters like Maggie and Rosita barely get a look in and seeing more of them in the mix would have been nice.
But in the end, what ‘JSS’ serves up is very much more than satisfying. A thrilling Rick-free episode which is certainly up there with some of the show’s very best, matching the pulse-pounding action of previous episodes such as the prison battle or the escape from Terminus. Just like last week’s premiere, this second episode will leave you desperately looking forward to the next. ‘JSS’ scores a: