Warning: this review contains spoilers!!!
For a fortnight one question has circled through the minds of every The Walking Dead fan: is Glenn dead or alive? In the latest episode – titled ‘Now’ – this question is not answered as the writers tease us yet again about Glenn’s situation. Although I expected a resolution by now, the lack of a definitive answer didn’t really bother me as I’m sure we’ll get one soon.
What did bother me was the general boringness of this episode. Sure, last week’s Morgan-focused episode ‘Here’s Not Here’ was a breather from the thrilling madness of the previous three episodes but there was enough going on to make the change of pace interesting. When things are still slowed down in ‘Now’, it all feels a bit jarring.
This episode gives us more time with the Alexandrians who were living nice comfortable lives, oblivious to the real horrors that awaited them outside their walls until Rick and co crashed their party. The trouble with the Alexandrians is that most of them are too dull for us to care about. Of course new characters need to be introduced to keep things fresh, but if they turn out to be just lifeless new guys then we end up yearning for more of the characters we’ve grown used to over six seasons.
Some of the scenes in “Now” featuring Alexandrians made me feel like I’d turned into The Watching Dead. The kerfuffle in the pantry featured some nameless characters which made me not care at all about what they were arguing about.
We’d already seen the new town doctor Denise freak out about a patient and Tara give her some encouragement in a previous episode but their kiss and apparent blossoming romance added a new spin on things. It’s just a shame that their connection made me think “meh” rather than “aaw”.
Deana had a tense confrontation with her surviving son Spencer in a scene which was packed with drama. But the fact that we don’t really know Spencer that well meant that I wasn’t very invested into their family quarrel.
To be fair it was nice seeing the normally peaceful Deanna get her hands dirty when she went up against a Walker. Although, it was hilarious watching her try to kill it by stabbing it repeatedly in the chest. After a while I was shouting at the screen “Aim for the head, love!”
Jessie tried to give her fellow Alexandrians a motivational speech which felt quite forced while her son Ron had a couple of interesting moments with Rick and Carl. You get the feeling that after Rick killed his dad and Carl took his girlfriend, Ron will exact some revenge against the Grimes later down the line.
The episode should have focused less on the Alexandrians and more on Maggie and Aaron’s quest to find the missing Glenn. Even though as soon they stepped down into that dark sewer tunnel, you knew a Walker was going to eventually pop out, when the pair of zombie’s went for Maggie and Aaron it was still quite frightening. You do feel a bit sorry for Maggie as she’d previously seen both her dad Herschel and sister Beth die and now her husband Glenn might be dead too. Considering she’s been quite underwritten recently, the episode should have maybe dealt with her worrying about Glenn more.
And then there was the big revelation that she was pregnant which will throw up some interesting dilemmas for her in the future and adds an extra layer of suspense to the Glenn situation. If he is alive, he can take care of his new baby but if he’s not, then Maggie has a raise a child all alone in the zombiepocalypse.
Her partner in this episode, Aaron had a fairly good showing as his guilt over leading the Wolves to Alexandria felt very genuine.
Overall ‘Now’ was one of those typically stale calm after the storm episodes. At the moment it kind of feel like there’s too many characters in TWD, with Alexandrians taking up too much space. Hopefully they get fleshed out as the season goes on or better yet we get more of Rick, Carol, Daryl, Abraham and the other core characters. And hopefully by next week, Deanna knows how to kill a Walker. The main hope for next week’s episode is that it’s much better than this one. ‘Now’ scores a: