Worming Through 'The Walking Dead': JSS

Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Scott Gimple’s time as showrunner of The Walking Dead has featured the splitting up of storylines a few times at this point. It’s a good way to shine the spotlight all around the cast and make sure people aren’t neglected. You’re still going to end up neglecting some characters. Have you seen the size of The Walking Dead cast? Still, it ensures that the entire show doesn’t boil down to Rick just growling at people and yelling “CORRRRALL” for 40 minutes.

The sixth season premiere focused on the zombie sheep herd agenda and everything that went wrong on the road. The second episode focused on the war at home. The primary crew’s absence opened the door for the mysterious group known as the Wolves to storm the gates of Alexandria. I was really surprised by this turn of events. I had assumed that the truck horn was a deliberate sabotage attempt from one of the people in the community, not a result of a failed assault. The show took advantage of my expectations from the comic, much in the way that Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal often subverted viewer expectations from Thomas Harris’ novels.

It must have taken a lot of restraint for the showrunners not to call this one “Wolves at the Gate”. Then again, the Wolves didn’t really go through the gate, but rather over it.  I was honestly caught flat-footed when I saw a man start chopping away at Judgy McSmoker in the middle of Alexandria and not be chowing down on her guts.

Give Peace A Chance

“JSS” is a big showcase for Carol and her hard-edged ways. Morgan’s goal this year seems to be bringing everyone back from the edge. Carol is well over it. She’s a shell of a person, able to put on the happy homemaker face for the common people of Alexandria before shedding her skin when danger strikes. Carol had a bandana over her face and a bloody W on her forehead before people even knew there was a gang of murderers within the city walls.

Morgan is ice skating uphill. This group isn’t changing anytime soon. He’s even trying to talk sense into the marauders that are trying to stick knives into him. Silly Morgan. He didn’t see what happened to Dale and Hershel. This won’t end well, Morgan! Go run off somewhere nice, with a pond and some koi fish.

ALOLexandria

Beyond “JSS” showing the difference between razor sharp Carol’s way and Morgan’s way of the stick, it also made a point to show just how woefully unprepared the Alexandrians are for what’s beyond their walls. I mean, it’s been shown 20 times already, I guess another 4 jillion couldn’t hurt. Going from looking through the scope of a rifle to pulling a cake out of the oven just isn’t for everyone.

It is most certainly not for whiny Ron. Isn’t RON just the worst? Oh, boo hoo, CORRRALLL is spending time with my lady friend. Rick murdered my abusive dad. My mom wants to give me a haircut. Get over it, ya punk kid!

Jessie has to put up with this. At least the failed haircut attempt enabled her to put out Chekhov’s scissors! Yes, as soon as she laid those scissors down in the kitchen, you knew they were going into someone’s jugular. That wild wolf lady got catharsis all over Jessie’s pristine kitchen.

And who can forget the mayor’s son! Dude might be the worst shot in the history of television. Deep breaths my man.

Wolves

What’s the deal with this group? Are they just maniacs? Do they have a formal leadership? Perhaps they make decisions based on anonymous vote?

Of course their one of those groups that claims that all they’re doing is trying to “free” people from the prison of life. I suppose a fanatical group would be a change of pace for The Walking Dead. Usually they’re just people interested in surviving. Occasionally, they’re well-organized cannibals.

The Wolves did manage to take photos and organize a stealthy assault on Alexandria. The truck with the loud horn that was rammed into the wall had a zombie strapped into it. There has to be some sort of mastermind out there. Is it all about death and destruction, or is there a longer game at play here?

Surely we’ll find out by season’s end. In the meantime, we’ve got a whole army of zombies headed straight for Alexandria.

 

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