Top 11 Telltale’s The Walking Dead Episodes.

I recently revisited the Definitive Edition of Telltale’s The Walking Dead and was once again amazed by the quality of its episode.
Given this, I decided to rank my top 10 favourite episodes.
However, no matter how hard I tried, I found it impossible to cram it into ten because there was always one episode that fell outside that I just had to mention.
Therefore, I decided to make this a Top 11 list instead of Top 10.
And the one episode that made this list a Top 11 is,

11. Done Running – Season 4, Episode 1.

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“Done Running” was a real breath of fresh air after the forgettable third season.
It put the final season on the right track again, delivering on an interesting story and a relatable cast of characters that were fun to interact with.
Picking up with Clementine and A.J, who has now grown into a miniature force to be reckoned with, the two are in an accident, which leads to them being found by the former students of Ericson’s Boarding School for Troubled Youth.
What follows is great setup for the rest of the season, with you getting to know almost all the troubled kids and get a sense of their personalities.
It is great character building and all leads up to the epic ending where Clementine learns how the school’s leader Marlon let two of his own people be taken away to save his own skin.
A skin that certainly didn’t last long because, in the shocking cliffhanger, A.J takes Clementine’s advice a little more seriously than she intended and puts a bullet in his head after he surrenders.
A shocking ending for a great setup episode, and the season would only get better from here.

10. Around Every Corner – Season 1, Episode 4.

Around Every Corner

Another great episode, “Around Every Corner” has strong moments throughout.
The opening Walker attack, the zombie child, Molly’s introduction, Ben’s fate and, of course, Lee getting bitten.
The build up to this final moment and the ending, with characters potentially choosing to come with you or not based on your choices, felt like an earned payoff to all the time you spent interacting and bonding with them.
Along with this, there are plenty of other choices that had impact.
For example, you can get Molly killed if your aim is awful, and choose to drop Ben to his death and save him.
Speaking of deaths, one that you cannot change is Chuck’s, as he kills himself when he is cornered by Walkers after saving Clementine’s life.
It was a tragic death for a small time yet great character.
Another nice addition is the Crawford storyline, which shows just how desperate people can become once the apocalypse hits, as it can lead them to commit atrocities.
And, while Lee and the others have to deal with all of this craziness, the mysterious stranger in contact with Clementine stalks you.
Overall,  “Around Every Corner” is a solid episode that builds into the perfect “No Time Left”

9. Take Us Back – Season 4, Episode 4.

Take Us Back

The final episode of the final season, I and many other fans were incredibly nervous coming into “Take Us Back.”
We wanted to know what the fate of Clementine, A.J and all the kids at the school would be, hoping they would make it, and that their story’s would conclude in a satisfying way.
And it did… for the most part.
I’ll get my few negatives that hold the episode back out of the way first.
For one, I didn’t like the roles Lily and James played in the episode, depending on which one of them survived the previous one.
James’ character is basically ruined in this episode when he tries to take A.J away.
Also, I wish there was more variety with Clementine’s ending and not just one set down fate for her.
That said, her fate is a great way to end Clementine’s story.
The bait and switch of her fake out death was fantastic and led to a lot of cheers.
Many of the decisions were also incredibly hard to make and the one about whether or not to trust A.J does leave a big impact on who survives.
Minnie is a terrifying villain in this final episode, reminding me of a horror movie slasher.
It is the emotional ending above all else though that makes “Take Us Back” worth it.
“Thank you for playing” indeed.

8. Long Road Ahead – Season 1, Episode 3.

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“Long Road Ahead,” or as I like to call it “Another One Bites The Dust,” is an episode full of deaths and departures.
I’m sure we all screamed when Carley/Doug was shot out of nowhere, and I’m doubly sure that no tears were shed when their murderer Lily left, either through escaping us or us kicking her out, depending on our choice.
Then there was the deaths of both Duck and Katjaa, which was just a gut punch of a scene.
Once Duck was bitten, he was a dead kid walking, but Katjaa committing suicide was something I’m sure none of us expected.
The effect this would have on Kenny going forward in the story was great for his character.
With all of this death, Chuck then encouraged Lee to teach Clementine how to defend herself, which he does, showing her how to use a gun and keep her hair short, which would help her survival greatly later on.
As for Chuck, he is first introduced in this episode and, while he did not stick around long, he is still an important character for encouraging Lee to make sure Clem could protect herself if he ever died.
Then there is Christa and Omid who are both welcome additions to the cast as well.
“Long Road Ahead” is an episode of gains and losses.
We lost some truly fantastic characters and gained a few new ones, in an episode that was hell of an emotional roller coaster.

7. A House Divided – Season 2, Episode 2.

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Speaking of emotion, how about that unexpected Kenny reunion in “A House Divided”?
Of all the characters I expected to return in this episode after the “I thought you were dead” trailer, Kenny was certainly low on my probability guess.
Not that I was complaining though as he continued to be one of the series’ best characters.
Along with the emotional Kenny reunion, there are a lot of other great things about “A House Divided,” like the introduction of the series’ greatest villain Carver.
His interrogation scene with Clementine is so intense no matter how you play it.
The final confrontation with him at the end of the episode, with the possibly of Alvin being killed by him based on what you choose, is even more intense.
The episode also gives you the time to get to know the new characters of the group Clementine met in the first episode, along with Kenny’s group.
Although, Nick continues to be an idiot by stupidly shooting a man trying to help us.
However, it did lead to a great payoff with Walter who can either save Nick or let him die based on what you tell him.
So, with some great choice variety, a fantastic villain, and an emotional reunion with Kenny, “A House Divided” is the first great episode of season two.

6. No Going Back – Season 2, Episode 5.

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The second best finale of The Walking Dead Telltale series, “No Going Back” also has one of the best choices as well.
By that, I of course mean the final ones, where you have to choose to either let Kenny kill Jane or shoot him, and then whether or not to stay with the survivor.
These choices were some of the hardest I had to make and I cried a lot at the Kenny ones.
Although, I will say that I wish it had been Luke we had to choose to save rather than Jane because he is a much better character and had more conflict with Kenny but, alas, he dies rather stupidly earlier in the episode.
Luke’s death is not the only bad part about this episode sadly, as no one dies in the fight with the Russians, which was the cliffhanger of the previous episode.
The group are also robbed by Bonnie, Mike, and literal worst character Arvo, who has the nerve to shoot Clementine when they’re robbing a group that has a baby.
Honestly, the first portion of this episode does have a lot of problems but the endings more than make up for them.
It was an intense way to end season two and, at the time, I couldn’t wait to see how season three would follow them up.
Too bad season three insultingly threw these endings in the trash but, in my opinion, that does not damage how great these endings are.
They literally saved the episode and made it good enough to put at number six on my list.

5. Suffer the Children – Season 4, Episode 2.

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After the great setup episode that was “Done Running,” “Suffer the Children” continued in making the final season even better, starting off with the moral questions surrounding A.J’s execution of Marlon.
How you chose to react to the murder clearly shapes A.J, and we get a realistic look at how him and the other survivors at the school react to the situation.
After inevitably being kicked out, Clem and A.J then run into Lily, whose arrival was unfortunately spoiled by the episode trailer.
It was a cool idea to bring Lily back and she serves her role well both in this episode and the following one, which we will get to later.
Clem’s reunion with Lily also leads to her meeting new character James, who is a former Whisperer in a fantastic reference to the comics.
Upon returning to the school, we get more amazing interactions with the characters, including the choice of Clementine romancing either Louis or Violet, both of whom make great love interests for her.
This all builds into the final battle of the episode with Lily and her Delta forces, which is a blast to play through.
The final choice between saving either Louis or Violet is a little too easy though because why wouldn’t you save Clem’s love interest?
Overall though, “Suffer the Children” is a fantastic episode with a lot of great character development and action that would build into one of the best episodes of the series, “Broken Toys.”

4.  In Harms Way – Season 2, Episode 3.

In Harm's Way

After the great “A House Divided,” “In Harm’s Way” continued in making Carver the best villain of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. 
Having kidnapped Clementine’s group, he proves how much of a psychopath he is by killing Reggie, beating Alvin to within an inch of his life (if he’s still alive at this point), and bashing Kenny’s eye in.
Carver alone is one of the big reasons why “In Harm’s Way” is such a fantastic episode.
His threatening presence is constant, even when he is not on screen, and everyone is rightly afraid of him.
It is his interactions with Clementine though that probably make him the most interesting as he notices their similarities.
His ending in this episode is also great, with Kenny bashing in his face with a crowbar, which you can choose to have Clementine watch.
I just wish he had stuck around to episode four because his presence really could have fixed that awful episode.
Carver is not the only fantastic character this episode though as others are given the chance to shine like Alvin, who goes out in epic style.
In any case, the rest of “In Harm’s Way” is amazing as well, especially the ending, which sees the group attempting to escape through a heard of Walkers, only for Carlos to be shot and killed, causing Sarah to run off, and Sarita to be bitten.
The only downside to this episode is the choices, as they don’t really have that much of an impact.
Despite this, “In Harm’s Way” is easily season two’s best episodes.

3. Starved for Help – Season 1, Episode 2.

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The first ever episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, “A New Day,” was a great start to the series, and almost made it on the list, but its followup episode, “Starved for Help,” is in a league of its own.
Picking up three months after the first episode, “Starved For Help” kicks off with an intense sequence that sees Lee and his group rescue new character Ben and his friends.
Only problem is that you have to either cut off one his friends’ legs to free him from a bear trap or leave him to die.
Either way, both of Ben’s friends die, with one of them turning, revealing to the group that they are all infected and will turn into a Walker when they die, unless the brain is destroyed.
From here, the tension only gets higher as you meet the St. John family who invite Lee’s group over for a nice friendly dinner with Marks legs as the main dish.
Yep, they’re cannibals, and the build up to this reveal is magnificent.
Finding Mark with his legs hacked off is easily one of the most horrifying moments of the entire series and the following events are just as iconic.
Having to choose to either kill Larry after he has a heart attack or try to help, only for Kenny to kill him, and taking down the St. John brothers are all intense scenes.
What’s make it even more horrifying is that many of these events are foreshadowed by what Marks says at the beginning of the episode.
Along with this, “Starved for Help” also has a lot of hard choices, like who to give food to and whether we should take food from the car or not at the end.
And, while the car choice does not lead to a different experience based on what you choose, the impact that this moment had on the rest of the season would be huge.
Intense, horrifying, and even having a couple of light hearted moments, “Starved for Help” is one of season one’s best episodes.

2. Broken Toys – Season 4, Episode 3.

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Without a doubt in my mind, the best episode of season four, “Broken Toys” is a fantastic penultimate episode that was a great way to return to the series after Telltale Games’ shutdown.
Thank god Skybound was able to deliver this episode because it is not only the best in season four but my second favourite episode of the entire series.
After the raid on Ericson’s, Clementine prepares to launch a rescue mission to get her friends back from Lily and the Delta.
What follows is an episode with a lot of stellar moments from Abel’s interrogation, to James having you walk with the Walkers and, of course, the intense third act, which sees Clementine raid the Delta’s boat.
This was an amazing ending that had plenty of shocking moments packed into a half hour segment.
Minnie’s betrayal was surprising and made her easily one of the most hateable characters of the season.
Then there is the final battle with Lily, which is one of the most intense fights of the series, resulting in the deaths of either her or James.
Speaking of James, his role in this episode is perfect and I came to appreciate him a lot.
Too bad he was ruined in the final episode if he survived.
Other stand out characters are Violet and Louis whose relationship with Clementine continues to grow, depending on which one you had Clem romance.
Although, this does tie into the one criticism I had that keeps “Broken Toys” from taking the top spot.
This criticism is that if you didn’t save Violet in the previous episode then she will turn on you and her reasons for doing so seem contrived to me.
But, this said, if you save Violet instead of Louis it leads to the horrifying moment when you learn Louis had his tongue cut out, which is very well done.
Along with the horror, there are also heartfelt moments though, like Clementine’s final meeting with Lee, which was all kind of tear inducing.
My second favourite episode in all of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, “Broken Toys” is an intense ride with a lot of shocking and emotional moments.

1. No Time Left – Season 1, Episode 5.

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There was not a dry eye in the house of many players upon first finishing the final episode of the first season, “No Time Left.”
The greatest episode of the entire series, “No Time Left” centers on Lee’s final, desperate struggle to rescue Clementine and prepare her for a world without him, having been bitten in the previous episode.
This culminates in his death at the end, with the player having to choose to either have Clementine shoot him or leave him to turn.
Either way, Lee’s final words to Clementine are heartbreaking and always leaves me with tears at my eyes.
It is the most emotional moment of the entire series and one of the most emotional in all of gaming.
Along with Lee’s traumatic death, there are many other emotional moments, like Kenny’s fake out death, which is perfectly handled, no matter how it turns out.
Either Kenny appears to go out saving Christa, saving the soon to be life of a child after he lost his own, or he appears to go out by mercy killing Ben, forgiving him, in a sense, for his family’s death.
And then there’s the stranger.
The group taking the food from the car seemed insignificant on the first play through of “Starved For Help” but “No Time Left” proved that perception wrong because the owner of the car is the one who kidnapped Clementine.
Revealing the tragic loss of his own family because of the group’s actions, the Stranger judges Lee and, by extension, the player for every bad choice they made.
There is a piece of optional dialogue Lee can give here about his wife and how he caused her a lot of pain through his actions and this has always stuck with me.
Lee’s fight to reach Clementine and the Stranger and his final fight with the kidnapper are both great moments, especially in how it results in Lee and Clementine learning that Walker blood can help hide you from the Walkers.
It also leads to Clementine seeing her parents as Walkers, which is a real gut punch.
It is Lee’s emotional goodbye though that is the centerpiece of this episode.
His death turns season one of The Walking Dead into a tragic story about one man who made a bad choice sacrificing himself to save a little girl, redeeming himself.
“No Time Left” is Telltale’s The Walking Dead’s best episode that always leaves me in tears by the end.

Ranking The Walking Dead Telltale Seasons.

With Telltale’s The Walking Dead releasing a Definitive Series, I thought it best to buy it and play the seasons I had never got around to.
And, boy, was it an emotional ride.
I forgot how great the writing was for this game series (for the most part), and that made me decide I had to rank each season from the weakest to the best.
So, let’s get into it, starting with what I think is the weakest season.

4. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier.

A New Frontier

A New Frontier is definitely the black sheep of all the Telltale’s The Walking Dead seasons.
It just does not live up to the quality of the other three.
Picking up years after Season Two, the third season follows playable character Javier Garcia in his efforts to save his family in the apocalypse.
After meeting Clementine, he learns of the titular New Frontier, a bad community who raid other communities for supplies.
Working with Clem and other survivors, Javier moves to take down the leadership of the dangerous The New Frontier to protect his family.
Now, although this plot does sound interesting, there is sadly not that much to it.
In fact, I found there was very little that stood out about A New Frontier. 
It was not bad, just very forgettable.
Almost none of the new characters are interesting, Clementine is relegated to a side character, the choices are way too easy, there is a few instances of bad writing, and the animation just looks really off.
This is most apparent in Clementine’s flashback scenes where characters like Kenny and Jane look atrocious.
Speaking of them, though, this is where my most hated part of A New Frontier comes in, which is the way it picks up from the great ending of season two.
Literally all of your choices in that ending are made completely pointless in the first episode.
If you saved Kenny or Jane both will die horribly written deaths in a flashback scene and Clementine will always end up in the same place before meeting Javi.
Now, with all my negatives out of the way, I will get into the few positives I have.
I like Javi as the playable character, comic book character Jesus was a nice addition, Conrad is a great example of a determinant character, and the resolution between Javi and David is well written if you make the right choices.
And those are pretty much the only positive things I have to say about A New Frontier.
Everything else about it is either bad or forgettable.
Thankfully, the other seasons are on a completely different level to season three.

3. The Walking Dead: Season Two.

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It was very hard to choose between season two and the one that came in at number two.
Both are great seasons but, at the end of the day, what put season two in the third spot is its fourth episode, “Amid the Ruins.”
This is one of the worst episodes of Telltale’s The Walking Dead because of how aimless the plot feels and how absolutely no choice you make makes any difference.
If it had not been for this episode, though, season two would have easily taken the second spot because the other episodes are fantastic.
The first episode is a decent set-up episode with some great moments, but episodes two, three and five are amazing.
Episode two, “A House Divided” has a lot of intense moments but also some heartwarming ones with the return of fan favourite character Kenny.
Episode three, “In Harm’s Way” has a feeling of dread throughout as Clementine and her group attempt to escape the maniacal Carver.
And, finally, episode five “No Going Back” has one of the hardest decisions in the entire series, which results in a great ending.
This is all helped by a switch to playing as Clementine in this season, which really gives you the feeling of being a little girl in the apocalypse, even if it is a bit weird that said girl is the one making all the tough choices.
Overall, season two is an amazing season with some of the best episodes of the series.
If it had not been for the awful episode four it would have been higher on the list.

2. The Walking Dead: The Final Season.

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After the highly problematic A New Frontier, many people were concerned that season four would be just as poorly done.
Thankfully, the final season is actually amazing, being the second best season of the game series.
The story is basically a reversal of season one, with Clementine looking after the young A.J just like Lee looked after her.
Playing as Clementine, you have to guide A.J through the apocalyptic world, teaching him how to survive and who to become.
A.J is also a great character which makes their bond all the more touching.
Along with him, the other characters introduced in this season are also well done, particularly Louis and Violet who are both possible love interests for Clementine and have great chemistry with her.
The episodes are all fantastic this season, with the best episode definitely being the third, “Broken Toys,” which is one of the best in the entire series.
Then there is the final episode “Take Us Back,” which, while still not as amazing as the penultimate “Broken Toys,” is very emotional and resolves Clementine’s story perfectly.
This season even incorporates gameplay that adds a lot to the experience, even if it is nothing special compared to other games.
Honestly, the only big problem I have with the season does not even have to do with the game itself.
That problem is the horrendous treatment of the Telltale Games employees who were let go with no warning after the company shutdown mid-way through the final season.
Thankfully, Skybound was able to finish the season but that does not change that fact that so many people lost their jobs without a moment’s notice.
This shameful event will remain a blotch on an otherwise fantastic season that ended the series and Clementine’s story right.

1. The Walking Dead: Season One.

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As many of you probably expected, I consider season one to be the best Telltale Games Walking Dead season.
I remember when this game first got big and everyone was talking about it.
I played it and found it to be an emotional experience, but I honestly did not expect to be that invested when playing it for the Definitive Series because I knew what would happen.
You know what, though?
I still found season one to be incredibly heartfelt and sometimes tear inducing.
Playing as Lee trying to defend Clementine in a world of the undead is just as engaging as it was all those years ago when I first played it.
This is supported by the great bond between the two, and the excellent story, characters, and choices.
Probably the only bad thing I can say about season one is that it has not aged well gameplay wise.
When I was playing the second episode, I encountered a glitch that has been there for years, with no effort to fix, and it really drew me out of the moment.
Aside from this, and a few other glitches, though, season one of The Walking Dead is a masterpiece of a game.
There are so many amazing episodes, like the intense “Starved for Help,” and emotionally devastating “No Time Left,” which still makes me cry by the end.
Watching Clementine and Lee’s bond grow throughout this game and influencing that relationship with the choices will always be a joy.
It is for this and many other reasons that I consider season one to be the best season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead.

Top 10 The Walking Dead Comic Characters.

In an unexpected twist, Robert Kirkman recently brought his epic zombie comic, The Walking Dead, to an end.
With 193 issues under its belt, the series has an expansive list of characters, many of which are incredibly investing.
And I am going to count down who I believe are the top 10 best characters of the series.
Honorable mentions go out to Dale, Tyreese and Abraham who just missed out on making the list.
Now, let’s kick this list off with number 10.

10. The Governor.

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I cannot remember a time when I have hated a character more than the Governor.
I know this may be a strange thing to say, considering this is a top 10 best characters list, but the Governor is a character you are supposed to hate.
And, I have got to admit, Kirkman did an amazing job at making him one of the most detestable characters I have ever seen.
He is one of The Walking Dead‘s best villains and it all comes down to how vile he is and how he covers this up.
Name any crime under the sun and this disgusting human being has probably done it.
Rape, torture, murder, the list is endless.
This is where my one criticism of him comes in as it does get quite uncomfortable when Kirkman goes full on snuff film with what he does and what happens to him.
One of the big criticisms I have heard about his character is that he is too evil to the point of being one dimensional.
Well, to those who say that I would recommend they read The Rise of the Governor and its follow ups, a series of novels by Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga that detail the origins of the Governor, and the events of the prison attacks from his perspective.
There we learn that his name is actually not Phillip Blake but Brian Blake, and he is suffering from some kind of split personality because he comes to believe he is his brother after Phillip’s death.
These books add layers to the Governor and make him more interesting to look at in the comics.
The Governor makes the list both for this reason and how he is easily one of the most memorably hateable characters in fiction for me.

9. Glenn Rhee.

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One of the original survivors in the series, Glenn quickly stood out as one of the more likeable characters with his resourcefulness.
A former pizza delivery boy, it was he who would go out into the zombie infested city of Atlanta to search for supplies to keep everyone alive.
It was here that he rescued Rick and their long friendship began.
One of the big standouts of Glenn is his relationship with Maggie.
For the first 40 or so issues where their relationship was shown they were more like those horny couples you see in horror movies only, you know, they did not die (at least not yet).
It was only after the prison arc where Glenn’s relationship with Maggie grew into something special for me, with them having to raise Sophia after Carol’s death.
Here, we saw Glenn become a father and how he had to try and help Maggie through her depression, which even led to an attempted suicide.
Glenn pushed forward though, providing for his new family in this harsh world.
Eventually, he and Maggie finally succeeded in getting pregnant and it looked like a new chapter would be opening in Glenn’s life.
And then Issue 100 happened.
Glenn’s death in this issue is definitely one of The Walking Dead‘s most shocking moments.
Not only is it horrifying to see one of the comics most likeable characters get beaten to death with a baseball bat but it also opened up a whole new story and line of development for characters like Maggie.
The death is made even more tragic by the fact that Glenn was one of the few characters in The Walking Dead who had not been corrupted by the violence in the world.
Glenn was a likeable character throughout his time in the comic, and very important to the narrative, and for that he takes the ninth spot.

8. Jesus.

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No, not that Jesus.
The Jesus I am talking about is Paul Monroe, who goes by that nickname because, well, he looks like Jesus Christ.
Arriving some time after the No Way Out Arc, Jesus serves as the character who brings The Walking Dead story into a brand new direction.
The volume he first appears in is called “A Larger World” for a reason.
Through Jesus, Rick’s group are introduced to various communities including the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and even the villainous Saviors.
Along with introducing this new angle to the story, Jesus is also a great character with a lot of likability.
He is also the series’ best fighter by a wide margin, even beating Negan in combat during the All Out War arc.
I like to think he was some kind of martial arts instructor before the apocalypse hit, which would make a lot of sense.
Sadly, we do not know anything at all about his past but, despite this, he still remains an interesting character throughout.
His relationship with Aaron after the Whisperer War Arc is also well done, with a significant amount of buildup.
Jesus is a character we did not know much about but was amazing, all the same.
Every time he showed up in a fight you knew something epic was about to go down.

7. Eugene Porter.

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Eugene is one of The Walking Dead‘s most surprising characters for me.
This is because after his introduction and the first few arcs he was featured in, I honestly never expected to like him and, yet, here he is at number seven on my favourite characters list.
When Eugene is introduced he is instantly setup as one of the series’ most important characters because he knows how to cure the zombie plague… only for this to turn out to be a complete lie.
After rightfully getting the hell beaten out of him by Abraham, Eugene admits he lied because he was scared and had no other talent to protect himself.
While this is understandable, it framed Eugene in quite an unlikable light considering so many had died for him.
This changed in the All Out War Arc when, after the death of Abraham, Eugene began to work tirelessly to stop the Saviours by producing bullets for the communities to use in their fight.
Then, when he was kidnapped by Negan, who threatened to castrate him if he did not produce bullets for him, Eugene refused in a moment that showed true bravery and just how much he had changed.
His character development continued into the subsequent arcs, as he became a vital member in, not just the communities’ survival, but civilization’s survival in general.
With all of this growth in terms of his worth and character growth, Eugene went from one of the most unlikable characters to one of the most important and interesting.

6. Maggie Rhee.

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Maggie is a character whose development does not get discussed very much compared to other characters and I think this is a shame.
Upon comparing how she started out in the series to where she ends up, it can clearly be seen how she is a completely changed person by the story’s conclusion.
When we first meet Maggie she is, to quote Glenn, a “sex machine.”
Many of her scenes in the first few arcs focus on the intimacy between her and Glenn with a lot of eye candy.
However, this changes after the prison attack where Maggie loses all of her remaining family.
This loss, and the pressure of the orphaned Sophia now viewing Maggie as her mother, causes Maggie to spiral into depression, resulting in a shocking suicide attempt.
After recovering from this, Maggie comes to accept becoming Sophia’s mother and enters a new stage in her relationship with Glenn.
From this point on, they are one of the clear examples of a family unit created in this apocalypse.
However, this unit is shattered when, shortly after learning she is pregnant, Maggie is forced to watch as Glenn is beaten to death in front of her.
After this traumatic event, a more hardened Maggie arises.
And with the triumphant words of “I believe in Rick Grimes” she becomes the leader of the Hilltop and by the story’s end is even the president.
This growth from lovesick girl, to caring mother, to hardened leader is one of The Walking Dead‘s most emotional character growths.

5. Michonne Hawthorne.

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Michonne is an instantly recognizable character from The Walking Dead.
The image of her walking with her two pet zombies, katana in hand, is one of the most recognizable in the series.
However, it did take a bit of time for me to warm up to her character.
This was probably because she first appeared and was a central character in of the comics’ weakest volumes, “The Heart’s Desire”, which basically turned The Walking Dead into a soap opera for a time.
Then there was her storyline with the Governor, which turned her into a victim pretty soon after we had met her and to very uncomfortable levels.
The fact that it later went full on snuff, rape revenge definitely did not help.
It felt like Kirkman was just trying to shock the reader with what she experienced.
After this, though, Michonne got a lot better as a character with Kirkman delving deeper into her mentality and even the guilt she holds for some of the things she has done.
Her final confrontation with the Governor is an epic moment for her, even if she does not succeed in killing him, and the moment she saves Carl’s life after the prison massacre is a highlight.
From here, she continued to be a strong, reliable figure who grew a close bond with Rick.
This eventually resulted in my favourite scene of hers where Rick calls her his best friend, only for her to cheekily reply, “what are you, ten?”
Then there is the discovery that her daughter Elodie is alive in the final arc and, even though I felt like what came of it was a bit of a missed opportunity, their reunion is incredibly touching.
Michonne is one of the series’ most memorable and coolest characters, emerging from the initial slump I felt she had in the best of ways.

4. Negan.

Negan psycho.jpg
If the Governor is a character I love to hate, then Negan is a character I hate to love.
Arriving on the scene in The Walking Dead‘s 100th Issue, Negan made a bloody splash when he brutally beat Glenn to death in front of everyone, including Maggie who was pregnant.
This instantly set Negan up, both as the new big threat for the group to face and also as someone for the reader to hate.
However, this last thing did not happen for me.
Because, while I did hate Negan initially, he very quickly grew on me as a character.
He was not only darkly humorous but also had a moral code, with him hating rape so much that he kills a man in his group when he tries to commit it.
This made Negan very different from the Governor because, while he was someone who simply did twisted things because he wanted to, Negan did them because he believed they were the right thing to do.
And it was this sentiment of Negan’s that allowed him to have a redemption arc in the aftermath of All Out War, becoming a changed man and helping Rick and the communities in the war against the Whisperers.
Although he never shakes his violent tendencies, as seen by him beheading the Whisper leader Alpha to prove his loyalty to Rick.
This unpredictable personality made for some great interactions with other characters, especially Carl who would go on to form a kind of friendship(?) with the monstrous man.
Then there was the resolution to his story in Issue 174, where Maggie finally confronts him for killing Glenn.
Rather than doing so, though, she instead leaves him to live the life of loneliness he deserves.
This act seems to give the both of them closure, and Negan departs from the story with his redemption arc fully complete.
Negan is the best villain in The Walking Dead.
They made a character who committed a horrific act of violence the first time we meet him somehow likeable, and made me hate myself for liking him.

3. Andrea Grimes.

andrea cowgirl.png
Andrea was one of my most hated characters in The Walking Dead show.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I started reading the comics and found Andrea to be one of the most likeable characters.
The TV series really screwed up her storyline and it was incredibly sad to read the comics and see what a missed opportunity she was in that show.
Andrea starts out in the comics as just an ordinary woman who becomes hardened by the world, after the death of her sister.
Becoming a sharpshooter, she is quickly established as one of the groups most reliable and useful members.
Then there is her relationship with the elderly Dale, which is surprisingly emotional and well done.
The two’s arcs are both great and make their relationships one of the highlights of the comic.
However, her relationship with Dale is not the best of the series.
No, that goes to Andrea’s relationship with Rick long after Dale’s death.
Initially, I felt that this relationship came out of left field but, as it developed and we got to see these two grow from it, it quickly became the best relationship.
Andrea has so many amazing moments from the comics, like her taking out the Governor’s men when he attacks the prison and, most notably, her fight with Connor in the bell tower.
Her death in Issue 167 from a roamer bite is one of the most emotional deaths in the entire comic series.
It is quite the gut punch seeing everyone whose lives she affected saying their final goodbyes to her, and then even seeing Rick nearly give up and allow Andrea to kill him when she turns.
Thankfully, he pulls himself together and puts her down, remembering her final words at the end of the issue.
Andrea is an amazing character with so many standout moments and an emotional sendoff.

2. Carl Grimes.

Carl.jpg
Carl is another character that was screwed over in the show, although not to the extent that Andrea was.
His show version just never went down the dark descent that the comic Carl did.
This Carl started off as a lot more useful than the TV adaptation, with him learning to use a gun way sooner.
Still, he was not really important until after the prison massacre where he lost his mother Lori and newborn sister Judith.
After this point, Carl went down a very dark storyline, with him having to take care of his injured father and later killing another boy named Ben who had gone crazy and murdered his own brother.
Carl doing this showed just how brutal the world of The Walking Dead was for a child, with him being forced to commit acts to keep himself and the group safe.
This worsened after he was shockingly shot during the No Way Out arc because he became harsher as a result.
His crueler temperament even led him to try and assassinate Negan.
Luckily, the swearing leader took a liking to Carl so did not hurt him.
The two even formed some kind of bond, continuing to have talks after Negan was locked up.
It was at this point that Carl began to take a lot after both Rick and Negan, almost killing two bullies when they attacked him and Sophia, like Negan would, and going after Lydia in the Whisperer Arc after he learned she was being abused, like Rick would.
This created a complex personality for Carl where he embodied traits of not just the main character of the series but also one of the series’ biggest villains as well.
One of the big themes of The Walking Dead is about raising children in a cruel world and what this causes the child to become.
Carl embodies this perfectly and the series could not have ended any better than with him sitting in a rocking chair with his daughter Andrea, who is named after his step-mother, telling her the story of the series.

1. Rick Grimes.

Rick Grimes.jpeg
The man, the myth, the legend, the main character, Rick Grimes is, without a doubt, the best character in The Walking Dead. 
He was the one we followed all the way up until the ending, and during that time we got to see him grow from the leader of a small group of survivors to a heroic figure sure to be remembered in the history books.
His journey to get to this point is inspirational, with him enduring many sacrifices and hardships.
We, as the readers, instantly related to his search to find his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, after waking up in the apocalypse.
When he finally found them and his goals switched to protecting the group, we followed him in this.
And it was not long before Rick had to start doing morally grey things to protect those he loved.
Shooting Dexter in the prison arc was the beginning of this, and the act culminated in him shouting “we are the walking dead!”
With this statement, Rick’s hardships continued as he shockingly losing his hand to the Governor and then saw  Lori and their baby Judith die in the prison massacre.
He did countless horrible things to protect his people after this, from ripping a man’s throat out with his teeth to save Carl from being raped, to torturing a group of cannibals to death after they had already been beaten.
All of this resulted in Rick and his group, including Carl, starting to lose their humanity to survive.
Then they arrived at the Alexandria Safe Zone and we got to see our battle hardened main character struggle to live in society again, only for things to predictably go wrong in the worst of ways, resulting in him needing to take charge.
It was here that Rick emerged as the true inspirational leader, giving numerous memorable speeches to inspire his people.
His relationship with Andrea also started here as the best of the series.
He then began to take steps towards building a humane society, as seen by him sparing Negan, even after all the horrible things he had done, and later freeing him when he had been rehabilitated.
Rick even began to rebuild a society that was better than our own one, with everyone being equal.
His inspirational journey to build this society reached its pinnacle in the Commonwealth Arc, where his new system conflicted with the flawed old one.
The end result was Rick’s society winning with his story coming full circle when he said the great line of “we are NOT the walking dead!”
Sadly, this also resulted in Rick’s death at the hands of Sebastian Milton, which is my one big problems with Rick’s story.
I like the idea behind his death but I felt the execution left a bit to be desired.
Still, this does not change the fact that Rick is a fantastic main character, and the best character of the comic.
Watching him rebuild a new and better society in an apocalyptic world was amazing, and a highlight of the series.

The Walking Dead Issue 193 The Farm House Review: The End… Wait, What!?

4 and a half stars
Well, I don’t think anyone saw this coming.
There we all were, wondering how The Walking Dead would continue without Rick Grimes when, suddenly, leaks started to come out saying the series would be ending with Issue 193.
It has to be a joke, I thought. It has to be.
But no, this really is the end.
Robert Kirkman somehow managed to keep the ending of The Walking Dead secret before these leaks, even going as far as to create fake covers for future issues that will never exist.
Personally, when I heard of this deception, I was unhappy about it.
I believe that a writer, director, developer, or whatever should never mislead their consumers about future products that they know will not happen.
However, after reading Kirkman’s reasoning behind this, I do understand why he did this.
I still think he should have come clean about the ending of the series but I can see that he wanted to surprise his readers in a good way.
Honestly, I am just sad that it is over.
I remember when I started reading The Walking Dead comics.
I had just finished binge watching the first two seasons of the television show and I wanted to know what would happen next so I started reading.
What I found in the comics was a far superior story to the TV show, with even more engaging characters, plot points and shocking moments.
After catching up, I continued to read the next issue every month to see what would happen.
And, even though I was recently thinking about how much The Walking Dead had descended into mediocrity, I was still a massive fan.
Even after the death of the main character, Rick Grimes (which I thought was handled poorly), I was eager to see how the series would continue… only for it to end in a surprising twist.
Enough about my opinions on the overall series though, now I want to talk about the final issue itself, Issue 193 “The Farm House.”
Since I found the previous issue to not be a very good one, and felt that Kirkman was rushing to conclude his story, I fully expected “The Farm House” to join the likes of Game of Thrones among the worst endings to great series in 2019.
Thankfully, this is far from we got.
I actually love this ending.
Do I still think it is a little rushed?
Yes.
Do I think there are a lot of unanswered questions about certain characters?
Yes.
But, overall, this was a fantastic way to end a story that I have been invested in for so many years.
The ending does not fix the mediocre Commonwealth Arc that came beforehand, not by a long shot.
However, it does bring a fitting end to the series and the many characters we know and love.
Picking up after only Kirkman knows how many decades after Rick’s death, “The Farm House” sees Carl living in the countryside with Sophia and their daughter Andrea, named after Carl’s amazing stepmother.
The issue starts with a Roamer coming across Carl’s house who kills it, before angrily storming into town to confront Maggie’s son Hershel, who sadly reminds me a lot of Sebastian.
Turns out the undead are so rare these days that they have actually become a circus attraction, and Hershel is not happy that Carl put down his property.
This starts an unbelievably absurd legal situation where Carl faces a fine for killing something that could have easily killed his daughter.
Carl states this is not what his father died for and he is exactly right.
Maggie then walks in, now the president of the Commonwealth, and convinces the judge not to fine Carl so long as he gets another Walker for her spoiled son.
It was heartbreaking to see how similar Maggie and Hershel have become to Pamela and Sebastian.
It is a parallel that Kirkman makes plainly obvious with Sophia saying Hershel could end up like Sebastian if Maggie is not careful.
Angered by how Hershel is allowed to keep the dangerous undead, Carl kills the Roamers in the night before going off on a job with his ex Lydia.
It is here that we get a full display of how far the world has come, both after Rick’s death and the zombie apocalypse itself.
Because of the decline in humans, animal populations are sky rocketing with a massive flock of birds flying over the two’s heads.
They then meet up with Eugene, who has actually started to build his railway network, giving off a very wild west theme.
Upon returning, Carl is arrested for killing the Roamers and is sent to Michonne who is now a judge.
It is here that we get a big highlight of the issue, where Michonne actually quotes what is written on the back of each volume, “in a world ruled by the dead we are finally forced to start living.”
After this powerful statement, Carl is released back to his family.
Before this though, we get a final scene from Hershel where we come to understand he is not as similar to Sebastian as we had been led to believe.
Showing those Roamers actually allowed Hershel to feel close to his father Glenn, who he never had the pleasure of meeting.
This gives us another perspective on the whole situation.
We then see that a statue has been made in Rick’s honor, with him in the pose he was in when he saved the Commonwealth from disaster right before his death.
A fitting memorial to the hero we followed for 192 issues.
Finally, we get the final and best scene in the entirety of  “The Farm House”, where Carl reads Andrea the story of Rick Grimes.
During his narration, we get shots of Maggie with Hershel, Jesus and Aaron resting on a riverbank, what looks like Negan laying flowers on Lucille’s grave, Princess and Mercer walking their dog, Lydia arriving home to her partner, Magna and Yumiko in a park, Eugene watching his train go by, Laura eating with her crew, Michonne going to see her grandchild, an elderly Pamela going to see a thankfully still jailed Sebastian, and Rick Grimes’ grave right next to Andrea’s.
Carl then tells his daughter she would have liked her grandfather to which she replies she knows, appearing irritated, before she joyfully asks him to “read it again”, as if Kirkman himself is asking his readers to do so.
The final shot sees Carl smiling as he reads to her in his rocking chair, the panel entirely white and vacant around them, except for the big “The End” to the side and, just like that, I break down.
I cried seeing such a heartwarming ending to a series I have loved reading for years.
This was a fantastic end to The Walking Dead story, and I am overjoyed with how it subverted my expectations from a day ago, when I first heard the story was concluding.
Sure, it does feel a little rushed and it makes characters like Princess seem pretty pointless in hindsight but, overall, I am happy with the ending.
Goodbye, The Walking Dead. 
You will be missed.

The Walking Dead, Issue 192, Aftermath Review: Everything Changes but not in a Good way.

two-and-a-half-stars
In my review for the shocking Issue 191 of The Walking Dead, I said I had mixed opinions about the possibility of Rick Grimes dying.
On the one hand, I did like the idea of his death being reminiscent of assassinations of other historical figures but, on the other hand, I thought it was stupid that it was Sebastian, of all people, who killed him.
Overall, I decided to reserve judgement on the death until it actually happened in Issue 192, “Aftermath.”
Well, the chapter was released yesterday and we finally got to see the great Rick Grimes die, and, I have to say, I am disappointed.
My main criticism lies in how Rick’s death honestly does not feel like the death of a main character.
Seriously, this chapter is named “Aftermath,” we should be seeing all the people Rick helped reacting to the news of his death.
Sure, we do get Carl’s reaction and that is handled very well but we get almost no reaction from the other characters.
What about Michonne?
She was Rick’s best friend and she does not even shed a tear over his death.
Maggie, Sophia, Eugene, Jesus, Aaron, these are all characters who Rick has helped survive and we do not see of their reactions apart from brief mourning shots as they go to his funeral.
And that’s another thing, we don’t even see his funeral.
Carl collapses from grief on his way to Alexandria and says he does not think he can do this without his father then the issue just ends.
It honestly feels like the death of a minor character instead of the lead of the entire series.
What’s more, it looks like the comics are going to be quickly moving on from Rick’s death.
The next issue looks to be entirely Negan focused, and the issue after that is introducing a new character Sheriff Kapoor, who looks almost exactly like Rick.
I should not have to say this but, since Rick is the main character, his death should feel like a massive event that will affect the future of the series bur it honestly does not feel like that.
I’m not going to act like there aren’t some great things about “Aftermath” because there are.
Seeing Rick get repeatedly shot by Sebastian had me screaming out in shock.
Not only this but the scene where Carl confronts Sebastian in prison is magnificent.
It shows how Carl has been influenced by both Rick and Negan because, while he decides to let him rot in prison like Rick would have wanted, he also promises to hurt him if he ever gets out, quoting Negan as he leaves by saying “ta, ta.”
However, while this is a great moment that points towards an interesting future for Carl, it does not make up for how poorly handled Rick’s exit feels.
He was killed by one of the most annoying characters the series has ever had, there is almost no reaction from the other characters to his death, which ultimately feels like that of a side character rather the main one, and the comics already look to be moving on from it in the next issue.
In my opinion, Robert Kirkman really dropped the ball with this.
The Commonwealth Arc has been downright bad in my opinion.
There were various great moments in it that made me believe it could get better but, overall, it was poorly plotted, structured, and resulted in a disappointing death for the main character.
I will keep reading to see what the series is like without Rick but, unless it has picked up by issue 200, I will think the series has officially jumped the shark.

The Walking Dead Issue 191: The Last Stand Review – Coming Full Circle with a Shocking Twist.

4 stars
Well… that just happened.
I got spoiled right before I read Issue 191 of The Walking Dead, “The Last Stand”, but it was still shocking to see the ending of the issue.
Before I begin the review, I have to warn you there are gigantic spoilers in this review so if you have not read the issue then go do that before continuing.
Seriously, you do not want to get spoiled about this like I did.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the big moment of the issue, and what is sure to be one of the biggest moments of The Walking Dead.
That being Rick getting shot in the chest and supposedly starting to bleed out at the end of the issue.
This is such a big moment in the history of the series because, make no mistake, Rick is going to die next issue.
While this has not been confirmed, it is made blatantly obvious by the issue.
Rick is shot right in the chest, and blood is leaking from his mouth so it is clear the bullet hit something vital.
Not only that, but Rick’s character arc came full circle in this issue, with him managing to peacefully resolve the situation with Pamela, and save the Commonwealth, by making a passionate speech declaring, “we are NOT the walking dead!”
This is directly mirroring a similar speech in Issue 24, where Rick states the exact opposite, and the final shot of Rick about to bleed out also mirrors the cover of Issue 45, where he is similarly shot.
Then there is Rick’s final scene with Carl, which has a real sense of finality to it, serving as the unknowing goodbye between the two.
So, yeah, Rick Grimes is definitely going to die next issue.
If he did not then it would feel like a major cop-out.
How do I feel about this, though?
Well, right now I am mixed.
For one, I actually love the idea of Rick getting taken out in assassination after gaining so much support, which is very similar to many inspirational historical figures.
It is very realistic and, with it coming directly after Rick’s arc comes full circle, incredibly well done.
My problem lies in who shoots him: The cowardly Sebastian, the son of Pamela Milton.
Honestly, the idea of the great Rick Grimes being killed by a guy who reminds of me a spoiled, bratty teenager from one of those awful MTV shows is pretty stupid.
This could have been remedied if Robert Kirkman had built Sebastian up as a more intimidating character.
For example, he could still be spoiled, as this is his main motivation for shooting Rick, but he could also have a power base and people who work for him, establishing him as more of a threat.
As it stands though, it is pretty disappointing that Rick gets taken out by such a brat.
However, whether this drives Rick’s death more into the negative side for me will depend on how that death is handled next issue.
If Rick dies before he reaches anyone then no one will know it was Sebastian because he used a silencer and probably left almost no trace.
This could create an interesting story where Carl searches for his killer and Pamela tries to protect her son.
Speaking of Carl, I am very excited to see him take Rick’s place as the main character.
One of the big themes of the series has been how children grow up in this world of the dead, but with Carl now grown up and about to take Rick’s place, it could create a new age for The Walking Dead.
Since Carl is still only around 14 though, I do expect there be a time jump to age him up so he can be a realistic leader, because I do not see a 14-year-old leading a community.
As for the rest of “The Last Stand”, it is pretty good.
I would have found the way the hyped up battle with Pamela ended disappointing if it had not been for the ending, though.
It is funny actually.
Before this point, The Commonwealth story arc has been a jumbled mess and now it all seems to be coming together to send Rick off.
It is both tragic and exciting to see Kirkman killing off his main character.
Tragic because we are seeing the end of a character we have followed for well over a decade, and exciting because this could bring a new age for The Walking Dead with Carl as the main character.

The Walking Dead Season Nine Review: A Return to Form.

4 and a half stars
Seasons seven and eight were the weakest of The Walking Dead.
Full of bottle episodes and with an incredibly slow structure overall, these two seasons really should have been merged into one.
So, in order to bounce back, the show needed to deliver a fantastic ninth season and, boy, did it.
Scott Gimple was replaced as showrunner by Angela Kang who brought The Walking Dead back from the brink, adapting one of my favourite story arcs from the comics perfectly.
However, going in I did have my concerns, what with this season being the final one with Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes.
I was afraid the show would not be able to sustain itself without Rick but, thankfully, I was dead wrong about this.
Not only did Rick get a good sendoff in episode five “What Comes After,” but Daryl (Norman Reedus) works as the new lead after Rick’s departure.

Rick's departure
Rick got a good sendoff with episode five, and I am interested to see how his movies will turn out.

The season gets better from there with the New Beginning story arc, which saw a six year time skip.
From here, the season delivers great episode after great episode, only faltering with episode seven “Stradivarius,” which is not a bad episode but is much slower than the others.
By far the best part of this season, for me, is how the new characters from the comics are made even better that their comic book versions.
For example, I care for every member of Magna’s group in the show, while in the comics the only one I care for is Magna (Nadia Hilker) herself.
Connie (Lauren Ridloff) is an especially fantastic improvement on her comic book counterpart.
Then there are the Whisperers who are even scarier than they are in the comics, especially Samantha Morton as Alpha who knocks it out of the park.
I doubt that anyone could play this role better.
Finally, for characters, there is Judith (Cailey Fleming).
After Carl died in season eight, which is the stupidest decision the show has ever made, the series had lost one of its central pieces.
One of the main themes of The Walking Dead is how children grow up in a land of the dead and, with Carl gone, so was this theme.
Enter Judith in season nine, who so far, in my opinion, manages to be a better character than Carl and I cannot wait to see what else the writers decide to do with her.

Judith Grimes.jpg
The little ass kicker herself is the new Carl for this show and it is going pretty well so far.

Then there are the episodes themselves, which are stellar, as stated.
The best episodes of the season, though, came towards the end, with episodes 14 “Scars” and 15 “The Calm Before” being absolutely fantastic.
These episodes were investing, dark, and some of the best episodes of the entire series.
Overall, I would say The Walking Dead can manage just fine without Rick.
However, Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) may be another story because both are set to depart next season, which is concerning.
But Maggie is supposed to be returning so there is that.
I am also a bit concerned about how the Whisperer Arc will be handled in season ten, because, after the horrifying pike scene of episode 15, I believe the arc started to go downhill a bit.
Hopefully, the show will be able to improve on this arc in season ten just as they did with season nine.
If you stopped watching The Walking Dead after seasons seven and eight I would recommend you start watching again because the show has returned to its former glory.
I just hope that it stays there.

The Walking Dead Issue 190, Storm the Gates, Review: Welcome but Rushed.

3 stars
In my review of the previous The Walking Dead issue, I criticized the Commonwealth Arc heavily for how aimless and mediocre it had been so far.
Coming into Issue 190, “Storm the Gates,” I was expecting it to be more of the same, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this issue could be a step in the right direction.
It is not spectacular or anything, but it does give me hope that the Commonwealth Arc might just get better.
Although, I have had false hope with this arc before so we will have to wait and see.
I will also admit that I was wrong about something I criticized Robert Kirkman for last issue, this being artificial tension.
I thought the Walker herd in that issue was just a way for Kirkman to create some pointless tension in a slow story, but the herd actually has a story point in “Storm the Gates,” with the herd attacking the Commonwealth.
The reason it got so close to the community before being spotted, is because Pamela called her troops back after Mercer was arrested, which is another case of Kirkman wonderfully showing Pamela’s incompetency.
The approaching herd leads to Rick, Mercer and the others. having to all hide in the buildings while the herd walks around, until Maggie arrives with her deus ex machina army to save the day.
Although I did like that the herd actually serves a point in this issue, a lot of the storylines here seem pretty convenient.
Rick and Mercer are somehow able to get the Commonwealth’s 50,000  civilians inside their buildings in a matter of minutes?
Then there is Maggie’s arrival with her army, which is a complete deus ex machina, but one that moves the plot forward.
I feel I should also mention one panel where Magna is looking down at Maggie and something about the artwork here looks a little off.
That said, the rest of Charlie Adlard’s artwork is stunning as usual.
After the Walker herd are defeated, Rick and Mercer plan to finally talk with Pamela, only for her to march in with her army from Greenville and accuse Rick of trying to usurp her.
Rick tries to convince her this is not the case but she is too paranoid to believe him, ordering her troops to attack in a panel similar to the ones when Negan attacked Alexandria, and the Governor attacked the prison, bringing an end to the issue.
This cliffhanger was a very welcome one for me because it finally looks like it is going to create some interesting consequences, possibly even some deaths, in the next issue.
Coming back to Magna, she shares a scene with Yumiko, which highlights their relationship, that has me believing one of them may bite the bullet.
However, while I do welcome this cliffhanger, it does feel very rushed to me on a story level.
Pamela was somehow able to organize an army in Greenville, a community probably a long way from them, in a matter of hours.
Not only this, but her accusing Rick of trying to take over feels very forced.
Up until this point, Pamela has trusted Rick, especially after he killed Dwight to save her life, so her suddenly thinking Rick wants to become leader of the Commonwealth comes out of left field, even if it does finally get the story rolling.
Overall, this was an average issue with various positives and negatives.
I hope that the next issue follows up on its promise of action and excitement, rather than reversing all of this like it did with the antagonism between Rick and Michonne.

The Walking Dead, Season Nine, Episode 16, “The Storm” Review: An Interesting Finale.

3 and a half stars
The Walking Dead 
season nine came to a close with its season finale this week, “The Storm”, in a surprisingly anticlimactic end to a fantastic season.
That is not to say “The Storm” was a bad episode but, compared to the other finales the series has had, the episode did not have that much of a climactic feel.
This does makes sense though, considering the episode is following the shocking pike scene from “The Calm Before.”
In fact, “The Storm” not only lives up to its name by a being a continuation of “The Calm Before” title, but by also featuring a snow storm, the first in The Walking Dead show’s history.
This is surprising when you look at how many snow storms have been in the comics, but hey, better late than never.
The previous lack of snow is more than made up for in this episode, with the snow storm being the main threat the characters face.
This new threat, combined with the characters dealing with the aftermath of the pike massacre make for some compelling moments.
For example, the scenes between Carol (Melissa McBride) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) were touchingly tragic, with Henry’s death having driven them apart.

Ezekiel.jpg
It is tragic to see Ezekiel and Carol’s relationship plummet after the death of Henry and makes me wonder what the future holds for them.

It made for a sad contrast, with their relationship being established at the beginning of season nine, only for it to end in the finale.
The fall of the Kingdom basically represents the fall of their relationship.
Speaking of Carol though, the way she and Lydia (Cassidy McClincy) interacted was great.
I especially liked Lydia’s growth through her battle with suicidal thoughts in the aftermath of Henry’s death and being ostracized by many of the other survivors for her mother’s actions.
The big highlight of the episode though is definitely Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), with him taking another step towards his redemption.
After Judith (Cailey Fleming) is lost in a snow storm searching for Daryl’s dog, Negan is the first to give chase and eventually rescues her, even though he gets hurt.
His line that she “wanted more Negan time” was a great moment from him that showed the connection between the two.
It honestly feels like the connection Negan had with Carl in the comics, so I am glad the show found a way they could keep that alive, even with Carl being dead.

Negan
I am loving how Negan’s redemption arc is being played out in the show, especially Judith’s role in it. 

As for the rest of the episode, it was fairly standard.
With the Kingdom having fallen and the Sanctuary not living up to its name, the group are forced to make their way through Alpha’s territory to get to safety but nothing all that massive comes from it.
It is revealed later in the episode that Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the other Whisperers left for winter, however, this does not make much sense to me because wouldn’t it be winter everywhere else?
In any case, the scene with her and Beta (Ryan Hurst) is basically just a reminder that they are still in the story so does not offer much weight.
However, The final scene of the finale definitely does as someone attempts to communicate with the group on the radio they have set up.
I heard rumors that Rick would be on the radio so it was a bit disappointing to not hear his voice, but I am not going to let my expectations influence my opinion on the episode.

Rick
I was sad to realise Rick was not on the radio, however, we still have The Walking Dead movies, where he will appear, to look forward to. 

As to who was on the radio, there has been a lot of speculation.
Most people think it is Maggie and this is the way the show will bring her back, but I personally think it is Stephanie, who is a new character that will be in the next arc, after the Whisperers.
This means, when they are finally dealt with, we will be getting the Commonwealth arc, which I am kind of dreading because of how lackluster this arc has been so far in the comics.
Whatever the case, this cliffhangers is still better than many of the other ones we have had in the series.
I am looking at you “Last Day on Earth.”
Overall, “The Storm” is a decent season finale, and director Greg Nicotero did a good job with it.
Not a lot may have happened, but it was still better than some of the other season finales and was a good way to wrap up season nine.
And, with how great this season was, I am eager to see how season ten will turn out.

The Walking Dead, The Calm Before, Episode 15 Review: Emotionally Horrifying.

5 stars
They did it.
They actually pulled it off, thank god.
This is what the season six finale of The Walking Dead should have been.
I remember watching that moment when it cut to a point of view shot, hiding who Negan’s victim was, and feeling absolutely infuriated that they had ruined one of the comic’s most shocking scenes.
Thankfully though, episode 15 of season nine, “The Calm Before,” manages to transition the shock and horror of The Walking Dead’s Red Wedding moment to television brilliantly.
For starters, the episode does a fantastic job of building tension.
It is clear right from the opening minutes that something bad is going to happen this episode, even if you have never read the comics like I have.
Watching the happy life of a married couple in the Hilltop change into a scene from a horror movie where Alpha kills them and scalps the woman, perfectly sets up the emotional horror of the episode.
From here, the episode continues to build and build on the tension by showing many of the shows’ main and recurring characters enjoying time with their loved ones at the fair.
As a comic reader, these scenes were very intense for me as I tried to guess who among them would get the pike.
I wondered if it would stay closer to the comics or try something knew?
The director of the episode, Laura Besley, was probably thinking the same thing because she put in multiple red herrings to mislead us comic fans, which certainly worked.
The scene between Alpha (Samantha Morton) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is a great example of this because Alpha leads him away, making me think Ezekiel was going to get his comic book death.
Morton once again stole the show in this episode as Alpha, with her subtle threat that there is going to be “a hard winter” sending chills down my spine.

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Samantha Morton continues to knock it out of the park as Alpha in this chilling scene with Khary Payton’s Ezekiel.

All of this buildup combined with the red herrings made the eventual pike scene all the more shocking to me.
Much like with the season six finale, I remember the horror I felt reading this moment in the comic, but, unlike the season six finale, this time, the horror was pulled off effectively.
The way this scene was shot only amplified the terror, with the pikes slowly coming into view as Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride), and the others walk up the hill.
After this, the sequence cuts between our main characters’ horrified reactions, those at the fair looking for their loved ones, and the heads on the pikes.
The images of those heads will probably be seared into my brain for a while, with the haunting shots of them with their hair blowing through the wind as their heads lie decapitated on the pikes.
Everything about this scene was perfectly horrifying.
From the sequence of the shots, to the music, to the acting, especially from Reedus and McBride.
The moment Carol and Daryl realise Henry (Matt Lintz) is one of the pike victims is incredibly tragic, with the scene being reminiscent of when Carol lost her first child Sophia (ironically played by Lintz’s sister Madison) and Daryl had to hold her back.

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Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus gave great performances with their reaction to Henry’s death. 

Speaking of Henry, I was surprised to see he was one of the pike victims but I do think it is tragically fitting because of where it will take characters closely connected with him.
Along with this, it means that Henry is not taking Carl’s place after he was stupidly killed off in season eight, which is good.
I think MOVIEidol said it best, “I do think killing Henry right here, first of all does confirm that Henry isn’t the new Carl, you know? Cause Carl can’t be replaced.”
However, it is not just Henry who gets a shocking pike death, but Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) as well.
I will admit, I was a bit suspicious Enid might be a pike victim, given how much screen time her relationship with Alden (Callan McAuliffe), but I was not expecting Tara.
Her death shocked me, especially since they were really hinting at Rosita (Christian Serratos) before they showed Tara’s head on the pike.
As for the other seven characters who met their fates on the pikes, they were mostly side characters but I still felt their loss due to a fantastic addition to the episode.
In a scene that is completely TV series original, the only survivor from the Whisperer’s attack Siddiq (Avi Nash) tells the communities about the victims’ heroic last stand against Alpha and the Whisperers.
Much like the pike scene, the way this scene was shot was amazing.
Not only this but Nash’s performance, and the tragic music, actually made me tear up, making it two episodes in a row I have done so.

Siddiq's speech
Siddiq’s emotional tale of the pike victims’ heroic struggle for survival is one of the most tragic moments in The Walking Dead‘s history.

The Walking Dead honestly could not have done the pike scene any better.
It balanced the horrific tragedy of the event perfectly, and added a brilliant scene that highlighted the heroic actions of the victims.
Now, I only wonder how the season will end with the finale, “The Storm”?
But, this said, I have complete faith in Angela Kang, who wrote the episode.
She has completely turned The Walking Dead around.
After season eight and the announcement of Andrew Lincoln’s departure, I was actually thinking of quitting the show but, after seeing where Kang has taken the series, I am so glad I stuck around.
“The Calm Before” did justice to one of the comics’ darkest moments and even added to it, creating an amazing episode that was built off emotional horror.