(Rob watches tonight’s episode. Because the credit roll, he continues to stare, as if he can’t fairly imagine what he’s seen. He slowly rises from his sofa, his head wobbling barely as if making an attempt to shake off a dream, and walks throughout the room to a dry-erase board studying “DAYS SINCE THE WALKING DEAD WAS GREAT: 1105.” He wipes off the quantity, then grabs a marker. He begins to place the pen to the board, pauses all of the sudden, then slowly and intentionally writes “0” the place the opposite numbers had been, and walks away. Out of the blue, with out breaking stride, he returns to the board and provides, “You realize, comparatively.”)
If you wish to pigeonhole this episode with one other story style—and I do, because it’s been amusing me—I’d say conspiracy thriller in all probability comes closest to describing “Belief.” In any case, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Max (Margot Bingham) are hoping to search out information associated to the disappearance of a stunning variety of Commonwealth inhabitants, a few of whom we all know from last week’s episode died within the service of Governor Milton’s entitled nightmare of a son Kingsley and his want to get some money. These information are for Connie (Lauren Ridloff), who thinks she’s going to put in writing an exposé on the Miltons and their soiled deeds as an alternative of getting imprisoned or killed earlier than her article sees print in no matter publication serves because the Commonwealth’s press. In the meantime, Aaron (Ross Marquand), Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), and Daryl (Norman Reedus) conspire to maintain Deputy Governor Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) from studying the reality of what occurred final week, particularly their function in killing Carlson and his platoon of Commonwealth troopers to avoid wasting the lives of the remaining Riverbenders.
Whereas there have been loads of strong episodes just lately, “Belief” is superb from the very first body, which begins with a close-up of the half-eaten face of Carlson. The digital camera raises into the sky to disclose the whole lot of his torn aside, half-eaten physique, which is probably the most splendidly grisly picture The Strolling Lifeless has supplied in fairly a while. It’s completely contrasted with the scene on the roof, as Gabriel and Aaron inform Hornsby the ludicrous story that the Riverbenders managed to kill the previous CIA murderer Carlson and his closely armed and armored troops, however not, someway, the 2 of them. When Daryl vouches for them their expertise, Hornsby smiles and says he believes them, however (fairly understandably) doesn’t. In consequence, he spends the remainder of the episode making an attempt to catch them, and finally Maggie (Lauren Cohan), of their misinform some splendidly tense, and fortunately foolish moments.
First: on the street to Hilltop, the place Hornsby suspects the Riverbenders have taken shelter, the group encounters a big group of zombies. Maliciously claiming he doesn’t need to waste any ammo, he sends Aaron and Gabe to take all of them out—in spite of everything, they’re such nice warriors. The humorous factor right here is, they’re! Daryl joins them to assist, however the three of them take out greater than a dozen zombies with out breaking a sweat. Strike one for Hornsby!
At Hilltop, we lastly catch as much as the flash-forward to the top of the ninth episode of season 11, the place Maggie tells the Commontroopers at Hilltop’s door, “It doesn’t need to be like this,” to which latest enlistee Daryl takes off his Commontrooper helmet and replies, “Yeah it does.” It’s a a lot much less sinister second than TWD constructed it as much as be since Hilltop isn’t technically in any bother except Riverbenders are discovered there, and Daryl talks to Maggie to stop the opposite Commontroopers from busting down the door and hurting/killing a variety of Maggie’s folks—versus Daryl having switched sides, as was initially implied.
Hornsby’s first clue: a truck! Truck tracks have been discovered leaving Riverbend, and when Hornsby mentions this, Maggie replies it’s a automotive they’ve been engaged on however can’t get to begin. Ever so fortunately, Hornsby simply so occurs to be a gear head, and volunteers to look beneath the hood to see what’s flawed… as a result of if the truck simply works, it’s presumably the one Riverbend was utilizing. Certain sufficient, Hornby finds two wires which have been conspicuously disconnected from one another, as if by hand, and goes to begin it up as Maggie and Daryl watch nervously. However the engine nonetheless doesn’t flip over. Strike two!
More and more annoyed, Hornsby accosts Maggie’s son Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller), hoping he can get the reality from an harmless baby. The Commonwealth deputy governor interrogates Hershel, makes an attempt to intimidate him, after which tries to bribe the child with the hat Hershel unintentionally left at Riverbend after he stowed away. The interview could be very all of the sudden ended by Elijah (kea Eme-Akwari), who sees what’s taking place, rips Hornsby away from the child, throws Hornsby towards the wall, and sticks a gun in his face. When Maggie arrives, she factors her gun at Hornsby too, which after all means all of the Commontroopers stage their weapons at Maggie and Elijah. It’s a tense second certainly, till Daryl convinces Hornsby to inform his troops to face down as a result of Hilltop has been searched top-to-bottom and the Riverbenders are nowhere to be discovered. However that’s strike three, and Hornsby! Is! Outta there!
That is really nice with him as a result of one in all his troopers runs as much as say they’ve discovered one thing, nevertheless it seems that one thing isn’t the path of the Riverbenders, who’re presumably someplace close to Hilltop. As an alternative, it’s a single campsite—inhabited by Leah (Lynn Collins), cleansing the entire weapons she stole from Hornsby’s secret Commonwealth convoy. After Leah makes use of her army expertise to cover and expertly wound a few of the troopers, Hornsby asks for a ceasefire and, out of nowhere, presents her a job. Roll credit.
It’s an odd scene and an odd growth, since Hornsby has been lifeless set on getting his lacking weapons cache again, and he doesn’t appear to be the kind of man who would enable somebody a second likelihood to probably endanger his nefarious plans. Particularly when he has no concept who Leah is, or whether or not she’s one of many zombie apocalypse’s predominant lunatics. Likewise, why would Leah belief this whole stranger apart from to get revenge on Maggie and Daryl—however neither she nor Hornsby have any concept the opposite is aware of of them. Nonetheless, I presume Leah’s going to turn into Hornsby’s secret right-hand-woman, and that hand might be holding many, many weapons.
Actually, the All of the President’s Males-type makes an attempt to find the ugly truths of the Commonwealth don’t go a lot of anyplace; Connie can’t write her article till she will get proof, which Eugene and Max haven’t gotten but, though the 2 of them reconcile with a kiss. The subsequent greatest storyline is that Ezekiel (Khary Payton), given a brand new lease on life through his profitable throat surgical procedure, asks Yumiko’s brother Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale) if he’d do an appendectomy operation off the books for a poor lady who would relatively die than go away her household in debt. The 2 instantly get caught stealing medical provides and arrested solely to be freed beneath Carol’s (Melissa McBride) orders. It seems working for Hornsby comes with an ideal many privileges.
The trio head to Ezekiel’s vet clinic, the place Carol and Tomi uncover he’s additionally been operating a secret medical clinic within the again for these individuals who can’t afford the Commonwealth’s medical care or to attend. This all works nice for the girl with the appendix, however extra importantly, Ezekiel is aware of Carol will need to have gotten tight with somebody able of energy (on this case, Hornsby) so as to transfer him to the highest of the surgical procedure listing.
What actually makes this episode a lot enjoyable is that it seems like there’s extra superior gore than in the remainder of season 11 mixed. Moreover the unimaginable first shot of the stays of Carlson, when Hornsby sends Aaron and Gabriel to combat these zombies, we see Aaron use his spike fist to show a zombie head right into a firework of blood and viscera, flying on the digital camera. Gabriel makes use of his machete to chop the highest half of a zombie’s cranium off, however diagonally, so all of the horrid, corroded brains are seen on display screen. Then Daryl stabs a zombie within the face together with his assault rifle’s bayonet, then shoots one other zombie within the head whereas the gun remains to be within the first zombie’s brains! It’s fantastic.
Additionally fantastic: the hilariously ominous and overwrought music. I can’t think about why they thought every thing on this episode deserved frequent, minor-key energy chords, however they have been pleasant. They’re precisely the kind of factor that may/will nonetheless be superior in the event that they return in subsequent week’s episode, which occurs to be the ultimate episode of this second portion of The Strolling Lifeless’s last season. They’d even be mildly nice in the event that they caught round for the autumn premiere of the third assortment of episodes, however then they’d probably be vastly irritating afterward. However tonight, the overblown music was enjoyable as hell.
(Rob hits save on his Phrase doc, then leans again and stretches, relieved one other recap is completed. It’s been a protracted slog—10 years—since he first began recapping The Strolling Lifeless, stuffed with some highs and an unfathomable variety of lows. He nonetheless has months to go, and he’s tried… so, so drained. However then he glances on the signal: “DAYS SINCE THE WALKING DEAD WAS AWESOME: 0.” And Rob smiles. It’s going to be okay, he thinks. Most likely.)
- Max is mad at her brother Mercer (Michael James Shaw) for not utilizing his place of energy to make the Commonwealth a greater place. However he’s resigned himself to dwelling in a civilization that has the identical flaws because the outdated world did. He additionally, apparently, has been very upset that he killed these two guards final week—he’s not the stone-faced enforcer he initially introduced himself as.
- However, Mercer can also be on the Commonwealth’s propaganda posters telling everybody to “do their half.” Whereas most fascist dictatorships would possibly wish to publicly be seen as a reputable, caring authorities, Mercer’s livid face all however says “OR I WILL KILL YOU.”
- Mercer has top-of-the-line, most sensible “appearing whereas pumping severe iron” scenes I believe I’ve ever seen. All credit score to Shaw for an ideal efficiency right here whereas additionally being ripped as hell.
- I really feel dangerous for Tomi. All he needed to do was work in a low-stress job like his bakery, just for his sister Yumiko to bully him about not being a surgeon anymore. This obtained round and Tomi was conscripted into the Commonwealth’s medical division, the place he’s completely depressing, identical to he was earlier than the apocalypse. It’s unhappy, particularly as a result of I’m pretty assured he gained’t dwell by way of the season.
- So what’s the cope with the truck? It appears apparent that Maggie disconnected that wire within the likelihood that Hornsby determined to strive it out, which was some fairly fast pondering on her half. However when Hornsby connects the wires, it nonetheless didn’t work. Have been the wires a decoy for some cause? Did they sabotage the automotive in a second, much less apparent method? In that case, why have been all of them sweating bullets when Hornsby tried to begin the automotive? Did Maggie and Hilltop simply get extraordinarily fortunate? It’s all bizarre and I’m achieved fascinated with it as a result of I think TWD is, too.
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