Walking Dead S06E11 Preview and Honest Thoughts on Last Episode

Walking Dead S06E11 Preview and Honest Critique of Last Episode - Photo Credit: AMC / Screencapped.net - Raina
Walking Dead S06E11 Preview and Honest Critique of Last Episode - Photo Credit: AMC / Screencapped.net - Raina /

Bill Maher said on an episode of Real Time recently that he prides himself on being honest with his audience, like you would a close friend. That your friends are the ones to tell you the truth. They’ll get over it and improve. Which leads to the last episode of the Walking Dead…

The Reality of Walking Dead Episode S06E10: The Next World

The Walking Dead is held to an elevated standard soaring high above other television shows. The gold standard. This isn’t a run of the mill show one catches once in a while after work to unwind. We expect more because we know what’s it’s capable of. It’s the flag-bearer of earlier tv shows that introduced the reality of main character deaths like 24. Along with 24, House of Cards, and Better Call Saul we’ve been introduced to a new form of gritty “real life” television through The Walking Dead. It’s why the audience loves it so, oh sure we’d like to believe it’s character attachments, story, or even the zombies… But it’s much bigger than that.

The Walking Dead puts a mirror up to us and displays our ‘true nature’ on a weekly basis. That’s why when our good friend, our close friend, suddenly doesn’t tell us the truth. Or sugarcoats it, or even throws in a little white lie. It strains the friendship.

The last episode was one such occurrence. Especially after the high note that was the premiere. Writing for the audience instead of presenting a realistic universe is gradually watering down the formula. The tap isn’t pure anymore.

Daryl’s Resurgence

Let’s start off with words of positivity from last week’s episode of The Walking Dead. Daryl losing the crossbow has enhanced his character immensely. He’s finally starting to resemble his earlier Season 2 self rather than more of a second in command. Realistically he should have left the group to go on his own long ago, as it would fit his rebel persona. The show has been lightly using the audience’s familiarity with Daryl to introduce new characters. As such the show hasn’t really focused on Daryl’s backstory since the Merle days. A flashback to his troubled youth showing his father and a potential cameo by Merle would be excellent.

More from Undead Walking

The Tame Dramatic Scene

Now we steer forward into where Walking Dead briefly lost the formula for one episode, and just went with what they know. The dialogue in one particular scene stood out where Michonne and Spencer look on to finish zombie Deanna.

It simply conveyed little emotion, and very much felt like something watched already. Basically a scene drawn up to make the audience cry. Michonne suddenly caring so much for Deanna felt unconvincing, one convo back when she was becoming a walker is not enough.

Rick going back to ‘good guy Rick’ mode regressed all the work down in the first half of Season 6 and earlier seasons.

Fan Demands and Protests… Work

A portion of the fanbase wanted Rick/Michonne to be together, just like they wanted Glenn back under all circumstances. Whether it was always planned for Glenn to return or not is unknown, but it’s definitely in the realm of possibility fan pressure had a lot to do with it. The fanbase got what they wanted, and one of the grandest scenes in the show was watered down by its explanation (particular after a multiple episode delay).

There was already a perfect counterpart for a new Governor-like independent Rick Grimes, Jessie Anderson. They had top notch real chemistry, but a portion of the fanbase complained of Jessie (in all honesty, probably jealousy of Alexandra Breckenridge). Emily Kinney got more than her share of sudden dissenting comments for a potential relationship on-screen as Beth with Daryl Dixon. Things got so bad some fans were actually happy and cheering online to see Sam go. Sam the character who inspired Carol (Melissa McBride) to a career highlight of a scene.

It was easy to spot on Talking Dead something was up they talked about ‘not many shows would get rid of a top love interest’ and the director seemed a bit neutral on the notion.

Now after all that work in Season 6 establishing Rick’s interest in Jessie… Rick and Michonne are simply together. Seems like heavy pandering toward some of the fanbase and a forced relationship. Jessie should have been a one time relationship for a long, long time. That’s why it stood out, and was a slow burn build, but more than anything there was instant chemistry.

It worked because it looked genuinely real from their opening scene. Dialogue was not even particularly required from the start for fans to know what was going on. Here we just wake up and they’re together like Jessie never existed. Think how long it took Rick to get over Lori, seeing her as a ghost for half a season. Sure the “Richonne” fanbase will argue of a buildup but there was really nothing there, unless Rick simply talking to Maggie on occasion is also potential foundation. It truly felt like the whole pairing was influenced by online chatter.

Coming to theaters this weekend, it’s Walking Dead Starring new Lead Hugh Grant

The Walking Dead needs to be careful of becoming a romcom with zombies. Relationships started every other week. Yes, there is no doubt the relationships are a ratings grabber, but only truly matter when lightly sprinkled for emphasis. Less is more. Though with the Sasha/Abe scenes along with Rick/Michonne it’s one step away from Zombie Days of Our Lives. Would anyone be surprised at Eugene/Rosita or even Eugene/Tara at this point if some of the fanbase ran a Walking Dead social media campaign for it?

Comedy Mayhem

The new character scenes were amusing but unfitting for such a seriously built universe. At times it felt like scenes straight out of the Dukes of Hazzard and Looney Tunes. Especially the truck sinking. It was funny to watch the truck sink, but it also pulled away from taking the show too serious. For the first time on the show, you could consciously remember this was still a TV show about zombies.

The constant 70s style panning to the walker stuck outside of Alexandria’s gates drove this even more. People don’t realize how difficult it is to get an audience to take a show about a post apocalyptic universe about zombies seriously. Yet The Walking Dead achieved this because it felt true to reality.

When Daryl told Rick “You know Rick, what you said… You were right.” It was 100% true.

Tonight on The Walking Dead

Tonight we’ll watch Rick’s group go along with new character Paul Monroe on The Walking Dead. They don’t fully trust Paul yet, so expect plenty of second guessing by both Rick’s group and Paul. One hopes Paul’s promise of a ‘whole new world’ will be of Walking Dead action scenes. Perhaps the much anticipated new lead villain finally makes an appearance.

Next: The Walking Dead: Do You Miss Daryl's Crossbow

Remember, honest thoughts of last week’s episode are only so The Walking Dead, a good friend we’ve known for years now returns to its’ potential.