Some Walking Dead fans hate bottle episodes, but they are important


Whenever The Walking Dead does a bottle episode like “Swear” there’s a lot of grumbling from fans. But bottle episodes are more important than you might think.

The Walking Dead usually does several bottle episodes per season. Bottle episodes, if you’re not familiar with the term, are episodes that focus on only one or two characters. They usually take place in one location and have a narrow storyline. Because they use few locations and have limited cast they are usually cheaper to produce than full ensemble episodes.

Because The Walking Dead is a show where the action focuses largely on the group fans can feel like bottle episodes aren’t as good as other episodes. Fans that watch the show mostly for the walker killing and action are often disappointed in bottle episodes. Bottle episodes usually focus more on story and character development than on action.

Another reason why fans sometimes dislike bottle episodes is that they focus on just one or two characters. If the episode doesn’t feature a character that they care about then some fans don’t want to watch that episode. “Swear” has come under fire from fans because it was a bottle episode and it focused on Tara and Heath, who haven’t been seen since last season.

Why Bottle Episodes Matter

Of course fans want to see their favorite characters every week. But it can be hard to give each character the development they need in group episodes. Bottle episodes like “Here’s Not Here” in Season 6 provide a lot of background and story development. That makes the characters that fans love more complex and interesting.

For a couple of seasons bottle episodes became synonymous with character deaths. It was assumed that any character given a bottle episode was going to be killed off. The bottle episode was seen as a chance for that character to get a final farewell. But now bottle episodes provide essential character development that keeps the story moving forward.

In the past couple of seasons the show has expanded a lot. There are lot of new communities and characters. And the ongoing fight against Negan and the Saviors. With so much going on sometimes a bottle episode is necessary. It gives important background information that otherwise fans wouldn’t get.

Essential Information

“Swear” may have seemed slow moving to some fans but it gave the audience important clues and information that will be important in the fight to come. Through Tara’s discovery of Oceanside fans learned that the Saviors had killed all the men in the community. That’s not something that the group or fans have heard of Negan doing before. That information and other bits of story development will factor into the upcoming battle against the Saviors.

In “Here’s Not Here” fans discovered what prompted Morgan’s change in philosophy. Getting information about who Morgan has become and how he got there answered questions and filled in holes in the story plot.

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Good Storytelling

The heart of The Walking Dead has always been the story. Good storytelling needs character and story development. If a show doesn’t have that it’s just a bunch of slaughter with a weak plot and one note characters. So even if you’re not a fan of bottle episodes they are necessary to make the show what it is.

Don’t give up on the show when the bottle episodes come around or complain about them. Look for the essential information in the episode. It will be important in the action filled episodes that are coming up.