Spoiler Alert: The following discusses plot points from Sunday Night's The Walking Dead Season 6 episode, "Now."
The action snaps right back to the Alexandria community as Rick returns to his people in the aftermath of the Wolves massacre. Deanna is in shock (Tovah Feldshuh) but experiences her own baptism of blood by episode end. And Maggie sets out to find Glenn with Aaron (Ross Marquand), who feels responsible for the Alexandria attack because his dropped backpack reconnaissance led the Wolves, literally, to their door.
Editor at Large Aaron Sagers and Contributing Editor Tara Bennett give their reactions to this episode, written by Corey Reed, and directed by Avi Youabian.
Tara: It was nice to see some of the ensemble characters gets some moments including a gentle kiss between Tara (Alanna Masterson) and nervous Dr. Denise (Merritt Wever), Jesse (Alexandra Breckenridge) and her completely freaked out younger son, Sam (a cookie monster no more) and Aaron's confessional to Maggie about his fears and resilience in the face of all this mayhem.
Aaron: The sewer walkers were my favorite this week. I love when we see the zombies in an advanced state of decay, and getting pretty soggy. Although I'm left wondering how long it will take for a portion of the horde to push in that sewer grate. But I did like the kiss between Tara and Dr. Denise; the interactions between these two has felt authentic thus far.
Aaron: Last week The Walking Dead teased us by not giving us resolution about Glenn's demise. But we were treated to an excellent two-man play in the interim. That's not the case this week. We've returned to the current timeline, and are back in Alexandria, and we still spend an entire episode not knowing. Now, if we knew Glenn was dead, and we were watching Maggie come to terms with that, this could have been powerful. Instead -- because The Talking Dead and Scott Gimple's message on the after show -- some great character work by Lauren Cohan was overshadowed by the uncertainty.
Tara: Absolutely. At this point, the lingering "Is Glenn really dead?" question is overwhelmingly distracting. As an emotional device, it's not allowing me to invest in the stakes of any of the Glenn-centric scenes because in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "OK, Maggie is breaking down but what if he's alive? Then this is just wasted time for her and me." Even the act of Maggie and Aaron hopefully wiping out the names of Nicholas and Glenn on the Alexandria memorial wall feels hollow, manipulative and too on the nose if we get an outcome with Glenn still alive and kicking (as fan theories portend).
And as a dangling plotline in general, it's so omnipresent that I find myself wondering how any of the core players like Michonne or Carol aren't on a tear to find Glenn, Abraham and Sasha - horde or not. Rick just looking out in the distance for any of them returning seems an incredibly lackluster response for the loyal guy we know. Add his weird mack-daddy moment with Jesse in the garage and I'm scratching my head on the Rickster this week.
Aaron: I think audiences are owed an explanation as to how Rick got out of the RV and created enough distance between him and the herd. And I was annoyed by Rick's sloppy behavior this week as well. Normally I'm the first one to tell Mr. Grimes to relax just a tad, but after confronting near-certain demise and then learning of Glenn's "death," he's ready to get busy? Also, he doesn't bother to follow up on the Carl tip to see what his son is thinking (which, of course, means Carl has gone over the wall)? This was entirely out of character.
Tara: Plus, Rick buying Ron's abrupt swap in attitude isn't a red flag for him? That kid wants some weapons training so he can shoot you in the face, Rick! Even Father Gabriel can read that coming.
"Oh S--t!" Moment
Tara: Deanna's slasher-flick freak out on Carol's lost wolf walker is also my Best Kill moment this week. After avoiding the Wolves attack by hiding in the truck and finally realizing how selfish and unprepared she and her husband allowed their community (and sons) to be, it was pretty great to see Deanna get her hands, face, arms, torso, etc ... dirty from her first walker kill. She looked like Rick in the Season 5 finale, and it was the first time I felt maybe this lady has a tiny shot of surviving in a Rick-led Alexandria.
Aaron: It doesn't make sense to me that a rogue walker was in Alexandria, yet no one was looking for it. If Carol said she lost one of the Wolves, that means they're still out there. It struck me as a ham-handed way to present a threat to Deanna, even though I liked her slasher movie moment. I did, however, enjoy the kills in that sewer tunnel. Beyond that, nothing really blew me away this episode. But what's the leaking ooze mean at the end there? That the walls are giving way?
Aaron: After a strong four episodes, this struck me as a weak one. I realize we need to downshift and focus on what the ensemble is up to, and have talky episodes. But this one felt like filler, whereas last week's Morgan-centric episode was compelling. We need more Glenn answers, and less monologues.
Tara: It's my least favorite of Season 6 so far too. There was a lot of speechifying from characters this week (Rick, Tara, Deanna, etc...) which didn't feel in line with the elegant writing of this season. Rick seemed to settle into the community again too quickly with so many beloved lives still unaccounted for, and his libido raging doesn't work. Listen, if show hottie Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) hasn't gotten busy once in this series, I think Rick can cool his jets.
What did you think of “Now”? Are you upset about the Glenn situation or do you think it's great storytelling?