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THE WALKING DEAD Review: ‘Heads Up’

Warning: the following review contains spoilers. Like lots of them. Really big ones, even. Proceed at your own risk and don’t say we didn’t warn ya!

Two hundred years ago, when Charles Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop was serialized, it’s said readers were so anxious to learn if the novel’s main character Little Nell had been killed off that they lined the docks of New York City’s harbor to await the ships bringing the magazine containing the next installment of the story to America, crying out to the sailors, “is Little Nell dead?”

That’s the fervor that greets the news of a beloved TV character these days, whether it’s Jon Snow or Glenn Rhee. And so fans of The Walking Dead are no doubt besides themselves with joy that after falling under Nicholas when the Alexandrian shot himself several weeks back, and crying helplessly as an army of walkers devoured him, Glenn did in fact manage to squeeze himself out from under, and crawl beneath the dumpster on which the two men were perched.

The scene is something out of Saving Private Ryan, as Glenn fights for his life with barely any space to move; and then, without food or water, spends the night there while the walkers gradually disperse. Thankfully, Enid shows up the next morning and throws him a bottle of water. Though the orphaned girl leads Glenn on a chase when he runs after her, in the end she agrees to go back with him to Alexandria when he convinces her that the best way to honor the dead is to continue living.

Elsewhere, things are coming to a head with Rick and Morgan, when the former considers the latter responsible for the wolves who attacked him in the RV—by letting them go when he could have killed them. The question as to whether or not one can be a pacifist in Rick’s group is an intriguing one. For unless it’s a true dictatorship, everyone must be free to pursue their own beliefs. Even when that someone is as hated as everyone’s least favorite survivor, Father Gabriel.

But Rick’s biggest problem this week is one of which he’s unaware: Ron, whom he’s teaching to shoot—and who immediately steals some bullets and follows Carl with his newly loaded pistol. While it’s nice that Rick is still honorable enough not to leave Spencer to his death so he can run off and get help for Alexandria, it must be said that Jessie’s son has the most punchable face of any character on TV right now. How long will Rick and his new girlfriend last when it looks like he’ll have to waste her little brat?

It’s a question the show might not need to answer for some time. Since, in the final moments of “Heads Up,” the meaning of the episode’s title becomes clear. When a wooden tower collapses from the stress of the walker horde and finally brings down the town’s wall.

The Walking Dead 2

Undead Afterthoughts

  • I love that Tara gives Rick the finger when he tells her she shouldn’t have helped him save Spencer. It’s just so Tara.
  • This feels like the first time in forever that we’ve seen Michonne. The show could use a lot more of her pragmatism.
  • Walker eyeball + iron fence = perfection
  • There’s a great throwaway moment when Enid tells Glenn that she’s been orphaned by walkers and he murmurs, “Me too. Probably.” Of all the show’s major characters we might know the least about Mr. Rhee’s background.
  • “The world is trying to die. We’re supposed to just let it.” Er, thanks, Enid. This really wasn’t a good week for millennials on The Walking Dead.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).

Image Credits: AMC

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