The Walking Dead is at it’s best when it sticks to it’s comic roots. Brilliantly written with plot lines more suitable for HBO, the comic keeps the drama and shocking moments dialed high at all times. Though the show differs from the comic in many ways, nearly all of it’s best moments occur when the scenes and plots are lifted straight from the comic book pages. From the Governor’s demise, to Bob’s zombie infected leg being eaten, nearly every memorable moment of the show has a direct comic equivalent. If you’ve never read the comic which is tragic in of itself, hold onto your seats, it gets much crazier. Stock up on some Kleenex now because the finale has Red Wedding implications written all over it.
The midseason premier of AMC’s The Walking Dead was a celebration of all the things that make the comic book great! Mirroring the events that take place in Issues 83 and 84 of the comic, episode 9 of season 6 pulled no punches. TV show fan favorite Daryl started the episode in an explosive way setting off the excitement in a way that would make Michael Bay proud. Picking up from the episode 8’s cliff hanger the survivors find themselves under siege as Walkers flood into Alexandria. Rick’s zombie ichor and gore covered group makes a dangerous trek through the horde when tragedy strikes. Carol and Morgan have unfinished business, Denise and the Wolves survivor creep about, while Glenn makes profound statements about the meaning of life in the zombie apocalypse.
What makes this episode so great outside of the shocking plot, is the way it mirrored the comics nearly panel for panel including dialogue. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, this was the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift. Fans were rewarded with the pivotal moment in Issue 83 when Carl lost his eye after the confusion resulting from the death of Jessie and Ron. We were also treated with Rick rage after Jessie’s death and nearly losing Carl. Plus, Alexandria’s citizens eventually take matters into their own hands and decide to take the town back and in a way that would make Tarantino proud.
The action, the suspense, and the ton of nods to fans of the comic, make this episode of The Walking Dead one of the best of the season until Negan appears of course.