The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 5 “Now” Review

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Is there a Clue in this week’s episode about Glenn’s fate? (Spoilers)

The Longest Day Ever could jokingly be a subtitle for the first part of Season 6. It’s not until episode 5 does the day which began in the premiere comes to an end. Because of the non-linear storytelling, we will still see more of this day from Daryl, Sasha and Abraham’s perspective.

I bring this up because the intense action of the first few episodes gives the impression of fast paced storytelling, even if the major events can simply be boiled down to “survivors deal with a zombie herd and “wolves attack Alexandria”. In comparison, the relatively quieter “Now”, is exposed for not having a whole lot happen storywise.

Depending on your viewpoint, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing to take the time to develop characters and plant seeds for things to come, for example Rick teaching Ron, the kid who doesn’t get along with Carl, how to use a gun could come back to haunt him.

It’s by good design for the writer to use recent events to develop several Alexandrians into more compelling characters. These Alexandrians need to evolve, to mentality adapt to surviving in the post apocalypse, for them to be integral to the show’s long-term plans, assuming they won’t be killed off in the near future. 

Among the Alexandrians, the best scenes belong to Deanna. She could easily be annoying had she opposed Rick at every turn, instead she’s mostly been level-headed. It’s a nice turn of events how Deanna started off despondent while Spencer took leadership at the food bank, then by episode’s end they reversed roles.

More specifically, I liked how Deanna is hopeful and is determined to persevere not only for herself but for the community she leads. On the other hand, Spencer is on an opposite trajectory, eating crackers he stole that were supposed to be rationed out for everyone. 

To a certain extent there’s some validity in the point of view that Alexandrian’s character arcs are somewhat rehashing what Rick’s group has already gone through. For instance, Jessie, a mother whose abusive husband is now dead and is gradually becoming a self-reliant survivor, sounds similar to Carol’s arc.

Or just the general idea of coming to terms with “This is what life looks like now” sounds like pretty familiar territory. I guess it depends on how invested viewers are in these Alexandrians and if they believe these characters’ journey can offer their own individual perspectives which could influence how repetitive this all might come across. 

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“Now” did a good job of presenting each character with their own internal dilemma and motivations. Many of which thematically revolved around how hope is a mental survival tool in itself. In the sense that the belief in a future as opposed to the fear that this could be the end can be the difference in how some people survive or alternatively let the weight of their trauma crush them. 

The idea of hope worked well in the context of Maggie’s scenes which ended with her wiping Glenn’s name off the in memoriam wall.  The light at the end of the sewer tunnel turned out to be zombies, forcing her to choose to live for the life within instead of endangering herself and baby.

What adds to the tragedy around Glenn is that Maggie has to cope with the possibility that she might not ever get closure, something that is very true to what can happen in real life. The producers have said that “parts of Glenn” would return, which could be interpreted a few ways, one of which could be a vague reference to his baby. More likely though, Steven Yuen will be back as Glenn in the flesh. Whether that flesh is rotten or alive is hard to say, for now I’m on the hopeful side.

“Now” isn’t the most memorable episode, it isn’t the most exciting either. But there’s certainly a lot of enjoyable aspects to it. We needed to have Maggie deal with Glenn’s absence and we needed to see the after effects of the wolf attack on Alexandria. With a horde of zombies surrounding the community, it makes sense for the episode to focus internally on the characters. There are also a number of new character pairings and dynamics that we haven’t seen before. This includes Maggie and Aaron who played off of each other well, both of the actors had very good performances.  Tara and Denise is a pairing I could see being set up yet still kind of feels unexpected. If anything, “Now” is an transitional episode to set up the home stretch to hopefully a strong mid-season finale. 

Which character do you think had the best development or scenes? Which is your favorite pairing or couple in this episode?

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