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Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ 7.10 – ‘New Best Friends’

“Friends in High Places”


I can’t help but reflect on the recent uptick in quality that I’ve felt from The Walking Dead. You can only warn of an inevitable turn into shit for so long. Eventually I must acknowledge that I don’t just have hope that The Walking Dead will become good, it has been good for some time. This week fixed some of the character problems I’ve had with the show while at the same time growing the world even larger than it has been lately.

While I still found Father Gabriel’s explanation of why he left with all their goods lazy, it did the job it needed to do. It is lazy storytelling to have a character do something so unlike their personality in one episode and then later claim there was a person off-screen forcing them to do it all along. Really him leaving was just a macguffin to get our survivors to meet the first group they can convince to join forces with to fight the saviors.

I found myself seeing this new world of The Walking Dead having parallels with fantasy epics like Game of Thrones. If you distill these character conflicts down to their core, they are about warring factions and small but willful protagonists trying to take on the villains in power. I felt that even more so this week when we were formally introduced to our newest faction of survivors. I don’t even know what to call them, a cult? I just don’t know. But I was making connection between them and the “Brotherhood Without Banners” in the Game of Thrones universe. They were like mercenaries that wanted more than to just survive, they wanted to test you and then take from you if you failed their challenge.

It’s almost as if in the slump between season 5 and 6 the writers looked at the immense critical acclaim of Game of Thrones and decided to craft their own Westeros. Except with real zombies instead of ice zombies. Now I know you can say that Robert Kirkman created these storylines many years ago in the comics. To that I say that our lord and savior George R.R. Martin created the world of ice and fire in 1996. I’m not staying they are directly related, I’m just saying there is a certain template that can been seen within both. Either way it only makes for a better Walking Dead.

 

Quick Notes:

  • Rick was so good in this episode. He’s proven again why he is fit to lead.
  • How cool was that armored walker?!?!?!?!?
  • I love how little they have used Neagan in this half-season. That character can become a caricature of itself if used too much.
  • Once again some shitty, out of nowhere green screen on one of the most popular shows on television! Why?

Written by Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore has a history in academic writing but has always had a passion for the media he loves. From music, to comics, to games, Chris looks beyond the page and searches for story behind the story.

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