The Walking Dead, “The Bridge” review

Aleigh Warren

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I was highly anticipating the return of my favorite series, but was left with a small sting of disappointment. Even though there was a very satisfying death in its closing moments, it felt a little sluggish. I was pleasantly surprised, however, about how the second episode turned out.

 

The episode started off with Rick having a chat with Negan outside of his cell. I like the idea of Rick going down there to tell Negan what’s happening without him. It’s basically showing him how he has no authority and that there’s no existing superiority. Next, we get a peek at how everyone’s doing; the main focus on Carol and Ezekiel’s relationship. They’re cute together, but since there was a time jump I’m lacking the emotional depth and growth between the two besides the lingering undertones in past seasons. It’s nice to see that Carol is happy and getting back to having a ‘normal’ life after all she’s had to endure. In retrospect, I was happy to see how everyone had grown together even though they’ve engaged in devastating situations with each other.

 

Since ‘The Bridge’ was the title of the episode, of course Daryl and a large crew of workers were constructing a bridge. Here, we have an incident where a minor character gets bold and stirs up some trouble. While Henry is bringing around water for them, he decides the rules don’t apply to him and gets more than everyone else. Henry tries to be fair, but ends up on the ground due to a push from the Savior. This interaction doesn’t go over well with Daryl and from there, a fight ensues as per usual. The low blow for me was when he threw sand in Daryl’s eyes. From that moment on, I knew that guy was going to be gone in a matter of minutes. You don’t do something like that and get away from it in this series. On the subject of Daryl and his crew, they changed to a different location to gathering logs while Jerry and Tara were steering a herd in the other direction. Sadly, the bold Savior that caused a commotion back on the bridge didn’t respond to his call to help with the walkers. This caused the herd to run head-on into the group. Poor Aaron’s arm got caught underneath one of the logs which led to it having to eventually be amputated. Even though it was disgusting to look at, I loved the special fx. I’ve missed that kind of practical close up effects rather than the cheap, CGI they usually insert. Daryl really has a temper in this episode which can either be good or bad depending on the situation, but I believe the temperment in this episode was needed.

All the way back at the Hilltop, Maggie has to deal with Tammy who is begging to see her incarcerated husband. Tammy sure is a pest, but I was glad Maggie let her see Earl. I did really appreciated the dialogue between Earl and Maggie after Tammy was gone. The revelations of his backstory made me feel bad for him. Alcoholism is a very serious thing and Gregory clearly used that knowledge to his advantage in Episode One. I still believe he should be kept in the cell just because of what he said to Maggie before she left. It was along the lines of; “Killing Gregory was a mistake, but I don’t deserve to be put on the chopping block.” That made me suspicious.

One thing that caught my attention is the budding relationship between Anne (formerly Jadis) and Father Gabriel. It was very surprising to me as well as many other viewers the advances that were suddenly occurring, but looking into it deeper I see it as symbolism. Their relationship symbolizes the now blurred lines of the ‘us against them’ narrative and how everyone’s conflicts with each other have somewhat been erased. Anne is searching for redemption of herself after the slaying of her people and it’s clearly ironic she’s searching in a pastor who had conflicts with his own group multiple times.

One thing that is really bothering me at the moment is the helicopter. Who’s in the helicopter? Why is there even one? It’s been lingering in the sky for a while now and it’s just bugging me to my very core. Anne seems to be the one to notice it frequently, as it appeared over her old dwelling more than once. The issue isn’t being addressed. Characters just look up at the sky dumbfounded and ignore it as if to say; “Did y’all see something? ‘Cause I didn’t!” The episode ended with yet another mystery; who attacked the rude Savior? I thought it was Dwight but inside sources are telling me it’s the Whispers. I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

 

Overall, I enjoyed this episode. It was filled with interesting dialogue and situations. The dialogue was very rich between characters and the interactions didn’t feel forced. There were plenty of things going on which kept me engaged (something the show has been lacking lately) so it was a nice change of pace. I do think this episode was better than the premier and I can only hope it continues to go up through the rest of the season.

 

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