Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: The Walking Dead 81

Non Spoiler Review:
No Way Out part two raises the stakes significantly this month. After all the organizing and planning from last issue, Glen sets about figuring how to get to Andrea in the church and draw the walkers away from the walls. That becomes an even greater imperative when it's found out that the construction crew ran out of cement long ago when building the fence, and a lot of the posts are bearing quite a bit of zombie weight. Amid the growing crisis, there's some nice relationship bits, including the aftermath of Jesse's proposition.

After simmering the stew of characters for many months, the crisis in the community takes center stage. In fact, the situation is very grave, and we could be in for an epic massacre—starting with at least two this issue.

Spoilers Now!
So Rick sleeps with Jesse. And while both feel a bit awkward about it, they don't let it get to them and Rick is soon off for his patrol, with an odd parting shot at Lori Telephone—"You're not even real". Oookay, Rick, you're still a little bit crazy.

But Glen can't sleep either, thinking of Andrea stuck in the church, so he's up figuring out how to get over the wall to get some food to her—and then draw all the undead away. Maggie's not happy with him considering going outside at all. While he and Rick chat, the latter's new living conditions come up, and Glen raises a bit of concern that Rick's leaving Carl alone with Jesse and her son.

Michonne and Morgan are in bed together, and Morgan is being his usual "Wow, I shouldn't feel guilty, I really deserve some happiness, damn it, I've suffered enough". Michonne's had enough, and lets him have it good. Who does he think he is feeling sorry for himself like he's the only one who lost anyone. She had her boyfriend's head cut off in front of her, for God's sake. She goes to get a glass of water and that's the last we see of her. 

Abraham comes for Rick in a panic. Some of the wall is starting to give way. Apparently, as Tobin explains, they ran out of concrete so have been digging the supporting posts deep and just packing in dirt. While the walkers haven't broken through, there's a lot of weight pressing against the panels, so Rick gets them to pull a truck alongside to add some support for the time being, which is only a temporary fix.

Glen, Heath and Spencer opt to go on their rescue mission for Andrea, and then, hopefully, come up with a way to lure the walkers off the walls once they're on the other side. They crawl across a rope they string to the neighboring house outside. The rope breaks with Spencer on it, and he has a very close call, but gets hauled to safety by them, as well as Andrea, who has miraculously appeared on the roof with them.

The wall situation goes critical when another panel breaks and walkers start spilling in. Rick organizes a group to start knocking them off (avoiding guns for the commotion). Rick gets Jesse to stay inside with the kids while Holly and Tobin guard the wall. Unfortunately Tobin is a goner and by the time Rick gets there, he's been torn apart. He's wondering why no one can find Michonne, even as Morgan shows up to help, and he doesn't know where she is either. (Hmm...) As more walkers begin to overwhelm their defences, Morgan gets a nasty bite, too.

All Good...
Lots of excitement this month. I had thought the storyline would move in the direction of a months long siege, but the craziness is well underway already, and now we could be looking at the citizens trapped within the confines of their homes as the town is overrun.

Aside from the action and the dire straights of the community, the personal moments also raised some questions. Rick and Jesse's fling seems to have gone too smoothly and it's interesting Glen is the one who asks why Rick is suddenly trusting her with Carl. What happened to Michonne? After telling off Morgan, we don't see her again even after he shows up to defend the wall. And here Morgan's the first major character to drop off this month, but likely not the last.

A fast and tense read, as usual, meeting the already high standards of the series. Nothing to complain about, either, except perhaps Glen's hair-brained idea to have everyone crawl across the rope at the same time. He deserves a slap from Spencer for that. As well as an explanation how Andrea made it from the church to their roof.

I'm curious as to what Kirkman will come up with to draw the walkers away. Or the question may even be moot if the walls fail and the town is flooded with walkers. So lots to think about for thirty days.

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