Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: The Walking Dead 106

Non Spoiler Review:
As Negan debates a suitable punishment for Carl, the focus returns to Rick, who is frantically trying to find out where his son is. Jesus returns with tactical information, leading him to assemble a crew to face the Saviors.

This month was filler to bring us up to date on Rick, with some additional subplots for the characters we haven't seen in awhile. Whether those particular scenes are going to pay off in this arc or another, we'll just have to wait. 

At least Kirkman isn't dragging his heals as things get on the move very quickly, and the scenes between Carl and Negan are always tense and interesting.

Spoilers Now!
Mark is led away as Amber asks after him. Only it's Dwight (formerly ironed himself) who tells her to shut up and leave him alone. 

Back in Negan's quarters, Carl asks to wrap up his face, but Negan forbids it as he's not done with him yet. So he asks for Carl's input on a suitable punishment—death, iron perhaps—but Carl suggests Negan just jump out a window to save him the trouble of killing him. That gets a laugh and Negan wonders if he can think of a punishment any worse than what's already happened to Carl. But he'll try.

Meanwhile, Rick is at his wits' end looking for Carl. He and the others have been searching the neighbourhood for him to no avail, though Rick quietly suspects that Negan has kidnapped him. Spencer watches from the gates, wondering why they're bothering to search with no clue where to look. The older Erin tells him he's just bitter about Rick taking his girlfriend and suggests he not let it drive him crazy.

In other domestic news, Eric suggests to Aaron that they might consider leaving town and making a go on their own given the new political situation—or at least make preparations. Aaron won't hear of it, having enough of barely escaping with their lives on the road looking for other survivors. He suggests their new trading relationship might actually be a step back towards civilization. 

Jesus has made his way back to town and pays Rick a visit in his house at night. He explains he found Negan's fortress, and learns from Rick that Carl is missing. All he can say is he heard gunfire as he was starting on his way back. Rick notes Abraham's machine gun is missing. 

Jesus leads a search party of Rick, Michonne and Andrea towards Negan's installation, but Rick doesn't really have a viable plan other than talking to him to ask for his son back. Jesus also warns that the perimeter is guarded by chained and impaled walkers, making it nearly impossible to get through. Rick suggests he knows how to get by without the roamers noticing. 

Their planning is cut short when Negan's truck intercepts them. Coincidentally, Negan was on his way to Rick to let him know about his guest. Rick demands to know where Carl is, so Negan tells him he can't wait for him to see what he's done to his boy.

The Verdict:
With a lot of set up, next month will give us the answer to Negan's tease about what he's done to Carl (hopefully). I have visions of Carl being outfitted with some eyepiece accessory or worse. Kirkman has been successful delivering a different kind of megalomaniac from the Governor. He's a fascinating character to watch, especially interacting with Carl. It's equally conceivable he could either kill Carl at the drop of a hat or make him his second-in-command.

Dwight gets a little more play here, too, and he's carrying his own baggage with Negan. Was that also his (ex)wife with Amber? It seemed as though he might have been ironed for the same reason as Mark.

There was a specific callback to Rick's special walker invisibility cloak—covering himself in zombie guts. Is this going to eventually be the way he (or Jesus) sneak into the stronghold to save Carl?

On another note, we get a few character bits with Aaron and Eric as well as introducing new citizen Erin (at least I think she's new) and grumpy Spencer. It's tough getting decent updates on the sizable cast that don't interfere with what's already going on each issue. Usually they're only brought out en masse when something serious is afflicting the community, which leads to a problem in developing an attachment to anyone aside from the core. But Erin looks interesting, and hopefully the town's inhabitants get some further depth in issues to come.

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