The first thing that comes to mind regarding this particular episode of The Walking Dead is that I understand what they were trying to accomplish with it, but I don’t think they did a very good job with the execution. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying; even when we were just watching certain characters out on their own, I really felt for them – but that doesn’t change the fact that overall, “Them” was extremely slow; plodding, even.
There was a lot of focus on Daryl, Maggie and Sasha, and while it was interesting to finally see Daryl and Maggie dealing with their grief, Sasha is still nothing short of maddening. Additionally, so much of the dialogue was stilted that almost every time two characters started conversing it tore me away from the story.
Speaking of the story, the fact that we finally got to see the group encounter some true hardship on the road was weirdly refreshing. Yeah, it sucks for them that they were having trouble finding water, that they were so tired they can barely deal with the walkers who come around, and that they ended up having to eat dog…but it was about time for them to find themselves facing such issues.
After watching the group walk and argue and walk and whine and walk and walk and walk, the appearance of the bottled water “from a friend” and the sudden rainstorm were welcome developments. Never mind that the rainstorms timing was overly convenient; at that point I was past ready for something to give.
And give it did. Not only did we finally get Rick’s infamous comic line, “We are the walking dead”, but they even threw in a pretty crazy zombie “attack”. Now, Rick’s speech was good in and of itself, but Daryl’s response kind of ruined the moment for me. It was unnecessary and really took away from what was otherwise a [dare I say rare?] powerful moment.
I’m also confused about the horde of zombies that showed up at the barn. If the group had been in there with a fire burning and talking like they were when the weather was clear, I would have understood the zombies homing in on them – but with the storm raging outside, I just can’t wrap my head around it. To top it all off, the fact that one moment they were fighting to hold the door shut against the zombies and the next they were waking up to a quiet morning is yet another example of the off-putting things that happened in “Them”.
I did really enjoy Maggie and Sasha’s moment as they watched the sunrise at the end, though, and I hope that the writers continue to explore the relationship between these two women. Not to mention the new character who wandered up at the last moment! As a comic reader I have at least some idea who Aaron is, but of course this show has deviated quite a bit from the source material, so surely there will still be surprises in store in regards to what happens next.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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