Right off the bat, we see this is going to be an emotional roller coaster of an episode.
The very first frames show a superior performance from Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) as she is dealing with the emotional turmoil of having her significant other eaten by cannibals, which we can imagine is difficult to comprehend, never mind cope with. She seamlessly conveys this, and we almost forget we’re watching a show about zombies…almost. We are also shown the Reverend (Seth Gilliam) coming to terms with the violence and bloodshed his precious church has been exposed to. However, these performances from supporting actors in no way undermine those shown by the main cast, which are certainly superior.
The episode sees Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group planning their takeover of the <Insert This Week’s Location Here>, an act which almost seems over used for The Walking Dead. Glenn (Steven Yeun) and his posse decide what they’re going to do with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), the Kenny of the show (For those who are confused, see The Walking Dead the Telltale Game.) The Reverend attempts to deal with his Batman-esque ‘No Death by My Hands’ rule; with Carl (Chandler Riggs) trying to help him with this problem, a funny moment in an otherwise dark episode. Oh yeah, and something about a hospital…or a prison…or a farm…or Terminus.
The seamless transitions between the four parallel stories are balanced and satisfying. This episode was slower than one would expect an instalment from a Horror franchise to be, bar the last four seconds, but this season of The Walking Dead seems to be quite slow paced – although not in a bad way. The climax was not really built up, but that’s good, because it wouldn’t have been a particularly good cliff-hanger for a big episode to focus itself towards.
I think the soundtrack for this season has been quite under-appreciated; the music was surprisingly soft and fitting for this episode, specifically towards the end. It seems as if each season has its own unique voice, and I’m glad to see that this season has a very strong one, albeit slow; the James Earl Jones of show voices.