November 21, 2018 The Walking Dead – Stradivarius (Season 9/ Episode 7 Review)
Sunday, November 18th marked the second chapter in the story of AMC’s The Walking Dead post-Rick Grimes when Stradivarius aired for the first time. A rather mellow episode, where nothing really dramatic happens, it continues to set the table for what may be an intense new turn of events in the future.
Directed by beloved The Walking Dead alumni cast member Michael Cudlitz, known to followers as Abraham, in this episode we see Carol rekindle a friendship with Daryl, as Michonne escorts the latest series characters to The Hilltop with reservations about potentially crossing paths with Maggie. Which raises the question, what happened between her and Maggie that was not shown? Furthermore, where is Maggie and young Herschel at this point in time?
In regards to Carol and Daryl’s coming together in the woods, it appears Daryl himself has left the groups and is living off the land with his beloved new canine companion. Here, Carol gives Daryl an introduction to a now more mature Henry; someone Daryl is reluctant to want to get to know. Fortunately, Daryl and Henry do connect, leaving you to wonder where this new development lead things. If anything, the re-connection between Carol and Daryl shows that their bond has always been extremely strong.
Then there is the development of the new characters introduced after Rick Grimes’ departure. You have Yumiko, Luke, Magna, Connie, and Kelly. All different, for the most part, they seem like they are survivors that can be trusted, making them an asset to either Michonne and Alexandria or The Hilltop, the place which Michonne is planning on taking them. Whatever it may be, it seems these new additions will certainly be around for a while.
Beyond this, in all honestly, nothing really happened in between the lines during the Stradivarius episode. There was good dialogue exchanges, a steady pace, and some more character development, but nothing that really would have people storming social media to talk about. That said, the fact that Cudlitz directed the episode should not be overlooked. It is the seasoned actor’s debut as a director, and beyond the actual context of the story line he was given to work with for the episode, he does a great job bringing it all to life. It will be interesting to see if Cudlitz will in fact be more involved behind the scenes of The Walking Dead in the future, because he certainly seems to have a knack for directing.
Now as we prepare for the mid-season finale of Season 9, many wonder if some sort of climatic events will transpire on Sunday, November 25th with the episode Evolution. You would have to think something major will take place, right? Until then, Cryptic Rock gives Stradivarius 4 out of 5 stars.