October 19, 2018 The Walking Dead – The Bridge (Season 9/ Episode 2 Review)
As the ninth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead roles on, it continues its attempt to interject new twists and turns to the script. Unfortunately, in many fan’s eyes, the season premiere of A New Beginning fell slightly short, so how does The Bridge hold up in the week to follow?
Premiering on Sunday, October 14, 2018, The Bridge marks The Walking Dead’s directorial debut from veteran Writer/Director Daisy von Scherler Mayer (Party Girl 1995, Madeline 1998). Another try at adding new blood into creativity behind the series, brace yourself, because the story takes another jump ahead, thrusting viewers into what appears to be a communal effort between The Sanctuary, Hilltop, Oceanside, and Alexandria people to build a new bridge to assist in travel, trade, and lay the groundwork for the future.
A noble idea put into motion by longtime leader Rick Grimes, unfortunately, even some of his loyal group members – Maggie and Daryl – have their doubts about those a part of The Sanctuary team. Honestly, who can blame them after these people were a part of the most vicious adversary The Walking Dead has seen yet? Nonetheless, Maggie continues to lead The Hilltop after finally ridding it of slimy Gregory in an old fashion hanging during the Season 9 premiere, while Daryl skeptically works with Rick on his plans for the future.
Unfortunately, everyone knows that in any situation. there is always going to be a few people who will never fall in line for the greater good. Not everyone realizes there is no “I” in team, that is a problem that has occurred since the beginning of days. Sometimes this resistance is a good thing, because blindly following another, and giving them absolute power, can very dangerous. Other times, it can destroy an entire plan for peace and harmony. In the case of Rick’s latest vision to uniting the communities, a few reluctant participants could inevitably cause another war.
The Bridge tries to show that sometimes on the way to finding a brighter future, there can be issues, a lot of them. A thoughtful concept, sadly the episode feels more like a filler, but hopefully it is building toward some new tensions in the weeks to come. Although, The Walking Dead fans have quite patiently waited time after time over the past two seasons for payoffs, and more often than not, they are let down during the climax.
At this point, the show creators seem to be using the developed, mainstay characters as a crutch to prevent the series from falling flat on its face. A testament to the series foundation that these characters are so strong, it really is the only thing many fans are holding onto and preventing them from tuning out The Walking Dead. Fans care about characters such as Daryl, Maggie, Michonne, Carol, Tara, Dr. Eugene Porter, Rosita, Father Gabriel, Aaron, Enid, Jesus, and of course Rick. Each of them hold a place in the heart of viewers because their journey has been fascinating to watch. That said, other characters, such as Ezekiel, have grown as well, and now The Walking Dead is trying really hard to make former Heapster leader Jadis likable.
The bottom line is The Bridge has an underlined message that everyone deserves a chance at redemption in life. No one is immune to making mistakes or lose their way, and to just condemn them would be unfair. Rick’s development through the years has been a bipolar one – one minute he believes in redemption, the next he does not.
On the other hand, Maggie almost completely turned her back on redemption after witnessing the gruesome murder of Glenn by Negen in Season 7. Then there is Daryl, who has sort of laid in the weeds for a good period of time, until recently when he has shown a lot of anger and opposition toward Rick. Let us not forget the once very strong Carol, who seems to have put her guard down to be in love with Ezekiel – a strange turn of events without any explanation.
Would it be harsh to say with Season 9 of The Walking Dead two episodes in that the creators are grasping for straws to keep this thing interesting? Truthfully, no. It really does feel that way at times with the unnecessary romances between characters, the almost unnatural feeling dialogue exchanges, and non-threatening atmosphere. Although, The Bridge does end on a cliff hanger leaving you wondering what is next. It appears the plans for ‘the future’ will most likely dissolve soon, leading to more division and blood shed. So until Sunday, October 21st when Warning Signs premieres, CrypticRock gives The Bridge 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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