'The Walking Dead' Review: “First Time Again”

Sabrina Petrafesa ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Publisher
Copy Edited By: Lindsey Buttel ‘18
Ten people versus a whole canyon full of walkers. The opening of The Walking Dead season six is visually stunning, slightly confusing, and all around awesome. The season six premiere is gearing up to be one of the coolest seasons yet.

Photo Credits: AMC
Photo Credits: AMC
The episode picks up some time after the season finale but goes back and forth between the present and the past. Everything that was real-time was in color and everything in the past was in black and white. This in theory sounds amazing, but mostly it doesn’t hold well. It feels weird because everything in black and white is where the episode should have picked up but didn’t. The transition from past to present was also incredibly abrupt and in-your-face. It doesn’t work too well as a whole. However, when past met present the fade from black and white to color is really amazing.
There are many different things at play going on in the episode. First is the aftermath of the season five finale. Then, Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) slow decent into insanity, the problem of – what looks like – thousands of walkers in a canyon that will find Alexandria if they escape, and lastly, the sect of Alexandria that wants to start a coup and kill Rick – the only person keeping them safe. All of these things are seamlessly intersecting without ever really feeling like the writers were stuffing plot down viewers’ throats.
Photo Credits: AMC
Photo Credits: AMC
Rick is not doing well; he is going down a rabbit hole and he has very little chance of coming up for air. Where he used to lean on Michonne (Danai Gurira) or Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) for his humanity now he seems too far gone. With the reintroduction of this zen-master Morgan Jones (Lennie James), it looks like Rick will be reminded of his humanity from his new friend. A great scene in “First Time Again” is when Rick admits to Morgan, with Michonne listening in the background, that he wanted to kill Carter (Ethan Embry) when he found out that Carter is trying to kill him. Rick’s admittance of his lack of humanity was a pivotal point for him and maybe he will be redeemed.
The coup d’etat is short lived. Carter tries to convince those in Alexandria that Rick should be taken down because he is unstable. When Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) overhears and is quickly caught in the process with a gun to his head, Rick and company walk in and save the day. This effectively ended any idea of overthrowing Rick. However, it seems like Michonne, Morgan, and even Daryl are not on Rick’s side anymore. There are many moments where the characters doubted their leader. It leads the audience to believe that maybe they shouldn’t be rooting for Rick either.
Photo Credits: AMC
Photo Credits: AMC
Andrew Lincoln gives an amazing performance in this episode. When everyone is out building the wall that will guide the walkers away from Alexandria, a few walkers come out from the woods and try and attack the natives of Alexandria who have no idea how to fight. Rick just stands there and tells them that they need to fight and survive for themselves. The look in his eyes and the tone of his voice would strike fear in the hearts of anyone. Lincoln conveyed Rick’s insanity in just the look of his eyes and that was almost terrifying to see.
“First Time Again” ends with a horn blaring in the background, breaking up the army of walkers that Daryl, Sasha Williams (Sonequa Martin-Green), and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) are leading away straight to Alexandria. The camera pans over all the walkers breaking apart from the group and walking towards Alexandria in hoards making one of the most visually stunning and impressive shots of the entire episode. It was also a massive cliffhanger because who is the idiot that is blaring that horn in Alexandria?
Photo Credits: AMC
Photo Credits: AMC
The episode starts off confusing but quickly answers all questions and is gearing up to be a really great season. It’s evident that this is what all of last season was really building up to and it is really exciting.
Episode Grade: A-

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