Let’s face it, The Walking Dead is a violent show. There’s really no way around that in a post-apocalyptic world where many of the humans remaining are more dangerous than the dead. So imagine our surprise when a recap of the very popular Season 6, Episode 9 mid-season premiere titled “No Way Out” called the TWD return to television one of the worst in the history of the AMC hit.
In a recap at Gizmodo, “No Way Out” was described as “bad from start to finish.” The recapper even called TWD lazy for using cheap thrills and excessive violence to draw ratings in the mid-season return. Apparently, Daryl Dixon should have figured out a better way to get rid of Negan’s thugs and the rocket launcher didn’t pass the litmus test for acceptable entertainment.
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) February 15, 2016
The Walking Dead writers are accused of trolling their fans by teasing us with the possible end of Daryl, a definite fan favorite. Here is the thing, though the AMC series is starting to line up more and more with the comic books and if that is to happen, Dixon must die. Fans know this and even though many have literally threatened to quit watching The Walking Dead if Daryl Dixon is killed off, it’s inevitably going to happen if they continue to align with the comic books. There, we said it twice. Of course, the writers are going to capitalize on Daryl’s immense popularity and use his well-being to give fans a few near-heart attacks before finally taking him out. Not only that but the writers also totally redeemed themselves for teasing us with Daryl’s death at the hands of Negan’s goon. What’s better than Daryl Dixon with a crossbow? Daryl Dixon with a rocket launcher of course!
The cheap thrill of Daryl with a rocket launcher isn’t even the most criticized part. That award goes to Sam and his very badly timed freak out. Many are taking offense to the decision to play out Sam’s very gruesome death. It was even argued that this was the first time that The Walking Dead actually showed a kid get killed in graphic detail. While that might be partially true (and I’d argue that there were some child deaths that were just as disturbing) why is Sam’s death so much more upsetting than anyone else? Is it because he was a kid? Newsflash, kids can get bitten and die too. The Walking Dead is often praised for their ability to keep it real, or as realistic as you can get in a horror show about a post-apocalyptic virus that isn’t real, or least we hope it’s not!
The Walking Dead Apocalypse…Chandler Riggs & Friend… pic.twitter.com/4dRsVBsffy
— TWD Apocalypse (@TWDApocalypse) February 16, 2016
For those who are criticizing The Walking Dead because they think this action packed episode was way too violent, it’s a violent show. People and/or walkers die in every episode and the deaths are often violent and graphic. If parents are upset about what their children saw on TV on Sunday night then maybe they should heed the rating system provided for the show. For those who missed it, the rating for TWD is TV-14.
There is also the argument that Sam’s death was a waste because his story arc was pretty shallow. He literally was the little kid who had a horrible life because of his abusive dad and then when his dad is finally out of the picture thanks to Rick, he ends up dying a horrible, painful death. The reviews are right about that but do we care? Someone was going to die during the episode, it had to happen because TWD fans get bored if life is too easy for Rick and his crew for too long. That’s why they had to leave the prison seasons ago. When it gets too safe, the story line runs out. Anyway, as upsetting as Sam’s death was and then that of his mother Jessie and his brother Ron, someone had to go. Are we really mad it was the secondary string, whom fans really aren’t that fond of anyway?
I feel like AMC did us a favor. As for prominent figures on the show getting a more heroic or meaningful send-off, these weren’t significant characters. It only felt like they were because Jessie was able to prove that Rick would be able to love again. He needed to save it for someone more deserving anyway.
— A (@LiterallyAIM) February 15, 2016
Some may say the writing for Season 6, Episode 9 was lazy. Others think the whole story line was brilliant. Fans of the show were glad to see the storyline get in line more with the comics because that means many, many more seasons of TWD. Carl getting shot in the eye had been teased for quite some time so that wasn’t surprising to those of us in search of spoilers. How he got shot was shocking for sure but it was a pivotal moment and might even be the reason that Sam, Jessie, and Ron won’t be forgotten. How could they? Ron shot Carl’s eye out!
As far as Rick running out like Rambo and killing a bunch of walkers, it was pretty unreal. Then again, watching your kid get shot in the eye and then rushing to hopefully save him after watching your girlfriend and her children get eaten by walkers is pretty unreal too. Maybe Rick did get an extra little adrenaline boost to help him with the ridiculous horde of walkers. Apparently that crazy side of Rick is what it was going to take to get the citizens of Alexandria to stop acting like Rick can save them all by himself and start toughening up.
Apparently, there are some fans who are extremely upset by this episode. They are a drop in the bucket in comparison to those who thought this might be the best episode in the last several seasons. Is this new trend of fans leaving TWD because the show really went too far or do you think “No Way Out” was the perfect amount of action to get The Walking Dead fans excited about their favorite show again? Considering the overwhelmingly positive response to the last episode of The Walking Dead from fans, the opinion of one quasi-fan probably doesn’t deserve much merit. So what if TWD took a sharp turn toward the comic book story line and it didn’t line up perfectly with the laws of probability and so what if the violence made you squirm a little. Fans of this genre don’t watch it for the warm fuzzies. They want to be shocked and see just how amazing the escapes can be. “No Way Out” was one of the most action packed and exiciting episodes since The Governor was alive and it feels like the pace of TWD is finally back.
[Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images]