Monday, April 4, 2016

Couch Potato: TWD Season Finale

Negan bank on Amazon

Season Finale and Season 6 Thoughts

Some non-TWD couch potato stuff first: in the process of "cutting the cord", we recently signed up for livestreaming service Sling TV. They have a deal where you can get a discount on a streaming box and so we ended up with a new Roku 3. (Actually, my husband signed up, if it had been me I might have been tempted to get the Fire TV instead, which incidentally appears to be on sale now.)

It's always fun trying out a new box and a new streaming service.  Sling TV is $20 per month for a single user (meaning only one device can be using it at a time) and it has 23 streaming channels, including AMC. This is all just livestream, so you can't record but some shows are on-demand for a week or so after they air, including TWD and Better Call Saul. There are add-on packages you can get from $5 to $10 extra. To compare with add-ons on Amazon Prime I see that you can get HBO or Cinemax for an extra $10 while on Amazon Prime you can get Starz or Showtime for an extra $8.99 a month.

By the way, if you were thinking of doing a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime, if you use either of these links you can get a free 7 day trial of either Starz or Showtime as well.

The Roku itself is cool too. It's a small box, barely bigger than a pack of cards and has a tiny remote with a button that lets you use voice search if you want. There is no off button! My first remote without a power button. Apparently the Roku 3 is designed to stay on all the time so it can keep its software updated. The company says it only draws as much power as a nightlight when it's in sleep mode. So I just turn off the tv and that's it. We are using the ethernet port and everything is fast. So far we've been using it for Sling TV, Amazon video, and  Netflix. I added the iHeart Radio channel and found some interesting radio stations for free.

If you wanna talk about either the Roku or any of those streaming services drop a comment below.

Now on to the main, and dreaded, topic: The Walking Dead Season 6 finale. SPOILERS after the jump!



Let us begin at the end, and get the complaints out of the way. After 90 minutes of nail-biting suspense we finally get to meet Negan, and one of the gang gets to meet his barb-wire wrapped bat Lucille and WE DON"T KNOW WHO! And we won't know until Season 7 comes around, but someone definitely got their head bashed in and is dead, dead, dead.

Based on Twitter freak-outs, I think a lot of viewers were upset with the cliffhanger aspect of having to wait half a year to find out who is is. I'm not that upset about waiting, in fact I'm a bit relieved, because I know that by the time I find out, I won't be as upset anymore. Time will have added emotional distance. This is why I think the writers made a mistake by not revealing who was killed. They threw away 90 minutes worth of excruciating impact. This is also why I'm guessing it WON'T be a core character. (Or maybe that's just me hoping it won't. My kid meanwhile is convinced it might be Glenn because of the comics, but I doubt it's Glenn either since we already went through the whole Glenn's dead! thing this season. )

I think I get why they did it. They wanted a cliffhanger similar to the Terminus one where everyone was in danger, but they also wanted one where we know at least one person is dead. Still, I think the show is relying too much on cliffhangers now. Viewers don't need a cliffhanger to come back, and in this case it might actually make a few fans quit the show - or maybe not, since we TWD fans do seem to be gluttons for punishment.

On to the GOOD. I thought the way they built up the suspense was excellent. The soundtrack specially contributed to the feeling of mounting dread as the gang kept getting cut off on every road, finally through the woods, and the final confrontation and capture. The acting of both the gang and Negan was also excellent. I could feel the gang's fear and I really really hated Negan.

Another good: I liked the parallel journeys set up of the episode. I like the allegory. Let me explain.  Throughout Season 6 we have seen Rick and Morgan on two different paths. Rick has been steadily progressing along the path of kill all potential threats and need-take-have while Morgan came back from insanity via strict adherence to an "every life is precious" philosophy. Carol, meanwhile, at the start of Season 6, was the heart of the "do anything to survive" motto. And as the season wore on Carol kept escalating until she reached her breaking point. Then she broke. And in the previous episode we see Rick and Morgan both go out in search of her. In the finale only Morgan is able to look for her and try to save her from herself.

Rick must try to save Maggie, the person who negotiated a deal that turned the gang into mercenaries who would kill strangers in their sleep, in exchange for food and medicine. When they set off on the journey, he is asked by one of the people who are left in Alexandria whether, if the Saviors come, it might be worth it to try to make a deal. Rick's arrogant reply makes it clear that he will make no deals. When he and his gang get captured by Negan, he's the one asking whether they can "talk" and he gets shut down by an immensely more arrogant Negan. Negan is who Rick has been trying to turn himself into. And Negan is a monster.

That is the elegant allegory of Rick and the gang's entire journey. They set out to save Maggie but they encounter metaphorical demons obstructing their every path to hope, until they are trapped and captured, and there, in the dead of night, they face themselves are they would be. Likewise Daryl and his companions who are also trapped there because of Daryl's quest for vengeance.

Meanwhile Morgan finds a white horse and rides it to go find Carol. Very Knight-on-a-quest like. He finds her, but she rejects his help and runs away again. Morgan is finally able to rescue her but he has to break his own rule and kill a stranger to save her. And at that moment two very Knight-like figures, with angelic timing, show up. They appear to be willing to help, and I guess they will all ride off toward some bright haven.

So what did you think? Who do you think got killed in the ending? Did you love or hate the finale? What do you think of Season 6 over all?

Next week we will watch Fear The Walking Dead. This is not actually a show I like, so there may be mockery. Be warned! 


  1. Best tweet

  2. Best comment on another board: "You picked a fine time to cleave me, Lucille."

  3. I actually liked the finale - although I still think, after all this time, they would have learned not to wander off by themselves (Daryl) or chase after those who wander off by themselves (Morgan). By this point in the Zombie Apocalypse, my policy would be "freelance at your own risk."
    I'm thinking Abraham's the one who got to make out with Lucille...just something about the stuff he's said recently about being "ready to do something BIG, like Glenn and Maggie". I don't think he's gonna get the chance to. Could be wrong, though...
    And, Negan is totes hawt, IMHO. I'm gonna really love hating the guy.

    1. I think it might be one of Abe's group - him, Rosita, or Eugene.
      Negan is a great Big Bad - really evil.