First Time Again
Here’s Not Here
Start to Finish
No Way Out
The Next World
Not Tomorrow Yet
The Same Boat
Twice As Far
Last Day on Earth
The sixth Season of Walking Dead returns for arguably its slowest season yet with an abundance of filler episodes and scenes that don’t move the plot forward. The first couple of episodes and the finale are both great but everything in between just feels so slow and pointless. Its a shame too because the action scenes are as intense as ever and the changing emphasis to focus on rival groups is both interesting and provides a welcome change of formula.
The sixth season starts with a very well written opening episode. A sea of walkers trapped in a chasm look set to break free and if that occurs, will shuffle straight for Alexandria and wipe out the town. Rick comes up with an idea – to herd the walkers away from the town and in the process, rid the town of the millions of walkers as they shuffle off in the opposite direction. Of course, in true Walking Dead fashion not everything goes to plan. There’s some incredibly tense scenes throughout the episode and in terms of openings, this is probably one of the best in a long time, even more so than that of the Terminus story last year.
As the season progresses, Rick and the group encounter rival groups in the world and after multiple run ins with a group called the Wolves, and another called The Saviors, it becomes increasingly apparent that perhaps Rick’s group isn’t the only group out there. The formula does work well for the most part and it feels new enough and on the verge of a turning point for the show which leaves intrigue open for where the show goes with Season 7.
Speaking of Season 7, the final fifteen minutes or so of the finale is outstanding, teasing for an excellent opening to next year. For large patches this season, the show has been in somewhat of a slump with patches of action dotted between mediocre episodes and meaningless character dialogue. After teasing the arrival of new bad guy Negan, the ending to this Season sees an end to a key character. Who is it? You have to wait until Season 7 unfortunately as the show gives nothing away but its shock is enough to promise a big story from the comics which is enough to spark some much needed excitement for fans that have persevered with the show thus far and seen it slump from the excellence it once had.
Aside from its tension inducing opening two episodes and its finale, The Walking Dead slowly sinks back into familiar tropes with an increased emphasis on normality and character building. The trouble is, the characters built up have already been explored to their maximum potential in previous seasons so it feel a bit meaningless. Some of the newer characters feel lost in the sea of faces that scramble for screen time but you’d think because of this the scenes we’re shown are of utmost importance to drive the plot forward. Instead we get Carol baking cookies for neighbours.
Season 6 of The Walking Dead is certainly not without its flaws. Despite improving on its pacing from last year, it supplements this with scenes that don’t move the plot forward anywhere near as much as it should. The awkward romance between two key characters feels forced too and now with so many characters, it becomes apparent that the writing is stretched and lacklustre for large periods this year. Its not all bad though of course and in true Walking Dead fashion, it still feels like a binge-worthy show. It’s just that the bingeing itself is a little bit harder than it previously was. The finale is shocking enough to keep people hooked until next year but after a second season in a row slumping into mediocrity, the wheels do feel like they’re wobbling a bit on the long running horror franchise.
Verdict - 5/10