The Walking Dead “JSS” Review (Season 6 Episode 2)

The Walking Dead "JSS" Season 6 Episode 2 (2)

With the crazy cliffhanger ending to last week’s season premiere, I certainly was not expecting tonight’s Walking Dead installment “JSS” to start with an origin story for Enid. We quickly got the reason as to why Enid has been so closed off and withdrawn – watching your parents getting eaten alive right in front of you will do that to a person – but this was jarringly slow-paced compared to where we left off last week. It was so slow-paced there was a turtle crawling around! The constant scribbling of “JSS” was just enough to keep me interested, but just barely.

But man, when things picked up, things really picked up! This was definitely the most brutal man-on-man violence we’ve seen on this show, as the Wolves attacked the poor unsuspecting Alexandrians while Rick’s group is out shepherding the zombie herd. There was so much great stuff here, and I’m not just talking about the beautiful violence. And it was beautiful tonight! I loved all of the imagery with the blood trickling down those steps, and the random fires and busted down doors of Alexandria all went a long way to conveying the overall chaos in the town.

There were so many great character moments scattered throughout as well. The biggest, and most obvious one, was Carol. I was just complaining last week about how she was still pretending to be the mousy and unassuming housewife, but that really paid off tonight when she went undercover and started straight murdering tons of Wolves from the inside. That was super smart on her part, and it was great seeing her reveal herself to the other ladies in the town, even though most of them didn’t make it.

Jessie protecting her son and killing that Wolf was a huge moment for her. I loved that she learned in her own way how brutal this world can be, and she even told Ron before this that she didn’t really blame Rick for what he did. I also thought it was a nice touch that she was knocked into the cabinet and played dead in order to fool the intruder. This was clearly a trick she learned from all the times Pete abused her, so it was very powerful for her character to come full circle and actually see her able to defend herself this time.

Another powerful moment came from a new character, Merritt Wever’s Dr. Denise Cloyd. The “I’m not really a doctor, so I don’t really know what I’m doing” is a trope that’s been played to death on hundreds of hospital dramas, TV shows, and movies throughout the years, but it really helped to have an Emmy winner playing that part tonight. In just her brief introduction she did a great job at humanizing herself and proving she was an intellectual match for everybody else in here, although apparently not as capable of a surgeon as the deceased Pete might have been. I would have cared about her story a bit more if the woman’s life they were saving was a character that I cared about.

That was really the main weakness with the whole episode. Nobody ended up dying that we really knew. A couple of those housewives died, but I don’t know that I could have told you their names before tonight. Now that they’re dead, I still couldn’t, to be honest. An even bigger threat will be hitting the Alexandrians next week when they find out that the zombie horde is on its way to investigate that horn sound, though!

The character moment that didn’t really hit from me was from Morgan, which is a bit of a bummer. I’m still not totally clear on his whole deal quite yet, regarding death. I get that he doesn’t like killing people. Nobody on this show does, really. However, this is a post-apocalyptic world and a group of murderous psychos are literally hacking innocent people to pieces. If there was ever a time to kill to protect your friends, this was it.

I’m also not quite clear on what the Wolves deal is yet, but I don’t think we’re supposed to. That one that Morgan fought off said something about how they didn’t choose this life, so it really makes you wonder how they all got into this position and what’s driving them to do this. I’d have a hard time believing that they’re just following the orders of some evil dictator. These people are legitimately crazy and they’re cutting the limbs off of their victims! You don’t do that as enthusiastically as these guys if you have problems with it.

I’m definitely excited to see what happens next week, when Rick comes home to an already decimated Alexandria with even worse news of an impending attack!

Random Thoughts:

– Is it just me, or has Maggie’s accent become a little more southern as the show has gone on? I know that Lauren Cohen has had to mask her English accent, but it seems like an extra twang has been added recently.

– If anybody that we know was going to die tonight, why couldn’t it have been Ron? There’s always next week, I suppose.

– I love how everybody just craps on Father Gabriel all the time. He’s become the punching bag of the group, so much to the point that Carol didn’t even want Morgan to save him! I kinda wish that he just stays on the show and gets disrespected and ignored every episode instead of actually killed off. That’s the only way he can really atone himself in my eyes.