Title: The Walking Dead “Heads Up” Review
Air Date: November 22, 2015
Genre: Serial Drama, Horror
I have to admit, if this week’s episode of The Walking Dead ended up dragging out Glenn’s fate any longer I may have attempted to kidnap showrunner Scott Gimple. Ever since we saw Glenn fall into that crowd of the undead after Nicholas shot himself, speculation has run wild as to his fate. Did he escape? Was that his guts being torn out? Did Nicholas fall on top of him, and that’s who we saw being torn apart? Then, episode after episode has passed with no answer presented to us on what had become of Glenn. I actually completely slacked off on my review of last week’s episode from being so irked about not even getting a clue as to what happened to Glenn. Needless to say, the wait is finally over, and his fate has been revealed… he is alive.
This episode of The Walking Dead began by following the moments after Glenn and Nicholas fell into a crowd of the undead. Nicholas, who was on top of Glenn, had the walkers tearing into his back. Glenn was able to wiggle his way out from under Nicholas, and slide under the dumpster from which they fell off. A few walkers notice Glenn and attack him, but they are dispatched fairly quickly with a knife to the head. The rest of the walkers focus on Nicholas and eventually begin to just wander off. This will no doubt cause some to wonder why he wasn’t attacked by the rest of the walkers. My theory on this is that once Glenn killed the walkers trying to attack him he was masked by them. After some time, the walkers all wander off and Glenn is able to crawl out.
The rest of the episode plot jumps between Glenn with Enid and the group back in Alexandria. Yes, Enid showed back up, conveniently right in the area Glenn was escaping from. I suspected for awhile that she was involved with the Wolves, potentially even a spy for them, although it seems she is just a lost soul trying to steer clear from getting attached to anyone. Enid believes the world is trying to die and everyone should just let it whereas Glenn doesn’t believe this. This pretty much sums up the rest of their interactions on the way back to Alexandria.
In Alexandria Rick has requested a sit down with Morgan, an interaction many expected sooner or later once we saw Rick almost killed by the Wolves Morgan had let go when they attacked. Morgan is still refusing to kill, believing that all life is sacred. He even tells Rick that he wanted to kill them, but he believes people can change. He reminds him of when he came across him again in Season 3’s episode “Clear.” Morgan was in a very bad place for some time, and while I understand that this philosophy he’s adopted has brought him back from the brink, I don’t think it’s going to hold. Either he’s going to have to kill or someone is going to kill him. Maybe even someone from the group when they realize the danger he could potentially bring on. Not to mention they are all still unaware that one of the Wolves is still currently being held by Morgan in town.
I’m guessing that if Morgan abandons his philosophy he figures he’ll be thrown right back into chaos and lose himself again. This gives him something to live for. However, I have to believe that he knows this awful idea is putting everyone in danger. Morgan, actually, approaches the town doctor in an attempt to get some antibiotics for his captured prisoner. Then, at the end of the episode Morgan has the doctor with him en route to see the captured prisoner in person to aid him. Thankfully Carol sees this whole event as it begins to play out and confronts Morgan, directly asking him who he is holding. The scene doesn’t go any further for now, but I think Carol may begin to lose her patience with Morgan.
We also see Spencer almost die by falling into the Walking Dead. Apparently Spencer decided to take it upon himself to attempt to leave the Alexandria compound to get a car, and lead the walkers away. After everything the group has already been through, this genius decides to throw out a line by himself to get over the walkers and get to a car. It’s one of those moments where you want to reach through the screen and choke a character. Spencer escapes unharmed, thanks to several members of Alexandria helping him after his line breaks, and, despite the reason he gives for his actions, Rick clearly isn’t having it.
Ron also has a few moments in this episode that certainly will make your spider sense tingle. Over the last several episodes of the Walking Dead we clearly get the vibe that Ron is not a fan of Rick or Carl for that matter, that he is just pretending to like them to get close. Now, in this episode we see Rick showing him how to use a handgun. He, then, let him keep it to get a “feel” for it and what it’s like to carry it. The handgun is not loaded, of course, but with all that Rick has been through, and how careful of an individual he is I find it hard to believe he would just be okay with giving Ron a handgun. Rick killed his father and is now involved with his mom and Carl. He believes stole his girl. This is not the kid you would suddenly trust with a weapon.
Glenn and Enid make it back to Alexandria but are obviously cut off due to the massive amounts of walkers surrounding the walls. Glenn releases some balloons he and Enid had come across on their trek back in order to signal those inside Alexandria. If you remember the group has used balloons to mark the route they would take when they were leading the herd away from Alexandria. Maggie sees them and we, briefly, get that “feel good” moment in seeing her realize that it’s Glenn and he is alive. This feeling quickly shifts when an old burned out church building next to the wall comes crashing down and completely obliterates a section of it. The mid-season finale next week on the Walking Dead is sure to be bloody.
Story: Glenn is alive. We finally get the answer we’ve been waiting for. We then begin to jump around as the pace slows, making the beginning the most interesting part of this episode as well as the cliffhanger at the end.
Acting/Characters: There were some notable scenes in this episode, specifically with Rick sitting down with Morgan to discuss his approach to the Wolves when they attacked and his refusal to kill. We also see Spencer almost bite the dust in a pretty bonehead attempt to lead the Walkers away from Alexandria by himself. The group, however, steps in and saves him.
Cinematography: Pretty standard Walking Dead here. We do get to see how Glenn was able to escape when the camera almost convinced us he was Walker food just a few weeks before.
Organization: The opening to this episode is easily the most captivating part. We’ve been waiting weeks to find out the fate of Glenn. The episode from that point does it’s best to keep us engaged but stumbles in this attempt slightly with the pacing. The ending does, however, provide a huge “Oh no” moment.
- Glenn is alive
- Cliffhanger ending
- Carol confronting Morgan
- Rick giving Ron a gun
- Enid's ongoing despair
- Spencer fiasco