There is one more episode of The Walking Dead after this week and there is a ton to process.
The biggest story of the week is Judith being shot by Pamela. To me, this is a remix of the comic book scene when Sebastian shot and killed Rick Grimes. While that was a straight up assassination, this was an accidental crossfire in which she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wanted to see Pamela die once this happened. But I have a feeling that Pamela will be overthrown as the leader of The Commonwealth and to be jailed for her actions.
With that said, while the shootout scene was good, it reminded me of The Walking Dead’s eight’s season. I love that season, but just like the many opportunities Rick had to kill Negan, the same can be said for Pamela. How is it that Daryl had a clean view to shoot the fire extinguisher but yet he could not do this to Pamela before that. With that nitpick aside, the battle kept my attention.
Lydia getting bit was something I found to be unexpected. Cassady McClincy did a great job with her acting on the scene including when her wrist had to be cut off. Also to note, Aaron telling Lydia that she is loved by the family is a great touch of a warm feeling since she did not have that same love from her own mom regardless that Alpha protected her most of the time.
I do not expect Mercer to be in jail for long since he is working against The Commonwealth now. Plus, He has to be the one to help everyone that got boxed it with the walkers and variants by Pamela’s orders. It is a sticky situation that brought the family together!
Another easter egg we got that I liked is the way Daryl carried Judith which mirrored Rick carrying Carl Grimes when he first got shot. I think the scene would have been better without Judith saying “daddy” to leave it more ambiguous but that is just me.
I really enjoyed this one and it is my favorite of this final batch of episodes of The Walking Dead. Next week is the final episode ever which is going to be a big one!
EXCLUSIVE: The Walking Dead star Khary Payton Opens up on working with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Melissa McBride, and a video call from Andrew Lincoln
Editor’s note, this interview took was scheduled to be published on Oct. 23 prior to our new server update.
Khary Payton has been a main character of The Walking Dead since the seventh season as Ezekiel. As the main show is wrapping up, Ezekiel and Negan had a conversation for the first time as he called the former Saviors leader out for coercing women for marrying him, killing his Kingdom residents, and pretty much letting him know that he will never forget what he did. Ezekiel is also part of the revolt against The Commonwealth.
With that said, I caught up with Khary Payton to talk about these developments along with his memories on the set in this exclusive interview.
How was Alexandria being turned into an outpost and labor camp approached by you?
“It came to me in the script. I didn’t get any input when I picked up the script, so I was like, ‘oh, this is cool.’ We’re going full circle, you know? After leaving Alexandria, it’s becoming another walk down memory lane and it’s going to be pretty cool. It’s going to be pretty interesting because. Because the time that we were shooting all of this stuff for Alexandria ends up being some of the coldest that I’ve spent shooting the show. And it’s and I feel like you can see it in the filming. It’s gray and dank.”
You and Jeffrey Dean Morgan finally had an exchange of dialogue for the first time. Were you satisfied with the outcome?
“Jeff and I were excited to finally work together. We’ve been on the show for years, and except maybe on a battlefield where arrows and bullets are flying and swords swinging, we weren’t having interaction. So this was the first time we actually had a conversation So we were looking forward to it. It was fun. I love the way he worked. And it was cool to finally get together and do it that way. It’s like it’s one of those things where life isn’t perfect. And when they hand you lemons, you make lemonade. When they hand you Negan, you use him to do what he does best, which is which is a little havoc. And hopefully this time it’ll pay off for people who deserve it. You know, I think that Ezekiel’s intent was to put his own feelings aside to take care of business.”
After the filming of the series concluded, what was the first thing you did when you went home and did you had time to reflect on your time on The Walking Dead?
“I went home and hugged my kids. Before the pandemic, I would fly home constantly. So even if I was away for a couple of weeks, that was as long as it was. So when the pandemic hit, it was like months at a time before I would see them again and that was really hard. So this was a grind getting to the end of the show. And, and I feel like I’ve still haven’t had a chance to take a deep breath and breathe it all in and understand what it’s meant to me and my life and career and all of that. Melissa McBride is probably the thing I will miss the most about the show. She is the greatest acting teacher I’ve ever had. I learned something beautiful and nuanced from her every time I’m on set with her. I don’t think I’ll ever know anyone like her again. And it was always magic when we were on set together. The thing is, she teaches you without even trying. She is a raw nerve and a live wire. And she feels and and takes aspects of so many things about from the script or just in the room surrounding you. She takes and uses it and she’s pointed out things to me along the way that have just changed my perspective on a scene and the way that we interact with each other.”
One of my favorite episodes from the previous season was “Walk With Us” when we saw The Hilltop burn down during that chaotic battle. Any moments you would like to share about your experience during that lengthy scene?
“I remember how awesome the kids were. I had one kid in my arms holding one’s hand and seven others running behind me and they were such little professionals. They listened and took direction. There’s all this fire and flames and horses running and all of this stuff. I’m proud of all of them. And that’s what I will remember most. I also remember that because we were right next to the fire and there were so many fun moments, the nights that we were shooting those scenes, with The Whisperers and the walkers. We’d all been waiting for this battle to happen all season. And it was and it felt so cathartic, you know, I remember that Andrew Lincoln video called Norman that night. And we all huddled around the phone and video chatted with Andrew Lincoln, who we hadn’t seen in so long. It was a cool night.”
If there is a question to ask about what you learned about tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead, the answer is, family is family.
That was on full display when Ezekiel stepped in front of The Commonwealth Troopers as they were about to execute Negan and his pregnant wife. That scene and the lines exchanged were some of the most emotional driven scenes of the season. I felt like Khary Payton put his all in delivering the speech as he made a believer out of me as the leader he once was.
Even though I am a huge fan of Negan, it was quite satisfying to see him get a taste of his own medicine for once to see what it is like being treated like crap. Negan used to do this to lower ranking members to The Saviors so it had to come back to him at one point. Jeffrey Dean Morgan really shines on this episode when it comes to his comedic timing in those serious situations.
My only drawback for this episode was Eugene’s trial. There could have been more time to present more things for his case for his defense. It wrapped up abruptly, but Mercer’s kick ass line got me hyped for the next episode.
And finally, Luke and Jules appeared out of nowhere to do what AMC has yet to do since episode 16. That is, update us on Oceanside. There are only two episodes left so I highly doubt we will ever see it again.
This is a much better episode than that mess of “Outpost 21” last week. The story is starting to feel like it is concluding. And bonus points for Rosita as she used that walker to devour Warden. Having a high regard for practical effects, that was really gruesome.
How does The Walking Dead addresses the ending of last week’s episode? By barely moving the story forward with illogical decision making.
First off, we learn that the communities that The Commonwealth took over were transformed into forced labor camps. It is here that we see Alexandria being used to expand the train operations. I like the idea, but could we have saw this a few episodes earlier? There is no reason why we had to wait to the near end of the series to see this. Also, how ridiculous is it to bring the Alexandria residents back there as prisoners since they know the entire layout of the community.
Speaking of The Commonwealth, whatever training Mercer did with the soldiers are pointless. They act and talk like video game NPCs and it was on full display here as many of them were easily killed by Daryl, Carol, Maggie, and others.Sure, I love a good gun battle, but those soldiers looked pretty stupid trying to combat back. Plus, there was no sense of urgency or tension while I was watching the ambush take place.
And do not get me started on the intro. Cool to see that solder get shot from the back of his head. But it meant nothing due to what transpired before. Everyone in that truck was zip-tied and those are not easy to get out of when its behind your back. How did Maggie just break out of that?! At least when Rick, Daryl, Bob, and Glen were zip-tied, they showed Rick using the sharpened wood to break it. For some reason, Maggie had super powers for a second and broke free. WHAT?! Are you kidding me?
And the other two things that were ridiculous was that scene when Rosita dislocating her arm, and the one solder that fell asleep. Soldiers are supposed to stay awake when they have captives. Why would he fall asleep with his assault rifle? And last, why would the train conductor use that horn when there could be walkers miles away? Do the writers even know what show they are writing anymore?
There are some positives. I am a huge Negan fan, but I am glad that Ezekiel brought up how Negan used to force women to marry him and burning Dwight’s face. It was glossed over for so long and I felt like it was a big scene between Negan and Ezekiel since they never interacted outside of battles. Gabriel also did not forget his roots as a preacher all season long as he spoke with the injured soldier before he died. And finally, Kelly knowing what would happen if she escaped the worksite like the three others did.
After all this, the episode ends the same way as the last episode did. Which is, back to Alexandria. Or in this case, Outpost 22. Nothing of value was gained here except the positives that I mentioned. When it is all said and done, this episode of The Walking Dead in my eyes is the weakest and most illogical of this final half of season 11.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan concluded its second season with a bloodbath as a result of the start of Sal’s war.
Not only did he put a hit on Unique and Raq and their crews, he made sure that he positioned himself as a a mob boss that will not take anything from anyone. The gun battle was fierce and loaded with action that kept my attention to my screen for those few minutes.
It is sad to see both Zisa and Kenya die. I was left wondering what will happen if Jukebox finds out, and whether if she will care due to their last argument. But for Zisa, this gives Lou-Lou more motivation to go after Sal alongside Raquel and now Unique. This pairing does have potential as all the main characters were in the same place at the same time by the end of this episode. I would not put my money on Unique teaming up with Raquel for long as I believe he will turn on her sometime in the next season.
Detective Howard and Kanan had a great talk which I felt was a good father to son moment. But another stand out scene was with Raquel and Lou-Lou as she made it clear that she owns him. Patina Miller rocked it in this scene as Raquel ushered in her best line of the season. Crown’s death is also haunting Lou-Lou and it is not over yet with that situation.
With that said, Power Book III: Raising Kanan’s second season ends strong with phenomenal performances by the cast. I am looking forward to the next season!
Although the plot did not progress much on this week’s The Walking Dead, there was time for some good character development.
Daryl and Carol in particular, had some really great scenes and interactions with each other. Add in the fact that these two were involved with the most action in this episode. With that in mind, I am puzzled with some of the storyline decisions. Sebastian getting killed off a few episodes ago was something. But with Lance now being killed, who is the last “big bad” that the group has to deal with? I will give praise that it had to be Carol to kill Lance and I am glad that Daryl did not take her kill point this time.
Josh Hamilton will be missed on The Walking Dead and it is a shame that Lance had to go this way as there was more they could have gotten out of the character. With him gone, we still do not know what happened to Oceanside, his deal with another unknown group, or whether or not if Pamela even knows what Lance did to the communities that he captured. One thing he did let slip is about the railroad operation.
Over at Commonwealth, Yumiko has a conflict as Pamela is using her friends against her for Eugene’s upcoming trial. Eleanor Matsuura is underrated on The Walking Dead and I believe that this is her best episode as Yumiko since she joined the cast two seasons ago. Her performance came off believable and convincing as a lawyer. Bonus points between her scenes with Connie.
With that out of the way, I do not like how The Commonwealth soldiers became NPCs from a video game. They lack intelligence and act as if they never paid attention to Mercer’s training. It boggles my mind that they became a joke as the season progressed.
There are three more episodes left and everyone is suddenly at Alexandria as it is now “Outpost 22.” Let’s see where this goes.
The 2022 edition of New York Comic Con came in full force this year compared to its return in 2021.
Whether if its Funko, gaming, cosplay, or the panels, there was something for everyone at the four day convention. In my ten plus years of covering New York Comic Con, I think this year’s show was the most crowded i’ve ever seen. I will dive more into that a few paragraphs down. With that out of the way, here is my review for this year’s show.
At last year’s New York Comic Con, the Javits Center’s expansion was completed in time for the show to take place. Gone are the days that I would have to rush to Madison Square Garden or at another place just to cover a panel. There were some panels at the expansion building last year, but it was the 2022 edition where all the panels and press rooms took place. I just wish that somebody told us sooner that there was a second press lounge.
I say this because the area where the press rooms took place at the second floor of Javits, was not there. I was caught off guard with the surprise and I had to ask around about the new location. Besides that, I think the new location is much better. But for the attendees to go to the panels in that area, it was hard to navigate.
New York Comic Con always had an issue with overcrowding and this year’s show looked like it was overcrowded no matter where you went. Last year, Funko did not have a presence at NYCC so it was easier to walk the show floor without the Funko booth and among others. Funko returned this year and the lines were extremely massive. In fact, the line at the Ebay booth was so poorly managed that in the middle of an escalator, cosplayer Mitch Drucker suffered a seizure and a heart attack, and paramedics arrived around 20 minutes later, but to no avail. I was wondering how could this happen and how poorly managed the line was.
There was some good that came out of this year’s panels. At the Titan’s panel, the cast revealed Beastboy’s new suit. For The Walking Dead’s last panel, Scott Gimple revealed the that The Walking Dead: Dead City will premiere in April 2023. On the Back to the Future panel, we got a nice reunion between Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd had a great reunion that was years in the making.
As far as the booths go, there were a large amount this year from various retailers. Several of them were not giving away free swag. I totally get it since the pandemic hit them hard. But it used to be great to leave with something. Also to add, thank you Reedpop for adding the carpet back! It was severly missed from last year’s show and the past two C2E2 shows that I covered.
With all of it out of the way, I will always enjoy covering New York Comic Con! Below are some of the press interviews that I have conducted!
If any character has learned anything from the Power series, it is to not fall in love quick or else you will be a dead body.
That is what happened to Cartier as he was gunned down by Lou-Lou and Raquel the second the elevator door opened. I must say that I was disappointed to see him fall this quick. Sure, Lou-Lou wanted complete control of his record label and Raq did not want a love interest in her way. But did this need to happen this quick? I would have waited until the third season to kill off Cartier, but I am not in that department.
Famous is starting to head in a dark path and I like his character progression these last few episodes. He killed the person that robbed him and Kanan a few weeks back. Only thing here, is that there is someone who witnessed this so this could affect Famous in the future.
Unique is still playing chess with Sal and Raq and it is working for him. I predict that by the end of this season, he will be back on top like he was on season one. Joey Bada$$ still continues to shine with his believable performance as a villain.
One thing I was not expecting was for the homeless man to have character development. Sure, Marvin paid him to leave town (And he didn’t) and that the police are using him to get to Kanan, but I felt like we learned more about him than what’s on the outside.
After all of this, how will the season end and what will be Kanan’s next move. We will have to find out next week!
The first and only time that we were able to see “smart” walkers on The Walking Dead was on the very first episodes of the first season.
Ten seasons later, one of them made a good return on this week’s episode of The Walking Dead. When I saw that walker climb the shed of the house with a rock, I thought to myself why this is happening. Sure, they can reference this on the final episode of World Beyond, but I believe that the reason it took this long for a variant of a walker to appear on screen again is due to the long legal battle with the first show runner.
With that aside, I like the episode. However, there are some nitpicks I have that ruined my enjoyment. Remember that “Evolution” episode from season nine? That one built up The Whisperers as a threat from the start to the finish. Here on “Variant,” they tried to replicate the same mood and feel from that episode with little to no build up that ends in an anti-climactic normal walker takedown.
The performances from the cast were good. Ross Marquand, Michael James Shaw, Josh McDermitt, and Christian Serratos stood out to me in a bright fashion. The Eugene and Rosita scene felt like a final goodbye between the two characters. Aaron being the one to lead the small group to Oceanside brought out the leader in him regardless of how stressed he was. And Mercer and Princess both realize that there is a conflict of class ranks with their relationship.
All the stories displayed here on this episode were great. Just the build up to the variant walker left me underwhelmed with how this will play into the rest of the season. What I am more concerned about, is that the story does not seem like there would be a valid conclusion by the end.