‘The Walking Dead’: “The Damned”… I Honestly Can’t Come Up with a More Apt Headline Than That

Rick and Company go to war, they shoot a bunch of bullets and stuff and then…


Okay, I’ll be honest here… I sat through the episode, paid attention, rarely looked away, paused it when I had to pee, and really tried to understand what was going on, but this episode is a mystery to me. I thought it might be me… maybe I’m getting Alzheimers finally, maybe I’m just too dumb to pick up on what was supposed to be going on, but the truth is, it wasn’t me… it was this episode. It was a mess. It was a slack-jawed disorganized clusterfudghe that forgot to throw in any investments into what was actually happening.

There was no urgency, there was no clear goal, I wasn’t sure what the endgame was supposed to be… it was almost like The Walking Dead just threw its arms up into the air and said, “Oh, you don’t like overly-long and boring episodes that focus on one person at a time? Here’s action! Is that what you want?” and then it tries to cram it down our face with the wooden end of a plunger as it cries, “IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED!? EAT IT! EAT IT ALL!!!”

It was just… I don’t know what it was supposed to be.

Yes, I get that Rick and the others are trying to deal a blow against the saviors, but how is this supposed to work? Are they taking out lookouts? Satellite stations? Are they going after lieutenants? What is the endgame here, what are the stakes, and why should I give a rabid rat’s butt?

You would think that, after a season of pure… unadulterated and unfun bull that the season season squatted and squeezed out, this type of action would be welcome, but it was so… badly directed and amateurish at best that I couldn’t tell what was going on. We’re only two episodes into this season and I feel like we’ve thrown the human element of the series right out the window for action… only it’s not action, it’s just bad action. The type of action you get when you don’t have the budget for actual action or you just don’t hire a director that can sell it. I’m sure that the budget didn’t allow for bigtime gunplay, but small time gunplay can seen big if it’s shot properly… this wasn’t. It was just a mess.

There was no tension, there was no excitement… it was just people shooting guns and other people catching the bullets. I didn’t even get concerned when any of the regular characters were in danger because it never felt like they were aside from the rather brutal and meat-slappy fight between Rick and the disposable at the end which ended in a comedic way because, apparently, the human body now has the consistency of a can of Spam.

The twist ending return of an old character? Who cares? He was never a favorite and I pretty much forgot he existed.

Listen, sweethearts, I don’t mind action and I don’t mind character development when it’s done well and this… it’s not well. It’s not even acceptable. I’ve never felt this disconnect with the series before and, at first, I thought it might be me getting bored with the series, but it’s not… The Walking Dead is doing this. The Walking Dead is killing itself by being wholly mediocre. I’ve seen episodes of Z Nation that made more sense.

I struggle to say that I’ve seen worse. Certainly, there are choice episodes from last season that were painful to sit through, but “The Damned” almost feels like the show has purposefully given up and did an episode so amateurish and so unorganized that it’s almost fascinating. What the heck has happened?

I was afraid that the discontent that I was feeling from The Walking Dead was my fault, but it’s not… it’s this show. This show, decaying into something unrecognizable with every new episode.

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