Channel Slipping: THE WALKING DEAD – S6 E4


CHANNEL SLIPPING deconstructs the TV you don’t want to SLIP/THROUGH the cracks… with Highlights, Interpretations, and Nerdy Theories.

Last time out we were left with the Holy Sh*t, Glenn is Dead cliffhanger. Instead of finding out what happens next, WALKING DEAD decided to take a detour, adopting the LOST storytelling style of flashbacks. In a captivating episode, that feels like a play, we spend our time learning about what happened to Morgan. Previously, Rick had run into the husband/father turned crazed loner a few times over the seasons, but now a big gap finally gets filled.

Morgan comes across a goat in a yard of a cabin in the woods, where he meets a gentle giant, Eastman, wielding a Donatello staff. This mindful philosopher knocks out our hero and imprisons him within his “4 walls and a roof.”

The return of Morgan, from wild madman to thoughtful survivor, was totally captivating. Slowly but surely, his captor becomes his teacher.

By the end of the episode, Morgan will be trained with the staff. His Obi Wan also preaches wisdom. There is an emotional sequence involving driver’s licenses and remembering the dead. Another scene has one of the best speeches on television this year, when Master tells Student how he chose to walk the path of peace and why he has a cabin in the woods (fitted with a jail cell). It is alternately heart-breaking and heart-warming.

The end to this chapter is bitter-sweet, but leads to our hero’s reunion with Rick in Alexandria.

Despite not immediately answering the fate of Glenn, this was a welcome respite. Character-work is WALKING DEAD’s main highlight. Sure, we get zombies each week, and some of the most intense sequences on TV, but we also get impressive serialized character development. There are so may story-lines weaving their way through this season, it’s essential to employ this stand-alone storytelling technique. This particular episode could have been extended into a feature with a satisfying 3-Act arc.

The cliffhanger this time (set in present day Alexandria) reveals that Morgan kept a Wolf alive during the enemy invasion. Will this choice endanger the group? Is there another attack brewing soon? Stay tuned.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Stay tuned for more reviews. Coming soon. I apologize for getting behind on these reviews. The goal is to be caught up by the mid-season return. 

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3 thoughts on “Channel Slipping: THE WALKING DEAD – S6 E4

  1. I find The Walking Dead frustrating for what I see as its flaws yet I’m hooked. We knew this episode was coming, we could predict some of how it turned out and it was a dick move putting it on after the Glenn cliffhanger and yet… and yet it just maybe the best episode of the entire series. You can’t beat the thrill of the Prison battle, Carol’s assault on Terminus or the recent long night in Alexandria. Yet for me this and the Governor’s flashback episode are two of the best examples of storytelling of this series devoid of all the things that drive me crazy. And this is better than The Governor one.

    Liked by 1 person

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