I was going to just do a Season 10 overall review, but with the final episode being delayed further and further, I decided to do what I’ve done before and review the two halves, mostly because leave it any longer and it wouldn’t matter how many notes I made, I’d struggle to remember some of these episodes, which says a lot really…So let’s take a look then!
Months after the winter storm, the communities thrive without any signs of the Whisperers, though Michonne insists they respect Alpha’s border to avoid further conflict. After a Whisperer mask washes ashore at Oceanside and a skin is found in the woods nearby, the groups are put on high alert…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
“Look, I get it, I killed lots of people you loved a few years ago… Get over it already!” “No!” “*sigh* fine…”
Where to start… I guess I’ll go with Negan (Jeffrey Dead Morgan), who I really enjoyed as a lead antagonist, and he’s one of the few characters I actually care about left on the show. He befriends Lydia (Cassady McClincy), who is understandably having a hard time gaining the trust of everyone else, being the daughter of the woman who is currently terrorising everyone. He accidentally kills someone while saving her and then vanishes, eventually meeting up with a mother and her young son, whom he bonds with. Sadly his past comes back to haunt him in a very literal way when a teen whose heard the stories of Negan finds him and wants to join his new Savours, but Negan wants none of it. Double sadly, the teen then kills the mother and child, thinking it was test, which leads to Negan killing him.
A dejected Negan soon finds his way into the camp Alpha ‘s(Samantha Morton) Whisperers and decides to join up with her, going through various trials set by Beta (Ryan Hurst), who doesn’t trust him. It’s fun to see such a vulnerable side to Negan, while at the same time keeping his cocky swagger. Alpha and Beta do make good antagonists, the former with a weaker side she can’t shake off, and the latter being so loyal that he doesn’t even think of taking over as leader. Alpha’s way of speaking is especially off-putting (in a “good for a villain you’re not supposed to like” kind of way) Sadly the rest of the group are pretty dull…
She’s not angry, she’s just disappointed.
There was a an interesting chain of events that started with Carol (Melissa McBride) kidnapping and interrogating a Whisperer only for him to die because Siddiq (Avi Nash) made a mistake as he is still having PTSD after his surviving of the Whisperers massacre from the last season… only for it to be revealed that Siddiq’s assistant Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas) was actually an undercover member of the Whisperers who has been manipulating events to lower morale (and therefore most likely intentionally killed the captured Whisperer), and when he’s found out by his “mentor”, he kills him. He himself is then stopped by Siddiq’s love interest / mother to his child Rosita (Christian Serratos) and imprisoned, only for local Reverend and close friend of Rosita Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) to give in to his base urges and kill Dante in the cell. It was a fun trickling down effect to follow.
The start of the season saw a satellite fall from orbit and cause a forest fire, which was a interesting idea for a plot point many years into a post-apocalypse, given these satellites would start to drift off course with no interaction from humans for many years. The mid-season cliffhanger, which sees Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol, Aaron (Ross Marquand) and more get trapped in a cave with a horde of Alpha’s zombies between them and safety was a good way to end the half season as well, so… A good start and end, anyway…
The characters get less interesting the further back the picture goes…
The biggest bad going against this series is I just find it hard to invest anymore. Once Rick and his son Carl were dropped, my interest and investment dropped as well, and frankly the likes of the one-dimensional Daryl and Carol, as entertaining as they can be sometimes, just aren’t lead character material. Michonne (Danai Gurira) is okay in her role as leader, but as she heads off to an isolated island with a complete stranger, she’s not even going to be around any more, and the least said about Judith (Cailey Fleming) the better, she still delivers all her lines like… well, like she’s a child repeating the lines but not really understanding the context (a.k.a. most child actors). Without a central protagonist to root for, everything feels like filler, despite the fact it’s the next big storyline.
To make matters worse, Carol is now all suicidal and revenge-y again, Daryl is concerned about her but is still acting aloof and uninterested again, and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) who is normally one of the more entertaining characters, has cancer, so… It’s generally not good on the good side. There are a lot of other characters but they tend not to do much, like Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) and Magna (Nadia Hiker) whose storyline seems to be “they’re in a relationship that’s a bit troubled”, or Connie (Lauren Ridloff) whose character bio is so devoid of anything it may as well say “the deaf one”, at least if it weren’t for fellow ally Kelly (Angel Theory) also suffering from hearing loss “stealing her thunder”, so to speak. Throw in the already mentioned uncharacteristic stupidity of Michonne and it didn’t make for a fun time a lot of the time (and I mean that as in fun to watch, not literally funny…)
I do like a lot of the “adapted technology” you see in the show, like these horse-drawn cars.
This is one of those reviews where I’ve written more good than bad, but the bad is so significant that it really should swing the other way. I can’t shake the feeling of “lack of interest”, even when things were well written and interesting. Honestly if Negan is written out I don’t know if I can be bothered to continue watching it, even though I do have enough built up loyalty to want to see the finale, whenever that is… As it stands, the first half of Season 10 wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that interesting either…