The Walking Dead “First Time Again” Review


The Walking Dead wasted no time dropping the group into a dire situation. I’m talking a small group of survivors against an entire horde. With that simple introduction we are off to a running start with the sixth season of The Walking Dead. I was both surprised and happy that the tension and action held through the episode largely thanks to the structure.

What proved to be interesting was the stylistic and structure choices made for the episode. We had what was clearly the present done in standard full color. These sections were riddled with tension, anticipation, and danger. It was frantic and the full color allowed you to take everything in, even if you didn’t know how they got there. Then there was the black and white signifying the past. In some ways it is a lazy move to denote the two different periods. However it did evoke an old time feel that matched the slower pace that came with it.

Lennie James as Morgan - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

This episode departed from the usual not just in terms of the visual aspect, but in terms of tone. It adopted a mystery element. Our people were dropped into a nearly impossible situation and we simply didn’t have information to know. Instead we were fed clues bit by bit as to how they came to discover the horde in the past as we watched the plan play out in the present.

We had some really great character moments on the show. There were plenty moments of levity. It’s really great that Michonne is one of those characters who despite being a fierce fighter also knows how to let humor into her life. There are some characters that severely lack that. Those light moments took an episode that could have felt hopeless and made you remember that these are people. If this was any indication of things to come, we will be seeing a lot of interesting new interactions that are appropriately laced with humor.

One of the highlights of this episode for me was the relationship between Rick and Morgan. Considering Morgan had a lot of character development over the few episodes he’d been on to date, getting to see things play out on a longer term was a big deal. The current Morgan we are dealing with is one who favors life over death. Thus walking in on Rick shooting a man seemed to fly in the face of Morgan’s current sensibilities. That said he accepted that what happened had needed to. Still, Morgan and Rick are at very different places. Morgan is adjusting to the Ricktatorship and struggling.

It was also great to see the fallout after Reg’s death. There was a lot of tension in the room as the community convened to figure out what needed to be done about the horde. It was literally the day after the events of the last episode and not everyone was looking kindly to Rick. Many people were rattled and hearing that sort of news was unsettling. Everyone agreed that something needed to be done. The question was what to do and who would take part.

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Bottom Line

The Walking Dead returned with a compelling episode full of tension, uncertainty, and plenty of walkers, starting the season with a high.

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