The Walking Dead: “Adaptation” :: TV :: Reviews :: The Walking Dead :: Paste – Paste Magazine

The Walking Dead
First things first: “Evolution” was one of the best The Walking Dead episodes in years. Tense, atmospheric and genuinely spooky, it goes a long way in proving that The Whisperers actually work as television villains, against what was perhaps common belief. The kick-off to the back half of TWD season 9 builds off the best aspects of its mid-season finale, offering both poignant characterization and impressively staged action. So: Why does it only get a 7.5 as its score, then? Well, allow me to explain. I’m assigning this episode an unweighted score of 8.5 as a base. I’m then penalizing it a standardized, one-point deduction for the fact that the show apparently has no intention of ever answering any of the basic questions that should have been addressed during the first half of the season. Questions such as: — Why/how did the relationships between Alexandria, The Hilltop and The Kingdom deteriorate so much in the last six years that Michonne is no longer trusted by her former friends and family? — Why do several characters all carry disfiguring “X” scars on their backs? I’ve already written in detail about The Walking Dead’s failure to address these questions, and how ....

On to the actual content of “Evolution, ” and guess what—it’s pretty great! From the opening moments, you have to appreciate the gothic look, with our heroes surrounded by zombies in a graveyard full of thick fog. It’s a pleasant reminder that yes, The Walking Dead was once thought of by actual horror fans as a legitimate horror TV series rather than a zombie soap opera, and the mere sight of our characters being freaked out again is a fun novelty. The Whisperers have already presented themselves as a more fearsome threat than expected—as long as you don’t spend any time at all thinking about the logistics of the way they live, that is. The smell alone, ye gads! Elsewhere, we pick up with Negan directly following his realization that he can just walk on out of his jail cell, which leads to some of the episode’s best exchanges via Negan’s conversations with a now 9-year-old “Little Asskicker” Judith Grimes. There’s strong tension to these scenes, owing to the fact that we really don’t understand the nature of the relationship between Negan and Judith. .

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