The Walking Dead – “JSS”
What just happened! Episode two of this seasons The Walking Dead just exploded out of nowhere. JSS (Just Survive Somehow) was heading towards another character development bore until a truck hit the fan.
The episode begins with an origins montage, as we see why Enid (Katelyn Nacon) is her reclusive self and how she wound up as a resident of Alexandria. Her parents were eaten in front of her, that answers the first question, so she wanders aimlessly until she finds the safe zone, leaving breadcrumbs of the letters “JSS” in her wake.
As the show returns to the present day, we see the second half of the cast hold fort as Rick is leading his squad to deal with the walker threat. Left behind is Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) Alexandria’s perfect house wife and secret badass, continuing her fabricated persona she begins her episode gossiping with nobodies as she raids the pantry for celery soup. Pretty mundane. Though as soon as she puts her casserole in the oven the episode comes to the boil. Carol glances out the window to witness a massacre ensue…
We discover shortly that the many men with the many knives are those (self-)branded the Wolves. If you’ve forgotten who the Wolves are don’t fret, we all have. They are the bit-part antagonists from the end of season five, the men who confront Morgan and those who are responsible for the zombies in the vans. There you go.
As the invasion persists the Wolves send a truck to break down the safe zones walls. This plan fails, however the loud horn on the vehicle continues, explaining the noise which rained on the parade in the climax of the previous episode, little do the defenders know that the enemy on their doorstep is the least of their problems.
It appears for a while that the invaders are facing little resistance from those in the safe zone, as Carl (Chandler Riggs) who is one of the few people left who can defend themselves chooses instead to be on guard duty for baby Judith and on watch Spencer (Diana’s son) gets a sudden bout of cowardliness in the heat of battle. The Wolves are feasting on the lame cubs that have been left behind by the main pack. That is until ninja Carol arrears her W marked head.
Carol disguised as one of the intruders allies decides enough is enough as she goes on an a-typical Carol rampage akin to the season 5 premiere. Her counter attack is halted in its tracks however as Jedi Master Morgan (Lennie James) returns alone preaching that killing there enemies isn’t the way of the force. Ignoring Morgan completely she takes him as her make believe prisoner in an attempt to get to the armoury before the enemy can. Whilst en route Morgan breaks away to save an under attack Gabriel against Carols suggestion, poor Gabriel. I wonder if its just me who feels sorry for the priest at this point?
Meanwhile we meet new character Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) who has became Alexandria’s new doctor after Pete’s fortunate demise. Denise with the aid of nurse Eugene tries to save Holly, whoever she is, after severing an artery whilst trying to stem the onslaught. Denise like Eugene overcomes a moment of cowardice to face her fear and attempt to save the wounded Holly. Her attempts are met with failure leading to an emotional moment as she sends her aids and the returning Tara away. Tara (Alanna Masterson) remarks unsympathetically before leaving “make sure you get her brain”.
Before the battle draws to a close Morgan is confronted by a group of Wolves, one who seems to recognise him. He warns the assembly to leave and not return, they accept his advice and duly run away, but not before one picks up a gun on his way out, suggesting Morgan may regret his peaceful decision. Morgan is then reunited with the Wolf who he had encountered previously, while they scrap the man declares that Morgan can’t take the plunge and end his attacker, Morgan answers with a strike to the face, the scene immediately switches, leaving the question whether the mans dead or alive.
JSS continues season six’s fast paced, heart pounding, adrenaline pumping beginning whether the writers can continue this high level remains to be seen. Though complaining that episodes are too good isn’t something to be worried about. We have learned however that the Wolves’ bark is worse that its bite.
Video courtesy of Television Promo’s