My Thoughts on The Walking Dead Season 9 Episodes 1 + 2

When it comes to doing TV recaps, I’m pivoting to video! Haven’t decided if I’ll do one every week, but for now enjoy my recap and discussion of the first two episodes of the new season of The Walking Dead.

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Westworld Season 2 Episode 1 “Journey Into Night” Recap

It’s been 16 long months since we last visited Westworld, yet for our characters it’s only been mere moments. The season two premiere is a bit jarring as we quickly get re-acclimated. The premiere jumps right into the aftermath of the climactic uprising of the emerging self-aware androids who violently cast off their shackles as entertainers in a Wild West-themed park of the future.

With Dr. Ford dying during the final moments of last season’s finale, our major cast has been reduced (and makes Anthony Hopkins the Sean Bean of this show). The season premiere checks in with each of our remaining major players: Delores, Bernard, Maeve, and the Man in Black (William). All four are separated and have their own agendas during, and immediately following the Westworld rebellion. Continue reading “Westworld Season 2 Episode 1 “Journey Into Night” Recap”

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1 “Mercy” Recap

Normally¬†you would see an excerpt of my Walking Dead recap here, and the full post at Polygon. Unfortunately Polygon didn’t get the contract ready in time for the premiere, so I’m doing it right here on my website. We should be squared away starting next week!

War. War never changes. But sometimes it weaponizes zombies. The season eight premiere kicked off the war with the saviors with some literal bangs, and like Rick, it gave me hope for the future.

We left off last season with our three main groups: the Kingdom (lead by King Ezekiel), Alexandria (lead by Rick) and the Hilltop (currently changing leadership in favor of Maggie) all pledging to join forces against the growing oppressive threat of the Negan-led Saviors.

After some rousing gung-ho military-style speeches (of which King Ezekiel’s dramatic theatrics are particularly well-suited), they moved to execute their plan: assaulting the Savior factory headquarters head-on with armored cars, machine guns, and a giant horde of walkers. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1 “Mercy” Recap”

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 “Dragonstone” Recap

I’ve decided to recap Game of Thrones this season here on my blog.

Warning: Spoilers abound!

It’s been a long, long time since we last saw the Sept of Baelor blow up along with several major characters in the season six finale of Game of Thrones. Season seven starts the end-game that book fans have been waiting since the 90s for – and we only get seven episodes this year!

The first episode, “Dragonstone” mostly played it safe. We checked in with all our remaining characters, remembered what they’re doing, and looked forward to some more exciting things to happen later on.

Jon Snow had quite the adventure last season, culminating in the marquee “Battle of the Bastards” episode. For now he’s content with actually accepting his leadership position as King of the North, and helping rally everyone to the unifying cause of Oh Shit Zombies.

Interestingly he and Sansa don’t actually get along very well, at least politically. There’s love and respect but the two argue like a married couple, and Jon admonishes her for questioning his leadership in front of everyone. Lyanna Mormont also continues to be amazing, which at this point feels like nodding fan service but we’ll take it.

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Poor Samwell is now the only character left overseas (well, greyscale’d Jorah I guess), and he’s had a pretty shitty time in Oldtown. He’s definitely maester material but getting there involves a lot of chamber pot cleaning. Interspersed with that is Samwell eating gruel and trying not to get sick, creating one of the more disgusting montages I’ve ever seen.

And yet he’s still trying to get work done and scouring for information on the white walkers. He’ll definitely be a key ingredient, even if his story is a bit less exciting.

We checked in with a lot of smaller stories amidst our bigger arcs. Bran and Meera made it to the Wall, yay! The Night King’s army includes zombie giants, crap! Sandor Clegane looks into the flames for plot-relevant inspiration, huh! Tormund continues to make gaga eyes at Brienne, yes!

Arya’s finally left her hellish subplot in which she sort-of learned to be a Faceless Man (Faceless Person?) and master assassin last season. It was weird in the books (although we only got about halfway as of the latest book) and weird in the show. I’m thankful she’s back in Westeros and continuing to kick Frey ass.

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Her opening scene also addresses the Lady Stoneheart issue. The show has effectively eliminated a lot of excess characters while giving others expanded roles (Bronn anyone?). In this case getting rid of a very creepy semi-zombified Caitlin Stark and replacing it with an equally vengeful Arya is fantastic. It gives her more cool shit to do though she desperately needs an update to current events – do not go to King’s Landing!

At King’s Landing Cersei is Queen of the Ashes. Her last child, Tommen, committed suicide after witnessing his mother destroy his wife and the clergy by dragonfire. She’s technically in mourning but both her and Jamie seem more mildly concerned than emotional wrecks.

While Daenerys and Jon Snow have been enjoying victories her hold as weakened, to the point where the Lannisters have no one left, and many of the Lords of Westeros only barely support her claim to the throne.

Both Jamie and Cersei seek out allies. Jamie’s is a bit more practical, one of the bigger lords still loyal to them, Samwell’s assshole father Randyll Tarly. Jamie does a pretty effective job convincing Tarly to stay the course, and basically promising him Dorne after the war with Daenerys is finished.

game of thrones

Cersei’s choice of ally is suitably reckless and risky – Euron Greyjoy. We only just met him last season. He’s the long-lost uncle of Theon and Yara, who came home to murder his father and wrest control of the Iron Islands. He’s the new Ramsay Bolton of mustache-twirling villainy, and he aims to marry Cersei.

Cersei is amused but holds all the cards, for now. Euron promises to bring her a gift and sets off his with fleet.

Another fleet arrives in Westeros. Daenerys Targaryen sets foot on her homeland for the first time in the show’s entire run, and it’s at her birthplace on Dragonstone. It’s a poignant moment with no dialogue as Dany and her crew makes their way through the empty halls formerly occupied by Stannis.

Her first words sent a delightful chill down every viewer who has been patiently yearning for the Mother of Dragons to finally get down to business in Westeros. We shall definitely begin.

Winners 

Lyanna Mormont: She’s a fan-favorite and can do no wrong.

“Torienne” or “Briemund”: I don’t know what the official ship name is for Tormund and Brienne but I’m super in favor of every scene they’re in together.

Zombie Giants: Oh, crap.

Losers

Euron Greyjoy: The show had done a really great job making nuanced characters in shades of grey, instead of simply good guys and bad guys. But between Ramsay and now Euron we’re being subjected to some really groofy, cartoonish villains that are just too easy to hate.

Petyr Baelish: What is this character still doing?

Samwell: Medieval medical school just sucks.