A LOOK BACK WITH HACKSAW JACK – EPISODE 504 (POTENTIAL SPOILERS)
I don’t know about you guys but this first episode of the Walking Dead spinoff show was crazy!! Wait what? That wasn’t the spinoff? Oooooooh. Well that explains why Beth was there…
Well anyways, I guess it kind of felt like a spin off because we are working with a non-comic character (Beth) in a non-comic scenario (Grady Hospital). Honestly though, as a comic reader, it was kind of fun having NO IDEA what the heck was going on. We had a new environment with a bunch of new characters. Granted, I think they moved through the development pretty quickly and we all have more questions but I think they had too. They already were spending an entire episode away from Rick and company and nearly 2 episodes away from Daryl so they were already stretching it with some people by giving this story line so much attention. There has already been mixed reactions on social media and perhaps a lot of it was due to the fact that this episode revolved around Beth who is a character that doesn’t have a huge fan following. They are obviously trying to give Beth a growing development as a character. They had the callback to her attempted suicide in Season 2 and they are trying to show her growth from a person on the brink of suicide to a person who is ready to make some vicious plays for the sake of survival. This could go one of two ways. We could see Beth grow into a more useful capacity or this could be TWD’s patented “give them more screen time and make you like them right before you kill them off” trick. I’m kind of thinking it may be the latter but I guess there’s really no way to know for sure.
Beth’s grand escape plan with Noah was a pretty cool scene. I’m not sure why but the biggest thing that stuck out to me was the slow motion gun fight against the walkers outside. I LOVED the audio on this scene. I’m not quite sure that I understand how the guy with the busted leg who was way behind Beth actually ran past her, all of the walkers and then escaped while Beth covered a grand total of 3 feet in distance. But I think it’s now clear who was with Daryl in the bushes at the end of last episode. Since we saw Carol briefly at the end of the episode, we know that Daryl and Carol followed the “cross cars” back to the hospital. Apparently they met some sort of misfortune which led to Carol being “save-napped” by the bad guys. What we don’t know is whether or not Carol got captured on purpose or by accident. Regardless, Daryl is still outside the complex and likely watches Noah escape. They most likely link up, spend half an episode sharing stories and then decide to head back to the church to gather Rick and the reinforcements. I guess we’ll have to wait and see but I think that makes the most sense.
I may be the only one but I was kind of surprised by how BAD Atlanta looked when Beth went on the roof for the scenic view. Now I know that ATL was bombed (they reference that event in this scene) and we even saw choppers dropping napalm in a flashback scene in Season 2 featuring Shane and Lori (which indicates that the bombing took place prior to Rick awakening from his coma and finding his family). So if the time line was correct, I don’t remember ATL looking so bad in Season 1 when Rick entered the city. Also, a skyline comparison from Episode 201 and 504 (shown below) would show quite a difference in damage. Granted about 14-15 months have passed, but when did all the damage to the skyscrapers occur? Was there a second bombing after the CDC explosion? Chances are this is just a production decision to make the city look more apocalyptic and a hope that we wouldn’t notice. So perhaps it’s just a continuity issue that we’ll just be forced to overlook (like the 9 year old boy that grew 2 feet in 17 months).
All in all, I enjoyed the episode in spite of the fact that twice the episode was interrupted by AMC telling me to call DirecTV and demand that they keep AMC. The DirecTV vs AMC battle was more annoying than a Dale monologue about humanity. I think I would have rather endured another political ad. Speaking of political ad……….. 😉