The Walking Dead Episode Review: The Bridge

Synopsis: Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) plan to re-build a bridge is in full motion but, while progress is being made, tensions predictably rise between the Saviors and the rest of the survivors, especially since many of the Saviors seem to be abandoning the project. Things come to a head when a botched attempt to lure a walker herd away from the camp results in them overrunning some of the workers.

Review: As I mentioned yesterday, my wife and I skipped watching this episode Sunday night so we could watch a movie instead. But (partly because I forgot the Packers were playing on Monday Night Football), we got caught up on it yesterday evening.

Overall, I did find I liked this episode. There's still a little too much talk/drama on the series, especially between Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus), who really just need to duke it out for a few rounds instead of shunning each other like a couple teenaged girls. But, there was also just enough action, especially after the walkers caused their damage, to keep things from getting too dull.

The most intriguing storyline of this episode had to be the missing Saviors. While Rick and his group think they are simply abandoning their posts, it's becoming obvious there is more going on. There's definitely a new bad guy out there and, based on some of the clues given at the end of this episode, that new bad guy likely has infiltrated Rick's group. I am, admittedly, interested to see what happens next.

Unfortunately, while I did like this episode, I do still have some serious concerns about the future of the series. We know Rick is going to be gone at some point while Maggie (Lauren Cohan) will, at minimum, start seeing a lot less screen time, with this episode hinting at her eventually joining the mysterious Georgie (Jayne Atkinson). And, so far at least, I'm just not seeing anyone who will fill that void.

Daryl probably would be the obvious choice. But, while I think Norman Reedus would be up to the challenge as an actor, I do think the character just has too many limitations. Even now, with Daryl getting a bit more screen time than he's had, he still feels like a one-trick-pony. He's good at fighting and not much else.

Michonne (Danai Gurira) is maybe a dark horse candidate and this episode did show she has some negotiating skills and share's Rick's desire for a new civilization. But, while I like her more as a leader than Daryl, I'm still not convinced she's a strong enough character to keep me tuning in every week.

In fact, as much as I hate to admit it, I think I might wind up missing Rick. I still think his character has more than ran his course and would be a much better bad guy at this point. However, he has been the central focus of the series from the beginning and, because the writers did a poor job taking full advantage of a talented ensemble cast, I just don't think the show is ready for his departure. 

Regardless of who the new lead character is, it's going to seem like a downgrade. As I've said in the past, the only exception to that might be Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). But, I would honestly be shocked if the show centered things around him.

Final Opinion: I liked the episode and am giving it a good grade. I am, however, still not sure how much longer this series will be watchable.

My Grade: A


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