‘The Walking Dead: Dead City’ Episode 2 Review

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Well I must say this was a much, much better episode of The Walking Dead: Dead City than the first episode, though a few things kind of threw me off.

I like the new group of survivors that the pigeon lady, Esther, guides them to, though they did Esther dirty killing her off so soon. The new survivors are justifiably suspicious of Negan and Maggie, but Negan wins their trust by taking the main guy hostage, putting a shiv up to his neck and then letting him go, proving they come in peace.

Some of the Maggie/Negan stuff was good also. At one point, discussing the past (as is their wont) he tells her that the Croat was a guy he took in very early on. Bad stuff had happened to him and Negan was trying to help. Then the guy turned out to be a total unhinged psycho.

“Takes a monster to make a monster,” Maggie jabs, because I guess when you ask for someone’s help in saving your son, throwing constant jabs and insults at them is a good idea or something.

“No,” Negan says. “I was only a monster when I had to be, when I put on a show to protect my people.”

Now I’m not sure this is entirely true. I think Negan believed that but I also think he often took it much further than he had to. Four slave-wives, for instance. Tossing a doctor in the fire. Burning Dwight’s face off. Actually, I think killing Glenn and Abraham was one of his more sensible “monster moments” given Rick’s group attacked them first and he had to make them afraid of him so that he could control them. Like he admitted later on, he would have been better off killing them all when he had the chance.

Anyways, Negan puts on a monster show a bit later, after Esther is killed. He shows up above the Croat’s goons—many of whom wear ridiculously goofy motorcycle helmets that just scream Walking Dead Gimmickdragging the guy who just killed Esther with him.

“Knock knock!” he shouts, smashing the guy’s head through a window. And again and again. As they all look on, shocked, he mocks the one without a helmet, calling him a neckbeard, laughing at his rat tail hairdo.

Then he says, “Now where the hell was I? Oh, right…”

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”


“Butter who?”

“Well you butter get out your umbrellas because it’s about to god$#!n rain!”

He slashes the guy’s throat, and blood sprays down on the stunned goons. Then he guts him and blood and entrails pour out. He warns them that if he sees them again they can expect more than just rain.

“Now I don’t know if any of you have checked tonight’s forecast, but if I see even one mole hair on one of your ugly-ass faces, it won’t just be a rainstorm, hell it won’t be a thunder storm, it’ll be a god$&#@ hurricane!” He tosses the man over the ledge as the people below shout in dismay. Maggie sees the whole thing, and she stares at Negan with a look of both horror and, I think, new understanding.

This man just killed Esther, and Glenn did much the same thing before Negan killed him in a similarly horrific fashion.

Everything else, I’m not so sure. The marshal storyline is a little weird. I guess I was just pretty annoyed by the first episode’s Old West marshal nonsense, and he seems like a pretty awful human being. If they’re trying to set him up as Inspector Javert to Negan’s Jean Valjean (Jean Valnegan?) I’m not sure it’s working.

Then we get glimpses of what turns out to be Maggie’s community. The girl Negan was watching over arrives, goes to class, gets shown around. We get a Maggie/Hershel flashback. Then the girl sneaks out and leaves. I’m not sure why it matters, or that I care. Why would she leave after finding safety? Also, again, why do I care? You have to establish a character’s personality and this show, like all Walking Dead shows, is pretty hit-or-miss when it comes to actually developing characters we care about.

I’m also not sure I care much for Maggie so far. Negan is doing all the heavy lifting while she mopes around and, well, mopes. Negan sees the zipline and says “Heh, cool.” Maggie barely makes it across and refuses Negan’s help—despite literally being on a mission that she asked him to come on. I guess I’m just tired of Maggie at this point. I want her to get over it and move on because enough is enough, at least in terms of how much I’m willing to put up with. It’s the apocalypse. People die. Maggie acts like losing Glenn was somehow unique. It wasn’t.

We only get a small glimpse of the Croat (Van Gogh, the New Yorkers call him) this episode, once again. One of his traps snared the marshal. “Don’t worry, you’re safe now,” he tells his new prisoner with a wicked grin, implying about the exact opposite of that.

In the preview for next week’s episode we see his fortress, surrounded by walkers. Like half a dozen other villains before him, this appears to be the bizarre strategy utilized to keep people out. It can’t be efficient, especially when you can just smear zombie guts on yourself and sneak right past, though nobody ever remembers to do that anymore.

Ultimately, if this show ends up just being “Hey let’s watch Negan be a badass and say funny stuff” I can be onboard with that. It’s lightyears better than Fear The Walking Dead and feels like a decent, if not great, season of the main show. I’m not sure it’s at all necessary, but hey, that was the best “knock knock” joke I’ve ever heard.

What did you think? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

The Season 2 finale of FROM aired last night also. You can read my review right here. Read my review of Episode 1 of Dead City here.

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