UK TV review: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 11 (Knots Untie)
Love in the Time of Walkers6.5
The Wider World9
Neil Brazier | On 29, Feb 2016
Already seen Episode 11? Read on at the bottom for spoilers.
Continuing with the theme of relationships in the dying world, Knots Untie looks at both ends of the connection spectrum: love and newly formed bonds. Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) is having visions again, this time of his current relationships with Rosita (Christian Serratos) and his friendship with Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), while the rest of the survivors are learning whether they can trust not only Jesus (Tom Payne), but those within his community.
Abraham appears to have set himself up a love triangle and those never end well. While he continues to have a physical relationship with Rosita, all the time he spends on patrol with Sasha is beginning to tug at his heartstrings. And, confronted with the group’s latest pregnancy, he struggles to comprehend how anyone could bring life into this world. This will likely lead to future internal conflict at Alexandria, where it has been too peaceful for too long, especially for an army man like him. Should he not act on his feelings, he will already have love lost with Rosita, after misplacing the dog-tag she made just for his empty neck.
We left the last episode with Jesus confronting a naked Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) telling them that they needed to talk. Despite having enough stealth to free himself from his cell, check out the food and ammunition supplies and creep into Rick’s home, it seems Jesus woke the neighbourhood and is confronted by most of the residents. It’s revealed that he has a community, much like their own, and they have food and livestock that they would be willing to trade. Jesus tells Alexandria that their world is about to get a whole lot bigger.
Since journeying out of Atlanta in the first season, The Walking Dead has not been one to hang around in a single area too long. However, since the group found the sanctuary behind the supposedly safe walls of Alexandria, they have taken up residence. This, in itself, has brought them more than enough problems to deal with, but now a wider world presents itself: other groups of survivors who have built their own colonies that (in the absence of social media) nobody knows anything about.
The mystery of the unknown brings up the issue of trust once again and the group begins to break down those walls with Jesus, as he introduces Alexandria to the Hilltop, a small holding with wooden walls, built around a stately home. It looks like an open-air living museum, with a forge, animals and, coincidentally, an obstetrician. But this is the zombie apocalypse and things aren’t always as pleasant as they seem. Despite earning the trust and respect of Jesus, this is not his community and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is put to the task Deanna assigned her when she parlays with the leader of the Hilltop, Gregory (Xander Berkley).
It’s easy to dislike this new figure – as well as his general sleaziness towards Maggie and short nature with Rick, he has even run afoul of some members of his own group. In attempting to calm the situation, we get what is now fast becoming the way Rick would be depicted in bronze, if ever a survivor were to make a statue of the former sheriff. From the scuffle in the courtyard, Rick learns that the Hilltop has also encountered the name Negan and so strikes a deal, like a true Mafioso, offering protection to Gregory and his people.
We still know nothing of Negan or his community other than the biker gang that Daryl (Norman Reedus) wiped out. It’s all leading to something and at the moment, not knowing is reason enough to be afraid – only a rescue mission in a dark building provides some traditional zombie scares. Whatever lies ahead for Alexandria, the knots they have just untied are about to get tangled again.
The Walking Dead Season 6 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. You can also buy and download it on pay-per-view VOD.
Spoilers and further consideration
– Why Rick would offer to go to war for people he barely knows, against a group they know nothing about, putting the lives of his people at risk, only he can answer. But they have survived threats before and now Rick is using that as Alexandria’s unique selling point.
– It seems everything is settled with violence. Negan wants to send a message to Gregory, but in the absence of being able to write a snotty email, he chooses instead to send an assassin. As soon as Rick has got himself “cleaned up” at the request of Gregory, he ends up covered in blood again, gun cocked in somebody’s face (the visual staple of The Walking Dead).
– How many other colonies are there? Jesus said he’s trading with others but was that just the Saviours? Why didn’t he discuss Negan back at Alexandria and try to gain some of the trust there? Jesus admits that Gregory isn’t the nicest person to live with, perhaps life would have been easier all round, if they just stayed in Alexandria.
– It’s awfully lucky for Maggie and Glen (Steven Yeun) to come across an obstetrician, let alone one who has a working ultrasound capable of giving the couple a sonogram. They have both seen how childbirth ended for Lori, so thank goodness for the medical team at the Hilltop.
Photo: Gene Page / AMC
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