Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
I have to give it to The Walking Dead's showrunner Scott M. Gimple, simply because the man is a master of subtlety, deception and clues. He makes sure that every single episode is loaded with magical surprises and the last couple of weeks were no different. In fact as I was watching the rebroadcast of last week's heartbreaker I saw the tiny details that left Tyreese distracted long enough to get a bite from the walker. The fact the house in the frame looks similar to the one in "The Grove" and that he was looking at photographs of two brothers when he and Carol dealt with the death of two sisters.
It's the little things like that that Gimple loves to bring forth and this week was no exception because...while it was a dark and brooding episode, and it should be, I am quickly coming to find that Scott is all about peaks and valleys in storytelling and throwing in some cheer after all. In fact when you look at his time behind the helm of this show, we had gentle moments at the prison before all hell broke loose and he has kept us in the show's darkest hour until the last few minutes of last night with the appearance of Aaron, but there were other perky moments and it goes back to what I said, you have to watch out for the little things here.
Despite how tough last night was, and how bleak everything appeared to be, the show made it a point to show off that better days, at least for a show about the end of the world where corpses walk and eat people, may be on the horizon. It was a wonderful trick to keep us focused on the bleak, because there were three key gifts from above if you will that made this a happier episode than I expected. First and foremost, was the much needed rain. The group finally got their hands on the water they so desperately needed and it was nice to see them finally catch a break.
But the bigger surprise was the impromptu tornado that arrived in the middle of the night, missing the barn and dealing with the dead when it seemed that all was lost. Blind luck? Sure seems that way, but from a storytelling standpoint, when this group has little hope or reason to believe that tomorrow will end with anything outside of the possibility of death, they are given this reprieve. That's a huge gift to the group, and the final moments before Aaron arrives, as Maggie and Sasha stare out at the sunrise is that final moment of joy as the dawn in and of itself signals a new beginning.
As the old saying goes, it is always darkest before the dawn. We may have finally come to the end of some dark storytelling, at least for a little while, since Aaron may signal a big shift in storytelling, and simply because luck, or fate or whatever one might like to call it, is finally on their side. It's those wonderful breaks at the end of the episode last night that speak to how sneaky in the right kind of way Gimple really is, taking us to that lowest point before finally giving our emotions a touch of relief as well. Well done to the show for this subtlety and I can't wait to see if Aaron is the same guy from the comics. Until next time...