Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
It's been quite the season when it comes to storytelling on The Walking Dead. We have discovered much about our characters, suffered some of their greatest losses, been through their darkest hour, and now for the first time in this show, shared a sense of wonder and hope with them. Yes, last night was a beautiful and uplifting episode of the show, something I can't recall ever writing about when it comes to a show about walking corpses, so let's get down to discussing "The Distance".
The Good: Well, this is the first time that I can ever recall in this show where I didn't feel a sense of dread or fear for sixty whole minutes. Part of it is the fact that I knew who Aaron was and where he came from thanks to the comics, but at the same time, the show handled everything so well that it didn't matter that I read the comics. This was an uplifting episode, plain and simple. In fact, the first thing I noticed was that Aaron is the first character in ages that I haven't raised an eyebrow of distrust toward someone new on the show.
I mean let's be honest, there was an air of sinister when it came to the first time we met the Governor. We did the same thing for the Claimed gang and the cannibals at Terminus. But not for Aaron. We wanted to know if he was telling the truth. We were dying to see if his community was as safe as advertised, because like the characters, we have been through hell and man, I love the fact that this episode ended on such a beautiful note. This episode was a complete and utter surprise, and I'm curious if this hopeful tone will continue.
The Bad: I wanted more, big time. To get to the gates of Alexandria and not see what's inside, that just kills me. But that's really my only complaint.
The Verdict: I like how the show continues to reinvent itself in tone and storytelling design, taking grand risks, and this episode was a risk to say the least. After all we expect nothing but sheer terror from our horror, so to be uplifting takes some guts. Either way, we have arrived at Alexandria, and I can't wait to see where the story goes from here.