Air Date: Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 9/8c on AMC
“Everything gets a return.” – Morgan Jones
Within the first few minutes of “Conquer,” the writers of The Walking Dead take away the suspense and mystery of the second half of season five. Fist pumping like a maniac, I wanted to jump up and scream when I saw Morgan’s (Lennie James) face on my TV screen. I know I’m not the only fan excited to see he’s OK, back in the world, and still heading toward Rick (Andrew Lincoln). I don’t know where Morgan’s story line will lead in the future but I’m down with whatever wisdom he’s sure to impart in the short time he’s here. Morgan is an important character in The Walking Dead. He was one of the first people we met when Rick had no one else in the world. There’s no reason why James shouldn’t be a regular on the show. My only worry is, once he becomes part of the cast, will his character’s chance of dying increase? Let me not get too far ahead of myself.
Welcome back, Morgan. Rick needs you. So much happens in “Conquer” that leads me to believe things are going to get better … and worse. I’m seeing serious character growth, division, and acceptance in everyone. The new combines with the old and it’s explosive.
Who Do You Love?
Rick: “I screwed up,” Rick admits but does that mean he would do things differently? I’ve been worried about where Rick is leading the group but I realize I’ve got it all wrong. He’s being led in a certain direction and listening to too many advisers. I think Rick has to start looking on the inside to decide what he’s supposed to do. Rick has always made decisions on his own, and they have yet to lead him astray.
Michonne: I am surprised by Michonne (Danai Gurira) as she doesn’t do what I would expect. While she’s been fighting to get to a safe place, I didn’t think she’d go along with Rick and his new plan. I’m also shocked she isn’t more pissed off for being kept out of the loop so long. She wants Rick to be all for living in Alexandria but knows she can’t force him. It also says something about her state of mind that she’s reverted back to her old self by the end of “Conquer.” Is she afraid or just being cautious?
Morgan: After the tease in “Coda,” Morgan is still traveling alone, and apparently is some kind of martial arts master. At least the man is no longer cray-cray. He’s got his mind right, yet we don’t know how this happened (and I’m dying to find out). I only hope he can be the something Rick needs to pull him back from the edge.
Sasha and Gabriel: I’m grouping these two together because they have so much in common. Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) is lost and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) has fallen just as far from the beaten path. The two are wallowing in guilt, denial, and regret. Their pain weighs so heavily on them, you can see it in the way Sasha and Gabriel carry themselves. To see the two come to blows is exciting because they are moved enough to do something. They’ve been walking around like the dead for so long, seeing them emblazoned with passion means they aren’t defeated. There is still hope for them yet.
Carol: What has happened to Carol (Melissa McBride)? She gets things done with a smile and a casserole but you might want to watch out for the knife in her pants. “Come at me.” If she can intimidate a six foot four man with a few words like that, I’d say she’s far from the battered wife she used to be. I kind of dig this new version of Carol but I’m scared of her too. She’s Carol 2.0 now and only going to continue growing.
Things to make you go hmm…
We find out what the “W” stands for and who destroyed Noah’s (Tyler James Williams) home. These “wolves” make me nervous but they aren’t that intimidating. Now that Morgan, Daryl (Norman Reedus), and Aaron (Ross Marquand) know who else is in the vicinity, the survivors and the Alexandrians will have a fighting chance. As an aside, do you think the wolves might be cannibals too? They have been leaving limbs all over the place. Maybe they’re ingesting the organs of the torsos, trying to inherit the strength of their kill? I might have to do more research on wolves to get some insight on this new potential threat.
Nicholas (Michael Traynor) should be dead about ten times over but Glenn (Steven Yeun) is saint. Major kudos to Yeun for his amazing emotional control in the scenes with Traynor. How he takes Glenn from furious to weeping in a moment is genius. Glenn forgives and makes the right decision when most wouldn’t. But don’t think it’s all on him to be so self-sacrificing. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has a lot to do with the decisions Glenn makes. She keeps him grounded. You know Glenn is pissed at Nicholas, and rightly so, but when does the fighting end? They could be the last people on earth and killing one another becomes pointless. I’m beginning to think Morgan has it right. He doesn’t kill when given the opportunity, and he’d be well within his right to.
Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) made me cry. I didn’t see it coming. Her sobbing and repeated “my love” to Reg (Steve Coulter) did me in. The woman does have a heart after all. Did anyone else get a double meaning from her “Rick? Do it” line? At first, I thought she meant for him to put an end to Reg’s suffering, or to step up and do what needs to be done to prepare the Alexandrians for life in the new world. But oh no, she simply had a change of heart. I’ve totally underestimated Deanna.
Rick: “You wanted this place.”
Michonne: “We had to stop being out there.”
Rick: “Well … we’re here.”
I’m feeling the love between these two.
Carol: “Because these people are children and children like stories.”
Reg to Maggie: “The cave men; they were all nomads. And uh, they all died; then we evolved into this, and we lived. Civilization starts when we stop running; when we live together.”
Rick: “You’re staying home.”
Carl: “That’s what it is now, right? Home?”
Carol to Rick: “You said you don’t wanna take this place, and you don’t wanna lie? Oh sunshine, you don’t get both.”
Michonne: “Something’s gonna happen; just don’t make something happen.”
Wise words from a wise woman. I hope Rick listens.
I’m worried about the survivors. Wolves are coming and they aren’t fighting fair. Michonne has taken a step back; Carol 2.0 is in full effect; and Rick is not taking any more chances with the Alexandrians. What do you think is in store for the survivors in the next season? I see Morgan hashing it out with Rick because his idea that “all life is precious” conflicts with Rick’s notion of killing off the problem people. Sasha is on the mend; Daryl is finally opening up to others; and Glenn has been handed the ‘moral compass’ torch. There is so much to explore with each of these characters’ story lines and I know the writers will do them justice. I’m voting for Greg Nicotero to direct every episode. He touches on something in “Conquer” I haven’t seen in other episodes.
Let me know what you think about “Conquer” by dropping me a line in the comments section below or tweet me @ellemoe.
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Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC © 2010-2015 American Movie Classics Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2015, Elle. All rights reserved.
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