Joe Phalon, Columnist Published 10:30 a.m. ET Oct. 31, 2018
Columnist Joe Phalon thinks it might be time for Rick Grimes (actor Andrew Lincoln, right) and his crew to find some endgame on “The Walking Dead.”(Photo: file photo)
Editor’s note: Joe Phalon, a columnist for the USA TODAY network’s Bergen, N.J. Record, has made a yearly tradition out of assessing the strengths and weaknesses in his favorite show, AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” This year, he’s more convinced than ever that it’s time to end the show, now in its ninth season or, at the very least, figure out how to end it. (For the record, USA TODAY’s own TV critic, Kelly Lawler, gave up on TWD last season.)
Its time again for my Annual State of the Dead Address.
Being as deep as I am, I dont have a lot of time to watch serialized TV when Im watching documentaries about Viennese opera. Or was that Viennese sausage?
Anyway, The Walking Dead is the only TV show Ive watched over its entire history, other than six episodes of Police Squad back in the ’80s. So I feel I have a lot invested in this.
In last years State of the Dead Address, I called for the showrunners to start considering their endgame. I have not changed my mind about that position, but other factors have come into play.
The problem with “TWD” after its first few brilliant seasons is that has become repetitive. One evil leader after another, who needs to be taken down by Rick, and usually only some stroke of luck by another character lets him do that.
Rick, Daryl and Glenn were only saved from the Termites because Carol blasted a propane tank and nearby evildoers to bits, distracting everyone.
And Rick allowed himself and all his followers to walkinto an ambush set up by Negan (more on him in a bit) because Eugene arranged for all the bullets in all the guns to blow at the same time. Seriously, what were the chances that none of Negans Saviors werent going to squeeze off a shot at a walker or a rabbit on the way?
Rick then, after three or four seasons of Negans gloating, which would have been resolved in three or four episodes, insists that he be allowed to live. As an example. Or somebody who will get busted out of the jail in Season 27 to reestablish control.
Which leads us into the latest season. The trailers suggested our crew would be heading into nearby Washington, D.C., I would hope this would be to recover weapons, see if any government is still in the bunker or to watch the Senate debate a Supreme Court nominee.
No, they were going to the Smithsonian to find a 19th-century plow. Or harrow. Or something. Why not bring a tank or two back? Yes, I know we had a time jump, and fuel supplies are running low, but if you were going to risk all that, at least come back with some White House china.
In entertainment, they always say leave your audience wanting. After an hour-and-a-half of the season premiere, they succeeded. I really could not figure out where this was all going. Other than there are some sore losers and Negan, who should have been executed, is the living poster boy for the malcontents.
By the second and third episodes, the show had simply devolved into a murder mystery. Who killed Justin? Who was Justin? The show has become so overpopulated with characters its hard to remember.
I was expecting a crossover episode, with Jessica Fletcher riding her bike in from the 1990s Murder She Wrote to solve the crime.
Again, I plead with the producers, go out on high note. Time for the end game.
News & views: Why TV critic Kelly Lawler’s done with ‘The Walking Dead’
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2018/10/31/walking-dead-time-figure-out-endgame/1831291002/
- Daryl Now Has A Dog On 'The Walking Dead' So ... - forbes.com - November 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Recap Season 9 Episode 5: Does Rick Die? - November 10th, 2018
- 'Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln ('Rick Grimes') Fate ... - November 10th, 2018
- Walking Dead Trailer for Next Episodes Teases Whisperers ... - November 10th, 2018
- Walking Dead Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - November 10th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln to return for Rick Grimes ... - November 8th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Bids Farewell to Lauren Cohans Maggie ... - November 8th, 2018
- Body Bag, Walker Or Helicopter: How Will Rick Grimes Leave ... - November 8th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Says Goodbye to Andrew Lincoln. Sort Of ... - November 6th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Shocker: Future of Franchise Revealed ... - November 6th, 2018
- The Walking Dead spoilers: Rick Grimes' final episode, death ... - November 3rd, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 4, Recap: Negan and ... - November 2nd, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 4 "The Obliged" Recap ... - November 1st, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Made Another Bizarre Mistake After Last ... - October 31st, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Might've Spoiled A Twist About Rick ... - October 29th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead': Will Rick and Michonne Have a Child ... - October 26th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 3 Recap: [Spoiler ... - October 23rd, 2018
- Scott Wilson of The Walking Dead Remembered at Memorial - October 23rd, 2018
- The Walking Dead: The Final Season on Steam - October 23rd, 2018
- The Walking Dead season 9: Andrew Lincoln exit in episode 6 ... - October 20th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Takes A Killer Hit As Ratings Fall To ... - October 20th, 2018
- This Was The Most Shocking Thing About 'The Walking Dead ... - October 17th, 2018
- The Walking Dead's Falling Ratings Are About To Get A Whole ... - October 15th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Recap: Season 9 Premiere [Spoiler ... - October 11th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Premiere Addresses One Of Its ... - October 9th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Premiere's Big Death Is Finally The Right ... - October 9th, 2018
- "The Walking Dead" actor Scott Wilson dies at 76 - CBS News - October 8th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Actor Scott Wilson Dies at 76 | TMZ.com - October 7th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus says big deaths are coming ... - October 5th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Spoilers: Rick and Maggie Exit ... - October 2nd, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Confirms Maggie Will Leave, But Not Die ... - October 2nd, 2018
- Andrew Lincoln could be returning to The Walking Dead to ... - September 29th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Spoilers: Scott Gimple Talks ... - September 29th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Our World - September 27th, 2018
- The Walking Dead - Cast - AMC - September 25th, 2018
- Fear the Walking Dead - Wikipedia - September 23rd, 2018
- A New The Walking Dead Trailer Teases The Resurrection ... - September 17th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Teaser Promises New Beginnings - September 16th, 2018
- The Walking Dead season 9 spoilers: Rick Grimes exit to begin ... - September 12th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Is Getting Extended | TV Guide - September 8th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Is Adding a New Pet | TV Guide - September 6th, 2018
- [PHOTOS] The Walking Dead: No Negan in Season 9 ... - September 6th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Boss Talks Maggie As a Working Mother - September 1st, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Teaser: There's Dissension in Rick ... - August 30th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Casts Sons of Anarchy's Ryan Hurst as the ... - August 30th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Casts 'Remember the Titans' Star Ryan ... - August 28th, 2018
- The Walking Dead (season 8) - Wikipedia - August 26th, 2018
- Check Out These New Photos From 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 - August 24th, 2018
- 'Fear The Walking Dead' Season 4, Episode 9 Review: Flying ... - August 18th, 2018
- The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan Talks Leaving Maggie Behind ... - August 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead's Negan Joining Tekken 7 as Playable ... - August 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: 10 big spoilers for season 9 - August 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead season 9: Rick Grimes exit will be ... - August 4th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln reveals why he is leaving ... - August 1st, 2018
- Fear the Walking Dead Season, Episode and Cast Information ... - August 1st, 2018
- Comic-Con 2018: The Walking Dead Season 9 -- Andrew Lincoln ... - July 25th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Casts Nadia Hilker as Magna for Season 9 ... - July 25th, 2018
- Walking Dead Creator Addresses Andrew Lincoln Series ... - July 22nd, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Are Carol and Ezekiel About to Romance ... - July 22nd, 2018
- New Walking Dead season 9 trailer, release date drop at ... - July 22nd, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Will Rick and Maggie Fight in Season 9 ... - July 21st, 2018
- Comic-Con 2018: The Walking Dead Season 9 -- What We Know ... - July 21st, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Unveils Season 9 Trailer, Premiere Date ... - July 21st, 2018
- Andrew Lincoln opens up about leaving "The Walking Dead ... - July 21st, 2018
- 7 Lingering The Walking Dead Mysteries We Need Solved ... - July 21st, 2018
- The Walking Dead: See Norman Reedus in season 9 first look ... - July 15th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 1 - AMC - July 13th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season, Episode and Cast Information - AMC - July 9th, 2018
- Fear the Walking Dead: How to Watch - Today's News: Our ... - July 9th, 2018
- The Walking Dead spoilers: Rick faces new threats in Season 9 - July 3rd, 2018
- The Walking Dead's Chandler Riggs Reacts To Andrew Lincoln ... - July 3rd, 2018
- Amazon.com: The Walking Dead, Vol. 18 (8601200668568 ... - July 2nd, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Is Shane Returning for Season 9? - Today ... - June 22nd, 2018
- Jon Bernthal Returns to The Walking Dead in Season 9 as ... - June 22nd, 2018
- Jon Bernthal returning to The Walking Dead | EW.com - June 22nd, 2018
- Fear the Walking Dead (season 4) - Wikipedia - June 22nd, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season, Episode and Cast ... - amc.com - June 18th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Plans Crossover With Fear The Walking ... - October 14th, 2017
- 'The Walking Dead' will finally cross over with 'Fear,' says ... - October 9th, 2017
- The Walking Dead season 8 will feature "some big deaths" that ... - September 26th, 2017
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero