The Good Place
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"The Damned" stumbles after the season opener, with the unexpected return of a forgotten character, and a whole lot of action -- but not a whole lot of thrills.
There is nothing here, action-wise, that you haven't seen many, many other times on this show.
Never-ending battle scenes were confusingly staged; characters are still monologuing as if coughing up selected excerpts from Shakespeare For Dummies.
Other than the weird close-up shots, this was a great episode. It's hard to suck when you have wall-to-wall fighting, and I feel like this week we got more zombies than we have in a while.
Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom continued their assault on the Saviors last night on several fronts. The result was The Walking Dead turning into a live-action video game with barely any zombies in it.
Structurally, however, episode 2 is all over the place. As with last week's premiere, The Damned experiments with chronology and character placement to try and keep viewers on their toes, but the results end up creating more confusion than anything else.
I don't pretend to know what this show needs to improve, because I don't. All I know is that, now that the nostalgia of the 100th episode has come and gone, the present looks pretty hopeless.
"The Damned" is a mess of an episode, incapable of mustering anywhere near the excitement it should thanks to confusing plotting and lazy writing.
I'd happily trade the artistic creative segments for basic character logic.
It's frustrating to see the series stumble so quickly after a promising start. And it's even more frustrating to see it dig back into the past instead of working with something new.
It is the kind of episode I fear the most about the All Out War season: Character and story are abandoned in favor of shootouts. For the most part, it's the kind of episode that could have been reduced to a three-minute montage.
The quality of the combat this week is high enough to inspire hope for what lies ahead.
Last week's episode illustrated the power that comes from cooperative alliances, but this week's episode examines the flip side of the coin by introducing a little infighting.