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"The Obliged" continues the season's streak of excellent episodes, bolstered by a bittersweet performance from Andrew Lincoln.
It doesn't make for a particularly satisfying viewing experience, but it does build anticipation for Andrew Lincoln's final episode next week.
I'd like to think that Rick's swan song will be a little less sudden and polarizing when it airs next Sunday, but knowing this show and how it goes, all I can really do is just give the Powers That Be the benefit of the doubt.
What the hell is going to happen on The Walking Dead two weeks from now? Who will the central characters be? For the first time in ages, I honestly have no idea. And it's equal parts frightening and exciting.
I couldn't help but draw a parallel between Rick's vision for the future and the bridge. Just like the world that's been built, the bridge was in severe jeopardy of crumbling.
Wow. That was quite an episode of The Walking Dead. Not only was it the best episode this season, but one of the better episodes I've seen in a very long time.
Lincoln and Norman Reedus are both on fine form down in that hole, convincing us to empathise with both characters' deeply polarised positions.
The highlight of that commitment to improved writing is "The Obliged," in which most of the show is taken up with two characters having conversations. Unlike previous talky seasons, this time the exchanges carry weight, and have meaning.
This season has so far been a mixed one; while some elements have been watchable and it's a blessed relief to be away from the driving misery of All Out War, there are still times it feels as though the show doesn't quite know how to sustain any plotline.
That's two excellent episodes in a row that deliver just about everything you want from The Walking Dead - zombie mayhem, plot twists, really dumb decisions with catastrophic consequences, and not just one but a slew of cliffhangers.
A sickness from Fear the Walking Dead has stricken its parent show. It's the idea of being "stuck," something Morgan said multiple times on this season of the Walking Dead-spawned series, and it's something Michonne utters during a conversation with Negan
What kept "The Obliged" from skidding into the gutter was further evidence of how the various storylines this year are snaking out in uneven progression, certain elements dying out just as others are picking up steam.
Mostly because it felt like the creeping danger was only there to make sure no one had to make any hard decisions this week, allowing the story to kick the can down the road some more.