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An emotionally lacerating installment of The Walking Dead provides crucial backstory for the series' new status quo with a flashback structure that culminates in a shocking set-piece that will leave even the most hard-bitten fans shaken.
After a relatively solid string of episodes, "Scars" is Season 9's first big stinker, a nasty piece of work that doesn't even have the courage of its own convictions.
Scar[s] vacillates between the past and the present. In a surprisingly emotional current scene, Michonne sits with Judith and finally tells her the story, and explains that is why she closed ranks.
Not only was there a general sense of things being missed and searched for, but this week's episode was, perhaps most strikingly, structured like an episode of Lost.
Danai Gurira's performance in this episode was a reminder of something that many viewers of The Walking Dead have known for years: that she truly is one of the best things to ever happen to this show.
A harrowing, tragic, and near nauseating chapter of The Walking Dead. It's also one of the most poignant episodes the show has produced to date.
It wasn't rock solid, but it's been a while since the show's dabbled in extreme violence toward children so there was a super harsh vibe here, which I dug.
I don't think this tracks nearly as well as the show wants it to, but I can live with it. I also don't think it tracks with what comes later in the episode, either, but I can live with that, too.
This wasn't one of the strongest episodes of the season, but at least it provided some exposition into Michonne's traumatic past while breaking up the Whisperer conflict.
It's vulnerable moments like these -- balanced with their all-around kickassery -- that keep Michonne and Daryl near the top of the list for characters you're still rooting for the most.
Alright, they did it. The Walking Dead finally went and did it. They provided a majority of the answers I've been begging and pleading for throughout season 9 -- the basic information that has been necessary this entire time...
This was an undeniably powerful episode, thanks to that flashback.
Overall, it's still executed well, and it certainly explains Michonne and Daryl's subsequent paranoia and isolation, but the episode misses some of the resonance of similar arcs, simply by virtue of its abbreviation.