The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead’s grizzliest season to date is full of tragedies. Sasha grieves for Noah in her own destructive way. Daryl and Aaron make a disturbing discovery out in the wild. Carol’s lovingly crafted casserole goes uneaten. And Rick’s escalating aggression becomes common knowledge.
n the wake of her son’s death, Deanna is forced to confront Rick’s very different style of leadership. Daryl and Aaron’s bromance continues, but the discovery of a disturbing and unusual corpse hints at an unknown danger. Meanwhile, Michonne notices Sasha’s worsening mental state and steps in to help her.
After a steady build up over the past few episodes, Rick’s obsession with Pete reaches boiling point as he makes it his mission to have him killed (he’s at least polite enough to ask Pete’s wife for permission first). Andrew Lincoln has shown several sides to Rick this season and this episode showcases the many layers he has developed for the series’ central character. From his quiet plea for Jessie to stand up for herself to his chilling speech only a few minutes later Lincoln presents Rick as we’ve never seen him before, fuelled by an anger that is disturbing but believable.
In a season that has been dominated by other characters, it’s nice to see the increasingly mature Carl branching out and forming his own bonds. His blossoming romance with Enid (Katelyn Nacon) offers a gentle escape from the intensity of the rest of the story. Viewers have become so accustomed to Carl as a mini version of Rick that it comes as a surprise to be reminded that he’s just a teenager, albeit one encountering the first pangs of romance while evading the zombies roaming nearby.
Sasha’s arc takes an interesting turn in ‘Try’. When her self-destructiveness reaches new levels only Michonne and Rosita can intervene to save her from herself. As a character that has encountered repeated losses in recent episodes, Sasha’s downward spiral is wholly authentic, driven by Sonequa Martin-Green’s powerful performance. Sasha almost turns zombie killing into an art form, leaving a gingerbread trail of walkers in her wake until her friends are able to snap her out of it, albeit temporarily.
But with Daryl and Aaron’s discovery of a corpse mysteriously strung up in the woods and Rick’s descent into madness, next week’s extended season finale will no doubt unleash fresh terrors on the unsuspecting survivors.