This. This is what The Walking Dead should be about. Not tedious flashbacks. Not drawn-out scenes. Not unnecessary filler. This is the some of the best the show has to offer. Tonight’s episode, “JSS”, was probably one of the most entertaining installments of the series so far after “No Sanctuary”, “Claimed”, and the “Pilot”. But what exactly did “JSS” stand for, and how did it relate to tonight’s episode? (spoilers ahead!)
As many predicted, the horn that sounded off in last week’s episode did indeed come from Alexandria, and it was definitely something to do with the Wolves, the mysterious marauders who have been stalking our protagonists for quite some time. But before we find out where exactly the horn came from, the show gives us a little background on a lesser-appreciated character: Enid.
I’m not a huge fan of Enid because she seems like a stock character the show threw in to be a love interest for Carl. At least in this episode, we finally get a little background. Enid watched her own parents get eaten by walkers, and then spent weeks wandering around on her own, carving the letters “JSS” into random locations and doing whatever she could to survive (including killing and eating a raw turtle). She eventually came across Alexandria, but up until then, she had to just survive somehow. Just survive somehow. JSS. Boom. There’s the title for you.
After Enid’s flashbacks are over, the episode goes from 0-100. Carol looks out the window and sees a marauder kill her neighbor. It’s not long before a whole horde of these killers come charging in and slaying citizens. They’re not just your average marauders, though; we immediately catch the “W” carved into their foreheads. These are the Wolves, and just as we suspected, they don’t play friendly.
The next half-hour consisted of the citizens of Alexandria getting mauled because none of them know what the fuck to do with themselves. I have never been so frustrated with a television show before. There were times when characters could’ve taken out an enemy, and they either hesitated or they got killed. I was literally screaming at the screen. Carol seemed to be the only person actually giving a shit. While this was good for us viewers, it may have been bad for Carol since she’s been relying on the charade of being a timid housewife. Now the Alexandrians know her secret: that she’s a beast!
But Carol’s badassery isn’t enough to fully save Alexandria. At one point, a semi crashes into the watchtower where the world’s worst guard and gunman is stationed. The crash causes the horn on the semi to jam, which reveals where exactly the sound was coming from in the past episode. For a second, I was concerned that the horn would be going off the entire episode, but luckily Morgan shows up and puts an end to it right away. Good thing too because that horn was annoying.
Remember how much I praised Morgan in the past episodes because of his Donatello-esque skills? I’m about to take it back. While he still shows off some epic fighting prowess this episode, I wanted to punch him in the face. He shows mercy to the Wolves he encounters, only knocking them out instead of killing them. Jesus Christ. These are ruthless killers in your community. You don’t owe them mercy. I don’t care if you’re trying to retain your last bit of humanity or whatever. It’s you or them. Kill the shit out of them. Follow Carol’s lead. The worst Morgan does is knock a guy out. He even lets a small group of Wolves leave the city, and on their way out, one of them picks up a fucking gun. Look what you did, douchebag! You let them get away AND they got their hands on a firearm!
Back to Enid. She’s way too nonchalant about the Wolves’ attack. What the hell is going on with her? She tells Carl that she’s going to leave. So in the midst of a huge siege, she’s just going to pull the angsty teenager routine? Not everything is about you, Enid. The people around you are dying. Nobody cares about your individual problems right now. Pick up a knife and chip in. Carl has a rifle and he’s getting ready to protect his little sister, and you’re too busy moping around. The only excuse I can think of for Enid’s behavior is based off of a popular theory online that she may be in line with the Wolves. Can anybody confirm if this is true or not? If it is, then I can understand her attitude. If not, then she needs to grow the fuck up.
The ending was rather anticlimactic. Alexandria is in ruins and Enid is gone. Will the Wolves attack again? Most likely. Will the city be better prepared? Who knows? I’m curious to see how Rick will react when he gets back and hears the news. Something tells me that he won’t be happy at all, especially with Morgan’s merciful attitude.
Final Grade: B +
+ Carol and Morgan were both bad-ass in their own regards.
+ The whole attack on Alexandria was intense.
– I got so frustrated with everyone except for Carol. If I see one more person hesitate before shooting an enemy…
– Enid’s angst almost brought the pace of the show to a grinding halt.
– Still waiting to hear where Morgan learned those moves…
Did you think this was a solid episode of The Walking Dead? Tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!