HomeEntertainment News“The Walking Dead” Season 5, Episode 5, “Self Help” Review

“The Walking Dead” Season 5, Episode 5, “Self Help” Review


Last week I ripped apart the idea of solo episodes within “The Walking Dead.” Yes, while the showrunners have obviously found a solid use for them in terms of stretching out their plot-lines as far as they can, it makes fans frustrated. Again, I repeat from last week, this is either mad genius in terms of marketing and expansion, or cruel in the eyes of the fans. This, of course, means we don’t get any sort of continuation of where we last saw Beth, rather an episode featuring Abraham and his gang’s attempt to, yet again, get to DC.

 Of course, as always, complexity ensues. While most episodes of “The Walking Dead” will shoehorn in excuses for not being able to get places with silly reasons, “Self Help” takes a bit of time to explain the situation on both sides of the coin. This is ironically both an advantage and disadvantage of the episode. Throughout, we get flashbacks in which we learn a lot more about Abraham’s past – which is good, considering this guy supposedly becomes a pivotal role for anyone who has kept up with the comics. While the outcome of his flashbacks in this episode is haunting and really well done, I can’t help but feel as if the way they were constantly edited in were cheap and forced; Another advantage and disadvantage for the episode.
I’m usually a person that appreciates a show that will take time with their characters, and have slower episodes. Though, with that being said, “The Walking Dead” can either do a really good job at that, or a really bad one. Just look at how the second season turned out! “Self Help” is not without it’s cool zombie kills, but it’s essentially one of the slower episodes of the season. While “Self Help” is not necessarily bad it does feel a bit off in terms of pacing. Regardless of its good intentions it doesn’t match the height of how great the first batch of episodes from this season were.
Like I said, though, there is also an advantage to this. While the episode is rolling you are likely to tap your foot and roll your eyes, hoping that it would pick up on its pace. However, if you reflect on it once it’s over you start to realize that it’s the only way that “Self Help” ‘s big reveal actually works. Without giving too much away, there is a big bombshell that is dropped in this episode, and it alters everything that is going on completely. This is all dialogue driven and matches the rest of the episode, but the rest of the build up is found within the context of the rest of the scenes.
Call it good intentions or call it cruel, but “Self Help” works in the end with it’s playful nature with the viewers. It has built a form of trust. If you bare with it, you will get a great payoff at the end. While not quite as strong as the first batch of episodes from this season, it ultimately has an effective climax that will curve a pathway for a change of events within the next few episodes. Though, if this episode hints at a little bit less Eugene – I suppose the last sign off for this review, is that I’m really going to miss that mullet. I’m going to miss you, pal. (Editor’s Note and Potential Spoiler: Eugene is NOT dead) 3.5/5.

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