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The Walking Dead Post-Game: The Season 5 Midseason Premiere Delivers Another Blow

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The Walking DeadWell damn. The other day Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on AMC’s zombie hit The Walking Dead, promised the first two episodes back from their hiatus were going to be brutal, and he wasn’t lying. The second half of season 5 just kicked off with “What Happened and What’s Going On,” and not only does it pile tragedy on the already abused group of survivors, it’s also likely the most stylized episode in the show’s entire run. We don’t know about the next episode, but if it’s in the same ballpark as this one, it’s going to be a rough go for fans, as the midseason premiere delivers a stout gut punch.

If you haven’t watched tonight’s episode yet, seriously stop reading, there are SPOILERS beyond this point.

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Syfy’s Ascension Left Us Wanting More (In Good And Bad Ways)

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AscensionAscension was a big deal for Syfy. It was the vanguard of their stated goals to return to the business of crafting serious science fiction, rather than focusing on paranormal “reality” shows and lighter-hearted fare such as Eureka and Warehouse 13. Well, now we’ve seen all three nights of the epic mini-series. Was it worth the wait? Did it maintain the excitement we’ve built up for future Syfy productions such as The Expanse and Childhood’s End?

Yes and no. Over the course of its three-night run, Ascension enthralled, frustrated, jumped the shark, recovered its footing, and then slammed headfirst into an abrupt climax that simultaneously has us eager to see the story continued and also kind of miffed at how little actual closure it provided.

If you haven’t finished watching Ascension yet, click away — If you haven’t finished watching Ascension yet, click away — there be spoilers here!

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Ascension Post-Game: Night One Delivers Thrills And A Huge Climax

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ascensionTonight, Syfy took to the stars for the first installment of the twisty space thriller Ascension, the network’s first miniseries in quite a few years. The bad news? This isn’t going to become the next Battlestar Galactica. The good news? It’s telling a good enough story that it doesn’t need to. Mostly. For now.

If you sat out night one of Ascension, stop reading now as there are huge SPOILERS below.

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The Walking Dead Post-Game: Crossed Sets Up The Coming Conflict

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The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead is building towards something, something big. A major conflict has been brewing between the core group and the group at the hospital, and tonight’s episode, “Crossed,” the last one before the annual mid-season hiatus, pushes things even farther. It’s kind of all over the place, and there’s a lot going on, but it drives the arc of season 5 in a direction it needs to go.

Stop reading this if you haven’t watched “Crossed,” we’re going to get all kinds of spoilery from here on out.

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The Walking Dead Post-Game: Consumed Needs To Talk About Carol

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During the last half of season 4, AMC’s The Walking Dead took a different approach to telling the zombie story, breaking the core group up into smaller factions and following each one for an episode, or at least most of them. Season 5 has taken that strategy and added even more narrative tweaks and gymnastics. They’ve staggered the timeline, so not only do events in different places play out simultaneously, each chapter adds to your overall knowledge, filling in blank spots and answering questions posed earlier. Thus far, it’s been an inventive tactic, creating a tension that carries week to week, and builds the arc of the season in a different and unusually satisfying way. (It’s weirdly like watching Arrested Development, letting stories unfold over multiple episodes, in multiple timeframes.) This week’s episode, “Consumed,” follows this path and delivers one of the best installments of the season.

There are SPOILERS beyond this point. If you haven’t watched “Consumed” yet and have any interest in doing so, stop reading now or what follows falls on you.

The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead Post-Game: Self Help Drops A Giant Bomb And Mullet Jokes

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Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Slabtown,” wasn’t great, and is the weakest episode of the series since the middle of season 4. But luckily, it was just a slight speed bump, as the hit zombie drama returned to its recent form with the fifth episode of season 5, “Self Help.” As the core group has broken up again, they’re sticking with the narrative structure where each episode follows one splinter, and this installment sheds some light on members of the cast who, though they’ve been present, haven’t had much to do.

It should go without saying that there are spoilers coming, but I’ll say it anyway, there are spoilers coming.

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