Folks…the Netflix model of storytelling only works if you drop the entire season at once.
I have not agreed with a lot of the previous criticisms of the Walking Dead. I liked most of the seasons (Two was a bit more of a slog). I know a lot of people were upset but the season six finale…but seriously? We are shocked at a huge moment like that being a cliffhanger??? Shows have ended on horrifying cliffhangers before. Longmire does as regularly as TWD. I mean every season of Longmire ends on a “Wait…they are ending the season THERE” feeling. So, the season six cliffhanger was certainly frustrating, but I got it. And a lot of people who claimed they were done returned. The season seven premier had massive ratings. Except…
The show is bleeding viewers. And you know why? They killed their momentum. Each episode has been fully devoted to a specific location and set of characters. Episode 2 was the kingdom. Episode three was the Saviors compound. Episode four was Alexandria. Episode five was Hilltop. Last night’s episode focused on Tara and Heath…who we have not seen for nine episodes. We did not see them at all. And yes, each episode this season advances the story…but only in small increments. It is throwing the momentum off. Off a cliff in fact. Rather than exploring each of these storylines concurrently through the episodes, which could weave the larger storyline together (making reveals such as last nights about just how brutal the Saviors can be, beyond what we have already seen), we are left to forget about things we don’t see for five or six episodes.
With two episodes left to the mid season break, I would find it unlikely this will change, as I suspect both episodes are in the can. And that means when they return, they may find themselves having bled even more fans. They are basically using a Netflix model of storytelling in Season Seven. If you were binge watching the season, even a few episodes at a time, this would not be so jarring, but on a week to week basis? It is killing the series.