Merritt Weaver as Denise in The Walking Dead's Now (Season 6, Episode 5). Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC. Supplied by Foxtel. Photo Contributed
Merritt Weaver as Denise in The Walking Dead's Now (Season 6, Episode 5). Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC. Supplied by Foxtel. Photo Contributed Contributed

The Walking Dead S6E05: Now review

*warning: spoilers ahead if you haven't finished season six, episode five*

REVIEW: Arguably the weakest episode of the season.

Now seemed an opportunity for The Walking Dead to take a few breaths after the ridiculously intense opening four episodes.

Swift story progression was sacrificed for "character development", which included the mental disintegration of the town's former leader, two blossoming romances, and a desperate search to find one of our most beloved characters

Throughout the hour we were subjected to a series of motivational speeches, each seeming more pointless than the last. Rick's "we're all going to make it because x, y and z", Aaron's "I feel guilty because the attack was my fault", Spencer's "don't eat the food" and Jessie's "we gotta kill because we gotta survive" - there was no shortage of monologue in this slow installment.

Maggie's (Lauren Cohan) search for Glenn (Steven Yeun) continued through a previously secret tunnel under Alexandria, though not before she added his name to the list of characters "in our memory".

Aaron (Ross Marquand) revealed the passageway when he decided he would help Maggie, a decision that came from pent-up guilt he harboured since finding his "lost" backpack - the one with photos of Alexandria - in the hands of a Wolf.

The dark passageway led to the predictable encounter with two walkers, and when they reached a dead end the search was finally over for Maggie. Or was it? Her decision to rub Glenn's name off the wall suggests the search - and the drawn-out story arc - will continue for a few more weeks.

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Much of Now focused on the collapse of Deanna's (Tovah Feldshuh) mental state.

She has been a fragile leader since her husband was killed in the season five finale, and the Wolves' attack only enhanced her issues.

Now she seems beyond a point where she remains in control of her actions, and the way she bludgeoned a walker with a bottle showed she is not the woman she used to be.

Meanwhile Rick (Andrew Lincoln) safely made it back to Alexandria after his issues at the RV, but we still don't know what transpired beyond the walls.

The last we saw he was attacked by five Wolves in the RV, then hundreds of walkers came out of the trees. He was seemingly doomed, but remarkably managed to be running ahead of hundreds of walkers back to Alexandria at this episode's opening.

A few more things:

- What is Spencer's deal? He seemed a voice of reason but turned out to be more of a snake than anything. He persuaded fellow survivors to work together then raided the food stocks when everyone left.

- Carl (Chandler Riggs) could be off to find Enid (Katelyn Nacon). Ron (Austin Abrams) dobbed to Rick, but asked the former deputy to teach him to shoot before finding his son. Ron, like Spencer, seems like a bad egg.

- Denise (Merrit Wever) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) shared an intimate moment in town. Where does it go next?

- The preview showed Daryl (Norman Reedus) in serious trouble while Abraham and Sasha tried to get away from *something* in the car. It shapes as another entertaining episode which should be far better than Now.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Walking Dead airs Mondays at 12.30pm and 7.30pm (AEST) on FX (Channel 119).