The Walking Dead – On the Inside review S11 E6

For the first time since the arrival of The Whisperers, The Walking Dead had an honest to goodness terrifyingly unnerving episode. Given its subject matter it would seem like horror and thrillers would be the norm, but that’s so far from the truth. That’s what makes an episode like On the Inside so great.

The Alexandria council is working on a plan to find Connie. In the immortal words of Han Solo — no time to discuss this with a committee. Neither does Kelly, who takes one of the horses/dinner combos for a ride to track her sister down. She finds Connie’s backpack, but doesn’t make much headway before Carol, Magna and Rosita find her.

Connie and Virgil are trying to stay ahead of a herd, which is slowly closing in on them. They stumble onto a huge house that looks straight out of Resident Evil complete with portraits with the eyes scratched out. Connie isn’t feeling it, but Virgil thinks some shelter is better than trying to fend for themselves in the darkness against walkers. Agree to disagree then.

Well, not so fast. Connie decides to do some exploring of her own. Staging this trek through Connie’s perspective with zero sound was brilliant. This might have been one of the more effective gimmicks the show has done in forever. The tour is going fine until Connie spies a pair of eyes looking at her from another room.

the walking dead - on the inside review - connie saves virgil

She rushes back to the main area to tell Virgil they’re not alone, but Virgil isn’t sure he can trust the word of someone who hasn’t slept in three days. That’s a fair point, but in this crazy landscape it probably makes more sense to be overly cautious than skeptical, no?

Connie and Virgil walk along the hallway when a partition comes up, separating them and it’s back to no sound as we follow Connie. She’s not alone in the hallway, as we’re getting a vantage point from someone else. What’s in the hallways? And more importantly, where are his clothes? She finds a room of bones and this rest stop is definitely not getting a favorable Yelp review.

Making her way through a hidden section in the wall, Connie manages to escape for the time being only to see Virgil get ambushed by this wildling coming up from under the bed. Along with an amazingly creepy horror movie style score, Director Greg Nictotero hit all the horror movie hallmarks without making it come off lame.

The wild man speaks so he’s probably not a walker….probably. Virgil stabs the wild man, who retreats, but now he’s understandably freaked out about Connie banging on the wall again. He nearly stabs her prompting Connie to ferociously scratch through the planks and drywall so he sees her before he actually connects with his blade. That was another great sequence.

the walking dead - on the inside review - wildling

Virgil is understanding how bad this situation is and wants Connie to go on without him, but she insists on rolling out together. This is smart. Always better to keep another potential with you as long as possible. They fight off another round of wildlings in the hallway and make it to the foyer when a third slashes away at Virgil. Connie still isn’t ready to give up on him yet and pulls him to the corner and digs into the walker they killed when they first entered the house.

Smothering herself with walker guts, opens the door to let the walkers outside come on in to devour the wildlings. That was a very savvy plan.  Connie drags Virgil out, but a few wildlings have managed to follow them only to get taken out by a slingshot. Kelly and the others make it in time. It’s rare to get a joyous reunion here and this one felt very well earned. Still, could someone check on Virgil?

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That really could have covered the entire episode, but episode writer Kevin Deiboldt also wants to advance the Daryl/Colonel and the Reapers storyline. This wasn’t bad. Daryl had to torture Frost to get the location of Maggie’s meet-up without actually getting the proper location. Frost still plays along and gives them the wrong house. It’s enough for Maggie, Gabriel, Elijah and Negan to hide in the basement.

the walking dead - on the inside review - maggie

Daryl spots their hiding place and gets one of the Reapers to unwittingly confirm the size of their group and base of operations. Not that Daryl knows the deal with The Reapers, they’ve lost the horror movie masks and 95% of their creepiness. Now they’re just regular looking losers.

Maggie and crew manage to escape before The Reapers check the basement. The Reapers return to base to find The Colonel thrilled. He managed to get some more intel from Frost before letting him become a walker.

Now Daryl has to guess if Frost gave him up and is the latest target for The Reapers. Definitely not a bad direction with this subplot, but it would have been so much more suspenseful if it revolved around another character besides Daryl.

the walking dead - on the inside review - the colonel, daryl, reapers and lynn

As solid as the Daryl and The Reapers storyline was, it really could have been held off this week. Even with that minor distraction for the good of the overall direction of the season, this horror house with Connie and Virgil made for a tremendous episode and one of the standouts of the Angela Kang era.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: AMC

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