‘The Strolling Useless’ takes an enormous break in its (very) slow-moving ‘remaining season’

The present wrapped up its first eight-episode block on Sunday. One other 16 episodes — the size of a common bifurcated season, damaged into comparable increments — will air subsequent yr. The present will not return till February, having ended on one in all its customary cliffhangers.

Whereas it is easy to know why AMC would cling to and wish to stretch out this long-running franchise as a lot as potential, the 24-episode “finale” has lacked any actual sense of urgency or momentum by way of constructing towards a end to this point.

Within the interim, followers will likely be handled to a pair of spinoffs, “Strolling Useless: World Past,” which returned on Oct. 10, and “Worry the Strolling Useless,” which begins its seventh season subsequent week (however is already obtainable to subscribers of the streaming service AMC+).

Though scores for the present have fallen together with the remainder of linear TV, “The Strolling Useless” reliably developments nearly each week, proving there’s nonetheless an avid fan base at its core, even this a few years later.

No matter enthusiasm surrounded the concept of the “remaining season,” nonetheless, has largely light, because the scattered story unfolds on a number of fronts, with a brand new group of villains that, like a number of of the latest seasons, do not measure as much as the very best of the early ones.

Plus, let’s not overlook the deliberate “Strolling Useless” motion pictures, starring Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira as Rick Grimes and Michonne, which have been introduced method again when Lincoln left the sequence three years in the past; and a spinoff sequence that includes Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), an enormous a part of the flagship present’s surviving spine.
Lincoln’s departure represented one of many extra outstanding examples of sleight of hand that the present has executed, given the way in which his final episodes have been marketed, and Gurira’s exit final yr solely compounded the void left by shedding main characters. Lauren Cohan’s return as Maggie has helped — notably in her understandably cautious relationship with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) — however not sufficient to offset these losses.

Taking stock of all these transferring elements, the underside is that even with the end line in sight, the place the present is heading hasn’t but come into focus. Which means the following third of the “remaining season” in February will mark just the start of the tip for “The Strolling Useless,” and actually, if historical past’s any information, not even that.

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