THE FAMILY YOU CHOOSE
The final episode of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier pushes the family boundaries to its limits. With powerful decisions and meaningful dialogues, “From The Gallows” concludes the season on a strong note.
Like the four previous episodes, “From The Gallows” opens up with a flashback in the midst of a tense game amongst Javi, David, and their father. After some subtle verbal jabs between the brothers, they discover some tragic news about their father. David and Javi continue to escalate their emotions, emphasizing their roles that players crafted throughout the season. Though this was more likely done to pull at the emotional heart strings of the player, I did find myself connecting with the brotherly discord. The writing between David and Javi has been top-notch, and this further reinforces that.
This brotherly relationship is challenged again at a critical moment within the first third of the episode. The eruption of emotion between Javi and David presented a very tense and fever-pitched moment that simmered since their first interaction during the apocalypse. I was happy that their tense relationship, after a shallow neutral moment, exploded to an action-packed scene. The escalation has been building throughout the season, and I’ve been waiting for fists to fly. Though the escalation could vary based on the player’s choices, the satisfaction of this would seem universal.
Javi and Clem’s relationship also culminates in the final episode. At the start, the two had immense trouble even remotely trusting each other. The moments throughout this episode really showcased how far the two have come. I absolutely loved the fact that their relationship is solely based on trust and honesty towards each other. Moreover, I’m relieved that it didn’t fall apart into a father-daughter or, even worse, a romantic relationship. In this post-apocalyptic world, it’s refreshing that people can simply trust one another without strings attached to survive.
Even with these strongly emotional moments and relationships taking center stage, there were still enough action-oriented moments to keep the episode moving. New ways of destroying muertos (walkers) were shown in such a way where I can only hope other mediums adapt in some way. Seriously, so cool.
However, the glaring issue was the strange motivation to “save” Richmond. The misappropriated affection to this community was a stark opposite to the overrun of the airstride earlier in the season. The obligation to this community seemed unwarranted, even if things began to fall apart once Javi and company joined these people. Regardless, it served as a decent plot device and provided purpose for the group to do some good.
The Verdict: 8.1 out of 10
After a few less-than-stellar episodes, “From The Gallows” delivers a strong conclusion to the season. The powerful emotional family-oriented decisions were a great final few touches for the season that centered around Javi and his family. The season caps off nicely with several satisfying resolutions and setting up some potentially exciting events for season five.
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