‘Tales of the Strolling Lifeless’ Kicks Off with Some Acquainted Franchise Beats (RECAP)

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Tales of the Walking Dead Season 1 episode 1, “Evie/ Joe.”]

Why did the canine need to die?!

It’s maybe not an awesome signal that what caught with me most about Tales of the Strolling Lifeless’s collection premiere isn’t any of the human characters or their struggles, however the truth that The Strolling Lifeless’s universe is a crappy place for cute animals. (I imply, have a look at all of the horses which have died.)

Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC

The canine’s identify was Gilligan, and she or he belonged to Joe, performed by Terry Crews. When the apocalypse occurs, they’re residing in Joe’s bunker. Just like the Otto household in Concern’s early days, Joe is a doomsday prepper. He appears content material to stay out the remainder of his days in his well-stocked bunker, watching previous soccer games along with his canine. However one night time, he takes Gilligan exterior to “do her enterprise,” and a small horde of walkers reveals up. You already know the place that is going. I knew the place this was going.

After Joe buries his greatest pal, the plot kicks off in earnest. Earlier than the top of the world, Joe had been speaking on-line to a different doomsday prepper in Michigan who he had a “factor” for, however they by no means met in particular person. He makes it his mission to go to her. When this journey sends him dangling from a tree in a rope web, he meets Evie, performed by Olivia Munn. Once more, you realize the place that is going. I knew the place this was going. Evie and Joe wind up having to reluctantly belief one another as a way to make it to Michigan, the place, shock, they each wish to go to reunite with individuals they love. Evie needs to seek out her ex-husband in hopes they’ll repair their relationship. In case you’ve ever seen an hour of The Strolling Lifeless or its spinoffs, you realize one thing’s going to go sideways. In truth, you would possibly’ve already guessed the twist on the finish of the episode.

olivia munn as evie, tales of the walking dead

Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC

Unsurprisingly, Evie and Joe discover widespread floor on the journey and change into buddies. However extra jokes miss than land, largely all associated to Evie’s hipster persona. And about that twist? Joe and Evie get into an argument and so they separate. Joe winds up at his gal-pal’s bunker, the place all is okay at first, however it seems she’s—shock!—gone loopy. She medicine him and almost kills him, however Evie reveals up simply within the nick of time to avoid wasting his life. Her husband wasn’t on the cabin and it’s not clear what occurred to him, so neither love story labored out.

In the long run, Evie saves Joe, they kill his prepper pal, and so they determine to begin over and discover the wonder within the new world collectively as buddies. Tremendous. That’s in all probability the very best descriptor for Tales’ premiere: it’s high-quality. It’s an hour-long shrug. The primary twist is one thing we noticed accomplished with Terminus, unlikely survivor friendships higher tackled with memorable team-ups like Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Beth (Emily Kinney) or Madison (Kim Dickens) and Strand (Colman Domingo). Doomsday preppers have been lined on Concern, and even the goat Evie finds mimics Season 6’s ill-fated Tabitha. Nothing right here breaks new floor for the franchise.

olivia munn as evie, tales of the walking dead

Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC

The beauty of this present’s format, although, is that every one episodes are all one-offs. If “Evie; Joe” left you chilly, subsequent week’s focus can be totally different (having seen subsequent week’s episode, I can say I appreciated it a lot higher). And Episode 3 revolves round Samantha Morton’s Alpha, an idea that has loads of promise. There’s nonetheless hope for Tales… however “Evie/Joe” fumbled the primary go.

Score: 2.5/5

Tales of The Strolling Lifeless, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC

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