Okay, we understand the dilemma. For some of you (at least those of you who subscribe to AMC+), today marks the return of AMC's The Walking Dead for the first of six "extra" episodes meant to bridge the 10th and 11th seasons as well as fill in some gaps in the post-Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) time jump. For others, "Home Sweet Home" will be making its debut next week on the cable network. So to be fair, what we're going to do is offer a SPOILER-FREE quick rundown of what went on in our heads as we were watching the episode. If there's something too juicy to be able to work some word magic around, we'll be honest and drop in one of these: [SPOILER]. Then next Sunday, we'll go live with a fleshed-out, spoiler-filled review.
Written by Kevin Deiboldt and Corey Reed, and directed by David Boyd, "Home Sweet Home" finds Maggie (Lauren Cohan) returning to Hilltop only to come to the shocking realization of just how much has changed. But there's little time to catch up on the past- not when something much deadlier from Maggie's past comes calling, putting hers, Daryl's (Norman Reedus), Kelly's (Angel Theory), Elijah's (Okea Eme-Akwari), and [SPOILER] lives at stake. So with that in mind, here's a look at what went on in our heads while we taking it all in:
(1) The opening exchange between Maggie and Judith (Cailey Fleming) will be the one that launches a thousand memes and gifs online- in fact, they may have already started (not cool).
(2) Cohan, Morgan, and Fleming offer a minute-plus "master class" on acting only with your eyes.
(3) The overall look of the show makes it feel like a mini-movie, with the distancing required for filming actually giving the episode (and the trailers we've seen so far) an "epic' feeling.
(4) We're still not sure if we're going to end up loving or hating [SPOILER]– we see his potential as an ass-kicking good guy but right now he comes across a bit on an a-hole who dresses as if he just stepped off the set of The Mandalorian or Firefly.
(5) Ever wonder what it looks like to slam a door on a large container of strawberry jelly?
(6) Maggie saying "Not now" to Daryl carries with it so much heartbreak- and future storyline potential.
(7) So we have a theory about Georgie (Jayne Atkinson)…
(8) Jeepers! Creepers! Better watch out for those… [SPOILER]!
(9) An amazing moment between Elijah and Kelly that does a lot to develop both characters.
(10) Sadly, Maggie uses a line of questioning that could apply to nearly every season prior to it.
(11) Well, that's definitely one way to get out of being interrogated.
(12) Two of the best words spoken in this episode and at the best time: "mom" and "hi".
(13) A touching family-themed exchange between Kelly and Maggie really brings all of the seasons together.
(14) "The only thing that matters is Alexandria."
(15) The Walking Dead universe is definitely not lacking in "big bads"- now we just have to match up the timelines.
There you have it! And we'll make sure to be back here next week for AMC's The Walking Dead for a full review that will have it all make sense.