#TWD REVIEW Episode 602 “JSS” – What Did it Mean?!
What an episode, with so much action, packed, into just 45 minutes of show, let’s just get right into the genocide that was – The Walking Dead episode 602 “JSS”. As Rick and the others carry out their mission at the quarry, Carol, Carl, Maggie and the remaining Alexandrians must defend the safe-zone against an attack from The Wolves, a savage gang of scavengers.
First we get a wonderful treat with an episode directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch. In “JSS” we start off with an extremely emotional background story of “Enid” (Katelyn Nacon). Beginning with having to endure witnessing the horrific death of her parents, we get the first signs of what this young girl has had to deal with in surviving the zombie apocalypse. In the few weeks she is out alone in the harsh environment of the new world, Enid learns survival skills. From learning to avoid walkers, kill walkers with a head wound, take their cloths for warmth, eating a raw turtle – for she doesn’t know how to even build a fire. All the things she must do to survive just finding anyway to keep on living, and when Enid does these things, she must inscribe somewhere ‘JSS’. Then comes the day she is at the gates of Alexandria, Enid is hesitant. Hesitant because she no longer wants to be hurt by getting close to people again, or is she hesitant because there is actually a reason for her to come to this community? Either way, Enid scratches JSS once again, you see it on her hand as she enters the gates of Alexandrea…..
From the way Enid had to do whatever it took to survive, we the viewers got a much clearer understanding of who she is. Enid has been so reclusive, she’s always cautious, never wanting to get hurt again emotionally…especially with Carl. Enid doesn’t want to forget the dangers of not being inside walls of false pretenses. Enid was never going to stay in Alexandria knowing it would eventually fall.
Carol in the pantry is setting up foreshadowing with timeline and characters like Mrs. Neudermeyer. Talking about Carol-Home-Baker recipes to the local hens-nest of ladies, to snapping at her cigarette smoking neighbor. The best part was while leaving, Carol telling the youngest son of Jesse, that he should basically finally grow a pair and stop crying over his dickhead of a Father. That’s not how she said it, but I’m closely paraphrasing.
Carol puts a casserole into the oven on a 45 minute timer, looks out the window to see the first attack.
The Attack Begins – The very neighbor who was upsetting Carol with smoking is the first one Carol sees attacked. Not just attacked but slashed and fatally stabbed to the head. At the very same moment there is an attack at the gate Maggie and mayor see as one of the guards man at the top of the wall is flambéed.
It is the The Wolves! The wolves are moving very quickly, efficiently, viciously but more noticeable they are just being brutal savages! Dismembering, disfiguring, hacking, hacking and hacking relentlessly. They left a bloody gruesome trail wherever and whoever they struck. Like a pack of bloody wolves they viciously attacked.
Carl is held up in the house with Judith and a huge gun, when he hears a noise at the back door. It is Enid with a huge key chain full of the towns keys. She has been stealing them, keeping them, always having a way to get in and out of places. Carl won’t let her leave for there are killers outside. Enid says they are just people, she was talking about Alexandria’s blinded-spots and how the town was going to fall anyways. She is about to say something about “that’s how we were able to……”. Was this in reference to when her and Carl would sneak out of the walls or is she working with The Wolves?
To me, Carol is the most badass in the group now! Forget Rick, forget Daryl, Morgan and even Michonne! Carol breaks out of her homemaker cover to do what she does best and what that is isn’t always pretty. Not missing a beat, Carol is off to save who she can, but The Wolves are just too quick, killing too fast, wounding their prey viciously. This leaves Carol having to kill a fellow Alexandren who was mortally wounded, it’s so much craziness going on, Carol has to take a moment.
A large semi-truck comes barreling down the road, crashes into the wall and tower. Instantly killing the driver and passenger, who was laying dead on the air-horn lever….this is the horn heard in the forest at the end of episode 602.
Morgan in my eyes is now a liability not wanting to kill. This was always a mistake and downfall for Rick in the earlier seasons which almost always came back to bite him in the ass later. Just like he did with Rick, Morgan now has issues with how violent Carol is being. While Morgan is playing with his big stick making it spin and slapping people around, here comes Carol with just a deadly stab or a shot to the head. Carol is getting what needs to get done, done and this causes a brief confrontation with Morgan, but Carol doesn’t have time for that. Carol has gone into commando guerrilla warfare dressed as one of the attackers! Her mission is to save the armory and keep the enemy away.
The Mayor Deanna Monroe might finally be breaking down or finally realizing how much Rick was right all along. The new doctor, Dr. Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) has to show what she’s made of….Eugene shows once again he’s a wuss but gives a redeeming courageous speech to the newly appointed scared surgeon.
Rob, the whiney teenage kid from Jesse is seen by a Wolf member as is subsequently chased after. Carl saves Rob by shooting the assailant and eventually Carl has to kill someone once again. Only this time the shooting isn’t as cold-blooded as when Carl shot the kid at the prison invasion. Even with Carl just saving him and offering to keep him safe, Rob is just a douche once again running off is disgust at Carl’s offer.
Jesse (the woman Rick has eyes on) has to hide her little boy in the upstairs closet knowing someone is in the house. In order to save her older son downstairs, she leaves the younger boy frightened in the closet as she hears someone is already heading downstairs. Jesse is knocked down by a female attacker, who is now going for the gun and then Jesse has to fight for her life. Jesse has to savagely stab the intruder to a bloody death with a pair of scissors and finally gives her one last stab to the face as Jesse lets out a primal screeching yell in an emotional release, all as Rob terrifyingly looks on.
Most talked about scene episode 603: Jesse has to defend her family
Carol fakes having Morgan as a prisoner dressed as a Wolf to get past other Wolves. The two see Gabriel about to be killed, to which Carol would have gladly let him die but Morgan goes off to save the scared father.
Carol widdles out as many Wolves as she can, as she battle a young female Wolve to secures the armory. Carol takes them all out like a Rambo, then finds the town lady Lydia hiding in the pantry closet. Carol then leaves a petrified Lydia, who’s never used a gun, to guard it and shoot anyone that comes in that is not a townie.
An interesting joke, that is exposed, is when Morgan is tying up the Wolve intruder. When Morgan is asked how he learned to do that. Morgan replies that he learned to tie from a cheese maker which leaves Gabriel dumbfounded. Is this “cheese maker” the mysterious figure who has taught Morgan the ways of the Buddha stick fighting?
The Wolve wakes up and was about to tell Morgan “my friend, the trap, you need to know people don’t belong here anymore…..” Then the tied up prisoner is executed by Carol. It may seem completely savage on Carol’s part thus far but you have to keep in mind, just like back at the prison burning the sick bodies, just like having to deal with shooting Lizzie. Carol gets the job done without having too much emotional attachment to her decisions or is that also a fake front for what’s going on inside her.
The Wolve Morgan had fought once before sees him again, and Morgan proceeds to kick a group of their asses with his ninja stick and warns The Wolves to leave or else they will be shot by the town folks who have guns and The Wolves only have knives….The Wolves member, leaves taking a pistol with him…..So once again I ask, is Morgan simply a liability, since he did let that same men go before.
Carol goes back to the scene of the first attack, the smoker, Carol finally breaks down emotionally as she sees about to have a cigarette herself. When she spots an A posted on the steps outside her door, left by Jesse’s younger Son. Carol finally has a moment to let it all out. Will all these tough life and death decisions going to have a toll on Carol.
Erin, the guy who found Rick and his group bringing them to Alexandria finds his backpack with all his photo of the interior to Alexandria that he uses to recruit people…..he just realizes, it was his fault how The Wolves knew the weak “blind spots” to attack and who to look out for as dangerous people.
The new surgeon Dr. Denise Cloyd loses her first patient and of course isn’t ready to deal with that no matter hearing the the old “at least you tried” speech. She doesn’t want to hear it, but they must remind the Dr. “just don’t forget the brain”
Maggie has to reassure the Mayor they are still here. It would have been such a great moment for Hershel to have been able to see how his daughter has grown to become the empowered confident leader she has become.
Enid skips out on Carl while he is distracted but she leaves a note and the note says just one phrase ‘Just Survive Somehow’
The timer goes off, it has been 45 minutes the attack is over
That is till Morgan confronts the other Wolve member he met before in the woods and mercifully let live. The Wolve member knows, telling Morgan “you can’t, can you, you should have” meaning that Morgan cannot kill, and that he should have killed them before. One final attack from The Wolve and Morgan beats him, telling him in return now “I’m sorry” and strikes a final blow…..did Morgan kill him? We do not know but the episode ends with Morgan walking the quite, broken, bloody streets of Alexandria holding a blue bag…..what’s in the bag Morgan…..what’s in the bag?
This whole time fans are probably wondering where is the rest of the group. Rick, Daryl, Michonne? They are busy with their own set of problems which we will see in the next episode of The Walking Dead 603 – “Thank You”
During the after show AMC’s The Talking Dead, actress – who played Enid had a lot of great insight on her character and was asked if her character would return?
If Enid does come back and I am very sure she will….she says the fans will be very pleased and happy if / when she does return.
For now we fans just need to find a way to, till the next episode of The Walking Dead, “just survive somehow”!