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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Walking Dead Webisodes: The Oath



As I have not written about The Walking Dead in a while, but will soon have to start, as Season 4 begins on October 13th, I figured I would provide some thoughts on the recently released webisode series, known as The Oath.  This 3-part series is the third set of webisodes to be released in the show’s history and may actually be the best set yet.  It is not the most action-heavy of the webisode series, but it certainly feels like the best written and acted yet.  Makeup effects guru Greg Nicotero once again served as the director of this set of mini episodes and does his best to provide a bit-sized representation of The Walking Dead universe.

Here is the official synopsis of The Oath:

"The lone survivors of a massive walker-attack, Paul (Wyatt Russell, Cowboys & Aliens) and Karina (Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism), speed across the countryside, frantically searching for an aid-station, as one of them slowly bleeds out from a wound. Finally coming upon a hospital that has not been overrun, at first feels like a blessing, but could soon turn to misfortune, as a seemingly benevolent doctor (Ellen Greene, Little Shop of Horrors) may hide a darker agenda."

As each webisode is only 8-10 minutes long and is posted below, I do not want to go into too much detail about the plot of this series, but I will say that it tackles another theme: euthanasia.  The bulk of these webisodes deal with what it means to want to give up on living in this world if a person feels they have nothing to really live for, given the dreadful circumstances.  It is enough to make me forgive the fact that everyone is basically speaking in gravelly-voiced monologues, as there is only so much time to work with, as opposed to a full episode, let alone a full season of television.

The Oath plays things very low-key, following its first part, which is the most ‘tense’ of the three, as it features multiple zombie attacks and ends on the ‘most exciting’ cliffhanger.  Compared to the previous webisodes, Torn Apart and Cold Storage, The Oath is much happier to stick with the characters and what they are all about.  It helps that there are all around solid performances this time around. 

 Ashley Bell and Ellen Greene share the most time together and have a nice chemistry, especially when Bell shares her nickname for the zombies – DKs.  Both also seem to have the saddest eyes, but that is wholly appropriate, given the nature of these webisodes.  These actresses are fine with what they are supposed to do and the same can be said of Wyatt Russell (son of Kurt) as Paul.  Nothing feels exaggerated on the part of these actors, which was a nice change in pace.


Getting back to the other webisode series, Torn Apart was definitely the weakest in terms of acting.  While it had solid makeup and visuals, leading to a tragic finale that ties into the pilot episode, it did not feel as polished all around.  Cold Storage was a big step up, as everything felt more rounded, but even that series relied on an over-the-top performance from its main at antagonist that bordered on parody.  The Oath is certainly not the flashiest of these webseries episode sets, but it seems much more confident in what it tries to accomplish.

I won’t reveal anything more, but the final 2 minutes of the last part of this series are kind of clever as well.  I can’t say I was completely surprised, but it was a bit that puts a nice cherry on top of the whole experience.  With all of that said, watch The Oath.  It won’t take up too much time and should certainly please any fan of The Walking Dead anxious to have something new to watch.  I look forward to recapping this upcoming season every week, but for now, this was a nice little appetizer.

Dead Bits:

  • Zombie Kill of the Week: A fun zombie stomping is always welcome.
  • I just finished reading The Walking Dead hardcover volume 9 – I hate Negan.
  • I am very excited for the next chapter of The Walking Dead Game, which I still see as my favorite way of taking in The Walking Dead universe.
  • Great to see Ellen Greene! And in a role this dark no less!
  • Thanks to everyone who enjoys my writing about The Walking Dead, I look forward to doing a lot more in the next few months!

"The Walking Dead" returns for its fourth season on Sunday, October 13th at 9pm ET/PT.


Check out The Oath below:





Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS3.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com.

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