Mercy: Review for The Walking Dead 801

Mercy:
Review for The Walking Dead 801
By R.C. Murphy

It’s a grandiose plan, that’s for sure. Armed to the teeth and prepared with steel-plated vehicles, a large militia formed from Hilltop, Alexandria, and Kingdom fighters begins the episode by running through the last gut checks and minutiae required to successfully survive the day ahead. The plan itself is pretty simple: Rick will convince the Savior sergeants to step aside and give them the head of the snake, or they’ll pin everyone in the building with gunfire and another teams will draw walkers to it to finish everyone off. Rick has an unreasonable moment when he once again fixates on personally murdering Negan himself instead of compromising on any method to contain this threat. Because that plan has worked so well any other time he’s tried it. The only difference is now Rick’s dragged two other communities into his vendetta in order to secure weapons since he got all his taken away.

Maggie and Ezekiel don’t seem all that put out with Rick and his whole scheme, which is weird because if I ran a community the last thing I’d do is let some guy drag me into a fight he keeps provoking. Yes, the Saviors are giant turds, but Rick is the one who set everything in motion by insisting he and he alone should lead the most ruthless group in a fifty mile radius. Honestly, this has gone on so long, I firmly believe they never should’ve stayed in Alexandria once the threats became too much. But this is someone else’s sand box and they want Rick to pull everyone into all-out war, so off they go after a hearty round of pep speeches from each leader. Before anyone points out that Maggie is not the official leader, she’s the only one other than Jesus looking out for those people at the moment and he doesn’t want the job, therefore Maggie is in charge. No one has a problem with it, either.

On that thought, it’s strange that Maggie’s pregnancy doesn’t progress in the least, but the show’s children all aged greatly during the hiatus. They’re insisting she participate in the war, or at least the first part of the plan at Sanctuary. That being said, the optics of sending an obviously pregnant woman into a fight is pretty sketchy and I can understand why they’d hold off a little longer on the great bumpining. As a Glenn fan, though, I just want proof he’s living on in some little way. The longer they put off actually acknowledging that their most successful woman is also a mother, the more frustrated I get. Maggie can be both at the same time, just let her be her whole self instead of treating her like Mrs. Potatohead, cherry-picking different traits to use each season/episode.

Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

For once, the battle plan goes more or less as intended. There’s no great triple-cross putting people in the middle of a trap. Rick amazingly keeps his calm until the end of the firefight when the bloodlust finally gets to him and he again fixates on being the soul responsible for wiping Negan off the map. The dialog is kinda laughable at points. It’s painfully obvious Rick is buying time so the secondary team can get the walkers in position and he fails to make a compelling argument against violence which just leads to a firefight. A firefight in which some of his best fighters are elsewhere. Remember, the real plan is to kill them with walkers and save the cavalry for cleaning up the rats who jumped ship before they closed in. The only snag in the plan comes at the end when they’re forced to flee or get trapped in the walker horde. Just about everyone makes it into a car. Then Gabriel goes back to grab Gregory—who threw in his hat with Negan, and then ran like a startled chicken when the fighting began, only to get pinned by gunfire in the walkers’ path. One of them makes it out of Sanctuary in an armored car. It isn’t the one we want to get away.

The stage is set to watch the fallout from this fight stretch across at least the first half of the season. They’ve got more Saviors to contend with, not to mention that snake still has its head and until Negan is out of the picture, Rick won’t rest.


Eat a Knievel: Review for iZombie 308

Eat a Knievel:
Review for iZombie 308
by A. Zombie

Didn’t anyone on the iZ team look at the optics of a jealous white guy burning a black man alive for impregnating his white girlfriend during an ill-considered prank? We’re not above the race talk in a zombie setting. We’re certainly not allowed to forget that unconscionable crimes are perpetuated against people of color all over the United States thanks to the vitriol coming from the sitting president’s supporters. Yet again I’m left to wonder if this show’s production staff is horrifically isolated from the world or if they’re willfully ignoring the negative messages laced throughout this last season in particular. They have a whole sub story about chasing down men committing zombie hate crimes, then stage a murder where a young black man is burned alive for defiling another man’s “property.” In a world with infinite possibilities, countless ways to murder, and the ability to combine any color of people in a situation, these writers opted for too many instances of white men killing people of color. Let’s not forget, the Travelers are primarily white Republican types and their first known victims were a black family.

It’s not okay for the writers to make a buck on killing people of color. It’d be great if they quit preaching that women who step out of line will lose their lives or suffer great personal loss. Just knock it off already. It’s not entertaining. You’re attacking your target demographic! There’s no rational reason to target women and people of color so often. None. If that is truly all these writers can come up with, it’s time to put iZombie to pasture and give the money to creatives who’ll bring some actual representation to women-led shows and not trot them out like a freakshow.

The gimmick of the week: Liv eats an immolated professional prankster, tries to staple a guy’s tongue, and channels her destructive nature into a weird “same brain” date with Justin—which includes impalement by lawn dart.

Fillmore-Graves is left scrambling when someone, likely Travelers, blows up the corporate helicopter with Vivian Stoll and her advisors on board. This happens moments after Stoll privately outs Major as human and demands answers, along with a sit-down with Ravi. Major gets another chance to die for zombie kind, hooray. The new commanders seem far tenser than Stoll. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first act of outright zombie/human war comes from Fillmore-Graves. That bunch has itchy trigger fingers.

Blaine hatches a plan. Boy does it work well. There’s just one catch. He had to turn zombie again in order to put everything into motion. Once Blaine is back on his feet, he wipes out all of Angus’ goons. It’s rather impressive to watch Blaine now compared to Blaine pre-human. It’s the same man. Same memories. But this Blaine is flat-out done. He’s either going to rule the city or bite a bullet. So far, everything going in his favor. Good ol’ pops isn’t as lucky. Well, I hope he can hold his breath. The upside to another hostile deBeers takeover is Don E. and Blaine teaming up again to expand on the base Angus founded with The Scratching Post and all those back office meetings.

The episode wrapped with Liv leaving Ravi alone to infiltrate the anti-zombie hate group. Yeah. Like that’s going to end well. None of this will end well. War is knocking on the door.


Blazing Glory

The Walking Dead 213 “Beside the Dying Fire”

Reviewer: RC Murphy

 

Well, hopefully none of you tried to keep a tally of how many walkers kicked the bucket in the season two finale of The Walking Dead. For about a minute I considered trying to keep track, then realized it’d be impossible without a DVR and a lot, and I mean a lot, of spare time, which is in short supply around here. Hey, who do you think cleans out the zombie bunny cages? It certainly isn’t a magical fairy, I’ll tell you that.

We’re going to tackle this in the order that it happened because otherwise someone will get lost. Two guesses who, the first doesn’t count (hint: the person typing…).

That helicopter is going to give me a migraine. We don’t hear anything about it since the pilot episode, and then suddenly bam! There it is again, taunting us with secrets we can’t figure out. My theory is that whoever owns the helicopter is using it to attract the walkers to a central location. Not sure if it is to kill them or contain them. What I do know is that Shane and Carl’s gunshots distracted the walkers chasing the helicopter. Talk about awful timing. One day later and the herd would be gone—all of that death and destruction could have been avoided. Except for one. Shane sealed his fate weeks ago. He just needed the right variables to put it in motion.

A few characters came into their own during the course of this episode. Daryl stepped up to the plate and is set to be Rick’s second in command if he wants it. Hershel flat-out gave me a heart attack. He was awesome with that shotgun, keeping the zombies away from the house with far more skill than I gave him credit for before now. And Andrea…wow. We knew from her training sessions with Shane that she’d become one of the group’s best assets with a gun. However, she proved that any weapon in her hands can and will be used to kill a walker. She’s also come a long way from waiting to die to fighting tooth and nail to survive—even after running so far for so long that her legs just gave out.

Which brings us to the biggest mystery of the season two finale: who was the hooded figure rocking the katana? Fans of the comic book recognized her right away, no doubt. Michonne plays a vital part in the season to come. She is a character to keep a close eye on, folks. Also, did you see her pet zombies? Why can’t I have pet zombies like that, Juliette? Is it because I use a broadsword instead of a katana? I’ll switch weapons! Ahem… ignore that outburst.

Another huge reveal is the fact that the virus isn’t contracted through swapping bodily fluid with walkers (ew) but thrives within every single living person. The disease activates when a human’s body begins to die. This would explain the vast differences in time from when someone is bitten or severely injured and changes to them dying and coming back. Amy’s turnover time still baffles me. She turned at the pace of a living conversion instead of dead. Probably to draw out Andrea’s misery. The writer’s are evil like that.

The Shane Issue segment may turn into the Lori Issue segment. Her behavior as of late irks me to no end. The topper this week is three-fold. First, she managed to lose her kid…again. Then because she couldn’t keep him in the house, she got mad at Rick after Carl was forced to save his life. The icing on the Lori-is-awful cake came when, instead of admitting her role in Shane’s death, she turned her back on the man that literally walked through hell to get back to her and keep her safe once he was there. Some gratitude, Lori. Really. You should give lessons on how to thank people for their sacrifices. It’d give a whole generation of people the fuel you threw on Rick’s fire to make him lay down the law once and for all.

In the end, is Rick’s declaration of a dictatorship really going to fly? As far as I see it, Shane won. He succeeded in what he tried to do since day one when Rick walked into camp and Lori shoved him aside to resume a life with her husband. The group doesn’t trust him now. Most of all, they don’t respect him, or if they do, it is a respect created from terror that some day if they step out of line, they’ll be the next with Rick’s knife buried between their ribs. Will he go that far to maintain order? It’s hard to tell, but we know that season three promises to be as intense as the last three episodes of season two. If that holds true, we may need to start duct-taping Juliette to her seat before new episodes air.

What did you think of The Walking Dead’s season two finale? Have a favorite moment? Share your opinions in the comments below.


Far From Angelic

Far From Angelic

The Walking Dead 212 “Better Angels”

reviewer: RC Murphy

Two weeks in a row it’s been impossible to find a place to start with a review.  Days later, I’m still dizzy from the turn of events. Pacing for the second half of season two took a one-eighty degree flip from how we started the season—that painfully long wait to learn what happened to Sophia only to end in heartbreak. We’re still ending on heartbreak, but it seems harsher, more in our faces. If there was any doubt that I correctly labeled TWD’s writers as evil, this week’s episode proved me right. Only twisted minds could create characters like these and make us forget to breathe while they run around a fictional world causing chaos.

This week began with a bittersweet eulogy for Dale, contrasted by the group patrolling the farm for walkers. Something about the combination of scenes left something to be desired for me. They say they’re going to do what Dale would have wanted, make him proud and salvage a broken community. Would he want them to do it that way? They needlessly beat those walkers instead of delivering a humane blow to the head. Taking out pent up anger on the undead is understandable, but doing it in the name of a man that wanted nothing but peace seems wrong.

On a side note, did you all notice that T-Dog used a hammer to dispatch one of the walkers? IronE got to put his weapon of choice to use. Awesome! T-Dog also got to step out of the background more. Hopefully this trend lasts.

There is a glimmer of hope for the survival of the group as a whole in the unlikely form of Daryl. In the weeks prior, we’ve seen him pull further and further from the group. Heck, he set his camp up a good half a mile away from the others to get away from them. But last week he stepped up and did what no one really had the heart to do. After, he told Rick, “You shouldn’t have to do all the heavy lifting.” Daryl sees the stress leadership puts on Rick. He wants to help again. I’m not entirely sure what triggered his change of heart. There are too many variables at work to pinpoint one exact cause.

One variable no one can seem to keep a handle of is Carl. Last week I got a tad nasty and pointed blame where it belongs, on his parents. Shane was right (don’t die of shock) when he told Rick that Carl needed to discuss Dale’s death with his father. That isn’t because a male’s opinion on the matter is any better than a woman’s. Oh no, that is a reflection on how poor Lori’s parenting skills are. I’ve lost count of how many times Carl’s been found far away from the house after she’s been asked to keep him inside. The kid isn’t a magical creature. He has a physical form and can’t dematerialize only to reform in the midst of trouble. How the heck can she consistently fail at keeping him away from danger?

Instead of parenting, Lori is still obsessed with saving her reputation. She confronts Shane yet again about their sort-of relationship. At this point I can’t tell if she is stringing him along on the off chance that Rick dies and she needs a male in her life (and bed) or if she sees the dark path he’s going down and is trying to placate his crazy to keep him in line. No matter her motivation, all she has done is cause trouble between Rick and Shane. It’s hard to tell if this sort of thing would have happened after Rick was shot in the line of duty without the walker uprising putting her in Shane’s protection.

Pro tip for ZSC brigadiers: While it is important to board up possible weak spots in your Safe Haven, spending a day hammering boards in place could have unforeseen problems. The undead in The Walking Dead respond to sound. All of that hammering the group did on the barn and house echoed through the forest, drawing the walkers in closer. The only reason they couldn’t pinpoint the source is because the sounds were too faint to follow after bouncing around the trees. However, something like a gun shot after they are searching for the noises… someone may have well rung the dinner bell.

It wouldn’t be one of my reviews if we didn’t address the Shane Issue. This week I need to put a Spoiler Warning before it. If you have not seen episode 212 of The Walking Dead, turn around and head to safety. After you watch, come back and finish reading.

Shane, Shane, Shane. I’ve spent nearly a year despising you and defending that opinion tooth and nail. You are ruthless, cutthroat, obsessive, and your only redeeming quality is being a good shooter. No one trusts you, not even the people you tried to lure to your side with promises of cookies, or whatever the emotional equivalent is for a psychopath. You could never be a leader of men, not in the way Rick is, and your jealousy over that fact will be your downfall.

Oh wait, it was.

The creepiest scene in this episode possessed no dialog. Heck, there wasn’t even much sound to it at all. Watching Shane sit in the shed contemplating his plans for Randall sent goosebumps up my arms. It takes a great actor and great writing to make me loathe a fictional character so much. Hats off to Jon Bernthal and the TWD writers. This ride watching Shane spiral further and further to madness has been the most entertaining bit of television in years. Shane’s condition created so many discussions about morals in extreme crisis situations. Even when we thought he acted poorly, part of our minds wondered if it actually was the right thing to do. Could we reach that level of practicality he delved into and maintain what it is that makes us human? I’m not entirely sure it is possible.

However, there was nothing right or humane about how he dealt with poor Randall. Was Randall a threat? In my opinion, yes. He acted too much like a weasel to trust him at his word. Rick’s plan to drive him an hour out and drop him off would’ve worked or at least given them time to prepare the farm for possible human attack, which they should have done beforehand. Shane couldn’t leave it be. He had to have his way and in the process illustrated that any dead body, bitten or not, will come back as a walker.

Much respect to Rick for realizing Shane’s plan and confronting him man to man. By that point there were two possible outcomes. Either way, someone would die. Losing Shane is a blow to the group. For all of his insanity, he did a good job protecting them. That is when he wasn’t plotting ways to undermine the authority of the group. If he’d succeeded, the group would have collapsed. None of the others would believe the story he cooked up. Not after the Otis incident came to light.

Will everyone understand why Shane died, though? Can our survivors continue on as they have been? Hell broke loose and is knocking on their front door. The season two finale next week is going to be a doozey.

What do you think about Shane’s demise? Let us hear your opinion in the comments below.


Judging Humanity

Judging Humanity

The Walking Dead 211
reviewer: RC Murphy

 

There are very few moments where yours truly is struck speechless. This week’s episode of The Walking Dead ended on one such moment. A huge round of applause to Greg Nicotero for his efforts directing “Judge, Jury, Executioner”, there were some really beautiful moments captured on screen. As well as some instances that ripped the audience’s heart out, stomped on it, dropped it down a well, and then fed it to a walker. Yeah, this one was emotional on so many levels.

We’re going to start this week with the Shane Issue to make room for the main topic this episode. Right away, we knew Shane would go ballistic if they didn’t off the prisoner. In typical fashion, he tries to worm his way into Andrea’s ear to turn her to his side in the matter. Not that she needed much pushing to get there. Andrea—despite her background as a civil rights lawyer—is all about capital punishment. I’m not too sure how much of that is her being willing to do anything to survive or an attempt to immolate the men in how they deal. Shane’s continued efforts to stage a mutiny to oust Hershel and Rick may fall on deaf ears with Andrea, no matter how much he tries to poison her ear. Also, how long has he been stealing ammunition? Personally, I don’t think Shane plans to stay with the group much longer.

Daryl is likewise pulling away from the group, setting his camp further away from everyone else. He’s also distanced himself even more from Carol, which breaks my heart. I wanted to see what would bloom between those two if given the chance. Daryl displays a moral code in this episode, despite what he’d have us believe about being a hard-as-nails man with no limits or boundaries. His anger at Randall shifts to blind fury after hearing the unspeakable things his crew has done to innocents. Is beating someone associated with rapists right? No. But seeing that Daryl cares about anything at all is reassuring. He’s pulled so far into himself that there wasn’t much left to watch other than a snarling squirrel catcher.

There was all of one happy moment in this episode. We’ve been waiting a few weeks to see how Hershel would change after the attack in the bar. He’s continued down the path allowing Rick to do what he sees fit to protect the farm. However, Hershel also had a change of heart about a much more pleasant matter. In a very touching moment he gave his approval of Glenn and Maggie’s relationship. Won’t lie, I cheered. Go Team Glenn!

Normally I don’t do this, but . . . SPOILER WARNING!! The text blow contains spoilers from episode 211 of The Walking Dead. If you have not seen the episode, what are you waiting for? Go watch! Then come back and finish reading.

The big question—which is literally underlined three times and written in all capital letters on my review notes—Who is to blame for the last moments of the episode?

On one hand you have Carl, who is acting out more and more. Not only did he wander away from camp on his own, but also stole a gun from Daryl. The icing on the cake came when he tried to take on a walker by himself and nearly got eaten. He also said some very nasty things to Carol. Yes, Carl is also mourning Sophia’s loss, but that gives him no right to speak as he did.

However, whenever you see a child misbehaving, you need to look at the parents. Rick is consumed with the idea of doing what is right for everyone. In the process of solving the world’s problems, he’s lost sight of the things closest to him. Carl needs a father more now than ever and between the two men who could be a father figure to him—his actual father and Shane—he spends most of his time with Shane… a man not well known for being a role model, or even all that nice. And forget about Lori being an actual parent. She’s got her nose in everyone else’s business to make sure they’re not all talking about her. Get over yourself and take care of your child, please. Before he gets anyone else in camp killed.

No matter whom you blamed, the group has lost their voice of reason. A loss born out of sheer neglect. Dale fought so hard for so long to remind everyone that they are human despite what happened around them. He assured them that even with walkers knocking down their doors that being a decent person still mattered. Through Dale’s efforts they kept that vital piece of themselves that distinguished the living from the walkers. If they go around executing people for no valid reason, how are they better than the undead?

“The world we know is gone, but keeping our humanity, that’s a choice.” –Dale

Jeffrey DeMunn gave a brilliant performance in this episode. You can tell that he put everything into the role. Dale never slowed, never wavered in his belief that an alternate solution could be found to deal with Randall. What really broke my heart was in the end he won. The kid lives to see another day, but Dale won’t. I’m tearing up again thinking about it—tears of impotent rage aimed at fictional characters and their messed up fates. That is testament to the skill of everyone involved in creating The Walking Dead.

What do you think, who is really to blame for Dale’s death? Let us hear your opinions in the comments below.


Miles Away from Safety

The Walking Dead 210
reviewer: RC Murphy

Well, no one can complain about the lack of walker action in the newest episode of The Walking Dead. I’ve seen enough leaking skulls to satisfy my bloodlust for another couple of weeks, so long as the writer’s promise to quit trying to make me cry. More on that later. We’re diving straight into the heart of this episode with Rick, Shane, and the showdown we’ve been waiting two seasons to see.

After Lori planted the seeds of doubt in Rick’s mind last week, it was only a matter of time before he took things to the source. Did anyone else get a mental image of Lori as a demon whispering in his ear? Creepy as heck. Anyways… Being Mr. Honorable, Rick took Shane out for a nice long drive and confronted him away from everyone else to give him a fair chance to say his piece. He gets it—understands that Shane loves Lori as a representation of life and love in his world of death. But he also knows his friend, sees that he’s dangling one foot over the edge of the Cliff of No Return. The amount of restraint shown by both men in that scene resolved none of the tension between them. We knew they’d have more to say about it, and boy did they.

One of the problems that’s sprouted up in this post-apocalyptic universe is the notion that your everyday Joe can, with the proper application of force and smarts, become God. Who gets to decide which of the living are fit to survive? Certainly not Shane, who goes into every decision gun first. At least Rick makes an effort to think things through. But is he any more fit to make that choice for someone else? Are any of us? In their shoes, I would have left Randall there. If he was determined enough to walk the eighteen plus miles to invade the camp, then I’d deal with it. Rich and Shane’s differing opinions boiled over, giving them an excuse to vent physically what neither man could cope with emotionally. I wonder what Lori will say when she learns what all her whispering caused. She nearly lost both of them.

Before we move to the really heavy subject that’s unavoidable thanks to this episode, I want to yet again theorize over what Jenner said to Rick before the CDC blew up. When they inspected the deputy walkers, Shane seemed at a loss for how they turned without being bitten. Rick, however knew that a scratch could change them. Has this happened before? I can’t remember. But it seems that the virus that reanimates the dead is adapting. Perhaps Jenner knew this would happen and warned Rick.

At the beginning of season two the writers touched on the issue of suicide. For Andrea, it seemed to be the only way to cope with her losses and escape an inevitable painful demise by walker. Dale took it upon himself to keep her from it. Daryl talked some sense into her, in his own way—with help from an unfortunate walker that’d hung himself before turning. Now they’ve circled back around to that issue with Beth, Hershel’s youngest daughter. Just like Andrea, her decision was taken away. Was Lori right to stop her? Do the same rules about suicide persist after death has thrown the rest of the rules to the wind?

Maggie tries like heck to make Beth see what losing her would do to the rest of the family. But she is so determined to take the easy path that she tries to convince Maggie to do it with her. Desperation makes a person’s mind search for the “easy button”. Suicide isn’t the way, though. Trying to make a pact with your loved ones to do the same is forcing them to follow the wrong path in their life.

Andrea and Lori have very different views about how to survive. Lori wants stability, to bury her head and do what she can to pretend there aren’t walkers outside. Andrea is trying to adapt, but for her survival isn’t worth it unless she is the one calling the shots. She went behind the “alpha” female’s back and gave Beth the opportunity to do as she wished. Actions like that come with a price. One that everyone involved has to pay.

Next week promises to be equally as tense. What will happen to the outsider, Randall? Chime in with your predictions in the comments.


Itchy “Triggerfinger”

The Walking Dead 209
reviewer: RC Murphy

First things first… I must take a moment to applaud the folks at KNB EFX. The first walker we see in episode 209 is incredible. My inner makeup geek sat forward in my seat, watching how the walker’s face changed while it pushed through the glass trying to get… tsk, tsk. Almost spoiled things there. Needless to say, this episode in general is very detailed in the gore department. And I loved every drop of it.

Which becomes the biggest threat in the Zombiepocalypse, walkers or the living? The second half of TWD’s season 2 is focusing on this very question. A lot of complaints about the show include the now tiresome, “Where are all of the zombies?” For me, the real danger isn’t walkers. The living are far more cruel. They eat you up in ways the undead cannot. Humans destroy you from the soul out. Look at the road our survivors have gone down since the first season. Rick, in particular, went from an idealist who thinks everyone—even lost causes like Merle Dixon—can be saved to the brutally practical man we’ve seen the last two episodes. But then he lapses back into honorable cowboy mode… and nearly gets his backside full of buckshot.

Hershel Greene goes through a similar transformation after the barn incident. Actually, that’s not quite true. It took Rick tracking him down and their discussion about being in a hopeless situation that turned Hershel around in the way he approaches the changes in their world. He even goes so far as to give silent approval of the drastic measures Rick went to in order to keep not only his family safe, but Hershel’s as well. Will these changes stick? I think so. His confrontation with Shane towards the end of the episode strengthened the tentative bond formed between Glenn, Rick, and himself back at the bar. It also displayed to his family his shift in thinking about how to deal with the walkers.

Hershel seems to be finally be warming up to Glenn. It’s likely he won’t ever be happy about Glenn being involved with Maggie, but he didn’t let him get gunned down by the rogue survivors—who by the way are a prime example of how not to run a survivors group, folks. What distresses me, though, is Glenn’s insistence that he can’t fulfill his role in camp while being in love with Maggie. He’s finally stepped up to be more of a hero; he could be her hero in every sense of the term and now he is backing away from it. All because of that hesitation and the drive to keep her safe emotionally. I’m with Maggie on this one. His behavior is frustrating. It goes to prove that no matter how intelligent someone is they can be awfully stupid when it comes to matters of the heart.

Allow me a moment to profess my love for Carol. Out of everyone, she is the true survivor. Her personal story line through two seasons of the show is a series of moments where she’s kicked around, both physically and emotionally. This week she stood up for herself. She didn’t let Daryl push her around. Carol spoke her mind, tried to talk some reason into him. Daryl is uncomfortable with positive emotions thanks to his rough upbringing. So when Carol reaches out after denying him the chance to comfort her in her mourning, he lashes back at her. He must think she will be like everyone else in his life, users that don’t take his feelings into account before they act. Daryl doesn’t realize that Carol spent years of oppression comforting herself, that’s just her way. He pulled a jerk move, getting in her face as though he meant to hit her. He’s above that. It got what he wanted, though. She let him be after that. The men in this episode were aggravating, to put it nicely.

Okay, fine. I can’t end this without addressing the Shane Issue. Deep breath… here we go.

The last cog on Shane’s mental mechanism finally snapped. No, it didn’t just snap, it shattered into a million pieces. Humpty Dumpty has a better chance of survival than Shane’s sanity. His mountain of lies is beginning to topple over. The only one still buying them is Andrea and that’s only because she thinks that he’s got the secret to being a true blue zombie slayer—shut off your emotions. It’s impossible for Shane to see reality. He’s regressed into a fantasy world where he has a family that loves him and needs him to play hero. This must be a coping mechanism to make up for the fact that obviously Shane didn’t have much in the way of love before the walkers shambled onto the scene. A string of one-night stands does not make up for the lack of a loving relationship. The fantasy rotted his brain. And the most disgusting part of everything is Shane using his twisted love for Lori to justify the horrendous things he’s done to others.

Shane pushed Lori to the point where she can’t continue to deal with his crazy on her own. That last shot of Rick at the end of the episode says more than anything he could’ve said out loud. Things are going to get tense with those three. Who will be caught in the crossfire?

Have something to say about this episode of The Walking Dead? Add your own comments below.


Abandon All Hope

Abandon All Hope

The Walking Dead 208

reviewer: RC Murphy

 

After weeks of waiting and gnashing teeth, AMC finally brought us back into a world where the dead refuse to stay dead and the living struggle daily to cling to that precious whatever that makes us human. To be honest, around the ZSC Command Center, we weren’t looking very human ourselves. Call it TWD withdrawals.

A brief recap before diving into the mid-season premiere: We left Rick and the gang in the midst of a pile of walkers with severe cranial leakage. Hershel and his family were aghast, watching how the others dealt with walkers. And the only hope for some of the survivors—in a tiny, innocent form—just met their final rest courtesy of Rick. Got that so far? Good.

The mid-season premiere picks up exactly where the previous episode left off. I know it may be wrong, but I got a bit smug being able to ask Hershel, “Still think they’re just sick after your wife attacked your daughter?” Yes, I talk to the television. Nevertheless, my main beef with Hershel came, not from his insistence in clinging to faith, but in his inability to look in the eyes of a walker and know that they aren’t human any more. Shane’s methods in forcing everyone to deal with this fact are faulty, but necessary.

I know I’m not the only parent that cringed at how matter-of-fact Carl became about what happened at the barn. He had one scene in the episode and it made a heck of an impact. Lori is right to be concerned about the coldness weaving into Carl’s childhood. However, she thinks Rick should be able to fix it by being there to do the hard things for him. In reality, Carl will still see everything his father does to protect the camp and want to be that person. He wants to be the cowboy hero. It could cause serious problems down the road.

On the parenting train of thought, I could not help but cry when Carol conveyed to Daryl and Lori how she planned to cope with her loss. It wasn’t a scene with ugly tears and a huge breakdown. It almost would have been more preferable to the controlled, calm way she spoke. That reining it in is what broke me. Her grim acceptance of fate took her to a different level where no one was sure how or if they could comfort her. Daryl, most of all, seemed hurt by the fact that he’d been denied that chance. In comforting her, he could have comforted himself and she left him out in the cold. Seeing where those two go after this will be interesting. He thinks he failed her and she’s lost her hope.

That anyone can contemplate finding love in the Zombiepocalypse seems ridiculous, right? Yet we have this wonderful love story building in the tangled vines of TWD. Glenn and Maggie are possibly the last bits of hope left on the show. Can their Romeo and Juliet love survive everything that is happening around them at the farm? She thinks so. He’s afraid. Not afraid of love, but what would happen if he lost her. Rick is right; he needs to tell her how he feels, despite the fear.

 Time to address my least favorite subject, Shane. He is going to implode soon. Dale sees it and is well aware of what kind of man Shane really is under the hero façade he’s put on since rescuing Lori and Carl. How do we know it is a lie? Listen to what he says to Carol. Here is a woman that’s just suffered the greatest loss a woman can suffer and he only addresses her feelings once. The rest of that conversation is all “poor Shane”. Why doesn’t he get recognition for getting rid of all those nasty walkers in the barn? Wah, wah, wah… Dale called it. Unless Shane gets what he wants—Lori—he will probably kill again. Unfortunately by confronting him about it, Dale has put himself in Shane’s sights.

This episode was the death of hope for everyone. Hershel can no longer sit and pray that his wife to be cured. Carol won’t be able to console herself with thoughts that Sophia is safely tucked away in the woods, too afraid to find her way back to camp. Lori is stripped of the notion that Carl will not be forced to grow up too quickly. And Rick’s desperation to keep everyone safe takes a bullet to the brainpan. However, it is up to Rick and Hershel to face their families, those that rely on them… and lie through their teeth. They must create hope again. People cannot, will not continue to march down the long road unless there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For numerous survivors, not just our heroes, this hope manifests in Utopia-like areas where there is plenty of food, water, and supplies for them to create new homes. They don’t really exist, but gives people hope that somewhere out there safety is possible.

There were two OMG moments in this episode… which I can’t talk about without giving spoilers. Needless to say, they will make next week’s episode a must-watch.

What are your predictions for the next episode? Leave a comment and let us know.