Full Metal Zombie

Z Nation Syfy

Full Metal Zombie
Review of “Z Nation” 104
By A. Zombie

znations01e04x01The brain trust SyFy thinks we want to follow through the zombie apocalypse is at it again. This time their antics start in Pennsylvania—smack dab in the middle of Amish country. Their mission is to locate the Emergency Headquarters Infection Control in McLean, Virginia. There’s more than a few hiccups along the way. Yup, you guessed it, more vehicle trouble. Plus, a special guest star. Like it makes up for all the poor decision-making skills demonstrated during the episode.

We get two glimpses into 10k’s past. Unfortunately they cover the same event in his life. The first instance is 10k simply telling the group about how he struggled after his father died—he couldn’t put him down for good even when he came back a zombie. The second instance comes later as a full-blown flashback to the moments before his father passed. Character development is great and all, but most of these characters get one solid tale in their backstory and everything about them leans heavily on that moment.

zombiehotboxUnless it’s Citizen Z. We know nothing about this guy aside from he’s a NSA employee who missed a doomed flight out of the frozen tundra. He’s weird as hell and has developed a new hobby—cyber-stalking Addy. This character has gone from quirky to creep in a blink. He hacks into Addy’s social media page and proceeds to carry out hours of idle chit-chat with himself as her. I know he’s lonely and all, but his behavior is disconcerting. It’s also dangerous. Citizen Z mistakenly sends the group toward what looks like a functional helicopter in McLean, Virginia. If he’d paid attention, he should have easily seen the truth.

The car problems on this show have hit ridiculous levels. In this episode, they end up car-jacked and taking over the thieves’ broken-down VW Bug. Further down the road, they find the original thieves in the middle of another car-jacking, but this time a soccer mom, her husband, and their two kids are the ones who drive away in Warren and Garnett’s truck. Shortly after that, the zombies get the family and our survivors recover their truck. Even though they have wheels again, they still opt to locate the helicopter.

temptranspoEnter, Bill Moseley. Yeah, the crazy face-wearing guy from House of 1000 Corpses. In this episode, he plays bat-poo crazy General McCandles. Doc is the only one who gets through to the general. After Doc sees not only McCandles’ mental condition, but the nasty zombie bite he’s sporting too, he realizes this may be a lost cause. Except, he doesn’t get to pass the word on. McCandles tosses Doc down an airshaft, where he makes friends with the last doctor to upset the general. By friends, I mean they share a joint and there’s a moment where the undead doctor isn’t trying to actively eat Doc’s face. For a little while, we think Doc got blown up for nothing—the helicopter has no propellers and is surrounded by crates of who-knows-what—but he emerges from the building looking way too close to a zombie for comfort.

So the fast-track to California is out. They’ll have to risk driving to California. With the way they go through cars, it’s honestly a miracle they’re still in possession of wheels not attached to roller skates.

Don’t Forget How to Use It


Don’t Forget How to Use It

Review of “The Walking Dead” 513 – “Forget”

Head’s up! There’s spoilers in the rest of this review.

c6a19207-1c00-8798-6c5b-d834abba8f70_TWD_513_GP_1016_0045One of the last hold-outs to fit into life in Alexandria is Sasha. She’s not sleeping. Wakes with the sun to use someone else’s family photos for target practice. At no point does she attempt to get along with the locals—not even effervescent Olivia. How can anyone resist home-cured meats and pickles? Her erratic behavior puts everyone at risk. Deanna won’t put up with her for long. Neither will Michonne.

Sasha isn’t the last round peg refusing to fit in a square hole. Carol, Rick and Daryl are very much on the fence—do they start taking over now or wait to see what their new neighbors can really do? More importantly, how quickly can they establish their own weapons cache? Never mind what’s actually coming out of Deanna’s mouth—making Rick and Michonne the town’s law, reestablishing civilization, a future for their children. Matter of fact, Rick looks terrified at the prospect of Judith remaining in Alexandria past next week, let alone when she’s Carl’s age or an adult. He has to see the potential in her as a leader, but too long scraping by to see tomorrow makes him jumpy, unable to trust in anyone. Which leads to one of the best-acted scenes on this show this season—Carol and Sam in the armory. Melissa McBride does an amazing job showing just how good Carol is at lying to everyone around her. The two sides we see—the soccer mom and the ruthless killer—are drastically different. Carol loves kids, but in that moment she needs Sam more afraid of her than anything else in the world. It works. But is Carol’s remaining humanity really the price Rick should pay to obtain a security blanket?

“…longer they’re out there, the more they become what they really are.”

TWDIf Daryl finds out how far down the rabbit hole Carol goes to get the guns, his tune will change pretty quick. As it is, he’s slowly warming up to Aaron. Or at least I assume that’s what it means when he grunts more than five words at a person. The guys had an unfortunate bonding experience with the doomed horse, Buttons. They tried to help and in the end, that help cost Buttons his life. How many times has this happened with humans on the show? So many deaths in the name what’s supposed to be kindness. Except, kindness is as foreign as flying to Disneyworld for vacation in their reality. Losing Buttons doesn’t put a damper on the kinship of sorts brewing between Aaron and Daryl. While everyone else is dragged to the welcoming party at Deanna’s, the guys join Eric for a spaghetti dinner. Over dinner, they pop the question—will Daryl take Eric’s spot as recruiter for Alexandria. There’s a signing bonus, too. Plenty of parts to build a custom motorcycle. Something changes for Daryl during that day. He went from covert meeting in the woods to agreeing to recruit for the town. If he can be won over, who will follow next?

Road Trip

Review of “The Walking Dead” 505 – “Self Help”

Last week, we caught up with the long-lost Beth. This week, we’re on the road with Abraham and the gang determined to see Eugene safely to D.C. so he can work on the virus that may very well eliminate every walker across the globe. To say their trip is a tad rocky in this episode is a gross understatement.

Whoa, there! Careful, there’s spoilers lurking below.

wdead18A part of me feels like there were some character tweaks to make this episode in particular hit a certain vibe—not a pleasant one, either. Abraham’s anger has never been hidden, but the extent of his emotional baggage hasn’t been on the screen in this way before. It’s difficult to balance what we know of the man with what we’re shown in this episode. We get glimpses of his past throughout, relating to the early days after the outbreak and his attempts to keep Ellen, his wife, and two children safe. The ease with which he kills stems not from a long military service, but from understanding that sometimes people must die. Others may judge him—his wife was so terrified she took the kids and ran to their deaths—but at least he knows he’s done his part to keep his people safe. There’s a fine line Abraham walks. More than once we saw Rosita, who’s been with him for almost the entire trip from Texas to Georgia, take a step back from his anger. She’s romantically involved with Abraham and looks to him as their leader, but at one point she has to put her foot down before Abraham marches them into a herd of walkers so thick, one can’t see the road through all the decaying flesh.

That’s after they managed to kill every vehicle they rode in for longer than a mile. What is with people after the apocalypse having horrible luck with transportation which doesn’t require manpower? Yes, Eugene sabotaged the bus, but there’s been a string of bad timing with cars running out of gas or crashing throughout the show. Remember Lori and the walker pushing his face through the safety glass? Yuck! It’s like once the dead rose, everyone forgot how to operate cars. Convenient for the writers—it keeps their locations isolated to a specific area and gives them a chance to add in more fight scenes with walkers. Awful for the characters who end up with concussions and who knows what else from all these crashes.

the-walking-dead-episode-505-eugene-mcdermitt-tara-masterson-post-980Tara is finding her footing within the group. Unfortunately her footing puts her in the path of Eugene’s weirdness. For most of the episode, I yelled at her to get away from him. She’s naïve and kind. Lately, Eugene has been written like a sociopath. He understands emotions, but they don’t connect with him on more than a surface level. He’s got one concern: his safety. Tara, meanwhile, wants to make sure everyone is okay and happy. That’s a tall order considering the mess they get into after the bus flips in the middle of the freeway.

Speaking of, what sort of sense does it make to walk forward into uncharted territory, given that your ride and supplies catch fire on the road, instead of backtracking to a known safe location? Fifteen miles out from the church, the glass Eugene dumped in the gas tank causes the bus to flip and the engine to catch fire. Despite losing everything except the bag of weapons, Abraham orders everyone to continue on their set path. He’s running from something, which isn’t clear until the end of the episode. What I want to know is, how the heck did they happen to find a walker-free place to sleep in by sunset given there was nothing but forest stretching down the road they traveled? The same sort of plot gap happens toward the end when we though the gang were good to go with the fire engine and suddenly they’re walking toward at least two thousand walkers. Uh, what?

the-walking-dead-505-111989I’d like to take a moment to gloat. All this time, I’ve said Eugene wasn’t what he seemed and guess who was right? Yup, this reviewer. Eugene made the best of a bad situation. He knew he couldn’t hope to make it longer than a day without clinging onto someone and convincing them to help him. He’d done the math, Washington D.C. should be the safest place within the undead-infested United States. But he was in Texas, and that’s a long way to travel alone when one cannot defend themselves. Luckily enough, he stumbled across Abraham at exactly the right moment. A minute or two later, Eugene would’ve stumbled across a woman and two children who’d been eaten by walkers, and a man beside them with the top of his head blown off. Abraham feels he owes Eugene for saving him from suicide. The need to balance the debt pushed him for so long, when Eugene finally told the truth—that he’s not a scientist capable of destroying the walkers with a virus—Abraham snapped. The last we saw of Eugene, he was T.K.O.ed with everyone hovering over him. Honestly? That’s what he gets for getting everyone’s hopes up. Numerous people died to get him to D.C. and it was all a lie.

This episode was still a tad slow, save the last few minutes when the truth hit the fan. If this trend sticks, the show may have a hard time ramping up for what is always an epic mid-season finale. For now, we play the wait-and-see game.

Stranger Danger

Review of “The Walking Dead” 502 – “Strangers”


The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Promo1A little forewarning for the second episode of season five—don’t eat anything when you watch. Or rewatch. At no point in your life will it be okay to consume much beyond water while watching . . . and even that’s questionable depending on the strength of your stomach.

Spoiler Alert! The following review contains episode spoilers.

For the first time in too long—possibly since before Hershel’s murder—we witness a survivor group who are somewhat happy. It may be mostly relief. Giddiness from finding each other once again and surviving escape from Terminus with no casualties on their part. Rick smiles and takes time with his children, something he hasn’t been able to do since the prison attack. Even then, he was plagued by Lori’s ghost and could not fully bond with Judith. Everyone has banded together to take care of the baby.

The-Walking-Dead-S5Ep2-Strangers-Review-Gabriel-and-what-has-he-done.-590x329Judith, along with Bob and Glenn, became the heart and soul of the group. Anyone needing a mental time-out takes a turn watching the baby. Tyreese in particular has done a lot of mental healing since his time taking care of Judith. His world simplified to one focus—protect her and provide for her, no matter what dangers lurk around the corner. Because of that focus, he’s ready to forget that Carol killed his girlfriend and move on. He can kill again, without feeling a strangling sense of moral wrongness. Bob and Glenn, in their roles as heart and conscious, focus on Rick and keeping him grounded despite his overwhelming need for revenge. Even though Rick is smiling and reunited with his family, there’s a darkness in his eyes that won’t go away. The pain he’s gone through has forever changed him. Even if Eugene’s scheme to infect the walkers with a super virus that’ll kill them off works, Rick will never be the same. He will need people like Glenn and Bob to thump him over the head and remind him he has two children relying on him to stay grounded and in control of his anger.

Unfortunately, Bob may not stick around long enough to help. We’ll get to that later.

This episode introduced Gabriel Stokes—a priest with a strange sense of humor (and awful comedic timing) and a secret which may or may not come back to bite the entire group in the backside. Gabriel doesn’t kill, not even the walkers who threaten his life. He’s been isolated in his church since the undead outbreak reached his neck of the woods. Luckily for Rick and company, the church is far enough out of the way to have little walker foot traffic. They hole up in Gabriel’s safe haven to take a breather and have a nice wind-down session reminiscent of the party down in the CDC’s basement back in season one. Let’s hope the church isn’t rigged to blow up.

TWD_502_GP_0519_0016The safety the church offers is an illusion. Rick, Carl, Daryl, and Michonne all sense something isn’t quite right. For days they’ve thought someone may be tracking their movements. Carl found evidence of an attempted break-in at the church, but couldn’t tell if the knife marks on the windows or the threat, You’ll burn for this, were fresh. We know that Morgan isn’t far behind the group, and he was a tad loony-pants the last time Rick saw him, but is he the threat?

Nope. It is far, far worse.

Poor Bob. He’s finally found a groove after the apocalypse—a solid relationship with Sasha, good standing within the survivor group, sobriety, a solid plan to help Abraham and Eugene reach the epidemic center in D.C., and a sense of relief so great he can’t help but weep. The latter proves his undoing. When Bob takes a time-out from the party, someone sneaks up and clubs him over the head. Next thing we know, it’s Bob-aque time. Hold the sauce. He’s still alive, but for how long? Gareth seems like a patient man, despite his disgusting diet choices. The group who survived the Terminus attack is small. How much can they consume before Rick realizes they’re a man down? Do cannibals diet? Guess we’ll find out next week. Cross your fingers and hope Bob makes it out only missing one limb.

Never Again. Never Trust.


Never Again. Never Trust.
Review of The Walking Dead 501
By RC Murphy

It must be October. Everyone as far as the eye can see is trapped in Walker Fever—not to be confused with the fever the infected suffer before turning into the undead. We here at the ZSC Command Center are not immune and fell head-first into the fifth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead with snacks at our side . . . which we quickly ignored, given how bloody the first episode of the season turned out to be. With that in mind, let’s see what our favorite band of survivors are up to after being captured last season.

Spoiler Warning! Below are show spoilers. Turn back now if you haven’t watched this episode.

This episode had one flaw—the Terminus flashbacks. There were only two, at the beginning and end, but the information delivered was something clearly conveyed through dialog and set decoration in the middle of the episode. All the flashbacks provided was a little confusion as far as the timeline went. For half the episode, it appeared as though there was a time gap between when Rick and company were captured and the moment Carol and Tyreese were within hearing range of Terminus and all the gunfire. It wasn’t until Carol saw her once-friends bound and gagged that things started to make sense. Sometimes in story-telling, less is more. This was one of those cases.

Screen-Shot-2014-10-12-at-7.12.17-PM-e1413167251179Rick is still embracing the Ricktatorship, pushing everyone to arm themselves with whatever they can find in the train car. Miraculously, in the short time they were apparently imprisoned, they managed to build a good number of gnarly weapons using rusty nails, leather belts, hunks of wood, and who knows what else. All their work was for naught. Glenn, Rick, Ben, and Daryl were still taken by surprise and dragged into Terminus’ slaughterhouse. Which is the exact moment everyone set aside their popcorn and clutched the couch cushions so tight, their knuckles turned white.

Despite internet rumors, this was not the moment we said goodbye to any main cast members. Glenn is still alive and has taken on Hershel’s role, becoming Rick’s conscious when his desire for revenge threatens the entire group’s survival. It’s a position Glenn has filled before, but his youth and inexperience usually costs him solid ground to stand on in the face of Rick’s anger. This time Glenn seems better prepared to stand up for what he feels is right. He’s got far more at stake with Maggie at his side and committed to staying there no matter what. Not even his good friend will force him to risk her safety.

PHcADFWtICstgg_1_mCarol is far, far removed from the character we met in season one. Now she can walk up and kill a walker without blinking, even while Tyreese stands behind her saying he’s not prepared to kill again. In the face of his perceived weakness and possible judgment, Carol doesn’t balk, doesn’t care. She will live, that’s that. She will make sure Tyreese and Judith live, no matter the cost to her. But she has no plans to stick with them. Being ousted from the group changed her more than the death of her husband and daughter. Solitude fits the new Carol. She’s truly free to do what she wants when she wants after years of being the steel backbone for her family. Will her resolve to remain a lone wolf stay firm after reconnecting with the rest of the group? Hard to tell, but the reunion hug she shared with Daryl was perhaps one of the happiest moments on the show in years.

This episode was all about escalation. One group wrongs another, the afflicted group seeks revenge. That’s how Terminus became a cannibal’s Fantasy Land—their once sanctuary was overrun, the women abused, countless murdered, but they took it back and became something ruthless and without morals. That’s how Carol and Rick ensured Terminus could not recover from their attack and escape. Even Tyreese did not escape without having to step up his game to not only kill walkers, but also a human who posed a serious threat to Judith. By the end of the episode, even viewers felt panicky, waiting to see how far the escalation would go. What would be the ultimate cost of this revenge pushing Rick forward? So far, no one in his group has paid. That luck can only go so far.

We were visited by a long-lost character at the end of the episode. What role do you think he’ll play in the grand scheme of things? Last time we saw this guy, he was twelve crayons short of a full set and sure to die at any time. That’s the wonderful thing about this show, the people we think will die, don’t. Those we wish would live, keel over without warning. It’s impossible to predict what’s around the corner. But that is half the fun of watching. It is also why The Walking Dead was picked up for a sixth season days before the fifth season premiere.


A. Zombie Reviews . . . The Returned


A. Zombie Reviews . . . The Returned
By A. Zombie

Starring: Kris Holden-Ried, Emily Hampshire, Shawn Doyle, and Claudia Bassols
Rated: NR (Adult language, partial nudity, mild drug use)
From Filmax International:

Kate (Emily Hampshire) works at the hospital in the Return Unit, helping those who have been infected by the virus that turns people into zombies. Kate’s dedication to her work is absolute, but few people realize that for her it is also a personal matter; Kate’s own husband, Alex (Kris Holden-Ried), has been returned.

After various brutal and prolific attacks at the hands of Anti-Return groups and rumours that the “Protein” stock is running dangerously low, Kate fears for Alex´s safety. Suspicious of the government’s order that all the returned should report to a secure medical facility ‘for their own safety’, the couple decides to flee, taking with them all the doses of “Return Protein” they have. At no point does the couple imagine that the real threat is a lot closer than they think…

The Returned came from the same house as the [Rec] series, and the quality shows. I went into the film expecting one of the random, low-budget films that are usually slid under my cell door. Boy was I in for a surprise. While The Returned isn’t a blockbuster, it’s not something to snub at a glance.

1-the-returnedLet’s get down to it. The film starts with what feels like a random, bouncy flashback scene. It isn’t entirely clear why we’re seeing this scene until the final minutes where it becomes clear this is a pivotal moment in Kate’s life, one that shapes how she deals with the fallout of so many harsh decisions from those around her. The importance could’ve been made clearer. Possibly by cutting some of the post-production additions—all the “noise” added to make the footage feel old—and pushing the credits until the following scene set in the present time.
As for the characters, I’ve found a rare film in that none of them are, as I call it, Too Stupid To Live. Every decision made throughout the movie is thought out, or when done impulsively there’s decent character-driven reasons, as is the case for Jacob and Amber when they ultimately are forced to make a hard decision that may put them at odds with their friends, Alex and Kate.

8-the-returnedThere’s not a lot of zombie action on screen. The film instead focuses on society’s inability to adapt to change and accept a new species of people. Because, that’s what the Returned are, something new and unpredictable. Forced to rely on a daily dosage of drugs, the Returned are given the same treatment as homosexual AIDS patients by the media. What happens when they stop taking their treatments? What will they do to others without treatment? How fast will this disease spread if the government doesn’t step in and micromanage their lives? Wouldn’t it be better if they were all just killed—gunned down while idiots seek to coddle the monsters? We recoil at the truth of it—anything new and uncertain is automatically handed a death sentence. That’s the way humanity is hard-wired. Kill the unknown to spare the larger population. Never mind who is traumatized in the process.

The Returned is a slow-burner. The plot pushes steadily forward, forced along by the characters, their decisions and reactions, and not the evil undead waiting to tear them limb from limb. This is not an action film. It’s a statement on a society that cannot change without first destroying itself. If you want hack-and-slash, keep moving. However, if you’d like to think about the implications of how zombies would change everyday life, give The Returned a chance. I’m giving it 3.5 bloody scalps out of five.


A. Zombie Reviews . . . Cockneys vs Zombies (2013)

A. Zombie Reviews . . . Cockneys vs Zombies (2013)
By A. Zombie


Rating: NR (Adult language, violence, gore)
Starring: Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Michelle Ryan, Jack Doolan, and Georgia King

From cockneysvszombiesmovie.com

MV5BMTg3Njc4NDA0Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODA0NjkzOQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_COCKNEY: A native of the East End of London, born within hearing of the ringing of the Bow Bells

ZOMBIE: A supernatural power or spell that according to voodoo belief can enter into and reanimate a corpse

SYNOPSIS: The Bow Bells Care Home is under threat and the McGuire’s – Andy, Terry, and Katy – need to find some way to keep their grandfather and his friends in the East End, where they belong. But, when you’re robbing a bank, zombie invasions makes things a lot harder. And let’s face it, they need all the help they can get when their bank-robbing experts turn out to be Mental Mickey and Davey Tuppance. As contractors to an East London building site unlock a 350-year old vault full of seriously hungry zombies, the East End has suddenly gone to hell and the Cockney way of life is under threat. Equipped with all the guns and ammo they can carry, it’s up to the gang to save the hostages, their grandfather, and East London from zombie Armageddon.

You have to love a movie which starts, not with a zombie attack, but with a fart joke and foul-mouthed construction workers. Cockneys vs Zombies takes a while to hit the undead action after the bumbling construction guys accidentally unleash the zombies lurking in a 17th century catacomb hidden under London’s East End. First, we’re introduced to Andy and Terry. The boys are obviously up to something nefarious, but the depth of their desperation isn’t completely clear until they finish delivering meals to the old folks home and set off to collect their intrepid band of misfit bank robbers. How the guys thought they could pull off the heist implies a strand of the DNA in the McGuire lineage is pure crazy with a pinch of delusion. For heaven’s sake, their disguises included fake mustaches giving me flashbacks to Magnum, P.I.

Cockneys-vs.-ZombiesThe true highlight of the film isn’t the zombies or the action (a whole five seconds of it) during the extremely successful bank heist. C vs Z’s golden goose lays in the cast of characters residing in the old folks home. They’re a laugh riot. Don’t balk in the face of shambling evil. And, amazingly, even with their replacement hips, bad hearts, and various ailments, they’re still capable of out running a zombie. Or blowing a hole in one’s head.

This isn’t a shoot-em-up zombie flick. It’s a comedy surrounding a family trying to make the best of a bad situation. There just happens to be zombies wandering around to make the situation that much more difficult. The film is also pretty truthful when it comes to showing how normal people would react and fight the undead. For instance, Emma—one of the hostages from the bank heist—attacks her first zombie with limp-wristed swings of a shovel, a load of determination, and some choice phrases to voice her frustration when the zombie doesn’t instantly keel over. Then there’s a few characters who transform into sharp-shooters, laying waste to every shambling corpse coming their way, covering both sides of the fighting coin.

CockneysVsZombies_Still09Makeup FX for the general zombies are basic, but well done. No cheesy Halloween night makeup jobs where someone forgot to cover their ears. The main FX gags are amazing in their detail. At one point, Mickey ends up with a portion of a zombie hanging from his arm for several scenes. Not once did the makeup and prosthetics look rubbery or fake—as often happens in zombie films. The same goes for the few disemboweling scenes, intestines looking like actual intestines instead of rubber hoses slathered in colored Karo syrup.

Cockneys vs Zombies is a slow-moving, but hilarious addition to the genre. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea—some prefer much more tension with their undead viewing—but I believe many of you will enjoy watching this with friends. I’m giving it four punctured stomachs out of five.

Warning: adult language below


Completely Unhinged: “The Walking Dead” 414

Completely Unhinged
Review of “The Walking Dead” 414 – “The Grove”


Have you recovered yet? We sure as heck haven’t. This week “The Walking Dead” pulled no emotional punches. They went there and didn’t bat an eyelash. Unfortunately “there” may have been a little too far for some of the younger actors involved. A lot was asked of them and it didn’t quiet . . . work. Some of the intensely emotional scenes failed to fully grab the audience and jerk them into the moment. Melissa McBride delivered a stellar performance in this episode. One of her best in the series. She succeeded where others couldn’t handle it and pulled the audience deeper into the heart-wrenching events of the episode. One woman cannot make a show, though. Certainly not a show built on a solid ensemble cast during the early seasons. The longer the show sticks to intimate cast sizes per episode, the more drawn out and god-awfully slow it feels. Not good for TWD fans who came to the party expecting copious amounts of brain-bashing action.

What are we going to do this week, Brain? Same thing we do every week, Pinky. Post TWD spoilers.

6da10c75-b85d-4979-04e1-72ecf57da726_TWD_414_GP_1016_0125It is no secret that Lizzie is completely unglued. Her grasp on her own mortality and the real danger the walkers pose to her safety was never solid. In this episode, it becomes painfully clear that she’s always been slightly off. Little Mika has obviously spent ample time learning how to distract her sister from whatever isn’t right in her head. We have no name for what’s wrong with Lizzie. She’s convinced the walkers are simply an evolved version of ourselves. They speak to her. Demand she take care of them and provide food. Somewhere along the way, being undead became an appealing prospect. Was this a way to cope with the losses her family faced since the walkers started shuffling around? Hard to tell now that we know she wasn’t all there to begin with.

Dealing with mental illness after the healthcare system has fallen to the wayside along with the government, sewer maintenance, water stations, etc., can’t be easy. Many suffering from mental health problems rely on medicine to recalibrate the chemicals in their brains. Others need the calming effects of a regulated schedule, which often includes regular visits with a mental health professional of some sort. None of the methods used to treat problems like Lizzie’s are available to her. Mika does her best, calming her sister while providing insight to the adults who’ve taken care of them since their father’s death. Did daddy dearest know how far gone his eldest daughter was before the flu claimed him? We didn’t see much, if anything, about the girls until his passing. Would Lizzie have snapped so completely if their father had been the one to take them from the prison instead of Tyreese and Carol?

Carol has tried so hard to become cold, calculating, and pragmatic since losing Sophia. She killed Karen and David, only showing remorse when it came time to confess to Rick and then, in this episode, Tyreese. The remorse came because Carol knew she’d betrayed their trust. She fully believed killing Karen and David would prevent the spread of a disease the prison population had no hope of fighting off on their own without medicine and a team of doctors. They were necessary deaths. Something she did for the better of everyone. Carol knows there’s people surviving in their new world who are only making it because of others. Sophia, as Carol put it, “Didn’t have a mean bone in her body.” Killing to survive was well beyond her comfort levels. Mika is the same way, despite Carol’s attempts to toughen her up.

Too bad her lessons didn’t stick.

TWD_414_GP_1015_0185Lizzie’s madness cost her sister her life. Is anyone to blame? No. Nevertheless, Carol’s guilt nearly cripples her, makes her hesitate to do the necessary thing. Is death ever necessary? In our world, no. Murder is senseless. Unnatural to the teachings of the numerous world religions which are the cornerstone of our morals. But in a world where every day is a fight to take just one more breath, one must weigh the good of the many against the individual. Carol and Tyreese were faced with that decision—try to save Lizzie, despite the depth of her mental illness or ensure Judith’s safety, as well as their own. In the end, Carol’s ruthless practicality stepped in and allowed her to make the hard decision. Lizzie had to die. No matter how they arranged it, someone would end up alone with her and Lizzie’s inclination to turn everyone into a walker would get the best of her, and them. What if Lizzie ran off and some do-gooder brought her into their camp? Nothing good could’ve come from her continuing to live unmedicated and unchecked by her sister’s kind soul.

In order for the show to catch their audience again, they need to pick up the pace. There’s only two episodes left in season four and the entire second half of the season has been spent backtracking. Why? They brought too many characters in too quickly during the prison days. None of the new survivors who walked away from the prison attack got much screen time, giving viewers a group of strangers to follow who they had no connection to. While yes, it’s good to get to know a character, it’s too little too late this long after the characters have been introduced. All the character development slowed down the pace of the show. It’s become “The Lord of the Rings,” with every single character’s progress no more than walking a few miles. Are they growing emotionally? Yes. Has anything really happened since the prison fight? Can’t say it has. We’ve got a budding fan-service relationship, two dead kids, and a lot of people walking on train tracks after six episodes. Not to mention two new groups of survivors who will likely get the same lack-of-development treatment as the others. The entire first season was only six episodes and look what they accomplished there.

Will everyone meet at Terminus by the end of season four? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Welcome to the Crew

Looks like our tenacious Commander-in-Chief, Juliette Terzieff, went on another recruiting spree. Welcome
James Allen McCune to the Zombie Survival Crew.


No stranger to dealing with the undead, James Allen McCune is best known for his role as Jimmy, Beth’s boyfriend in the second season of AMC’s hit drama “The Walking Dead.” We plan to utilize the skills he picked up while filming the show to help us. And won’t hold it against him if he has a flashback to his final days on the TWD set.

James is currently filming season four of Showtime’s “Shameless” . . . when he isn’t eating nachos and playing video games in his trailer, and hopefully practicing his skills with a sword.

Another Brave Soul

Did someone leave a sign in front of the ZSC command center or something? We’ve got another new addition to Zombie Survival Crew Command ready to join our ranks! Brigadiers, raise your weapons and give a salute to Ming Chen, the newest Zombie Survival Crew commander!!

As one of the starts on AMC’s “Comic Book Men” Ming Chen provides plenty of knowledge about all things geek, and takes his share of razzing from fellow Secret Stash employees.  Behind the scenes, he’s the tech guru for Kevin Smith’s View Askew and SModCo websites.  He cohosts the “I Sell Comics!” podcast with fellow ZSC commander Michael Zapcic on Smodcast Internet Radio (S.I.R.) every Thursday. Ming donates his tech skills pro bono to Street Poets Inc. and The Kenny Gordon Foundation.

Ming joins his Comic Book Men compadre Michael Zapcic  as a member of our Special Forces, under the Command of Michael Rooker.