Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Walking Dead--Too Far Gone--Episode Review

Well, it looks like I couldn't have been more wrong about The Governor being a series-long adversary, huh?  That, and more thoughts of the half-season's last episode:

--You had to know that Hershel wasn't long for that world after he said his now-famous (amongst fans, anyway) line (and sorry if I butcher it a little here): "You can't control how you die.  The only thing you can control is what you die for."  Having said that, you knew he was going to die for what he felt was a good cause.

--And his little smile at the end tells you that he did.  Or, at least, he thought so.

--I was more surprised that The Governor bought it there.  It is courageous of the writers to write two episodes that focused exclusively on him (to the chagrin of a great many fans) and then kill him off.

--That tells me that the writers care very much about character arc, and characterization in general.  It was important for them to show the viewers that The Governor was, indeed, "too far gone" to ever come back to decency.  See: Rick's speech at the end.

--It was impressive, in a character-development kind of way, to show how decent The Governor had been in his past, pre-Zombie Apocalypse, and then to show how he was never going to be able to go back to that, even when given the chance.  The last two episodes, especially the previous one when he killed Martinez and the others, could have both been called "Too Far Gone."

--With this kind of character development, and this kind of ratings and following, I would love to work on this show, if I was an actor.

--And if I wasn't.

--One of The Talking Dead's clips showed that David Morrissey, who played The Governor, always thought that Michonne was his real adversary.  Of course, he's right about that.

--The Governor was about to choke the life out of Farmer Rick.

--Where's Carol been the last few episodes?  I'm surprised she didn't turn up at the end of this one.

--Anyone know if the plot development of casting Carol off was always supposed to happen, or if the actress who played her had a movie role, or something personal, or something else that she had to tend to?

--Speaking of Carol, she apparently taught those kids to shoot really, really well.  Turns out, that may not have been a bad thing for her to teach them after all.

--Sorry to see Alisha go.  Why couldn't we keep her and lose the whiny, scaredy-cat one?

--But the guy in the tank always annoyed the hell out of me.  Good-bye.

--I think the baby's fine.  They wouldn't kill off a baby just a few months old, right?

--Not surprised to see the little girl go.  In writing parlance, that's book-ending.  The Governor couldn't save his real daughter, so why would he be able to save his adopted daughter?  Very thematic and character-building, but that's what the show has been doing for the past few episodes with The Governor.  So, yeah, I called that one.

--And I called Hershel, but The Governor, as I mentioned, was a surprise.  But it's good to know that I can still be surprised after watching three and a half years of the same show.

--Great shot with Rick and Carl with the prison in the background, and Rick saying not to look back, a la Lot and Lot's wife.  And the destruction of the prison does indeed seem like the act of angry gods.

--See you in February 2014.  If you can believe that.  2014?  Did I just say 2014?!?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Walking Dead--Dead Weight. Episode Review

Better late than never, hopefully.  Sorry I'm so far behind.  Thanksgiving week, and all.

So, about The Governor:

--I wouldn't have let The Governor live, never mind join the group.  He's what Caesar said about Cassius: He's got the mean and hungry look.  Such men are dangerous.

--Many people have said enough with The Governor.

--So someone let the army people turn while tied to a tree or a chair, and then cut off their heads, but then kept the heads "alive?"  Now that's morbid, man.

--Martinez is bitter.  If you're going to rag on The Governor the whole time, why keep him alive?  So you can rag on him all the time?

--The Governor will not be led, or ordered around.

--I would not have made The Governor my golf caddy and then turned my back on him.

--This episode reminds me of a point made last week: Brian / The Governor = Anakin / Darth Vader.  On a less iconic scale, of course.

--In case you missed it, Norman Reedus (Daryl) misses the characters of Shane, Andrea, Dale and Sophia, in that order.

--I'm surprised to see Shane #1.  He annoyed me tremendously, and he was stuck in that Rick, Shane, Lori triangle that was going nowhere, that he was always going to lose.  Plus he had a lot of personal jealousy to boot.  He was the one who saved Rick in the hospital, after all.

--Though Shane could have been the series-long antagonist that apparently The Governor will be, instead.  Shane could've been as Good Guy before the Zombie Apocalypse brought out his Dark Side as The Governor is.

--The other surprise: Lori wasn't on that list.  What issue did Daryl have with her?  (Or that Norman Reedus had with Sarah Wayne Callies?)

--The Governor's got daddy issues.

--You had to know he'd take over somewhere, sometime soon, just to attack the prison again.  Though the image of the zombie forever reaching for the lake's surface was a brutal, but nice, touch.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Walking Dead--Live Bait

Just a few things to say about the first non-Rick episode of the year, if not of the entire series:

--So the Governor is Brian Heriot?  Or did he just make that up?

--And he just strolls into the house of these two women?  And the kid, and the guy on oxygen?

--The Governor sorta looks like Kurt Russell in his 80s action movies, like Escape from New York.

--In the beginning of the series, most of the characters would kill almost all of the walkers that came at them, often out of sympathy.  (Or at least it seemed that way to me.)  Now, there's no pity.  The Governor, for example, just closed a door on one, and left one strapped into a wheelchair, theoretically forever.

--The guy got "killed" with the oxygen tank that the Governor got to save him.  If I remember right, that's called irony.

--This is the family guy before the zombie apocalypse transformed him to the dark side and he became the Governor.

--The creators of the show are giving the Governor a lot of his own time in order to set him up as Rick's foil character--that is, the one character who he is most similar to, but who also has a couple of glaring differences in order to set up the traits of both.

--The pit kills, especially the last one with the bone and the face-stretching, are the kills of the week.

--I don't mind the total focus on the Governor here, and it seems like next week will be more of the same, but I'm hearing that many viewers are less than thrilled.  A few are threatening to stop watching.

--The show's creators are taking a heckuva chance here, and if the ratings plummet over these two episodes, there'll be a lot of finger-pointing.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Walking Dead--Internment

Some quick thoughts about the episode:

--In an episode soon, Herschel won't have the time to wheel the dead out of view before he stabs them.

--How could Herschel possibly have gone this long without killing a single walker?

--What's up with Lizzie playing footsie in zombie blood?

--Carl's no longer whiny and annoying like he was last year.  Harsh, I know.

--You knew the fence would go soon.

--Hopefully Rick and Carl repaired the fence before they burned the bodies and picked peas.

--You knew the Governor would turn up soon, and that he'd been watching.

--I'll bet the Governor's talking to Carol when he says in next week's promo: "Don't you want to get back at him for what he did to you?"  Or something very close to that.

--Herschel has turned into one tough old dude.

--Quite the father/son and father/daughter bonding moments in this episode.  There's nothing that brings a family together more than annihilating large numbers of zombies together.

--Chris Hardwicke talked much faster than usual on the recent Talking Dead.  So fast that I couldn't tell what he was saying at times.  And that's me saying this.

--Josh, a guest on Talking Dead, asked an awesome question: Could Bob be a spy from the Governor?  I never would've thought of that.

--I've got to look up that Steinbeck quotation.

--I don't blame Rick for putting off talking to Darryl.

--I love the Tom Sawyer and Steinbeck allusions.

--"A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ."  I'm going to guess that was from East of Eden, or maybe Of Mice and Men.  But I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't, too, because I know those two pretty well, and I don't remember that quote in either one.

--Herschel has lately been the optimist that Rick used to be.

--Scott Wilson, who plays Herschel, said in an interview that ibuprofen got him through filming this episode.  Lately, ibuprofen's been swelling up my cheeks and sinuses to a painful extent.  It hurts now more than it helps.

--Okay.  According to Goodreads, the quote is actually:

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Walking Dead--Episode 4--Indifference

In case it hasn't been obvious, I jot down quick things while I watch the episode, then type them up and publish them afterwards.  I say this so that nobody thinks that I'm embellishing anything after watching the episode--see the third bullet.  And so, a few short comments:

--Lizzie sort of creeps me out.  Not the least because when I hear "Lizzie," I think "Borden."

--Then again, Carol creeps me out now, too.

--"Indifference" is a fitting title for the beginning of this episode, but by the end, I'll bet someone has to do something because he / she isn't indifferent.

--That was an odd couple up there, throwing down the fruit.  How did they stay away from the pajama-clad walker up there for so long?

--Well, so much for the woman upstairs.  It doesn't pay to be a pretty, 20-something woman the last few episodes.

--But the second she made a point of showing the tattooed leg, you knew she was gone.  It was going to be used to identify her, though I thought she'd last long enough to be another burned body.

--I don't know about Rick telling Carol to get out, and I'm really surprised at how complacently she accepted it.  Why not fight that?

--This whole season could be called "indifferent" so far.  Rick the indifferent farmer.  Lizzie the indifferent blonde who shrugs off boyfriends who die.  (Or was that the other blonde girl?)  Carol the sociopathically indifferent judge of who gets to live and who dies.  When did everyone get so blase?

--Why do I get the feeling that Carol will run into the Governor?  But I wouldn't expect an Andrea-like connection with him.

--Rick will tell the truth to Tyrese about how and why he banished Carol, if for no other reason than that Rick simply doesn't lie.

--Where'd the guy go who was with Ana?  Maybe Carol will run into him, too.  If the Governor does first, this guy's in trouble.

--Good to see that these characters are as desensitized to violence as every other American is.  Looks like things don't change all that much, I guess.

--Next week's episode title: "Yeah, Whatever."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Episode 3--Isolation

--Maybe I'm an overthinker, but I believe this episode's title refers to spatial and emotional isolation.  Like, Carol's, for example.


--I'd be surprised if Glen has reached his character arc already.  So I think he'll survive this illness.

--Was that Rick's Woods Woman sitting against the tree?

--Carol has somehow managed to look younger over the years.

--Something on the bloodied doorway told Rick that Carol had killed the sick and burned them?

--I never understood the whole Marilyn Manson thing, then or now, for those of you who saw him on Talking Dead.

--He's one of those people who makes a room more uncomfortable when they walk into it.

--And then speak.

--Something's up with Tyrese, or how else did he survive after being overwhelmed by attacking walkers?

--Judging by Gale Anne Hurd's inadvertent reaction to one of Chris's questions, Lizzie doesn't have too much longer.

--Marilyn Manson, shockingly, is stoned, or drunk, or something on Talking Dead tonight.

--And Chris Hardwicke, the host, is getting tired and frustrated with him, as of 10:20 pm.  Manson has said things like Carl should be spanked with the gun, so the frustration is understandable, especially during a live program, which Talking Dead is every night.

--During a zombie apocalypse, don't listen to the radio (even if there's finally a voice), and take your eyes off the road.

--And don't back up over a pile of walkers.  If you do, you can expect to have your tires turn on their entrails like wheels on slush and snow.

--Hardwicke has been ignoring or been snidely to Manson for about a half hour now.  Again, understandable, as Manson's been babbling and talking over people, and saying nonsensical things--and, again, it's a live program.

--This episode of Talking Dead has shown me that Chris Hardwicke, the host, does not book his guests.

--So does this mean that Carol was serving rats to the walkers, too?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Walking Dead: Episode 2--"Infected"

 Photo: from Time.com.  Karen, we hardly knew ya.  Unless, of course, you were wise enough to put your bracelet around someone else, knowing that someone was going to kill and burn the sick.  And if that actually happened, maybe you, Karen, are killing and burning the sick.  Or maybe I just overthink things.  But the more I think about it, the more I like this storyline of mine.

A few quick things about this episode:

--The sacrificing of the pigs was incredibly depressing.  I'm trying to convince myself that they were going to all get sick and die anyway.

--So much for Farmer Rick.

--Never once in any episode has anyone ever said the word "zombie."

--Why wouldn't the walkers go back to the gate and knock it down after they finished with the pigs?

--I liked Karen.  Oh, well.

--The squealing of the pigs reminded me of The Silence of the Lambs.  That's how my noggin' works.

--How come nobody smelled the burning bodies?

--I'm surprised more wasn't done with the cellblock and gate-crashing walkers.  Separate or together, they could've driven everyone out of the prison.  Permanently.  And the gate-crashers still might.

--I'm tiring of all of the ads for Walking Dead-related products and games.

--I've never heard of Hayley Williams or Paramore, for those of you who saw The Talking Dead afterwards.

--For awhile there, I thought the baby was going to turn and bite the blonde girl.  I'm so young, yet so cynical.

--I agree with The Talking Dead's guest: Lizzie is feeding rats to the gate-crashing walkers.

--And I'm saying that Herschel killed and burned the sick.

--Hopefully nobody from PETA watched this episode.

--Carol's gotten weird.

--And the kid who plays Carl had a massive growth spurt.

--If Daryl's in charge, he's not effectively keeping law and order amongst his own people.  Nobody would be feeding rats to the dead during the Ricktatorship.  (Yeah, I stole that.)

--Rick's a bit of a lost soul right now.  But he'll be asked to lead them again, and he'll reluctantly agree to do so.

--It's been so long since I've seen an episode as it aired that I didn't realize how impossibly long the commercial breaks were.  I know there's a lot of commercials, but this is way too much.

--Which is why I'm going to watch as many episodes as possible on DVR.

--A viewer's awesome question: Herschel was a veterinarian, so why didn't he look at the dead pig to find out how it died?  Greg Nicotero's answer was simple enough: Rick never told him about it.  Technically I guess that's true, but that answer still is unsatisfying BS.  But you can't think of everything, I guess.  And Herschel mentions in the middle of the episode that he knows there are sick hogs, and Rick says right there that he saw a dead pig the day before.

--And how did they know that Patrick was the first one to die?  Carol and the others in the library knew that he didn't feel well, but they had no evidence in the carnage that followed that he was the first to go.

--So I don't feel so old and out of touch, I'm going to Wikipedia Paramore now.  ::later:: Oh.  Eh.  Sort of like Hanson, but female.  I'm seeing some early 80s pink pop, a la Cyndi Lauper, kind of.  I'd read they were alternative rock, but that's not what I saw in the video "Still Into You."  That ain't alternative.  It's bubble-gum pop for girls between 7th and 11th grade, or so.  Like, whatever, man.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

30 Days Without An Accident

Photo: To make it bigger, click on this great shot of Daryl and Michone, from http://entertainment.time.com/2013/10/13/the-walking-dead-watch-30-days-without-an-accident/

Loved the episode almost as much as I love the show (Andrea's exit notwithstanding.  It's the show's biggest strikeout, allowing her to have a casual conversation for so long with a guy who will obviously be a zombie soon.  Still not over that.)  But the title of this episode sounds like something you keep track of after a long and nasty stomach flu.  Maybe a really old person who's been wearing Depends for twenty years, trying to show some optimism.  Or me just being a bit immature.

Well, welcome to my blog about The Walking Dead.  I hope to cover a bit about each episode, so keep coming back if you like the show.  I'll probably include spoilers, so reader beware.

In this first episode of Season Four, we find the prison in a lax state.  They've got a garden, and the old man has a new leg.  Daryl has sort of taken over.  There's a lot of new people, and a lot of kids.  And we even have a library, which you know I like, if you've been reading my main blog at all.

And we've got some new romances.  If you're a diehard romantic like I am, you'll think right away: One of them's gonna get it.  Soon.  And then the nerdy kid shows up, and you know he's quick to go as well.  Sure enough, before you can say So young, yet so cynical, one of the young boys in love gets his neck and face chewed off--after saving someone else, no less--and the nerdy kid gets something nasty in the water (like the pig, probably), and turns while in the shower.  Sleeping cellblock beware, including the blonde girl who's been on the show awhile now, who shrugged her shoulders when told her boyfriend bought the farm.  (I swear that I predicted her reaction to someone as well.  She'd been rather la-de-da towards the kid before he'd left.)

I was about to be disappointed with the episode, with the predictability of it (you even knew the Copter Walkers would crash through the rotted roof soon), when the storyline with the weirdly pretty woods woman took over.  I was wondering if Rick was going to wonder why she was so green (literally; she was quite moldy) and you knew right away it was a mistake for him to give her the knife.  Luckily, she wasn't quite a killer, just a lovestruck and lost (and insanely depressed and starving) woman who just didn't want to go on anymore.  She wanted to serve her husband, you might say, and when she was unable to do that (her effort was rather lackluster), offered up herself instead.  She'll find, as she said, that you can't go back, and I doubt she'll find romance with her husband now that they're both walkers as well.  Look for them soon at the prison fence.

So where's the next episode to go?  You can expect a call for a cleanup in cellblock twelve, once Patrick is through with them.  Rick will regret telling the woods woman that having more people in the jail is a good thing, that there's safety in numbers.  There will be a lot of shambling walkers in the jail, many of whom had been just recently thirsty or sleeping.  Rick may also regret not killing the woods woman a second time before she could turn, and with her husband she will be amongst those who crash the fence.  And the fence will surely come down.  You know this not just because of the constant foreshadowing in the beginning, when all the characters were marveling at how the walkers knew to push at one part of the fence, and not be so spread out like they used to be.  Nope--you know this also because every before- (or was it after-) commercial promo has Rick standing in a section of ruined chain-link jail fence.  And you constantly hear the old man saying that everything they had tried to keep out has now made its way in.  Makes you regret The Governor hadn't won the jail war.

See you next week.