While I am loathe to criticize a show I adore (who am I kidding, I love it) I think it’s fair to say that as I re-watched the mid-season finale that I realized how the writers have fallen for one of the classic blunders, the slightly, slightly less well known one of assuming the audience can be easily distracted enough not to notice less worthy writing. I certainly wouldn’t call The Walking Dead poor writing, but it’s not as good as it was, and it’ll take a lot more than zombies to get me to continue to watch. That being said, let’s take a big bite out of last weeks episode, and please feel free to comment (within reason) a lot during the break, let’s not forget we won’t have any new zombie fun till February.
So as always I hope that my titles are apt, and I worded mine this week to reflect my current issue with the show. As I mentioned last week it seemed like Michonne’s lack of communication with Rick was more about build up for this ep than actual quality story telling (though in fairness when it comes to TV and the requirements writers have to keep the story going, but not too quickly as to fill a season to please a studio wanting to get constant advertisers paying for ad space). Sorry, digressed, as usual. It wasn’t something I considered an overall issue, until, as usual Glenn was awesome (but I’m jumping ahead)
So the episode started with some random people, that we don’t know or really care about (except for maybe Tyreese, since he’s from the comics, which I haven’t read) making their way though zombie filled woods to the prison, suffering only one bite, my first and remaining reaction is: who are you people, don’t you know serialized drama fans are not friendly to newbs? Especially when (unlike the prisoners) you’ve been apparently dealing with this for a while, and don’t know to hack off a limb? Either way, if their only purpose was to make Carl look so awesome, then so be it. Also if the Governor is going to try taking the prison sometime soon, I can only hope that instead of treating our old favorites (like Mama Bear Carol) like exchangeable dolls, that the writers will go with the old red shirt gag, so that we can be reminded that loss, even in a zombie apocalypse hurts, without touching our favorites.
Speaking of Mama Bear Carol, her interaction with Axel (who got no sympathy from me for hitting on Beth by the way) was fantastic, especially when he called her a lesbian, simply because of her haircut. I can only assume she warmed up to him though, considering last we heard of their whereabouts, they were together in the guard tower, which seems, for Glenn and Maggie at least to be a pretty romantic spot.
And speaking of Glenn and Maggie, Glenn’s use of corpse was inspiring, who would have gotten so creative in those circumstances? Almost unfortunately it was for naught though, when Maggie joined in Glenn’s recent “should have shot!” club. I say almost unfortunate because it was almost believable that in such a crazy random happenstance, that Team Rick would come to their rescue in the nick of time. That of course, was when Glenn ended up alerting me to (at least partially) why the episode is having the moments (like Rick hallucinating Shane) it’s having. You see Glenn did what any normal person would do, the instant he gets the chance he tells Rick, and Daryl that Merle’s out there and what’s been going on. I realized how little communication has gone on during this show. Imagine if Lori had talked to Rick in season 1, imagine if Hershel had talked about the barn in season 2, and imagine if (on top of all the poor communication going on between our favorites) Merle had told the Governor that Michonne had gotten away.
Which brings me to my next point the Governor and Michonne, I’ll start with Michonne. It seemed nearly out of character for her to be so emotional and talkative (maybe like 5 words) when she saw the Governor’s daughter, before knowing she was a walker. Her previously non-existent humanity kicked in at the sight of a child, and it gives me hope for her character. When it comes to the Governor; (I’m positive I’m alone in this point, but I’ll say it anyway) I felt bad for the Governor when Michonne killed his daughter. Why? Because the Governor (albeit stupidly) had hope (that was when his humanity showed by the way, begging Michonne not to “hurt [his] little girl”), and to have hope like his taken away from an enemy, is rough. Think about when Rick shot Sofia, or when Carl shot Lori (or when newbie killed newbie with the hammer), there felt as though there were poetry and purpose, and love and loyalty to it. The governor should have been the one to kill his daughter a long time ago, but again to lose her to an adversary is sad. Though it was certainly satisfying to watch him lose an eye while slipping around smashed zombie head aquariums.
Back to Rick, our once main character who’s starting to feel like an afterthought, he made it in, got Glenn and Maggie, but lost Daryl in the process. By the end of next season I feel like it’s anyone’s guess which Dixon brother we’ll be left with, it comes as no surprise that I’m hoping it’s Daryl, to my Merle fans out there I say bring it…insightfully.
I’d also like to point out that I was half right about how the episode would end, since Rick made it out of there, and Daryl already knew Merle (who the Governor is rightfully pissed at) was there, the only long stares we got were between Andrea and Daryl. When it comes to Andrea I don’t have much to say, I don’t agree with her choices, but I understand the attraction to Woodbury, and her loyalty to the Governor, so at least we can say that the writers are being consistent, even if she’s becoming Lori 2.0. The minor exception to that would be she actually asked the Governor decent questions about why Michonne had been there, and seemed at least a bit more skeptical by the end of the episode, so maybe there’s hope for her, but we won’t know until February, so until then please comment, and visit back from time to time. Personally I plan on passing some of my time with The Following (a new thriller with Kevin Bacon).
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!