Tag Archive for Season 5

The Walking Dead Recap: “No Sanctuary” (Season 5, Episode 1)

The Walking Dead has never really been about the dead. It’s about the living, and the myriad ways in which people adapt (or don’t) to a new world order, one that thrives on chaos and death. Even the credits in season five reflect the new world; candles dribble wax and axes drip blood, buildings crumble under nature’s influence, crows light in trees waiting for corpses to rot. There’s no nostalgia for┬áthe past here, no remaining love for order and beauty. As a wise person utters in this episode, “It’s time to return to our regularly scheduled shitstorm.”

The opening sequence of the season five opener calls to mind a haunting statement from the final episode of season four: “The more people become part of us, the stronger we get.” In a flashback, Gareth (whose name I apparently spelled incorrectly last season) and Mary, trapped inside the cargo container and flickering in dying candlelight, desperately ask themselves what they are now – who they’re becoming. As in season four, nobody really knows who they are in this post-apocalyptic mess, and as people flail, scrabble to get a grip on normalcy, things get messy.

Back in the present, our band of increasingly morally ambiguous outlaws prepares to fight its way out of the shipping container. They’re ready to go out swinging, but aren’t prepared for a smoke bomb dropped through the roof. It incapacitates them just enough to allow the cannibals to bind and carry Rick, Glenn, Bob, and Daryl to the killing trough, along with four others who don’t belong to us. As the eight men kneel, prone, in front of the metal trough, burly men in plastic raincoats first knock them unconscious, then slit their throats, gushing blood into the trough. First one, then the next, creeping ever closer to Glenn. The viscous fluid pools around the drain as our quad of men watches, helpless. Just as the butcher reels back to take a mighty swing at Glenn’s head, Gareth shows up to ask for their shot count. “I’m sorry, it was my first roundup!” the second butcher says, distracting everyone for long enough to save Glenn’s life. In the midst of chaos, it is in fact bureaucracy, red tape, a “required quota” that saves our protagonists.

This fucking guy. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

This fucking guy. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

Bob tries to talk Gareth down – he’s the nice one. Rick, on the other hand, eyes him with utter rage and contempt. Gareth is after the bag of guns they stashed in the woods, and as he holds a wickedly sharp knife a millimeter from Bob’s eye, Rick gives him the info he needs. It contains some AK-47s, an arsenal of other weapons, and a machete with a red handle. “That’s what I’m gonna use to kill you,” he tells Gareth – and you know what? I wouldn’t fuck with Rick at this point. The man is hardened and he’s not kidding.

And suddenly, the world explodes. Read more

Mad Men Recap: “Lady Lazarus” (Season 5, Episode 8) (5/7/12)

Can you believe we’re already two-thirds through season five? As Pete’s high school crush said a few episodes ago, “Time feels like it’s speeding up.” In last night’s “Lady Lazarus,” Mad Men‘s cast of characters was forced to visit some unappetizing truths. Pete Campbell developed an unfortunate obsession with a pretty, discontented housewife. Peggy snarked and sniped at everyone – including Don. Megan had some ground-shaking news that was a surprise to few but forces Don to reevaluate. Abundant references to death make this yet another strange trip of an episode.

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 8 Beth Dawes

Rory Gilmore! In a bouffant! Photo credit Michael Yarish/AMC.

Pete Campbell has begun to spread his metaphorical wings – he comes home on the later train, spends time talking with the other commuters, and has become almost complacent in his self-imposed misery. But when Howard Dawes (Jeff Clarke) mentions he has a “spectacular new side dish in the city,” Pete makes a mental note. “What does your wife think?” he asks Howard. “She’s happy knowing I’m providing for her!” Howard answers. (How little he knows, or wants to know.) When Pete debarks from the train by himself a few nights later, he encounters a very pretty young woman in a headscarf and bouffant. Beth Dawes, Howard’s wife, accidentally locked her keys in the car and knows Howard’s up to no good. Pete drives her home, and their mutual misery, their corresponding angst, drives them together in a sudden, disheveled, “reckless” mess. Mrs. Dawes (played with aplomb by Alexis Bledel, better known as Rory Gilmore) is preoccupied with all the sadness in the world, and compares Pete’s blue irises to the “tragic” photos of the earth from space. “This can’t happen again,” she says.

Meanwhile, Ginsberg pitches a “Hard Day’s Night” concept to Chevalier Blanc (the British Invasion is now so far under way that even the “Olds” know who the Beatles are). Since the Fab Four are quite literally impossible to get for commercials (and remained that way until Michael Jackson bought the rights to most of their material in 1984), Ginsberg spouts a list of bands that sound similar to the mop tops. Don dismisses him, running to ask Megan: “She’ll know” what band to pick, he says, which causes Stan and Ginsberg to trade an exasperated glance.

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 8 Megan Quits

“Hey! Megan’s talking to you!” Photo courtesy AMC.

Speaking of the new Mrs. Draper, she’s been sneaking around, accepting secret phone calls for “Megan Calvet,” surreptitiously sneaking out, making Peggy lie to Don for her. It says something interesting about her character that I didn’t immediately assume she was cheating on Don – after all, everyone else on this show is a cheating cheater. After Emile’s harsh words last episode, Megan is rethinking her goals. She got a callback for a role in a play, and felt she couldn’t tell Don about it. “Oh right, because he’s the easiest person in the world to talk to,” she murmurs sarcastically after Peggy rips her a new one for forcing Peggy to lie. Megan wakes Don in the middle of the night to tell him she wants to quit SCDP to return to acting – and this is a tougher blow to Don than anything else she could’ve done, though he’s putting on a calm face. Read more