Tag Archive for The Walking Dead

In Transition

Back in July, I decided to use my newly acquired professional certification to start searching for jobs elsewhere. I applied for jobs throughout Virginia, North Carolina, California, and various other places. (When I’m angry, I get shit done.) Within a few weeks of sending applications, universities throughout Virginia were asking to interview me. It was a bit of a slap in the face – to be professionally valued is unfamiliar to me. I interviewed at Virginia Commonwealth University on the way to the Outer Banks to camp with friends by myself, and within a week they offered me a position.

A month later (and one week ago yesterday), I moved away from Harrisonburg, which is where I’ve spent much of my adult life, to Richmond, Virginia. Honestly, almost everything has fallen into place perfectly. We found an apartment right away. We were able to schedule the POD knockoff so that I had a few days off work to pack, move, and unpack. A few days wasn’t enough, but you know.

On top of this, in August my partner in crime was injured (I saw bone) while we were hiking only four days after his car broke completely. So here I am in Richmond, on day four of a new job, trying (successfully, I must say…but that’s because I’m not driving much) to be a one-car family while the gent searches for a job and a new automobile.

I’m now in day four of a new job, and it’s bizarre: I feel like I know what I’m doing, and like other people KNOW I know what I’m doing. How has it taken eight years since college to get to this point? Oooohhh, right. Liberal arts major. And no, I don’t want to talk about what I’m doing. It doesn’t make for a catchy soundbite, but it pays the bills.

Needless to say, I’ve fallen behind on my writing. I feel it every day, but I’m exhausted mentally and emotionally. American Horror Story started yesterday, and The Walking Dead begins on Sunday. I’m genuinely hoping to write recaps, if not weekly then at least occasionally. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ll be dragging the dude to see Gone Girl with me. I’m stoked for a bunch of other movies this fall. Frankly, though, my musings on media have fallen by the wayside in this transition – which is a close second, in terms of upheaval, to moving out to Virginia in the back of a friend’s pickup during the recession with no job and two cats. I don’t want to lose the writing part of me, the part that takes pleasure in analysis and media, and I don’t intend to; my break may just be longer than I’d hoped.

In other news, this is the view from the park a block away from my new apartment.

From Jefferson Park, the city looks calm. You can see the building where I work in the right of the frame.

From Jefferson Park, the city looks calm. You can see the building where I work in the right of the frame.

You guys, I feel like such a grownup right now. It’s really disconcerting. A little bit sad. But mostly exciting.

The Walking Dead Recap: “Still” (Season 4, Episode 12)

In Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, we hop back to Daryl and Beth, with whom we haven’t checked since the mid-season opener. They aren’t doing so hot, it seems. They perform the simple duties of survival wordlessly, climbing silently into the trunk of an abandoned car to hide from a herd, then making their way down the road. This begs the question of how the walkers can sense humans. There was a scene early in the series where Rick and Glenn, trapped in Atlanta, covered themselves in zombie goo so they could walk among the undead, and Michonne has done the same by using her pets. But can the walkers “smell” living flesh? Do they simply respond to movement?

Daryl and Beth at the country club.

Sport coats on hangers. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

There is no dialogue for the first seven minutes of this episode. For a 43-minute piece, that’s a lot of silence. Daryl and Beth make camp, each focusing on different aspects of the process. Daryl’s arrows are becoming brittle; he shoots and misses at a squirrel, and the tree’s bark breaks the arrow in half. Beth uses the reflection of the car’s rearview mirror to start a fire, then rigs up the hubcaps to create a trip wire. She lets a ladybug crawl onto her finger, enjoying the feel and look of the tiny red creature. Meanwhile, Daryl kills a rattler and peels its skin off. Mmmm, snakemeat.

Finally, Beth uses the first words of the episode: “I need a drink.” She wants to find some booze because she’s never had any before. When Daryl gives her the ultimate cold shoulder she leaves by herself, snarling that he should enjoy his snake jerky. Daryl follows her silently, then escorts her back toward their place. “I’m not staying in this suck-ass camp!” she cries. “I’m gonna get a damn drink.” Oh, honey. You certainly are a teenager. She leads them to the overgrown Pine Vista Country Club. Inside, they find two hanging walkers (hangers?) and a bunch of dead folks on the floor. The country clubbers’ wealth is evident in the walkers’ jewelry, their prettily patterned silk shirts (now rife with decay); it’s apparent in the dusty champagne glasses and the black employees who died alongside them. Read more

The Walking Dead Recap: “Isolation” (Season 4, Episode 3)

At some point in the last few years, AMC decided both Walking Dead and Mad Men should be, oh, I dunno…less cryptic? Let’s just lay it all out there for the audience, guys. I imagine this happening about three years ago as follows: Matt Weiner sits primly as some exec tells him, “Sure, you all can have your raises, and you get to keep the same cast. But. You’ve gotta speed it all up, buddy. You’ve got to make it so the viewer doesn’t have to sit through three episodes to understand what’s happening!” In the next room, Frank Darabont, arms crossed, sits silently as a different power-suited dude tells him something similar – “We’re just going to massacre your budget and double the length of your seasons – no big!” …and then Darabont shakes his head slowly. And then Darabont had no job at AMC.

Point being, this season of The Walking Dead is lacking subtlety, and it’s beginning to wear on me. This is the point in the season at which things begin to slow down – the writers are taking it a little easy before the mid-season climax, and then they’ll throw a final punch around episode 11. The sluggishness brings the show’s flaws to the forefront. There were so many Big Important Speeches About the State of Things in Sunday’s episode that it feels like the writers are patting us on the head, smiling condescendingly.

Daryl as peacekeeper. Sort of. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

Daryl as peacekeeper. Sort of. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

In “Isolation,” the prison crew is wrestling with the knowledge that one of their own has murdered and burned two sick people – and that still didn’t stop the spread of the flu. Everybody’s at risk, and there’s not much to do about it. Picking up exactly where last week left off, Tyreese, Rick, Daryl, and Carol examine the smoldering remains of Karen and David. This scene is the first indicator that Tyreese may not be entirely sane; in his rage and grief, he attacks first Daryl (who holds off, because with Merle as a brother Daryl learned good peacekeeping), then Rick (whose own impotence and fury surfaces as he beats the hell out of Tyreese). Luckily, Hershel pops up in the next scene to tell us exactly what’s up! “Everything we’ve been working so hard to keep out, it’s found its way in,” he intones, explaining the situation for us. In a line that I could’ve written, Rick answers, “No, it’s always been there.” See, guys? Our demons are always there. Our emotions are always there. Also, this is the zombie apocalypse and you can’t just be a farmer for the rest of your long, happy life. Read more