Tag Archive for Walking Dead Recaps

The Walking Dead Recap: “Too Far Gone” (Season 4, Episode 8 )

I watched Facebook blow up with “HOLY WHOA WALKING DEAD” exclamations on Sunday night, all the while lounging around with the dude and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix instead. Frankly, The Walking Dead has disappointed me repeatedly, and at least I know what I’m getting into with Buffy and Riley (ugh, season four – and it was the episode where they can’t stop doing it, and it is so ridiculous). But I digress. When I sat down to watch The Walking Dead in my empty house last night, I was expecting some folks to bite the dust, some to make good decisions (I was giving too much credit), and some to pop back out of the woodwork (Carol, where are you when we need you?).

Well, some of that stuff happened. The only way I can describe the events of Sunday’s mid-season finale is “total shitshow.”

Rick Walking Dead

Bandaged hand to reflect the violence he inflicted upon Tyreese, untouched gun beneath to indicate the violence he doesn’t want to inflict upon anyone else. Too soft for this world. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

In the opening scenes, the Governor calmly tells his own crew of naive, kindly folk that they’ve gotta take the prison. He manipulates them by mentioning Martinez’s name (boo hiss! I liked Martinez), asserts to them that the prison people are murderers and thieves (though of course they’re “not all bad”), and tells them the prison people killed his daughter. He doesn’t, of course, mention that she was already dead at the time. As his disingenuous, infuriating speech to the trailer posse continues in voiceover, we watch him capturing Michonne and Hershel. “They’re the key,” he says, to taking the prison. Tara and Alicia are the first to say they’re down to attack the other group. Gentle Lily wants nothing to do with it, and asks if it’s really necessary to kill them, if they’re not all bad people. “Well, they’re with bad people,” says Philip/Brian/The Governor. “Am I?” Lily asks him, and suddenly we get the feeling she’s sharper than we gave her credit for. Oh yes, that is the question. When One-Eyed Bri says he loves her, she responds, “I don’t know who you are.”

Inside his trailer, Hershel and Michonne are trussed up, but not gagged. The Governor tells them his master plan, asks for their help in conquering the prison. Hershel rightfully asks how, if the Governor (who really, really doesn’t want to be called that anymore) had/has a daughter, he can kill somebody else’s kid. “Because they aren’t mine.” The Governor’s skinnier and stranger-looking than he used to be. Lanky in a slightly embellished cowboy jacket, sidling along as though his hips and legs are sore. He agrees to let Lily and Meghan stay by the river, where the walkers surely can’t get them. Surely. When he hugs Meghan goodbye, he lets her put muddy hands all over his jacket, telling her she made it better. Nothing in this world goes untarnished, he seems to be saying, and sometimes the key is getting down and dirty, sometimes the answer is to play in the metaphorical mud. Read more

The Walking Dead Recap: “Internment” (Season 4, Episode 5)

The prison is in a state of disarray, what with Daryl, Bob, Tyreese, and Michonne missing, the walkers clambering at the weakened fences, and the flu virus raging within the walls. Nonetheless, our band of misfit toys struggles to retain its humanity. Parents try to shelter children, people strive to fortify faith, and above all they’ve all got to protect each other.

All eyes are on Rick as he glances in the rearview, then back down to his bandaged hands. Our fearless leader is a little more on track since last season, but he may have just made a pretty big mistake in banishing Carol – and he’s struggling with the violence in him, as evidenced by the yellowing dressings on his knuckles.live streaming film Zootopia online

Walking Dead Glenn

Not looking so hot. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

Meanwhile at the prison (I think I write that at least twice a recap nowadays), Glenn, Sasha, and Hershel are struggling to keep the dying alive. Glenn and Sasha are quite green and sweaty themselves, but there’s nobody else to help. After a sick man begins to choke on his own blood, they intubate and start breathing artificially for him; it’s only a stopgap measure. Hershel tells Glenn they’re going to keep people alive “as long as it takes. As long as we’re willing to do it.”

Lizzie is freaking me out. Her lack of expression, the likelihood that she’s feeding rats to the walkers and thus breaking down the fences, her matter-of-fact dismissal of adult requests – it all adds up to something very strange and a little frightening in a little kid. Hershel thinks the children should never have to witness the ugliness that is putting someone down, and when he and Glenn try to sneak a flu victim away, Lizzie’s curiosity is a little too avid. When Hershel tells her to read Tom Sawyer, she says, “I won’t finish it. It gets too dark.” The adults here are trying in vain to protect the children from this world – and guys, it’s just not happening. This penchant for hiding the ugly truth is what’s keeping Lizzie curious, what’s keeping her fascinated with – and not understanding – the actuality of the apocalypse, the very real danger of the undead. Read more

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

A third of the way through season four, the writers have picked up the pace after last week’s slog. The prison was starting to get a bit stuffy, both for our cast of characters and for us faithful viewers (even if I didn’t entirely realize it). In Sunday’s episode, on offer are a hefty glimpse of Bob Stookey, some movement outside the prison walls, and a number of big revelations that were back-burnered to make room for establishing the season’s themes.

The Walking Dead Michonne

Michonne and her weaponry. Photo courtesy Gene Page/AMC.

In the opening sequence, Carol visits the sick block to see Lizzie, who doesn’t look terribly ill. When Lizzie says nobody’s died yet, she adds hopefully, “nobody’s gotten to come back yet.” As though resurrection as a zombie is a second chance. Carol has to reiterate that walkers aren’t people. “We don’t get to stay the same way as how we started,” she says softly, before coaching Lizzie about her knife and what to do if she’s in danger. When Lizzie accidentally calls Carol “Mom,” the older woman prickles. Sometimes we forget that we spent an entire season of this show searching for Carol’s real daughter, Sophia. (Okay, I might have forgot on purpose – season two was so boring.) I’m becoming more and more certain it’s Lizzie who’s feeding rats to the walkers. She thinks they’re pets, and said as much to Carl a few episodes ago. During this series of scenes, Rick bandages his hands, which are still raw from beating Tyreese. He wanders around the complex, collecting supplies and experiencing visions of Carol’s solution to the flu; he sees her murdering Karen and David.

Out in the real world, Tyreese, Daryl, Michonne, and Bob are trying to find a working car to get them back home. Tyreese, with his crazy eyes and violent demeanor, is in exactly the same place Rick was all of last season. As Willow would say, “BORED NOW.” In the books, Tyreese was a dynamic figure who tended toward violence but maintained an edgy interest – and the writers are once again tamping down the character’s motivations in order to continue a motif (they’re also doing this with Carl and the Governor, whose characters were far, far darker in the books). 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

The Walking Dead Recap: “Infected” (Season 4, Episode 2)

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead spoke quite powerfully to me, as I am currently suffering from the Sinus Infection of Doom. When I had what was basically Captain Trips in 2012, I narrowly avoided watching Contagion during my worst symptoms – thank Jesus. I’m always under the vague assumption that I might die of some stupid thing like the common cold. Sunday’s Walking Dead clarified for the audience just how fragile we are, how vulnerable to even the simplest bugs in a world without real medicine. (I, on the other hand, am dosing myself with real medicine as I type.)

Patrick zombie

Dinner! Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

Last week, Patrick died suddenly in the shower and reawakened as a walker, which rendered the whole prison open to attack from within its own walls. In the opening scenes of this week’s episode, Patrick goes about his zombie business, unfortunately silently – which leads to a rash of deaths and near-misses in the snoozing cell block. Luckily (and conveniently), none of those killed were our core group of folks.

Michonne leaves the prison to go on another Lone Wolf expedition, telling Rick and Carl she’ll bring them back the things they like – but returns in a panic when she hears a gunshot. She chastises herself for returning; it was indeed very stupid, and she’s letting her feelings get the better of her. But Michonne with feelings is better than the hardass we met last season. Unfortunately, she nearly gets herself killed coming back through the gate to help her friends; Carl and Maggie come to her rescue. In one of the season’s best scenes (Danai Gurira is truly a force to be reckoned with), Michonne outright refuses to take baby Judith from Beth after Judith spits up carrots all over Beth (babies are gross). Finally, Michonne takes the baby, at first holding her away, listening stone-faced to her imploring cries – and then she holds her close while tears spill from her eyes. Sometimes we forget that Michonne has a past, and that even she can’t turn it all off forever. She’s softening, and it scares her…but it sure is exciting for us. As Beth says (suddenly she’s full of wisdom), “When you care about people, hurt kind of comes with the package.” Read more