26
Nov
10

Talking Walking Dead – Part Three

We’re four episodes into AMC’s The Walking Dead now. If you’re just joining our chat for the first time, read the previous installments (and meet the panelists) here.

Mark: Things are a-gettin’ ominous up on the mountain. There’s some heavy foreshadowing (something I’m noticing this show likes to do now and then) in the boat over fishing – “People change..” and all that – and Jim has completely flipped his shit, digging a bunch of graves out in the sun. And frankly, I’m kind of surprised more people haven’t completely lost it, what with the world coming to an end.

Chel: I have to say that I love Jim in this episode. He might be my new favorite character. But you know… lets just tie him up to the tree because his digging is scaring the kids! There’s a zombie apocalypse and most of their family is already dead but no, a guy minding his own business digging some holes (soon to be graves because he had a dream some bitches would die) is something they must stop immediately. But Jim at the end, going crazy with his bat was amazing. A+ for Jim.

Heather: I didn’t agree with Shane and the rest of the group tying Jim up to the tree in order to learn his “lesson”, but I do understand why some people were concerned. The foreshadowing was pretty obvious, digging graves, and I found it kind of interesting how they brought about Jim’s story. In the comic book, he calmly talks about this and he usually is a very quiet guy (very much like in the show) but he most definitely didn’t lose his mind (not that I remember, at least). Realistically, you’d think more people would be doing strange things like what Jim was up to, as the situation they’re in is like no other. Loss does funny things to you. It was no Zombie Apocalypse when my mother died, but my personality definitely took a wonky turn after I lost her before I learned how to cope with it. I have also heard that some people didn’t enjoy the “boat introduction” in the show. I understood it. Quite well. It was drawn out a little longer than it could have been, but it made sense.

Jenn: I agree that they jumped to some conclusions with the Jim thing. Dude’s just digging, do we really need to tie him to a tree? I can accept that it’s weird behaviour, and that it might be unsettling to some people. but he was totally minding his own business and not harming anyone. The end of the world just happened, if the band of survivors can’t handle a guy digging some holes in a hill then they are definitely NOT prepared for what’s to come. Quietly digging is like, the best way to lose your mind ever.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BRISTOL PALIN FINISHED THIRRRRDDDD

Mark: Meanwhile, up on the roof, Merle’s brother is still cool as hell, there’s a back way off the roof (yet no zombies managed to figure it out?) and Merle used cooking utensils to cauterize his wound, which sounds badass in theory but it probably extremely painful and just asking for an infection in real life.

Chel: I freaked out when the other entrance was there, just waiting for Merle to pop down to a kitchen and look after his wound. How did the zombies not attack this when they were breathing in on him through the door? I call slight bullshit on this one. I have to say as a side note, I think the risk for an infection while cauterizing a wound is very slim as the fire would just burn any chance of infection anyways. I was actually happy that the guy had the smarts to pull it off.

Heather: I’m positive the zombies did try to follow Merle. That would explain why they ran into the mutilated zombie corpses on the ground and the one girl zombie still alive and ready to bite down on the next thing that walked through the door. Merle is apparently just some total bad ass that lives through anything. Like his brother said, “The only thing that can kill Merle is Merle.”

Jenn: The secret back door just slightly to the left of the camera that is unlocked and zombie-free just seemed a little too convenient for my liking.

Mark: Then the plan to get the guns left on the sidewalk has messed up, with Glenn getting taken hostage by a group of gangsters – another stereotype – and Rick has to use every ounce of his police training to keep things from going completely berserk. Which gets me to thinking: Rick has a real talent for defusing situations. Is there anything he can’t handle? Oh, and I laughed a few times, which was a first for the show. Merle’s brother showing the kid the hand and acting all pretend-crazy? Hell yeah.

Heather: I also thought throwing the hand at the kid was hilarious and a great tactic to make him talk. It worked. At the time, they all thought their lives were in danger. The kid knew, on the other hand, what was really going on behind their gang’s walls. Obviously, in order to get the weapons, he was supposed to maintain this bad ass attitude.

Chel: Merle’s brother with the hand was just awkward all around. I don’t really know why he wanted to keep it…and if I was Glenn I would have let him carry the backpack from that moment on. Also, AMC can punch it up with the effects a little bit more. One would think cutting off your hand would produce a little bit more blood.

Heather: With Merle’s brother keeping the hand – strange, sure. Understandable, too. I completely understand why he wanted to keep it. It’s all that was left of his brother that he had immediate access to. I probably would have kept it, too. Hell, I still have some of my mother’s ashes. Call it strange or morbid, but like I said, you do strange things when you lose someone. As for “more blood”, they mentioned in the show he must have used a tourniquet (the belt that was on the stove next to where Merle cauterized his own stub) which would mean far less blood than usual.

"I thought we had an agreement. Decaf. This is French Roast."

Mark: About the gang: First off, they knew about the guns. I’m wondering for how long? Remember when Glenn was watching Rick in the pilot – were they around too? It’s only been a couple days in show time, hasn’t it? And for that matter, how come they’re not afraid of making noise? The kid whose name escapes me (the one with the pot leaf tat) was yelling, there was a car driving around and violence… and only a few dead showed up. Nothing like the mass that was around in the pilot(or even later, at the department store). Where are all the dead?

Jenn: I did find the city oddly deserted. I mean the gang was just driving around town, problem free? In their car? Rick’s TANK got swarmed, I can’t believe their car held up. I guess they did catch a break with Glenn’s car alarm moving some of the zombies around, but it still seemed strangely barren compared to the overrun city we’d seen earlier. Haven’t a only a few days passed?

Heather: Back to where Glenn took the alarm sounding car and drove it away from the group, leading the walking dead away from the area. That’s why I think there was a little less going on in the area. The kid started making noise because he was scared and he was a moron. I wanted to punch him out myself. I don’t think it was a convenient dead shortage, though. I think it leads back to when Glenn stole the car.

Jenn: If Glenn’s car is was drove the swarms away, where did they go? They haven’t made it to the camp (well, most of them) and they didn’t encounter many on the trips to and from Atlanta either, so…

Chel: I was thinking that too but if they are making a lot of noise outside the city than maybe they were following that which makes the swarm at the end a little too small for a city swarm. The show probably made this a convenient dead shortage for things to go down.

Mark: Annnd the show takes a crazy left turn when it turns out the gang is protecting a group of old people out of the niceness of their heart (something that never stopped them from being a gang in the first place?). It was nice that Rick shared the guns with them… but I’m not really sure what to say about this. It was a nice twist, I suppose, but it’s maybe a little too much.

Not pictured: Darryl eagerly receiving a tray of cookies

Chel: This whole mexican gang thing was too much. I was just laughing the entire time thinking, ” so when did the writers think this subplot was necessary in telling the comic’s story?”

Heather: It wasn’t really a gang to begin with. At least, I don’t think so. The “leader” was just a janitor at the old folk’s home. He didn’t want to leave them for dead. In order to survive, him and his friends or family or wherever these people came from decided to come together to protect the area. People will do anything to survive when the world is coming to an end. They wanted the guns to help further the protection of the people within their walls. Makes sense to me.

Jenn: I was not feeling the “gang” subplot the whole episode, but the second the old lady showed up I just gave up. Too ridiculous. I cannot accept that this was written with the intention of being anything but a joke. Some stereotypical wannabe gangsters show up out of nowhere to steal guns, kidnap Glenn in the meantime, threaten to kill everyone in Rick’s crew, get into a good old fashioned standoff, but then it turns out their not a gang, just an old folks home? And they need the guns to protect the old people? And they thought Rick’s crew was hostile so that’s why they reacted the way they did? YOU KIDNAPPED GLENN. THAT OFFERED NOTHING TO YOUR CAUSE. They’re lucky Rick’s the way he is, because if he wasn’t so level-headed there might have been actual bloodshed, over a PRETEND GANG. But then Rick gives them some guns anyway? I get they need to protect their old people, and Rick’s just such a good guy, but I can’t get over it. They kidnapped Glenn as part of a charade! What?

Mark: And of course crazy ol one handed Merle stole the truck. Hope it’s not a stick shift.

Heather: I laughed.

Mark: Meanwhile, back at the camp, the gang is celebrating another day of livin’ and there’s beer (how did that get there?) and a group of zombies comes at ’em. They kind of fend them off, although that wife-beater asshole dies, as does one of the sisters. And Rick, Glenn and everybody all show up just in time to save everybody’s bacon. It sure is a good thing they kept some guns, eh?

Chel: The swarm at the end was the only thing I was down for. I don’t understand how Rick and the gang did not just hijak another car though. Why the fuck did they run? And how did they not end up passing by a billion zombies on the way? When the sister dies though..I was expecting her the entire time to instantly turn into a zombie and bite her sister. I am just a mean person here that wants a lot of the cast polished off?

Heather: Rick and his city group wandered back to where the truck was, which seemed like a pretty far walk to me, and I wouldn’t want to walk all the way back to hijack a car and put myself in a situation where I could be killed faster than it would take to walk back to camp. The one thing I don’t understand is how that amount of zombies got to the camp that fast, or where they came from. At the same time, I don’t think it’s something we’re supposed to understand. We still don’t know how they function or what attracts them. Hell, they might be able to smell all of their B.O. from miles away. As for Amy dying, it was in the comic book. I was waiting for it. Her death was just as senseless and stupid as it was in the comic book.

Jenn: I did enjoy the end of the episode when the zombies showed up. It felt like finally, FINALLY, shit was getting real. The senseless death of Amy, the badassery of Jim exacting some revenge on the zombies, and the sense that the characters are not safe. There’s been a lot of making a life there in that random patch outside the city and it’s definitely not the best place to be, especially since Atlanta is still so overrun.

Mark: Now I’m thinking this isn’t an isolated thing. There’s been dead around there – last week, eating deer, for instance – and with all the commotion going on around camp, with people bringing water, driving back and forth, I can’t say I’m surprised they’re attracting attention. Which leads me to my first big question: Will the gang have to move off the mountain? Where can they go? And how can they get there without attracting more attention?

Chel: I don’t know where they go later in the comic, but my guess would be there.

Heather: I know where they’re going, and it’s going to be hectic and awesome. I’m hoping they save that for next season, though. Maybe give us a little taste of it and leave us hanging. Yes, they will have to leave. They are not safe where they are. They’re not safe anywhere.

Jenn: I’m also excited for when the team picks up and moves location, but I definitely think they’ll be leaving it for next season. We’re still pretty early in the comic-timeline, I think they’re going to be spreading plots out a bit (gotta make more room for Mexican gang standoffs of course).

Mark: Also: where’s Merle? And why does my gut tell me we haven’t seen the last of the gangsters?

Chel: I don’t know about the gangsters but I want the father and son from the first episode to come back soon. They said they were going to meet him up in the city…and so far nothing has happened. If they move again, going to the city will not be easy for them so I am guessing these characters won’t show up until next season.

Heather: I hope they leave the gangster story alone from now on. As for the father and son in the beginning, I have a feeling we won’t be seeing them either. Not for a while.

Mark: On the whole, I thought this was the best episode of the season. It got frantic at the end – why isn’t there more of this? – and I enjoyed the first half, too.

Heather: Haha, and I feel differently about this episode. It’s not my favourite. It was good, don’t get me wrong, really good and well written, in my opinion. But, it wasn’t the best. I wasn’t all that impressed by it. It felt like a filler episode that wasn’t exactly needed for a season of only 6 episodes. Can’t wait for next Sunday!

Chel: I was laughing through the first half and excited by some deaths in the second half. When it comes to me, they are going in the right direction finally.

Jenn: I feel like this was the most disjointed episode. The opening with Amy and Andrea was pretty good – finally showing some character development for people who aren’t Rick, as well as exploring the feelings of grief and helplessness of the whole situation. Then we meandered back to camp where Jim is tied to a tree and everyone overreacts to some digging, about the same time that Rick gets into a stand off with a made up gang full of janitors in an old folks home. Not so good. But then the zombies come at the end and eat some flesh and we end on a high note. I hope the writing gets more consistent as the show goes on from here, and into its next season.

Ed. Note: All pictures taken from theloveumake’s gallery on Picasa. All rights reserved to their respective owners.

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