Talking Walking Dead – Part Four

Your weekly roundtable chat for AMC’s The Walking Dead. New to Talking Walking? Read any of the previous entries here. Joining myself and Jenn this week is Chel, one third of the Pretty Little Losers podcast.

Mark: It’s nice that Rick is still keeping a vigil with the guy we saw back in the pilot. While we still haven’t heard from him again – and he may be dead, given how he was shooting at zombies and drawing attention to himself – it’s still nice of Rick. But I’m thinking, between the calls and notes Rick leaves, isn’t it a bad idea to advertise where you are? They already had that one skirmish, who knows if there are other people out there who actually are a gang with no qualms about looting and such?

Jenn: I thought the same thing, to be honest, when Rick left a map pinned to the car. Do you really want just anyone to stumble across that and find your whereabouts? I mean leave it in the glove compartment for your buddy to find, sure, but taping it to the driver’s seat door of a bright red maseratti convertible with “MAP: FIND US” written in big letters isn’t the best plan Rick’s had. Although I’m hard pressed to think of any good plans of his so far…Chel: I am agreed about leaving the map for sure. It is a hard place to be put in though. What if the guy didn’t hear the transmission and comes into the town. I see Rick as the ” humanity is awesome, everybody deserves a second chance and everybody is morally good” guy so I think the last thing on his mind at the time was the map getting into the wrong hands.

Mark: Anyway, the show kicks off back at the home fort with the one girl – Andrea – holding her dead sister (why isn’t she a zombie already? I thought they already established it takes like an hour back in the pilot, with the guy’s wife…) and generally freaking everybody out. I know everytime I see the two, I expect the dead girl’s eyes to flash open and attack her sis… but instead it’s like she slowly wakes up and it’s all drawn out and she shoots her sister in the face (which, frankly, wasn’t a big shocker, especially since she flashed her piece around before).

Chel: From the moment Andrea was crying over her sister, I was waiting for her to strike up and bite. I think that scene was drawn out a little bit too much for dramatic effect of course. I was waiting for her to kill her sister in the first five minutes. I love the old man though.

Mark: What I thought was interesting was how the older guy kind of talks her down a little. I’ve kind of wondered how he seemed to get in charge and it’s little things like that which help explain why everybody kind of looks to him. I really wish they’d use him more – he’s a lot more interesting then, say, Shane seems to be.

And see, the stick goes through the hole and..... God, I miss internet porn

Jenn: He is a pretty cool character, I was always a fan of his in the comics. He’s like a combination of the wise older guy full of advice and the kind of kooky older guy, like if John Locke and Doc Brown had some kind of love child who dolled out advice while wearing Hawaiin print tshirts unironically. Anyway, the show is obviously sacrificing development of the minor characters in favour of the love triangle and moving the plot forward. I can’t say that it’s what I would have wanted, but I get why they do it. Unfortunately all the tension and story arc they’re building between Shane and Rick is leading me to believe they won’t be killing him off anytime soon – boo!

Mark: Speaking of Shane, he’s back from the Pete Campbell Zone (Interesting if flawed) and into the Heel Zone. He’s basicallt fighting Rick every way he can, even thought Rick is right (fancy that!), just because he’s got a beef with him. It’s a power struggle and it kind of reaches a head when Shane points his piece at Rick – I was actually kind of hoping he’d shoot, just to show he actually has some guts and isn’t so impotent; he’s one of those people who can’t deal with problems and takes them out on weaker people. No wonder he became a cop.

Nobody seems to be buying his bullshit excuse when he was caught pointing his gun at Rick, either. If this were Mad Men, this would be Pete trying to work around Don to get Don fired – and Bert Cooper catches him making a phone call or something, and Pete tries to play it off. It’d lead to a good scene between Bert and Don and some dramatic tension. Here, I’m not so sure. I think it’s entirely possible it may never get brought up again.

Jenn: I think the scene with Shane pointing the gun at Rick could have been done much better. It’s like the actor couldn’t decide between calculated or unhinged and just ended making bugging his eyes out at the camera. It distracted me and I didn’t really feel the tension mounting the way it should have. In any other show this would have been a pivotal moment, but I honestly forgot about it until you brought it up again.

Chel: I agree that the scene could have been played up much better…but I did enjoy the retarded constipated acting that was Shane trying to decide whether or not to shoot Rick. And the older guy seeing it all and just standing there awkwardly… it was hilariously bad.

Mark:  Ever hear of the trolley problem? In a very condensed way, it’s an experiment in morality – read about it here – and I kept thinking about it during the scenes with a bit Jim. He’s been bitten (looks nasty, by the way) and he’s going to die and become a zombie, so why not outright shoot him, as Daryl suggested? Well, because it’s wrong to outright murder somebody, even if the person could pose a threat down the line. I know I wouldn’t have shot him.

But I have a hard time putting RIck’s sense of morality w/r/t Jim in line with that or Merle – he did, after all, leave him locked up on the rooftop. Sure, he went back… but that was after a while. How do you all feel – and would you have shot Jim?

Jenn: This is about the 32nd time I’m going to reference this movie during our Talking Walking Dead, but have you seen 28 Days Later? (Ed. note from Mark: no) There’s a scene near the beginning where the main girl, Serena, sees her friend and co-survivor bleeding. He kills him without hesitation. She didn’t know for sure if he was bit (it’s obviously implied he was) but she wasn’t going to take the chance. That’d be me. I’ve made it this far in the zombie apocalypse, I’m not dying over sentimentality! I’d shoot Jim, no doubt.

So, girl, what you wearing? Mhmm that's nice

Chel: I am with Jenn here. Morally, they’re not themselves anymore and they’re in pain and suffering and once they turn, do them a favour and blow their brains out. I would expect nothing else from my friends.

Jenn: What do we all think about the writing staff being given the axe?
Mark: I’m not entirely surprised that the writing staff got canned. I’m having a teeny problem with the plot holes. Example: when they’re leaving the base and Rick leaves a note on the red car – isn’t the car irreparably scavenged for spare parts? And when they have to stop to fox the RV, it’s because there’s a serious problem with a hose. Yet we never see anybody leave to go get a part or install it – and the RV is running fine when they drive off.
It’s not the first time I’ve had problems with the plot. From the back door on the roof – which had zombies in it, but none that made their way onto the roof? – to the magic hose, this is a show succeeding against it’s holes (mostly because of action and Splatter-Cam and shootin’). I really hope it picks up for season two.

Jenn: I don’t blame them for wanting to shakes things up, I found this season to be pretty lackluster (aforementioned plotholes, pacing problems, etc) but I don’t know if I love the idea of freelancers for all next season. A lot of British shows use that technique (Doctor Who for example) but I’m not sure if it’s going to lend itself well to this format. I hope they manage to pull of a better consistency and a stronger season. I’ve been pretty let down by the show so far.

Chel: I think it’s ridiculous they canned the writing staff, although I’m not entirely puzzled as to why. I’ve been laughing and hating A LOT of the plot of this since the second episode. Maybe a change is what the show needs. I am puzzled at how freelancers will work. Freelancers work in shows like Doctor Who because the Doctor is in a different country, time, planet, etc., every episode. Something like The Walking Dead, which is built on characters and continuous plot, could be confusing if a new freelancer had their mood and image to project to the story every week. Still, it might be worth a shot.

"Rick.... Just leave me here and hope the audience is so caught up in the moment they forget about the gaping plot holes for a second."

Mark: Finally, when they get to the CDC , it’s a complete disaster – dead bodies everywhere (but few zombies). Inside, deep in the catacombs of the building, there’s a lone man working on science stuff (which gets destroyed) and getting drunk in what appears to be the room from Dr. Strangelove. He brings up a whole bunch of questions – why is he alone? What is he working on? Who are those video logs for? Why does somebody who’s been underground for so long still have a healthy skin color? – which is actually a nice twist for the show. Total shades of Lost here, when the coolest guy on the show (Desmond) first showed up. I’m certainly curious to see where it goes from here.

Jenn: I think the road trip to the CDC was a bad idea. I know the show has deviated a lot from the comics, but this was the biggest change. Instead of struggling to survive with both the zombies and each other, we fast forward right towards trying to find a cure and getting involved with the army. That’s a third-act kind of story line, not episode six! I am not too sure how they’re going to be able to play the story from here out, but we will see.

I got major Lost vibes as well. Rick pounding on the door before the light went on was very John Locke pounding on the door to the hatch in season one. And the preview for next week, with the injections and talk of the “sickness” and the lone survivor trapped inside the bunker? Might as well have had Henry Ian Cusick play the part.

Now I know I’ve been a negative Nancy about this show but I need to just have one final rant about this episode: My absolute pet peeve in all media is when a movie/show plays a score from a different movie/show. Playing a score is different than playing a song. Stuck in the Middle With You might be famous for Resevoir Dogs, but that doesn’t mean it belongs to Tarantino. A score, however, is composed specifically for a movie, and does belong to that movie. A recent example is Kick Ass, which featured a pretty badass scene completely ruined by the fact that they played In A Heartbeat by John Murphy, which is a part of the score to 28 Days Later (mention number 33). It took me right out of the scene knowing they just jacked someone elses music because they couldn’t afford their own composer.

This week on the Walking Dead? Same thing. Their roadtrip montage was “heightened” by the song Adiagio in D Minor (Sunshine) from the movie (you guessed it) Sunshine. It’s just distracting! I know that song (also by composer John Murphy oddly enough) and it belongs to a montage of astronauts burning alive in the sun in a badass Danny Boyle movie. Just shell out the extra bucks and get an original fucking score, or don’t play any music at all. Ripping off something that people worked hard on to create the perfect atmosphere in a completely different project is just cheap and lazy.

Chel: I agree. My pet peeve was Lux Aeterna was Requiem for a Dream, an amazing orchestration that amplified an amazing movie. Then it turned into Requiem for a Tower when Lord of the Rings used it. Lord of the Rings definetely had enough money to do a new song for that section. I see where your anger comes from, but I do not think AMC could afford it’s own soundtrack. It is AMC- they probably survive off of a shoe string anyways and now they have a big cast of zombie extras to pay; no wonder why some of the graphics are bad. There’s not even enough money for fake blood around the hand that was cut off that one episode. Cause you know, when you cut off your hand, it’s not like you bleed at all! It’s not as if you loose a lot of blood getting down the magical zombieless staircase to the oven where you caulterize it. There are a lot of issues with this show.

Jenn: Here’s a link to an article with the composer for the Walking Dead. They have a composer. There is a man hired to do nothing but create original music for this show. They still just heard an epic song in an epic movie and thought “Oh hey, that’ll set the atmosphere great! Just play that.” Not cool, amc, not cool.

All pics via theloveumake. All rights reserved.

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