Talking Walking Dead Part Five

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: This is a very Shane-centric episode and kind of presents two sides to Shane… which may really be one, big side.

First, we see him visiting Rick in the hospital (A callback to the pilot?) right when things have gotten crazy: people are being slaughtered in the hallways – I would not hesitate to call it murder, personally – by masked soldiers, zombies are crawling in and Shane is trying to get Rick out. He can’t and Rick doesn’t wake up when the plus is pulled, and barricades the door shut. I’m actually going to defend Shane here. Let’s break it down:

  • Shane came to save Rick, when he could have easily dicked off and ran away. He’s at loggerheads most of the time, but I get the impression he’s loyal to Rick, in that they’re both cops (or at the least, he knows Rick is the kind of person who should be in command). He didn’t have to come, even at the request of Lori; if he really wanted her, I feel like he could have left Rick to the wolves, drove around in a big circle and told her Rick was dead – without ever putting himself in danger.
  • Shane tried to take him out, but couldn’t (I certainly couldn’t drag a full grown man out to safety, past soliders and zombies). There was a big explosion and solders and Shane even waited around, even checked for a heartbeat… thing is, wouldn’t your hearing be all screwy after a loud bang? Maybe he missed it? I dunno and I don’t want to make excuses. But he didn’t flee when things looked bad!
  • And when he did, he made sure Rick was in good shape – he locked the door and barricaded it shut. Again, he didn’t have to do either – he could have just ran.

I don’t think this Rick is a bad guy – obviously he feels something for Rick.

No matter how Andrea tries, she will never feel clean again after watching people flip the fuck out over Uggs on Oprah

Heather: I am glad that they gave us a “flashback” to this decision Shane had to make. Rick is, obviously, someone he cares deeply for, but he also thought that it was a lost cause. He did what he could to ensure Rick’s safety but, due to the hectic moment and what was going on in the background, he made a call that (probably) most people would make. What are the odds of Rick surviving? Close to nothing. And if he does survive, what are the odds of Rick finding them? Close to nothing (but he did, because he’s bad ass like that).

Jenn: Five paragraphs about Shane? God damn, my feelings for the man can be summed up in five words – WHY AREN’T YOU DEAD YET?

Chel: My thoughts exactly on Shane… just die already.

Jenn: Seriously, the flashback was a nice little look back at how Shane wasn’t always so conniving and evil. He was once a good friend to Rick and not just the unhinged psycho he is now, but, in my opinion, it makes the two extremes a little harder to swallow. Have we seen Shane slowly cracking? I feel like he just went to full-on crazy. Maybe it’s the actor, he kind of has that look about him. it’s like how Stephen King didn’t want Jack Nicholson in The Shining because he has such a crazy face already, no one buys him as the loving family man at the beginning.

Chel: I never though that Shane was a crazy bad guy from the beginning…I knew he probably did what he could to save Rick. But to be honest, as a character I didn’t really care. Usually I like the pot being stirred by the psycho character but I really just think he should have been shot dead episodes ago.

Mark: This Shane is gone when we jump back from the flashback. He’s moody, insecure and binging on drink. He’s creepy and angry and he all but assaults Lori. He’s in a downward spiral, drinking in the shower. What happened to him? Even at the campsite early in the season, he didn’t seem this crestfallen. Could it be rejection from Lori and being wrong on two things – going into the city and to the CDC – that’s broken him?

Heather: Shane is a scary dude. He’s going to snap (again, and again, and again – until he’s put out of his misery). I think it’s more than just the rejection from Lori that’s truly getting to him. The rejection is obviously the icing on the cake, but at the same time – he’s lost everything he knows, and he has nothing to live for. Taking what you want, on the other hand, is a big no in everyone’s book. Shane sucks. He reminds me of one of those psycho ex-boyfriends every one of us girls has at least one of in our lifetime.

Mark: Is he the creepiest dude since Joan Halloway’s husband?

"Is there a heartbeat? I don't think so. Sure, there's gunshots and explosions and the end of the world happening, so maybe I'm not in the best state to judge. But he's probably dead. Probably."

Heather: He’s definitely just as creepy as Joan Halloway’s husband in Mad Men. Good call.

Jenn: That goes for Joan’s husband, too. Can Shane die in Vietnam with him?

Mark: They finally addressed the science behind, well, everything. From the CDC running on fossil fuels to how a person becomes undead to why the planet is messed up, not a thing was left unexplained. And I found it kind of hallow. I liked it better when there was some mystery to it all and the idea a virus can kill you and bring you back is too silly for me to take completely seriously. Oh and France held out. I’m sure that is info that will be referenced for seasons to come.

Heather: I don’t think the presentation of how the virus works really explains everything about the virus. It’s transmitted through saliva and/or blood, and the corpse’s brain eventually has some activity starting up due to the virus after a certain amount of time. We’re told this is happening everywhere. This sucks, but at the same time, it doesn’t explain much. If I were any of these characters, I’d still feel cheated out of information. That scene didn’t answer all of my questions. But, this is why we’ll be watching the next season. To find out more, if at all there is any information to be found.

Jenn: I agree, I thought the explanation was kind of lackluster. They go through all the trouble of going to the CDC and he busts out his fancy equipment to show video footage…. of the most obvious and self-explanatory facets of a zombie apocalypse? Oh, you die and come back to life? Cool, we hadn’t noticed that bit yet. Thanks scientist!

Chel: I was told the novel’s explanation was much better with no matter what happens, when you die you always turn into a zombie and no CDC bullshit. That explanation would have been so much better but it made me come to realization….how is the adaptation tv show cast in ‘ giving up hope- all is lost’ mode but the same characters in the novel where no matter what you do you will be a zombie mode-  are strangely strong and always looking for survival. I choose the novel in this case.

"Cloossssing time, you don't have to go home but... what, you don't like Semisonic? Go fuck yourself, then, Rick."

Mark: Okay, so the CDC is going to explode and Andrea is going to die. She’s been mopey all episode, crying in the shower. She’s talked out of dying, which was nice, but I was kind of hoping the crew would take this chance to trim the cast down… and they took out a girl who I don’t remember ever having more the one or two lines. This was a missed opportunity, no?

Jenn:  I was really worried they were going to kill off Andrea and Dale! I mean, go ahead and kill off all the pointless characters you invented, like the random black chick and the one armed racist, but keep the actual characters from the comics! I want them to have the chance to become as cool as their literary counterparts.

Chel: I kind of hoped they would trim the cast down but I understand if it is a main character…again…Shane could have stayed!

Mark: Oh, and is Andrea infected? There was blood tests, but I don’t remember results ever being announced (and wasn’t the lab blown up anyway?)
Heather: No, Andrea isn’t infected. I think that was just a ploy in the trailer of the episode to get us thinking she might be. I’m angry at Andrea. Her suicide act almost got Dale killed. This would have upset me, immensely. Alas, this isn’t the case and I am happy with that outcome. Andrea will become more bad ass as the series progresses, I’m sure.
Mark: Deus ex grenadina. Need I say more? Funny how things have a way of working out. And how the cars had enough gas to drive away – I thought there was only enough to get to either the base or the CDC. And for something that made a hell of a boom, why aren’t more zombies coming to the sound? Maybe the explosion messed their hearing up too.
Heather: Yeah, there were a lot of convenient things happening there. So far, I’m disappointed with the series. I hope they step up their game in the next.
Jenn: I was pretty much in disbelief by the grenade. I mean this is the freaking CDC where they keep all kinds of dangerous diseases and biological weapons, nameless scientist even said the lockdown was super high-tech and could withstand rocket launchers…. but apparently that’s only the inner doors, the main entrance is actually just all glass that can withstand bullets, banging with your fists and even chairs but grenades will shatter it into oblivion. Come on, this is the ultra paranoid US government we’re talking about, there’s no way anyone would get in or out of that building during a lockdown.
Chel: I agree with the convenience….notice on their way in when you know they drove in loudly, that it took forever for the zombies to realize they were there and then suddenly on their way out everything worked perfectly again. ugh it drives me crazy. So dissappointed…I don’t know if season two will make up for it.
Jenn: Here’s to season two?
All screencaps via http://twdcaps.tumblr.com/ where they have better caps than anybody else on Tumblr!

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