Super Zombie-Puppy Bowl!

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Which Bowl Is For You?

For as long as…well for a very, very long time there has been the Super Bowl. This held little interest for me other than the commercials, which now you can see on You Tube all together the next day without all that annoying football in between. So how do I spend that one extra-special Sunday? Well a few years ago I stumbled upon something intriguing onpb 2 the Animal Planet network. It was basically a bunch of adorable little puppies running around, chasing each other, playing with toys, and in general being so damn cute you’re instantly turned into a window-licker.They called this enthralling television event

The Puppy Bowl.pb fielf

Since then it has more than exceeded the non-existent expectations of the network execs and grown to pb pepunexpectedly large proportions. The entertainment has been greatly expanded to include other animals as guest performers in their kitten half-time show, a pep squad pig, and something that involves penguins. I’m sure there’s some televised sports related position as the premise for why the darling lil aquatic birds are waddling pb HTaround on fake grass but honestly, who cares? So. Effing. Cute.

I know what you’re thinking: Dianthrax watching puppies?? A living WMD making “aww” sounds over kittens?? You must bPuppy Bowl X Day Onee putting me on!

But I kid you not, I happen to have a big soft spot for animals…and babies. So you can understand why a showcase of baby animals running amok is basically my Kryiptonite. Horror films filled with throat-cutting and limb-chopping won’t faze me. Walkers biting the faces off screaming victims? Pffft! I watch that during breakfast. But if the dog dies at the end don’t expect to find that movie on my personal top 10 list. This weakness for sweetness is also why standing in stark contrast to my many action figures, extensive vampire collectibles, skeleton bedspread, and miniature guillotine there’s also a 2014 kittenPB-kitten calendar. My mom gets me one for Christmas every year and I’m not ashamed to admit that I think it’s the cutest thing ever and I love it. So there.

Combine my love of baby animals with my utter apathy towards most professional sports and you’ll know what I’ll be watching.

But wait! This year something has changed! This year AMC has thrown my whole system out of whack by creating The Zombie Bowl:

human v walkera Walking Dead marathon featuring all of the best walker vs. human moments of seasons 1 and 2!

the.walking.dead.s02e07.hdtv.xvid-fqm-1481These are a serious collection of The Walking Dead (Season 2)showdowns with some truly memorable monsters; not to mention the walkers. There twd-s02e08-_018were The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 10-60staggering hoards, bloated body shredding, an assortment of sharp objects to the face, and everyone (other than Carol) significantly upping their position on the badass scale. But there were also some loses-including a few of said badasses themselves- but who are the true victors?

Obviously we are. Duh.

The Walking Dead (Season 2)Plus the network knows how starved we fans are for any ugly-skank-e1322401575215info on the second half of season 4 so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re aren’t some tasty teaser tidbits during the commercial breaks amidst the non-game.

With this new option weighing heavily on the uber-fan portion of my heart and soul, what’s a complex girl with diverse tastes like me to do? Do I go with puppies or zombies?

That’s when it hit me. I’m proud to announce that I’ve come up with the perfect solution to implement next year that is sure to please both Puppy Bowl and Zombie Bowl fans alike.

I zp4call it

The Super Zombie-Puppy Bowl!!

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This new entertainment sensation features the un-dead versions of those lovable little pups fighting over a football stuffed with human flesh, all inside a Woodbury style torch-lit concrete arena. Bets can be placed zp2and fantasy teams assembled, though I think the kitten zp3half-time show will need to be removed or it’ll end up being the kitten ripped-in-half-time show with the refs removing the scraps off of the “field.” We could keep the pig pep squad though. We’ll just see if Rick could loan us some….oh yeah. Nevermind.

So tweet about it with #SuperZombiePuppyBowl & talk it over with other fans. I’d love to see some of your “zombified” versions of kitties, puppies, and pets of all kinds too, (God knows they’ll be better than mine) so post links in the comments section.zp5

Let’s spread the word and make this happen!

Super Zombie-Puppy Bowl 2015!

-Dianthrax

The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale Episode IV: No Hope

collected group shot2Review of AMC’s The Walking Dead  Season 4 Episode 8: The Mid-season Finale

**As always my reviews contain adult content, language, sexuality, fantasies of violence, and all kinds of other fun/naughty stuff. The images may be disturbing as well as my sense of humor. Reader discretion is advised. There will also be spoilers so if you decide to read a review about an episode of TV that you haven’t watched yet expect to be even more outraged than usual. Also, you’re dumb.**

Yes my lovely readers I have made my triumphant return to blogging and writing and the world of the living! Like a bad case of Herpes I just keep coming back to inflame, annoy, and make my presence impossible to ignore. I know you’ve missed me; please stop crying. Or maybe you’re just upset that there won’t be a new episode of Walking Dead until February? Honestly, how very much does that suck? The only show that’s actually worse is Game of Thrones and they have a cast of 50 billion and film in like, 12 countries plus outer space! Come on AMC- get your shit together!

Now I know I’ve been gone a while and should have a whole lot of catching up to do…but I’m not gunna. If I tried this article would become a “companion guide” that never gets finished so instead I’m just jumping in. If you’re reasonably intelligent and you’ve kept up with the show you’ll be just fine.

So where to start, where to start…

Ok, how’s this: Judith isn’t dead, Carol is coming back, and one of the children is the psycho responsible for butterflying that kitty Tyrese found.

Do I know all of this for sure because I have a secret inside source that hacked the network Exec’s email accounts and read them all with my jaw on the floor yelling “Oh my God!!” to my laptop screen, frightening all the other customers at Starbucks?

 No- I don’t go to Starbucks.

But I sound pretty sure don’t I? These are just my personal theories combined with wishful thinking because I would rather see Daryl hook up with almost anyone other than Carol. I know that I’m in the minority here but the idea makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Beth, Michonne, Sasha; anyone else is an improvement. Daryl luvs Ty

Actually I think it would be super-awesome if Daryl turned out to be gay. I mean, he’s always gotten along better with Glenn and Rick than any of the women, and think of all the stereotypes it would destroy to have the show’s red-neck superman playing for the other team! Plus all of the homophobes watching the show & buying crossbows on eBay would never recover. Dixon Vixens would be hurling themselves from rooftops left and right! It would be hilarious!

To be fair I don’t dislike Carol just because I think her little sexual innuendos with Daryl are creepy and gross; I have never liked her. Back at camp in season 1 while everyone else was looking for food or keeping watch, Carol was ironing clothes and nicking Rick’s grenade. Who even brings an iron or ironing board with them when fleeing during the end of the world?? All Carol ever did was cry and whine and blame everyone else for all of her problems while expecting them to take care of her and her kid. Remember in season 2 when she couldn’t protect or keep track of Sophia so she blamed Rick for not doing it for her? Did she even once go out and look for the kid after the 2nd day? You know, the day she went into that church and admitted she was aware that her sleazy husband was molesting her daughter yet did nothing about it? Yeah. Then when the herd came through Hershel’s farm and she waited around for Daryl to rescue her, she decided to go back on every positive/affirming thing she told him about himself in order to manipulate him into running off from Rick & the others. I mean, it was three fucking seasons before Carol even killed a walker!

Many people think that her transformation over seasons 3 and 4 has been impressive and admirable. I’m sorry but going from a useless bag of bones to a psychotic, murderous bag of bones is NOT an improvement. All the things she said to Rick when trying to justify killing two members of their group were pathetic and defensive. She wants to feel relevant S4A (16)and in control but she still needs someone else to bail her out. The only problem I had with Rick dropping her off and saying “hit the road” was that I knew it wouldn’t be the end of her. I would’ve given her the Otis and been just fine with it. This is why I’m sure that Carol will be coming back- not because I want that to happen, but because I’m just not that damn lucky.

I also do not believe that Judith is really dead. Yes there was a bloody car seat, yes no one saw her escape but we didn’t see a body, either. Admittedly I don’t think the network would be ok with showing a baby ripped apart by monsters and eaten like some giant jelly-doughnut, but  whenever we don’t see a person die and simply assume they’re gone they end up coming back with a knife-hand or deer parts or an effing tank. It also doesn’t seem likely that there would be this kind of buildup around a pregnancy and birth and a baby if she was just going to end up dying as collateral damage during an attack without any kind of fanfare. On the other hand, I’m sure it would make the show’s production a lot less complicated without worrying about an infant on set or trying to write to make surviving on the road with one a plausible situation. I don’t really care one way or the other since we hardly see her.Ep8Me (8)2

So speaking of children we hardly see, my theory about which sick bastard is responsible for killing small animals is that it’s one of the girls Carol took under her wing- probably Mika, the older one, who had no problem shooting a chick in the face. Side note: is it just me or does everyone in that camp seem to have magically accurate shooting skill? Each person is able to take down walkers from a distance with a head shot. Even kids who have never been to a shooting range can apparently nail you between the eyes with one round.

It’s almost…unbelievable.

Feeding the rats to the walkers seems to me like something a kid who names them and insists that they’re “just different” would do. You have to feed your pets don’t you? Though animal mutilations and cruelty are usually the bailiwick of males, I have to assume that in this kill-or-be-killed world little girls are just as likely to be all evil as little boys. Regardless I don’t think this will be something that just remains a mystery; someone’s going to be revealed as completely crazy-pants during one of the remaining 8 episodes.

Now that all that crap is out of the way I think I maybe should start talking about the episode I’m supposed to be reviewing.

Ep8Me (18)I never believed that the Governor had actually changed- not for a single minute. He’s a sadistic psychopath who enjoys killing and causing pain. He’s also a malignant narcissist who justifies the shit he does by presenting an altruistic front and telling himself that he’s doing it all for his family. I am so done with everyone who says that he’s a better leader than Rick or that he’s the better survivor or more fit to live in this world or any of that nonsense. He didn’t care about that chick or her kid- they were just surrogates for the family he lost. Remember how he said “I won’t lose you again”? That’s because he doesn’t care about who they are as much as he does whom they represent to him. He also didn’t kill that soldier guy and put him in the lake as a reminder to be vigilant or some bullshit like that. He did that for the same reason that he kept fish tanks full of heads: because serial killers take trophies. He kept that guy hidden enough to not be overt yet near enough to be discovered, just like he did with the heads at Woodbury, because he gets off on doing all of this right under everyone’s noses & feeling powerful, smart, and in control. Like I said: psychopath.

Meanwhile, back at the prison…

So um, if there’s barely enough gas to power people’s cars or possibly a generator or two, how the Hell is a moron like Mitch fueling up a freaking tank?? Considering it takes about one gallon of fuel to travel a single mile, either the Governor’s camp was practically on top of the prison or someone towed the thing up to the gate. Was no one keeping watch over there? I get that a bunch of people died from the bleeding-eyeball flu but after an army of walkers breached the fence shouldn’t it have become a priority to keep an eye on things (no pun intended)? How do a tank and a squadron of trucks sneak up on anything, let alone a prison surrounded by huge fields and fences? It didn’t even make sense to have this confrontation. If I was one of the people at that other camp there’s no fucking way I would risk my life to fight a bunch of strangers just because some guy with an eye patch said I should. If you ask me it was far too easy to get everyone behind that messed up plan. Oh yeah, and all nonchalantly saying “I kidnapped a couple of people to hold as hostages and force compliance” isn’t a glaringly huge indication that your new leader is a lunatic. Everyone over there is either stupid or insane and I’d be running over to warn Rick’s people about the imminent shit-storm before I’d ever march into battle against living people who’ve never done a damned thing to me or mine. Sorry about your daughter and your eye buddy but you’re on your own for this one.

While we’re on the subject of dead kids can I just take a moment to ask: what the Hell is wrong with all the parents in the post-zombie apocalypse world?? Lori was always running off and leaving Carl to roam around on his own and he ended up getting Dale killed, Carol lost track of Sophia & she ended up in the barn with all of Hershel’s relatives, then the kids at the prison were all over the place and Daryl had to run in and rescue them (when they Ep8Me (12)weren’t busy with Carol’s knife-fighting story time or teasing the walkers at the fence, that is.) Then we have the Governor’s wife 2.0 who’s chilling on top of an RV while her kid plays in the mud 20 yards away! Though to be fair it was only a matter of time for poor little Meghan. Hanging out with the Governor is the kiss of death; just ask Penny.

Or Andrea.

Or Milton.

Or Merle.

Or Martinez.

Or Pete…

You get the idea.

And I’m not saying that the kid had it coming but to be fair she did have a freaking metal sign in her hands when the flash-flood walker grabbed her. If she couldn’t bash its head in she at least could’ve put the thing between her shoulder and it’s snapping jaws until mom came over and shot it. Mika and Lizzie went and found guns then blew the brains of Tara’s girlfriend all over the prison yard and all this kid could do was scream and make mud PB&J sandwiches?!

Yet we’re supposed to believe that she plays chess in her spare time. Riiiight.

And of course, I already went off about Judith.

One would assume that a guy would make it a point to keep track of the kid his wife died Ep8Me (57)bringing into the world but at some point during the formation of the emergency plan people were too busy stashing guns right in front of the chain-link fence to designate a babysitter. No one was keeping track of Little Ass-kicker and because of that all of us had to see Rick’s ugly cry-face AGAIN. So not sexy.

I suppose I should talk about Hershel being executed O-Ren Ishii style. Then again I’m sure that’s what everyone and their mother is talking about so I really don’t think there’s much I can add. However I was sorry to see the Governor go, no matter how just and fitting his end was. He was truly terrifying at times, great at being a complex and devious flavor of evil, and Laurie Holden was right: he really is pretty damn sexy. I’d totally hit that. Preferably before he lost the eye, though. It’s a whole depth perception thing…never mind.

Ep8AMC (9)3Overall the episode was pretty sweet. There was a lot of gunfire and carnage, fire and explosions, child soldiers, grenade throwing, plus the tank. How often do you have a tank roll over some zombies? I thought Lauren Cohan and Emily Kinney both gave amazing performances: their reactions to their father’s murder felt very visceral and real and was very impressive. I also liked the juxtaposition of Maggie telling Glen at the beginning of the episode “I’ll be right back” when she went to get him some water, and then again when she leaves him on the bus in order to search for Beth. It was pretty cool seeing Clara the crazy “it’s just ahead” lady from the first episode as a walker amidst the hoard drawn to the prison, too.

But what I really, really, REALLY didn’t like was the super-cheesy and nonsensical attempt at being artsy and metaphorical shot of a walker stepping on the king from the Governor’s chess set that Meghan drew an eye-patch on.

We get it: the Governor’s reign of terror has ended, he has been de-throned, he got what was coming to him, karma’s a bitch, blah blah blah. The whole katana-through-the-chest-&-gunshot-to-the-head thing made all that pretty clear. Maybe that shot would’ve been more palatable if it wasn’t completely random and implausible. So the Governor decided to pocket a chess piece for good luck and bring it to his hostile takeover, then it went flying out of his pocket way over to a part of the yard he wasn’t anywhere near yet still Ep8Me (56)2miraculously remained intact? And showing him picking it up before he left his camp so that the audience would know how the Hell it got out there was just too much? Cut out because of time constraints?

Epic fail Walking Dead production people.

I’d also like to say once again and for the record that this whole “mid-season finale” bullshit is fucking retarded. No new episodes until February 9th? How am I supposed to spend my Sunday nights, watching reruns of Duck Dynasty?? Hell no! Just because I can’t get my Daryl fix doesn’t mean any old redneck will suffice! DiP (60)

Only a Dixon can satisfy my addiction.

And don’t think that putting on “Love Actually” helps at all, because it doesn’t.  Just because it has Andrew Lincoln in it doesn’t make it any less of a chick flick. I’m on to you AMC.

Well this wraps up my magnificent return to writing stuff and posting it online. I hope you enjoyed it as well as the obscenely huge collection of images I assembled for you. I’m sure I’ll find something to complain about in the meantime but on the off chance that I don’t I’ll have a spankin’ new post in February.Promo collage

Until then my fellow freaks and geeks,

  -Dianthrax

P.S: Am I the only person who noticed the sign at that gas station in episode 3 spelled out “Hell” with numbers, as in the price of gas per gallon? There’s a picture of it in case you don’t remember.

Pretty clever production designers! *wink, wink*

Also, be sure to check out my fabulously extensive image gallery. There are photos from episode 8 as well as behind the scenes shots, walkers galore, and images from the first half of the season. There’s also a lil something at the end that I do for my own enjoyment: I call it “Daryl Is Pretty”. You’re welcome ladies.

(All images property of The Walking Dead and AMC Networks)

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 11 Review

The Walking Dead:

Season 2 Episode 11 Review

*Warning: The same old stuff- episode spoilers, mature language, graphic content, etc. etc.- so  proceed at your own risk.*

There’s something about episode #11 in a 13 episode season that feels different from 9 or 12. I think it’s that the countdown to something going off is usually from 3. (Except for countdowns from 10; like NASA launches and New Year’s Eve.) When you were a kid you counted to three before you jumped in the pool from the high diving-board or raced your best friend just to know who was faster. In Mario Kart it’s always 3-2-1-Go, and when you were in trouble your parents said things like “If you aren’t over here cleaning this up by the time I count to three I’m throwing away all of your Legos!!”  For whatever reason three is the magic number that seems to perfectly fit the interval of time required to prepare for that green light- that jump into the pool.

It’s also this big symbolic deal thing in numerology and mysticism and like, virtually every religion there is.

And it has its own “School House Rock” song all about it.

But coming back and bringing my original point with me; episode 11 feels like the first step in the countdown to dropping the nuke and obliterating everything we’ve come to know about these characters and their world. I know this is episode 3 in the 3, 2, 1- season over, so it should feel that way. I never got that feeling at any point while watching the first season; obviously not when only three episodes remained out of 6 episodes total, but just in general it never felt like this to me at any point. I didn’t have this increasing anxiety that each of the last three episodes is a step closer to devastation.

With that I give you my take on Step #1:

We learn a great deal about all of the main characters in this episode as far as who they really are as people and what they’re capable of. It starts with a bit of the old, squirrel-tossing Daryl coming out to play for a while in order to get information out of Randall, who is chained up in what must be the smelliest barn in history. He bloodies up his knuckles and takes out that giant freaking knife of his to threaten to re-open Randy’s nasty leg boo-boo, but eventually the kid gave up the info. It is not good news. A giant group of heavily armed men who go out “scavenging” for supplies and should the opportunity present itself, occasionally force fathers to watch while they gang-rape his teenage daughters. Oh but Randall would never do such a thing! He never laid a hand on those girls- he just watched.

I think Daryl should’ve saved everyone a whole lot of trouble and just killed the little fucker right there. He’s as much of a rapist as whoever he was with since he let it happen when he could’ve done something to stop it. And I can hear the argument now: “How do you know he could’ve done anything? He was out-numbered and I’m sure they were armed- if he tried to stop them he probably would have been killed!”

Well then he should have died.

If he couldn’t stop them without managing to get killed by them then he isn’t smart enough to survive. If they would kill him or shoot it out rather than stop raping a girl if he stood his ground and threatened to kill some or all of them then he can’t trust them and isn’t really safe with that group anyway. And if they would threaten to hurt/kill the girls or the father or call him a traitor with no loyalty to his own group then he only has two possible futures anyway: become a monster like the rest of them and assimilate or eventually be killed over something awful enough that he can’t ignore it.

I don’t buy that he couldn’t do anything- I don’t think he wanted to do anything. I think he’s sadistic and manipulative and all this talk over being innocent and just trying to survive is bullshit. For those of you who believe in that sort of thing, the Bible claims “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

But my summation of choice for how I see this situation comes in the form of a quote from one of my favorite movies:

“Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.” (Btw- 100 Super-Awesome Points to those of you who can tell me the name of the film in the “comments” section! 😉

This notion is important and brought up later in the episode, too.

After telling the rest of the group what he learned (except for the teenage rape story), Daryl, Rick, and all the others were pretty set on executing the guy rather than risking his release. Dale is the lone voice of dissent and convinces Rick to give him until sundown to talk to the other people in the group and look at other options before they kill a person who, for all they know, could be innocent. He has several very impassioned conversations with Shane, Daryl, Hershel, and Andrea before everyone gathers together in the farmhouse living room to have a group discussion and vote.

I particularly enjoyed Dale’s talk with Daryl; it made me happy that someone other than Carol showed they care about him. Saying that he’d have to do more than just move his tent away from the rest of camp if he wanted to “get away” from them was a surprise to me coming from Dale- up until that point I hadn’t realized anyone else actually noticed Daryl as a person, let alone as one they weren’t willing to lose. He still doesn’t think his opinion counts for anything and that no one looks to him, claiming he’s better off on his own. When Dale disagrees and says that he and Rick are decent men while Shane isn’t, I don’t think he was prepared to hear that Daryl figured out what happened with Otis a long time ago and, more importantly, that Rick did too- he just didn’t want to admit it to himself. Daryl says the group is broken. Dale looks a bit broken himself after that little exchange.

I think he counted on Hershel backing him up since he was such a religious man, but Hershel surprised both Dale and me by saying he didn’t want Randall anywhere near his daughters and that he was leaving the whole thing up to Rick. (Since the guy is a creep and a rapist I’d say Hershel has good reason for feeling the way he does.) Though where he is now compared to where he was when we first met him in the season, Hershel has such vastly different morals and convictions! It’s like all of his confidence has been squashed out and he doesn’t trust himself not to let everyone down again by making the wrong choice, so he doesn’t make any choices and leaves everything up to Rick. This isn’t something he can just shake off, either- meaning Dale couldn’t count on his support to stop an execution of a possibly innocent man on his own land.

Satan was snowboarding in Hell because Dale even approaches Shane to plead his case and *gasp* Shane was actually pretty reasonable about the whole thing. There’s a particularly important bit where in arguing the numbers: 12 of them and 1 of him but 30 of his gang, Dale tells Shane “killing him doesn’t change that; but it changes us.” Killing this one man won’t really make them any safer- it wont make a difference when it comes to the threat of attack by an armed gang- but it will make them less than what they were. It will diminish the humanity of the group in an irreparable way.

However Shane is certain that this is the right choice to make. If they spare Randall- let him join the group, see if he’s useful and maybe even a nice guy- one day he will kill someone, and that will be blood on Dale’s hands. It isn’t a matter of convenience or just being ruthless- Shane truly thinks that Dale is wrong. Yet he agrees to back him up if he can get the whole group to share his opinion on the matter. That’s a whole lot more than I ever would’ve expected from Shane. Honestly that whole conversation was more than I expected from him.

I think maybe Shane’s going to kick it at the end of the season and this is the start of a campaign to make him into less of a psycho and more of a good guy so that he doesn’t die a creep and a villain. I’d even go so far as to say that I think he might die in order to save someone else- like Carl or Lori or my favorite, Rick. That would be cheese-tastic!

I think Hershel is going to bite it as well- though I’ve said that before. Giving the watch to Glenn felt a bit like his character was having his affairs put in order- wrapping up his loose ends in the sense of making sure Maggie has a good man to “take care of her.” One who also cares about and will help her look after her little sister once he’s gone and there’s no one else to do it. At the same time he’s also letting Glenn (and therefore Maggie) know that they have his blessing/approval as a couple, in case he never gets the chance to tell her so outright. It may have seemed a bit lame and contrived to some of you but I thought it was a nice way to cover an important moment in the progression of those three characters.

It felt real, too, because of Steven Yeun’s portrayal Glenn’s surprise and awkwardness and not really knowing what to say or do in that situation. I mean the guy is given a very precious and meaningful family heirloom and he says “thanks” like he was just given a bag of Doritos! I’d have gone with something like “thank you, sir” at the very least! There’s totally no breaking up with her now, either! For all intents and purposes Glenn just got married to the farmer’s daughter, and in this world you have to fight tooth and nail for a divorce- literally- because the only way out of a marriage is if one of you fails to fend off the teeth and nails of the walkers!

Another important character we get a good look into the nature of is Carl Grimes, who’s always somehow in the story and important to it, yet still manages to be peripheral. We see what this world and all this loss and death and violence has been doing to him because you just know it’s gotta be turning him into a little psycho! Virtually all serial killers have violent, abusive childhoods and I’d say that’s not a poor description of Carl’s life lately. He’s been showing little signs of coldness and detachment and this episode we saw some real creep-factor behavior on his part.

First I’d have to mention how he was sitting in the barn, looking down at Randall in chains like he wasn’t a person. Randall starts talking; appealing to Carl’s concern for safety for him and his family, his sense of mercy, and trying to seem like a nice guy. Carl looks at him without a response, as though he couldn’t hear a word the guy was saying. He stared at him the way people who don’t like animals stare at some exotic creature in a zoo- curious and interested but without any emotional involvement or sympathy. He’s so empty in those moments that it seems almost fake for him to be afraid of getting in trouble with his parents when Shane catches him. It’s a great way to show that while he has this morbid, developing darker side he’s still just a kid.

I can understand him lashing out at Carol; anger is a stage of grief. I can even understand playing around at Daryl’s campsite while he’s away. There probably isn’t much for him to do and for a young boy Daryl would have some really cool stuff. He’s like the older step-brother whose room you’re never allowed to go into or you’ll get your ass kicked, which means, of course, that you have to see what’s in there so you sneak in while he’s not home & just try not to move/break anything so that he never knows you were there. Only Carl doesn’t seem to get that last part- the not wanting him to know you were ever there part- because while playing with the super-sweet motorcycle that would give Daryl a stroke if he caught him touching, he just pockets a gun that was stashed in there.

First of all, if there’s anyone at camp that you do not want to steal from or piss off, it’s Daryl. Second, you might get away with maybe taking a knife or one of the animal skins, but a gun is something that is going to be missed. Third, that gun was there for a reason- what if Daryl is on his motorcycle and counting on having it to save his ass, then reaches in and finds that someone has stolen it?! Fourth- it’s stealing! What the Hell is wrong with you?! You steal a gun from someone when guns are “worth more than gold” then like a retard, you lose it!

So is carrying a stolen gun to go for a stroll in the woods the substitute for stealing your dad’s cigarettes to smoke with your friends? You know- the stupid shit kids do to feel like grown-ups? Because it didn’t seem like he had any plan in particular in mind while on his little hike. It was more like he wanted to do what the grown men do and not be afraid to go into a dangerous area because he can protect himself with his stolen gun. Or at least that was the idea when he found the walker stuck in the mud.

As soon as he stopped the more appropriate running away in order to do the far more disturbing staring and throwing of rocks I knew that walker was going to get out of the mud and go for him. My other thought was that Carl must really, really, really want to shoot someone/thing. Think about it: if he puts down the walker with a gunshot the whole camp is going to hear it. Not to mention other walkers in the area; aren’t they supposed to be drawn by loud noises?? Everyone is worried about a gang of armed men coming to the farm and attacking them, so if all the adults are accounted for and Daryl gets back from hunting and says it wasn’t him, who do you suppose they’ll think is shooting in the woods? That would surely speed up Randall’s “trial”! Plus for all we know that gang actually could have scouts or something nearby who hear the shot and because of it, find the camp!

But as soon as that shot goes off Lori and Rick will want to know where Carl is and when they can’t find him right away they’ll have everyone searching around camp for him. It’s not going to be possible for him to just sneak back out of the woods without someone seeing him and telling Rick and Lori, who will want to know what he was doing out there. He’ll probably be so excited about shooting his first walker that he’ll tell them everything; including the little detail about how he used the gun he stole from Daryl after he found it while going through his things. But no matter what his parents are going to find out about all of it and then his ass is toast- and none of this occurred to him because he’s a kid and wants to be an adult and he really wanted to shoot something.

He also wants to hear the group debate over the fate of Randall, but he isn’t allowed. That’s a bit of a shame because Dale was simply amazing. Jeffrey DeMunn was captivating, arguing with so much passion and feeling and eloquence. It was like watching the play “12 Angry Men” (or when I was in it “12 Angry Jurors” since there were chicks involved) and Dale is Juror #8- the single “not-guilty” vote trying to convince a room full of people who were so set in their “guilty” verdict that they thought there wasn’t even any need to discuss the matter. Dale pleads so effectively and with such sound arguments that you almost find yourself changing from “guilty” to “undecided” in Randall’s case. Then Carol speaks up, proclaiming that she just wants the arguing to stop and for someone to decide, but either way to leave her out because she wants no part of it.

Dale tells her “Not speaking out, or killing him yourself; there’s no difference.”

Really Dale? Then by your own logic you’re arguing to save the life of a violent sex offender- a man who is, by your definition, a rapist, ephebophile, and a sadist. (Here is where that whole doing-nothing-to-stop-someone-from-committing-an-atrocity-makes-you-just-as-guilty-as-them thing comes in.)

But the only person who heard that story and knows what a piece of trash this guy is won’t say anything and claims not to care: Daryl. Maybe that wouldn’t make a difference to Dale.

No one is in agreement with Dale- not even Glenn who is usually on his side in everything. I thought it was interesting when Glenn says “he’s not one of us.” What defines “us” versus “them” to the group now? It used to be just the living and the dead, but Rick said things changed when the living started trying to kill them too. Obviously Hershel and his people are among the “us” even though Otis was expendable. I’d be curious to hear how Glenn defines the two and when exactly Hershel’s people became a part of the “us” group.

Another surprise comes when Andrea speaks up in agreement with Dale, though it doesn’t matter since everyone else is still all for offing Randy. Dale is disgusted and asks if they’re going to watch too; then saying “no, you’ll hide in your tents and pretend we aren’t slaughtering a human being.” I thought that would be an interesting concept; saying that everyone who votes to execute Randall also has to watch that execution be carried out. No one can cast a vote to end someone’s life then pretend they had nothing to do with it while Rick, Shane, and Daryl do the real dirty work. In one of my favorite sci-fi book series the main character becomes a politician and makes some really radical social changes. One of them deals with the death penalty and forces the sentence to be carried out by a family member of the victim. So if a guy rapes and kills a girl & is found guilty, that girl’s mother or father or husband etc. has to be the one to shoot the guy in the head in a public execution. That way the family gets their own brand of justice & the government isn’t responsible. That’s because if the person can’t carry out the execution- if they just can’t do it- then it doesn’t happen.

I think they should’ve done something like that for Randall. Everyone who votes for his death has to watch and has their name put in a hat to randomly decide who has to be the one to do it. I think it may be more difficult for people to vote if they knew it meant they had to watch the kid beg and cry for his life, and even more so if they knew it could possibly mean they had to be the one to pull the trigger. If they can’t stand to see it or can’t make themselves do it, maybe it’s because they know it’s wrong? Personally I wouldn’t have a problem with it- mostly because I would’ve killed him a long freaking time ago- like back when he was Shish Kabob-ed on a fence- without him seeing it coming or asking for a group vote.

He’s taken out to the barn and about to be blown away when probably the only thing that could possibly make Rick stop actually happened- Carl went all uber-creepy and snuck away to watch them kill the guy and urging his dad to do it. I knew there was no chance Rick was doing it then and he tells Daryl to take him away.

Just like I knew something bad was going to happen when I saw Dale out by himself in a field at night.

Sure enough there was a still-living but completely eviscerated cow lying in the grass, which is seldom a sign of imminent safety. Dale turns and is pounced on by the nasty shirtless walker with no eyelids who doesn’t manage to bite him but does tear open his abdomen and create a hubcap sized hole in him before Daryl gets there and stabs the thing in the head.

A few notes/questions on this situation- what made the walker stop eating the cow to creep up on Dale? Shouldn’t he have been in a feeding frenzy and thus distracted? The walkers eating that horse Rick rode into the city on in season one didn’t stop eating in order to chase him, even though you would think human is preferable to animal. In fact that was how he was able to get away; so why did this walker leave his tasty living cow meal when he should’ve been distracted and all up in that shit?

Also, for those who wonder about how the walker was able to rip Dale open like he was a birthday piñata I have a theory that explains that in great detail in my article “Talking The Dead to Death.” Check it out if you’re curious about zombie super-human strength.

And finally; what the fuck was up with Daryl sharpening his knife while he has Randall all tied up and gagged and hanging by his wrists from the ceiling with no shirt on in some secluded part of the barn?? I mean, obviously I know what that’s about but what I don’t get is why that scene is put in there at all? Implying that Daryl is going to torture Randall to death after laying all this groundwork to show that he’s a good man makes no sense to me! I thought the whole thing was stupid, especially since they had him be the one to find him, kill the walker, call for help, and be the one to “put Dale out of his misery” immediately afterwards!

You knew there was no saving him but they needed Hershel there to tell say it and make it true, otherwise he wouldn’t have been there. None of the other people from the farm were present, but every single member of “our” group of survivors was there for Dale’s final moments; even Carl who was told to go into the house. Of course Carl also had to be there in order to see that it was the walker he failed to kill and pissed off enough for him to free himself from the mud- the walker he knew was out roaming the woods and didn’t tell anyone about in order to avoid getting in trouble- that killed Dale, making it his fault. But it was also worth noting that the entire group was gathered together and present when they lost another one of their own. Rick couldn’t bring himself to end his friend’s suffering, so Daryl has a very emotional moment with Dale, who puts his forehead up against the barrel of his gun and urging Daryl to do it, so he says “sorry brother” and pulls the trigger.

Dale was the voice of reason and morality in the group. He kept them from veering too far off course and forgetting the kind of people that they are and want to be- and now his voice is gone.

Their Yoda is dead and strong the temptation of The Dark Side is…

Second step- episode #12- this Sunday at 9.

 

Not Spending My Life Trying to Conquer Time,

-Dianthrax

Info/Image Sources: the AMC Press Resource Center, AMC networks

*Sorry for the lack of an image gallery. I hope to upload more episode 11 images very soon, after I finish editing them.*