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)

What Made “Crazy Mary” Crazy?

Probably Something YOU Did

I’m kidding; I’m sure you had nothing to do with it…or did you??

Actually it was the combined efforts of many people, primarily this group of jokers; maybe you’ve heard of some of them?

First up we have the author Michael Colbert, followed by artists J.K. Woodward, William Blankenship, and Ryan Sargent, then some guys named Tony Lee and Lou Anders, this Josh Finney character, and something called 01 Publishing.

And of course by “crazy” I mean “completely crazy-freaking-awesome.”

She might be the other type of crazy too, but that’s really something you should decide for yourselves.

Miss Maybe Mentally Mutilated Mary is a cyberneticly-enhanced bad-ass mercenary doing her thing in the New York City of the future. She’s burdened with hallucinations of a world on top of this reality which no one but her can see. She also has spirit guides who give her advice and what appears to be help along the way. Obviously the chick is nuttier than Charlie Sheen on PCP but if it helps get the job done does it really matter? Is she really just hallucinating or are the rest of us born blind and don’t know what’s really happening all around us every day?

Crazy Mary was originally seen in the pages of Digitally Webbing Presents in 2006 as a series of short stories and was never completed. One short story in particular called “Trail of Tears” was a project that artist J.K. Woodward helped create nearly a decade ago. (That would be before he was snatched by Peter David to do Fallen Angel and became all distracted working for the likes of IDW, Boom!, Top Cow, and Marvel.) That story is now going to become part of a full graphic novel entitled Factory Smoke and Acetylene Light, which will contain all of Mary’s collective adventures along with an additional 52 pages of new stuff- thanks to the efforts of Mr. Michael Colbert. Mr. Woodward, having always wanted to return to the mentally-unstable red-head from his past, signed on as an artist

Additional artwork will be provided by Blankenship and Sargent- two names you should probably familiarize yourself with since my guess is, given the quality of their work, you’ll be seeing them more and more often. In fact I’d say that original art by any of these guys is probably a good investment…there’s also new blood in the Crazy Mary storytelling in the form of Josh Finney. If you’re familiar with his art and writing via Utopiates or Titanium Rain then you know he will deliver something that is, shall we say, off the proverbial chain.

If you aren’t familiar with his work, um, well….sucks to be you. Sorry.

Well known among sci-fi/fantasy fans as well as a Hugo Award winner and both a close friend & mentor to the author, Lou Anders is adding an afterword to the graphic novel, which will also contain a forward by acclaimed Doctor Who writer Tony Lee.

“Tony has been a huge supporter of Crazy Mary since the early DWP days and a good friend to boot.” says Colbert. “I’m thrilled that he’s writing the forward.”

These both only add to what is already an incredible project, and should go well with was just added as an incentive to Kickstarter campaign.

That’s right; I said “Kickstarter;” which means this project and all of the hard work associated with it will come to naught if it doesn’t reach it’s modest monetary goal.

The Crazy Mary Kickstarter was created by Colbert to raise the funds necessary- $8,000- to finish the remaining stories and compile/publish/print the complete arch into one graphic novel. The campaign will run till May 14th and assuming everything goes according to plan, the completed book will be available in August. So far they have almost 20% of the funds needed with less than 2 weeks to go.

This is the part where you come in. *(See first line of article.)

You dedicated and supportive comic book fans are the people who make things like this happen by becoming project backers and by spreading the word through RTs on Twitter, Likes and Shares on Facebook, sending links to friends, and so on.

Join the ranks of people like Steve Niles, Rick Remender, ComicAttack.net, Bill Corbett, & Dave Dwonch and show Crazy Mary some love. Why? Because of the other word that goes along with “Kickstarter”: the one after “donation” and “backer” and “amount.”

I’m talking about “incentives” baby, and there are some great ones.

On top of things like having your name listed on the inside as a thank-you and receiving a signed copy, there are things like limited edition art prints and posters, shot glasses, cover gallery art books, commissions by the book’s artists, and most recently the mother of bad-ass one-of-a-kind collectibles for the right fan: an original page from the IDW miniseries Doctor Who/Star Trek due to hit shelves later this May will go to one lucky backer who supports the Crazy Mary Kickstarter effort!

Ah, incentives; because donating for the sake of supporting art and talented artists is a lot easier in these tough economic times when you get something awesome in return.

I want to see this Crazy Mary graphic novel happen and I want to see more of Mary herself. Maybe it’s because she reminds me a little of Typhoid Mary, who was also a step or two away from the Sane area of the playground and looked so cool with the whole half-painted-face thing going on. What’s with red-heads being cast as all looney? Is that a stereotype that I just wasn’t aware of; red-heads are supposedly batshit crazy-pants?

Hmmm…Well Poison Ivy is pretty wacky. Jean Grey has lost it a few times, too. 

The angel that Dean Winchester banged in the backseat of the Impala went all Glenn Close genocidal, and Detective Linden is at least a strawberry-blonde and everyone knows she’s spent some time walking around in elastic shoes.

Plus I was a red-head for a little over three years.

But then I’ve also had blonde, brunette, auburn, purple, blue-black with pink tips, black with a blue stripe and brown-black hair for various amounts of time, too.

Wait, what was I talking about again?

Crazy Mary graphic novel- right!

Well I’d suggest taking a look at the website after you scope out a few of the pages/images and the video I snagged for you. They have excellent previews of entire stories for you to enjoy and get a feel for the characters and the writing style, as well as bios and contact info for all the cool people involved that I talked about. So go look around at http://www.crazymarycomic.com before you head over to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1164327580/crazy-mary-graphic-novel and become a backer.

Another fun thing to comb through would be artist J.K. Woodward’s blog about Crazy Mary, http://jkwoodwardart.blogspot.com/2011/12/crazy-mary.html which is filled with pictures of his works and descriptions of his process. Lastly I also recommend listening to the Crazy Mary interview on Comic Geek Speak, http://www.comicgeekspeak.com/episodes/comic_geek_speak-1521.php which can also be found on the Crazy Mary homepage.

So spread the word about this barmy broad and help make her messed up double-reality a part of our messed up single-reality while helping to make the whole world a better place by giving all of us something to look forward to whilst dying in the staggering heat that is the month of August!

Still Doing The Same Thing Over and Over

Expecting Different Results,

-Dianthrax

Info & Image Sources:  http://www.crazymarycomic.com , http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1164327580/crazy-mary-graphic-novel , http://jkwoodwardart.blogspot.com/2011/12/crazy-mary.html , http://www.comicgeekspeak.com/episodes/comic_geek_speak-1521.php , http://crazymarycomic.com/wp-content/gallery . http://www.idwpublishing.com/news/article/2224/ , http://www.pinkraygun.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/totally-necessary-shot-of-deans-back.jpg , http://images.tvtome.com/tv/images/genie_images/story/2012_usa/k/killing_s2e1_linden.jpg , http://www.themarysue.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/GreenLady1-365×550.jpg , http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/40/1840327 mike_grell_marvel_girl_reflection_colored_comic_art_super.jpeg , http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lydnd9FZAR1r9yqvjo1_500.jpg