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)

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The Walking Dead Season 2.5 Premiere Review

**Attn: Please see notice at end of article*

The Walking Dead:

The Episode 8 Season 2.5 Premier Review

*Be Advised: In case you aren’t familiar with my usual review protocol, this article is for people who have already seen episode 8 and so will contain spoilers. It will also have mature language/content, as well as graphic imagery and interpretations/examinations that possess the obvious and unapologetic personal bias of yours truly. You have been warned.*

The Walking Dead is back, everyone! The world is in its rightful place, the universe has re-aligned, and Sunday nights are once again something to look forward to rather than merely the  remaining bit of freedom before the start of a new week.

Yes, the so-called season 2.5 premier episode #8 “Nebraska” kicked off the show’s second half and the beginning of what looks like an intense downward spiral for everyone. The cast has said in all of their interviews that as slow-burning as the first 7 episodes were, that’s as fast-paced and insane as the second half will be, and if what went down in episode 8 is just the beginning then I’d say we’re in for one Hell of a wild, fucked up ride.

After Rick takes out walker-Sophia you have what you would pretty much expect from most of the camp. Those living on Hershel’s farm took the “cleansing” of the barn walkers the hardest, particularly the woman who got half her face blown off by Daryl’s shotgun- yeah, that was the step-mom. So of course one kid has to go rushing over to try and restore some dignity to her, struggling to uncover and separate her corpse among the heap of bodies. This made for a perfect moment to have her turn and attack the kid so that everyone has to rush over and try to stop step-mommy dearest from taking a bite out of Kid on Farm #3. The end result is an awesome pick-axe through the face maneuver courtesy of Andrea, which is exactly the image one would want stuck in their head of the last time you see your beloved mother. My thoughts during all this?

Um, what happened to all the freaking guns everyone had like, 2 seconds ago?? Did they all just forget they had them? I actually saw Glenn drop his shotgun and T-Dog has his pistol in his hand while he’s trying to put momma-walker down with completely ineffective but vicious-looking kicks to the head! At least Andrea knew what to do instead of panicking and screaming like a ninny or turning to shoot Daryl like she would’ve not too long ago.

We knew Hershel would be devastated by this and probably not very happy with our group- particularly Shane. So of course Shane has to mouth off like a total retard and accuse Hershel and his family of knowing Sophia was in the barn this whole time, even though it makes zero sense for him to deliberately keep something like that from them. What does he gain from that? Hershel wanted them off his land asap, and after Carl was healed the only excuse the group had to stick around was searching for the kid. Hershel had help and those wild animal wrangler things he was using to lead the walkers to the barn- if he knew he had Sophia he could’ve grabbed her and lead her to the that mud the walkers get stuck in, then left her there for Rick and the others to find. After that he could say they had to get lost like he’d told Rick was the deal from the start so that he could go on with his delusion that the dead wife he keeps locked up and feeds live chickens was going to be moving back into her side of the bed sometime in the future.

I think Shane’s just pissy because he didn’t have the balls to shoot Sophia and Rick did.

He might also have realized by then that if he hadn’t killed Otis and they’d had a chance to talk to Hershel and his family about the girl they were looking for the mystery might’ve been solved back in episode 3 or 4, making it partially his fault they found out so much later and in such a terrible way.

That was what his little explosion at Dale was really all about- anger and insecurity and wanting to be better than Rick. Dale didn’t even need to say anything and Shane was in his face going off about how he (Dale) does pretty much nothing to keep the camp safe even when he claims to know a threat is looming, referring to himself. He even went so far as to point out that Dale had a chance to stop him since he thinks he’s such a danger but then couldn’t pull the trigger. Then during his tirade to try and convince himself of his own value, along with all the things he’s done to help the camp he throws in saving Carl’s life and how “that ain’t you, that ain’t Rick; that’s me!” How did Rick get into this conversation? Suddenly it’s not just about how Shane is awesome and Dale is useless but also how Shane is better than Rick and how frustrating it is that everyone can’t see that. That one sentence says more about his state of mind and the deep-rooted hostility he’s got brewing for his former best friend than anything else he says to Dale in that confrontation.

Let’s jump to another important interaction Shane has that speaks to his character: when he’s doing that weird hand-washing thing with Carol after she tears up all the Cherokee Roses.

It seems like he’s actually doing this nice thing; being caring and nurturing towards the emotionally and (mildly) physically damaged Carol by talking to her and cleaning up her scratches and wounds. But if you listen to the things he’s really saying you notice it’s a completely self-centered conversation and an empty gesture that’s meant to manipulate, not help Carol.

How long was it before Shane was ready to walk away and leave Carol with no closure- no definitive answer as to whether her daughter is alive or dead but always wondering and never truly giving up hope? How many times did he say that Sophia was dead and that they were wasting their time searching for a body? How many times did he yell this or point this out right in front of Carol? It was among the things he listed as having “enough of” before he busted open the barn: “Enough wasting our time looking for a little girl who’s gone!” and he looked right at her while he said it.

Now all of the sudden he’s full of sympathy for her; implying that he might have done something different if he had known her little girl was in there when we all know that’s bull. Then at the same time he’s justifying what he did and throwing a pity-party for himself, going on about how he was just trying to keep people safe and now everyone thinks he’s so mean and awful because of it He was just trying to help because he’s such an unselfish and giving person, wah, wah, wah; I’m drowning in my tears for how unappreciated Shane is when everything he does is what he thinks is best for the group.

Shane does not give a single fuck for anyone in that group other than himself, Lori, and Carl.

He said himself that he’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe- that means everyone else is expendable. Right now it benefits him/them to be in a large group but the second that’s no longer the case- the second they become a hindrance rather than a help or a risk rather than safety in numbers- Shane would be snatching up Lori and Carl and leaving their “family” faster than Wally West on crank.

Another thing Shane frequently does (besides sneak in and use the electric shaver in Hershel’s bathroom) that I find pretty damn ballsy of him considering he’s the one who killed the guy, is bring up Otis’ death when he’s arguing in order to give more weight to his point. He’ll talk about how Daryl almost died looking for Sophia when everyone knows he couldn’t care less about Daryl or if he died out in the woods. But he knows that Rick cares, so he uses that the same way he uses Otis’ death. When he wanted Andrea to fall in line with him during the barn shooting he brings up that walkers killed her sister and she’s pissed and ready to go. Then he has the nerve to blame Amy’s death and the death of all the other members of their camp that night on the fact that Rick went “to go rescue a drug dealer” and wasn’t there.

Um, remember all the guns everyone- including yourself- used to kill the walkers in the barn like you insisted had to be done?

Well you wouldn’t fucking have them if Rick hadn’t thought to get them from the station and bring them! Then he went into the Hell he just managed to escape from again in order to bring those guns back with him to camp while he happened to be out trying to rescue someone’s brother…who yes, also happens to be a dick and a drug dealer.

But seriously- how dare Shane pull this shit and try to say what happened that night was Rick’s fault! Who was standing guard/keeping watch at camp when this happened? Why didn’t people have weapons close at hand at all times? Shane was the one supposedly in charge- he should’ve seen to these details instead of sitting around the walker-attracting fire drinking beer and relaxing after a good meal with everyone else.

That’s what happens to people who let their guard down: they get themselves eaten! That’s it! You can’t say it’s Rick’s fault for not being there “in time” because you got caught looking like the crappy leader you really are.

Then just like Rick needed to go get those guns, he also needed to go into town and haul Hershel’s whiney, drunken ass back to the Farm because the man is the closest thing to a real doctor they have and also like the guns, he will be needed in the future. But I’m getting ahead of myself now. So going back to after the barn and mom attacking and getting axed-

Carol fled from the scene after Daryl stopped her from running to her dead daughter & getting killed. We find her in the camper just sitting and staring out a window when Daryl comes in. He doesn’t say anything; he just sort of leans against the wall across from her so she knows he’s there. He doesn’t try to talk to her or touch her, he doesn’t say he’s sorry or ask if she’s ok; maybe it’s because Daryl isn’t exactly a naturally loquacious person but if you ask me, it’s because he knows there’s nothing anyone can say or do right now and that the best, most helpful thing is just being with her so that she knows she’s not alone.

The have a funeral of sorts for Sophia, step-mom, and step-brother, which Carol decides not to attend, claiming that what they were burying-or “that thing” as she puts it- is not Sophia. She gives a great monologue about how her little girl never slept alone and afraid in the woods at night, or went hungry, or tried to find her way back to them, and it sounds almost as though she’s grateful for that. Except what she’s really saying is that she never did these things because her child has been dead this whole time while she’s been at camp, foolishly worrying and holding out for hope, and you can see that she’s in shock and hovering on the edge of this huge chasm of grief she just hasn’t fallen into yet.

(There’s some nicely obvious camera work during that scene, too with a cup filled with markers and some kid’s flashcards on the table in your line of vision while Carol stares out the window and talks. It’s blatant but still effective.) It’s a wonderful performance on the part of Melissa McBride, who’s been simply brilliant from the start of the season. Norman Reedus has been more and more impressive as well, giving us a subtly developing humanity and vulnerability in Daryl that’s believable and not over-done.

It’s like Carol’s refusal to go to the funeral and her seeming distance from Daryl while she’s in this shocked state is personally hurtful to him and he seems angry and disgusted with her as he leaves the RV. She let him down in a major way right then and I don’t think we’ll be seeing any flowers in beer bottles anytime soon.

After the grave digging and burying there’s the piling up of the rest of the walkers into a truck to take out & away from the farm to pile and burn, which is where Andrea, Shane, and T-Dog go. You see Andrea hauling and hefting right there with the men, tossing bodies into the back and then riding on the edge of the bed while they’re taken to be burned. She’s seriously come a long way from puking at the sight of them in trees!

I seem to remember last season where there were gloves and bodysuits and face protectors and great care all used when handling the bodies of people with this deadly disease. Suddenly no one seems all that concerned with blood and fluids getting on their skin or worried about handling the bodies at all. T-Dog has an open wound on one arm from what was probably a cut down to an artery that’s covered with nothing but a Band-Aid looking thing, and I doubt the wiped down the truck bed with some bleach after emptying it of bodies. Did they even change clothes??

I find that to be a little on the stupid side considering they don’t really know anything about the infected other than one sure way they can transmit the sickness to another person- a bite. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be spread other ways! I mean, HIV can be transmitted through sexual contact, needle sharing/blood, and breastmilk; that’s three very different ways to become infected with the same virus. How can anyone be sure that a bite is the only type of exposure that can lead to infection? Dr. Crazy-Pants Jenner at the CDC even told them that they don’t know anything about what it is and that it could be viral, bacterial, microbial or a bunch of other things. Those three alone- viruses, bacterium, and microbes- work and spread in such completely different ways that basically he really was saying that he knows jack about the infection

This is why I think Farmer Kid #3 isn’t in some catatonic shock from all the horror and grief- I think she’s infected and got that way through some kind of contact with mom when she was attacked, other than a bite. Or it’s entirely possible she just caught some really nasty disease from being so up-close and personal with a corpse, which is among the nastiest freaking things on the planet! Either way, shit is about to get all kinds of messed up for everyone.

Speaking of messed up:

“Hi Dary! I know I never talk to you & basically act like you aren’t there, and I totally don’t appreciate anything you do for everyone at camp or give a shit about how you might be feeling about Sophia being dead after you nearly died yourself while out looking for her- but now I want something from you! So instead of asking you for help, I’m going to tell you what I need you to go and do for me. What?! No?! What do you mean no?! What is WRONG with you?? How could you be so SELFISH?!”

I’m surprised all he did was call her “Olive Oil” considering he’s grieving and in pain. Then when she decides to go herself, she crashes. Of course she crashes.

Honestly; how retarded do you have to be to get into a car accident when there is literally not a single other driver/car on the road!? How the Hell did she manage when there were still people around?! So why is she out driving around like Halle Berry in the first place? Because the only person who’s more self-centered than Shane, is Hershel.

Oh boo-hoo I was wrong! I looked like the ass that I am! My kids deserve better than me! No one likes me because I’m a pompous, condescending, racist blow-hard! I’m going to run away into town to get drunk and cry about it and how sad everything is for me! Enter Rick and Glenn who’ve come to fetch Dr. Lush and bring him home so that he can help his other kid; the less-interesting one who isn’t banging the Asian boy.

Of course this doesn’t happen without Shane chipping in about how Rick is making another bad call in deciding to go get Hershel. That’s pretty much all Shane says to Rick these days- how all his choices are wrong, how everything is his fault, how he’s delusional and doesn’t know what he’s doing…and yet for some reason Rick hasn’t pistol-whipped Shane into a sticky paste. I mean it’s got to be building up in the guy! Here’s his supposed “best friend” who told his wife he was dead, started nailing her, then didn’t have the balls to do the right thing and come forward to fess up about it. He continues to pursue her and try to take choices and control of situations regarding Rick’s son away from him, openly contradicts and defies him, and now argues against/insults all of his decisions, undermines him as a leader, and is just a dick to him every time they speak. At some point Rick has to stop buying into Shane’s bullshit campaign to make him doubt himself and then all the crap that he’s been holding on to is going to pop and come spilling out like some giant rage-pimple.

I say “Go Team Rick.” He’s made some mistakes and I think he needs to do less wussy catering to people like Hershel, but he’s smarter and far more rational than Shane. Plus I’d follow a wannabe-White Knight over an attempted rapist any day, no contest. (Yeah, you forget about that shit? Because apparently Lori has since she says that she agreed that Shane did something that had to be done when he went all “we need to fight” and broke open the barn, then has trouble believing what Dale tells her about Shane killing Otis. Really? You really find that hard to believe about your psycho former sex-buddy?)

Lori acts like she’s all about supporting Rick when really she’s agreeing with Shane and defending him to the other group members. She’s also telling Rick not to go get Hershel and that he’s needed at the farm, not “running off solving everyone else’s problems” just like Shane was.

Um, why is Rick so needed on the farm? What is he needed for exactly? I mean, other than the possibility of a shit-ton of walkers showing up that night attracted by all the gunshots and the giant fire/pillar of smoke all out at a farm in the middle of nowhere that’s filled with yummy people and cows and horses and chickens and lit up like a big neon “Hershel’s Diner” sign?? Besides that, what duties does Rick have that are so important they warrant letting the only doctor go kill himself in a moment of grief-driven stupidity? Doctor Delusional may not seem so important to you now, preggers, but with the rate your people get hurt someone’s going to need a broken bone set & a cast or stitches or your lame-ass will go into labor you’re all going to be wishing someone had fetched Hershel instead of letting him drink till he passed out and woke up being eaten (and not in that good kind of way.)

So they’re in town at an empty, but apparently stocked, local bar so that Rick can say to Drunk Hershel after his long, whiney, slurry “I give up” speech: Hey bitch! Life’s hard all over- suck it up! That’s essentially what happened when two new (living) friends enter the bar. Yay!

First of all its two men- exactly as I said would be most likely in every case. Enter Dave and Tony. I was already familiar with the actor Michael Raymond-James from his role on HBO’s True Blood but I’d never seen Aaron Munoz before. Now Munoz will probably always be “Tony” whereas Mr. Raymond-James is “Rene” rather than “Dave” because, well, True Blood came first. Both men looked dirtier and worse for wear than ours and Tony was very openly carrying a very big shotgun he “took off a cop.” It was immediately tense and even Hershel straightened up and gave the men his full attention as they came in and made themselves at home.

At first they chatted a bit, the strangers giving some of their story, which included some pretty upsetting news. Tony claimed to have met a soldier that had been stationed at Fort Bennet, the original goal after the CDC and before the group was side-tracked with runaway kids and bullet wounds, who told him the Fort was gone- completely overrun with walkers. I believe him, too. The way he said it was like he was telling someone a road was closed for construction or something.

The wheels in Dave’s head are clearly turning and while he’s looking the three men up and down he explains that he has people to look after that aren’t doing very well, but the three of them seem to be doing fine. He’s being as polite and charming as he can and asking less and less subtle questions about where the three of them have been staying: There’s a truck parked outside so it can’t be in town but they look well-fed, clean, rested; they must have a nice place somewhere with food and water and shelter, safe from the walkers. Glenn is just smiling and chatting away with him, blithely giving away all kinds of information without the slightest hint of any reservations about it. You can practically hear Rick and Hershel mentally telling him “shut up, shut up, shut up fucking SHUT THE HELL UP!!” but he keeps going until finally Rick puts a stop to it.

Why are they making Glenn look like such an idiot?? Last season he was sharp, gutsy, brave, an excellent strategist- now he’s some clueless kid who can’t tell when someone’s fishing for information? Do you think that his experience with the Vatos-how they were actually good people just trying to take care of their relatives has him thinking that everyone is going to be like that? Maybe sex just makes guys stupid. Glenn was smart until he hooked up with Maggie- now he’s practically inviting these two to come take over the farm.

This is about when Tony decides to walk 5 steps away and take a piss right on the floor while asking if they had any “cooze” because he hasn’t had any in weeks. (Weeks? Riiiight.)

You can see the disgust on Rick’s face before the first drop hits the floor and Dave is trying to recover from his cohort’s super-sexy behavior, but even if there had been a chance in Hell anyone else was going to be allowed on the farm that chance was long gone now. No one wants these guys near their women and when Rick says they aren’t interested in a group merge and that he’s not going to take the two of them to the farm, Tony’s enraged outburst sealed their fate.

That’s when Rick went from being squeaky-clean & reliable Mr. Rogers to super-hot yet ice-cold James Bond (the Daniel Craig version) and blew away Dave in one shot while he was trying to draw a gun from behind the bar, then before he could even aim his shotgun Rick put two holes through Tony’s torso then went over to put a third in his forehead, leaving him slumped over on the floor in the puddle of his own piss. He didn’t bat an eye or hesitate or go for a wounding/disarming shot- just right for the kill. It was fucking awesome!

Now Hershel’s looking at him like he’s never really seen him before and Glenn can’t look at him at all. Remember what I said about his rage and repression with the popping and the pimple comparison? Maybe we just saw how pus is going to start to ooze out in different ways. There’s going to be consequences for this- there always is. Glenn and Hershel will never be the same with him again, more gunfire could draw walkers to them or to the farm, and if Tony and Dave really were part of a group like Rick and Glenn are…well what would we expect the others to do if some strangers had killed them and not the other way around?

We also have Lori in an unknown state in her flipped car and the approaching dark. I know she won’t be dead but my thought is that she might’ve lost the baby in the crash, especially since she was wearing her seatbelt. Though I’m sure it saved her life she can’t be past the 12 week mark yet and something like that could cause severe enough trauma to her lower abdomen for her to miscarry. This would mean that she’s going to be bleeding- A LOT –and it’s not an injury you can just put a tourniquet on, you know? I’m thinking of the walkers and the attraction of fresh blood. If she’s too injured to haul ass out of there before nightfall she’s going to be in need of a manly rescue. I hope it’s Daryl.

On the plus side should my prediction be true, this bit of writing very neatly frees the group up to leave the farm for a more exciting location, while also creating drama in the sense that Glenn will have to choose between going with the group or staying behind with Maggie, who loves him now. My prediction: Maggie and Glenn will both go with the group because everyone else- Hershel, Jimmy, Patricia, the one who’s already sick- dies over the next series of episodes.

I can’t wait to see what I’m right about this time!

I don’t think it’s possible to be a fan of this show or the comic and never ask yourself what you would do & if you would make it in a Zombie Apocalypse. Personally, I’ve always believed that I would probably do okay- and if that turned out not to be the case I’d simply “opt out.”  But after watching episode 8 I am quite certain of my ability to get by in that situation. Why? Because this episode clarified for me exactly how completely and totally fucked up I am.

I’ll explain.

I’ve never really thought of Rick or Shane as sexually attractive. I could see the appeal and know that they’re both good-looking guys, they just never did anything for me. So what does any of this have to do with anything?

When Rick shot those two guys so fast and efficiently without showing an ounce of remorse, my exact thoughts were:

“Holy shit! Oh that was just AWESOME!! …And also really hot.”

Suddenly Rick is sexy as Hell and when I have a moment to really think about the implications of that change in opinion and the catalyst behind it- cold-blooded killing without any doubt or guilt- I realize how twisted that is, that this isn’t the first time something along these lines has happened, that I didn’t find Sam Winchester attractive until he was the vessel for Lucifer, and that I am so much more fucked up than I had originally estimated myself to be…

I’d do great in a zombie apocalypse!

But of course none of you would ever know that.

Slightly Sociopathic,

-Dianthrax

Image Gallery of Stills from Episode #8- “Nebraska”

**Note To my readers-

I know this is late. It’s so late that my review for episode 9 will be going up soon, and for that I apologize. You know I go in-depth with my examinations of the show and have frequent random tangents and that I always try to make sure any/all facts in my writing are accurate. Plus I have a ton of photos, many of which I acquire and edit myself, to sort through and prep for posting. On a good day I lean towards the slow end of the spectrum- add in other stuff and “slow” becomes…something that means even slower. As a general warning about this and all work for a while, expect delays. Why?

Hunter J. Conti: Born Feb. 9th 2012

My family always comes first and I have the most adorable newborn nephew ever, his 5 yr old brilliant and currently a bit needy brother, my exhausted and still recovering sister, and her equally exhausted and super-awesome husband, all in need of my services as The World’s Best Auntie.

I thought you should know exactly what it is that I’m doing instead of getting my shit done so that you will hopefully understand and be more inclined to forgive me 🙂 **


Sources: the AMC Press Resource Center, www.urbandictionary.com, http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-de