Hello, Episode 2! Now we’re talking! I have a great appreciation for character development, but every now and then it’s nice to just have some mindless action and stomach turning moments thrown in your face. Lucky for us, the Walking Dead offers both. Last night’s show managed to amp up the fear factor while still setting us up for future story lines, hinting at characters’ pasts, and exploring the emotional growth of others. And we’re still waiting for the Governor to show up!
Before I go any further, let’s just get this out of the way: SPOILER ALERT. Those two words couldn’t be any more clear. Got it? Okay, good.
For those of you who haven’t watched yet, or who need reminding of the details, read a complete S4-E02 Recap here.
All set? Alrighty, then. Allow me to dust off my soap box and rant a while….
First and foremost, this whole concept of “spoilers” is becoming ridiculous. We have become a race of humans dependent upon electronics and the internet. We have created a world of instant communication and gratification. We must reap what we sow. I have been chastised on Twitter for commenting on the scenic background of Breaking Bad–which has nothing to do with the plot. Yet, I was accused of “spoiling it for others” who hadn’t yet watched. Last week, even after 2 days of warnings that I Live Tweet during TWD, I was again, accused of ruining things. Last night, a friend of mine was outright bullied because she submitted a question to AMC’s the Talking Dead. For those of you who don’t know (who ARE you?) it is a recap show that immediately follows TWD and discusses the episode with writers, producers, cast members, celebrity guests, and fans. Yes, I said immediately after. My friend received numerous harassing tweets, was called an “asshole” more than once, was blocked, un-followed, and later continued to be made fun of on the culprit’s Twitter feed. All because she asked a question at the request of the network that airs the show.
In my experience, the main group of whiners are those who a) live in different time zones of the US, b) live outside of the country where the show airs a week later, c) those who have to work and/or have some other reason to be recording the show on their DVR for later viewing. I pity none of you. You spend all of your time on social media sites, so clearly you understand how this works. The idea of “water cooler conversation” on a Monday morning has become obsolete. No longer do we have to wait for the daily newspaper to provide a recap of the show (yes…that’s how it was when I grew up…we could even read up on what we had missed that week on our daily soap operas). No more waiting for Entertainment Tonight to tell you what happened. You know instantly. This is not a government secret! You know how the internet works! If I know that I can’t watch a show live (which happens a lot, given that I have over 40 season passes set on my DVR) I go on with life like a normal person. If I happen to see a “spoiler” I might say, “oh, man!” but then I move on and enjoy the show when I do see it. I don’t cry about it. I don’t whine about it. I certainly do not bully or threaten total strangers about it. Grow up. If you live in a different country…I still do not pity you. I should not have to avoid social media for a solid week waiting for you to catch up. For years and years before the dumbing down of Doctor Who with Matt Smith, I did not have that luxury. At any given point in time I was months behind the UK. It killed me to know about the “Doctor-Donna” or the return of Rose Tyler months before it actually aired. But it didn’t destroy my life. I’m a reasonable person. Having to wait a whole 7 days to catch up on TWD is not detrimental. If it bothers you that much, might I suggest you download or stream a torrent? Nearly every show on television is available somewhere on the internet within an hour of its original air date. Not that I’m condoning the piracy, but c’mon! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that way should never include bullying! If you live on the west coast of the US, do NOT come whining about spoilers from the east coast. You know when the show airs. Do you not have the restraint to stay off of social media for just a little while? Really? Get over yourself.
Okay, that’s out of my system. You bunch of whiny butts. Moving right along….
I have to say, the first 20 minutes of the show were the most intense, for me, in a very long time. Aside from the pilot episode, there was the Herd on the Highway, the Burning of Hershel’s Farm, the Taking of the Prison, and the Killer Within. Last night’s episode had me trying to control my breathing and heart rate right from the start. It wasn’t the rats being fed to walkers, after all…SPOILER ALERT…AMC already showed us that in the trailer last July. I’m talking about the game of cat and mouse between Karen and Patrick. This was classic horror movie level shite. And I LOVED it.
What I didn’t like was the fact that I allowed myself to gloat. I have been complaining since Season 1 that the only thing that could make this show realistic is if they added in the affects of illness and weather. These people are holed up in GA and have not once in their roughly 2 year timeline, had to deal with the severe pollen and weather that annually plagues the Atlanta area (check many of my previous blogs, including last week’s for that rant). The only time anyone on the show has been shown sick, was the first appearance of Andrea in Season 3. Her cough rivaled mine! They are living in unsanitary conditions, and were probably healthier when they were living a Nomadic lifestyle. But now that they’ve been in one place for so long, that stuff builds up. Cholera, Diptheria, Salmonella, Pertussis, any variety of Pox, hell, even a common cold would be realistic. It’s taken this long for the flu to reach them. They are finally remembering that not all Walkers were “turned” by other Walkers. Some died of natural causes and are now walking petri dishes.
It’s about time someone got sick! I’ve said it for years, and I preached it last week when Patrick first fell. Nature is the greatest threat and greatest gift to mankind. Wrap your mind around that for a little while.
Now…the fence line. Here’s my problem with the whole fence issue: Why haven’t they done a better job of reinforcement? In Season 3, we discover that Morgan managed to secure practically an entire down town area by himself. At the start of Season 4, we see that the gang has devised new ways to open and close the main gate (after the Governor destroyed it). Not only that, but they set up some nifty wooden “road blocks” all along the entrance and their “deer whacker” gates do a nice job of spearing Walkers. We heard Carol and Daryl discussing, last week, how every couple of months the Walkers will build up in a single area rather than spread out. So….
At a point when the walkers were thinned out, or even now, in a clump on the opposite side of the place, why didn’t they attempt to put more of those wooden blockades in front of the chain link fence line? Look at all they accomplished in the months of living with the Woodbury crew. With that number of people they should have been capable of doing a lot more to protect themselves. Here’s another idea! The pathway between fence lines runs like an access road separating the oustside world with the prison yard. They could have filled that area with the wooden spikes. In the event of the outer fence failing, Walkers would be impaled. Better yet….dig that access path out and create a moat! The Woodbury people know all about digging big ditches to catch Walkers (oh, don’t act like they didn’t all know…they’re not innocent…they enjoyed the gladiator Walker battles). A nice moat dug out that could catch any Walkers that breach the outer fence would have been a lovely addition to the prison! Then, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. They are so poorly prepared and far too comfortable for what they are dealing with. But, that’s how you write a story. You need holes and plot devices and the ability to suspend disbelief now and again so that they can keep the story moving along.
On a lighter note….This little piggy went to market….this little piggy stayed home….this little piggy caught the Spanish Flu….so these little piggies became Walker bait. Full on, cut their thighs so that they will a) attract Walkers with their blood and painful screaming, and b) prevent them from running. It’s almost too punny to say that Rick “ham-stringed” them. Womp Womp.
This new season is going to be ridiculously fun. I can already tell. And, I’m still pretty sure that either Daryl or Carol will be dead before the end of the season, and that bothers me to my very core.
Until next time…..