The Walking Dead: Dead Weight

In the coming weeks, Ms. Hillary Bauer will be offering Episode-by-Episode reviews and recaps for TV’s most beloved Zombie Apocalypse Thriller: The Walking Dead. As an aside, this blog is in no way endorsed by the corporate fat-cats at AMC… But it probably should be! *Wink!*

Here’s Review #7:

Remember when there used to be series regulars on The Walking Dead?  Now apparently we’re just watching a show about our former villain, turned good guy, turned villain again.  Not to mention his newly adopted family, who are really the only reason any of this redemption arc business is being allowed to carry on.  Then throw in one of our more psychopathic Woodbury henchmen, and this episode feels like being at a friend of a friend’s party when you can’t find anyone you really know.

When we last left the Governor and his new nuclear unit, things were looking a little bleak.  But this week, we open on the Gov and Meghan playing some chess and dropping a couple more chess metaphors.  This week, the game of strategy gets to be a stand in for the strategy of staying alive in Zombieland, or as the Gov vaguely refers to it, “Surviving.”  This scene also serves to allow the Gov to do a little bit of exposition about his past: daddy didn’t love him!  Actually, it’s a really sad back-story, made even worse by the fact that Meghan can relate all too well.  She asks the Gov if that means that she’s bad, and it breaks my damn heart.

Well if last week was about thinking, this week is certainly about making moves.  The first of which is taking a backseat to his former follower, Martinez, so that he and his girls can join the new camp.  That satisfies the first of CampMartinez’s rules.  The second is that they don’t tolerate any freeloaders.  They cut the dead weight, even if that dead weight isn’t tall enough to ride roller coasters yet.  One of the new fighters is on board with saving women and children, but another member of the new group is pissed about more mouths to feed.  Turns out they’re brothers, so there’s a nice bro (Pete) and a pissy bro (Mitch).  I’ll give you $5 if you can guess which one lives through the episode.

Back at the camp, everyone is trying to find a way to be useful.  For Lilly, that means setting up a nursing station, since the healthcare in the camp is sorely lacking.  For Tara, it apparently means flirting with a hottie hot army girl over guns.  Tara insists that she’s “not a fan of big guns.”  The new girl, Alisha, calls her on her bullshit gun knowledge and pathetic attempt at double entendre; but she does so with a giddy grin and Tara’s net has been cast.

The Gov’s contribution to camp will be as an entry level fighter/supply runner.  He goes out for his first jaunt with Martinez and the Dolgen brothers, and Mitch starts laying into the Gov pretty much immediately, having renamed the Gov “One Eye Bri.”  Despite the relatively good nickname, I can’t fully approve.  The one thing I have never questioned about the Gov is that his eye patch is totally bad ass.  It makes me want one.

The new name does make me wonder how the Gov has been handling the elephant in the room of having his new brood and Martinez living together and being quite social without it coming up that he has two names.  It was never explicitly addressed, but it is possible that Martinez simply assumes that Brian was the Gov’s name all along and he just never used it in Woodbury.  Or Martinez may have picked up on the new arrivals’ dynamic and now he’s letting the The Governor’s old name die with their fallen town.  After all, Martinez doesn’t have a squeaky clean past either.

Out in the woods, the Gov’s spidey sense is tingling, so he breaks off from the group and finds a decapitated man in fatigues tied to a tree.  Unless the zombies have been practicing the knots they learned in Boy Scouts, this looks like a man made scene.  Plus, there’s a sign around the corpse’s… neck stump that reads “LIAR.”  (I may have fudged my taxes a little last year.  I’m sorry–don’t cut my head off!)  The group continues on their supply run and comes across another, even more bizarre, vignette.  This time, the decapitated corpse is sitting in a random armchair in a clearing with a sign on his chest that says “RAPIST.”  I’m beginning to think that there’s someone in these woods that is a little upset about something.  Probably just keep walking.  Good call.

The next guy committed RAPE, and we both get beheaded.  I should have shelled out for a better lawyer.

The next guy committed RAPE, and we both get beheaded. I should have shelled out for a better lawyer.

The fighters come across a cute little cottage, which probably has a pretty low asking price since there’s a dead guy in the foyer.  This man is slumped on the ground wearing a sign that says “MURDERER” on it, but does have most of his head intact.  The missing bits are splattered on the wall behind him.  Add in the shotgun in his lap, and it looks like our third victim may have offed himself.  He’s holding a picture of what we can assume is the dead man with what appears to be his wife and teenage daughter.  This story is starting to write itself a little bit more clearly now, but the Gov insists that it’s better not to speculate what happened here.  The photo of this destroyed family obviously throws the Gov off his game more than a little.

The time has come for the Gov to put up or gtfo, so he enters the cabin first to scope out if there’s anything good left to scavenge.  Also, if there’s anything (living or undead) waiting to take them out.  I am instantly annoyed.  Why the hell is it so dark in this house?  It is the middle of the damn day.  I know I’m just a city slicker, but aren’t country folk supposed to be all about natural lighting?  And I’m pretty sure that matches could light up the room better than that flashlight.

Hope you’re not trying to watch this on your laptop, asshole.  XOXO, AMC.

Hope you’re not trying to watch this on your laptop, asshole. XOXO, AMC.

They hear at least one walker banging around upstairs and assume that it must be stuck.  As soon as they get to the second level, a walker conveniently escapes where ever she’s been stuck for God knows how long, and hops on Pete’s back.  Pete, the sensitive soul that he is, totally sucks at fighting the lady in a nightgown which prompts the Gov to leap into action.  The Gov saves Pete and then Martinez in quick succession before totally freaking out that the zombies were actually the family of the man out front that he sympathized with five minutes earlier.

Never fear, Gov’nah!  I know what’ll cheer you up; there’s some reanimated heads rolling around on the floor over there!  Remember how much you love those?  Ah, the good ole days.

Everyone’s got a hobby.  Mine is knitting; the Gov’s is zombie heads.

Everyone’s got a hobby. Mine is knitting; the Gov’s is zombie heads.

Now back at the camp, the Gov is having dinner with Martinez, his girls, and Tara’s lady friend.  Everyone is having a grand time getting “shitfaced” as our resident wordsmith, Tara, puts it before taking off with her woman.  Lilly gives Alisha a peck on the check and yells “Be safe!” after the two ladies.  Jeez Lilly, it’s sweet that you like your sister’s girlfriend, but there are some things that are just always awkward to hear from an older sibling.

The Gov and Martinez retire to the top of the RV to hit some golf balls (and another bottle of liquor).  The heart-to-heart primarily consists of Martinez talking and the Gov being his human cup holder.  The monologue touches on family and how Martinez doesn’t think he could start over like the Gov has.  Then he talks about Shumpert and how he couldn’t come back from the Woodbury massacre, which ultimately resulted in his death.  I’m actually starting to think I can jell with Martinez as a character when The Walking Dead is all like “Oh, you like a character?  WE CAN FIX THAT.”  The Gov bludgeons Martinez out of nowhere and it totally catches me off guard.  Martinez had just admitted that all he could do was try to keep the camp safe and offered the Gov a chance to lead with him, which apparently didn’t sound appealing since the Gov screams “I don’t want it!” over and over again while dragging Martinez’s flailing body toward the zombie pit.  He probably would have accepted a simple “No, thank you.”

That night, Lilly finds the Gov sobbing on the bed, which he tries to just play off as a bad dream that he can’t remember.  Smooth cover story, bro.  Lilly drops it for now, but I can’t imagine that she’s going to stay dumb for much longer.  Especially since the very next morning, Pete announces to the camp that Martinez died in a drunken golfing accident that nobody witnessed.  Pete also assumes the leadership position until an actual vote can be taken.  Tara calls BS and Mitch calls her a bitch.  He annoyed me even before that little stunt.  Enjoy life on my shit list, sir.

Just to hammer home the philosophical difference between our three remaining fighters, they come across another small camp on the next supply run.  They notice that the campers actually do have a nice spread, so what to do now?  Pete suggests merging with new refugees but, lol no.  Shockingly, Mitch wants to ransack them for their supplies and, even though he doesn’t explicitly address it, I don’t think that he would lose sleep over any casualties.  The Gov doesn’t chime in, but the men move on anyway to see what else is out there.

The fighters collect from all of their traps, but are not amused when they walk by the camp they let lie before only to find that they’ve been pillaged and murdered by another group of humans.  Pete is floored by all the dead bodies, but Mitch is just mad that someone else has the supplies now.  Just then, Mitch notices an older man who didn’t die in the initial attack but instead of assessing his condition, he just goes over and stabs the old geezer in the head.  Pete then busts out the mantra of all the “heroes” this season: “He could have lived!”  To which Mitch responds in line with all the cut throat characters: “You’re an idiot and I like being alive,” or something along those lines.

This little spectacle drives home for the Gov how messed up things are here now.  Not a lot of sympathy here, seeing as things were fine before he took out the leader and collapsed the infrastructure.  Realizing that things are looking bleak, the Gov gathers up his crew in the middle of the night and leaves Camp Martinez.  Everyone in the car is pretty confused, including Alisha who has taken the stereotype about lesbians rushing into relationships to a crazy new level.  The escape attempt is aborted when the car comes across a mud pit filled with zombies stuck from the waist down.  It’s unclear whether this is a manmade trap or just a tough time to have an undead brain, but the moral of the story is that the team is headed back to the RV.

You shall not pass!

You shall not pass!

The next day, the Gov goes to visit Pete who has been expecting him.  Pete doesn’t get to say much before the Gov stabs him in the back without a word, because killing the camp leader worked out SO WELL yesterday.  Even though it was obvious five minutes into the episode that Pete was not long for this world, I’m still disappointed that the little lamb had to go.

The Gov’s next step is to go visit Mitch, wearing a new “don’t mess with me” leather coat similar to the one he sported in the Woodbury days.  Gun in hand, the Gov confirms for Mitch that Pete is dead, which causes Mitch to seem genuinely afraid and distraught about losing his brother.  I really appreciate this choice to make him react like a human being, rather than just making him a meathead macho man.  The Gov makes a speech about nice guys finishing last, and Mitch seems to sign on with the new ruthless approach that the Gov has in mind.

So here we are again.  The Gov is in charge of a new camp of blissfully ignorant survivors who don’t asks questions and are just happy to be part of a team.  All the while, the Gov is running around with his little Assembly of Evil, murdering and plotting.  After a seemingly innocent day of planning rations and building a perimeter, the Gov is pouring himself over a map and circles something that we can’t read (but honestly have a pretty good idea of what it is).  Lilly finds him and begs him to accept that this camp is their home now.  Never satisfied, the Gov continues to insist that there may be “someplace better.”

Life continues business as usual in the camp with Tara and Alisha standing guard, when Meghan pulls Tara away to play tag.  The whole interaction is adorable, but things take a turn when Meghan pulls back a sheet hanging on a clothes line and finds herself playing tag with a walker now.  Oi vey, these people just can’t stop themselves from hanging things for zombies to hide behind.  Everyone comes out of the close call unscathed (although I imagine Tara contracted a case of the heebie jeebies smooshing that decomposed ankle around), but the close call drives the Gov over the edge.

After visiting zombie Pete flailing around underwater in the lake where he has apparently started his new creepy zombie collection, the Gov hops in his car and heads out to find the “better place” he presumably circled on the map: the prison.  Damn, these characters can hold a grudge!  The Gov is like a dog with a bone when it comes to our main players; but we’ve known all along that the Gov is not the type of man to settle for less than he thinks he can get his hands on.

We close out the episode with the Gov’s timeline caught up with where we last left the prison, and I, for one, will not miss the wibbly wobbly timey wimey task of trying to figure out how everything meshes.  The mid-season finale is up next!  Is this the start of Governor-Prison War II, or is there another twist in the Gov’s development coming?

Until next week, my friends!

Check out Hillary’s Previous Posts:

S04 E01: 30 Days Without An Accident Review

S04 E02: Infected Review

S04 E03: Isolation Review

S04 E04: Indifference

S04 E05: Internment

S04 E06: Live Bait

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4 Strange Beginnings of Iconic TV Characters

Coming up with ideas is like sex in which you are perpetually a virgin. First, you’ve got the spark. Then you’ve got that awkward tension that becomes awkward foreplay. This results in slightly smelly, fumbling, lightning-fast intercourse that feels kinda cool but mostly stressful. Then it’s over and you get a little bit down on yourself, because let’s face, you coulda done better.

But after that first time, if you’re lucky, that idea will return your phone calls. Together, you find the things that work, the things that don’t, and the things that get you in trouble. You keep at it. Take notes. Make a science of it so you can be ready when biology takes over. If you stay committed to that idea for days, months, years, DECADES and continue to add elements to the mix, you notice how much it changes. Not to mention the other ideas that sprung out on a count of all this idea-sex.

So, without further tortured metaphor, here are a handful of Characters and the Creators that nailed them (that’s it, I promise).

The Simpsons

In 1977, the year of punk rock, Matt Groening was a 23 year old LA-transplant who worked crummy jobs and wrote comic strips. In ’78, that comic, Life In Hell, was featured in a magazine noted for its graphic content (That magazine? The wonderfully named Wet). It was his first professional sale and set the scene for a career filled with edgy, but oddly endearing cartoons. 10 years later, Simpsons shorts started popping up all over the Tracey Ullman Show.

It began as something raw and imperfect and crude, but over that run, we saw the characters take shape. The family’s features rounded out and softened up. Marge’s hair became less bee-hive and more phallic topiary. Key catch phrases were introduced (ie. “Don’t have a cow man”, “Why you little–“). Bart revealed himself as a scheming, wise-cracking exhibitionist, while Homer became the well-intended dimwit who occasionally strangles his children. And Maggie, of course, became a pantomime princess, eternally cooler than her future infant counterpart. Matt Groening also threw us hints that The Simpsons universe was expanding by introducing a handful of side characters (including Krusty the Clown and Grandpa).

Who would have thought that a former LA punk on the fringe of society could so deeply saturate pop culture?

Peter & Brian Griffin from Family Guy

Taking straight from the pages of the Hanna-Barbera and Groening handbooks, Family Guy was a surefire hit. Whereas those earlier creative forces blueprinted the “Successful Animated Sitcom” formula, MacFarlane took those tropes and squeezed out every last bit of comedic potential into a cacophony of flash-cuts and culture references. Everything, down to the family dynamic, was a parody of series’ past. And, especially in its first Fox run from 1999-2000, it worked phenomenally.

larryandsteve

But before Peter and Brian, there was Larry and Steve. A middle-aged imbecile and his anthropomorphic dog. Introduced as MacFarlane’s 1995 RISD thesis, The Life of Larry not only clearly defined the future icons’ personalities, it also contained material that would be later re-used in Family Guy’s early episodes.

Elmo (Baby Monster)

For all the flack he’s been getting in recent years, there’s no denying that Kevin Clash had a huge impact on Sesame Street and the Muppet legacy. Especially when you take into account that THIS was the early Elmo model.

Originally known as Baby Monster, the trucker-voiced misfit (portrayed here by Jerry Nelson) was passed around for years before finally getting a proper name in 1981, when Puppeteer Brian Muehl took the reigns. He then departed in 1984, leaving the character in the reluctant hands of Richard Hunt. What the hell is this? He asked. What do y’all expect – blood from a stone? A frog from a coat?! Indignant as he was, Hunt’s squeaky protestations did not go unheard by the Mighty Muppet Gods. When up-and-comer Kevin Clash eagerly adapted the fiery little furball, Hunt tossed it over like a hot potato. At the time, no one quite grasped that Hunt’s throwaway was Kevin’s ticket to notoriety. Here it was: his opportunity to live up to the promise of his admired predecessors. ‘Cuz needless to say, when your boss is Jim Henson, you step it the hell up.

Clash did that. He projected his excitement and fear and anxieties into a childlike persona, and in doing so, concocted one of Sesame Street’s most charming, sweet and commercially viable characters. Some would even argue he’s one of the biggest reasons the series continued to influence pop culture in the new millennium. Lucky for Clash, no amount of bad press can change that.

Arnold *No Last Name Given* from Hey Arnold! 

Allow me to lament the fact that there’s no surviving moral compass for children as influential as Arnold. This show was a fantastic lead-in to adulthood, especially for the inner city kids. Why? First off, it celebrated kid-lore. All those stories and fantasies that helped shape our view of the world. Second, the cast of characters were applicable to anyone. Who didn’t know a Helga, a Eugene, a Phoebe, a Rhonda, or a Gerald? From the odd-balls to the plastics, the show covered every kind of kid. Yes, even the ones on stoops.

But before all that, Arnold was just a kernel of an idea. A simple block of clay that spent an almost unhealthy amount of time daydreaming. Creator Craig Bartlett developed him in his time working on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. You may remember some of the earliest TV spots from 1988-1991. The last in that series, Arnold Rides A Chair, even aired on Sesame Street. I was a nose-picking five year old at the time and remember thinking it was the greatest thing to have ever graced God’s green earth – right alongside starburst candies and my beloved pair of ruby red slippers (I was Dorothy). Here’s the first short in that series, aptly titled Arnold Escapes From Church.

Note the mute children, the headless chauffeur, and Arnold’s early signs of paranoid schizophrenia. He may not have yet been his generation’s Malcolm Gladwell, but then again, all good things to those who wait. The LSD-free Arnold we know and love today made his premiere theatrically in an 8 minute short preceding the 1996 Nickelodeon cult favorite Harriet the Spy. The rest, as they say, is history.

Enjoy the Weekend, folks!

Stop, Silence, Don’t Bother me!

This may be the most important recipe you make in your holiday plans this season.

Ingredients:

  1. Quiet
  2. Time

Instruction: Mix both together and have a portion ever day!

I’m not kidding. Add in these ingredients to your day, EVERY DAY!

  1. quiet – truly take time not to talk, listen or hear. use this time to calm yourself. Initially, a pen and paper may be needed to note some thoughts for later time slots. Try to be still, empty your thoughts. Smell the air. Feel your body, muscles, circulation, skin.
  2. time
    • me – do something for yourself.
    • you – do something for someone else. Kindness toward others is genuinely beneficial for self.
    • us – do something with another person that adds value to your lives.

4-Reasons-to-leave-marginA couple of months ago, I took a suggestion from a twitter-tweet titled Four (4) Reasons to Leave Margin in Your Schedule, by Mike Burns, and learned a valuable lesson. I am terrible at balancing self-care,  time-management and needs/wants of others.

Mike-Headshot-for-sidebar-with-name

These are my notes: (copy and paste from Mike’s post)

  • What’s margin? Margin is blank space…It’s the concept of leaving open slots in your day where you don’t put any appointments.
  • Why?
    • because stuff happens
    • it lessens stress
    • it promotes creativity
    • it forces you to prioritize

The benefit of these margin insertions in my calendar has been less stress, more patience, proper self care, and appropriate attention to the stuff that happens.

A simple case-study: Margin has allowed me to eat lunch, bathe (there were days when I sadly didn’t make time), rest (on days when I’m under the weather) and take a friend’s call without needing to rush them.

I use an electronic calendar and I have automatically repeated these appointments so that the priorities remain in-line every day. If you don’t use an electronic calendar, I suggest a break from your busy life to mark these times on every day (me:, you: and us:) These are important items to incorporate into your life. If not, life goes by without us and we find ourselves un-bathed, poorly fed or connecting with friends after months or years of no contact. This isn’t healthy. We’re worth the time.

Capture_JeffGoinsHeader

In Josh Irby’s guest post: “Shut Up, I’m Writing!” on Jeff Goins’ blog, I learned some tips on how to keep quiet. Daily, I find myself writing and living with the suggestions I hear from Jeff and his tribe of co-contributors and those that are slowing down to succeed. I have happily joined a community that strives to slow down and pay attention to what really matters in life. I read these posts to enhance my writing and my living.

These are the facts (read Josh’s post to get the full story):

  • There are always questions to answer, teammates to encourage, problems to solve.
  • There are three voices that will drown out my [life] if I don’t control them.
    • The Critic, say Thank You and tell them they’re “not needed right now.”
    • The Cynic, say Thank You and tell them they’re “not welcome.”
    • The Doubter, say Thank You “for caring about [me] so much … Then tell [them] plainly, ‘Some things are worth getting hurt over.’ “

The response to the Doubter. Let’s talk about this for a second. Thank you for caring. I’m going to do it anyway. I know it may hurt. This is just great! Whether, we say this to an outsider or to our self to a thought inside our brain or heart. Emotional, intellectual and physical fitness all follow the same type of no-pain-no-gain philosophy. We have to stretch ourselves in order to get into new places and rise up to new levels of skill and success. We almost always will gain when we thoughtfully walk right through middle of fear. 

This chart/calendar may be helpful for you to get started.

Nov. 17
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18
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Dec. 1
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Jan. 1, ’14
quiet
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you
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2
quiet
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3
quiet
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us

Make time. Live life. Enjoy Yourself!

The Walking Dead: Live Bait

In the coming weeks, Ms. Hillary Bauer will be offering Episode-by-Episode reviews and recaps for TV’s most beloved Zombie Apocalypse Thriller: The Walking Dead. As an aside, this blog is in no way endorsed by the corporate fat-cats at AMC… But it probably should be! *Wink!*

Here’s Review #6:

Sometimes The Walking Dead screws with my head.  This week was a doozey.  I’ve been going over and over the Governor’s return for a couple of days now, and I can’t figure out what angle the writers are working.  The entirety of Season 3 was spent convincing us that the Governor was a complete psychopath, beyond redemption.  But this week’s episode felt exactly like a redemption arc.  At first it seems like this could just be inconsistency in the plot (which The Walking Dead has been guilty of in the past), but I don’t generally spend this much time thinking about poorly written character development.  So is the Governor a changed man, or manipulating the situation?  Is the writing thought provoking, or shoddy?  And why does the Governor talk like Batman now?!  One thing is for sure, I was not excited about the Governor coming back, but The Walking Dead at least has me curious.

We start the episode back at the end of Season 3 with the Governor mowing down all of the fighters of Woodbury.  But instead of watching the Governor drive off into the distance with his last two henchmen (Martinez and Shumpert) and returning back to the prison crew, we follow the pickup truck of doom to an empty field for a super depressing camping trip.  The Governor watches motionless as a lady zombie stumbles towards him in a dress that looks like it was pretty ugly even before she died in it.  Apparently her smock isn’t flame retardant either, because she falls in the fire pit and lights up like a candle.  A candle that the Governor just stares at emotionlessly until Martinez takes her out.  Get used to this blank stare; it happens a lot this episode.  I mean, a lot a lot.

The next morning, the Governor squeezes himself out of a comically small tent to find that his faithful minions were more like “fuck you” minions and have ditched him with no supplies whatsoever.  The Governor stands around looking angsty for a minute before making the completely logical decision to go back and light Woodbury on fire.  I actually appreciate them including this scene.  It had been bothering me all season that our characters have been holed up in a hopelessly dingy prison without even addressing why they don’t move over to Woodbury.  At least now I can pretend that they checked it out and it was a smoky zombie pit.  I’m also interested about the Governor’s motivation here.  On first viewing, I assumed he was intentionally destroying supplies as a final FU to everyone else.  But thinking about it later, he may have been using this as a sort of catharsis.  Maybe some combination of the two?

Apparently a super long time passes between scenes, because the Governor has just pulled way out in front for craziest shaggy hair/beard in the post-apocalypse.  Either that or the Governor has the testosterone of a bear and grows hair like a Chia pet.  A voice over confirms that it’s the former and goes on to say that he’s basically been walking slowly with pensive, twangy music in the background for a couple of months now.  The voice over is having a conversation with an unknown woman who asks about where he lived before he took up sad walking (it’s kind of like the opposite of Prancercise).  The Governor talks about Woodbury and its downfall because of its wacko leader losing it.  It’s true that he’s lying to random lady, but it doesn’t sound the same as when he used to lie before.  The Governor has always been a razzle dazzle con man, who turns on the charm until he locks you in a basement.  He sounds broken down here, but it’s still early in the episode.

This entire walking scene is very melodramatic, but there are several points in its favor that keep it from going too over the top.  The music, although not to my personal taste, does a nice job of creating the right vibe.  The song is Ben Nichols’ “Last Pale Light in the West” and is the first of several smart soundtrack choices in this episode.  The Governor also pauses at a barn covered with spray painted messages to missing loved ones; something that has happened after many real life disasters.  He seems genuinely moved by the display, which is dedicated in large part to a Brian Heriot.

The Governor carries on his dirge and evades a walker by walking like a walker.  Have I mentioned how much walking is going on?  The Governor finally collapses, but just when it looks like he’s given up all hope, a little girl appears in the window of an apartment building in his line of sight.  Mustering the last of his strength, the Governor stands up and goes to investigate.

Inside the complex, a woman with a baseball bat and a scared little girl cower in the doorway as the Governor approaches.  They’re joined by another uppity young woman with a gun.  Uh, shouldn’t the person with the gun pretty much always be in charge of door duty?  Without a word from anyone, the Governor throws down his pack and weapon.  I don’t see any way that Season 3 Governor would have relinquished the power in this situation so readily, so I’m intrigued.  The women welcome the strange sasquatch looking man we know and loathe into the house to probe him a little bit more, but he’s not talking.  Actually, the Governor hasn’t said a single word on screen and we’re almost ten minutes into the episode.  It’s an interesting choice, but ultimately I’m with gun girl that it’s the most annoying choice possible for this situation.

We actually end up learning more about the new characters than they do about their guest.  Foul mouth and entertainingly abrasive gun girl is Tara, who happens to be an Atlanta police officer.  Yay, lady cops!  Also in the apartment are Melody and her daughter, Meghan, as well as Tara and Melody’s father.  They’ve been stuck in this tiny apartment since the zombies showed up, which explains why they invite strangers into their home and still believe that the National Guard is coming.  Oh honey babies, just no.  No to all of that.

The Governor finally breaks his silence to confirm that he’ll spend the night in the next apartment over and then be on his merry way.  Tara puts her hand out to pound it and seal the deal, but eventually has to grab his hand to get her pound on.  They also tease us by making it seem like the Governor is telling us his real name, Brian.  But of course The Walking Dead can’t make it that easy and it turns out that he’s adopted the name he saw on the barn earlier.  Is it possible that the messages actually moved him?  I reiterate, these writers never make it easy.

Melody brings a plate of fictional brand Spaghettios to the Governor who’s sulking by himself and eating what I hope is canned tuna and not cat food.  Once alone, he throws it out the window without taking a bite.  Again, motivation?  He’s not putting on a show for anyone right now, so is this a show of distrust or has he just decided that he’s refusing the help of anyone these days?

Well, even if the Governor isn’t accepting help, these people certainly aren’t shy about asking for it.  When it’s time for bed, the Governor single handedly carries grandpa to his bed; a task that appears to have been a regular struggle for the girls up to this point.  Then he ventures upstairs, at the grandfather’s request, to retrieve a nice backgammon board in an attempt to cheer up Meghan.  It’s not exactly the most perilous mission we’ve seen a character on, but we do see one walker at least.  Really, he’s more of a layer-downer since all evidence is that he was a double amputee before the apocalypse.  Tub zombie really isn’t a threat to anyone, so the fact that the Governor knives him is really more of a mercy killing.

Actually, this scene carries an added weight, which I would think is unintentional.  This zombie is a decorated veteran who appears to have been injured in the line of duty.  From what I can gather, I’m pretty sure he must have crawled into the tub and committed suicide.  This episode aired less than a week after Veteran’s Day, so the whole thing just feels very unsettling.

As the Governor is on his way out the door, Melody stops him to try and say thank you with a bagged lunch and the return of his gun.  The Governor is still being confusingly nice and lets the girls keep his fancy gun while he keeps the old timey cowboy gun (again, so not a gun person).  He even passes along the info that you have to destroy the walkers’ brains to stop the suckers, which Tara didn’t know.  I realize these guys are supposed to be sheltered, but have they seriously never seen a single zombie movie?  C’mon people.  That’s not all though; grandpa is dying and Melody asks the Governor to raid a local nursing home for oxygen.  Ya know, to put a smile on Meghan’s face for a little longer.  No words necessary, the Governor is on his way.  Hm, might I be detecting a pattern here?

The oxygen run starts off pretty well since all the geriatric zombies are stuck in their bed/wheelchairs.  But things go south quickly when the Governor finds an entire dolly full of oxygen (yay!) that makes a lot of noise and attracts more zombies (boo!).  Unfortunately, this time it’s not someone’s formerly adorable Nana.  Now the Governor has to deal with the big orderlies they hire to lift Nana for bath time.  While I’m watching, I get tense and jump a little like I generally do during fight zombie scenes.  And then it hits me; hot damn, I’m worried for the Governor!  I’ll be back in five minutes when my brain reboots.

Come here and give Nana a kiss.

Come here and give Nana a kiss.

With two oxygen tanks in hand, the Governor returns triumphant to the apartment.  He’s still in his dark, angsty place, which is honestly getting a little old.  Luckily the ladies barge into Apt. 203 and force some human contact on Gov Sad Sack.  Melody plays nurse, mentioning that she enjoys the task since the apocalypse has been sooo boring so far.  Never change, you innocent song bird.  She forgets the ointment in the other room, which was really the only thing she needed.  You had one job, Mel!  This opens the door for Meghan to take crack at the Governor’s icy heart.  Question: am I the only one who hears Marcel the Shell every time she opens her mouth?  She asks him about his eye patch and the Governor tells her his secret: he’s a pirate, shhhhhh.  She giggles at his cheesy dad joke and the whole exchange is… adorable.  The Walking Dead is giving me trust issues.

After an undisclosed amount of time, the Governor has gotten a haircut which means that this redemption arc is apparently a thing that’s really happening.  Meghan is getting a chess lesson from her surrogate father, which gets more than a little heavy handed.  Meghan asks about pawns and the Governor tells her that you can lose a lot of soldiers and still win the game.  Then, totally unprompted, Meghan gets a sharpie and ruins a pretty nice chess board by Zombieland standards by giving the king an eye patch.

I once shot a bishop in Reno just to watch him die.

I once shot a bishop in Reno just to watch him die.

In the next room over, grandpa has joined the dearly departed and his family is taking a moment to mourn him.  But the Governor knows that the dearly departed quickly change into the revoltingly returned and tries to have everyone else with a pulse leave the room.  His advice falls on deaf ears and zombie grandpa gets a hold of Tara’s hair, prompting the Governor to bludgeon dear ole dad to a pulp in front of his entire family.  Where’s your knife, bro?  Knife to the eye still would have been scarring, but at least everyone wouldn’t be covered in old guy brain.

I’m thinking that this is pretty much it for the Governor and his new little family, but everyone is surprisingly cool with what just went down.  Tara practically thanks him and then goes in for the pound, which the Governor reciprocates this time.  If somebody ever smashes my brain in someday, they better not mourn me for twenty minutes and then team up with the guy, or I am haunting the shit out of that road trip.  But that’s exactly what happens.  They gather up the Roni Sticks, throw a mattress in the back of dad’s truck, and hit the streets.

There seem to be some serious issues with this decision.  The writers have already asked us to accept that two women with no (or minimal) defense training, a child, and a dying man have survived in this little apartment for approximately a year and a half without even knowing how to kill zombies.  If that’s the case, then why on God’s green Earth would they leave now?  Melody insists, “There has to be someplace better,” but nope.  This is really the best we’ve seen so far by a considerable margin.  The apartment people may not know that, but this seems like a pretty good time for the Governor to put his foot down.  He could at least insist that they do it right.  What is this business of only taking the truck?  If either of those women can drive, they should be travelling in at least two vehicles.  Extra storage space and a backup ride in case your truck breaks down in like… five minutes.

Back on the road, the Governor seems to be acting more like a human being again.  Back in his element, the Governor is carrying on actual conversations about being on the road and not moving like he’s stuck in some sort of slow motion CGI shot.  He’s even getting a little action.  After lights out, Melody puts the moves on the Governor and the two get down to a little bow chicka wow w- STOP!  SHUT IT DOWN NOW!  They’re in the back of the truck with Melody’s sister and daughter.  Just watching this scene makes me feel icky.

The next morning, the truck, of course, won’t start (bet you wish you had the sensible sedan now) so our crew has to hoof it.  The Governor isn’t happy, but I am because Tara tells us she’s a lesbian!  I prayed to the Television Gods for a queer character on this show and they sent me a glorious exposition story about camping and crushing on straight girls and then she falls down and cripples herself.  So, naturally, here come the zombies.  I’m gonna throw a nutty if they make her come out and kill her off less than five minutes later.  This “kill the lesbian” trend in tv recently is slowly killing me too.

Our foursome runs into the woods with Melody supporting Tara and the Governor carrying Meghan.  The Governor falls into a familiar looking hole with Meghan where he goes to town on three zombies.  Again I ask, where’s your knife, bro?  Apparently the holster didn’t go with his new “dad” look, so instead he kills a zombie by prying his skull into two parts with a comically oversized bone.  He even makes sure that he’s only three feet away from Meghan’s face at the perfect angle to look right down his throat.  Somehow or other, this makes her less afraid of the Governor and they have a good hug.

To round out the episode, we get our cliffhanger of the week.  I thought I had heard gun fire in the background while we were watching the fight in the pit, and it’s confirmed when the Governor looks up to see none other than his former subservient, Martinez.  I swear to God, I run into fewer people I know in my hometown than these people do wandering around literally the entire state of Georgia.  So, is this the passing of the big bad torch to another psychopath?  How is the Governor going to explain his past identity to his new nuclear unit?  And we still have to figure out how he ends up standing outside the prison, apparently by himself.

All questions that we can hope (in vain) to answer next week!

Check out Hillary’s Previous Posts:

S04 E01: 30 Days Without An Accident Review

S04 E02: Infected Review

S04 E03: Isolation Review

S04 E04: Indifference

S04 E05: Internment

Philly Weekend

We love getaways. Whether it’s in the form of a fantastic movie or a week-long retreat, we both believe that variety is the spice of life. So whenever we take the long road back home, we always have the same seed of thought: What’s our next adventure? Last year, readers may remember that Spencer extended our mystical Canadia Adventure with two days in Ogunquit, ME. What can we say? Sometimes it’s hard venturing off of the yellow brick road and making our way back home.

2013-11-10 09.20.44Traveling is always on our minds, so we do it frequently. We also make a game of not paying for things that don’t interest us. We love the comfort of a hotel room with glorious linens and 8.3 inches of walking space around the bed more than one with a dining table, full bar or jacuzzi! As frequent travel buddy Sister Paige says, “If it’s got wifi and parking, we’re there!” That said, this trip had a short but mandatory agenda: Museums, City and History. Ultimately, it was the prices and pictures that brought us to find this awesome 44-room hotel in the heart of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. You heard us, right in the center of Gayville – and we didn’t even plan it!

As a couple, we like to take our time, so we drove the 5 or 6 hours, with pit stops along the way. First stop, sandwiches and snacks at Gene’s Variety in Milford, MA. (They’ll get a full detailed description later, friends.) The long drive was shortened by talk of other grand adventures and AJ’s driving took a few months off of Spencer’s life in the George Washington Bridge Area.

Welcome to the Gayborhood!

When we arrived, there were a few things that really tickled us. We saw street signs adorned with the rainbow colors of equality, architecture that transported us to days long past and to AJ’s relief, there was a Starbucks on the corner. After we put our things in the room, we were off – on foot – to explore. Rhonda, our adorable desk agent, welcomed us like passing by was a daily routine.

2013-11-09 23.36.452013-11-09 23.37.25First stop was the Tavern on Camac after about an hour of seeing and being seen. The Tavern, like many establishments in the area is a multi-level entertainment complex. The main floor is a piano lounge that had a max-capacity crowd wailing with the pianist. You’d swear they were waiting for Liza and Billy Stritch. Downstairs is a beautiful restaurant, where we met Angela, who may be aptly described as the charming soul-twin of Elaine Benes. She became a huge factor in our complete enjoyment of our stay, from her sunny disposition to her wonderful night-life guidance. Our food selections for the evening?  A delicious dinner of Duck Pot Pie (Special) and Grilled Free Bird Chicken Breast Sandwich ($12 Fontal cheese, cremini mushrooms, pickled onions, crispy brussel sprouts, truffle aioli.) with the Grilled Asparagus appetizer ($6 Served with Lamb Chopper cheese, poached egg, black pepper, served with grilled bread). Each bite was notable. The Duck Pot Pie was baked into a crock that was completely lined with the buttery crust. The sandwich was topped with individually separated and crisped brussel sprout leaves. Our appetizer was the show stopper. Who would think to top some grilled asparagus with a poached egg and some delicious shaved cheese? None other than, Winner of the 2010 season of “Chopped” Chef Mackenzie Hilton. Our compliments!

2013-11-09 23.15.27

Go Ask Alice, I Think She’ll Know

2013-11-10 10.50.082013-11-10 10.50.28Our walk to the Mütter took less time than anticipated, so we decided on some breakfast. We walked around the adjacent business district finding several national staples, all closed for business. Here, the barristers and the baristas don’t work weekends. We nearly gave up, untilwe saw two of Philly’s Golden Girls, struttin’ their stuff – on the way to Trader Joe’s. Alice, Blanche’s cousin and Sophia’s classmate Ruthie. First, they didn’t hear, then once they understood, Alice was fist pumping the heavens insisting that we go to day by day at 21st and Sansom. We were on the hunt! and O. M. G! We found a killer spot.

Breakfast offerings A-Z with any substitution, etc. etc. AJ had the Scrambler of the day: Applewood Bacon, Kale and Cheddar. Spencer opted for the delicious and satisfying Chorizo Breakfast Burrito. You may notice that the plates had some digging already. We were so excited the whole trip, that we kept forgetting to take photos of our plates as they were delivered. It got pretty bad. Spencer literally refused to put down the other half of the burrito for this photo shoot.

Mütter Museum

One might think that for two gay men, the draw of the City of Brotherly Love would be, ya know, the Brotherly Love. In the end, that’s why we’ll be going back, but it was the Mütter Museum that originally put Philadelphia under our radar.

Close friend Lillian first identified this unusual gem as the Museum of Medical Oddities a few years back. Elaborate Googling promised a handful of bizarre exhibits. Things like: top-heavy cephalic skulls, twins conjoined at the butt, a wall of eye infections, and a dude (who turned out to be lady) with an 11-inch horn protruding from hir forehead. Sold!

And the best part? For $15, we got much more than that. The skeletal specimens (of which there were a TON) included the full body of a 7’6” man, the compact rib-cage of a corset-donning harlot, and lots of battle-wounded bones. Elsewhere, we discovered the scary tools they used to birth-out babies back-in-the-day and a case devoted to the study of Albert Einstein’s freakish brain. Question: Is it better or worse when even SCIENCE points at you and calls you a weirdo? Discuss!

Be jealous.

Be jealous.

Another point of interest: there was an entire segment devoted to civil war atrocities, with an underlying theme of doctors-did-not-know-what-the-hell-they-doing-back-then. Seriously, there was a display of a medical emergency book that was written 9 days before the war! There was also a really cool interactive video projection that simulated and described what happened when those soldiers got shot. I’ll give you a hint: Hello gangrene! Bye-Bye appendages! AJ did it, but Spencer got scared (the room was dark)!

In the gift shop, Spencer feebly attempted to gather some souvenirs for his friend that he’ll totally invite next time. And he treated himself to a rockin’ tee.

Who’s Got the Crack?

We were back in the Gayborhood, and our weekend was winding down. Exhausted from a full day of exploration, the senior citizen of the group decided to re-enact his club kid days and insisted we muscle through the evening. There were about 47 gay spots left to see, so we were off.

At the suggestion of our newest friend Angela, we ventured to the Venture Inn for a bite to eat. Spencer had a drink and we shared an appetizer platter. It was a mix and match: We picked the beef and cheddar spring rolls, pot stickers and BBQ boneless wings. Each were tasty and the BBQ Sauce had a good kick.

After chatting up an adorable bartender, we were surprised to see none other than our Philadelphia bestie Angie step into the room, accompanied by her equally lovable friend Andrea. Here, she gave us yet another phenomenal recommendation. Seriously, this woman definitely became the Dear Abby of our vacation plans.

Knowing us all too well, she sent us to the Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar for a drag show. This was a unique joint, in that the first floor functions as a sports bar with an eclectic mix of gay and straight patrons, while the divas performed upstairs. When we walked in, AJ instantly played six degrees of separation with an even more adorable bartender and we snatched a table for some additional appetizers.

Another order of kickin’ wings and the house nachos that are prepped in a sheet pan so most every chip is treated equally 🙂 and then served on a wicker tray. Very good nachos.

We LOVED the atmosphere. The staff was super-friendly and the cheers of enthusiastic sports fans created an all around warm vibe. Try as we might, we’ll never understand how many home-runs it takes to win a football game, but the spectators’ excitement was absolutely contagious.

With our bellies widened and anticipation sky-rocketing, we elevated to the 2nd story. Here we met a bartender who didn’t snuff our water order (seriously, that guy may never know how much we appreciated his sweetness), and got a front row seat to the last-minute pre-show planning.

Fatigue was setting in and our old man bodies were slowly shutting down. But no! We’re no quitters! So we stuck it out. And the party to end all Philadelphia parties commenced.

The show was part of a weekly series called Sinful Sundays hosted by local mega-talent The Goddess Isis. She was recently dubbed by Philadelphia Gay News as the city’s #1 Drag Queen, and it’s no wonder why. Her presentation was impeccable. The gestures and over the top facial contortions were perfect (especially when accompanied by an equally ridiculous live recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” performed by Patti LaBelle). And Isis even showed off her chops as a trained singer herself (her college vocal coach was actually in the audience that evening). The unending showmanship was evidenced by her quick response-time to unexpected hiccups in the show. She never stopped being entertaining on stage and off. We loved her.

Her co-stars weren’t too shabby either. “Japanese Singing Sensation” Satine Harlow provided 1/2 of some fantastic odd-couple banter with the show’s host throughout the night (beginning and ending with the protest that she is in fact NOT a Japanese Singing Sensation). Her lip-sync of Miley’s “Wrecking Ball” was a highlight, and she showed some tremendous gratitude to her audience throughout the performance. Then there was Ann Artist. A tall, fit, perhaps criminally insane punk-rock queen who seems to have mastered the art of controlled chaos. She was introduced with a jittering uptempo rendition of Lorde’s smash hit “Royals”. It was great, but came in second to her scarily appropriate follow-up: The Moldy Peaches’ “Who’s Got the Crack?” It is absolutely relevant to include that Ann fiended for those dollar bills. Girl knows how to work.

The jolt that hour gave us cannot be understated. We loved every second of it. Each lady put on a stellar performance, and we can’t wait to go back. But, like all good things, it came to an end. By about 1am we were back in our beds and dreaming to stay another week.

Independence and Sweet Sorrow

The next day brought us through the the Independence District for a view of what we will see on our return visit. Souvenir shopping and lunching on Philly Cheese Steaks rounded out our weekend of fond memories and wicked awesome weather.

Until Next Time Philly, Keep Loving!

Toll House Cookies, The Splenda Recipe

Most of my life included some type of family event with the feature being my Mom’s chocolate chip cookies. She’s always been a crowd pleasing baker and her chocolate chip cookies are the show-stopper. You can imagine, when prepping for weight loss surgery, I was nervous about not being able to have them. Well, Thanks to the good of GOODNESS!!! Splenda was invented!! This recipe makes up the delicious goodness of childhood without the sugar and while they aren’t going to help you lose weight…they’ll make you smile. Eat just a few. Share the rest with a large group of friends. 
 
Splenda/No Sugar Adaptation of The Original Nestlé® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

This famous classic American cookie needs no introduction. This is AJ’s adaptation of the recipe from Nestlé USA. Go to their site for official recipe, which calls for granulated sugar.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes (* See cooks note)
Total preparation time: 25 minutes
Serving number: 60 (LOL! I’m lucky if I get 24, 4-bite cookies.)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups / 300 g All purpose flour (or plain flour)
1 tsp / 1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp / 1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda [extra when using splenda]

1 cup / 200 g Butter (softened (or shortening))
3/4 cup / 150 g SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
2/3 cup / 150 g SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
2 tsp / 2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 large / 2 large Eggs

2 cups / 300 g NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi sweet chocolate morsels (* See cooks note)

Preparation steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, dry milk and baking powder in a small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
  6. Stir in the NESTLÉ Toll House morsels.
  7. Drop by rounded spoonful onto ungreased baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.

2012-12-10 17.36.08COOKS NOTE(s):

Did you know that chocolate chip cookies were invented in Massachusetts in 1937?

Bake. Share. Enjoy!

The Walking Dead: Internment

In the coming weeks, Ms. Hillary Bauer will be offering Episode-by-Episode reviews and recaps for TV’s most beloved Zombie Apocalypse Thriller: The Walking Dead. As an aside, this blog is in no way endorsed by the corporate fat-cats at AMC… But it probably should be! *Wink!*

Here’s Review #5:

Hershel, Hershel, and more Hershel.  I would actually like to know what percentage of the screen time for this week’s episode of The Walking Dead the man actually took up.  Although, that does kind of make me nervous for him.  This episode felt an awful lot like a swan song, so it may have been his Emmy push.  But before we get into that, let’s go kill some more people of Woodbury, finally knock down that stupid fence, and talk about why I’m not at all excited about the cliffhanger of the week.

I’m still so mad at Rick!  I don’t feel bad for him looking all tortured in this artsy driving shot (that The Walking Dead has used kind of a lot this year).  In fact, it makes me angry in a way which I don’t think that the writers intended.  Rick is too smug in his torment.  It’s like he wraps himself up in it like a cozy blanket of depression that people comment on, but still deal with.  The only thing I will say for Rick, he’s the least terrible driver on the show.  Not even a mangled zombie being eaten by feral dogs on the side of the road can distract him.  I see a dead squirrel in the middle of the road and the life of everyone around me is in danger.  Maybe Daryl and I can take lessons together.

Back in the death flu clinic, what’s left of the council has moved on to intubating the patients which seems really useless to me.  I realize the point is to reinforce Hershel’s never give up, never surrender attitude, but this is just an exercise in futility that nobody would realistically go along with.  “Here, Sasha, now just pump this bag for literally the rest of that guy’s life.”  Plus, they appear to only have one unit.  Why are we even pretending random curly haired kid is the lucky one when we know that thing is ending up down the throat of a main character?

Hershel makes some cheesy dad jokes about moving spaghetti night, right after they find some spaghetti.  His attempt at levity is entirely unsuccessful since, unfortunately, a room full of terminally ill people is a tough crowd.  Hershel and Glenn go on rounds, which appears to just mean walking around and looking at increasingly gross people.  They find someone that they didn’t get to in time with the magic intubation bag, but Hershel won’t let Glenn off him in Gen Pop.  I get the impression that Maggie and Beth sent some dogs to a farm upstate when they were kids.

Creepy Lizzie shows up and makes me more uncomfortable than any zombie on this show can.  She catches the undertakers wheeling dead Woodbury resident away to “someplace quieter.”  Heaven?  I basically assume everything that comes out of Hershel’s mouth is religious in a way that goes over my head.  He tells Lizzie to go get his copy of Tom Sawyer and read it by the end of the night.  Um, I have a feeling that she hasn’t been able to practice her reading for a while, so she might be a little below her grade level.  Plus, I know they’re in the South, but I’m pretty sure kids get a conversation about racism and historical mistakes nowadays before they get that assignment.

Maggie and Hershel come to the magic window of revelations, where I realize that Maggie is the only person on this show that gets increasingly attractive the more screwed up her hair is.  Hershel gives her one of his less impressive wisdom speeches, but does convince her she can do more good outside of the death flu clinic.  As Hershel leaves, he finds Glenn who lied so that he wouldn’t have to talk to Maggie.  I wanna slap this boy up the back his head!  I hate when characters pull the total BS of keeping their distance so that they don’t hurt their loved ones.  It’s not your decision and you’re hurting them already.  Now go talk to your fiancé!

The next day, Maggie is out at the fence poking zombies by herself.  Is there anyone left not in the death flu clinic?  If so, why aren’t they helping her?!  This stupid fence drives me crazy.  They have offered no good reason why they don’t have everybody down there at all times taking out walkers.  Lame ass plot device…

Rick arrives back alone (raaaaage!) and just starts yelling names in the most frantic way possible, confirming once and for all that Woodbury can eff off since he doesn’t ask about them.  Seriously, he had a pretty long car ride to figure out an entrance and this is what he lands on?  Maggie will surely side with me about everyone’s buddy Carol.  No, Maggie!  He was not right, and not even your perfectly tousled hair can convince me otherwise.

Rick swings by the quarantine daycare to check in on Carl and the other invisible children, and to drop off snack time.  Today the kids are having fruit leather, but only if they brush their teeth after!  Is this why Rick is running around like a chicken with his head cut off?  It’s not like he has actual medication to get to the clinic.  Anyway, Carl calls after Rick to ask when he can come out and play but Rick is still not having it.  Then he drops a douchey exit line about how he may not be able to protect Carl, but it’s still his job to try.  I swear, smugness oozes from this man’s pores.

The clinic has become Hershel’s playground where he’s romping around pretty well on his peg leg.  He goes to check in on Doc S, who has certainly looked better.  Doc S must know he’s having a bad hair day because he is in a crap mood.  If he turned into a zombie right this minute, he wouldn’t want to eat Hershel; he would just want to hurt his feelings.

Doc S was always a little pudgy, but relatively attractive.  This “face exploding” look really isn’t working for him though

Doc S was always a little pudgy, but relatively attractive. This “face exploding” look really isn’t working for him though

Doc S blurts out his opinion on the issue everyone has been tiptoeing around: knock it off with the damn tea and intubation bag and let some bodies hit the floor.  He even has a shotgun hidden under his bed to make sure he gets to be a complete bummer before he dies.  “The Hippocratic Oath” is probably not going to be his dying thought, unless there’s a “fuck” in front of it.

Right after the uplifting words of wisdom from Doc S, Hershel goes to tuck everyone into bed for the night.  A man stumbles out of his cell and dies in front of everyone, which obviously upsets Hershel.  Getting these dying people to stay in bed is like trying to keep down a bratty toddler!  Also, this is what he’s been trying to avoid this whole time.  He wheels the man’s corpse out of Gen Pop and, after a moment of hesitation, stabs his first lost patient in the head.  But where does he happen to be standing?  The magic window of revelations!

Unfortunately, Hershel is only having depressing revelations this week.  Rick happens to be standing behind him and they have a pretty bummer conversation about burning bodies (which they should have been doing all along), Steinbeck quotes, and the world never going back to the way it was before.  When it boils down to it though, Hershel is still very vehement that there’s a plan.  Except Rick, being the jerk that he is, decides to pick a moment where Hershel’s last sliver of hope is very exposed to tell him about Carol.  I think Rick actually enjoys bumming people out.

Maggie and Rick are outside finally trying to do something about the fence.  I’ve been begging for this all season so I should be happy; but I was not begging for THIS.  Whose idea was it to bolster the fence with wood that they’re propping up on a gravel path?  Not to mention that third graders have a better understanding of angles than these two.  Some of those logs are practically lying on the ground.  Humph, let’s just break the damn fence and get it over with.

Things are starting to look pretty grim in the death flu clinic.  Hershel finds Sasha passed out in her cell and takes a little while to get her conscious again.  While he’s with Sasha, other people are dropping like flies.  A zombie barrels out her cell and gets the jump on Hershel which draws several people out of their cells to help: a young blonde who saves Hershel’s life and is promptly shot for her trouble by a man being bitten by his dead son.

Meanwhile, the man Glenn has been helping with the useless intubation bag has proven said bag to be useless and dies.  Glenn conveniently begins to decline quickly at that exact moment and passes out next the newly made zombie.  Lizzie helps Glenn in the creepiest way she can come up with and decides to lure the walker out of the cell by talking to him like he’s a dog.  She did save Glenn just now though, so I’ll give her a break this time.

Look at that sassy pose.  It’s almost like a creepy dance off.

Look at that sassy pose. It’s almost like a creepy dance off.

The fence crew hears the gun shots and Maggie runs inside to help the death flu clinic, but misunderstands how doors work in quarantine and is surprised by the locked door.  She eventually shoots her way in and helps to save her betrothed.  Hershel swings by Doc S’s cell to get the shotgun, but finds that the good doctor has become a zombie in the cell with the only weapon.  Take this knife to the eye as a parting gift.

Once inside the cell, Hershel actually throws the Bible out of his pocket so he can fill them with shotgun casings.  Maaay have just gotten a little heavy handed there, guys.  They manage to get the clinic under control and save Glenn (but damn if they didn’t scare me on that one).  Lizzie comes to the cell where Glenn and Maggie have just reunited and asks if it’s over.  Maggie confirms and Lizzie responds by drawing circles in Glenn’s blood with her boot.  Take a second to read that last sentence again.  Forget what I said before about giving her a break.  I am terrified of that little devil child.

On the fence, Rick has recruited Carl to try and hold up the Hoover Dam with toothpicks.  They obviously fail and DING DONG, THE FENCE IS DEAD!  But there is the problem now of the zombie flood coming at the Grimes men.  Luckily, machine guns are apparently easy enough to use that a thirteen year old can learn how to use one in eleven seconds.  (Disclaimer: I have no idea if they’re technically “machine guns.”  Not a big gun person.)  The boys come back and finish off the herd while they do a little father-son bonding over zombie poking.  Why didn’t they just take out the fence herd this way before?  I know they avoid firing weapons when possible, but this looked like it couldn’t have taken more than fifteen minutes.

The fighters (remember them) are back with the medicine, so now we can cure everyone who’s left with magical antibiotics.  Seriously, antibiotics just have to be in your general vicinity to work immediately.  With everyone back in the prison, Hershel is off duty for the first time in a while.  He goes back to Doc S’s cell and closes the eye that he didn’t stab him through earlier.  Sitting over the body of his dead friend, Hershel picks up his Bible and opens it.  He just starts crying and I can’t even handle it!  It’s like if you see someone break down for the first time and freeze up.  Is this a pat on the back or pour a shot moment?!

Of course they deprive us of Rick telling Daryl about Carol for the week, so all that’s really left is the cliffhanger of the week.  Hmmm, I wonder what that creepy music as we pan back to the perimeter could mean.  “The Governor?!  I thought he was gone forever,” said no one.  They are really going to have to win me over this time around.  His first pass around, The Governor really irked me, because he was just evil for the sake of being evil.  But I will try and keep an open mind moving forward, and see if they can round him out a little bit.

Until next week, my friends!

Check out Hillary’s Previous Posts:

S04 E01: 30 Days Without An Accident Review

S04 E02: Infected Review

S04 E03: Isolation Review

S04 E04: Indifference