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 #4:
Well, this week certainly was an angsty one, now wasn’t it? Half of our heroes are all about fighting internal demons rather than physical monsters; while Carol and Tyreese really take this episode’s title to heart and have no fucks to give today. Either way, there is almost as much judging going on as when Dale was still on this show. Gah, sometimes I watch a clip of self-righteous Dale dying just to cheer myself up. Which he would probably judge me for. Rick does an impressive job picking up that mantle this week, so let’s go see why I hate Rick now.
The episode starts with Carol talking to creepy little Lizzie before she heads out with Rick for a supply run and a little emotional digging. Carol tries to bolster Lizzie’s courage about killing her neighbors, but Lizzie apparently enters her pre-teen rebellious stage and tells “Mom” that even if she dies, she isn’t afraid because she’s cool with being a zombie. Carol essentially responds, “No daughter of mine is going to be a zombie! Now, don’t call me ‘Mom’ and pull your knife out.” Sophia probably would have turned out toootally functional if she had lived.
We switch over to our fighters who appear to have outrun literally THOUSANDS of zombies off screen. How much time is supposed to have passed since last episode? I really feel like walking around that swarm should have been more of a project. Anyway, Tyreese isn’t worried about time (since everyone is probably dead), so he decides it’s laundry time and won’t come when called AGAIN. Forget what I said before about not killing off Tyreese. Can we get Carol over here to knife him and save us from his douche-baggery?
The group sets out to find a new car and Daryl finds a rock. I guess it’s a specific kind of rock that he picks up for someone in A block for some purpose? Anyway, I may not understand Daryl’s occasional mumbling (or geology), but I do understand guilt trips. Michonne teases him about having friends, but Daryl slams her for taking off so much and then goes to pout with his special pebble.
As a rare treat, The Walking Dead attempts to give random people in Zombieland a sense of humor. First, Carol and Rick find a station wagon with “Pardon our dust” written on the filthy windows. A classic, to be sure, but not nearly as good as the gas station where some teenage hoodlums moved around the numbers to spell a word. Like in elementary school when everyone figured out what “80085” looks like on a scientific calculator!
In an attempt to get into the overgrown convenience shop, the fighters take on their greatest challenge yet: zombie bush. Well, it starts off just a bush, but then Tyreese decides to take his frustrations out on vegetation and accidentally turns it into the most dangerous Chia Pet of all time. When the walkers start leaping out of the vines, everyone starts killing them. Except Tyreese, AGAIN. He continues to be a complete and total a-hole and appears to be trying to hug his zombie, until the others save him.
Tyreese doesn’t have an answer when Michonne calls him on his bullshit; just a stupid, tortured stare. But Michonne decides that enough is enough and pushes the point. She asks him straight out if he was really trying to die, or if he even knows what he’s trying to do. It’s a fair question, because I sure as hell don’t. Michonne tells him flat out, “Angry makes you stupid, and stupid gets you killed.” Apparently she needs to get some wisdom counseling from Hershel, because she makes a valid point, but it’s not necessarily the most helpful advice anyone has ever given on this show.
Inside the shop, Daryl and PTSD Bob find a battery as well as a pretty decent spread of auto supplies. They also find an emptied out bottle of anti-freeze that the bush zombies drank “holding hands, Kumbaya style.” Daryl and PTSD Bob disagree about whether it’s always worth fighting for survival, or if it’s easier just to go out on your own terms instead of watching everyone you love die horribly. PTSD Bob pensively looks at a live zombie (oxymoron?) pinned next to a picture of all the shop people being happy before they drank the Kool-aid. Then he unintentionally takes away a little bit of this zombie guy’s “death with dignity” decision by stabbing him in the head with the men’s room key.
Rick and Carol’s road trip has brought them to a cute little cul-de-sac neighborhood. Even though the show runners are obviously going for quaint, this doesn’t seem like the greatest strategic move. If walkers start coming at you down the street, you have willingly put yourself in a corner that requires a very slow 360 to drive out of. They raid the medicine cabinet of one house and find a walker, as well as two pretty clueless burnout kids who didn’t know there was a dead chick across the hall. Tweeker boy throws a peach down as a peace offering, but both Rick and Carol just watch it fall on a corpse. I’m mostly just surprised that these kids didn’t hit the medicine cabinet when they first broke in.
It turns out that they’re a little bit cute though. Mr. and Mrs. Tweeker talk about how they’ve been fairing in the post-apocalypse and they bust out their meet-cute! It’s the classic story of boy meets girl, girl nearly gets trampled to death in a fire, boy saves girl and loves her despite her horribly deformed leg. We even get a new name for zombies: skin eaters! Someone calls them “deadies” too, but I’m pretending that one didn’t happen. The Tweekers seem pretty non-threatening, so Rick goes into his “Riddle me these questions three” routine. They pass! Rick wants to leave them in the house until it’s time to head out since they’re pretty beat up, but Carol insists that they can help to cover more ground before nightfall. Rick reluctantly sends the Tweekers off with a gun and his watch.
Rick and Carol have made the rounds and are swinging by a greenhouse the Tweekers mentioned. They pick tomatoes and reminisce about their pre-zombie lives. Actually, Rick reminisces and Carol tells some really awful stories about her abusive husband. All I can think about during this exchange though, is why the hell are they picking around the green tomatoes?! People are starving, but Rick and Carol are too good for under-ripe produce. OH OKAY. Well it turns out that they don’t have to worry about feeding girl Tweeker, because they find her wonky leg a ridiculously far distance away from the rest of her body which is being devoured. Seriously, how did it get over there? Was her dying act to throw her screwed up leg fifty feet in the air?
The fighters finally make it to the vet hospital and I get nervous about whether animals turn in to zombies too, because I watched Pet Semetary way too young and it scared me. Luckily, all the puppies have already been completely eaten (a sentence I never expected to write). They find the lab surprisingly quickly and without conflict, but then are really picky about what meds they take. This is the same issue I had with the green tomatoes; there should be nothing on those shelves that they can’t fit in their bags. Even if you end up with some obscure ones, somebody might get heartworm someday, you don’t know.
Their exit from the hospital is decidedly less graceful and they end up jumping out a window, which works like a charm because apparently zombies can’t get three feet off the ground. They’re walkers, not climbers. The zombies are obviously just stuck there so that we can have a dramatic moment between Daryl and PTSD Bob. PTSD Bob had disclosed to Daryl earlier in the episode that he has a drinking problem that indirectly led to Zach’s death. At the time, Daryl comforted him with a succinct “That’s bullshit,” but any sympathy is gone. Instead of loading up on medicine, PTSD Bob filled his pack with liquor he found in the lab and when everyone finds out, they are NOT amused. Daryl tells PTSD Bob that if he has a single sip before the medicine gets back, he will end him. And I 100% believe that he would. I’m pretty sure I would take my chances with the walker swarm if Daryl ever yelled at me like that.
The cul-de-sac crew is all loaded up and debating whether they should leave boy Tweeker behind. There was no sign of him next to his lady, so he could be fine and on his way back. Rick wants to wait so that boy Tweeker isn’t stranded alone if he is ok, but Carol insists that they have to leave him regardless. Then she really gets on the “Indifference” train and says to Rick apologetically, “It was a nice watch.” Unfortunately, the fact that this is her take away here isn’t about to help Carol out in their next conversation.
Rick and Carol have spent the entire episode discussing changed morality, acceptable losses, and how far is too far. Even though Rick never asked Carol his three questions directly, he’s decided that she doesn’t pass anymore. She’s killed countless walkers. She murdered two people and now is indirectly responsible for the Tweekers’ downfall. And he doesn’t think that the coldness of her reasoning for it is justified. All this boils down to Rick deciding that Carol isn’t coming back to the prison.
Um, I am NOT ok with this. I have so many problems with this that I actually had to remind myself that throwing my remote at the screen won’t actually hurt Rick. Where does he get off being Carol’s judge, jury, and executioner? Does he honestly think that this is any different than what Carol did? If he is concerned about everyone not wanting her there or Tyreese wanting her dead, there should be some sort of trial. Or he could just keep his mouth shut. The bottom line here is that Rick is picking Tyreese, the unhinged man who attacked him for no reason, over Carol, who he has known since the beginning and who essentially runs the day to day chores of the prison. I’ve been saying all season that I love, love, love what they’re doing with Carol and to take her away from us at this point is just cruel.
So there’s no real cliffhanger this week; just a montage of people being pissed and depressed while I sit on my couch and try to invent ways that Carol can come back and punch Rick in the face. We’re only four Episodes into the season, so there’s still plenty of time!
Until next week, my friends!
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