The Walking Dead Review “Inmates” S4E10

After such a lackluster mid-season opener last week, this weeks “Inmates” really stepped it up for The Walking Dead fans. With such important questions finally answered and the details of the moments right after the raid for each set of remaining characters, this week was what we’ve been waiting for since December.  Instead of trying to break down the episode, which made it evident everything was happening at once, this review will be broken down by character, because honestly, it’s easier that way.

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Daryl and Beth

Seemingly, Beth is only with Daryl because at the moment, she is the weakest of the adults and he is the strongest.  Is this supposed to be a way to get them to hook up?  We sure hope not.  Forcing sexual tension in the show where it doesn’t need to be would be gratuitous.  The letter Beth was narrating was a powerful piece of writing considering how weak the writing in The Walking Dead can sometimes be.  It was a great juxtaposition between the hope they all once felt in the prison and the despair and danger they are all in now, especially with the scene of the vultures flying above their heads.  Daryl, meanwhile, is beyond hope.  He was quick to throw Hershel’s death in Beth’s face only a few hours after it happened.  He may not be giving a Cherokee Rose speech anytime soon, but he still has a soft heart because he couldn’t really walk away once Beth broke down.  When Beth and Daryl find the feeding scene at the tracks, Beth finally lets it all out.  She’s been frugal with her emotions through the loss of Jimmy, Zach and even her dad – so this was a profound moment that shows that Beth may be ready to give up, or grow up.  Hopeful or hopeless, Daryl is still the strongest character on the road currently.  He will be fine whether he finds the others or not.  Beth will last as long as she is with Daryl, but emotionally, she needs to know that Maggie is still alive.

Tyreese and the kids

Surprise!  Judith is alive.  But really, how long for this world does she have?  We admit, we predicted her death in the raid, mostly because SPOILER ALERT, she dies in the comics during the prison shootout.  How is it possible a baby can continue to live in the apocalypse?  It seems unlikely that the survivors would have been able to find as much formula as she would have already needed in order to live.  Any moment involving Judith felt as though she could be moments away from death in tonight’s episode.  Knowing that Tyreese got stuck with all the kids, Daryl’s situation with Beth suddenly seems really good.  Tyreese and the three girls end up in the woods and hear a distant scream.  Was it really in his best interest to have the oldest girl holding the baby and the youngest holding the gun?  And then to just have them back to back and alone while he investigates?  They aren’t his children, but he clearly feels a moral responsibility to them if he risked his life to take them out of the prison and out into the woods.  If he got them this far, he should be more careful about leaving them alone.  But the craziest part was Loco Lizzie attempting to suffocate a baby.  When Judith continues to cry and possibly attract walkers, Lizzie puts her hand over the baby’s mouth and nose and has a glint in her eye as the child struggles for breath.  Creepy much?  There was also a small moment where Lizzie and Mika argue about who knows what about walkers.  It was very short, but enough to question whether it was in fact Mika who was feeding rats to them.  Even though Judy is alive, the sister’s relationship is still mirroring Billy and Ben from the comic series.  It is unlikely the sisters will survive much longer.  

Lizzie for Governor!
Lizzie for Governor!

 

Carol

Yup.  Carol is back.  And pretty conveniently so.  Right as Mika and Lizzie are about to be eaten, Carol saves the day and just in time, brings them back to the railroad as Tyreese finishes killing lots-o-walkers.  That seems very convenient and smells too much like lazy writing.  However, we are glad that Carol is back.  And of all people to run into, it’s Tyreese.  You can see the fear on Carol’s eyes as Tyreese rushes to greet her. Luckily for her, Rick didn’t end up spilling the beans about Karen to Tyreese.  Will Carol come clean about what happened to Karen?  Lies always have found a way to surface in The Walking Dead.  It is kinda cool that Tyreese is caring for Lizzie and Mika, the same girls that Carol once did.  Will their futures be in his hands?  Or is he just a much nicer person than Carol is?  It should be noted this is the first time Carol’s real life counterpart Melissa McBride has been listed in the main credits.  Carol may be around for a while longer.

Oh good, for a second there I thought this as going to be awkward
Oh good, for a second there I thought this as going to be awkward

 

Bob, Sasha and Maggie

Bob may not have his liquor anymore, but he has his eye on Sasha.  As she is dressing Bob’s wound, he begins flexing his muscles and giving her the Old Spice guy look.  It’s one of the funnier moments in an episode full of ups and downs.  Sasha and Bob are a nice yin and yang, too, with Sasha playing hard-ass tactical expert, and Bob is the happy-go-lucky optimist. Meanwhile, Maggie has just landed in Crazytown.  The unusually short trip to the prison bus that Glenn is supposed to be in culminates in a spectacle of emotion and a lot of walkers getting dead in the process.  Everybody has had their break-down moment and this was clearly Maggie’s.

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I whip my hair back and forth

 

Glenn and Tara

For no rhyme or reason, Glenn somehow finds himself waking up, get this, back at the prison!  He’s armed with just an assault rifle, meaning that he left the bus, staggered out through the cell block and then up to the nook where he was positioned.  In fact, he worked himself into such a tizzy that he passed out and woke up hours after everybody was gone. I mean, sure, he had just narrowly avoided bleeding out of his eyeballs until he died, but this is the guy who killed a walker with duct tape and a chair. Once we get a sentimental shot of Maggie’s photograph, Glenn brings out the riot gear.  In some miraculous Marshawn Lynch kind of way (that’s right – Denver fan givin’ some love to the Seahawks), he over-powers a dozen walkers to make a clean break – but not before he asks the Governor’s ex-girlfriend’s sister, Tara, to join him.  We often joked about calling her a “less-hot Maggie,” so we were amused to see her and Glenn stuck together.  The best part of Glenn’s scenes was the way it was filmed as if we were in the riot gear, too.  Very video-game like, and yet another way to translate the story to other mediums.

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The big news that comes out of “Inmates” is that we are getting three new cast members.  Originally from comic book fame, the three strangers we have are: Abraham Ford, Eugene Porter and Rosita Espinosa.  In the books, our guests are traveling across the country to Washington DC, where Eugene – a U.S. Scientist – will hand over classified information to the U.S. Government, which is definitely, in no way, a ruse. Shhh… Well, I’m not sure where this version of the trio will go, but they are physically cast perfectly.

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Anyway, this episode of The Walking Dead showed a vast improvement over the mid-season premiere, “After.” Not only is there more action, but the dramatic moments feel more genuine, more interesting, and – thanks to the comic books – more original. The only set-backs are the logical inconsistencies; the story felt forced in places for the sake of being grand. We really don’t want another episode paced like “After,” but there’s no need to sacrifice development for the sake of keeping the action fast-pased. For this, we give “Inmates” a B.

All images credited to and owned by AMC Television

Written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

Weekend Wrap-Up February 2, 2014

The Denver Broncos reign on top was shorter than Leprechauns, as they fell to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8. What incredible play by the Seahawks. We’re still proud of our Broncos, and we’ll be rocking orange during our visit to Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con in March.

Aside from Denver’s poor performance, this is what the Super Bowl revealed:

– Nerds Rule: Captain America, Spidey, Transformers.  Oh, my!

– The return of 24

– RHCP and Bruno Mars need to go on tour.

Budweiser made me wish I owned a horse and a puppy. And that they become best friends. But it still doesn’t make me want beer.

Hush Comics will be celebrating Black History Month will spotlights on African-American writers, artists and graphic novel reviews. #ALLBLACKEVERYTHING

Jesse Eisenberg, star of Now You See MeThe Social Network, and Zombieland, has been cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film. Now, this seems to have upset not only the fanboys, but the bald community as well. We’re less concerned about his dome and more concerned about the age discrepancy between Eisenberg and his co-stars. It’s my theory that Luthor may be cast as an intern at WayneTech or student at Metropolis State.

Also cast in Batman vs. Superman was Jeremy Irons, as Alfred Pennyworth. Irons has had many solid acting gigs through the last twenty years, notably as Rodrigo Borgia in The Borgias. Nobody is allowed to be upset with this casting, as Jeremy Irons meet the single qualification of Alfred – he’s British.

If your wallet is burning a hole in your pocket, you should go buy Justice League: War, the adaptation of the Justice League’s New 52 origin, hitting shelves on Tuesday. Check out our review here.

Dark Horse Comics has announced The Sakai Project, named after Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo. Most may remember Usagi as the mutant rabbit from who cameo-ed in the early TMNT cartoons. To celebrate 30 years of Yojimbo, Dark Horse is gathering dozens of artists to submit their own rendering of Usagi for a special anniversary issue, released in July.

Also out Tuesday, a new free game for Playstation Plus subscribers called Outlast comes out. It will scare the living crap out of you, I promise.

Bones has been renewed for a tenth season. Seems just yesterday that we were watching David Boreanaz brood around The Bronze.

Fienin’ for some bracket-style action? AMC has opened up Zombie Bowl 2014, where you get to vote on which recognizable walkers from The Walking Dead would win in a face-off with your face off. Our money is on the little girl in the pink bathrobe!

Fancy tech watches are all the rage right now, but Apple’s new iWatch product is rumored to be fitness-oriented. I’m not sure who buys watches anymore, but an integration with a fitness component could make it the next popular gadget for the market.

Harry and Hermione, siting in a tree?  According to J.K. Rowling, they should have been.  We think that Hermione and Ron were great together.  Not to mention, Harry Potter was never a love story, but a coming of age story.  H and H 4eva would have ruined that.

Can’t we all just be Friends? Well, David Schwimmer AKA Ross Gellar may possibly joining his  Friends cast-mates in prime-time sitcoms. Schwimmer stars in ABC’s Irreversible, which has yet to be picked up for a full season. Side question: Am I the only one who has been getting their David Schwimmer fix from that guy in American Horror Story?

Channing Tatum could be Gambit.  Ladies everywhere will suddenly be into the X-Men.  Men will watch no matter what.

Seth Myers gave us the Weekend Update for the last time last night on SNL.  Laugh over here.

Microsoft is offering $100 off your purchase of an X-Box One if you give them your PS3, which basically brings the price down to the retail price of a PS4. This console war is really bringing out the greed of Microsoft.

If you’re anything like me, you grew up on some Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers. Then, like me, you should be freaking out because Disney is in talks to make a movie based on the epic cartoon that will focus on the origin of the tiny mystery-solving duo.

Sneakerheads will have something to look forward to this week as a new issue of SLAM Magazine covering the Air Jordan legacy comes out. This issue focuses on Air Jordan I-VI, so I’m sure there will be installments.

Woody Allen is definitely the most glorified pedophile in America.  Fuck you, guy.

Star Wars novels have been around for some time now, but this is the first one that I will undoubtedly buy. Darth Maul – Lockdown was released January 28th (sorry, a little late!) and it follows Darth Maul’s stay at the galaxy’s most dangerous prison; it’s also pre-Phanton Menace, which means a colorful backstory is in order.

In less important news, it has been announced that there will indeed be a sequel to Sharknado coming out on the SyFy channel. And yes, Tara Reid, in all her asymmetric-boobed glory, will be returning as the star.

Lastly, it is with great remorse and a lump in our throats that we talk about Philip Seymour Hoffman.  He was found dead this morning in NYC from a drug overdose.  Not only was he the man who gave the best performance in any Mission Impossible movie, but he also gave us Capote, the term “shart” in Along Came Polly, and of course, Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire.  You will be missed.

Graphic Novel Review – Saga: Volume One

Graphic Novel Review: Saga: Volume One 

Collecting: Saga #1-6

Original Release Date: 2012

Publisher: Image Comics

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Characters:  Alana, Marko, Hazel, Prince Robot IV, The Will, Izabel, The Stalk

Writer: Brian K. Vaughn

Artist: Fiona Staples

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 8
Art – 10
Captivity and Length – 10
Identity – 10
Use of Medium – 8
Depth – 7
Fluidity – 9
Intrigue/Originality – 9
The Little Things – 10
Overall awesomeness – 10

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 Imagine if The Hobbit, Firefly and Star Wars had monkey sex and left a wet spot in the form of a comic. Saga is one of those rare gems that comes once a generation. Writer extraordinaire Brian Vaughn, of TV’s Lost, and comics, Y: The Last Man is paired with Fiona Staples, total hottie and penciler of books like North 40 and Jonah Hex. The result is a space opera like none you have seen before. If you can envision what all of your 5th grade, overly sexualized pictures would look like if they had space ships and laser pistols, you’d have Saga.

Volume one is the trade version of issues 1-6, originally published in 2012. Once again, Image Comics pushes the boundaries, almost as often as they push back release dates, and gives us a comic worthy of fan-boy argument and minimum orders at your local comic shop.
The story follows two lovebirds born on opposite sides of a galactic war. Take away the horns and wings and Marko and Alana are Kirk Cobain and Courtney Love, or a less violent hipster version of Mickey and Mallory.
Plot Alert!
Our heroine, Alana is from a planet called Landfall and Marko is from a planet called
Wreath. The two planets have been at war longer than anyone can remember. They fell in love and had a mixed species baby. This baby is the reason why they are being hunted by both species.
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Our interstellar lovers begin their adventure with the birth of their daughter and our narrator, Hazel.  Its probably the most kick-ass birth ever in a comic. Immediately, they are confronted by an army of angry elk dudes and another group of guys that look like the cops from Demolition Man with wings.
If I sound a little gushy, it’s probably because Fiona Staples single handedly kept my faith in comics alive last year with this title.  Hell, she damn near created a whole new religion, fully equipped with sister-wives, Kool-aid flavored arsenic, and snake charming. So pardon me if I sound a little fanboy while reading my signed copy. This comic doesn’t answer the question, did Greedo shoot first? But it does stir a pot of middle school giddiness once you read a page or two.
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There is a post war, atomic era feel to Staples work. Saga is reminiscent of Dan Stevens Rocketeer epic. Vaughn’s humor compliments her sarcastic facial expressions and the book reads like a still frame sitcom.
Magic is a common weapon and spells are often cast to thwart enemies in this universe. But there is also a healthy dose of light-saber’esk swordplay.
The Will, a freelance bounty hunter hired to find our couple, looks like what Han Solo would have if he’d been played by Bruce Willis.
Our thrift-shop, Gluten-free heroes find themselves in more trouble than they can handle and end up befriending the half torso ghost of a dead emmo-girl named Izabel. Zoinks!
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I can only empathize with Mr. and Mrs. Staples having to explain to little Fiona why her art wasn’t suitable for the fridge. The opening scene in chapter four with Will walking through Sextillion is disturbing, but you won’t stop smiling all while trying not to feel guilty about it. There are plenty enough dicks and tits to make you feel like your comic should have come sealed in a plastic bag and sold behind a black curtain.
Overall the story is simple, but the humor is hard to deny. This book is vulgar, sardonic and voguish and I bet George Carlin would have loved it. Volume one has more than enough to keep the reader interested and in anticipation of more Superbad inspired notebook doodles of dicks and spaceships. Bravo for Saga.
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      Related Books: Saga Volume Two, and all comic Issues #1-13 

      More by the writer: Brian Vaughn is an official Bad-Ass. He has written for everything you like. The list is too long to do justice. It includes Captain America, X-Men and Spider-Man.  He has even crossed universes and written for the guy with the cape and cowl and the other dude with the green bling. Not to mention Y: The Last Man is one of the best titles of this decade and has won numerous awards. Oh, and then there is ABC’s Lost.

More by the artist: Fiona Staples is pretty much the best thing in comics right now. She has worked her way through the industry and is co-creator of one of the most popular titles on the market, Saga. She has done a ton of cover art for multiple titles, including, The Walking Dead, Red Sonja and Superman/Batman. Watch out comic-book heads! This inkstress is already making a big impact on the industry, and this is only the beginning!  Cue spooky villain sound track.

Written by John Soweto

The Walking Dead Review “Hounded” S3E6

The Walking Dead episode “Hounded” starts with Merle and gang walking in the woods of the South.  They find bloody bodies in a pattern.  They observe the pattern and the nerd in the background realizes the bodies spell “Go Back”.  Merle then says that Michonne sent them a bitergram.  Bitergram: the undead Instagram.  I need an account stat.  The decoder boy looks scared and says that he can’t believe this is happening.  Merle threatens him if he continues to act scared.  Merle then asks his name and he responds “Gargulio.”  Redneck Merle tells Gargulio that he will just keep calling him Neil.  Atta boy, Merle.  They hear a noise and draw their guns.  Michonne drops from the trees, chops off the head of unknown Woodbury guy # 1 and stabs Evil Glenn in the chest.  Neil hides and Merle shoots at her, grazing her thigh with a bullet.  She runs into the woods and Merle yells, “Are we having fun yet?”  I would say that no, she probably isn’t having too much fun with a bullet in her leg.  But a great opening scene!

Rick talks on the phone to an unknown woman.  He asks where she is and she refuses to tell him where she is.  He asks if it’s safe and she says yes.  He tells her he has a family.  He wants her to take him and his group in.  She says that she needs to discuss it with the group. He begs her to take him in and she hangs up.  It’s believable that now that Rick has a broken mind, that he thinks others will easily take him in.  He has never easily taken anyone in the group in.

Carl, Beth and Hershel are eating around the table and Rick walks in, looking clean and in new clothes.  He got dressed and showered awfully quickly.  Hershel asks how he is and says he cleared out the boiler block.  He says that he wanted to check on Carl.  Again, Carl is really the only reason Rick is living.  There is a little bit of our leader in this broken man.  He tells the group he is going to finish the rest of the block.

In the woods, Neil gets sick from the fight and the shock.  Merle literally kicks him while he is down.  He tells Neil they never let their own turn and stabs Evil Glenn in the head.  This is the sign of humanity we see in our group.  Looking out after our own and not letting them become of one of those.  But this group would turn on another in an instant, which Rick’s group would not.  The Governor and Andrea walk around and she tells him that she gets why he lets people punch each other in the face.  She knows its an escape, but she says it is “brutality for fun.”  But she tells him that she still wants to stay and contribute.  Wait, what?  She wants to stay?!  After all that, staying still seems like a good option?  She really can’t survive out there by herself.  She only cares about herself, and does not have very many morals left in her.  She tells The Governor she wants to be on the wall because she’s a good shot.  He asks her to use a bow and arrow and will find someone to teach her.

Rick picks up the phone and quickly hangs it up.  It then rings.  A man asks if Rick is who “she” talks to.  He says that it is perfectly safe and that Rick could be dangerous.  He asks if Rick has killed anyone and how many.  Four.   This is Rick’s remorse.  He talks of Shane and how he lost it.  He lost what he was.  Rick can directly relate to this in this moment.  Rick, too, has lost himself.  The man asks how Rick lost his wife.  Rick questions how this could be known and the man mentions Rick’s children.  Rick tells him he doesn’t want to talk about that and the man hangs up the phone.  Rick screams and slams the phone down.

Andrea and redneck chick sit on the wall.  They talk about shooting bows and arrows.  The conversation moves to killing the ones they loved because they weren’t who they once were.  They see a walker and redneck chick shoots and misses twice.  Andrea goes half cocked, jumps the wall and stabs him in the head.  Andrea, as always, acts before she thinks.  Although, she was right to kill the zombie.  At least this time she knew it was one unlike when she shot Daryl.  Redneck chick tells her that it’s not a game.  This is true.  Andrea has been very lucky at the end of the world.  She thinks life is a game. One in which she only thinks of her own gain.

Rick paces and Hershel enters the boiler room.  Hershel talks about being able to still feel his foot.  Rick apologizes and Hershel says that Rick saved his life.  He then tells Rick that Lori was sorry for everything.  He tries to console Rick by telling him he was a good leader.  Rick tells Hershel that someone called him on the phone. Hershel clearly is alarmed.  He picks up the phone and there is no tone.  He tells Rick that he will sit with him and Rick says no.  Hershel crutches away.  Rick is really trying to be normal again.  But like Hershel’s foot, he still feels something that isn’t there.  He wants to, but it doesn’t exist.  I love this comparison and how subtle the writers can be.

Back in the woods, Merle and Neil run with guns drawn.  Michonne cuts Neil in the chest.  Michonne and Merle go head to head.  The noise attracts walkers.  They all get attacked.  Michonne cuts one open and lets all its guts poor out onto her.  I would rank it as number 2 reason why I don’t eat while I watch the show.  Number one is well zombie for sure.  Neil kills the walker that is on Merle and Merle kills the last of the three. When they look around, Michonne is gone.  We can all be enemies when the world ends, but we can all be friends when our brains are for dinner.

Oscar and Daryl walk through the prison to kill more walkers.  Carl is with them and Daryl and Carl talk about Daryl’s mother.  Daryl talks about not having a bike like all the other kids.  One day, there were sirens and everyone rode to see why.  Daryl ran after them.  The sirens were at his house.  His mother had burned down the house with her cigarettes.  He said it was better that way.  Carl tells Daryl that he shot his mom.  “I ended it.  It was real.”  A very poignant scene.

The Governor makes hatch marks in his notebook.  Andrea comes into his apartment and he closes the book.  Andrea tells him she wanted to practice by killing the walker.  He tells her she isn’t on the wall anymore.  She then says that she liked the fight and The Governor confirms that he knows she did.  She is shocked that he knew, but he tells her that she could have left.  Again he reels her in by suggesting she likes him.  Of course she does.  It is the only reason she has stayed.  There is nothing for her in Woodbury really except for him.  She hasn’t exactly made friends there.  But I truly don’t believe she liked the fights.  She just wants a way to stay fed and sheltered.  And possibly have sex.

Merle and Neil argue about whether to go after Michonne.  Merle tells Neil they are going to tell The Governor that Michonne was killed because she is pretty much dead already.  This was Merle’s mistake.  He shouldn’t have lied to The Governor, because he sees it as disloyalty.  It really isn’t, it’s just Merle’s assumption and stupidity.  Neil says that he will go after her.  He refuses to lie to The Governor.  Merle asks his name again and this time repeats Gargulio.  Then he shoots him in the head, takes his weapon  and repeats his name.  Merle is not disloyal to Woodbury, but he, just like most every other character, thinks of himself as number one.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s survival instinct.  But it can get you in trouble.

Michonne gets surrounded by walkers, but soon realizes they don’t notice her at all.  She is covered with the stench of gut spilling walker and is not untraceable to them.  Back on the phone, Rick tells a woman that he did not want to talk about Lori’s death.  This woman’s voice is different than the first woman, something that Rick doesn’t immediately pick up on.  And something many viewers didn’t either, I’m guessing. But then she calls him Rick.  She says, “It’d be good.  You should talk about it, Rick.”  This is Rick’s own mind trying to break through.  He knows he needs to talk about Lori’s death.  We aren’t given much of a time on when all of this is happening.  I would guess only a day or two.  It seems soon to talk, but everything in this world happens faster.  Rick realizes that she knows his name without him telling her.  She hangs up and Rick looks on terrified.

Michonne finds an area with cars and hears one coming.  Maggie and Glenn get out of the car and it is very reminiscent of when they went to the drug store in season 2.  Doing the errands are the few moments they have just the two of them.  They get out of the car, this time very armed.  They kiss and stare into each others eyes.  It’s very sweet.  They break into the store with bold cutters.  Very impressive.

Andrea and The Governor and share a drink.  Andrea asks about The Governor’s old life.  He says he wasn’t proud of his life.  She compliments him on building Woodbury and says it is unbelievable he wasn’t proud of anything in his old life.  He tells her he was proud of certain things.  He asks her how long it’s been and quickly asks since the last time she had good whiskey.  Innuendo anyone? He says he wants to forget the old life, even the good times because he wants to be here.  It is strange.  But this is the life where he is king.  He can do whatever and whoever he wants.  As much as he may love Penny, he likes it better this way.  It is terribly disturbing.  He tells her he just wants to talk to her and she responds that she feels special.  They continue their conversation and at this point it doesn’t matter what they say because they stare into each other’s eyes and then ewwwwwww… they kiss. Passionately.

Glenn and Maggie get a lot of food from the store and head back to the store.  Merle comes up behind them and points his gun.  Now watch closely because the next scene moves pretty fast.  Glenn and Maggie point their guns at Merle. Glenn confirms Daryl is alive.  Merle says that if Glenn takes Merle to Daryl there will be no hard feelings.  We all know this isn’t true.  Glenn tells Merle that he will bring Daryl to Merle and Merle says that Glenn can trust him.  Again… no.  Merle is this guy who kicked the shit out of T-Dog.  So go Glenn for not trusting Merle.  He telle Merle to trust him.  All the while Merle keeps walking towards them.  Merle then shoots the back of their car, grabs Maggie and puts his gun to her head.  He tell Glenn to get in the car and take them all to Merle’s camp.  They are forced to leave the food and all the while Michonne watches.  Now why wouldn’t she have just saved them then?  Well two reasons: because she is looking out for her own well-being and also, the next two episodes wouldn’t have happened if she did.

Oscar sees slippers in a cell and gets very excited.  I love that the littlest thing that would have made him happy in prison still makes him happy in prison.  He says its to relax. Classic.  A walker comes up and all three warriors turn and shoot at it.  Daryl finds a knife in it’s neck and realizes it is Carol’s.  He cleans it.  The phone rings again and Rick is reluctant to answer.  When he does he asks how she knew his name.  Again, it is a different woman’s voice.  She tells him it is because he knows them.  It was Amy, Jim and Jacqui he spoke to before.  The fallen.  The ones he regrets.  And the woman on the phone now?  Lori.  The one he feels the most personally responsible for.  But there really is no way he was responsible for any of their deaths. Especially Lori’s death.  He falls to the floor and cries, hyperventilating.  She asks what happened.  He tells her that he loved her.  And then he says what he really regrets; that he couldn’t put their relationship back together.  He wanted his family back together and keep her alive.  Keep them together.  What he wanted more than anything was his family.  Without Shane.  Without knowing that she was ever with him.  Lori tells Rick that she loves him and asks if he can do this.  Keep living.  And then she cuts out.  It is maybe one of my favorite scenes of Rick’s .  It is him at his most human.  Everyone wants to survive.  But more than anything, everyone wants a family.  Everyone wants to feel loved and important.  Even before Lori’s death, Rick didn’t feel his family because of Lori’s infidelity.  For him to long for it even after her death is natural and it is important that he feels all these emotions because it may be the only way he can keep on being Carl’s father.

The Governor and Andrea roll around in bed, and we see A LOT of Andrea’s legs.  Merle knocks on the door and tells The Governor that the men are dead and then the lie.  Michonne is dead.  The Governor asks for her head and the sword.  Merle says that they got caught up in a crowd of walkers.  Merle then offers Maggie and Glenn as a consolation prize.

Rick comes back to the group as they are making dinner.  He takes the baby from Hershel, holding her for the first time.  He may not be perfect, but he’s slowly getting there.  Daryl sits in the block hammering Carol’s knife into the ground.  He gets up and kicks the door he thinks a walker is behind.  When he is ready to kill it, he instead finds Carol.  It is a strange love they have.  It isn’t exactly romantic, but they love each other.  He picks her up and carries her.  Rick and rest walk outside and from a distance Rick notices something strange among the walkers.  Something red.  He goes closer and there is Michonne.  Bloody and holding the basket of baby food.  Among the walkers, she grabs at the gate with her dirty hand….

Written by Adrian Puryear

The Walking Dead Review “Say the Word” S3E5

The Walking Dead episode “Say the Word” starts off in direct opposition to what “Killer Within” left us with.  Woodbury is bright, sunny and the grass is unusually green.  Kids are running around and people are laughing.  Milton gets Andrea a cold drink and she is very thankful.  Milton says that he does not want the generators used for ice, but Andrea is very happy.  Again, how dumb is she?  She then asks what is to happen that night and Milton tells her that there aren’t words to describe it.  Andrea not once questions the use of the generators if not for ice.  She never thinks that maybe, just maybe, this is all too good to be true.  But then her foil, Michonne, is seen looking on in disgust.  She then bumps into Evil Glenn…. foreshadowing…?  The next scene is another of those, “Oh my, God!  Did they just show that on TV?” moments.  The Governor is brushing a little girls hair.  For those who have read the comics or novels, we know that Penny isn’t about to be alive, but for those who don’t know, I bet it was a shocker.  So he brushes the tiny little fiends head and a chunk of her undead scalp comes right off.  Yuck!  She then has a zombie freak out and he does something quite questionable to his loving daughter; he puts a hood over her head, and as he is doing this tells her, “Daddy still loves you.”  This is hard to watch because it borders on child abuse and the things abusers say as they are committing the abuse.  But this is a little different.. Why?  Because she’s a freaking walker, that’s why!  He looks out the window to see Michonne staring at him.  She is getting more suspicious and therefore, more dangerous to the precious Woodbury.  It is only a matter of time before she is either ousted or killed.

Next, we see a crying newborn being held by Maggie.  The sound is muffled and Rick looks ill.  Maggie hands it to Carl.  The group discusses feeding the baby.  Just like I said last time, how selfish was Lori?  Did she want everyone dead?  Last season she talked about the baby having a short and cruel life.  Starvation is pretty short and cruel!  Daryl then steps up as savior of children, again i.e.: Sophia, and decides he is going to get food.  Glenn and Maggie want to go, too.  Rick then picks up an axe and runs back into the prison.  Maggie and Daryl end up going alone because it will be faster. Glenn and Maggie share a tender moment proving yet again that love can still exist at the end of the world.  Crazy Rick goes through the prison hacking away at walkers.  The camera is right in his face as he grunts and sweats like a maniac.  Brilliant.

The Governor makes a speech on a porch to a crowd of Woodburians (?).  He talks about about the beginnings of the town and how they started in an apartment.  He makes a big show of being a diplomat, a likable person who saved them all.  He really is like a politician: calm and put together on the outside, but lying and conniving all the while.  Meanwhile, Michonne goes to his personal apartment to take a peeksy at what he might be hiding… including her beloved sword, which she steals back.  She sees the picture of his family and then she finds his notebook.  At first normal, but then with a list of names, the last one being Penny, underlined.  And after that pages upon pages of hatch marks   What do they mean?  We aren’t really sure, but it isn’t the sign up anyone who has all his screws, well, screwed.  She tries breaking into a locked door, but The Governor, Milton and Merle come in.  She quickly hides and hears them discussing the party that night.  Milton talks about the use of the generators for the party over powering his experiment.  At this point he doesn’t say what it is.  He asks to postpone the party by 10 days to which The Governor flatly refuses.  He tells Milton to start the experiment over in the morning to which he reluctantly agrees to.  Milton maybe a little more normal, but what ever his experiments and tea are are just as off-putting as everything The Governor is hiding.  Michonne then walks around Woodbury more. She is in an area not many people frequent and finds cages.  She hears the familiar growling of walkers inside the cages.  She unlocks them and in one of the best moments of this season, Michonne takes them all on with her sword.  She is gritty and gruesome.  This is her element.  It is all very well choreographed to make it look like she is a moving comic book character.  It instantly makes us want to know what she was before all this.  She was born for the apocalypse.  In the comics, we are told, but it does make me wonder how much of her past the television series will delve into.  She is then caught by someone coming to feed the walkers a bucket of bloody body parts (say that five times fast!).

Michonne is then in an interrogation room with Merle in the background.  The Governor enters and asks if she “gets off” on poking around other peoples things.  He tells her he has nothing to hide.  Michonne is a woman of few words, but her next line is proof positive why.  She says a lot with just a little.  She tells him, “People with nothing to hide don’t usually find the need to say so.”  Michonne mentions Penny when The Governor talks about secrets.  He tells Michonne he loved Penny, to which she responds, “I bet you say that about all the girls.”  Clearly she means something other than what he means, but really, everyone is thinking it.  And if you have read the comics, you know she isn’t too far from the truth.   He tells her that she was just about to get the sword back and that she fits in.  Clearly this is not the case.  He knows she’s been poking around the whole time.  He then tells her that she must follow rules, or else anarchy will ensue.  He then uses her zombie kill-a-thon to his “advantage” and tries to blackmail her into joining the research team.  To which in the middle of his speech, she turns quickly, grabs her sword and puts the tip of it to his neck.  The look of fear in his face is priceless.  She backs away and and leaves the room.  When Merle asks how it went, The Governor comically says, “She’s all personality, that one.”  The only thing The Governor has said that I have approved of.  He directs Merle to get Andrea to him and the Merle should take the research team out.

Back at the prison, Glenn digs graves for the presumed three who are dead.  Axel and Oscar have spread out the walkers and offer their help to Glenn.  They offer their condolences for the losses.  Glenn tells Hershel that he wishes they had killed the prisoners.  This is unlike the Glenn we have known.  If Glenn would have been part of killing the prisoners, his character would have changed.  He is not a heartless man, but with this comment, we can start to see that Glenn isn’t a weak guy.  Then Glenn talks about T-Dog after the beginning of the outbreak.  T-Dog used to drive around his church van to pick up survivors.  This is very a la the most awkward dinner in season 2 when we all learned of Otis’ musical gift.  Way to make us miss someone we didn’t really know until it was too late.  Glenn then says that he knows it’s wrong but he would kill others for their group any day.  Again, Glenn is not weak.  We will see this later.

The Governor tells Andrea that Michonne has become a problem because she stole her sword.  Andrea tells him that she can’t steal something that is actually hers.  This is one of the last points Andrea earns with me.  He tells her that Michonne killed captive zombies.  Note: The Governor calls them biters.    I still find this linguistically fascinating.  He sees them as harmful, yet he would not be the “great” man he is not without them.  Anyway, Andrea questions why he has captives and he poo-poos that moving on, and skipping a great deal, to Michonne’s sword at his neck.  Andrea stands up for Michonne.  Suddenly he says that people in the town want her gone.  This is very different to him saying Michonne fits in.  He tells Andrea that what works on the outside is not what works in Woodbury.  Andrea confronts Michonne, who is packing her bags.  Michonne points out that no one leaves, at least not willingly.  They will always make you stay; nothing is free will.

Glenn goes after Rick in the prison and finds the trail of walkers Rick has left behind.  Rick is bloody and delusional.  Glenn tries to convince Rick to come outside and gets thrown against the wall by him.  Rick then staggers away after attacking Glenn.  Rick was always someone who would kill for his group, just like Glenn.  Clearly, Rick is spiraling if he is willing to throw Glenn against a wall.

Merle takes a truck of men to a solar machine outside of Woodbury.  Inside a hole in the ground are two zombies.  The truck grabs a net and pulls them out.  Milton tells Merle not to kill them.  He sees something in one of their eyes.  Milton is dumb.  The thing he sees in it is hunger for flesh.  Duh.  Merle and the others taunt the female and then he kills her with his knife arm.  The other walker is also taunted.  They hold him down while Merle takes pliers to its teeth.  The research team is using the same tactics Michonne used on her pets.  But I’m guessing a little bit more brutal of a way.

Daryl and Maggie arrive at a preschool.  They break in and all the toys and cribs make the apocalypse seem all too real.  There are cut outs of hand prints on the wall and Daryl finds one that says Sofie.  Again, we see that Daryl has a soft spot for children.  It is odd the daycare hasn’t been totally wiped out of supplies.  But, it is clear it has been looted.  The suspense of the darkness and the music is kept alive throughout the scene.  They hear a banging and after quickly opening a door, find a possum.  At least I’m pretty sure it was a possum.  What can I say?  I’m more of a pop culture addict than an outdoorsy gal.  Daryl proudly exclaims “Dinner!”  after shooting it.  Maggie tells him she is not carrying it in her bag.  Even though she’s the farmer’s daughter, she isn’t much for the dead animals.  I like it.

At Woodbury, Andrea and Michonne are packed up to leave.  Merle calls after them.  He tells them they need an escort because it’s almost curfew.  Michonne tells Andrea there is always a reason they can’t leave.  After Merle opens the gates, Michonne and Andrea get into another fight and Andrea tells Merle to close the gate.  Andrea tells her that she can’t live for another 8 months the way they did.  Obviously.  She is incredibly weak and needs someone to look after her.  She clearly feels that The Governor can do a better job than Michonne now.  Michonne leaves and Andrea is locked in Woodbury.

The Governor consoles Andrea.  He offers her a drink and company.  He really likes to woo her with alcohol.  She accepts and they walk off into Woodbury arm in arm.

Daryl and Maggie return to the prison after dark and Oscar and Axel let them back in.  Inside the block, the baby cries and Daryl takes her from Carl to feed her.  And then it happened.  You know the meme when every woman in America looked at Daryl holding that baby and orgasmed.

Yup.. that’s the meme.

Carl and Daryl discuss her name.  Carl suggests Sophia, Andrea, Amy, Jacqui, Patricia or Lori.  It makes Carl likeable.  He is nostalgic already at his young age.  Daryl then calls her “Little Ass-Kicker.”  And now I know what I will name my first daughter… 🙂

Rick enters the room where Lori had the baby.  He sees bits of skin and blood and the knife that cut her open.  But where are her bones?  There aren’t any bones!  He finds the bullet Carl shot her with.  Again, I’d like to point out that he found the bullet itself, not the shell.  If she is dead, and I mean dead dead, the bullet would either A) Still be in her or B) in a walker’s belly but it would NOT be Ricks hands.  And thus I believe Lori is still alive, even if it means in the undead sense of the word.  I cannot believe the writers would make a mistake as big as this.  I don’t want to believe it.  Rick walks further into the room and finds a bloated walker dripping blood from the mouth.  Rick puts a gun in it’s mouth and shoots it.  Then he takes his knife and repeatedly stabs it in the stomach.  It is eery and gross.  He yells while he does it.  Symbolically he is killing Lori all over again, but he is killing the zombie her.  But still it can’t be Lori in his stomach.  It just can’t.

The people of Woodbury enter an arena.  The Governor takes Andrea by the hand to the best seats in the house.  There is music and everyone is cheering.  Lights go up and there are walkers chained to different blocks.  Merle, Martinez and Evil Glenn enter.  Evil Glenn is the ref who extends the chains of the zombies to get closer as Merle and Martinez fight.  They are all overly macho and wrestle each other.  They punch and kick and push the other closer to the walkers.  Andrea looks on in horror as every one cheers.  She tells The Governor that it’s barbaric, exactly what The Governor tells Michonne they aren’t earlier in the episode.  He tells Andrea that it is all staged and the walker’s teeth are pulled out.  She tells him that it is telling all the people that walkers aren’t dangerous.  Merle and Martinez keep fighting and Merle stands on Martinez’ chest as Andrea looks like she may vomit.  And this is Andrea’s last sane moment.

Back at the prison, Daryl places a Cherokee Rose on Carol’s presumed grave truly making him one of the top 3 characters in this series. Rick sits against a wall in the prison hearing the deafening cries of the baby.  It is suddenly cut by the loud ringing of a telephone in the room Lori died in.  He picks the phone up and as the episode ends, fans of the comics know that Rick has officially lost it.  Rick is not the stable leader anymore.  Which is perfect.  Maybe not for Rick, but no one could endure what Rick has gone through without losing it.  He must have a break in his psyche in order to cope with the death of his wife.

Written by Adrian Puryear

The Walking Dead Review “Walk with Me” S3E3

I am aware that it has been 3 whole weeks since I have written a Walking Dead review.  After seeing the Walk with Me episode twice, I really had to think about where this episode was taking the series.  I couldn’t decide if I really enjoyed this episode.  Then 2 Sundays ago, Killer Within aired.  That episode had me reeling until last week, and then after last night’s episode, Say the Word, I felt like I was back to Walking Dead normal.  As normal as that can be.  And now, for the next review of The Walking Dead.

As said above, I wasn’t too impressed by this episode.  We start out with the helicopter.  This has been a question on viewer’s minds for a long time— Who is in the helicopter?  The military, apparently.  But this is disappointing because of what happens to the group later on.  The helicopter crashes and the passengers are severely injured.  In a very comic book-like shot, Michonne and Andrea see the crash from a field and they, along with Michonne’s zombie slaves, walk toward the scene.  These shots are so awesome because it is like looking at the colored version of the comic book.  As the two walk up to the scene, they hear vehicles also swarming the area.  Michonne gets everyone hidden so as not to get caught by other humans.  Michonne’s pets start getting restless because of all the tasty human meat surrounding them and start to get rowdy.  It seems that she doesn’t even think twice about it, but she cuts their heads off.  It didn’t seem genuine.  Why is it that she kept them, anyway?  Why did she make them her repellent if it was so easy to kill them?  It is assumed she knew them before they had turned; there really doesn’t seem a point in keeping them if she hadn’t of known them.  It really bothers me she did this so suddenly.  In the comics, it really did seem to have more meaning behind it.  Shortly after this, none other than Merle Dixon appears behind Michonne and Andrea.  Now this would have been more surprising had the trailers for the episode already not spoiled that he would be back.  What was surprising was his B.A. zombie killin’ prosthetic on his hand-less arm.  Upon seeing Merle, Andrea passes out, which would have been a lot of viewer’s reactions had we not already seen Merle in the trailer for this episode.

When Andrea wakes up, she and Michonne are blindfolded in the back of a car with Merle and an unknown (The Governor) in the front seat.  She can see the entrance to what we will find out is Woodbury with junk cars and zombies hanging from trees.  I would assume blindfolding them is so if they do try to leave, they are disoriented and don’t know how to get back to where they came from.  But since Andrea later decides that The Governor is irresistible, this scene bothers me.  TV Series Andrea is a nitwit, but any nitwit knows that if a man blindfolds you and puts you in the back of his truck to take you to his neighborhood, you probably aren’t fully safe there.  It also bothers me because the dead zombies hanging from the trees proves exactly what to others?  If it’s for people, this would just make me scared of whatever is behind those walls because clearly they find a thrill from killing the walkers, which we later find out is true.  And if it is for the walkers, that’s just non-sensical.  They can’t think, so how could they even begin to process, “Oooooh… stay away from there cuz they’ll kill us!”  They can’t!

Andrea and Michonne are taken to a medical ward, of sorts, where Andrea is given fluids.  She and Merle seemingly have a touching moment talking about the group who left them both behind.  Andrea informs Merle that the last time she was with the group, Daryl was alive.  As nice as it is for Merle to know that his baby brother is still around, this scene is too soft.  Why is Merle all of the sudden a nice guy?  He isn’t a kitten, but he is not the guy who kicked the crap out of T-Dog, either.  Throughout the episode, he is submissive, mostly to The Governor, but not dominating towards the other residents of Woodbury.  The importance of this scene, though, is that it gives Merle some sort of hope.  He realizes there is a big world outside those gates, something many of the other residents don’t seem to know, based off how The Governor runs things.

When The Governor enters the room, Michonne demands their weapons back.  He tells her the two can leave the next day.  But the thing is, Michonne is more confrontational in the comics.  She is scary and can hold her own.  This chick can hold her own, but she doesn’t evoke any fear from The Governor or the audience.  As the episodes have gone on, she is getting a bit tougher, but she is also more analytical.  She is always picking apart the situation and how people are acting.  Someone needs to in this duo, because it is obvious Andrea will pretty much be attracted to the worst kind of people, always.  This is also the scene where Andrea and Michonne find out that all dead people become walkers, no matter how they die, as The Governor and his crew stabbed the dead men from the crash, only bringing back Lieutenant Welles.  If I were Michonne, it would be hard for me to believe that all the dead become the walking dead no matter how they die because this group is not trustworthy.  But they both easily believe him.

After they spend the night in their new room.  Michonne and Andrea get a tour of the “town” Woodbury.  They are told about the strict curfew and the tour guide attributes the safety of Woodbury directly to The Governor.  Meanwhile, The Governor speaks to Lieutenant Welles and promises him to return his crew to Woodbury if they are alive.  I hate to say it, but David Morrissey did not impress as The Governor in this scene.  The Governor is sadistic.  He is not supposed to be likeable. David Morrissey is a little likeable, albeit a tad creepy, but too likeable.  The Governor then goes to the lab where Milton experiments on dead walkers.  He directs Merle to find out more about Andrea.  Merle doesn’t put up a fight, which I still find strange because this is Merle Dixon we are talking about here.  When Merle leaves, The Governor and Milton look at a table which holds Michonne’s now headless pets.  They discuss how she cut off the arms and jaws to stop the desire to feed.  I would have to guess she did this to them before they turned because it would be hard to cut off a jaw that is gnawing at your flesh.  As the two talk about it, The Governor gives us a glimpse of his weird-o –ness by taking his finger and touching the walker head where its jaw used to be.  Ewwwwwww.

Later, The Governor fixes breakfast for Andrea, Michonne, Milton and himself.  The only notable thing about this scene is they constant discussion of the tea Milton makes.  The Walking Dead rarely does anything without some kind of meaning to it, so either this will wind up being a fun bit of trivia or there is something up with that tea.  Otherwise, Michonne still tries to be tough stuff when questioned about her pets where she just argues she wants her weapons back.

Now the next scene is the one that bothers me the most.  The Governor drives up on the group Lieutenant Welles left behind while waving a white towel.  He comes up peacefully and then out of nowhere shoots the man who was speaking in the chest.  Now this is a military group.  How did they not see that coming?  On top of that, how did they not notice the group from Woodbury who surrounds them?  These people were military!  They should be pretty good at noticing people or walkers surrounding them, especially in this post-apocalyptic world.   The Governor then orders a man, who the Talking Dead referred to as “Evil Glenn”, to take weapons from the dead.  They go back to Woodbury and announce that the military group was dead.  Everyone easily believes this, and why wouldn’t they?   No one but Michonne finds it strange.

The episode ends with The Governor looking at a picture of his family, a wife and daughter.  He goes into a room and drinks his whiskey.  The camera pans to show human heads floating in tanks.  And as creepy as this is, it doesn’t totally freak me out.  Seeing his zombie daughter would have been freaky, but floating heads?  Its only “eh” on the freaky meter.

Overall, this episode was missing something.  And I know exactly what that something was.  Rick Grimes.  This show is amazing and without our core protagonist and his group, it really lacks the allure the other episodes have.  Thank the zombie gods that the following episode has our group back!  Stay tuned for my next review!

The Walking Dead Review “Sick” S3E2

Holy crap, everybody.

Shit just got real [SPOILERS].

After an exhilarating first episode, “Sick” starts off right where “Seed” left off – with intensity and violence. Fans of the comic book series will enjoy seeing the group react with the prisoners. In the comic series, the prisoners offer a lot of character development for our heroes. And although the roles are reversed a bit, they still pose the same open-ended choices as they did in the books.

After freaking out the cornered inmates by chopping off Hershel’s leg, Rick and friends rush to get Hershel taken care of to make sure he doesn’t bleed out. The prisoners, who had been locked in a broom closet stocked with food for over a year, are confrontational and afraid. Rick leaves Glenn the sole responsibility of putting Hershel down if he happens to turn while tending to the chaos going on outside the cell block. Daryl is holding off the prisoners until Rick comes back, determined not to let them enter the group’s block.

“Today’s your lucky day, fellas. You’ve been pardoned by the state of Georgia; you’re free to go.”

While Rick’s group is definitely the protagonist, you can’t help but wonder if you would not behave the same way as these cornered strangers do. Would you be willing to just leave the only safe place you’ve known for a year if the world has gone to hell? Especially if that person was abrasively forcing you out of that place. As a survivor, you have to root for the main characters, and it forces you to view everybody as an enemy. Making friends is tough. After agreeing to clear out a cell block with them (in a hilarity-ensuing scene where the inmates attempt to shank the walkers) in exchange for food, the leader of the inmates turns on Rick. Tomas and his presumably gay lover Andrew plot to overthrow the group when they try to use a hoard of walkers to distract Rick and kill him. Batman, err Rick, sees the impending attack coming and easily dodges and dispatches of the zombies. As you can see in the picture below, everyone is all smiles as they shake hands and move on with there issues in gentlemanly fashion; shit happens.

Carl resumes his crusade of badassery when he shows up in front of the ladies with supplies that he found in the infirmary. Lori, in her typical manic-mom voice, freaks out that, once again, Carl was not in the house. “It was no big deal; I just killed a couple walkers,” he says. After continuing to spew shit from her mouth, Carl runs off like a little baby, effectively canceling out any man-points he had just earned. This makes one thing clear to me; Carl cannot continue to develop as a character as long as Lori remains in his life.

Another big plot point is the ever-deteriorating relationship between Rick and Lori Grimes. Early in the episode, Lori confesses to not being a good mother or wife. It’s something that I’m sure has been festering in Rick’s mind since the end of Season 2 when everybody began openly wishing she would die, but it shows a bit of the downside of skipping so much character development in the months that passed between seasons. Even after all that has gone down, all Rick can muster up is a post-apocalyptic version of the hover-hand that, even by crumbling societal measures, made me feel awkward.

A lot of non-action oriented storyline focuses on the recovery of Hershel, and how his demise would affect the rest of the group. Maggie has to be strong for Beth, but has prepared herself to let her father go. She sends Glenn away so that, in case Hershel turned, Maggie would be the one to do it. It’s a very moving moment she has with him that I hope will resonate with characters later on. However, when he finally did awake, it was only Carl that stood poised with a gun. It also brings up the fact that nobody else in the group has any medical prowess, leaving Carol to practice a C-section with a zombie corpse in a “totally sane” manner. But we will leave Zombgina for another time. It seems as though somebody else was watching, and we can’t wait to find out who that was.

We can’t wait for this evening’s episode of The Walking Dead, and the return of Merle Dixon, as well as the debut of The Governor. Stay tuned for our next review.