The Walking Dead: Self Help   Show Only 
November 9, 2014 8:48 PM - Season 5, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Abraham has a backstory and a sex life.

Eugene makes a stunning confession about his mullet.
posted by Sys Rq (84 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wasn't surprised by the confession at all. They did everything short of telegraph it before the actual confession. I did, however, like the framing device for the episode. Am I the only one who is also suspicious of that hand wound?
posted by miss-lapin at 8:55 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


When Eugene broke down and told everyone he really didn't have a cure for the virus, I thought to myself, "Ok, now Abraham is going to beat the living s&^* out of him, especially after all the trouble he's gone to in order to protect Eugene and get him to D.C." Makes me wonder if Abraham is just going to up and abandon him and continue on anyway (I doubt it, but if I were him I might be seriously thinking about it. That, or going back and regrouping with Rick and the others).
posted by Telpethoron at 9:22 PM on November 9, 2014


I liked that there was actual wound care even if, yeah, ultimately I see that causing him to turn.

So the sabotage of the bus caused the engine to go up in flames? Because it looks like Abraham's (with freshly dyed hair!) inattention to the road caused the crash.

The woman and kids that Abraham tried to protect. Were they even his family? They seemed terrified enough of him to run and the men he killed in the store didn't appear to be zombies.

The episodes seem too short! Forty-two minutes just isn't enough time. I would pay a $1 per ep to bring the show up to 52 mins.

(Anyone still watching Z Nation would have amused by the fire engine and the horde.)
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:23 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Eugene's non-mullet confession was not particularly stunning, no. Might as well have had a giant flashing sign appear over his head reading "THIS MAN IS LYING" every time he used the word classified.

It's interesting that they gave the meatball a backstory, though the revelation that Eugene's Washington trip is not just something to live for, but the thing to postpone blowing your brains out for, got a bit of an eyeroll from me. Suddenly he goes from some guy to some guy we need to care about. So I'm thinking he'll either turn (he was using his open wound as a shovel to dig zombie meat out of that fire engine, ffs), and/or he'll go back to his Plan A, and/or the show will dangle both those possibilities until the end of the season.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:35 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Anything involving Abraham is going to play out like a John Carpenter film. Can't wait for them to get back to the church for the knock down drag out fight he's going to have with Tyrese in order to get him to wear a pair of sunglasses.
posted by Catblack at 9:41 PM on November 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Dramatically, the plan to drive to DC and save the world was obviously never gonna happen, and it pretty much had to involve some sort of deception from Eugene, but I was hoping that we'd get a change of scenery, some sort of development of what's going on in the rest of the world. I would have liked getting to North Carolina or so before meeting some refugees and finding out that DC was nuked 2-3 months after the outbreak. Then Eugene could admit that he was lying about the whole thing anyway.

instead, it's more tramping around the Georgia wilderness. I mean, for fuck's sake, it's been five seasons and we still don't know if the apocalypse is world-wide, or if there are any pockets of civilization left.
posted by skewed at 9:52 PM on November 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


The producers built an entire walled town in Georgia. They need to recoup that investment. It's bad for scope of the show though.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 10:01 PM on November 9, 2014


I thought this was a good episode. I had been worried that they were going to drag out the revelation the Eugene is not a scientist for the whole season, but they got it out of the way fairly early, and I actually though Abraham's back story was pretty good. They even managed to have some slower moments during the episode which worked pretty well, rather than having everyone just hanging out and bickering.

I liked how once the fire truck broke down the characters were confronted with one of the most chilling sights possible on The Walking Dead: a farm.
posted by whir at 10:03 PM on November 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


On a more meta level, I also thought that Abe's bull-headed desire to keep moving regardless of how smart it was might have been something of a rebuke towards the widespread audience dissatisfaction with how static everything got when they were stuck on the farm back in season two or whenever. The latest showrunner and crop of writers do seem to be taking the pacing of the show more seriously, and things have been improving a lot this season.
posted by whir at 10:08 PM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Two words: dolphin smooth.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:42 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Apologies to those from the Peach State, but I confess I am sick of Georgia too -- at least as a filming location.

I guess it could be worse -- they could be filming in Vancouver.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:13 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Abraham's hand wound WAS suspicious. At first it seems like they were using it as the connection to the flashbacks in order to drive the backstory. But there was so much focus on it. If he turned, would that be the first time we have seen something other than a bite (or death) cause someone to turn?

The flashbacks didnt do a great job explaining who the people were or why they were frightened. The assumption is they were his family, and they were terrified of him because he went all Rick-mode on those guys. Humans who were threatening to his family. He didnt just kill them, but beat them to a pulp. That would also explain why Rick and the gang mutilating the Terminus guys would have an effect on him.

I was glad we got to see these characters enjoying life and each other before things went to hell again.
posted by 2ht at 4:30 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Abraham's hand wound WAS suspicious.

It keeps breaking open and bleeding because he's such a violent dude. Every time it's about healed he starts using it to pummel somebody. He barely has control of his temper. Probably also why his wife and kids decided to ditch him after they saw him kill the guys in the grocery store.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:52 AM on November 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


They go to all that effort to distinguish the air intake from the radiator, then Eugene runs the water pump without any engine running to drive it. It was good to see him do something bad ass though, in such an in-character way.

I agree that the bleeding hand is a symptom of Abe's dysfunction, rather than infection.
posted by cardboard at 5:29 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Hey Eugene has a sex life too!

Maggie, are you aware you have a sister?

Abe, you gotta slow down man!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:00 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


I thought this episode followed up on the questions last week's raised about how and whether a person's role in the old world would continue after the apocalypse. Abraham stays as strong as he does in large part because he still has his identity from his "real" life. He's still a soldier, as long as he has a mission. Eugene may be smarter than Abraham, but Abraham is clearly not stupid. On some level, maybe even not too far down, Abraham had to know this dude was just bullshitting everybody. But acknowledging that would mean he had no mission, and then Abraham would just be some guy foraging for food, missing his family and waiting for death. This has basically been the journey of everyone on the show, but we haven't before seen it all come home to someone in a single moment. It was very well done.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:07 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Abraham stays as strong as he does in large part because he still has his identity from his "real" life.

Abraham is pretty simple person at heart, needing to have a predefined role to inhabit. That doesn't mean he's stupid, but yeah, he needs some sort of guidelines. This need could become problematic with the Eugene's confession. What does he do now? Keep heading to Washington? Find somewhere else to go? Or take over Rick's group and work on finding them a home? Rick won't like that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:53 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Were they even his family? They seemed terrified enough of him to run and the men he killed in the store didn't appear to be zombies.

I assume yes, since one of them was as brightly begingered as he is.

Watching him knock out Eugene was terribly satisfying, although I am a little disappointed Eugene didn't admit to being an elvis impersonator.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:56 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Eugene is such an odd character, the show should keep him around just for humor and a change of pace.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 AM on November 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Either they're setting up Abraham to become an adversary, or (more likely) that wound is infected, and he's gonna turn at an inopportune moment.

I liked this episode – certainly more than the last one. I knew Eugene had to be full of shit, and I'm glad they didn't drag it out any longer.

What will happen to him now? He's betrayed the group, really – but then there was Tara's little speech about how they'd take care of Eugene even if he was dead weight. Sounds like the makings of a schism in the group: those who want to leave the lying mullethead behind (or worse), vs. those who are willing to forgive. (Although, is it even possible for a guy like Eugene to make it in this world, without the protection of a military unit that believes he's the savior of mankind? You have to be able to fight – your friends can't watch your back 24/7. I guess we'll see. If Eugene does stick around, I hope they develop his character more. Right now he's just Weird Mullet Guy.)

Agreed: it'd be nice to see a change of scenery. With the DC storyline now effectively dead, maybe the action will move to Atlanta? The sneak peek for next week's episode looks like we're going to get some backstory on how Carol ended up in the hospital with Beth, and what Daryl had been up to before he showed up at the church.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:16 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else find the cuts between flashbacks and the current story really jarring? At one point, I was convinced that we'd somehow accidentally fast-forwarded.

I'm also really distracted by Abraham's hair color. Did you see how intense it was on the Talking Dead even?
posted by MsVader at 7:18 AM on November 10, 2014


Abraham stays as strong as he does in large part because he still has his identity from his "real" life. He's still a soldier, as long as he has a mission.

I agree, and I also feel like with this particular mission he might have felt it was a chance at redemption; if he couldn't save his own family he could at least be a part of saving humanity.

Once other thing about focusing the wound, it's definitely the first time I noticed his wedding ring.

The flashbacks didnt do a great job explaining who the people were or why they were frightened.

It could have been clearer, but he was calling out Ellen's name from the start.

Three episodes left....
posted by Room 641-A at 7:22 AM on November 10, 2014


You have to be able to fight – your friends can't watch your back 24/7.

It would depend on the security of the overall group, I think. Herschel couldn't fight much either after the Leg Incident, but he had vast and demonstrable value as a medical professional, and less obviously as an important moral compass for the group, as well as a gardener/forager. These skills all had high value not just on their own but also because the group had a home base where they could be put into daily use and passed on to others. If Eugene had demonstrated any kind of practical usefulness before now, I would be more confident about his continued existence in that world, but he can't even seem to even run away in a functional manner. Has he done anything technical/handy so far? I can't remember anything in particular. The bus repairs seem to have been done primarily by Abraham and Rosita, the water-finding was Tara, and Maggie and Glen have their usual badass zombie slaughtering skills and general awesomeness to recommend them.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:25 AM on November 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


He was setting up something in the train car in Terminus, some sort of charge maybe?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 AM on November 10, 2014


YEAH I think it was a half-empty teargas canister maybe? And he set it up as a sort of door alarm? Maybe?
posted by poffin boffin at 7:47 AM on November 10, 2014


Eugene has potential to be a useful member of the group if he can shift his survival strategy from "bullshit the strong guys so they'll protect me" to "round faced MacGuyver".

I think he was rigging the teargas container to try to escape the train car because they'd heard all hell break loose but were trapped.

Both Abraham and Eugene have a lot of potential for the story I think. I hope they don't just kill them off.
posted by natteringnabob at 8:05 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I also think Eugene has rattled off technical information that has based up something another member of the group was saying, but can't swear to it, since he's rattled off a lot of tech info while lying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's hard to tell what was actually valuable information and what was jibber-jabber meant to make him look smart and capable. CURSE YOU EUGENE. CURSE YOUR TRICKSY WAYS.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:17 AM on November 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


The other interesting question Eugene's actions raise is whether his lies got anyone killed and whether it matters. People were going to die anyway and are going to continue to die. No doubt people are rightly pissed with him, but yeah, people are going to die in all sorts of messed up ways. Was trying to get to DC completely pointless? Or is life just generally pointless now?

Eugene, you mad mullet philosopher king you!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:20 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Eugene has potential to be a useful member of the group if he can shift his survival strategy from "bullshit the strong guys so they'll protect me" to "round faced MacGuyver".

That's why he has the mullet!
posted by 2ht at 8:27 AM on November 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


Was trying to get to DC completely pointless? Or is life just generally pointless now?

That's kind of the thing, I guess...Eugene initially (really) wanted the group to get him to DC because he thought they'd all be safer there. He might be right! There's certainly reason to think one might be safer in a place that began with abundant housing and resources than out in the middle of The Blair Witch Project. Of course, there is also a case to be made for the idea that an overpopulated area like Metro DC would now be full of zombies.

Eugene, you mad mullet philosopher king you!

I'll be sad to see Eugene go if they kill him off in the next few episodes. There's something kind of Robert E. Howard about him. Like, not like a Robert E. Howard hero, but like Robert E. Howard, the dude. Also a little O Brother Where Art Thou with the drawl and the elaborate speech pattern. He's just a damn weirdo, and I find that pretty believable somehow.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:31 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I may be in the semi-minority in liking the scenery. Maybe I just have a weird fondness for the oppressive heat of summers in the south but that endless nature is captured pretty well in their continued travels over what seems like a boundless universe of a dull heat, sweat, woods, and unreachable horizons.

Also, regarding it being 5 seasons in and we don't know if it's worldwide or pockets or what - somewhere along the line the show producers said they wanted to keep it like you were part of the group. With civilization in this state, you'd hardly know what was going on in the next state, much less the next country.

Anyway, oddly enough I couldn't stop looking at Glenn's clothes this episode. And really all of them. I know someone mentioned getting new clothes and we finally had a mention of getting bikes, but that itchy summer funk would be almost as bad as the zombies. I'm getting the shakes just thinking about it.
posted by cashman at 8:41 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


"round faced MacGuyver"

LOL

Of course, there is also a case to be made for the idea that an overpopulated area like Metro DC would now be full of zombies.

Remember Atlanta, in the first few episodes? Or even the glimpses of Atlanta that we got in the recent hospital episode? It's crawling with walkers. Rick and company were initially headed into Atlanta, but once they saw the situation there, they were like "fuuuck that". I've had the sense all along that our heroes have been avoiding urban areas because they're just completely infested.

That raises an interesting question: there would certainly be more walkers in densely populated areas at the beginning of the outbreak, but wouldn't they eventually spread out, just through random wandering? Or do walkers stay in the same general area where they turned? (Certainly it would be easier for a shambling corpse to navigate paved roads and parking lots than, say, forested hillsides. And in an urban area, you'd have a lot of walkers trapped inside of buildings.)

Someone need to code up a Brownian motion simulator so we can estimate zombie density based on initial population distribution, terrain, time since outbreak, and other parameters.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:44 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


That raises an interesting question: there would certainly be more walkers in densely populated areas at the beginning of the outbreak, but wouldn't they eventually spread out, just through random wandering?

Maybe, but the sheer mass of people in any city would still be overwhelming. Too many storefronts, allies and other things to be hiding in or behind. Plus, they seem to go in dormant mode sometimes, when humans aren't around, and then wake up when a meal goes skipping by. Very easy to get cornered and trapped, as Rick found out in the first episode of the series.

The safest place in this world is probably something man made out in the sea, in temperament climate that doesn't get too many hurricanes. I can't think of anything that fits that description, so humanity is pretty screwed. Maybe this is the answer to the Fermi paradox?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:53 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


That raises an interesting question: there would certainly be more walkers in densely populated areas at the beginning of the outbreak, but wouldn't they eventually spread out, just through random wandering? Or do walkers stay in the same general area where they turned?

We've seen zombies wander at random and we've also seen groups of zombies moving or just standing still and we've seen zombies living out a weird semblance of their former lives and some zombies just stare into space until a human being gets their attention. So this is probably one of those questions the writers don't really want you to ask.

If I were a zombie I'd probably just stare at the wall. I do that all the time anyway, so
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:59 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Eugene can go to the hospital and be in charge of laundry. Win win situation.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:08 AM on November 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


There would be less people in the cities now mostly because of wight flight.
posted by maxsparber at 9:10 AM on November 10, 2014 [22 favorites]


Oh lord no, he's too much of a gentle (albeit mildly creepy) goober to get mixed up with those gross awful hospital rapists. Just imagine what he'd have to do in order to fit in or seem valuable there.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:12 AM on November 10, 2014


Can someone explain what the farm(?) was and where the stench was coming from? (If anyone here has ever driven the 5 through Central California they will know what I imagine the smell was like.)

The safest place in this world is probably something man made out in the sea, in temperament climate that doesn't get too many hurricanes.

Does it have to be man-made? If you could clear Catalina of walkers you'd have a decent infrastructure and could grow crops. (Caution: here will be choppy seas and lots of puking on the way.)
posted by Room 641-A at 9:14 AM on November 10, 2014


I assumed the farm was formerly a huge livestock situation, like maybe a dairy farm? Somewhere with lots of fairly captive, placid meat on the hoof that maybe had its fences compromised in a large enough area for walkers to get in but small enough that the cows couldn't get out, and now it's full of a ton of trapped staggering grossness.

Also something out in the sea would be debatable as we don't really know yet how walkers would behave underwater. Could they walk across the sea floor? For how long? Would carnivorous undersea creatures nibble on them? Would they bloat and float? So far we've only seen the one gross bloater stuck in the well on Herschel's farm, and the cellar full of soggy walkers at the food bank, iirc. I assume tides and waves and rocks and whatnot would break them up in the same way that the firehose did, though.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:24 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Those water-logged zombies have been the grossest things, seriously
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:29 AM on November 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


World War Z addresses the zombies in the water question. But if I remember right, it also dances around some issues like "wouldn't their flesh begin sloughing off?" with some storytelling hocus pocus. We've seen waterlogged zombies in WD and they don't fare well (heh). So I think we would be relatively safe from them on an island.


I thought the stench from the farm was simply the sheer number of walkers. But... does thousands of zombies in the distance smell worse than a few dozen nearby? Maybe there was something else we have yet to see.
posted by 2ht at 10:03 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Does it have to be man-made?

I would think so, as something man made wouldn't have the gentle slope of an island, which an walker could theoretically walk to. It only takes one to completely mess up your situation, so you'd want to go to extreme to ensure one doesn't wander in. So islands are out. Mountains are possibility, but it would have to be one that you could seal off, while still having plenty of room to grow and store crops, weather extremes to a minimum.

It would be great if the show contrived of way for us to get a glimpse of some of the rest of the world, just to see different situations. Say one of them gets pulled into the last bits of the military and get to see footage or actual locations of how things went down. Then they escape and return to the sweaty fields of Georgia. Producers, call me!

Would love to know the following situations:
  • How astronauts on the ISS made out. They can land on their own, but where did they choose?
  • What submarine crews did or do
  • What isolated monasteries did or do
  • What about the camps at the South Pole?
  • Where did the President and other heads of state go?
I thought the stench from the farm was simply the sheer number of walkers. But... does thousands of zombies in the distance smell worse than a few dozen nearby?

It was probably a pig farm gone to hell. Walkers attracted by meat, then just staying there, probably pigs running wild etc etc
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:06 AM on November 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I assumed the farm was formerly a huge livestock situation

Oh, that would make perfect sense, poffin boffin, since that's exactly the smell I was referring to. I had to refresh my memory, but the place is called Harris Ranch and it's an 800-acre bovine feedlot/slaughterhouse/processing plant. I will spare everyone a link to further descriptions.

The producers built an entire walled town in Georgia. They need to recoup that investment. It's bad for scope of the show though.


But now that's it's built, they can also re-purpose it. Just because it happens to physically be in Georgia it's not so specific, like the New York street on the Fox lot, that it couldn't stand in for many, many other places. But that's just a quibble; as a viewer I'd just like to see their world expand. Also, if it was me, my first order of business after a zombie apocalypse in Georgia would be to get somewhere much less humid.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:07 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


the place is called Harris Ranch

i think that's what they mentioned in the aftershow as being a similar stench situation
posted by poffin boffin at 10:08 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher, you just gave the table of contents to World War Z.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:14 AM on November 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was hoping that we'd get a change of scenery, some sort of development of what's going on in the rest of the world.

Apologies to those from the Peach State, but I confess I am sick of Georgia too -- at least as a filming location.


Sounds like you folks are ready for the spin-off.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:26 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher, you just gave the table of contents to World War Z.

Oh sure and I loved that movie. But I'd also like to see how this group of creators deals with the larger world.

Just because it happens to physically be in Georgia it's not so specific, like the New York street on the Fox lot, that it couldn't stand in for many, many other places.

Pretty sure they're getting tax breaks or something from Georgia, so it probably does have to be pretty specific to the State. That said, there's the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and other diverse parts of the state. But that'll probably cost more money to have the set and cast to, so hope you like the current setting!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I assumed that the stench of the farm is just from the walkers. The characters only comment on the smell of the walkers when it suits the plot. (The piles of dead walkers around the prison must have been utterly vile, but I don't remember anyone commenting on it.)

My guess is that the farm was some kind of triage / evacuation center that got overrun in the beginning of the outbreak, and that the walkers have been trapped inside the fences ever since. What else would explain the presence of so many walkers in a rural area? Unless it's just an utterly massive horde moving across the landscape, of course.

Water zombies and pockets of civilization: it's entirely feasible that there are out-of-the-way islands which dodged the outbreak. They're still going to have serious problems of their own, though: they rely on imports of fuel, food, spare parts, and other supplies to maintain civilization. They might not be fighting off hordes of the undead, but they'll gradually be forced to return to pre-industrial economic and social systems.

I doubt a zombie could walk across the ocean floor – more likely they'd be caught up in ocean currents and just drift around. A few could wash ashore on islands, like any other flotsam.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:22 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


In the episode last season where the Governor told that lady to wait on the pond's island, we saw that it doesn't take much current or underwater debris to stymie a walker.

The problem with an island is similar to the problem with a protective enclosed area (like a prison). If it's hard to enter, it's often also hard to leave. All it takes is one person on the island to die and cause an outbreak.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:35 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Romero's last zombie movie, Survival of the Dead, was about a zombie outbreak on an island creating warring factions between the island's residents.

It was also a remake of The Big Country and everybody was Irish for some reason.
posted by maxsparber at 12:42 PM on November 10, 2014


And just like that, the song In A Big Country takes on a whole new meaning.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:17 PM on November 10, 2014


So does the episode title come from Eugene's nocturnal activities or something else?
posted by natteringnabob at 1:28 PM on November 10, 2014


Yeah, he was creepin from the self-help section of the bookstore.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:33 PM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


I hate that this dude got a back story complete with love interest and children, while characters that were part of the core group for long periods of time did not get such treatment. Glenn's been there since the pilot. And I think all we got was maybe a passing mention of family when he was in the car once. Pathetic.
posted by cashman at 1:40 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


So does the episode title come from Eugene's nocturnal activities or something else?

That, plus how he was going on about how he was thinking about what the priest did, which, if you connect the dots, is pretty much what Eugene did: Self(ish) preservation.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:58 PM on November 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Would love to know the following situations:

How astronauts on the ISS made out. They can land on their own, but where did they choose?
What submarine crews did or do
What isolated monasteries did or do
What about the camps at the South Pole?
Where did the President and other heads of state go?


Several of these scenarios are explored in Y: the Last Man. Not a zombie apocalypse, but an apocalypse nonetheless.

In the WD universe, I think anyone at an Antarctic base is going to be trapped. The collapse appeared to occur very quickly. Antarctic bases are only accessible by plane or boat, some only by boat, and not many of them have their own vehicles, let alone vehicles that would be capable of getting them out of Antarctica. Some have tiny staffs - I saw one that had a staff of 4, another with a staff of 12, no vehicles apart from a snow mobile in the larger one . Some of them only get resupplied once or twice a year. Depending on when the collapse happened (looked like Northern hemisphere summer), they may have been in the depths of winter. They would have been well stocked for the winter season, but they would have been pretty much totally inaccessible. IIRC, planes can't fly there in winter, and boats are frozen out.

By the time the ice thawed enough to get supplies through, there would be nobody to bring supplies in. After running out, some base inhabitants may have attempted to reach other, larger bases which may have had more supplies, or vehicles. That would be extremely difficult - those are not short distances especially walking in sub zero temps. But even if they succeeded, I suspect they would have no way to get off the continent.

This doesn't mean they would die. Shackleton's lot survived for more than 2 years with only basic gear (although they did have to be rescued in the end - they couldn't get off South Georgia under their own steam). There would be plenty of penguins and seals to eat, and they wouldn't be hard to catch, but penguins and seals allegedly taste terrible.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:25 PM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Abraham should have taken the time to mullet over before pummeling Eugene.
posted by Renoroc at 6:27 PM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Ik ben afgesneden, I thought of you when Tara suggested finding some bicycles. :D
posted by Jacqueline at 6:45 PM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


The safest place in this world is probably something man made out in the sea, in temperament climate that doesn't get too many hurricanes.

So Patri Friedman and his merry band of anarchocapitalists will be the only ones who survive the zombie apocalypse long enough to rebuild civilization?
posted by Jacqueline at 6:51 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Glenn's been there since the pilot. And I think all we got was maybe a passing mention of family when he was in the car once. Pathetic.

I thought it was established in the very first couple of episodes that Glenn was a teenaged pizza delivery driver in Atlanta? He's too young to have much of a pre-apocalypse backstory beyond that.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:58 PM on November 10, 2014


I think Glenn said something about his family coming down from the north. And he was a pizza driver. That is not even close to enough backstory for a character that has been there since the pilot. They have never had an actual glimpse into his past, where real actors play his parents, or cousins, or coworkers, or friends, or anything.

There is no way 5 seasons in that we shouldn't even know anything about his family, if he went to school, or even anything about his work. It's preposterous.
posted by cashman at 7:51 PM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


There is no way 5 seasons in that we shouldn't even know anything about his family, if he went to school, or even anything about his work. It's preposterous.

I missed seasons 3 and 4, so this is a legit question. Does anyone get flashbacks to pre-apocalypse? I don't recall any. Kirkman has specifically said that they will never flashback to the outbreak itself. Which could be a point the show is trying to make in a number of ways - who you were before doesn't matter, it's who you are now that counts.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:12 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Even the wiki has little to say about Glenn's background. So, I think you're right. He's become one of the central characters, and it would be nice to know more about where he came from. What we do know sounds like a pretty ordinary, undramatic life – so if they were to present his backstory, it'd probably have to focus on his experiences during the early days of the outbreak in Atlanta. Living through the napalm bombing of the city, meeting up with the initial group of survivors – there's plenty of room in there for a good story (and an excuse to bring back an old actor or two for an episode).

On preview: I guess that's not gonna happen.

Does anyone get flashbacks to pre-apocalypse?

Briefly, yes.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:16 PM on November 10, 2014


Glenn's been on the run for a long time.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:08 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jacqueline, despite knowing the episode was filmed long ago, my friends and I took that as a personal shout-out. Woo!
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 3:27 AM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is the first episode this season that I didn't really care for. I wasn't expecting Eugene to confess to being a liar so soon; I thought it would've been more interesting if the characters had to suffer a bit more first (and possibly die) to really drive home what a dick move it was for him to keep lying, even if he felt he had a reason to. Instead we are only given a list of characters we never met who died along the way -- much less dramatic.I was also hoping for a change of scenery like others said. It's been what, 3 or 4 years of zombie apocalypse and they never seem to have gotten more than a few miles away from Atlanta?

Also, I didn't entirely understand Abraham's (hereafter referred to as "Rowsdower" because he wants to save us and save all the world) backstory, partly because it seemed like they had to condense it quite a bit to fit it into the episode. I didn't get the impression that the family he was helping was his own family, just some people he was trying to protect(?). And it was unclear if the dudes he murdered were actually a threat to them or if he just went full psycho and killed them unprovoked. I just have a vague impression of him now as being kind of a crazy dick, which I guess is the purpose of the hand wound that won't heal -- he can't stop being a crazy dick long enough to actually let it heal.

The flashback where Eugene first encounters Rowsdower was also quite silly. How does it keep happening that a random person is being chased by zombies in the middle of nowhere and yelling for help? Where did these people come from and how did they survive so long before that? Why would you just wander out into the street not willing or able to defend yourself from zombies?

I'm going to guess that Rowsdower is not long for this world. I'm also wondering if they will just straight-up kill Eugene or leave him to die since this far into the apocalypse, but I'm guessing not since Eugene isn't actually a threat to them. The firehose scene, which was also pretty silly, shows that he has potential to become useful in the future.
posted by Librarypt at 6:20 AM on November 11, 2014


I can totally see them not getting outside of like a 15-mile radius of the Atlanta area. What is the point really? If you (as a person) know some other area that you want to go to, like the guy from season one that left with his kids, then I get it. Otherwise, I don't see it as too bad of a choice if you're in a ruralish area like Rick started out with, to stay around there. You know where resources are and aren't, where stores are and aren't, where land formations are, lakes, rivers, major and minor roads, things like that. If you head off to some unfamiliar area, you've lost a lot of advantage. There have been a couple of times when Rick knew where a town was or an area was, from previous familiarity. And now with no power, no google maps, no gps, no detailed surface-level information about an area, I can see how hanging around an area you feel comfortable with might be a worthwhile thing to do. There are still maps of course, but the information on them wouldn't be that helpful a few years in.
posted by cashman at 7:54 AM on November 11, 2014


A lot of people are calling for a change of scenery, but... what are you hoping for? I don't expect any major metro areas will be habitable any time soon. We had a bit of Atlanta early on, and will see a bit more next episode it seems. Otherwise the show has vacillated fairly well between being stationary and on the move.

We've spent some significant time in a lot of locales.

- Atlanta
- outside Atlanta camp
- CDC
- farmhouse
- prison
- Woodbury
- Terminus
- church

I'm sure I am missing a few smaller places too. The only realistic change ups I could come up with are heading to the mountains or to the ocean. The Appalachians seem to fade away in Georgia, but heading to Tennessee could be a good idea for them.

Their best, realistic bet would be heading to some place like Hilton Head island or heck, Parris Island. If any place was defensible it was probably a Marine training camp connected only to another island by a single bridge. For budget reasons I don't know if mountains or the ocean is going to happen.
posted by 2ht at 8:33 AM on November 11, 2014


Ok ok, part of me was hoping that they'd eventually film in DC which is near me so I could try to be a zombie extra.
posted by Librarypt at 8:59 AM on November 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


If any place was defensible it was probably a Marine training camp

Maybe try for Ft. Benning?

I kid, I kid.
posted by cashman at 9:27 AM on November 11, 2014


I'd like them to change settings, but fully expect them to wander around rural Georgia for another 4-5 seasons basically repeating the same 2-3 themes (finding a group that isn't what it seems, establishing a base that makes them a target, or looking for a lost member of the group) then ending the show with zero larger questions answered. Any hope of a larger scope dies with the spinoff, there is no way that they will write anything in this show that would foreclose opportunities for the other show.

The problem with committing to a storyline that would end with some answers to the big questions (what caused the zombies, is there any hope of a cure) is there anything left of civilization anywhere) is that it would end, and with it some of the dramatic tension upon which the show depends.

And resolving some or all of that tension would be perfectly fine if the show had an arc that it was attempting to define and an endpoint in mind, but I can't see this show ever trying to conclude. Like Lost, a successful TV show will never bring its arc to a conclusion until well after it's worn out its audience's patience.
posted by skewed at 9:43 AM on November 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


The totally and fascinatingly failed premise of the Under the Dome series is the question of how to reestablish a society after a cataclysm. I sort of hoped that's where this show was going, with the prison serving as one model for a post-apocalypse world and Woodbury as another.

But the show hasn't had much interest in worldbuilding, It didn't really ever articulate how things worked at any of the places that have been built post-apocalypse, and after the fall of the prison everything else they have stumbled upon still seems so ad hoc. Terminus was just a bunch of candle-lit rooms, the hospital is a crisis center that is unaccountably well-maintained and has just gone with a vague indentured servants structure under the assumption that this will all be over very soon.

I mean, it's one thing if the world has been reduced to a tiny number of survivors and it is simply impossible to reestablish society, but that doesn't seem to be the case -- the core group in the Walking Dead can't go more than a few days without running into someone else. By this time, bands of survivors would have gotten a lot better organized, and so there would be little Woodburies and prisons popping up everywhere. Maybe there are and we just haven't run into them yet, but, man, I'm ready.
posted by maxsparber at 10:32 AM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does anyone get flashbacks to pre-apocalypse?

Briefly, yes.


Michonne did, didn't she? I can't remember anyone else though.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:53 AM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


At this point, I'm curious if the group has any goal other than survive. Yes, the prison was overrun, but the obvious advantage of having a home seems to have been lost on them. Are they just a nomadic tribe now, forever wandering around Georgia?

And where's Morgan?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:04 AM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Never mind Morgan. WHERE'S WALLACE, STRING! WHERE THE FUCK IS WALLACE!
posted by maxsparber at 11:12 AM on November 11, 2014 [12 favorites]


And by that, I mean I feel sure that Michael B. Jordan is going to appear on the show at some point.
posted by maxsparber at 11:13 AM on November 11, 2014


>"I knew Eugene had to be full of shit..."

I was just beginning to believe that maybe Eugene was a "scientist" after all, then, Bam!
I was also a bit surprised (and jealous) to learn Abraham has been hitting Rosita for some time. Get off of her, you oaf!
posted by sudon't at 1:04 PM on November 11, 2014


Eugene's flat faceplant, the group's reaction to it, and Abraham's knee-falling despair all made me think "oh my God Abraham just flat-out killed Eugene." That'd be an interesting direction to take, but I assume I misread it?

Also, what was the H.G. Wells that Eugene was reading? Was it War of The Worlds? Because Abraham seems to me very much a version of WoTW's Artilleryman: "the gulf between his dreams and his powers." Abraham's all RAH RAH GUNG-HO REBUILD THE WORLD but he's a terrible decision-maker -- the list of people who have died in support of his Eugene mission. And maybe not quite the mechanic he considers himself? That firetruck didn't stay fixed long, unless it was another of Eugene's sabotages.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:41 PM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


The totally and fascinatingly failed premise of the Under the Dome series is the question of how to reestablish a society after a cataclysm.

I don't think Under The Dome thinks deeply or consistently enough to actually have a premise. The book is more of a study in how fast and how thoroughly society falls apart when it's isolated; Lord of The Flies, basically. The show's wandered all over the map on this and every time it actually picks up an interesting question -- for example, how does this bottled society handle imminent starvation? -- it promptly drops it with some handwavey get-out-of-plot-free device. ("Hey look, enough hoarded food to last us months.")

If anything, Revolution took a better crack at this premise; but also it was terrible, so.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:56 PM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Michonne did, didn't she? I can't remember anyone else though.

She's who I was thinking of. I think maybe some footage of Rick's experiences in the pilot gets reused in a flashbacky fashion in a later episode, but I'm not sure and that doesn't really count anyway.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:43 PM on November 11, 2014


There have been lots of actual flashbacks to different characters' experiences, as well as lots of references to previous characters experiences. Really little to speak of Glenn-wise though. It's definitely an aberration.

Also, what was the H.G. Wells that Eugene was reading?

I recall it being The Shape of Things to Come.
posted by cashman at 9:00 PM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes, it was The Shape of Things to Come
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:34 PM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I really don't care for/about Abraham and his crew. Somehow they just seem thrown in randomly. I'm angry that they took Glenn and Maggie away from the rest right after they said they wouldn't split up again.

This wasn't my least favorite epsiode though... That would be last week's with Beth.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:27 AM on November 14, 2014


« Older Fringe: What Lies Below...   |  Mystery Science Theater 3000: ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments