The Walking Dead: Consumed   Show Only 
November 16, 2014 7:20 PM - Season 5, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Carol & Darryl look for Beth in Atlanta.

Darryl gets a smoke break.
posted by Sys Rq (73 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Snore. I like all three of the characters, but all the angst in this episode weighed it down too much, I think. That said, the sleepaway camp Walkers and "Whee! There goes the van off the bridge" scenes helped.
posted by misha at 7:41 PM on November 16, 2014


I liked this one! Probably the best episode of the whole series IMO. Lots of depth, but also lots of brain-stabbing.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:42 PM on November 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Good episode, especially with the understated nature of Carol and Daryl's relationship along with Carol's back story.

It was good to see the other side of Carol, the toll of everything wearing her down on her. She's good at hiding it, but there's still weight there and I'm not sure how much more she can carry.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:42 PM on November 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


The interplay between Carol and Daryl was top notch. He prevents her from killing Noah, then she doesn't want to leave him there to die and Daryl comes around on that point and helps her save him. It's like they're pushing each other to still give a shit about the world and other people. They play off each other really well.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:49 PM on November 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


I liked the atmosphere of the scene where they're driving into Atlanta at night. Our view of the apocalypse has mostly been restricted to some trees, so it's cool and eerie to have this set piece that looks like The Stand (or Mordor).

While the pacing tonight was on point, I feel like these last few episodes would be much more satisfying to blaze through in an afternoon on Netflix than to watch weekly.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:02 PM on November 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


I loved this episode so much. There are a lot more significant comments to be made, but I laughed out loud when Carol screamed "GO AWAY" to that walker during her ugly cry in the car immediately after her banishment. It was such a hilariously normal reaction under the totally abnormal circumstances.

I wish there was a quota for a certain amount of Daryl/Carol interaction in each episode. They play off of each other so well, both the actors and the characters.
posted by gatorae at 8:11 PM on November 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yay! I liked this episode – it was so much more satisfying than the last Slabtown episode. And Carol was awesome.

It's often said (accurately or not) that TWD has two different audiences, that want two different things: some people want nonstop zombie-killin' action, and get bored with the talky episodes; and other people want character development and storytelling, and get bored with the shoot-em-up episodes. I can enjoy both, and the best episodes balance both anyway – but if I had to pick one, I'd take the story-driven stuff.

There are two more episodes before the mid-season finale, which will almost certainly be the climax of the conflict between the Slabtowners and the protagonists. So, the folks who want action will surely get their wish, and I guess we'll get back to the DC crew next spring.

I hope Noah sticks around for a while; he has the potential to be an interesting character, and maybe even a romantic interest for Beth. (Dear God; anything to give her something to do. It's getting kind of ridiculous.)

Speaking of which, I kept wondering whether this episode was going to address the possible romantic tension between Carol and Daryl. They'd make an odd couple, but then they're both odd birds, and they're certainly in odd circumstances. How much more would you love this show if the gray-haired female action hero and the redneck male heartthrob / possible virgin hooked up?

(Does the paragraph I just wrote qualify as shipping? If so, then I have just shipped for the first time.)

Anyway, yeah. I'm getting a little weary of the "protagonists come into conflict with a sociopathic group, lose a person or two, kick the sociopath's asses, absorb a decent person or two from the sociopath camp, and move on" routine. This show is all about arcs, which is great, but I wouldn't mind if they punctuated it with the occasional one-off episode, like Daryl's stint with the gang who "called" things.

Actually, there's a perverse part of me that really wishes they'd do a Christmas episode.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:52 PM on November 16, 2014 [15 favorites]


Aside from everything else about this episode that was great, it was a fantastic episode on the technical side - top-notch cinematography, a lot of nice zombie sfx, and whoever's been doing the score for the last couple episodes has been killing it. All the behind-the-scenes folks brought their A game which combined with some urban landscapes for a change of pace would make this a great episode even if the Daryl/Carol stuff wasn't as good as it is. And their dialogue teetered on the edge of heavy-handed and angsty in a couple spots but never quite tipped over, for me.

But pretty much all my favorite episodes are the slow-but-tense, atmosphere-filled episodes of characters just picking through the ruins of The World That Was (they seem to do about one a season, which seems about right, wouldn't want to overdo it), so it's probably no surprise that this one made the list.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:03 PM on November 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


...the sleepaway camp Walkers

My husband saw the zombies wriggling around in the sleeping bags and said to me, "That would be you."
posted by Jacqueline at 9:13 PM on November 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I liked it when it started raining walkers.

> and whoever's been doing the score for the last couple episodes has been killing it

Is it just me or did one of the themes tonight sound like "While my Guitar Gently Weeps"?
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 9:15 PM on November 16, 2014


I didn't understand what was happening in the hallway with the tent and the sleeping bags. Were the zombis supposed to have been trapped there for the last 3 years? Were these just really lazy zombies who couldn't be bothered to mill around or bust out of a tent given 35 months of trying?
posted by skewed at 9:20 PM on November 16, 2014


Maybe they were people who camped there more recently, and died because of carbon monoxide poisoning from a camp stove.
posted by cardboard at 9:23 PM on November 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


The score was downright beautiful in places.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:52 PM on November 16, 2014


I was wondering about how those people all seemingly died in their sleep, and cardboard's explanation definitely sounds right.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 10:04 PM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Was that Glenn's pizza delivery car that they briefly ran past? And the tank from the first or second episode?
posted by whir at 10:17 PM on November 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also, I totally wanted Carol and Darryl to get it on and was sad when they didn't.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 10:28 PM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, too soon for them to hook up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:55 PM on November 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Favourite scene:

"Buckle up!"

*gear change*

wheeeeeeee...... bounce..ouch..crashcrunchthuddd...
....
THUD

Thud thud thunkunkthudthud..

thud
posted by arzakh at 2:44 AM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kinda guessing that Daryl goes back to the churchie next week to rally Rick et al. Rick says no, but a returning Abraham, who needs a mission to give himself a purpose, convinces them to go.

in the mid-season finale the group storm the hospital. But it goes a bit wrong, and Eugene - partially out of guilt - sacrifices himself in the Call of Duty, and Abraham is lost too. The mid-season finale ends with Queen Policewoman holding a weapon or something to the still-comatose Carol's head (but on the series resuming next year it'll be fine as Beth will take her out).

You can all come back and laugh at me in a few weeks when I've got all of this very wrong.
posted by Wordshore at 3:40 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I can't imagine Rick saying no to rescuing Beth and Carol, so I'm going to go ahead and snicker a bit right now, ok?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:25 AM on November 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Maybe they were people who camped there more recently, and died because of carbon monoxide poisoning from a camp stove.

I think they were murdered in their sleep. The sleeping bags were pretty bloody.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:28 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm a big fan of the slow, tense, character building episodes. But it has been three episodes since we have seen half our group, including what would be considered our two main characters. I felt this episode was trying to build some big symbolic revelation about Carol. Okay, she keeps changing who she is and every time that new identity is burned away. Get it? All these flashbacks with smoke in the distance - the smoke is a motif.

We spent ten minutes on flashbacks and another twenty in this episode to basically recap everything we already picked up on by watching your bloody show. There were no new revelations about her character except maybe that she isn't as strong as she puts on. She spent a day in an abused women shelter then ran back to her husband, but we already knew she was weak and submissive before. She still didn't open up to Darryl. We didn't learn much about him.

Seems they could have accomplished all this in fifteen minutes and moved on.

There was one scene where Darryl struck down on a walker's head with the machete and the effects were bad. Usually I'm left wondering how they do many of the effects, but this one was incredibly obvious and phony looking.
posted by 2ht at 4:34 AM on November 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yay for a Carol/Daryl episode! I swear, I could just watch them clear buildings for hours. This ep had the best combination of tension, action, and character arc then I've seen in a long time. Or maybe it was just that there was no Rick. :)
posted by Mogur at 4:36 AM on November 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


There were many things I loved about the episode, and I figured it was only fair to mention them too.

Seeing Atlanta was great. I love urban exploration, so any time we get to see a city in TWD is alright by me. The discussion about the painting was right on key with the characters (and funny). Carol and Darryl were smart and creative. Checking the gurney was a great way to plant a clue. The writers didn't have to create unbelievable scenarios or make the characters do stupid things in order to put them in tense situations. Okay, the van fall was a little out there, but raining zombies made it worth it. (Though, shouldn't there have been more of them?)

Running into Noah worked almost exactly as I expected it would and it was only became a little far fetched when they ran into him a second time. But that's forgivable. I think Rick and his crew will go back for them. We've seen that he's willing to do a lot for his own people. And he feels that he owes Carol after she saved them from Terminus. I just hope that Maggie & Glen & Abraham and the rest join up first.

The zombies on the walkway - maybe they were killed somewhat recently by CO poisoning, seems a good explanation. I chalked it up to the fact that zombies are basically inert until there's an outside stimulus. If they died there in tents and sleeping bags and no one had walked through their for 3 years I can see them not ever escaping.
posted by 2ht at 5:11 AM on November 17, 2014


I think they were murdered in their sleep. The sleeping bags were pretty bloody.

The commenters at HitFix agree with you, and say there were bullet holes.

In light of that, I'd say the cops got them while they were sleeping.
posted by cardboard at 5:37 AM on November 17, 2014


That makes no sense. The cops shot them, but don't put any bullets in their head? That's just crazy dumb.

On Talking Dead, they speculated that the bombing of Atlanta involved some sort of gas which killed them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:56 AM on November 17, 2014


That makes no sense. The cops shot them, but don't put any bullets in their head? That's just crazy dumb.

Tactical use of zombies like a minefield to block off the walkway. If they don't need to go in the building, they have an interest in keeping others out.

All speculation--the show has had mysterious and unexplained groups of dead on many other occasions, hinting at stories they'll never tell.
posted by cardboard at 6:57 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you want another theory, one of the campers snapped, killed everyone in their sleep, and then suicided in a tent.
posted by cardboard at 7:03 AM on November 17, 2014


however the campers died, the zombies laying in their sleeping bags for days/weeks/years isn't consistent with what we've seen zombies do for the rest of the show. I mean, it was a cool/scary visual, so whatever. Just saying.
posted by skewed at 8:27 AM on November 17, 2014


They've explicitly addressed the phenomenon of zombies going dormant on the show if there's nothing to draw their attention (smell, motion, sound, etc.) One of the characters called them lurkers.

Also, if anything ever happens to Daryl & Carol (is the cutesy fan name Caryl or Darol?), we riot.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:37 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I did politely ask on a walking dead forum last year why the walkers - even the seemingly dormant ones - simply didn't become incapacitated, then die of thirst after a while as, well, basic human body biology.

Cue immediate fury and within a few minutes my account was deleted and I was chucked out.
posted by Wordshore at 10:34 AM on November 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


Can anyone tell me if going over the edge of the road in the van is realistic or not? If it is, maybe it will slightly lesson my fear of riding on the freeway.

I'm disappointed that it looks like the hospital is going to be this season's Big Bad. I would almost rather they had dragged out the Terminus plot.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:34 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can anyone tell me if going over the edge of the road in the van is realistic or not?

That was scene wasn't realistic, no. Physics wise it should have landed on its top or rear end, not perfectly on the wheels. But it's a show about zombies and it was Carol and Daryl, sowhatchagonnado? Seriously, if either one of those two are killed it better be for a damn good reason, with a damn good scene, 'cause people will riot.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:40 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd be surprised if the hospital plot lasts past mid-season.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:41 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, the van falling reminds how good and creepy several zombie scenes were. Like the zombies gathering around the care with Carol and Daryl in it, as the watched the two cops. The shadow of the child zombie. The zombie bodies falling on the roof. The zombies in sleeping bags and tents. Just amazingly good and understated scenes of horror.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM on November 17, 2014


They've explicitly addressed the phenomenon of zombies going dormant on the show if there's nothing to draw their attention (smell, motion, sound, etc.)

But just being in their sleeping bags doesn't fit. When a zombie reanimates from a corpse, it moves around. They could go dormant after looking around their room, not finding anything to eat or any way to exit. But when they give up, they don't get back in their sleeping bags to get snuggly warm.

Anyway, it was just a thing that stuck out at me as weird, even if it doesn't make sense it looked pretty cool, like the van flipping over off the bridge.
posted by skewed at 10:53 AM on November 17, 2014


I'd be surprised if the hospital plot lasts past mid-season.

Ahhh AMC told me that there were only 2 episodes left; I thought they meant for the season but I think they meant before January.
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:00 AM on November 17, 2014


When a zombie reanimates from a corpse, it moves around. They could go dormant after looking around their room, not finding anything to eat or any way to exit.

If they can't figure out who to open doors, it makes sense that they can't figure out how to unzip themselves from a sleeping bag. It's not like they have superhuman strength. They just wiggle around.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:03 AM on November 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


The van did seem to nosedive, then voila! Cut to van landing on wheels. Which means it must have done a near 360 degree rotation; somewhat unlikely in the not massive height.

This was annoying, but did find the walkers starting to fall onto the now grounded van strangely amusing. Ah, lemmings.
posted by Wordshore at 11:14 AM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know for sure when episodes resume after the mid-season break? I couldn't find anything.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 11:28 AM on November 17, 2014


Does anyone know for sure when episodes resume after the mid-season break? I couldn't find anything.

February 8, 2015.
posted by cashman at 11:41 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I liked this episode a lot. I'm more of a fan of the episodes where things are nicely paced. Where you really get time to sit down and exist in this post-apocalyptic land. A lack of continual action so that you are forced to feel like the characters would - just staring at the world and wondering what is going to happen next.

The sleeping bag thing made complete sense to me.

I liked a lot of the work in this episode. The reflections Carol looked at. The "ATLANTA" sign with overgrown greenery. The "help" sign in the background of the skywalk scene. Daryl spotting the van and then pointing it out to Carol, and them making their way down to it.

I certainly don't believe they'd be dumb enough to have had to pull that van stunt, and them not looking at water like it is gold (the tank in the 'rich prick's' office) kind of throws me off, but I like how the show does overload you at times, but then it trusts you as a viewer to let the show happen.

On Talking Dead there were just a number of good insights given by the guests regarding Carol and her actions and thoughts - I suggest watching that if you didn't know whether or not to check out this latest episode.
posted by cashman at 11:59 AM on November 17, 2014


But just being in their sleeping bags doesn't fit. When a zombie reanimates from a corpse, it moves around. They could go dormant after looking around their room, not finding anything to eat or any way to exit. But when they give up, they don't get back in their sleeping bags to get snuggly warm.

It doesn't fit with what we've seen zombies do -- we've explicitly seen them try to open doors and things like that -- but they may just be very recently dead. I get the feeling the cops are pretty selective about who they "rescue".

It was a pretty cool scene anyway.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:27 PM on November 17, 2014


I don't think zombies have the fine motor skills necessary to grasp a zipper. Shit, even I have problems with it sometimes and I'm still fully alive.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:34 PM on November 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing the walkway Zs were comprised primarily of male survivors camped out in search of buildings to loot, and recently dead thanks to the "cops" at Slabtown.

Frankly, Noah's father wasn't saved or brought on at the hospital because they have plenty of Alpha Males protecting/raping a finite number of somewhat desirable women, and they spun a lie to convince him in the moment to come with them without his pop.

Any women in the camping walkway party were surely "retrieved" and brought back to Slabtown; the rest were left in a "dormant" state so that they couldn't join a roving horde and also serve as a sort of "warning system"/activity alarm for anyone hiding behind that door.

Actually, wasn't Noah sort of lurking and waiting for Carol and Darryl when they came through that chained-up door? If so, he might not have been the one that killed the zomCampers, but then again, maybe he did. If I'd escaped from Slabtown and was hoping to snatch weapons and supplies from the living, the zomCampers would be pretty good protection on two fronts:

1. Roving zombies. Zombies don't really care about or notice each other unless they're sort of wandering in the same direction towards something that's alive. Therefore, hiding behind a barricade comprised of them on one side and a chained-up door on the other makes for a fairly safe hideout, as they'd mask the scent of any living humans within (but not the sound).

2. Human "officers" from Slabtown (or elsewhere, vis-a-vis the Claimers). Zombies are going to activate like an undead horde of Clappers the second anything with a pulse opens the entryway, giving said lurker -- probably Noah -- time to quietly escape through the chained-up door. The "officers" would probably realize what was up fairly quickly, but if Noah was smart he'd have mapped out an exit in the interim.

Remember, he DID have Carol and Darryl's former weapons, and those sleeping bags looked pretty bloody in some places. It's even possible that he arranged them in that pattern to slow down an apprehending party (I'm just spit-balling here, but that's what I'd do if I had the zombie equivalent of Clapper Legos for my safety alarm; spread them out so nobody could quickly or easily bypass them without raising a literal stink).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:09 PM on November 17, 2014


Ugh, I got the timeline wrong on the weapons, guess I need more sleep. I still think if I had no weapons or supplies and was a teenaged boy who knew a roving pack of humans was hunting me, I'd arrange as much of a "safety net" around the room I slept in until I could gather weapons and supplies from the living to plot out a real escape from Atlanta on foot.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:25 PM on November 17, 2014


My favorite thing was Carol and Daryl in the car, stopped on the road just inside Atlanta.

Something WHOMPS against the outside of the car. They both jerk in surprise and dread. Their heads whip around, and then --

Thank God, they both think, relaxing visibly. It's just a zombie!
posted by kythuen at 4:05 PM on November 17, 2014 [19 favorites]


Really, I think, that's what makes TWD so great. Zombies aren't the antagonist. They're just the device that lets the writers put humans in conflict with other humans. It's been said of zombie fiction all along, but TWD is one of the fullest realizations of the idea: zombie stories aren't about zombies; they're about us.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:58 PM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wait. I'm confused. (As usual.)

This season, you can distract walkers with fire. They go "Fiiiiiiiiiiiiire goooooooood" and check it out.

But a few seasons ago, we had gazillion walkers stroll out of a burning barn. Shouldn't they be rolling around in the barn like a bunch of Burning Man attendees?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 8:03 PM on November 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


eponysterical?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:05 PM on November 17, 2014


In the zombie hierarchy of needs, fresh meat trumps burning garbage. The walkers at the farm were aware of people in the vicinity, while in Atlanta, Daryl and co. were being sneaky.
posted by cardboard at 8:11 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I did politely ask on a walking dead forum last year why the walkers - even the seemingly dormant ones - simply didn't become incapacitated, then die of thirst after a while as, well, basic human body biology.

What do you think this is, 28 Days Later? Different universe, geez!

At some point, a more basic form of The Invisible Zombie Law takes place even in Standard Zombie Media. The Invisible Zombie Law is that if you can accept that there are such things as invisible zombies, then you're OK suspending all belief in logic in that particular media. Dialing it down a bit, if you can accept that zombies are real in a certain world, then you're giving up the notion that everything has to really, truly make sense. Because there are zombies.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 PM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


As for this episode, I really liked it, primarily because of the growth seen in Daryl and Carol, individually and together. It's not romantic tension (or if it is, it's pretty low-level, or they would have fallen back, side-by-side on the lower bunk, and started making out or something).

Fun details: Daryl picked up a book about surviving as an abused child (Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Psychotherapy for the Interrupted Life). I thought it was an attempt to get to know Carol better, but my wife reminded me that Daryl told Beth about his father being abusive. To tie that together, Carol told Daryl that he used to be a child, and was now a man. Movie Pilot ties more of that together, as well as the repetitive fire motif. Come on, we get it. Being burnt, reborn, phoenix from the flame, burning again and again, not ashes yet, and of course the episode title being Consumed, by fire, by guilt ... subtle, that one.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think they were murdered in their sleep. The sleeping bags were pretty bloody.

They could have died of the hemorrhagic swine flu that was killing people right and left at the prison a few weeks ago (until the prison fell, when all our characters magically became immune to it and no longer carried it to others either).
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:10 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I like it when something makes me sorry for the walkers. I felt sorry for the walker dude who got split in half when he rained on the van and then his disgusting disgusting torso slowly slid away from its bottom half in an effort to get at D&C. I wanted to feed it some jerky, so clearly into the zombie apocalypse I would belong in that 'survivor but psycho' category.
posted by angrycat at 6:56 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


My son, who watches the show and has also read the graphic novels of TWD, said that for him the major theme is that the zombie apocalypse has effectively turned the survivors into monsters.

The Walkers, though killers, are just acting on instinct. They have lost all capacity to think and are only fueled by their lizard brains. Essentially, they are like wild animals; you don't expect them to be docile or affectionate, of course, but their savagery is primal and even predictable.

People, though, in order to survive, are continuously forced to make tough choices. Originally, they might even make altruistic choices--like how injured survivors have sacrificed themselves--but eventually the fight for survival means the choices are going to favor some people over others.

So, you start out with the survivors banding together against the undead just to survive. Herschel even locks "changed" family and friends in the barn rather than face the undead threat at all. Survivors die only when you can't keep the Walkers away from them; parents sacrifice themselves for children, wives for husbands, sisters for each other. The battle is one of all humanity against the undead. The mantra of the survivors becomes, "We don't kill the living".

But then once you have formed a group, working together, suppose someone new comes along, not a Walker but not one of your own? They have a group of their own and that group now threatens yours. You agonize over what to do because okay, yes, we are all survivors but resources are limited and growing scarcer every day. You weigh this person's need against your group's needs. Rick's group, in the second season on the farm, faced with this situation, take a vote, and eventually decide they have to kill the outsider, but no one is happy about it. Herschel was absolutely appalled, and Rick faltered and couldn't do it at first. They are basically good people faced with a very bad situation. They decide to make ONE exception to their rule of not killing the living.

After a while, the tough decisions come easier. All outsiders become suspect by default. They do not set out to kill other survivors, but they don't go looking to help them, either. One poignant example of this change happening, even in Rick's group, was the hitchhiker on the side of the road, running from zombies and calling out for help--they not only ignore him, but later, returning along the same road, casually scoop up his bloody and discarded backpack.

When Carl is threatened, Rick goes insane and lunges for the offender's throat with his teeth. Carl, growing up in this world, is more than ready to shoot first and ask questions later. The survivors are dangerously close to wild animals themselves.

The prison brings them back from the edge, offering sanctuary and more resources, but only for a while, and the world outside has only gotten worse while they were locked away.

How far you are willing to go to survive is the new standard for humanity. If you are the Governor, or the Hospital people, survival becomes a purely transactional arrangement; be a contributor and you stay, threaten the status quo and you are punished or even discarded. They know they aren't doing what's right, but rationalize they are doing what is necessary.

On the far side of the spectrum are the truly evil Terminus coalition, luring survivors in with the premise of safe haven in order to cannibalize them with casual efficiency. They have discarded humanity altogether and are basically mimicking the Walkers.

That is one reason Father Gabriel's appearance this season both stuns us and makes us suspicious. We no longer believe anyone can have survived this long without killing both Walkers and other survivors. Rick's group has developed their "three questions test" because they have accepted this reality. They cling tenaciously if tenuously to what little humanity they have left: "That's not us. That can't be who we are." They know that the choices they are making now are, little by little, rendering them less human.

And that is the real tragedy of the show.
posted by misha at 9:56 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Thank God, they both think, relaxing visibly. It's just a zombie!

What really made that scene for me was Carol's little exasperated "Oh, fuck off" eyeroll at the zombie. She is a badass.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:54 PM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yes, Carol is now a badass. But that is taking its toll, just like it did with Rick. The question is whether Carol will be able to reconcile that badass part of herself with all the other parts and as a member of this tribe.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:48 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Can anyone tell me if going over the edge of the road in the van is realistic or not?"

If you're asking about breaking through the guardrail, then, no, it's not realistic. It's very, very difficult for a vehicle to do that. I think it happens occasionally with eighteen-wheelers, but your average car or SUV or van isn't going over the edge of an overpass or whatever that way.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:26 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Can anyone tell me if going over the edge of the road in the van is realistic or not?"

I do remember hearing that running into something in your car when you are going 30 miles/hour is equivalent to the impact you'd experience falling out of a three-story building. (This was a counter-argument to those folks who used to think they could "absorb the shock" of a traffic impact with their arms and thus, didn't need to wear seat belts.)

So, the airbags could have plausibly saved them if they landed nose-first.

The way they landed, their spines would have been shattered. Stunt car drivers have to wear special harnesses that cushion and protect their spines from compression even on much more modest heights.

I was really surprised that they thought it was a good idea for them both to be in the front of the van the first time they searched it. I even thought Carol was thinking about loading the old tire into the back as an extra counterweight - but no. It was just "Let's both go on the other side of the fulcrum. There's two sun visors to check, after all."

Also, we've seen wheeled tables put to good use repelling zombies before. I can't believe they didn't just whip the gurney out and plow the zombies out of they way - or, hey, even over the edge!

In Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk with Me, he describes how he zips himself into a sleeping bag at night so that he won't sleepwalk. And, as we all know, zombies have about the same mental capacity and bodily coordination as a sleeping Mike Birbiglia.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 9:48 PM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


If you're asking about breaking through the guardrail, then, no, it's not realistic. It's very, very difficult for a vehicle to do that. I think it happens occasionally with eighteen-wheelers, but your average car or SUV or van isn't going over the edge of an overpass or whatever that way.

Not that I care if it's realistic since, well, zombies and it's a story, not a documentary, but I've seen an SUV drive into a guardrail and it actually went right up along side the rail so I could see underneath the vehicle, spectacular sparks and all, as it slid forward along the rail, but it never went over and the rail did not give way.
posted by juiceCake at 8:42 AM on November 19, 2014


Barriers like that are designed to deflect vehicles hitting it at glancing angles, while in this case the van ran into it head on and would have had all of its energy absorbed by the barrier. Whether that would be enough to break through it even then, I don't know. On the other hand, the front end of the van should be a lot more smashed up after that sort of collision as well.

Best not to think about it too closely. You could hand-wave that the barrier was damaged in a previous collision maybe (with a since removed vehicle? Stop thinking again).
posted by cardboard at 9:31 AM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just spitballing here but maybe the hospital gang put the van there as a marker for themselves for some reason? Maybe they tore away the guardrail and that's why there's no damage to front end?

I'm thinking about this show waaaay too much.
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:05 AM on November 19, 2014


I know I demand utter realism in my television show based on a comic book about hordes of shambling reanimated corpses devouring humans.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:07 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Me too!
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:21 AM on November 19, 2014


Guys, the walkers ate the guardrail.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:24 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's a metaphor for the unexpected turn that world has taken.

Previously a van, a device made by man would not have penetrated the guardrail, another manmade device. But now the world order has been upended by the shuffling masses and things are being penetrated that were previously unpreventable. We've through the looking glass here people, hanging off the edge of the world as death slowly shuffles towards us. We can can close those doors but death will still find us, it always will, no matter if we're buckled in and holding the hand of someone we'd like to maybe hook up with, but there's we're too torn up with our own shit and oh, commercial.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:48 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Straight Dope has some good stuff on guard rails, with links for more detailed info. Summarizing, they aren't made for head-on collisions and weren't usually designed with SUV or vans in mind, plus some are more a visual warning than a real barrier.
posted by misha at 11:28 AM on November 19, 2014


Man, what have I started. I just wanted someone to tell me that yes if I fell off a freeway the worst problem I would face is some zombie blood getting on my van; then I could ride in freeway traffic without needing a xanex.

But seriously, this has been super awesome. I have never spent so much time thinking about sleeping bag zippers and if they could be unzipped by wiggling.
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:16 PM on November 19, 2014


Oh, I've watched the episode again. The sleeping bags definitely had what looked like multiple gunshot holes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:18 PM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I know I demand utter realism in my television show based on a comic book about hordes of shambling reanimated corpses devouring humans."

The realism of it within the context of the show isn't important -- but I had the impression that the question was asked because tofu_crouton had anxiety about vehicles crashing through guardrails on freeway overpasses in real life. Which really isn't something to worry about.

There's a particular single-lane flyover ramp that's part of a freeway interchange in Austin that seems unusually high and, at night and under the right weather conditions, has badly frightened at least two people I know. My impression is that anxiety about such flyovers and overpasses is fairly common.

And I've actually seen an eighteen-wheeler that had partly crashed through the I-25/I-40 interchange in Albuquerque years ago, which was actually pretty frightening. On the other hand, if you look at those concrete sides or the railings of these flyovers and overpasses, you'll see a surprising amount of scraping/scarring -- collisions against these are not uncommon.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:05 PM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought the van through the railing thing was a hilariously bad setup, especially when they got in it to go over. Just silly. Carol's "well we made good time down" was kind of worth it. A little.

But I did just get done looking at almost that exact scene from a crash from a few years ago. So it isn't unrealistic at all evidently, and the one side of the railing has the clean break that I thought was improbably when I was watching this episode. Also, if the original van driver was trying to plow through a bunch of zombies, they might have been on the front of, or in front of the van and that might be what is partially responsible for the minimal van front damage. Who knows. I'm all for realism outside of the main story prompt. The only thing that is supposed to be different about the world is the zombie thing. Other things should be consistent.
posted by cashman at 7:02 AM on November 20, 2014


I'm sort of on the side of anything that involves a rain of zombies.
posted by angrycat at 8:15 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


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