The Walking Dead: Coda   Show Only 
November 30, 2014 7:17 PM - Season 5, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Everyone reunites with everyone else!

(Some more alive than others.)
posted by Sys Rq (128 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
GREAT PLAN, TYREESE, WAY TO GO
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:20 PM on November 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well fuck. That felt incredibly manipulative from a narrative point of view and fairly pointless, what with Gabriel still lumbering around, but Beth, newly developed and grown up, gets killed off.

Hershel's death made sense, though it was painful. Beth's is just sad sack of whatthefuck.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:34 PM on November 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


In keeping with sentiments expressed by Beth previously at the prison and now at the hospital, I won't cry for her death.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 7:34 PM on November 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


That felt incredibly manipulative from a narrative point of view

What's so manipulative about Maggie remembering she has a sister just in time to see her lifeless body?

Oh. Right. Everything.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:38 PM on November 30, 2014 [21 favorites]


Exactly. I twigged to Beth being the ONE, as soon as Abe and the game conveniently showed and quietly showed up with the freaking fire truck.

And why were the experienced zombie killers just milling around where the zombies could see them? Just go around to the other side so they'll settle down and not break the hastily nailed shut door?

Jesus, people characters.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 PM on November 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well, the end felt anticlimactic to me because I thought it was pretty obvious since Season 2 that Beth was hanging around for the sole purpose of being a character death at some point, and the 11th hour character development she had did nothing but confirm that as an (IMO unsuccessful) attempt to give her upcoming demise some emotional gravity. I did feel sad, but only because I was sad for Maggie and the rest, not because I cared a whit about Beth herself. That said, I am hopeful that this will provide a setup for a traumatized Maggie to finally undergo some character development after being mostly ignored and painfully underutilized since Season 3. That's my silver lining to a very boring story arc this season, capped by an overall very boring midseason finale. I hated the hospital a lot. A lot. OMG SO MUCH. So much that I hated it even more than Gabriel's idiotic walk around the neighborhood, which should be impossible.

I did love the extra ending with Morgan. That was a great signal that although they aren't going to DC now, they will be in the future, and Morgan will hopefully be waiting for them. It reminded me of the end of Season 2 when the camera panned back and showed the prison in the background, foreshadowing the group's journey for the next season.

Also, the episode is called Coda, i.e., the end of music. Beth's two character traits are 1) "I don't cry anymore" and 2) she sings. I mean.. come on.
posted by gatorae at 7:46 PM on November 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


The jaunt around the neighborhood. Just, no words.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 8:15 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought for a while that Gabriel was not just walking around the neighborhood but setting off on his own. I had the feeling he was suicidal, but wouldn't do it by his own hand for fear of going to hell. But then when he actually faced death-by-zombie, he scurried back to the church. I was surprised to see him come out from under the church the second time, because I felt like he was going to martyr himself so Michonne, Carl, and Judith could safely get away.

But I guess I'm giving him too much credit.
posted by QuakerMel at 8:23 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maggie and Daryl's reactions were moving beyond any feeling that Beth had inspired at least in me; I can't speak for anyone else, but I never had any particular investment in the character. For a moment, I actually thought she would consent to be Dawn's Smithers, possibly creating a weird dynamic between competing groups of survivors. This could have been interesting, although I was more than ready to leave the hospital people behind (we've spent longer with this fairly blah group than we did with the cannibals. And they were cannibals!). I was more startled by the deaths than I was surprised or upset by them. It was a little bit anticlimactic, even if the trade-off was handled with a lot of well-played tension.

I have to admit, I am kind of appreciating the over-the-top, Grindhouse-y violence of the last few episodes. First Daryl hooked the zombie's eyes and clocked a dude with the still-biting skull (!), and then Beth kicked that guy down an elevator shaft (!!). To say nothing of Michonne spectacularly whipping off zombie heads, sometimes in pieces. It's not at Evil Dead levels or anything, but it's a little ridiculous, in an entertaining way.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:50 PM on November 30, 2014 [9 favorites]


I was inordinately annoyed by this episode, especially the end.

Beth's death made no sense. Why would she attack Dawn like that? She knew that Dawn and her officers would retaliate and likely kill her. She knew that the attack would put her friends (including Carol, who she was recently so keen to help) at risk. And we've seen no sign that she was suicidal or anything. Why risk all that just to inflict a minor injury on Dawn?

It's just an incredibly stupid excuse to kill off an unpopular character (because the writers apparently couldn't figure out why she was unpopular and give her stronger writing), and to inject some cheap drama into the mid-season finale.

Speaking more generally: this episode felt like an anti-cliffhanger. There are no open questions or unresolved plot threads to make us anticipate the second half of the season.

I thought this season started off really strong, but Gabriel and the hospital were crap. I want my money back.

If I'm looking for positive things to say, though: I guess Noah is officially part of The Group now. That works for me – I like him.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:51 PM on November 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


Here's the trailer for the rest of the season. Sounds like they hear rumors of some kind of sanctuary, and decide to check it out.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:56 PM on November 30, 2014


Hey, maybe they'll show up at some enclave somewhere where a strong leader has managed to eke out a delicate balance of power but has a dark secret and then they'll destroy it all.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 8:57 PM on November 30, 2014 [48 favorites]


Hey, maybe they'll show up at some enclave somewhere where a strong leader has managed to eke out a delicate balance of power but has a dark secret and then they'll destroy it all.

Okay mods, you can go ahead and close this thread up now.
posted by cashman at 9:06 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm here for Obi-Wan Morgan to show up and straighten Rick's Beard out, because he's gone full Shane now.

I disliked Beth generally but oh my god, that was super-shitty. Kirkman, you are the WORST.

Everybody Hates Noah can stay, but Gabriel? How did he even become this horrible of a pastor and have a flock of churchgoers to lead, presumably??? He must've been a shelter volunteer who Peter Principled his way into that job, smh.

Maybe Gabriel and Eugene can have a "most selfish (presumably) good character on The Walking Dead" contest next year. Rosita can judge it in her tactical short-shorts while Abraham digs the group an underground bunker, silently dry-crying all his feelings, with their only shovel inside some rich suburb's gated community.

Gahhhh here's a gif of baby Judith playing with red solo cups to cheer everyone up. :(
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:42 PM on November 30, 2014 [9 favorites]


I was really disturbed by Rick running down and murdering Cop Bob. That was totally unnecessary (he could have pulled in front of him and stopped him that way), and is the moment that Rick finally went over the Moral Event Horizon for me.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:48 PM on November 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


My husband and I were really shocked/surprised by Beth's death -- we'd expected her to do something stupid with Chekhov's Scissors, but not to get her brains blown out for it.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:49 PM on November 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


The real drama was on Facebook after AMC spoiled the episode for anyone not watching the East Coast feed
posted by The Gooch at 10:11 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


On Talking Dead Chris Hardwick was going on and on about how beloved Beth was and I was all "Whaaaaaaaa?"

And then Emily Kinney came on and got weepy about leaving the show and I felt a bit bad because no one wants to lose a good gig but she kept on whimpering and my husband went online and said "She's 29! She should know better!"
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:07 AM on December 1, 2014


I'm not sure why I like this show, because I seem not to like a lot about it. This just felt like they decided hey, it's mid-season finale so somebody has to die. I hate it when they make the characters do things there is no reason for them to do in order to advance the plot, and I suspect a lot of it is Kirkman. He's the worst thing that ever happened to his show. Conflict with Dawn could have been advanced when Rick killed Bob-2, perhaps: that would make sense (Rick's needed to scratch his new killin' itch since Dixon talked him out of killing the bald cop). It would fit his character and move the plot. But apparently we're going to move the plot along by making Dawn want Noah for some damn reason, provoking Beth to ineffectually stab her in the shoulder (wtf).
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:09 AM on December 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was really disturbed by Rick running down and murdering Cop Bob.

Bob 2 is a member of a group that runs people down, kidnaps them, and keeps them prisoner to provide forced labour in a rape camp that just happens to have a doctor on staff.

I would not only have run him down, I would have backed up over him. More than once.

But yeah, given that they needed him for the hostage exchange, Rick probably should have not killed him. I think that was part of the moral balancing act - Rick sacrificed the leverage they could have used to keep Noah without argument. By offing Bob 2, Rick basically lost Beth.

Alternatively, Sasha lost Beth, because she was attempting to hang on to her last shreds of compassion, and because of that she let Bob get away.

If there's one theme in this show, it's that decisions always have a cost, and in the post-apocalypse world, that cost is always high. Sometimes, there are no good choices and, especially in this show, characters are faced only with two bad choices.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:50 AM on December 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


Everybody Hates Noah can stay, but Gabriel? How did he even become this horrible of a pastor and have a flock of churchgoers to lead, presumably?

There are plenty of useless priests around even in this pre-apocalypse. Human resources is not exactly a speciality of the Catholic Church.

I imagine a useless priest who let his entire congregation be eaten by zombies because he couldn't be bothered to get up open the door, and then spent 2 years in (admittedly self-imposed) solitary confinement would be pretty traumatised and messed up.

But after Gabriel has compromised the integrity of their temporary stronghold, and then gone for a stroll and attracted the attention of a herd of walkers, led them back to the church and then demanded that Michonne and Carl compromise the door to save him (even though he could easily just have gotten back in through the hole in the rectory), resulting in them losing their shelter - after all that, I really don't get why Michonne wouldn't just kill him. He's clearly a danger to them.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:59 AM on December 1, 2014 [10 favorites]


I went to bed last night a bit bummed about Beth.

I realized when I woke up this morning that this might have been a suicide-by-cop thing. Remember, in her one-on-one with Dawn, she said, "I would never kill anyone" and Dawn reminds her that she has. And a few minutes later, she kills someone else.

Remember that Beth tried to kill herself in Season 1. Or 2? Can't remember, too.

So now she's in this hostage exchange, and realizes that Dawn is about consolidating power - especially after the reveal that Dawn killed Hanson. Beth doesn't know Maggie is still alive yet, she's killed two people, and realizes that she is not going to be part of propagating Dawn's rape-camp-with-medical-benefits. She forces Dawn to kill her - remember Dawn's expression is as shocked as can be - she didn't want to kill Beth. Beth forced her to "do what had to be done", provoking the retaliation from Darrel.

And Beth KNEW that would happen, and decided the price was worth it, because she felt like she was already gone and there wasn't anything left for her.

It's very sad, but it's at least plausible.
posted by Thistledown at 4:57 AM on December 1, 2014 [14 favorites]


Once Rick had run down Bob he had to kill him. They can't take him to the hospital as part of an exchange and there's no other place that can deal with a serious injury. He had to bring Bob down quickly so the best choice is to hit him with the car and roll the dice. Bob lost.

Like Thistledown I read Beth's attack on Dawn as forcing an end to the hospital holding people against their will. Beth doesn't know whether her death will precipitate a fire fight or whether it will push Rick into offering all the inmates their freedom but she does know that Dawn's bullshit will end and the surviving inmates will have a choice. There's no question in my mind that the hospital police would be on the losing end of a fire fight.
posted by rdr at 5:29 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Meh. It was more like Beth found her spine, but was still largely ineffectual. How long have you been doing blows to the head Beth. And then you stab a person in the chest? What the hell?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:39 AM on December 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


She doesn't have to kill Dawn. Once Beth pushes the situation over the edge Dawn is going to die one way or another. If she kills Dawn then there are no brakes to stop an immediate fire fight.
posted by rdr at 5:46 AM on December 1, 2014


Well, she didn't kill Dawn, just stabbed her so ineffectually that Dawn was still able to pull out her gun and kill Beth. Noah still stayed with the Hospital Tribe sooo...way to go Beth.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:50 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Noah still stayed with the Hospital Tribe sooo...way to go Beth.

Nope: "The officers offer Rick and the group sanctuary in the hospital, and Rick refuses, offering instead to take anyone from the hospital who wants to leave. In the next scene we see that Noah has decided to leave the hospital."

And..."After the credits, Morgan finds his way out of the woods, standing where Gabriel had stood earlier in front of the school." That wasn't in the, uh, version of the episode that I watched! It ended pretty much right after Maggie's big NOOOOO. It'll be good to have Morgan back.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:08 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Noah still stayed with the Hospital Tribe sooo...way to go Beth.

Noah followed Darryl out of the hospital. (My husband missed that too, so I had to rewind and show him.)
posted by Jacqueline at 6:13 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm 50-50 on Morgan. The man was a bit of a nutter last we saw him, and Rick did take the guns.....
posted by Thistledown at 6:27 AM on December 1, 2014


Noah followed Darryl out of the hospital. (My husband missed that too, so I had to rewind and show him.)

That just makes me more irrationally mad, as why didn't he step forward when Rick asked people, to make it clear?

Swear to god, this show is so goddamn batty at times.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am not as down on this season as some folks are. Actually, for me, I thought it has been one of the better ones. I often got the sense during earlier seasons that there were terrific ideas underlying the stories (generally from Kirkman's comics) but they were developed in a manner ranging from inconsistent to insanely lurching and off-kilter. It was like the writers used to routinely forget what they were doing. Oh shit, we haven't had any action in a while. Or Guess we should write some character stuff this week. Or, worst of all, Guess we should get things moving, they've been arguing for three weeks.

This season feels like it was actually written by professional television writers. The underlying ideas haven't been quite as rich, but I don't feel like they're awkwardly grinding the gears on the show's transmission anymore either. It's far from being all gold. But they've generally worked character, action, and thematic angles simultaneously all year. They haven't done all of that perfectly--far from it--but keeping all of the show's various engines humming at once has been a huge improvement.

I'll take TWD with idea quality of 6 and execution quality of 7 over TWD with idea quality of 9 and execution quality fluctuating wildly from 1 to 8.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:57 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear Rick invited "anyone back there" to come with him. Noah was not "back there", i.e. behind the police line and it was assumed that he was coming.
posted by rdr at 7:13 AM on December 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


That wasn't in the, uh, version of the episode that I watched! It ended pretty much right after Maggie's big NOOOOO. It'll be good to have Morgan back.

They somewhat sneakily put the Morgan stuff after they ran the "The Walking Dead will return in February" teaser and the credits. I almost flipped it off too early but I had DVRed it and luckily noticed I wasn't quite at the end of the DVR recording. You might've stopped watching too soon.

The Morgan scenes were great, but they didn't make up for the emotional manipulativeness of pointlessly killing Beth. I might be less annoyed except that the "negotiations seem to be going well, then WHOOPS SOMEONE DIES" was already done, way way more effectively, with Hershel. This one, well it really did just feel manipulative. Still upsetting but not necessarily for all the reasons it should be.

The notion that Beth was trying to commit suicide-by-cop is definitely plausible, but it doesn't explain why Dawn, when the very petite girl who she has repeatedly gone out of her way to protect comes at her with a small pair of scissors, can't come up with any way to stop her other than shooting her in the head. I mean, there's a doctor standing two feet behind her, all she had to do was shoot her anywhere less fatal (or just grab the scissors away). All that cop training, what is it good for? (Admittedly you can wonder this about plenty of real-world cops these days too...) Unless she was just committing some elaborate form of suicide as well, it just seems like it completely upends everything we'd learned about Dawn and what she was trying to stand for. All for the sake of a "shocking" death.

Plus, spending a bunch of episodes developing a character only to kill them off at the end of those episodes gives me flashbacks to LOST, and not in a good way.
posted by mstokes650 at 7:15 AM on December 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I might be less annoyed except that the "negotiations seem to be going well, then WHOOPS SOMEONE DIES" was already done, way way more effectively, with Hershel.

Maggie should stay far away from hostage negotiations.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:23 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Am I alone in thinking Dawn really did not mean to kill Beth? It looked to me like she was totally startled by Beth physically attacking her, and she pulled the trigger out of pure reflex. When she mouthed "I didn't mean it," I believed her - she seemed horrified, as surprised as Rick & co. were. She definitely had the expression of a person for whom things have gone really south, really fast, out of nowhere.
posted by kythuen at 7:50 AM on December 1, 2014 [17 favorites]


"Can't go back, Bob."

Dayum, Rick. Ice cold.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:55 AM on December 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


Can someone please explain or point me towards a concise explanation of whatever the FUCK was happening with the hospital cop people? It was an endless series of names of people we've barely met or experienced as characters, and the dialogue in this last episode about it was so incredibly vague as to be completely nonsensical to me. And if Dawn was the curse and killing her freed them all, why did the cops not kill her themselves? Worst explained plotline ever...
posted by agregoli at 8:48 AM on December 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


It was an endless series of names of people we've barely met or experienced as characters, and the dialogue in this last episode about it was so incredibly vague as to be completely nonsensical to me.

Ta-daaaaa! Kirkman!

To fully replicate the comic book, all the characters should be visually indistinguishable except Rick, Michonne, and Carl.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:55 AM on December 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Can someone please explain or point me towards a concise explanation of whatever the FUCK was happening with the hospital cop people?

There were cops holed up at the hospital and they were trying to rescue people and...oh fuck it. No, the hospital made no damn sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:59 AM on December 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


Because whoever killed her would have all the Juice™ and then be forced to be the new irrational leader.
posted by cashman at 9:06 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


To be totally fair, the basic story line of the hospital makes sense: Dawn is in charge, but just barely and feels that in order to stay in charge, she has to be super tough, while letting some really bad shit slide. So she pushes in the negotiation which results in Beth and her dying. Note that the other cops were like "Hey she's dead, we're cool man, no one else has to die. You want to move in with us?"

Otherwise, the hospital makes not a lick of sense in its goal or how it was even able to function.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:16 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah but the bad shit makes it weirder...like, the other cops were ok with their fellow cops raping everyone but not so much her management style? The resolution makes it seem like Dawn (or WHOEVER is in charge) was the problem - otherwise, why did she kill the old leader? Everyone is charge is bad? The converstaions with her and Beth in this episode were so obtuse.
posted by agregoli at 9:27 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maggie should stay far away from hostage negotiations.

So should Rick! I gotta figure the next time it comes up and someone makes the seemingly-reasonable suggestion of doing a hostage exchange instead of going in fast, hard, and guns blazing, Rick's just going to turn a withering stare on them. "We don't DO hostage exchanges. Not anymore. Someone takes one of our people, we go ALL OUT WAR. It's just safer that way."
posted by mstokes650 at 9:39 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


> "Can't go back, Bob."

Dayum, Rick. Ice cold.


Amen. So cold. And so much like New Carol, finally. I like it. Anyway, I really enjoyed Keegan-Michael Key's appearance on Talking Dead, especially his eloquent take on New Rick. It was a great Talking Dead all around, actually.

> And then Emily Kinney came on and got weepy about leaving the show... she kept on whimpering and my husband went online and said "She's 29! She should know better!"

No! Emily Kinney is awesome. That's a lot to go through, being asked to appear on TV so soon after your character is killed off and you've been on the show since the beginning. Getting fired from a job is a huge life change and upheaval, at any age. She didn't get a ton of notice either. I applaud her for keeping it real. You get the sense that these actors have become incredibly close. When Hershel was killed off, Lauren Cohan had a hard time holding back tears. I applaud that vulnerability.
posted by hush at 9:51 AM on December 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


Of course, then they fed his severed head pudding, so...
posted by delfin at 9:55 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


She didn't get a ton of notice either.

She said on Talking Dead that she learned the season before that the next season was her last.

I dunno... if you're an actor, the fact that gigs are transient is part and parcel of the profession. I understand that it's sad to leave your workmates but YOU ARE NOT DEAD. YOU WILL SEE THEM AT COMIC-CONS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:08 AM on December 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


In other news, Daryl is officially straight.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:41 AM on December 1, 2014


In other news, Daryl is officially straight.

Oh, I'm sure he thinks he is, but a brutal Georgia winter in the mountains, with only Noah as company, could change his mind.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:51 AM on December 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


> She said on Talking Dead that she learned the season before that the next season was her last.

False.

Rewatch that Talking Dead episode here, and at approximately 1:41 Emily Kinney clearly states: "I found out in seven that I would die in eight." "Seven" refers to episode #7 "Dead Weight" and "eight" refers to episode #8 "Coda." This means Emily Kinney only knew for around 90 days prior to last night, tops, if that. (In another interview, she reported getting the news in late August 2014.)

I'm with Chris Hardwick: Emily Kinney "should not feel bad about crying." But haters gonna hate I suppose.
posted by hush at 11:01 AM on December 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


Part of it was the emotional release factor. Here her character was being killed off, her most prominent acting role BY FAR was coming to an abrupt end, her lifestyle surrounding that role had to change drastically (including the apartment she mentioned having to get rid of), she has to be wondering if she'll ever have a role that prominent again, and all of this was under such intense secrecy that she couldn't tell anyone lest spoilers leak out.

So she's had this burning inside her for months, it all comes to a head last night, fanbase freakout, and half an hour later she's in front of a national TV audience being asked "How do you feel?"

Damn right she shouldn't feel bad about her emotional dam showing leaks.
posted by delfin at 11:11 AM on December 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


And honestly, she has to know that her character is disliked. And while I blame the writers for that more than I do Kinney, that's gotta be a shitty feeling – she's kinda getting the boot.

I mean, cry; don't cry; whatever. I don't care. I hope she gets other roles, with writers who will take her character seriously.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 11:17 AM on December 1, 2014


Yeah, I never got the dislike of the character. If anything, Kinney rising to the challenge of a more developed Beth highlights how the show is wasting some of its talent.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:31 AM on December 1, 2014 [10 favorites]


They killed Dale off and Dale was annoying, but I don't think he built up the blinding hatred these next folks did.

Hey, it's Lori - she's okay at first, but now we all hate Lori. Kirkman kills off Lori.
Hey, it's Andrea - she's okay at first, but now we all hate Andrea. Kirkman kills off Andrea.
Hey, it's Beth - ...well beth was kind of loathed from the beginning. Kirkman kills off Beth.

Each time it was the way the character was written that drew the hate. Lori was pretty hateable given what she was written to do. Andrea just did some things that made no sense, and the hate was definitely understandable. Beth was pretty annoying from jump, and though I think she became tolerable in the last 4 or 5 episodes she was in, she still was kind of that annoying character because of her early actions.
posted by cashman at 11:37 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I always wished they had kept Beth suicidal...keeping the other characters on watch with her all the time. I also wish Rick still had visions.
posted by agregoli at 11:52 AM on December 1, 2014


Yeah, I think that's just the internet talking loudly again. I didn't any of those people, though they all did stupid things at time, like pretty much any other character. Never did figure out why some people dislike Lori so intensely.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:52 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hated Lori cause she was a coward and awfully patronizing to Rick...totally chickenshit not to say she banged Shane. And just a character who did weird things too...like steal a car to go after Rick and Glen to bring Herschel back...which is the same thing Rick and Glen left a few hours ago to do?

Dale I found annoying simply because of his platitudes and quotes and general moralizing about the group - righteous that he went out after taking a moral stand that cannot last in "this world."
posted by agregoli at 12:06 PM on December 1, 2014


Hated Lori cause she was a coward and awfully patronizing to Rick...totally chickenshit not to say she banged Shane.

Ah Shane! If ever there was a character to hate, it's him. Let his buddy for dead, lined about that to his wife and kid, proceeded to start banging said wife and be a father to the kid, then got pissy when Rick showed back up and still tried to bang Lori and when she said no came close to raping her and then tried to kill Rick.

Talk about a loathsome character. Lori was a goddamn angel in comparison.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:30 PM on December 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm with Brandon, I don't really get all the hate. Lori was mostly stuck in the thankless wet-blanket-wife role, which is a character that inevitably gets hated in anything, but other than that, it really just seems like the internet's Platonic Ideal of a Walking Dead character would be Woody Harrelson's character in Zombieland, and all characters on the show are judged by how close or far they are from that ideal. (The only major exception I can think of is Hershel.) Even the ups and downs in popularity of some characters - Rick, Andrea, Shane, heck even Carl - a lot of it just seems to track to how much of a relentless zombie-ass-kicking-machine they are. But I don't actually want a show that is nothing but relentless zombie-ass-kickers kicking zombie ass; that would be terribly dull. It's a flavor, like anything else, to be used in moderation. Sometimes TV fans just remind me of little kids - like hey, chocolate is good, so what would be awesome is if everything was made of chocolate, all the time!

Anyway, Kinney's feelings about Beth's death are pretty much the same as mine - in the second or third season it would've been fine, but now that they went and invested all that effort into developing her there was finally more stuff that could actually be done with the character. Ah well.

Even thinking about it as an RPG session leaves me feeling bad for the DM. Feels like one of those situations where the party goes up against a boss monster that's supposed to be challenging-but-doable, but the DM happens to roll a crit against a squishy party member and one-hit-kills them. I've lost a couple characters that way, definitely sucks the fun out of the rest of the game night.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:32 PM on December 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Aw, heck, I couldn't be mad at Shane. He couldn't have carried unconscious Rick out of the hospital and made it, most likely. Lied, yes. Lied always for what he saw as the greater good, surviving. At the time, I found him the only character who was facing hard truths...like leaving Sophia behind. Yes, he was a big baby, but a realistic character to me, so I liked the writing for him. Former high school football star turned shitty police officer turned shittier friend and survivalmate. Sounds about right.
posted by agregoli at 12:34 PM on December 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I really didn't hate Lori but I did dislike her (and Dale, and Shane, and Beth, and Sophia, and some other ones I can't remember because they sucked and they're dead now) because that second season was so freaking awful and I hated everyone and all their dumb talking and doing pointless dumb stuff. But once Lori gave that lecture to Andrea about how she really should be in the house doing women's work instead of playing with guns with the boys I really hated her.
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:36 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rick basically is Shane now. The way this show is going, he'll be a cannibal in a few seasons. The issue with Shane and Terminus is not that they are evil, it is that they are ahead of the curve.
posted by maxsparber at 12:40 PM on December 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Am I alone in thinking Dawn really did not mean to kill Beth? It looked to me like she was totally startled by Beth physically attacking her, and she pulled the trigger out of pure reflex. When she mouthed "I didn't mean it," I believed her - she seemed horrified, as surprised as Rick & co. were. She definitely had the expression of a person for whom things have gone really south, really fast, out of nowhere.
posted by kythuen at 10:50 AM on December 1 [5 favorites +] [!]


No, you're not alone - this is what I was saying. There was no other reason to film Dawn's particular expression at that moment. That was my point: Beth figured out how to force Dawn's hand to her undoing, and Beth decided that it was worth the price to take Dawn down.
posted by Thistledown at 2:29 PM on December 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't think Beth was that clear headed when she stabbed Dawn. It was probably impulsive, because she was angry that Noah was being "stolen" back.

Dawn definitely acted on reflex when shooting Beth. She was horrified and didn't quite realize what she had done at first and when she did she knew that the shit had hit the fan.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:10 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Beth was acting on impulse but she was clear headed. Don't forget the very first time we saw Dawn. Dawn slapped Beth because her tame doctor was refusing to treat the other doctor. Dawn can spew all the rhetoric she wants about maintaining order but she was reacts violently and impulsively, classic abusive parent shit. Beth knows what Dawn will do. She understands what is going on, she "gets it now". Dawn doesn't. Her power shields her from having to understand what she does. That's the reason she has that surprised expression on her face after shooting Beth.
posted by rdr at 3:24 PM on December 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


No, Beth wasn't clearheaded. Stabbing Dawn in the chest in the midst of a heated situation with lots of guns is the exact opposite of clearheaded.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:37 PM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


To me it was just ridiculous. Stabbing someone in a police uniform who is armed with suture scissors is ridiculous. Andrea did colossally ridiculous things leading up to her death. Lori was ridiculous enough to purposely get pregnant in an apocalypse. (Shane was similarly ridiculous, but the way they set up his character, he wouldn't be taking care of the kid, Lori would. Also, he didn't die directly because of that ridiculousness). Jacqui died ridiculously. Amy's was borderline ridiculous - wanting to go off by herself at night. Even Sophia ran off after being told to just stay put, and that resulted in her dying. Kid, yes, but I think it's still part of the larger point.

Meanwhile, T-Dog died valiantly saving Carol. Shane died fighting Rick. Merle died because he wanted to, I believe - I think he had a spit-in-your-good-eye confrontation with the governor and he wanted to die. Beth did not want to die. Andrea didn't want to die. Lori didn't want to die. Bob - err, Sasha's bob got captured and was bitten anyway. Ed got bitten while being in his tent. Shane killed Randall. Hershel got killed by the Governor. Rick & Michonne killed the governor. Ed got bitten while defending others. Otis got killed by Shane, basically, while bringing back medicine for Coral.

I don't know, it kind of seems like for women with notable parts on this show, you make some stupid decision - not bad, stupid - and you die. Not so much for the guys with notable parts who die.
posted by cashman at 5:32 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aw, heck, I couldn't be mad at Shane.

To be clear, I wasn't mad at him, but disgusted. As Rick's best friend since high school, he turned into a truly terrible human being.

It's understand that he and Lori hooked up and that he adopted Lori and Carl as family. It's understandable that he had problems letting go once Rick showed back up. It's totally unacceptable that he went down the road he did, being willing to murder Rick in order feed his own ego.

I'm confused why anyone would excuse that character's behavior. Hell, even Merle redeemed himself in the end, a bit. At least the Governor was able to raise up a town, despite being crazy as a Republican in the House. All Shane wanted to do was fuck Lori, father Carl and kill anyone who prevented him from doing those things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:14 PM on December 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


Ugh i don't know if i can do it with this show anymore. This show consistently plods along and is full of filler to almost comical DBZ levels, like as bad as some stretches of BSG or lost.

But the last season had a freaking brilliant, imo, building of tension with the whole terminus thing. And the start of this half-season made it feel like one of those big buildups in a dance track that just... doesn't really pay off. Then they set it up again with the whole church/school/omg those cannibal guys r back arc and killed a bunch of time with that.

As soon as they cut to the hospital, i was actually sort of interested again. I had wanted to see what was happening in a city, outside of that one main group of people. Some people were really down on the first episode of that, but i was like, hey, at least they're shaking it up.

And then this just felt totally arbitrary. It doesn't even make sense within the context and framework of this universe. Nothing really has since the beginning of the prison rescue thing, and this was sort of the climax.

I totally agree with the sentiment above that this show, even when you get past the really dumb right wing-ish narrative of "everyone is shitty at heart and would do terrible things given the chance" that they beat you with like a club, that they just constantly show all the women being stupid and irrational. It really feels like they're making some reddit-y "lol women are like this, Cant Understand Normal Thinking amirite guiz?". it really does not reflect well on the chances of the writers not being fedora clad neckbeards who hate women, at least inside their heads.

I mean i can forgive shit like the gta-glitch like van magically reorienting itself before it hits the ground routine, but this was kind of a bridge too far. In the moment, i screamed "fuck YES!" at rick running the cop over... but it was just so stupid. The carol getting run over thing was stupid and arbitrary(it's a silent city with no power, traffic, or people out and around. you're going to hear a souped up station wagon flooring it down the street from BLOCKS away), and so was everything that happened after that. It felt like someone walked in to the writers room and said "ok, these things HAVE to happen in these episodes, write around it" and they just foot-dragged it and half assed it.

but really, the whole beth stabbing scene i was just like "what? what? really? what the fuck?". the CDC building exploding in season 1 might have been cheesy as fuck, but this was just like nonsensical. It's like something they'd do in a really shitty show like the later reaches of 24 or something. It doesn't have to make sense, people die! action!

And really, yea, i know, this was never high art. It was never the fucking sopranos or anything... but previously it really felt like they were at least trying even when it would get in to fillerville. It's starting to feel really lowest common denominator edge of your seat entertainment omg cliffhangers abound like yea, 24.

Watching this makes me happy that jericho got cancelled when it did, while it was still sort of respectable.
posted by emptythought at 2:59 AM on December 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Aw, heck, I couldn't be mad at Shane. He couldn't have carried unconscious Rick out of the hospital and made it, most likely. Lied, yes. Lied always for what he saw as the greater good, surviving.

I just rewatched that episode. He listened for a heartbeat, and he acted like he didn't hear one, but then he closed and barricaded the door so the zombies couldn't get in.

He tried to convince himself that Rick was dead, but in the moment he couldn't quite do it, couldn't quite let the unconcious Rick be eaten. He said that he lied about Rick being dead to get Lori and Karl out of town without delay. I could concede the point that maybe that was for the greater good.

But then he tried to rape Lori (and murder Rick), so fuck him forever.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:11 AM on December 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't have any sort of psychological profile of Dawn, but my reading of what we saw and that crucial dialogue between her and Beth and then, later, her demanding that Noah be "returned to her" and Beth's reaction all imply to me that Dawn's supposed benevolence was a facade that Beth had seen through, then perhaps doubted a bit, then was certain about with the Noah thing at the end. So, as the other cops claimed, Dawn really was the core of what was wrong with the hospital. It's just that she pretended -- to others and probably even to herself -- that she wasn't. My sense is that what Beth accused her off -- just manipulating other people into doing the dirty work while ostentatiously claiming that she's the good guy who is willing to make hard decisions (like killing her former boss) -- was correct. But that unlike many other villains we've seen, Dawn really worked hard at self-delusion; she was using people in the worst way and rationalizing horrible things but working really hard to see herself as being pushed around by other people and just trying to keep it all together. Beth saw through that.

Maybe Dawn's shocked reaction at killing Beth argues against this view; or, alternatively, it reinforces a idea of Dawn's self-deluding nature and how she confused "warding" someone with self-interested, selfish ownership of other people.

None of this really explains what exactly was going through Beth's head. I really like the suicidal analysis above -- maybe she couldn't live with having killed someone, maybe she couldn't live in this world. She'd not been able to live in it from the beginning, then for a short while found a way to be optimistic. But the hospital stuff with Dawn's ugly self-delusion, coupled with everything that happened at the prison, and before, not to mention being kidnapped to the hospital -- maybe that was just too much. She just didn't care that much any more and she found, in the end, that when Dawn demanded that Noah be turned over to her, Dawn's shattering Beth's idea that somehow Noah would finally "go home", it just infuriated her in a very broken way. Dawn represented everything that was wrong with this new world. And I think there's truth in that -- Dawn wasn't evil in the way that other villains have been evil. And she wasn't pushed to heinous, evil acts by having been the victim of heinous, evil acts of other people. She wasn't essentially mentally and emotionally broken the way the Governor really had been all along. And the hospital could have been a pretty good thing, it was apparently relatively safe. Dawn was a bad person who made bad things happen in the most mundane way. If the zombie apocalypse makes monsters of many people, both bad and good, it also means that just fairly shitty people who remain fairly shitty (not monstrously shitty) are able to ultimately do so much more damage to the people around them because the stakes are now so high.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:20 AM on December 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


and murder Rick

Yeah, Shane gets points for leaving Rick with a barricaded door, but then loses them (and more) for deciding to murder Rick.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 AM on December 2, 2014


you know, they could've made the suicide thing work. but as it happened, I had no sense that Beth was about to break. And then it's like *she does incredibly out of character thing*.
posted by angrycat at 5:24 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Brandon, my point was, Shane didn't "turn into" a horrible human being. He always was - look at the very first episode of the centire series and tell me the show wasn't trying to present him as an asshole. His very first lines are misogynistic. His arc simply went from garden variety asshole to murderer - not that far to go, when pushed.
posted by agregoli at 5:52 AM on December 2, 2014


Also, Brandon, I know you like to quibble, but who here excused his behavior? No need to poke, we're discussing characters on a t.v. show.
posted by agregoli at 5:54 AM on December 2, 2014


it's a silent city with no power, traffic, or people out and around. you're going to hear a souped up station wagon flooring it down the street from BLOCKS away

Yeah, that's one of the funniest things about TWD: you'll have a character alone in the woods. Nobody around for hundreds of yards or more. It's quiet. Character looks left: nobody. Character looks right: nobody. Character looks behind: nobody. Then character turns around again and OMGZOMBIERIGHTONTOPOFTHEM. It's like zombies can be fucking ninjas when they need to make the audience jump.
posted by nushustu at 7:00 AM on December 2, 2014 [12 favorites]


Beth's actions are in character. If my memory is correct, Beth set out with the same pair of scissors to kill the Doctor just before Carol was brought in. Beth could not have believed that she would survive long if she killed the doctor but she was going to do it anyway.
posted by rdr at 7:24 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just got to watch this last night. I enjoyed it. I actually liked Dawn and the hospital villains. Its a nice riff on the blandness of evil which rings true to life for me. Dawn also seems like a much more morally complex villain than we've had for a while. Lip service was given to how the Termites and the Governor chose their paths, but it never really seemed believable or inspired any empathy. But I could see how Dawn rationalized what she was doing, and how she compartmentalized the evil that was done to preserve the hospital system. That's the way so much evil works in real life. And Dawn really didn't want to believe that she was both doing evil and allowing it to be done in her service.

Also, dayum Rick, indeed! That was some serious cold blooded shit, all the more shocking after he got talked down from storming the hospital and killing the cop who ambushed Daryl. And he didn't even hesitate or seem to have any regrets whatsoever.

Beth, well, I choose to believe that she made a calculated decision, something like what Thistledown suggested. Also, I think she represents the death of innocence. Dawn represents the death of self delusion. At the beginning of the show, Rick did what had to be done. His innocence and self delusion are gone.
posted by natteringnabob at 8:07 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Right, so I've harped on this before, but I think it's important to understanding the show. An important theme that TWD show has touched on is what constitutes society and morality? What makes something right or wrong? Are things inherently evil, or are they evil because society deems them so?

With the hospital, we had this little social group pop up that made their own rules. At the core of that society was a give and take, a very crude and rudimentary bartering system. It wasn't all that different from the group that Darryl briefly joined up with last season - instead of "claiming" people or things, the hospital group made people their "wards" and paid off things for favors. The police protected them, the doctor healed them, the (presumable) farmers brought them food, the wards cleaned and maintained the building, and yes, occasionally these things were bought with sex (willing or not).

The writers didn't always do a great job of showing us these themes. It wasn't great writing, and was downright awful at times. And many viewers just want to see violence, blood, and gore anyway. So the themes got a little muddled, but they were there!

With that in mind, I kind of wish the hospital plot had stayed entirely away from the rapiness it alluded to. Our society has decided rape is much, much worse than murder and completely irredeemable (while TV murder is very frequently forgiven). So once the idea that the cops were abusing the wards, all hope of viewer sympathy toward this society was erased.

Contrast the hospital to our group, which we like to think of as a family. Look how much time and effort they have devoted toward protecting and rescuing one another. I swear, half the show has been someone searching for someone else who was captured or lost! Take one of our people and we go to war with you. Even if that person has very little to contribute to us. Hence, why Beth was the person taken - she was arguably the least valuable person in our group.

This was really driven home at the end of the episode. When Beth died, our strongest leaders and "alphas" all three broke down in tears. When Dawn died, none of the hospital crew even blinked. They just didn't care, because their society is driven by self preservation through that give and take. Our group is driven by love for one another (and thus, self preservation through that love, in a way). They view other people as a means to an end rather than as family or even friends.

The show never gets too deep into this, because it's a zombie show catering to the masses after all. But it's still fun to watch them occasionally explore these different concepts. So while the hospital plot was poorly done at times, it was still fascinating on a lot of levels.

Anyway, I really hope the female cop from the hospital joins the group. She was instantly likable. Our core three, Darryl, Rick, and Carol have grown to be so much like one another that it would be great to see a different and strong point of view that she could provide. (It's probably too late to hope that either Michonne or Maggie provide that.)
posted by 2ht at 12:52 PM on December 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


she was arguably the least valuable person in our group

Nah, that torch has been passed to Gabriel.

Honestly, unless episodes nine and ten turn things around, I might be losing interest in this show. I've really loved it for a long time, but the offenses keep getting more baffling and more numerous – and the "Other Group with Evil Leader" device is wearing very thin.

I don't buy the idea that good storytelling and believable character development have to get thrown under the bus in order to appease the viewers who just want carnage. Competent writers can do both.

I haven't read the comic books, and this is a "Show Only" thread anyway, but it seems that the show will introduce a certain setting from the comics later this season. It sounds interesting – potentially a bit different than the communities we've seen so far. Or maybe not – like I said, I haven't read the books.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 2:42 PM on December 2, 2014


Eugene's plan should have been not made up. Or comes with some horrible cost. I mean, then there could be some sort of end game. As is, it seems like ever-decaying ninja dead who will fall to pieces if they get pushed on a branch.
posted by angrycat at 3:25 PM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Or the virus evolves in some way so that the living are at risk -- like maybe if you get splattered with zombie effluent you might get sick. that's not exactly a stretch. and there's only eugene and his mullet to save the day.

As it is, I feel vaguely like watching a snuff film. Oh and BTW show don't be all "the season is brutal" and "Reedus cried for an hour so watch out." Then it's not so much good writing as it is 'oh Maggie remembers her sister oh how sad that will be'

I'm just grumpy, I guess.
posted by angrycat at 3:28 PM on December 2, 2014


she was arguably the least valuable person in our group

Pardon my feminism, but I wouldn't necessarily call the person who does 89% of the group's child care and nurture its least valuable member, especially during a dire global population crisis. On the other hand, it's pretty clear that producing and toting around babies at all in this particular scenario is not a great survival tactic, so nevermind.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:32 PM on December 2, 2014 [12 favorites]


Is Eugene in a coma or something? If he were dead they'd poke his noggin with something sharp to keep him from turning. I'm confused about the time frame, so I'm not sure how long he's been passed out.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:47 PM on December 2, 2014


and the "Other Group with Evil Leader" device is wearing very thin.

I mostly gave up after S3 but catch it from time to time... if they really want to subvert expectations, they need to find Other Group That Is Actually Functional And Not Evil. And then get booted out because the crew is so suspicious and paranoid by now that they can't integrate. That would be nice and bleak.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:10 PM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


Is Eugene in a coma or something?

He's probably lying about being unconscious, so others have to carry him around everywhere.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:14 PM on December 2, 2014 [14 favorites]


Eugene was sitting up semi-awake in the back of the firetruck when they pulled up to the church, wasn't he?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:17 PM on December 2, 2014


Or when they pulled up to the hospital? All the nicks of time blur together.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:17 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lori was ridiculous enough to purposely get pregnant in an apocalypse.

No, she didn't. Remember how there was question as to who the baby's father was? It was because the timing made Lori unsure whether she got pregnant from her husband before the apocalypse started or from Shane right after the apocalypse began.

Lori's ridiculous choice was to not have an abortion, given the situation. She was already pregnant and decided not to terminate -- remember Maggie throwing the pills at Lori and screaming at her about her abortion pills? (Although I'm not sure what pills those were supposed to be, since AFAIK RU-486 is only available in doctors offices and not pharmacies -- maybe Lori was planning to take a megadose of Plan B in the hopes that would work? I guess the writers' knowledge of pharmacy inventories is in line with their knowledge of car flipping physics.)
posted by Jacqueline at 4:43 PM on December 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have such a weird relationship with this show: I absolutely see the issues and flaws that get brought up, and it drives me crazy at times, and the whole gestalt of the thing has kind of trapped itself in a box: the characters can go places, or they can stay somewhere or alternate the two. And the writers don't really know how to develop characters, conflict, etc. in truly engaging ways beyond that.

And yet. It may just be because I have this godawful affinity for the post-apoc genre overall (it speaks to something in my dark, warped psyche), but no matter how the show fucks up, I still have this emotional tie to the stupid-ass characters and their terrible, terrible situation. That's one thing TWD does really well (or it does in my head) -- really viscerally evokes the terrible world these people are living in, and I do feel the weight of that and empathy for mostly everybody, even somewhat for the thorough shitstains like Merle and the Gov. Possibly even Gareth (or, as Hardwick calls him, "hungry hungry hipster").

I go around the day after every episode with this vague sense of vicarious despair in the back of my mind, and look at my house and surroundings and occasionally think, "Jeez, if there is ever even a mild breakdown of society here, I will be so, so fucked." And I sort of feel vicariously like Jean-Luc Picard in "The Inner Light" ST:TNG episode: like I need to bear witness to these events because soon enough the humans in the TWD world will all be gone, and my memory of them will be the only thing left. So I guess the gross manipulative elements of the show are working!

This became much more pronounced right when the sword hit Herschel's neck and thereafter, and my admiration for the overall project increased hugely (along with my frustration at missed potential), because that's the moment when it became super-ultra-clear where this train is headed and that the producers are not going to flinch from a level of inexorable bleakness that makes Breaking Bad look like Sesame Street. I'm not sure that's necessarily a good thing, in terms of art or entertainment, but ya gotta admire the commitment to go that grim on mainstream commercial TV. By god, if you're gonna portray an extinction event, then it ought not to be neat and linear and should include completely pointless or not-really-explicable semi-random deaths like Beth's. Unfortunately, I don't think they're creating the disarray on purpose but out of marginal competence. Still, I sort of dig it, and they do blunder into some interesting themes at times.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:51 PM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


...but no matter how the show fucks up, I still have this emotional tie to the stupid-ass characters and their terrible, terrible situation.

We've all been there. Just DTMFA and get yourself into therapy. It take time, but eventually you've find joy in other shows. Sure, you'll drunkenly watch an episode at 2am on Friday night, but this too shall past.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:43 PM on December 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


No, she didn't. Remember how there was question as to who the baby's father was? It was because the timing made Lori unsure whether she got pregnant from her husband before the apocalypse started or from Shane right after the apocalypse began.

Actually we're both wrong - it was having unprotected sex in an apocalypse. You watched society crumble around you, you fled from your home, you're living in tents and fearing for your life 24 hours a day, you could be attacked at any minute, but lets take time to have unprotected sex.

And yet. It may just be because I have this godawful affinity for the post-apoc genre overall

I am right there with you. The hospital stuff may have been one of the more unbelievable setups they've had, but thankfully it's done. I'm glad Dawn is gone too. I just didn't care. At this point I just want a full episode of Morgan.
posted by cashman at 5:57 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


but lets take time to have unprotected sex.

Hormones man, hormones. Those suckers will make a person do all sorts of stupid things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:23 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I turned the show off as they started to mention coming back in February so I missed that post-credit scene. Thanks for the heads up.
posted by unliteral at 6:38 PM on December 2, 2014


You didn't miss much. It was Morgan doing the same thing he was doing before.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 PM on December 2, 2014


You didn't miss much. It was Morgan doing the same thing he was doing before.

Don't you talk bad about my Morgan time! I need it!
posted by cashman at 7:46 PM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah, what is the deal with Morgan's hood shtick? It's, like, ritualistic. It must come die-rectly out of the comics, which we can't discuss here.

Every totally implausible idiotic and otherwise credulity-straining thing any character does, from unprotected Darwin Awardesque banging to cuticle scissors stabbings, can be handily explained away as evidence of their PASD: Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder (see Colson Whitehead's novel Zone One). And I'm not gonna hate on Dawn because without her we would not have had last week's thread-winning remark, which singlehandedly made up for every annoying element of this season.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:49 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Morgan did a whole prayer thing in the church so maybe he's decided to become like a zealot, ridding the world of zombies one at a time for God. Last time we saw him he was trying to "Clear" that little town Rick came from.

I have this image of Morgan auditing a line of zombies with an E-meter.

I'd like to see a character with maybe a little bit of purpose in this new fucked up world that isn't just surviving.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:31 AM on December 3, 2014


> "it was having unprotected sex in an apocalypse. You watched society crumble around you, you fled from your home, you're living in tents and fearing for your life 24 hours a day, you could be attacked at any minute, but lets take time to have unprotected sex."

Hmm, I guess I don't see having, say, condom-free sex as an irrational decision at all given their putative time and budget constraints. I doubt STIs are much of a top concern in that world, and sourcing adequate birth control would be "expensive" in the sense that one could obviously be eaten or attacked by another group while raiding the proverbial abandoned pharmacy. Under these constraints, methods like withdrawal and/or tech-free types of fertility awareness would probably be preferred methods from a survival and risk standpoint.

As for the whole "Just say no to unprotected sex in the zombie apocalypse, kids!" idea... How quaint... but player, please! Basic human nature talking here - of course rational folks are gonna have sex in the apocalypse. As well they should. They know the shape of their own utility curves here - they could literally die at any minute. They know the odds of any one them being around for the better part of the next year are not super high, so, yeah, let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young. Rosita and Abraham? Absolutely. Frankly, I'm surprised there are not more overt signs of more of them getting consensually freaky with their fellow survivors.

In the particular case of Lori's surprise pregnancy, I could absolutely see one possible way it went down: Mr. Lying-Liar-Who-Lies Shane being all "Don't worry, Lori, I totally pulled out in time." Riiiiiight.

> Lori's ridiculous choice was to not have an abortion, given the situation.

"Ridiculous choice"? Um, what "choice"? I mean, there is no believable way Lori could have accomplished a termination on these facts, because the group collectively denied Lori any type of meaningful "choice" in the first place. (Hey, wait a minute, she's just like 99% of rural American women IRL being denied access to choice, cough cough).

Once Maggie chose to violate Lori's privacy and publicly shame her for trying to get those contraceptive pills? Then Rick and Shane caused paternity drama? Lori's "ridiculous choice" evaporated. Choice? Forget about it. There were no real choices for Lori to make there - the group totally denied her access. Think about it. No access to pills. The men in her life won't let her leave the farm for any reason. Hershel, the only surgeon on hand, pretty much never would have agreed to terminate Lori's pregnancy. She needed a c-section with Carl, so the elevated risks of maternal death to Lori should have been foreseeable and obvious. If you think about it, it was really the "ridiculous choices" of the members of her group (Maggie, Rick, Shane, the others who said nothing), then, who killed Lori off.
posted by hush at 2:44 AM on December 3, 2014 [10 favorites]


but ya gotta admire the commitment to go that grim on mainstream commercial TV. By god, if you're gonna portray an extinction event, then it ought not to be neat and linear and should include completely pointless or not-really-explicable semi-random deaths like Beth's. Unfortunately, I don't think they're creating the disarray on purpose but out of marginal competence. Still, I sort of dig it, and they do blunder into some interesting themes at times.

I just can't abide by that though. I know you brought up marginal competence, but i really don't think they have some great overarching vision of getting their dark and bleak on here. It just feels too much like a lot of the retcon justifications and defenses of the later seasons of BSG i've read.

It's not so much that they're trying to paint a real picture of that reality, as that they're trying to create edge of your seat entertainment that gets viewers and creates cliffhangers. I'd honestly put down the head-chopping scene as one of the few decent ones of those they've pulled. The CDC explosion, beth, and every other one i can think of including that bumbling in season 2 that got mentioned above was all pretty fucking lame.

There's a stop-hitting-yourself like repeating pattern in this show, where they paint themselves in to some corner of episodes getting boring-er and boring-er with more and more filler and a couple "woah" moments chucked in to get you to come back next week, and then they throw in a couple outrageous bleak things.

It feels like what it is, which is taking maybe 4-5 solid episodes a season(or fuck, even 3 sherlock/black mirror/etc style) and just streeeeeeetching them out. And then you get everything cranked up to 11 and silly moments like this to show how gritty and dark it is.

And it's pretty sad that this is basically what you get as far as super dark tv goes, other than like american horror story which can also suck pretty bad at times. I could write a lot about the other problems with this show, above and beyond the "everyone is terrible at heart" thing i got in to above with it being a neckbeard power fantasy and all that but... yea. Even if it's brave to boldly go where no other show is going, it's doing a lot of not-great things too.

I think the hardest time i have with this show is answering friends who dropped off in season 2, or never started in the first place with why they should watch it. I kinda understand how my friends who powered all the way through lost feel about that post-ending. It's really hard to make a compelling argument for watching other than "god dammit i'm this deep into this garbage truck, i just want to see how it ends".

And really, i'm very interested to see how it ends. I can't help but feel that this is going to be another BSG/lost/enterprise type show where people stay mad at the bullshit half assed ending for years, and many still whine when it's brought up.
posted by emptythought at 4:43 AM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


*perks up*

Did someone want to whine about discuss the ending of BSG?! Call my hotline at 1-800-NON-PLAN, operators are standing by!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:01 AM on December 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's not so much that they're trying to paint a real picture of that reality, as that they're trying to create edge of your seat entertainment that gets viewers and creates cliffhangers. I'd honestly put down the head-chopping scene as one of the few decent ones of those they've pulled.

Sorry, I was unclear. I'm not talking about the show including brutal and dark and gritty scenes or events. The moment the prison crumbled, you knew for 100% certain that these characters (and possibly humanity in general if the ones we meet on the show are representative of people in the TWD universe) are never going to have any meaningful hope, refuge, or ability to maintain a minimal status quo of stability let alone re-establish any kind of lasting social structure that doesn't end horribly. Stephen King is not going to swoop in with the plucky Stand survivors and save the day. It's all just gonna get worse and worse from there on out 'til nobody's left, unless the producers just totally cheat and change the basic dynamics they have set up.

If it were just the walkers, there might be a chance since the people are getting better at managing them and they're (theoretically) getting feebler. But the few remaining humans are killing each other off at a rate that has to have put the species beyond the extinction tipping point by now. That would still be the case if Eugene actually knew about a "cure" since curing the disease is irrelevant now.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:15 PM on December 3, 2014


It's all just gonna get worse and worse from there on out 'til nobody's left, unless the producers just totally cheat and change the basic dynamics they have set up.

Or they could just go one state over and find a massive community not run by crazy people, where things are OK. The series has never really left Georgia. Who knows who or what else is out there?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:18 PM on December 3, 2014


there is zero chance that TWD will have a satisfying ending, because that would require some sort of resolution of at least some questions about the world they've built, which they won't do, because that world is not being sublet to the TWD spin-off. You gotta keep all the questions open for that show. So we'll probably get a subset of the show's core surviving some last stand with another insane group, and maybe Darryl will learn to love or something. No chnce for a cure, no chance for a re-emergent society, no chance the zombies will go extinct. What would be the point of the new show then?
posted by skewed at 4:03 PM on December 3, 2014


The perfect ending is Daryl closing Carol's eyes, camera pans upwards, we hear the shot. Dissolve to him putting flowers on a grave and then walking off into the morning dawn.

Or vice versa, either works.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:45 PM on December 3, 2014


What would be the point of the new show then?

What new show?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:53 PM on December 3, 2014


What new show?

There's going to be a spinoff. The working title is Cobalt.
posted by cashman at 6:13 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Otherwise, the hospital makes not a lick of sense in its goal or how it was even able to function

That's what was so frustrating to me. There was so much potential for myriad directions it could have gone but all they had was kidnapping/enslaving people to...mop the floors? And that was worth looking the other way when the cops raped women? It was like the anti-Woodbury. I mean, my life isn't very interesting either, but that's why no one's making a tv show about me. I guess I was expecting something along the lines of what fffm said above:
if they really want to subvert expectations, they need to find Other Group That Is Actually Functional And Not Evil. And then get booted out because the crew is so suspicious and paranoid by now that they can't integrate. That would be nice and bleak.
Or even if the other group was evil. Or weird. I think also that between Terminus and the hospital I'm feeling like both stories presented conflicts that never really got played out.

But I'm definitely in the camp that thinks that after Beth stabbed her, Dawn was definitely "Oh, fuck!" and I thought it was a nice bit of face acting.

To say nothing of Michonne spectacularly whipping off zombie heads, sometimes in pieces.

Didn't she do some fancy katana-spinning move, too?

Part of it was the emotional release factor.

And remember, Emily Kinney may have known about Beth's demise for months but Sunday was the first time she was able to speak about it.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:18 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


And it will suck even worse than Better Call Saul will.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 6:18 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why does there have to be a satisfying ending (where satisfying means finding out something, resolving things happily, or having some glimmer of hope)?

I don't need that from The Walking Dead. Any promises of hope are dashed pretty quick.

Thought you saw a helicopter? Nope.
Thought you would get to the CDC and get answers and a safe place? Nope.
Thought you'd get to fort benning for safety? Nope.
Thought after you found your wife and kid that you'd be able to stay alive together and try to start over? Nope.
Thought your best friend wouldn't try to kill you? Nope.
Thought you could live on a farm away from the masses of zombies? Nope.
Thought you'd found an oasis from the zombies run by a benevolent leader? Nope.
Thought you'd found a place of sanctuary at last? Nope.
Thought you woke up in a hospital that has power and food and people and things would be okay? Nope.

And I like it. Not to steal the script from Clerks, but it's a great series of down notes and I hope it keeps going. Just wait until at least October 2016 before taking out any of the main characters.
posted by cashman at 6:25 PM on December 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


There has to be a satisfying ending because they've kicked us in the gut enough times and this is fiction, not real life and I will lose my shit if they pull another Lost/BSG style ending. Seriously, I'll complain about a crappy ending on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Don't test me.

It doesn't have to a happy ending, just a satisfying one.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:56 PM on December 3, 2014


Man I will rage on Livejournal if they BSG us.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:46 PM on December 3, 2014


Wait, what about the mortuary? Was that unrelated to the hospital? They were definitely setting that up to be something.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:55 AM on December 4, 2014


It was a satellite office of the hospitial.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:22 AM on December 4, 2014


It has to end with everyone dead doesn't it? I'd like to see it get down to just a couple of characters eeking out a more and more wretched existence until the last one (probably Rick) dies. Then his eyes reopen...
posted by devon at 11:39 AM on December 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


They could make it sentimental and fast forward a few years to zombie Rick shambling about in farmer's overalls while being penned in a large greenhouse enclosure (implying he was able to find somewhere to start over and grow food and live some kind of normal life again, then died doing what he loved before turning like the rest).
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 11:43 AM on December 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


"...I will lose my shit if they pull another Lost/BSG style ending."

I wish I were that invested in the show, but I'm not. For me, the endings of BSG and Lost were incredibly infuriating because I had retained my very strong investment in those all the way to the end. They were my must-see shows each week, highly anticipated. TWD has never been that for me, but instead has hovered somewhere between there and "I like it, but I don't love it". I more than like it, but not much more.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:54 AM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see it get down to just a couple of characters eeking out a more and more wretched existence until the last one (probably Rick) dies. Then his eyes reopen...

I like the way you think! In this particular world, though, being on your own or with just one or two other people at most might actually offer your best shot at having a non-wretched (or marginally less wretched) existence. Or maybe just a longer wretched life.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:02 PM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pardon my feminism, but I wouldn't necessarily call the person who does 89% of the group's child care and nurture its least valuable member, especially during a dire global population crisis. On the other hand, it's pretty clear that producing and toting around babies at all in this particular scenario is not a great survival tactic, so nevermind.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:32 PM on December 2 [7 favorites +] [!]


When I was fourteen my mother began her career as a teacher. Since my father was also working, this meant that a considerable percentage of the care of my younger brother and sister fell to me. I wasn't quite an adult and I was only a marginal improvement over no supervision at all, but I was the Biggest Kid and my parents could mostly rely upon me to keep my siblings from wandering into traffic or burning the house down.

Beth was the Biggest Kid. From a narrative standpoint, she mostly existed to keep the audience from wondering too loudly about who was taking care of the kids while the show's protagonists were doing their thing (and, ok, to provide wide-eyed sexual peril when the show needed some cheap tension). With most of the kids now dead and/or old enough to care for themselves, Beth's utility to the group was questionable at best. “Oh shit, what is the group going to do without Beth?” is something that has been said by no one ever. I've regretted her absence only because it has meant that taking over Beth's duties has resulted in less rad Michonne action this season.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 2:55 PM on December 4, 2014


I will miss Beth because she looks like Luna Lovegood
posted by angrycat at 2:59 PM on December 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I would watch a show that was nothing but Michonne walking around and kicking all the ass. Seriously.

Maybe a movie? CALL ME HOLLYWOOD.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:48 PM on December 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


It would be like watching Fruit Ninja!
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 5:04 PM on December 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Can't go back, Bob."

Dayum, Rick. Ice cold.


Am I the only one who missed this:

Rick says that same line Gareth said with “Cant go back, Bob”

No spoilers at the link, but the usual beanplating about a character's future possible development.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:06 AM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was really disturbed by Rick running down and murdering Cop Bob.

I'm super late to this party but lol no, Rick should have left him to be torn apart by walkers. The mercy shot was a wasted bullet.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:06 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


escape from the potato planet: "In other news, Daryl is officially straight."

Ha. I like this:

"We have very specific ideas about Daryl’s sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof), and if there’s ever a quiet period in the show where he’s not consistently distracted by crossbowing … we’ll tackle it in the show."

Yeah, I've got that exact problem. I have specific ideas about my sexuality, but I never managed to tackle it because I'm "consistently distracted by crossbowing." I just didn't realize anybody else called it that.
posted by koeselitz at 8:36 PM on December 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


Jacqueline: "Lori's ridiculous choice was to not have an abortion, given the situation. She was already pregnant and decided not to terminate -- remember Maggie throwing the pills at Lori and screaming at her about her abortion pills? (Although I'm not sure what pills those were supposed to be, since AFAIK RU-486 is only available in doctors offices and not pharmacies -- maybe Lori was planning to take a megadose of Plan B in the hopes that would work? I guess the writers' knowledge of pharmacy inventories is in line with their knowledge of car flipping physics.)"

Actually, that's what Lori said in the show - that they were Plan B, and she was hoping to overdose and maybe induce an abortion. Maggie (angry that Glenn revealed that there are walkers in the barn, and that he didn't tell her what he was picking up on the run, and basically because she's a woman and women are just emotional like that, blech) shouts "AND HERE'S YOUR ABORTION PILLS!" while stuffing them in Lori's hands early in the episode (S02E06 "Secrets") but later this happens:
Glenn: "The morning-after pills - will they even work?"
Lori: "I don't know. And I don't know if I want them to."
Glenn: "Then I got these too, just in case."
Lori: "Prenatal vitamins. That's a hell of a choice."
Glenn: "I'm glad it's not mine. - Lori, we're friends, aren't we?"
Lori: "With everything we've been through, yeah."
Glenn: "I can't tell you what to do. I could never tell you something like that. But your choice - maybe you shouldn't make it alone."
Also, the packages are blue and have the words "Morning After Pills" written on the side.

I quote the whole exchange because the last bit, and the anti-abortion moralism it was dripping with, really pissed me off royally. Other people were angry - understandably - that the show seems to encourage some confusion about the difference between RU-486 and Plan B. Still, this line of Glenn's and what it seems to represent bothered me more.

I wondered initially whether I might be overreacting; after all, I guess it's not terribly regressive to say that a woman visibly struggling with whether to have an abortion might be allowed to talk to her partner and get some help there. But the very fact that she struggled with it like that was almost the main problem. It played directly into a narrative I don't like much - and, lo and behold, by the end of the episode life is affirmed, her husband says he loves her and will support her, and she chooses to do the right thing and keep the baby. Ah, that narrative again.

And all after the husband and wife have a shouting match where he's clearly angry at her for not allowing him to assert his patriarchal decisions, and she ultimately relents and lets him convince her.

Honestly I might still have been able to shrug it off if there weren't all these other tropes in the first two seasons. There's a very strict division of the sexes - Andrea is chastised and made to look like a slacker for not sticking to "women's work," and even Lori, a clear protagonist, is instinctively on the side of this patriarchal setup. There's actually something kind of scary in the earliest episodes for Carol and the rest of the women, who are really just at the hands of the men, whether it be Carol's awful husband or Shane, and they really can't do anything but submit. And no alternatives are presented. Andrea is the standout alternative, and she's kind of presented as a bit of an annoying contrarian, not a forceful presence. Add this to the fact that the first two seasons were also a gun rights bonanza - constantly people are being chastised for not using guns, the gun rights movement's favorite tropes ("good guy with a gun," "protect your family," "owning a gun means having responsibility," "pacifists will end up dead and can't help their friends," etc) are rehearsed endlessly. There are even small touches, the "political incorrectness" of Daryl and others which goes unremarked for instance.

In short, it's pretty obvious what drove The Walking Dead's meteoric rise to popularity: a consistent and thorough attempt to appeal to Southern and Middle American conservative values. And a zombie show is a great way to do that, considering the long American obsession with apocalyptic survivalism. But it made the first two seasons sometimes painfully difficult to watch.

And that's one funny thing about the past two and a half seasons: it's changed remarkably. I've watched the whole run in the past week - bingeing hard - and it's crazy how much it turned around from season 3 on, particularly with the rise of Carol as a character instead of another screaming woman wringing her hands about how the menfolk have to help her find her daughter. She in herself is remarkable - a survivor who is strong, which is a narrative we almost never get; we usually just get the narrative we got in seasons 1 and 2: women battered, victims, waiting for other men to save them, with nothing to do but hope that the men who save them are better than the men they're with now. And Michonne has been great too, not as a token "strong female character," which would have been annoying and which would have been easy to do. No, she's been interesting and brooding from the start, earning trust slowly and carefully and acting a whole hell of a lot with her face.

I'm impressed with how much better this show has gotten. It's not the best show I've ever seen, but it really holds my attention, and it isnt coming from the unfortunate place the first two seasons were coming from.
posted by koeselitz at 9:35 PM on December 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


Am I the only one who missed this:
Rick says that same line Gareth said with “Cant go back, Bob”


Possibly? It was about as subtle as a baseball bat to the back of the head.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:49 AM on December 15, 2014


Well, sure, but you have to remember the line from two week's prior, first!
posted by Room 641-A at 5:52 PM on December 15, 2014


And it will suck even worse than Better Call Saul will.

Boy, did this comment turn out to be wrong, BCS doesn't suck at all!!
posted by Pendragon at 7:56 AM on September 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


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