The Walking Dead: Try
March 22, 2015 7:25 PM - Season 5, Episode 15 - Subscribe

When life within the walls begins to mimic life outside, the group realizes that sheltered life may not be possible.
posted by 2ht (81 comments total)
 
Just like last week, mostly a yawner until the last few minutes that were very interesting. I did love the NIN playing while Carol was readying the Casserole. Sasha just continues to be out there, but despite her rather wonderful acting I don't know why I'm supposed to care. She's always upset and I guess we're supposed to feel it's somewhat about Bob and a lot about Tyrese, but she never shares stories about either one, or talks about missing him in a way that is touching. So as she's breaking up to Michonne (and I wished Michonne would have hugged her!) I felt for the character but at the end of the day she just "felt some type of way" as the kids say now.

I could have done with Rick goin afta Jesse, but that "all you have to do is say yes" did get me singing Floetry over the scene, so that was fun. And then Rick's bloody-faced talking was really great because he genuinely seemed unhinged. When he just kept rambling on and Michonne clocked him in the dome, I swear I heard someone clapping somewhere. Dear Rick, please let Jesse go. Michonne is right there, has saved you before and will save you again, and won't let you veer off into idiot territory.
posted by cashman at 7:50 PM on March 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Remember the good old days when we felt unsettled and disturbed at seeing a female zombie merely tied up in the back of a trunk? Jesus Christ. How were we to know that we'd soon meet a naked woman who was disembowled alive while tied to a tree. I'm sure its far too much to hope that this scene will have some greater meaning as opposed to just showing incredibly gratuitous sexual violence. Ha. No, I am fairly certain that the writers were just telegraphing that the W people are VERY BAD INDEED because look at this super evil thing they did!
posted by gatorae at 8:26 PM on March 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


The zombie tied to a tree didn't read as sexual to me, just mean. I found Rick lashing out at Carl just like Pete lashed out at Jesse to be more striking.

All in all, a pretty meh episode.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:23 PM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I were a member of the group, my primary concern with Sasha would be "DUDE YOU'RE USING UP ALL THE AMMO ON RANDOM WALKERS."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:40 PM on March 22, 2015 [15 favorites]


Seeing how unhinged Rick is becoming (similar to how he did at the prison, minus the Lori sightings), I have to wonder if Deanna is going to push to have him exiled from the community, since she doesn't believe in execution.

Someone (the "W" group?) is taking walkers minus their limbs - just like in an earlier episode. Using them as walker repellent, like Michonne did?
posted by Telpethoron at 9:54 PM on March 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


It doesn't make for that great TV but as someone with PTSD Sasha is doing a good portrayal sometimes. I have definitely reacted like she did at the dinner party in the last episode where she flipped at someone over offering to cook her favorite meal. It makes sense to me that she wouldn't be mentioning Bob a lot either. I know her reaction and people's reaction to her has been getting discussed as well done on survivor boards. But it is a bit tiresome to watch sometimes or confusing to viewers as all the other people who should prolly be experiencing the same feelings (the entire world) are continuing on into the next weird drama infested zombie fest.

I was hoping that this episode would pick up because my enthusiasm for the entire new place they found is draining and I am going back to really wishing they would all be killed by zombies... Except maybe creepy cardigan Carol.
posted by kanata at 11:59 PM on March 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Enid idly scratched something on a tree when she and Carl were sitting in the woods, right after Carl complimented her on her "cool knife."

We didn't get to see what she did, though -- think it's important? Does she like carving things up? Anyone want to take a ...stab at it?
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:13 AM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think I can speak for everyone when I say THANK YOU MICHONE!

It's been a while since someone smacked Rick in the face and he needed it bad.

I think Morgan's messing with everyone by carving "M"s on the zombie heads. (If you look at their forehead when they're lying down, it's an "M"...)

After they went to so much trouble to prove that the people of Alexandria were soft, it sure seemed like drunk Pete was Rick's equal in a fight.

Also, was it supposed to be romantic when Jesse asked Rick "Would you do this for anyone else" and he said no? "No, I want to fight bad guys, but only for hot blondes I have man feelings for." I mean, it's not like he knows her and wants to help her out of friendship or anything. He's a creepy, creepy man. Carol would have cared about anyone in an abusive relationship, but Rick only cares if it's that special someone.

I wonder if the writers think Rick is still sympathetic? Or are they trying to make him the bad guy of this season after all?
posted by mmoncur at 2:37 AM on March 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


I gave up on the show after the Tyrese's death. But company was over tonight and they wanted to watch, so there we were.

Ugh. what a shitshow. Walkers with the W are still being shown, no advancement on that plot or where Morgan is, crazy Rick is back again because he can't handle having feelings for someone else, Sasha's gone crazy and is using up all the damn ammo and Noah died, making Beth's death seem even more pointless.

Ugh, this show, what the fuck. So much filler.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:04 AM on March 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sasha wastes ammo. Boo.

Rick suggests executing someone to Diana (!), and then acts like a crazy person instead of playing it smart. How hard is it to walk up to whatisname with Diana, say "Hey, asshole. Your wife is moving out by her own choice, don't go near her again". They have plenty of spare houses. But no, toss him through a window.

None of these Alexandria assholes care that drunk porch doctor was beating his wife? WTF? Doesn't she have any friends? How much surgery could this guy possibly be doing, anyway? Without a sterile environment and fresh antibiotics, most surgery would end in infection and death. At most he could set bones and sew surface wounds, and they must have a few people that could do that.

Diana doesn't bother interviewing Glen? Well, fuck her too.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:47 AM on March 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


Well, Rick couldn't pull it off, so it's up to Carol to make Pete go have a look at the flowers.

He's a creepy, creepy man.

Yeah, head-over-heels Rick is creepier than bloodlust-and-revenge Rick. Especially with the SHOUTY WHISPER.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:56 AM on March 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Do you want to help me because you want to do me?
Why yes, that is why I want to help you
Then I want your help
Me: come on zombies! Eat them all.
posted by angrycat at 7:23 AM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


How hard would it have been for him to say, "I used to be a cop. I cared about stuff like this for a living"?

NO RICK NO BAD RICK
posted by tracicle at 7:25 AM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


I love crazy Rick Grimes. If he was just a little less crazy he'd only be right.


I was terrified when three brown women were alone in the woods.
posted by yonega at 8:14 AM on March 23, 2015 [16 favorites]


Anyone else keep having the feeling that Carl was going to get shot again while he and the girl were playing around in the woods?
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:47 AM on March 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Travis Bickle flashed into my head when crazy Rick did his thing and I had a good laugh at that. I also enjoyed the delayed shot of the window that gave the viewer enough time to think, "oh maybe they're not going to hurl themselves through the window", then... yup! Laughs.

Other than that, I am just tired of the vague dialogue in this show. I've tried to express this before but given up. It's like people have forgotten how to talk and everything that is said is a vague pronoun attached to a vague feeling about a specific event that may have been an episode ago or just a general culmination of feeling resulting from everything that's happened. I never really know where anyone's emotions are coming from on this show any more.

"He couldn't have seen it coming. And you were too hard on her."

"It's not anyone's fault. But we gotta get going on that or they'll destroy everything we've worked for. Everything is different now."

"But she did what she had to do. She saw it."

And because I've reached that age I'm like "who? Fucking who? What stuff are you referring to?"
posted by sylvanshine at 8:52 AM on March 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


Felt like Andrew Lincoln was really bumping up against his limitations here as an actor - he does this weird swaying, bobbing thing with his line delivery when he's being INTENSE that's wearing thin.

Kind of a meh episode, although I did like the Carl/Enid scenes.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:15 AM on March 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Anyone else keep having the feeling that Carl was going to get shot again while he and the girl were playing around in the woods?


Sasha is a scoped Chekhov's Gun in a clocktower. The question is more "Who will end up getting shot?" as she has a pretty good field of view.
posted by cardboard at 9:24 AM on March 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't really believe Rick was being honest with himself or us when he said that he wouldn't do for anybody what he was offering to do for Jessie. Yes, his feelings for her complicate the issue, and yes, he's no longer the Officer Friendly of the early seasons, but at heart, he's still a cop and his insticts are still to protect people who need it when he can.

I mean, that's his job as Alexandria's constable, isn't it? 99.9% of what he said to Jessie would have been true for anyone else in the same situation. I can't imagine even Hollow Beardy Shellshocked Rick just abandoning a mother and child to their fate if there was a chance to save them.

I was more shocked that Deanna and company were, and had always been, unwilling to even make the *slightest attempt* at separating Pete from his victims. Yes, his skills as a doctor are crucially needed, but they were essentially saying that Jessie and her child were basically disposable, with no value in the community, and that seems contrary to everything Deanna *says* the place is about.

As far as I'm concerned, the only false step Rick made was telling Jessie what he told her about his motives. Everything else in the sequence of vents was inevitable. When Carol said, "You're going to have to kill him," I think she was seeing the situation very clearly. Rick was even willing to try to broker apeaceful resolution, but Pete wasn't having it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


did the writers who worked on last season go start working on that spinoff, or something?
posted by angrycat at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


at heart, he's still a cop and his instincts are still to protect people who need it when he can.

Hmm; I read the answer to "would you do this for anyone else" as no, he's not a cop any more. His post-outbreak experiences have shifted his values from a police officer's generalized "protect the weak" to a more survival-focused and specific "protect those you care about."

Also, yeah, meh. The Sasha-in-the-woods scenes seemed to me to be mostly there to serve the show's Gory Zombie Kill quota, which this week seemed to be mostly Unreal Tournament: Zombie Edition.

That said: I did like the choice to not show Glen & co. returning from the botched supply run; instead jumping straight to the fallout of that implied revelation.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:45 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes the show tries so hard to be artsy and convey emotion and it just falls flat. What was the deal with that intro scene? They're mourning their son's death... by listening to his music... or something? At first I thought they were playing the music to ensure no one was listening in, but it wasn't that.

When they were in the woods and Sasha started by saying "Noah..." I was so hoping she'd continue, "Bob... Tyreese... see a pattern forming here? The three of us are next!" (For the record, I don't buy into the whole "WD is racist" thing, but it was too obvious to pass up on.)

What are the odds that Enid was carving a big ol' W into the tree?

How did Nicholas find Rick's gun hidden in the blender? The implication of it being removed was that someone was watching them, but I can't fathom that somebody being Nick, nor understand his motivations.

Rick being interested in the married woman didn't bother me much. Crazy Rick didn't bother me much. But Stupid Rick acting Stupid because Woman bothers me a lot. I hate when shows annihilate a character to fit a (stupid) plot.

Oh, and Rick being destroyed by drunken doctor bothers me even more.
posted by 2ht at 12:14 PM on March 23, 2015


I honestly didn't feel like Pete had the upper hand at any time during that fight. For Rick, this was a blood sport, and while he gave the doctor a chance to leave peacefully, he didn't intend for it to go that way. He hoped Pete would do what drunk guys do and start a fight. If he really wanted it to end peacefully, he would have separated Jessie and her son when Pete wasn't around, and then walked him out of the house. Or gone over there with backup, say Michonne and Deanna. But he much preferred giving Pete a chance to resist and get into a beat down fight.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:25 PM on March 23, 2015


Rick should have just used his teeth to remove the doctor's throat, like he did with that biker dude. That solves so many problems.
posted by dogwalker at 12:42 PM on March 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


"I mean, that's his job as Alexandria's constable, isn't it?"

I agree with WHaDK that it's pretty clear that Rick is so totally not a cop anymore. I think that's part of the point the writers were making in several scenes in the last few episodes. Deanna's making him the constable was a very poor decision, actually.

Cops -- including Rick -- already have a highly developed notion of their own authority and judgment about other people's behavior, and so now being untethered from any notion of actual law or the greater good this means that Rick sees himself as a sort of autocratic patriarch looking after anything and everything that he deems to be in his own personal interests (including the people he claims as "his"). That's bad. That's, you know, quite like the Governor.

I wrote a few episodes ago that a better show would have slowly turned Rick into a villain without us completely realizing it until it's too late, but that this isn't that show. I'm starting to wonder if maybe I was wrong about this. Except that, honestly, everything else I've ever seen in this show is that the writers really and truly do see Rick's personal and autocratic morality as the benchmark for what's right and proper in the Zombie Apocalypse. I think this storyline is intended to make us doubt Rick before seeing him totally vindicated as being "right". Although, of course, he's not.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:01 PM on March 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Rick and his fukkin' hands-down-his-pants voice, yeesh!

Really tired of The Rick Show now and ready for a different tale, preferably not what's looking like True Recruiters though. Michonne and Friends perhaps.
Was convinced Cooorl was about to get headshotted in his snuggle tree (or more likely Emonid). Must say I enjoyed the intro though.
posted by Iteki at 4:06 PM on March 23, 2015


I was more shocked that Deanna and company were, and had always been, unwilling to even make the *slightest attempt* at separating Pete from his victims. Yes, his skills as a doctor are crucially needed, but they were essentially saying that Jessie and her child were basically disposable, with no value in the community, and that seems contrary to everything Deanna *says* the place is about.

Yeah, she says that, but she also says that she doesn't execute people, when exiling them is basically just that for the weak puppy-like denizens of Alexandria.

She also acknowledges that her son is a macho blowhard idiot, but doesn't do anything to bring him in to line.

Ultimately, she's weak and conflict avoidant, and a terrible hypocrite. She's projecting confidence, but she shys away from any area in which she meets the slightest resistance. She claims to have principles, but she makes no attempt to enforce them.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:58 PM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yes yes, Rick is crazy, Sasha is crazy, they're all losing it.

HOW DO THESE PEOPLE GET HELIUM FOR THEIR RED BALLOONS? Did no one else wonder this? It's the APOCALYPSE here people! They just lost four people getting new batteries! Who is standing around filling balloons all day!

Just me then?
posted by instead of three wishes at 6:09 PM on March 23, 2015 [24 favorites]


This started to feel like an episode of Game of Thrones to me when we reached the eighth or ninth set of people wandering aimlessly through the same patch of woods, yet never running into each other.
posted by kythuen at 6:15 PM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


HOW DO THESE PEOPLE GET HELIUM FOR THEIR RED BALLOONS?

I just assumed that Rick was losing his shit and hallucinating. But it's a fair question.

I mean, where did they get sherriff outfits? How did they survive long enough to put up that wall? How do they have so much damn food? Why doesn't Jessie have any bruises if drunky doc is beating her unconcious every night? Alexandria is just a bundle of questions.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:16 PM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


gratuitous sexual violence

Yeah, nothing about that scene read as sexual to me, or even especially gendered. It would have been pretty much the same scene if it had been a nude guy tied to the tree.

Between the dubstep in the last episode, and the Nine Inch Nails at the beginning of this one, the musical direction has taken an odd turn. Hearing contemporary music in the show kind of jolts me out of the narrative. I mean, they've been using songs by contemporary musicians all along (notably during the denouements of episodes), but it's mostly been plaintive indie-folk stuff, which makes sense to me in this show. Maybe it's just because indie-folk is far enough removed from the music I usually listen to, that hearing it in the show doesn't make me think of the real world (and thereby jolt me out of the fictional one).

I remain firm in my prediction that the Ws will show up right as the growing schism between the native Alexandrites and the Johnny-come-latelies really hits its stride, leaving both groups poorly positioned to fight back.

I agree that Sonequa Martin-Green has been doing a great job lately, and that she's doing so in spite of lackluster writing. Just a line or two to establish exactly what's going through her head would be a big help.

Or are they trying to make him the bad guy of this season after all?

Rick has a raging boner to summarily execute a man. Carl—his own son—tried to pull Rick off of Pete, and Rick hit him. Michonne took enough exception with Rick's behavior to knock him out. The writers clearly are painting Rick as a man so fucked-up by everything he's been through that he's lost his moral compass. He's willing to take the life of a stranger on the off chance that it'll protect a finger of his own group (remember when he was chomping at the bit to kill Aaron at the barn, simply for being there?). And his enthusiasm for killing Pete is clearly driven, at least in part, by lust for Pete's wife. None of this can really be construed as a good look for Rick.

I doubt he'll become a "bad guy", per se—because that implies that he's irredeemable. And for better or for worse, fiction rarely works that way. More likely, he'll stop just shy of doing something completely unforgivable—note that he hasn't killed anyone yet, even as cast members have been dropping like flies. Whether he hits rock bottom and ultimately redeems himself, or dies tragically (likely assisted by his own recklessness), is up for grabs.

I didn't hate this episode as much as you did, Brandon, but it does seem like they're juggling too many different plot threads. A mass character die-off, as long as it's not too gratuitious, might actually be a good move—the regular cast has gotten so big that we only see some characters every third episode.

(All of the recent deaths have been obnoxiously gratuitous, though. It's like the writers have some kind of Character Death Quota to meet, and have forgotten how to make those deaths meaningful.)

Given the show's Black Man Problem, I almost hate to say it, but...I wouldn't be sad to see Gabriel go. They've already had him betray the group, so it's likely they're setting him up to be killed off. (They certainly don't seem to be setting him up to do anything else, except dart about nervously in his stupid vestments and act conflicted and desperate.)

Who do you wanna see killed off (or think will be killed off)?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:19 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


And still, no one seems to have told Diana about Terminus, or the Governor and Newberry. She shows no understanding about what Rick is trying to say at all, and it seems like telling her about the Governor at least would explain why he doesn't want to exile people - because they might come back, angry and with lots of guns.

Because that would make too much sense, I guess.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:20 PM on March 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


Maybe we're all wrongly assuming that Rick was stable and a good cop pre-zombie. As I recall, he wasn't entirely stable after his coma, while searching for his wife around the woods of Atlanta, or in his handling of Shane. Rick may always have been crazy, we're the just ones assuming the post-zombie era changed rather than magnified his issues.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:36 PM on March 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


At the beginning of the show, the camera opens on Michonne's body as she lies on her bed. It lingers. That's a gratuitous sexual scene*. I don't recall that type of camera work for Darryl.


*That being said, it is a nice shot.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:46 PM on March 23, 2015


Yeah, I definitely thought "oh hey, they're sexualizing Michonne in a way they haven't before". I mean, she's always worn tight pants and shown a fair bit of skin—but it's never really felt gaze-y before. This time, it did. I think it was the leather pants.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:01 PM on March 23, 2015


Sometimes the show tries so hard to be artsy and convey emotion and it just falls flat. What was the deal with that intro scene? They're mourning their son's death... by listening to his music... or something? At first I thought they were playing the music to ensure no one was listening in, but it wasn't that.

I got the clear idea that they were mourning. The contrast between the sombre scene and the loud angry music was well done.

Also, I like The Walking Dead WAY MORE when Nine Inch Nails is playing. They should pretty much play it during all of the zombie fight scenes.

I agree with WHaDK that it's pretty clear that Rick is so totally not a cop anymore. I think that's part of the point the writers were making in several scenes in the last few episodes. Deanna's making him the constable was a very poor decision, actually.

Michonne, on the other hand, was a good choice. She stepped in and dealt with Rick quickly and efficiently. She started out "wild" and now she's basically a good cop.

Given the show's Black Man Problem, I almost hate to say it, but...I wouldn't be sad to see Gabriel go. They've already had him betray the group, so it's likely they're setting him up to be killed off. (They certainly don't seem to be setting him up to do anything else, except dart about nervously in his stupid vestments and act conflicted and desperate.)

I have to agree, he's a useless character. It's a shame because a priest could be genuinely useful on this show - comforting people, helping them keep hope alive, leading prayers, and performing last rites (Herschel was basically this) -- but he's not a useful priest. He just ends up in the role of "coward", but we already have Eugene and the entire town of Alexandria for that.
posted by mmoncur at 7:05 PM on March 23, 2015


Gabriel could even provide opportunities to explore what religion is, how a deeply religious person makes sense of a world taken over by the walking dead, the role religion plays in people's lives when the world goes topsy-turvy, why some people might turn to faith for comfort in times of crisis and others might lose their faith, how religion would change to adapt to a drastically changed world, the degree to which formal religious institutions are necessary / unnecessary or have the potential to be helpful / harmful, conflicts between different strains of belief (and non-belief), etc.

Instead, we get this cardboard cutout of a priest.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:17 PM on March 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


I agree with WHaDK that it's pretty clear that Rick is so totally not a cop anymore. I think that's part of the point the writers were making in several scenes in the last few episodes.

I can buy that being what the writers are *aiming* for when they wrote his lines, but it doesn't match the final product that ended up on the screen.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:17 PM on March 23, 2015


Instead, we get this cardboard cutout of a priest.

Agreed! I'm an atheist but I still am continually baffled at the lack of religion in this show. You would especially expect some of the post-apocalypse communities (Alexandria, Terminus, Woodbury...) to have had religion as one of their themes, for better or worse. Aaron seemed so much like a missionary I thought they were heading there...

There ought to be a big "Science vs. Faith" battle going on here. The scientists would want to understand the infection and fight it with science, the faithful would want to talk about how we're being punished for our sins and so on.

Instead we get Gabriel for religion and Eugene for science.

This might be the most nihilistic show ever to appear on TV.
posted by mmoncur at 7:36 PM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


WHY HASN'T ANYONE TOLD THEM ABOUT THE CANNIBALS?!
posted by torisaur at 7:38 PM on March 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yeah, you'd think that if they were trying to convince the Alexandrites how real things are outside the walls, they would mention THE PEOPLE THAT TRIED TO EAT THEM.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:47 PM on March 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sigh. Herschel. That was a good show, as I recall.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 8:01 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


For the longest time so many discussions around this show, most notably Talking Dead, have revolved around Rick "turning into" Shane. Has he? Is he? How far along is he? It's so boring to me, because it just completely discounts so much of what made Shane a complete scoundrel literally seconds into the pilot episode of the show. Shane was lost before the apocalypse even started. There just isn't any comparison.

More interesting to me at the moment, is thinking about early post-CDC Rick compared with Deanna. Wasn't Rick much like Deanna, deciding to exile that kid Randall instead of kill him? And wasn't the book on that kid Randall the same as Rick - that he'd been roaming around with a group that did unspeakable things (according to Gabriel)?

I mean it still doesn't matter, because back then it was only a few months or a year after everything happened, and now it's 2 years or something, and where initially a normal person could easily still have a reasonable expectation that there was some hope, some central authority, some chance of rescue, now it's the opposite.

But I agree the Rick show is starting to get tedious. I'd much rather see Michonne, Maggie, Sasha and Carol working through things and having their stories told.
posted by cashman at 8:18 PM on March 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I feel like they've been building up to this a little bit -- and I hate to be hopeful considering how much this show disappoints me -- but I feel like maybe, just maybe, I'll get my wish and it will turn out that when Michonne punched Rick at the end of this episode was the moment she took over as the leader of the group.

I'd love to see Rick "demoted" to a follower. He'd try to be Mr. Sheriff and everyone would be like "you have a point, but you know your brain doesn't always work. Let's see what Michonne thinks."

Or maybe we'll have three episodes in a row where we don't even see Rick.

I can dream...
posted by mmoncur at 8:58 PM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


For the longest time so many discussions around this show, most notably Talking Dead, have revolved around Rick "turning into" Shane. Has he? Is he? How far along is he?

Well, I mean, he's into selfishly applying his authority and force, he's after another dude's wife... Maybe his personal emotional journey is not the same as Shane's, but I'd say he's firmly in the realm of "bad cop" now. Looking forward to "good cop" Michonne bringing her katana to this particular gunfight, if they choose to mirror Shane's demise.
posted by olinerd at 9:25 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, nothing about that scene read as sexual to me, or even especially gendered. It would have been pretty much the same scene if it had been a nude guy tied to the tree.

Except it pretty much never would be a naked guy anonymously and ostentatiously displayed as a victim which is exactly what makes it gendered and, to me, disappointing.
It's not coincidence that it was a woman in the trunk either.
posted by Iteki at 12:27 AM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Episode before last, kid says to Carol that he came to her house because he doesn't have power at his house. I think Carol brushed him off with a "not my problem."

Then in this episode, Deanna's family is sitting around by candlelight followed by the scene of Carols's brightly lit kitchen with the oven running.

Are the Alexandrites wooing Rick & Crew with positions of power and worldly goods? Why?

Am I reading too much into this? I keep thinking there is something sinister/corrupt/not-all-is-as-it-appears going down in Alexandria-town.
posted by slipthought at 5:34 AM on March 24, 2015


Oh, and the "LIVE" bauble on blondie's mantle made me groan. Not so subtle.
posted by slipthought at 5:36 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cripes, I missed that. Of all things, I'd hoped the apocalypse would eliminate wallverbs.
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:03 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I found a screencap
posted by slipthought at 6:25 AM on March 24, 2015


Cripes, I missed that. Of all things, I'd hoped the apocalypse would eliminate wallverbs.

Thank you so, so much. I finally have a term for those...things.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:01 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


HOW DO THESE PEOPLE GET HELIUM FOR THEIR RED BALLOONS? Did no one else wonder this? It's the APOCALYPSE here people! They just lost four people getting new batteries! Who is standing around filling balloons all day!

Eugene will soon need to explain to the Alexandrians that he needs volunteers for a run to the National Helium Reserve in Amarillo, Texas, if they want to keep blowing up those balloons.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:05 AM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can't take credit, it's actually a trade name, so help me...
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:19 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't take credit, it's actually a trade name, so help me...

WE MUST BURN THEIR VILLAGES.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:49 AM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Other than that, I am just tired of the vague dialogue in this show. I've tried to express this before but given up. It's like people have forgotten how to talk and everything that is said is a vague pronoun attached to a vague feeling about a specific event that may have been an episode ago or just a general culmination of feeling resulting from everything that's happened. I never really know where anyone's emotions are coming from on this show any more.

I hadn't thought about it this way before.
My problem has always been with the volume. Everyone mumbles and I turn up the volume to the point where the first gunshot in a zombie killing spree is almost painful. My wife and I would be watching, hear some mumbled line presented in such a way that it seems important to the storyline and rewind it a few times to try and figure it out (like the one where the son is impaled on the stakes. They were the ones that did what?). But over the past few weeks, the pattern has become one of us asking what the they said followed by the other shrugging and mumbling. Then neither of us reaches for the controls.
Now I know why?
They are all so damn vague! Do they ever talk about anything of import. Do they explain nothing to the Alexandrians? Do they ever use anything but pronouns? Blah. I think I keep watching to criticize people's grips on their firearms and their survival skills.
(Michonne's grip on the pistol was laughable. That's how people hurt themselves.)
posted by Seamus at 10:47 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Everyone mumbles and I turn up the volume to the point where the first gunshot in a zombie killing spree is almost painful.

My hearing isn't the best, but I watch this show with the captioning turned on.
posted by dogwalker at 10:59 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do they explain nothing to the Alexandrians?

I know. You'd think at least a few members of the group would be inclined to hold court with scary stories of the outside world.

This could be strategic even - they would seem like complete and utter badasses to the Alexandrians. Who would, in turn, respect and fear them when they hear how members of the group took on the rapey Claimers bare-handed, or stared death and cannibalism in the face at Terminus, or defeated a dude with a tank and a small army, but at great cost to the group.

Then they wouldn't be dealing with the bullshit they're dealing with from the Alexandrians.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:02 AM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's weird how they made Rick seem much more unhinged in this version than he appears in the comic book version.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:12 AM on March 24, 2015


I still have no real sense of the size of the Alexandria enclave, and now it matters, because I find Deanna's "we're rebuilding civilization!" argument way more compelling if there are a hundred people there instead of fifteen, because if it's just the handful of them, then Rick may be right, even to the point of putting a bullet in Pete. But I guess if I had a more accurate head count, it'd seem less ambiguous. Cheap trick, that.

And I seem to be reading Sasha differently than most -- I thought her channeling her rage and pain into sweeping the area of walkers was a stab at good coping. It's not like she was out there banging pots and attracting a herd. She was patrolling the perimeter with a silenced weapon, thinning them out, keeping the wear off the walls. Good lookin' out, I say, unlike our resident LEO, Officer Snarlyfists, sower of strife and dissent. And Alexandria doesn't seem too concerned about running out of anything else, so why worry about ammo?

Michonne in her cop outfit literally striking a blow for civilization right there at the end kinda saved a mediocre episode.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:52 AM on March 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


I liked the Coral and Enid scenes, though Enid comes across as an older version of the girl who looked at the flowers.

(Related: Carol's Day Care)
Liked Glenn's scenes. Really digging Steven Yeun with facial hair. (Wish Rick would grow his back!)

Still don't understand why Rick is so into Jessie. Don't understand why they'd make a big deal out of Deanna being good at reading tells and then have her never act on anything she sees or hears.

Rosita got so many more lines this episode compared to previous ones that I was sure she was a goner. I would love to see more Daryl and Aaron, Michonne/Sasha/Rosita, and born again hard Eugene scenes.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:02 PM on March 24, 2015


How long do you suppose Eugene will last? Distracting the walkers with the Dubstep Van was the second useful thing he's ever done. (The first was blasting walkers with the firehose. But he got them into that situation when he sabotaged the bus, so he doesn't really deserve any credit for that.) Even Tara, his erstwhile defender, told him that he needs to start contributing. And now that they know he was full of shit about DC, he's no longer driving the plot.

I guess he also helped them find that replacement part for the electrical grid—but do we even know whether that worked out?

Anyway, his lines are occasionally amusing (even if they are obvious self-indulgence on the part of the writers), but that's the only thing that prevents him from being as useless as Gabriel.

It seems that the spinoff show has an official title: "Fear the Walking Dead". Kind of dumb, IMHO—but they say that the spinoff (at least in the beginning) will focus more on the early days of the outbreak, i.e., the time period when Rick was unconscious in the hospital. That would be welcome—I've always thought that the time during the collapse (rather than after the collapse) is one of the more interesting parts of zombie stories, and TWD kinda shortchanged us there.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:52 PM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


That would be welcome—I've always thought that the time during the collapse (rather than after the collapse) is one of the more interesting parts of zombie stories

I feel the same way, especially when they come across abandoned emergency centres that were set up by the military or National Guard and it's obvious that at some point things went south pretty quick. That's the scenario in Michonne's back story, for example.

Also, when Rick wakes up in the hospital, you get the sense that at one point they weren't sure what to do with people who turned - hence locked doors with "Dead Inside" or whatever it was spray painted on them. "I guess we'll, ah, put them in here for the time being and hope this thing blows over." Those early hours of figuring out what the hell to do about it, or just plain survive, seem interesting to me.

I kind of liked the idea of the webisodes they did where it was vignettes from the apocalypse, but I found some of the acting in them to be not so great. Maybe this will scratch that itch.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:53 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rosita got so many more lines this episode compared to previous ones that I was sure she was a goner.

One good thing about the Alexandria story is that Rosita has started being a real person instead of a comic caricature, and I do think she's a character with potential.

How long do you suppose Eugene will last? Distracting the walkers with the Dubstep Van was the second useful thing he's ever done. (The first was blasting walkers with the firehose. But he got them into that situation when he sabotaged the bus, so he doesn't really deserve any credit for that.)

I contend that he's one of the most useful characters we have. Both of these are examples of solving problems by thinking. Something that is sorely missing from 90% of this show.

Also, Eugene is a survivor. Not the kind who pulls out a sword and starts stabbing, but the kind who finds the right group of people and says the right things (even if they're lies) to survive. I like that. Being a badass isn't the only way to survive in this world.

Still don't understand why Rick is so into Jessie.

Yeah, this is a major writing problem. The writers have given her so little personality and so little real interaction with Rick that it just seems like he likes her because she's blonde, good looking, and has had a shower recently. (Maybe they have a point, your standards could go way lower during a zombie apocalypse.)
posted by mmoncur at 3:48 PM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Then in this episode, Deanna's family is sitting around by candlelight followed by the scene of Carols's brightly lit kitchen with the oven running.

They were sitting around by candlelight and playing loud music on a CD player, though. I got the impression they had power and the candles were for mourning.

On the other hand this is one of the things the show didn't make very clear... Considering that last week's tragedy was all about trying to restore power, they sure seem to take the power for granted in this one.
posted by mmoncur at 3:54 PM on March 24, 2015


I did love the NIN playing while Carol was readying the Casserole.

TOO FUCKED UP TO CARE ANYMORE
posted by Sys Rq at 4:01 PM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not sure if I missed something - Carol's using a gas stove to make the sadly ignored casserole. Can't recall seeing propane tanks outside the houses, and they're certainly not hooked up to a natural gas pipeline at this point.

So that's kind of hard to buy.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:37 PM on March 24, 2015


Carol's using a gas stove to make the sadly ignored casserole.

Maybe. I stared at the stove for a while as well. But I once shared a house that had an oven just as fancy as that one, and although the range was gas, the oven was electric, so I decided to go with that.
posted by instead of three wishes at 4:50 PM on March 24, 2015


Eh. I feel like they already gave the all-round explainer for stuff like that: it's supposed to be some fancy live-off-the-grid commune kind of thing. There must be natural gas tanks underground or something.

Ivan Fyodorovich: “I think this storyline is intended to make us doubt Rick before seeing him totally vindicated as being ‘right’. Although, of course, he's not.”

But what's vexing is that he is right – right? Deanna is nice and all, and she seems sharp, but you absolutely cannot have a community where the safety and happiness of even one woman and her child is sacrificed just so you can keep a wife-beating surgeon around; and you don't just leave a wife-beater alone and kind of hope the situation gets better, which is apparently what they've been doing. Even down to the fine grain of it, the way Rick confronts Pete actually isn't bad at all, compared to what I expected of him; he just stood there and backed Jesse up when she told Pete to leave, and Pete just opened up and started beating on Rick. Rick was absolutely justified in defending himself in that situation.

What's vexing is that Rick is totally in the right, but he's hideously bad at communicating this fact, to the point where he consistently does exactly the wrong thing in almost every situation. He kept on beating Pete, who for his part was stronger than he looked to be, long after he should have defused the situation. And it would have been easy! He had a gun – if he'd jumped clear of Pete and pulled it on Pete specifically, it would have been clear he was doing his cop thing, and he could have made a stand and tried to explain himself.

But already by that point he'd screwed things up by totally botching his chat with Deanna earlier. Sincerely, it's vexing to see just how much Rick screws this up. He has very good points to communicate to her – but because of how terrible he is at talking, he always fails. He could have said: "well, I think we need to take care of this problem, and I understand if you thought it would blow over, but X and Y and Z happened, so obviously it hasn't." He could have said: "well, I understand your desire not to kill people, but see, at one of the places we were at, we let the Governor go, and he killed a bunch of us later. So it turns out exiling people might not be the way to go." He could have said: "well, you've got your ways, and I totally respect that; I just wanted to make my voice heard." But he's preternaturally incapable of being in any way conciliatory. And that made him look like a bloodthirsty carnivore before he ever started rolling around with Pete.

I agree with you, though. The show seems to be cruising toward vindicating Rick. Let's put the pieces together: we have a bunch of people in the town here who seem completely unwilling or unable to really protect themselves, and who each seem selfish and soft. Deanna told us a few episodes ago that they did have some troublesome folks at the compound a few months ago – and said they had to exile them. She didn't say why or what for. Meanwhile, we have some sadistic fuck(s) who is (are) cutting up zombies (or live people?) and tying naked women to trees to let them be eaten alive by walkers, whilst carving W's in their foreheads and apparently sending them on to the compound. (As Aaron pointed out in this episode, "there are more roamers than there used to be.") We've got a proven tendency toward that kind of sadistic crap inside the compound, too – remember how Deanna's son and his little still-living sidekick had a walker tied up to be tortured for killing the friends they actually left behind. And we've got one episode left in the season, so we can bet that the pieces of the puzzle have already been laid out.

So basically: it looks like we're going to find out that those people who Deanna exiled previously are laying in wait somewhere outside the compound, carving "W"s into the heads of walkers, playing sick games with them, and sending them toward the compound to try to overwhelm it. Rick & co are right: there is a lot more to be worried about outside the compound than Deanna & co want to believe. And the people behind the walls are in for a rude awakening when they figure that out, because those walls may be walker-proof but they don't look all that human-proof to me.

Honestly, having an idea of how this was going to play out, it was really annoying to me that Michonne didn't give a speech immediately after knocking Rick out cold. She should have said what needed to be said: that Rick may have been on a tear, but he's damned right about a few things. One of them being, you don't let one of your own be beaten by her husband just because you'd rather have a surgeon around. Another of them being, you don't send potentially dangerous people away and just hope to the gods above that they don't come back to haunt your ass.

Brandon Blatcher at: “I gave up on the show after the Tyrese's death. But company was over tonight and they wanted to watch, so there we were.”

Man, I wish I'd had the guts to quit this show then. It's only gone downhill. But I guess my perverse curiosity will get the better of me and I'll see how the season finishes next week.
posted by koeselitz at 5:06 PM on March 24, 2015 [11 favorites]


Thoughts: the W-marked zombies are not made by Morgan or Enid, because there's a W on the head of the lady tied to the tree, which I believe was carved there before she was dead. We saw her come back/cross over, right? She went from dead body to undead being. And she was freshly dead, most likely due to the zombies tearing open her stomach (but not tearing at her limbs - watch enough zombie films, and you pay attention to zombie eating habits, in some crude way of mentally documenting what kind of zombies these might be, and how to compare them to other zombies). So the Wolves probably preemptively marked her with a W on the head, assuming she would get mauled and turn. Otherwise, they tied her up, let her get mauled, then came out of hiding nearby to chop up the zombies. I'll go with the Occams Razor for horrible people-monsters here, which comes back to the W-marked zombies not being made by Morgan or Enid.

And the NIN listening party made me think they turned it off because they had had enough of the wrought juvenile poetry of Trent Reznor's lyrics.

Pro-tip from a parent of young children: captions and subtitles are your friends, when trying to watch something at low volumes and/or being partially distracted and/or really tired and only half able to pay attention to TV or movies. Netflix and other streaming media (as well as official web downloads) are great for this, and if you spend some time, you can get most TVs to display captions, too. We first appreciated them for The Walking Dead, but there are so many shows I have now wanted to have subtitles for, though as an oldschool fansubbed anime fan, my eyes automatically go to the subtitles, even if I can hear the conversation just fine.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:45 PM on March 24, 2015


Also, when Rick wakes up in the hospital, you get the sense that at one point they weren't sure what to do with people who turned - hence locked doors with "Dead Inside" or whatever it was spray painted on them. "I guess we'll, ah, put them in here for the time being and hope this thing blows over." Those early hours of figuring out what the hell to do about it, or just plain survive, seem interesting to me.

Oh that means you haven't been introduced to the webisodes! Watch The Oath [Part 1][Part 2][Part 3]. All I can say is, lets hope the spinoff is better. I saw someone on social media say "They should make all of the characters in the spinoff Black, so you don't know who will die next."
posted by cashman at 5:56 PM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


"But what's vexing is that he is right – right?"

He's right about the Alexandrians radically underestimating the threat they're under and much related to that. He's not right about simply executing someone who's transgressed -- that would solve that particular problem, but as a convention it's not going to lead to a sustainable community and it would likely end up in some kind of insurrection.

The larger problem is that I think Rick was being honest when he said he wouldn't have done this for someone else. We've seen in numerous ways how Rick's focus is very narrow and immediately pragmatic. And that doesn't make him necessarily right with regard to what Alexandria needs in the long-run. Deanne isn't right, either, but she's a lot closer to being right than Rick is now -- she just needs to take the external threat seriously and to implement procedures for dealing with people like Pete (and not ignoring it). Rick is in survival-of-me-and-mine-at-any-cost mode and that's actually a big part of why he's not communicating the way that you want him to communicate. He doesn't really care to, he doesn't actually care about these people (excepting Jessie), and he's now conditioned to deeply fear any long-term planning because he's certain that there's nothing more than a day-to-day life-or-death struggle to survive. There's a "right" somewhere in the middle-ground between Deanna and Rick, and I think it's a lot closer to Deanna than it is to Rick.

Or, put another way, it's probably where Michonne and Glenn and Maggie locate it. Not Rick and not Carol.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:14 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh that means you haven't been introduced to the webisodes!

I was, but not the ones you posted. Thanks - those are better than some of the other ones I've seen.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:28 PM on March 24, 2015


They've been seeing evidence of the Wolves since Richmond and Noah's old house, which is about 100 miles away. This makes it implausible that it's a small group of exiles doing it, if the writers know what they're doing anyway.
posted by cardboard at 7:03 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


"if the writers know what they're doing anyway."

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 12:06 AM on March 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Deanne isn't right, either, but she's a lot closer to being right than Rick is now -- she just needs to take the external threat seriously

I was thinking, when Rick came to Deanna at the graves and they started arguing about Pete, that if the two of them could just learn to trust each other to be co-leaders, or even if Deanna could trust Rick as a subordinate advisor, Alexandria would be well served.

Also, Shane beat the holy everliving shit out of Carol's abusive husband back in Season 1, and scared the heck out of the group at that time. I'd be interested to see what the other survivors think about Rick and Carol's solution to the Pete problem. Are they all on the same page now?
posted by natteringnabob at 3:34 AM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Deanne isn't right, either, but she's a lot closer to being right than Rick is now -- she just needs to take the external threat seriously and to implement procedures for dealing with people like Pete (and not ignoring it).

And Alexandria has survived for two years relatively without incident -- why would they believe they're in immediate danger because our unwashed heroes turn up and tell them so, especially when our heroes are such bad communicators.

And she was freshly dead, most likely due to the zombies tearing open her stomach (but not tearing at her limbs - watch enough zombie films, and you pay attention to zombie eating habits, in some crude way of mentally documenting what kind of zombies these might be, and how to compare them to other zombies).

I thought just her stomach being eaten was because whoever tied her up and chopped the zombies into torsos held them there to eat her as torture -- which makes them worse than Terminus for me, at least they butchered humanely.
posted by gladly at 7:52 AM on March 25, 2015


...at least they butchered humanely.

"These, ah, people here."

*gestures at Rick's group*

"Free range?"

"Wild caught, actually. Just came in today."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:16 AM on March 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Ballad of Porchdick
posted by The Gooch at 2:27 PM on March 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Hey wife beater!"
posted by angrycat at 3:30 PM on March 27, 2015


"Who definitely will be eaten by zombies next episode and it might be the best thing about it"
posted by angrycat at 3:31 PM on March 27, 2015


So those were symbolic graves, right? Why bother digging a body-sized hole instead of just putting up the marker?
posted by chazlarson at 3:49 PM on April 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


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