The Walking Dead: Conquer
March 30, 2015 6:20 AM - Season 5, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Daryl experiences trouble on a run while Rick and his group continue to feel like outsiders in Alexandria, where trouble is creeping into the gates.
posted by LizBoBiz (133 comments total)
 
Who died? Did anyone die? Please tell me someone important died!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:30 AM on March 30, 2015


Ummm, no. Someone whose death could significantly affect the plot did, though.
posted by tracicle at 6:38 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh, interesting choice story wise. There's been a lot of death this season, seemingly more so than usual, so I was expecting to see headlines about the death of SOMEONE IMPORTANT.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:41 AM on March 30, 2015


Redemption and forgiveness all around... except where it might make the plot too complicated (Pete).

I guess Morgan took a year or so to fly to China and train in the 36 chambers.

Carol just gets better.

What separates really amazing TV from just entertaining TV is that things are complicated and consequences are real. This episode got very close to being amazing. But I'll settle for entertaining I guess.

And something I think I noticed rewatching last weeks episode while waiting for this one to start: did Rick quote some of Shane's speeches verbatim when he was waving the gun around and acting crazy?
posted by natteringnabob at 6:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Carol. Is. Awesome.

Welcome wagon! We brought a "fuck you" casserole, you weak, sad little man!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:53 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Morgan finds out after the fact that Wolf guy's gun wasn't loaded during their fireside chat, almost like it was a test to see if Morgan would try to do something and prove himself Wolfworthy. He doesn't, so Wolf2 comes in to ambush him.

The Tyreese school of live and let live is further repudiated by:
  • Morgan's two Wolves going on to kill Red Poncho Guy* and to discover photos of the Alexandria compound
  • Pete the surgeon's clumsy machete work
  • Nicholas taking a shot at Glen
* 2 years on the run from man and zombie, and your colour palate of choice is high-visibility?
posted by cardboard at 7:05 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


One thing is for certain, Carol does not know how to make a casserole that people like.
posted by 2ht at 7:28 AM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


I mostly enjoyed this episode, even though none of the actions that people take resemble human behavior in any meaningful way.

Every door, you guys. You need to bang on every fucking door before opening it, especially if it's unfamiliar. Walkers in the Walking Dead universe are like murder victims in the Law & Order universe; you will find them in any space they could conceivably fit in, no matter how implausible.

Gabriel has finally surpassed Gilligan as the television character whose continued existence makes the least amount of sense. He's gone from just being a useless drain on group resources to nearly getting everyone killed with his bad decision making to actively trying to kill the group. Every scene that doesn't involve him dying makes my disbelief harder and harder to suspend.

Is there any reason why Glenn wouldn't tell anyone that the guy who'd gotten Noah killed and abandoned Glenn to die was sneaking over the walls before Glenn went to follow him?

Rick sees that the gate is open and sees signs that at least one walker is loose in the community while the sun is still up. He runs around looking for it long enough for night to fall, rather than shouting holy shit, someone left the gate open and there's at least one walker in here. I mean, doing that would give people a chance to defend themselves and also possibly draw the walker back to Rick (the only person who was armed and aware of the threat), so of course this show wouldn't have him do that.

A lot of people in these threads say that it's hard to take the walkers seriously as a threat, but you have to imagine how much more of a threat they would present in a world where none of the living ever use human-level intelligence.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 7:40 AM on March 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


A lot of people in these threads say that it's hard to take the walkers seriously as a threat, but you have to imagine how much more of a threat they would present in a world where none of the living ever use human-level intelligence.

Yeah, every time I watch this show I spend a good amount of time thinking about how I could do a much better job of doing whatever it is the people on the show are doing. I mean, why didn't they go find some construction equipment and dig a moat around the prison? Why are they driving around in Toyota Tercels when there are Hummers and SUVs everywhere? Why didn't they just go to the nearest prison once the first one was overrun?

It's maddening, but I guess if they were always safe it wouldn't be much of a show.

That truck trap was pretty cool though.
posted by bondcliff at 7:49 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I liked the intro. I did immediately think Gabriel was a goner though as soon as I saw Morgan. Other than that, I just don't care about these characters lately. Rick is just a hard ass and has lost his sense of direction. I don't know why they don't locate his motivation with the baby. I mean I know why, but it annoys me because if the lead character was a woman, it would be all about her and the baby.

I don't care about Carl. His model hair tufts when Rick goes to talk to him just takes me right out of the world. I know they're in a safe place, but it just gets to be a bit much when he looks like he does. Same thing with Gabriel - that buzz looks like he got it done 20 minutes before every scene. And it just makes his facial expressions that more annoying.

Michonne is bad to just side eyeing everything and everyone. Sasha's just perma-scared, Glenn just looks tired, and none of it is especially meaningful to the plot.

Maybe they need to work on the music better, or have more moments where they are just in the world they've created, and try to tell more story through the scene. And not the ham-fisted "WOLVES ARE NOT FAR" or whatever was written on the car at the end.
posted by cashman at 7:53 AM on March 30, 2015


I'm just pleased we no longer have to deal with Porch Dick so everyone can focus on Wolf Dicks.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:13 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The first time that the Wolves graffiti appeared (back in Noah's hometown) it was only on the screen for a second. My girlfriend asked if I had caught what it said, so I (knowing that she was a fan of Davies-era Doctor Who) told her that it said "BAD WOLF". She got really excited for a moment before she remembered that I'm a lying jerk.

Now I get the stink eye every time anything happens related to this Wolves plot, so I was hoping that they would have resolved it by now.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:20 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Little Red Riding Poncho meets the Big Bad Wolves.
posted by yonega at 8:30 AM on March 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Whoa, Lennie James looks so different in his role than he does on the Talking Dead! The actors all look different in character, but with James/Morgan it was really striking. As soon as he showed up on The Talking Dead I knew he was Kris Bumstead from Cold Feet which was in 1998.
posted by BibiRose at 8:42 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


If the point of the show was to keep me on edge the entire time waiting for them to dumbly kill off a character I like then good job show. so I was pleasantly surprised.

What was the point of the trap, though? You want to lure people in to become zombies...so you leave half a dozen or so in the yard that they kill before investigating the trucks and springing the trap. So it seems like for every few people you catch and zombify, you're gonna lose an equal number, if not more.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:18 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the trap is to get their possessions. "I want what you have. All of it." Or whatever that guy at the beginning said to Lennie.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:25 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, I'm not quite sure I have this right, but:

1.) Carol delivers a direct, unequivocal threat to Pete, a man she knows is unstable and has issues with women (or at the very least his wife);

2.) when Pete barges into a community meeting waving a deadly weapon, and Rick moves to kill him (or at the least threaten/injure him to the extent of dropping the sword), she gives Rick a quick shake of her head, indicating (I think) "not now" or "wait";

3.) Pete then accidentally(?) kills the husband of the community leader, Deanna, who then, in view of almost everyone in the community, commands Rick to kill Pete, therefore giving her official sanction to Rick's action.

As we've seen previously during the course of this show, Carol is not dumb. When she acts, she acts with intent. If she sees a threat to the group, she will act to neutralize it, even if her methods are ruthless and disregard the rights of the individuals who intentionally or non-intentionally threaten the community. My conclusion after last night's episode is that Carol intentionally set up a scenario where:

1.) the abuser Pete would be eliminated;

2.) the leader of the community would understand the need for and authorize the use of deadly force to protect the community, as well as the need for someone to carry out that force;

3.) Rick would be affirmed, in the eyes of everyone, as the person authorized to use deadly force.

Carol continues to be the scariest person on this show.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:35 AM on March 30, 2015 [36 favorites]


In other thoughts:

1.) Glenn and Maggie are the most decent people in the group. I suspect Carol would have dealt quite differently with Nicholas and Gabriel. Whose approach is correct?

2.) A little heavy on the "Book of Eli" with Morgan. I did like that we had more bonding scenes with Daryl and Aaron.

3.) Are the two Wolves that Morgan took out the same two men that Alexandria exiled?
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:40 AM on March 30, 2015


I wasn't really clear during the Morgan/Wolf conversation what the Wolves' deal is with the "W" on their foreheads (or anything else, for that matter, beyond just stealing supplies).

Daryl and Aaron were so unfathomably idiotic with the food trucks that I almost didn't even care if they got eaten. RealDaryl would have told Aaron, "You see those cans tied to the corners of the trucks? This is a trap." Instead, we get him wildly throwing truck doors open without even pausing to think it may be a bit hasty. That said, I really like the relationship between the two of them. I just can't stand it, as someone mentioned upthread, when the writers have the characters act in utterly anti-character or indeed anti-human ways, just to move the plot along where they want it to go.

I loved Jessie's hearsay objection when Deanna retold what Gabriel said to her. As a lawyer it made me laugh.
posted by gatorae at 9:44 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah, Daryl should have smelled that trap from a mile away.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:16 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


...They're going to kill off another black male.
Morgan has an ascetic monk think going on and Gabriel is turning into a warrior-preacher, they're foils.


Poor Noah won't get to avenge the death of his family :(
posted by FallowKing at 10:20 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


As we've seen previously during the course of this show, Carol is not dumb. When she acts, she acts with intent.

Carol continues to be the scariest person on this show.
Sounds like they're setting up another spin-off...
posted by c95008 at 10:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Morgan finds out after the fact that Wolf guy's gun wasn't loaded during their fireside chat, almost like it was a test to see if Morgan would try to do something and prove himself Wolfworthy. He doesn't, so Wolf2 comes in to ambush him.

Was that supposed to be the point? I took it as a sign they're not as well armed or out of ammo or IDK. Also, are there just two Wolves? I somehow assumed more.

I came to the same conclusion as longdaysjourney and that Carol had very deliberately wound up Pete and wanted Rick to let Pete make things worse before doing anything. Not badly done either; the advantage of knowing there's not known pistols (or any real ranged weapons really) means you can maybe do this w/o too much risk to yourself. I didn't notice if her seating was a good vantage point.

Pete the surgeon's clumsy machete work

Pretty sure that was Michonne's sword, given that she comes into her home with it and starts to put it back on the wall.
posted by phearlez at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Morgan finds out after the fact that Wolf guy's gun wasn't loaded during their fireside chat, almost like it was a test to see if Morgan would try to do something and prove himself Wolfworthy. He doesn't, so Wolf2 comes in to ambush him.

Hmm, I figured they simply had no ammunition, so waving the gun in someone's face was simply to keep their attention on the person holding it instead of the guy sneaking up to stab them in the back.

Then again, if the Wolves are going to be a major threat I'd expect that they would be better supplied, considering they rob from everyone they can. Unless the person in charge hoards all the ammunition and sends people out with no weapons of value....

Kind of the opposite of Alexandria, which has bins full of guns and (apparently endless) ammunition to be checked out by anyone leaving the gate who wants to go target shooting for fun.
posted by Pryde at 10:58 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or what phearlez said.
posted by Pryde at 10:59 AM on March 30, 2015


Morgan has an ascetic monk think going on and Gabriel is turning into a warrior-preacher, they're foils.

Well they've each got a fifty-fifty shot.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:06 AM on March 30, 2015


why is it, writing wise, when the characters start saying *oh we should have told you sooner how awful it is* they then proceed to be as vague as possible? I guess Abe's thing about *an ocean of shit* was supposed to be that, but why not *we're not going to tell about how we killed the cannibals because they may be freaked out by us and also that was shit we don't talk about* or something and then say *well we didn't say before, but these dudes lured us in and were about to slash our throats and eat us, and also they ate half our friend, so we had to become bad ass*


I started to wonder about why they couldn't get better writers for a show with such an enormous presence, then remembered Lost and Daniel Lindehof and everything he touches
posted by angrycat at 11:11 AM on March 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


yes YES ALL I HAVE BEEN SHOUTING AT THE TV IS "WHY WHY WHY WHY YOU DO THIS"

why the FUCK isn't anyone saying "hey so there were ACTUAL CANNIBALS EATING OUR FRIENDS" and "maggie's dad was DECAPITATED BY A ONE EYED MAN WITH A TANK" and "btw on our way here we found a VAN FULL OF LIMBLESS ZOMBIE TORSOS" and "we just lost a friend to a bunch of ATLANTA GANG RAPIST COPS WHO WERE HOLDING WOMEN HOSTAGE IN A RAPE PRISON" or literally ANYTHING OTHER THAN "well yeah stuff was hard and fucked up i dunno lol"

im so upset
posted by poffin boffin at 11:21 AM on March 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


Hmm, I figured they simply had no ammunition, so waving the gun in someone's face was simply to keep their attention on the person holding it instead of the guy sneaking up to stab them in the back.

Yeah, that fits, and explains why the guy doesn't normally get to talk with people, but did in this case - circumstances were special.
posted by cardboard at 11:24 AM on March 30, 2015


After the finale last night, this whole season is starting to become worse than when it originally aired. I know this is a common theme with TWD, but this waiting until the finale to do something that should have been done a long time ago is getting really old. "We need to train these people/tell them about the outside" should have happened no more than halfway through this half of the season.

If they wanted to do some big build up for the finale (which is apparently the strategy they chose), then they needed to make it much more clear why they hadn't told about what happened, more clear on why they didn't feel the need to train people. There could have even been conflict in the group about what to do.

We had 6 episodes in Alexandria this season, and what did we learn about either the town or Rick's group? Nothing really that we didn't know from the episode where they arrived.

It is very frustrating to want this show to be better, and to have wanted it to be better since the beginning. Many improvements have been made and good job on improving your craft but this show still falls so so short of where it could be.
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:29 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


also, I'm good with all *oh no character x is going to die* *oh no it's another character* but when the pay off is *no actually it's --- Father Gabriel praying with Sasha and Maggie* it's like -- this is so boring
posted by angrycat at 11:30 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


and seriously why is everyone being so precious with deanna's feelings? why hasn't anyone said "look, lady, your son was REALLY FUCKING BAD at the job he was assigned and his moron buddy has no fucking clue what he's doing and they are huge enormous failures whose only success was staying alive as long as they did"?

actually it should have been totally predictable from the moment they met the alexandrians that the only way deanna would ever see Our Group's way of things would be to lose everyone she loves.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:42 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think as the show goes further and further on, things should seem more and more haggard. People, even in Alexandria, should look more and more distressed and have less and less hope. I know it's easy to ignore the world's problems and have dinner parties and share recipes in the present day, but it's just getting really tough for me to believe that a couple years after the world basically melted down and there are bloodthirsty undead humans walking the earth, that anybody is hanging out on the sidewalk in an idyllic scene, waving to the neighbors while the kids play in the streets. It's also straining the limits of believability that these people walk around in unfamiliar places unafraid of being shot at. They talk in the loudest of voices, rarely suffer from illnesses, get no infestations, and almost never seem worried about where their next meal is coming from. None of them look sick or emaciated, and even though sound clearly draws zombies, Daryl drives the loudest thing imaginable, just cause it looks cool.
posted by cashman at 11:57 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think the last time we saw anyone sick aside from the prison pig flu plague was when Andrea was really sick with Michonne? I mean really with the vile water they've been drinking every last one of them should have truly explosive giardiasis at the very least.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:03 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


actually it should have been totally predictable from the moment they met the alexandrians that the only way deanna would ever see Our Group's way of things would be to lose everyone she loves.

She still has the other kid, the one that's bad with doors
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:39 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh yeah was that the same guy who let Gabriel out? who should have been all *crazy dude, I'm gonna tell your friends you went crazy* when Gabriel was all *I'm crazy* before letting him out? And then lets crazy guy be in charge of locking the fucking door.

Aarrrrggghhhhh
posted by angrycat at 1:02 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


What did Rick find jammed in the front gate latch, btw? was it just walker guts or was it something more sinisterly placed by parties unknown?
posted by poffin boffin at 1:02 PM on March 30, 2015


Walker goo left when one of them scraped against the deadbolt.
posted by cardboard at 1:04 PM on March 30, 2015


Are the two Wolves that Morgan took out the same two men that Alexandria exiled?

I keep seeing this theory today, and I'm wondering why people think this – was there some detail I missed? It seemed to me when Aaron was telling Daryl about it having to kick people out, that it had happened early on in the outbreak. And didn't they see evidence of the Wolves in Noah’s town? I thought that was far from Alexandria.
posted by Sabby at 1:58 PM on March 30, 2015


"every last one of them should have truly explosive giardiasis at the very least"

Haven't you ever wondered why their clothes are always that muddy shade of brown dirtiness?

Everyone keeps saying that the Outsiders should have been training the Alexandians. The only problem with that is that the Outsiders don't have a hierarchy or division of labor that is noticeable. They have a"leader" who makes weird decisions but then everyone basically does what they want most of the time. The Alexandrians had more of a system that the Outsiders. If anything, they needed to learn from each other.

I can't imagine living in the conditions that are extant outside the walls without using Abraham's military skills to become much more methodical and practiced in group action and movement. Anytime there is a large group action scene it is obvious that people are point their weapons at fellow humans. I would want structure, hierarchy, assigned jobs and planned movement. Even walking down roads they walk all clustered in a meandering group.
Anyway, I can't imagine what the Outsiders would teach the Alexandrians besides paranoia.
posted by Seamus at 2:05 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Did Morgan toot the horn to draw walkers or to make sure there weren't walkers about?

I assume the latter, given I guess it's the same dudes who slice open red riding boy.

The more I think about it the more I think that the show is trying to make different points about morality and doing at the expense of common sense stuff.
posted by angrycat at 2:40 PM on March 30, 2015


I keep seeing this theory today, and I'm wondering why people think this – was there some detail I missed? It seemed to me when Aaron was telling Daryl about it having to kick people out, that it had happened early on in the outbreak.

I don't think there were any specific details leading to that conclusion, and I think it probably wasn't those two Wolves at all.

However, the fact that the writers bothered to have Aaron go into detail about the three they kicked out suggests they might be important later on: two men and a woman, with their leader given an actual name and described as "smart and strong." Definitely sounded like a clear groundwork for a future threat--people with specific knowledge of Alexandria and its cozy life + vulnerability who likely bear some hard feelings.
posted by Pryde at 2:43 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anyway, I can't imagine what the Outsiders would teach the Alexandrians besides paranoia.

Given that they don't have a full time gate guard, and the part time one doesn't actually bother locking the fucking gate, they could do with some paranoia.

They can't shoot worth a damn either, if Nicholas is any indication.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:57 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


She still has the other kid, the one that's bad with doors

That idiot was her son too? That whole family is made of fail. Even the Architect Dad doesn't have the sense to stay out of arm's reach of an angry raving drunk guy waving a sword.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:59 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Did Morgan toot the horn to draw walkers or to make sure there weren't walkers about?

I assume the latter


In watching it, I assumed the former. Lenny James explained on Talking Dead that indeed you're right, it was the latter. I didn't get that at all. You don't make loud noises in this world unless you want to attract walkers.
posted by cashman at 3:08 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


they could do with some paranoia.

SERIOUSLY when deanna (or maybe her husband? idk) said something about the meeting being "an open forum where everyone can say their piece" I screamed YOU FUCKING WINE SIPPING LIBERAL ARTS IMBECILES THERE ARE CANNIBALS OUT THERE and then had to rewind because of the 5 or so minutes I spent shrieking in despair.

jesus christ these cretins are having wine and cheese evenings while outside PEOPLE ATE BOB'S LEG WHILE HE WAS STILL USING IT
posted by poffin boffin at 3:30 PM on March 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


I agree that Carol was using her ninja powers and setting that guy up to self destruct. It's an interesting counterpart to Glenn, who also caused a mouth breather to self destruct, but I think whereas Glenn genuinely trying to put the dude in his place and not foreseeing the implications, Carol totally predicted how it would play out and used it to their advantage.
posted by p3t3 at 3:38 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have to give the writers credit for actually surprising me for once. I thought for sure they'd do the "violence erupts between Team Rick and the Alexandria people" thing, or maybe the "an external threat appears just as they're having a big conflict" thing.

Instead we got Rick convincing the Alexandrians that his way is better by

(a) being completely insane
(b) happening to run into a walker after Deanna's kid happened to leave the gate to Gabriel and Gabriel happened to not close it properly
(c) Crazy Pete happening to show up in a casserole-fueled rage
and
(d) Having everyone make a "Rick is great, he's not the bad guy" speech that seemed to be a desperate attempt by the writers to make the viewers like Rick.

I like the idea of everyone becoming a team (although we have way too many characters) but this was incredibly contrived.

Also, they made a huge effort to show how crazy Sasha was and how crazy Gabriel was, but the supposedly sane characters are doing things like...

- Wondering why Rick and Pete didn't show up to the meeting without being the slightest bit concerned that something might be wrong
- Believing Gabriel's speech about how horrible Rick's group is despite him being one of Rick's group
- Letting the crazy preacher shut the door for you
- Running up to Crazy Pete with the sword instead of away from him
- Walking into incredibly obvious traps

I did like the bit with Glenn and Nicholas (?). As soon as Glenn said "I love you" to Maggie I thought he was dead, but they surprised me.

Also liked Carol, she's the fun kind of crazy.

Morgan is awesome, the show should be about him.

Also Rosita & Eugene & Abe got back together. I was hoping they'd take Tara with them (and maybe Morgan) and go start their own show...
posted by mmoncur at 3:40 PM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Reading "casserole-fueled rage" is better than the actual finale.
posted by cashman at 3:48 PM on March 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Morgan's face in that last scene, though. He's been traipsing all over the fucking map, hounded by maniacs and walkers and god knows what else, all trying to find this one guy who was a really good friend to him in his time of need, and saw him at his absolute worst and still tried to save him, and who promised him a place in his group no matter what. And now that he's finally found him, Rick is about as batshit as Morgan was back during his intricate barricades of madness days and Morgan's just like "i didn't come all this damn way for this bullshit bro".
posted by poffin boffin at 3:50 PM on March 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


so wait they put the crazy drunk guy in Michonne's house? Or he somehow knew she had hung it on the wall? How the fuck did he get the sword, is what I'm saying.

And yeah so Morgan is beatifically smiling as he honks the horn and sees no zombies -- does he have magical zombie sensing powers that he developed along with his extreme pole skills in the interim? I mean some zombie could just be shuffling along around the corner, not bothering anything, and *honk* zombie goes to investigate -- wolves eaten alive.
posted by angrycat at 3:52 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


No one lowers their shades in the entire godforsaken village. The entire conversation rick and michonne had about the stolen handguns with the open exchange of a handgun was done right in front of a window. Despite the fact that Carol was caught stealing guns and candy by a child who watched through a window no relevant lessons have been learned.

everyone on this show is so stupid i want to die
posted by poffin boffin at 3:55 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


so wait they put the crazy drunk guy in Michonne's house? Or he somehow knew she had hung it on the wall? How the fuck did he get the sword, is what I'm saying.

I assumed we were meant to understand that he went from house to house, breaking into all of them willy-nilly, looking for just the perfect weapon even though he knew there was a poorly-guarded armory full of guns and probably a perfectly good kitchen knife in any house.

In other words, Pete behaves like no wife-beater-in-a-drunken-rage in history and the writers think we're idiots.

Maybe a charitable explanation is that Pete was trying to commit suicide-by-Rick (similar to Gabriel's attempts at suicide-by-zombie and -by-Sasha) and he wanted a dramatic weapon to look scarier and get killed faster.
posted by mmoncur at 4:08 PM on March 30, 2015


Did Morgan toot the horn to draw walkers or to make sure there weren't walkers about?

I thought he put the Wolves (who presumably weren't dead) in the car and then tooted the horn to attract some walkers to finish them off. But I guess this was a case of the writers accidentally making more sense than they intended.

Speaking of Wolves, how much do you want to bet that Morgan doesn't tell anyone about the threat they represent until at least Episode 4 of next season?

Also, do the wolves carve W's on their OWN heads or on their victims? If it's the former, we've seen so many "W" marked walkers that it makes me think the wolves are constantly getting themselves killed...
posted by mmoncur at 4:11 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


The best part of this episode was when the Wolves lured the zombies back into the canned-vegetable-truck trap by blasting Enya.
posted by oulipian at 4:21 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


also, who wrote the note "don't stay, wolves coming" dramatically, in blood. So, this person is about to die via zombie or wolf and is like *well in the likely event that people are just hanging out in the car I'll just open up a vein to tell them to leave the car.* And that person knew the wolves were coming? Had that person been searching for canned goods and, upon springing the trap, knew instantly that the wolves were coming?

i mean really who wrote the note WRITERS
posted by angrycat at 4:25 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I originally thought the W-headed zombies we kept seeing were once people who had been kicked out of Alexandria, and had been given "the scarlet letter" meaning one was an outcast ("A" for "Alexandria," "W" for "Wilderness," maybe?). It's possible something like this is still the case, and the Wolves have just decided to own their marks, and give them to new members.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:32 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


mmoncur: "casserole-fueled rage"

Well, I have my new sockpuppet account name.

Apart from that, if people are complaining about how no one gets sick from the water, you haven't noticed that disease and infection and everything related works completely differently in Walking Dead land than in the real world. Just an episode or two ago, Sasha cut Abraham on the arm with a knife she'd just used to kill several walkers. It was even a plot point, to show she's getting unhinged. Abraham had the cut visible for a good while. This week, Rick gorily killed a walker that was on top of him in such a way that his face and lips was covered with blood, and I'm fairly sure his mouth and eyes were open. That's not the first time that happens.

On the other hand, the Terminus cannibals worry about getting infected from Bob's leg, then don't worry so much because they cooked it, but we never get to see how that plays out. In general, no one ever gets the acute, deadly type of zombie plague infection except from being explicitly bitten (I think they mention scratches too at some point, but I don't remember anyone getting infected that way).

So, basically, infection is totally arbitrary bullshit, and works however it fits the story, I think.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:02 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


angrycat: "also, who wrote the note "don't stay, wolves coming" dramatically, in blood. So, this person is about to die via zombie or wolf and is like *well in the likely event that people are just hanging out in the car I'll just open up a vein to tell them to leave the car.* And that person knew the wolves were coming? Had that person been searching for canned goods and, upon springing the trap, knew instantly that the wolves were coming?"

I think it said "It's a trap, don't stay" or some such. I assume it was in blood (was it?) because the person in the car previously had been bitten or otherwise hurt before seeking refuge in the car.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:04 PM on March 30, 2015


No, I noticed all that since day 1. I don't think it's any effort on any writers' part to show a world mysteriously lacking germs or contagion, I think it's just laziness.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:10 PM on March 30, 2015


Joakim Ziegler: In general, no one ever gets the acute, deadly type of zombie plague infection except from being explicitly bitten

...anyMORE. I seem to recall in previous seasons cuts and zombie-blood contamination were totally enough to kill&reanimate a person.
posted by coriolisdave at 5:11 PM on March 30, 2015


...anyMORE. I seem to recall in previous seasons cuts and zombie-blood contamination were totally enough to kill&reanimate a person.

I don't think so, though my memory is fuzzy. They suggested that might happen to T-Dog, but it turned out to be "just" an infection that needed antibiotics. Antibiotics that Merle had for STDs. *eyeroll*
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:52 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Apart from that, if people are complaining about how no one gets sick from the water, you haven't noticed that disease and infection and everything related works completely differently in Walking Dead land than in the real world.

It's not just infection, it's all medical science. Rick and Pete were both just fine this episode (later the same day?) except for some cuts and bruises on their faces. No trouble walking, nothing. And Eugene recovered from being beaten nearly to death just by being left alone for a while. Just like Rick recovered from the same thing a while back.

It's no wonder nobody's worried about losing the only doctor - his skills aren't needed in this world.
posted by mmoncur at 6:14 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


tbh if you look at the official show timeline it is the most ridiculous thing in the entire world. we're meant to believe that almost an entire month passed between the time shane left rick for dead in the hospital and when rick woke up. one month without food or water or any kind of medical care and he just woke up from his coma and yanked the iv out of his arm and went on his merry way. it's not like anyone ever came in to check on him, since we see him move the stretcher table thing out of the way when he comes out of his room, the same stretcher table thing that shane put in front of his door just in case.

what the fuck is that stretcher table on wheels hospital thing called goddammit
posted by poffin boffin at 6:17 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


poffin boffin: "what the fuck is that stretcher table on wheels hospital thing called goddammit"

A gurney. And you're right, that's totally ridiculous. I had no idea it was supposed to be that long, I thought he was supposed to have been there for maybe a few days after everyone left the hospital.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:25 PM on March 30, 2015


OMG I wanted to love this episode but not even Carol's casserole badassery could salvage it. First off, in addition to the total inconsistency about how much zombie juice you can have sprayed in your face to no effect, or how quickly you'll bounce back after your leg has been hastily hacked off, I totally LOL'd at all of the bandaids on Rick and Pete. It totally looked like a 5 year old was playing doctor. Or maybe that was to further show how the Alexandrites are, as Carol said, children? Either way, Rick had more bandaids after one crazy brawl than he's had in the previous 4.9 seasons.

Next up, happy as I am that both Daryl and Glenn survived, both escapes were just too magical to sustain any belief. And the writers knew it, too: ok, so it's ridiculous deus ex machina coincidence to have Morgan rescue Daryl and Aaron and they all magically fight their way out. We see Glenn, gunshot and on the ground and lots of walkers coming up on him? Eh, commercial break and then he'll just leap out of the shrubbery at Nicholas again! Also, Glenn needs to spend more time learning from Carol. I cannot believe he wasted an entire day chasing Nicholas around in the woods rather than leaving him to a likely zombie fate and tending to his own wound.

While I appreciate Rick's flare for the dramatic, why on earth wouldn't anyone run through town screeching about the gate being open?!?! Who knows how many walkers are still inside?? And finally, the unknown lurkers possibly still inside would only be worth it if one ate Gabriel, because seriously I refuse to believe anyone--writers or audience--gives two shits about Gabriel.
posted by TwoStride at 6:26 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


here's the official show timeline, it's even worse than i remembered.

shane leaves rick for dead on day 14, blocking the door with the gurney (gurney! so much better than hospital bed cart wheeled thing)

rick wakes up on DAY 60

DAY 60

how
posted by poffin boffin at 6:28 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Casserole Badassery" is going to be my new sock puppet, for sure.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:34 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


TwoStride: "I totally LOL'd at all of the bandaids on Rick and Pete. It totally looked like a 5 year old was playing doctor. Or maybe that was to further show how the Alexandrites are, as Carol said, children? Either way, Rick had more bandaids after one crazy brawl than he's had in the previous 4.9 seasons."

They actually said Rosita did that. I'm not sure that's better or worse.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:47 PM on March 30, 2015


They actually said Rosita did that, whoops, you're right. Maybe she was trying to distract herself from her bedside vigil duties?
posted by TwoStride at 6:50 PM on March 30, 2015


But I guess this was a case of the writers accidentally making more sense than they intended.

I feel like this is the only way this show will have a satisfying ending.
posted by dogwalker at 7:05 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


rick wakes up on DAY 60

DAY 60

how


I thought we all accepted that Rick never actually woke up and this is just his coma dream. Similar to how all Batman stories are the revenge fantasy of an adolescent boy as he bleeds to death in an alley (because after all, who kills two people and leaves a witness?)
posted by phearlez at 7:08 PM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I just appreciated that someone actually managed to have a conversation with Eugene that lasted more than 5 seconds and confirmed he really is from another planet.
posted by arzakh at 7:14 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]



I thought we all accepted that Rick never actually woke up and this is just his coma dream.


you are secretly damon lindelof arent you
posted by poffin boffin at 7:19 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


rick wakes up on DAY 60

I just assumed that nurse he saw half eaten in the hallway had been taking care of him, carefully replacing the gurney when entering and exiting the room
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


poffin boffin: had to rewind because of the 5 or so minutes I spent shrieking in despair.

All of your commentary is so right-on. Honestly, I think the show would be infinitely more fun watching it live with you. Mr. Squirrel and I have been lamenting the group's refusal to say "cannibal" and "patch-eye" since they first arrived. It's just so STUPID.

The highlight of the episode (besides every single shot with Morgan [IF THEY KILL HIM OFF I WILL NEED TO BREAK SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL]), the band-aids were truly LOLworthy, as was Cooorl's hair.

I miss Merle.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:24 PM on March 30, 2015


TWD Universe seems pretty open; the graphic novel, the TV show, the adventure games. The adventure games is giving me an idea - how about a collective Metafilter written "Realism Mod" for another story in the same Universe?

Pacific Northwest commune of hipsters (who know charcuterie and artisanal baking and growing heirloom vegetables organically and how to forge horshoes and chainmail and brew and distill booze and grow pot) and techies (how to wire up solar panels/hydroelectric dams or set up an electronic surveillance network and remotely operated honeytraps plus whatever hobbies they enjoyed like yachting and flying fixed wing/helicopters or training horses or CB/HAM radio)?
posted by porpoise at 7:30 PM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I thought we all accepted that Rick never actually woke up and this is just his coma dream.

Man when Mario woke up after defeating Wart I was pissed.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:33 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be charitable, Gabriel is a fair depiction of a desperate cry for help. It's annoying as fuck and layered on with a spackle knife (bored gate dude asking Gab to be someone to talk to, who's left for a preacher to absolve themselves to?).

As for face bandages. I think they're plasters to help the structural integrity of stitches underneath them. No way either Rick or Pete would be able to enunciate for the next week or two. Nor stop wincing whenever they tried. But then again infectious zombie-ism seems to work exactly like how HIV deniers want AIDS transmissibility to work.

So I like the theory is that everyone's already got the zombie a little bit. Being alive keeps the infection at arm's length. In an alternate universe, that's something the characters know.

If everyone's already got the zombie, no matter what you die of, you end up a roamer/walker. Getting bitten speeds up the reaction - maybe there's shed-ate of an agent that concentrates in the lipid-rich brain which accumulates in the mandibals/mouth/teeth area. Getting bitten introduces a threshold-busting amount of the agent and you zombify quickly. Getting scratched by a roamer with really fat hands might also do the trick.

So if you get some z-blood contact, you already have it but the small inoculum isn't enough to push the reaction over the threshold.

Now, being z-fied renders an organism much less prone to degradation/decomposition. Zombies last much longer than usual because saprophytic microorganisms are much less efficient at breaking them down.

Being infected with Teh Z but not yet a full zombie happens to render one resistant to the effects of pathogenic microorganisms so there is little in the way of gangrene or Lyme disease or whatnot. Being a little bit Z-fied changes the digestive system; more material passes from the stomach un-absorbed into the intestines and bacteria end up being much more efficient at unlocking nutrients such that intestinal absorption ends up much more efficient at generating vital amines (vitamins), cofactors, essential amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids on top of fueling metabolic processes of partially Z-fied people, which is why everyone looks so fit and pretty and has a great shiney coat hair.

LOL @ Morgan and Rick's reunion.
posted by porpoise at 7:51 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


So I like the theory is that everyone's already got the zombie. In an alternate universe, that's something the characters know.

That's something the characters in this universe do know. They learned that at the CDC way back when.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:54 PM on March 30, 2015


So I like the theory is that everyone's already got the zombie. In an alternate universe, that's something the characters know.

No, it's actually canon that everyone is already infected. Our Heroes all already know this, or at least the core group from Herschel's farm/the prison know. I'm not sure if anyone's told Abraham & Rosita et al.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:54 PM on March 30, 2015


beat to the punch by a tiny murderous polecat!
posted by poffin boffin at 7:55 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, so that's why Rick was so cavalier about juicing a zombie skull over his head with his bare hands and drinking deep of the mana.
posted by porpoise at 7:58 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


OK, I think I've figured out the endgame.

In the last episode, Glen rips off his mask and yells, "Ha ha! It is I, the one character with no backstory, the pizza delivery guy, who was the Zombie King all along!"

This explains why Glen has been repeatedly shown at the bottom of an avalanche of slavering zombies only to, in the very next shot, emerge from stage left completely unscathed and ready to kick ass.

This has happened at least twice this season and at least twice in previous seasons.

This show is starting to piss me off.

Deanna's all ooh, I'm for civilization hurrah until it's MY husband's throat what gets slit so put a bullet in Pete's head, wouldja, Rick?

Gabriel is a sorry sack of shit. Cant die soon enough. Had me rooting for the walkers.

And Morgan showing up just so Rick can be all oh hey this is not what it looks like except it totally is. After, of course, Rick gives the team the ol' give it 110% routine.

But anyway. Season over. I'll simmer down and hope things get back on track next time around. Alexandria vs The Wolves.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:39 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


rick wakes up on DAY 60

I always kind of assumed, like Porpoise said above, that everyone's a tiny bit zombie but that Rick was more than a tiny bit zombie. Like he'd died in his coma and came back but because of some weird coma-based whatever, he was fully conscious. I assumed one day he would get shot and it wouldn't affect him but he wouldn't heal, but I guess not.
posted by sleeping bear at 8:55 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had several thoughts about this episode, but they all drowned in a giant flood of DEAR GOD, SOMEONE KILL GABRIEL PLEASE.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:01 PM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


It was very strange to see Maggie have lines in this episode. We haven't seen or heard from her much this season. She looked different to me, sort of straggly and unkempt. Wonder what's up there, if it's intentional or not.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 9:04 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm happy to see that I'm not the only person who has found this show increasingly insufferable. I mean, I've felt that way almost through the entire series ... but I totally won't be surprised if I don't watch next season. I'm surprised I made it through this season.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:51 PM on March 30, 2015


Thing is, I complain a lot, but I don't find it insufferable at all, I think it's really compelling to watch, for some reason.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:27 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


That's me, too. I find it annoying as hell sometimes, but I keep watching. The setting is compelling enough to keep me in for now.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:03 AM on March 31, 2015


I've disliked most seasons at least a little except 4 which I loved to death.

Being infected with Teh Z but not yet a full zombie happens to render one resistant to the effects of pathogenic microorganisms so there is little in the way of gangrene or Lyme disease or whatnot.

This is sorta how things are in the Newsflesh books by Mira Grant, where the zomb comes from mutated human made viruses meant to cure the common cold & cancer. If you'd like to read something like porpoise's proposed competent survivors you could do a lot worse.
posted by phearlez at 7:10 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm okay with shambling reanimated corpses, but this waking up from a coma after 45 days thing is too much!

It's a soap opera with zombies, guys, not high art. Just roll with it.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:07 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


straw, camel's back, etc
posted by poffin boffin at 8:44 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


the thing with rolling with it is, you can only roll so long before something is so stupid you're like naaaaw man, who would do that, this world that I was engaged in is now falling apart because you didn't know how to write the thing.

My example today is Rick saying: *I was wondering how many of you I would have to murder before you would do my will* at the big convention where it is being determined how fucking crazy is Rick Grimes and how far he should be catapulted outside of the commune. That's what he's leading with? I was contemplating slitting throats?

Season 4 was pretty darn good. The flu breakout, Carol killing two of the infected, Rick banishing her, the Governor sort of rehabilitated and then cutting off the head of the guy who had just finished saving the group from flu and flu zombies, the hope of Terminus, Lizzie and the Flowers, and then cannibals. Everything made a certain sense. Carol's actions? Extreme but understandable, in the case of Lizzie, I guess necessary.

So we go from a well-linked series of what would these characters do if faced with these circumstances last season, and it seemed like somebody sat down and thought, 'well, what would you do with a psychotic kid in the apocalypse,' and I really admired that.

So, this season, we have Beth, seeing that the group has arrived to rescue her, sees everybody has guns drawn, and then, for reasons that are completely muddled, does suicide by cop, even though those actions surprisingly didn't result in the two groups gunning each other done and everybody dying.

Okay, so Beth does that -- why? What is motivating her? If I have no idea, why should I care?

I have my hate on because it feels like somebody rearranged the writers room and the people who were thinking *o what would actually happen in a collapse of civilization* were replaced or overridden with people were like *MORALITY. WE HAVE AMBIVALENCE ABOUT IT. LET US SHOW YOU*

(note I have no idea about anything that might have happened in the writers room. it just sort of feels like George Lucas after Empire Strikes Back)
posted by angrycat at 8:49 AM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Do the Game of Th -- sorry, A Song of Ice and Fire -- novels exist in the WD universe? Because it's looking to me like Carol has been taking lessons from the machinations of one Lord Baelish. She's setting up and knocking 'em down so smooth people don't even realize they're being set up and knocked down.

I liked this episode for the most part. I'm happy Eugene and Abraham made up. I had thought that Eugene's mannerisms were completely affected since in that flashback to his first encounter with Abraham he seemed to speak normally before realizing he needed to work a long con to have Abraham keep him safe. Maybe he's been in the persona for so long it's stuck.

Disappointed that Michonne turned out to be all in with Team Rick. I wanted her to listen patiently and silently to Rick's plan and reasoning and then say "Rick. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. GTFO."

Overall, I'd give the episode a B+ and the season a B/B+.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:50 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Joakim Ziegler: Thing is, I complain a lot, but I don't find it insufferable at all, I think it's really compelling to watch, for some reason.

To be brutually honest, I'm having a lot of fun bitching about the things in the show that drive me crazy. It's a long list, so it's neverending fun.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:10 AM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


You know what this episode was missing? A Morgan training montage.
posted by torisaur at 9:49 AM on March 31, 2015 [19 favorites]


the thing with rolling with it is, you can only roll so long before something is so stupid you're like naaaaw man, who would do that, this world that I was engaged in is now falling apart because you didn't know how to write the thing.

It's a whole lot easier to roll with it, and have fun with it, and indeed, mock the everloving shit out of it for cheap yuks, when it is unbelievably stupid and credulity-STRAINing from the get-go, like certain zompire shows that shall go nameless. (But there's an extremely subtle clue in that last sentence for you junior detectives.)
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:59 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thing is, I complain a lot, but I don't find it insufferable at all, I think it's really compelling to watch, for some reason.

This show is made for hate-watching. At this point, I assume it's intentional. It hits all the same hate-watching buttons reality TV does, but as fiction. That's why it's so addictive; the audience spends all their time in WTF mode and contemplating how they'd handle the situation better. See no one telling Deanna anything about their previous turmoils to help explain their motivations and actions. It suffers from the the worst case of Poor Communication Kills as the basis for all their interactions. This show wouldn't work if people actually communicated like real people.

And that's what makes it crack-like TV; the hate-watching.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:37 AM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


My example today is Rick saying: *I was wondering how many of you I would have to murder before you would do my will* at the big convention where it is being determined how fucking crazy is Rick Grimes and how far he should be catapulted outside of the commune. That's what he's leading with? I was contemplating slitting throats?

I don't read the comics, but I would be shocked if this batshit Rick meltdown shit wasn't pulled straight from them. When he was waving his gun around with blood dripping from his face I could almost see the panels and speech bubbles. Stuff like that immediately takes me out of the show and makes me think "Oh, right, this is an adapted comic book. These are comic book characters, not real people. Ugh." The show can be so, so good at getting away from that vibe, and then in one scene it can backslide SO HARD.
posted by gatorae at 12:35 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I assumed we were meant to understand that he went from house to house, breaking into all of them willy-nilly, looking for just the perfect weapon even though he knew there was a poorly-guarded armory full of guns and probably a perfectly good kitchen knife in any house."

They actually said "They're guarding the armory now" earlier in the episode, as a result of Rick's outburst.

And, you guys, Rick's stupid and his speech was not great, but you're not doing yourself any favors by blatantly misrepresenting what he said. He didn't say "I was wondering how many of you I would have to murder before you would do my will", he said "I was wondering how many of you I would have to kill to save your lives", which is still pretty nuts, but it's not by any stretch of the imagination the same thing.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:41 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


well i didn't say he was gonna kill them so he could have Blondie
posted by angrycat at 12:51 PM on March 31, 2015


I just appreciated that someone actually managed to have a conversation with Eugene that lasted more than 5 seconds and confirmed he really is from another planet.

Not from another planet, just from another show. The tip-off was in S5E14, "Spend", when he insists his contributions are valuable:
But were it not for me and my mention of this city's potential for home and hearth, not a one of you would have had the vision to come here, let alone the cojones to travail such a fraught and punishing pilgrimage.
The missus and I looked at each other with the same thought: add a "cocksucker" to the end of the sentence and there you have near-perfect Deadwood dialogue.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:03 PM on March 31, 2015 [17 favorites]


These are comic book characters, not real people. Ugh." The show can be so, so good at getting away from that vibe, and then in one scene it can backslide SO HARD.

Please do not slander an entire visual storytelling medium by putting this shit off of it.

FWIW, this is a pretty notable divergence from the comics. There have been a few gated communities in the long run of the book but there is a storyline that has some resemblance to this situation... but not with this power struggle or naiveté. This is all TV, bub.
posted by phearlez at 2:27 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have so many thoughts after reading this thread, but much has already been covered, so thanks!

One thought on viewing this show as a bit of hate-watching: you can put it on the spectrum between the "interesting concept, shiite execution" of Last Man on Earth and "interesting concept, fucking excellent execution (for the most part)" of Better Call Saul. I think The Walking Dead waffles around the half-way mark between these two shows. It's definitely far from unwatchable, but there are so many ways it could be improved, and none of them are particularly brilliant. Stop killing off black men and blonde women in gratuitous fashions (even if the actor leaves the show for something else, you don't need to go full Noah on us, though I do appreciate him "leveling up" before dying), and have people act more like normal people and less like soap opera characters. I'm now waiting for someone to be buried alive. Well, I guess we have the unstoppable Glenn, and Sasha had a little dirt nap in the mass zombie grave.

The Wolves clearly have someone else leading them, because those two guys are thugs at best. They're not cunning, they just hoped to get the jump on Morgan, as they probably did with Little Red Riding Poncho (how did I miss that reference?). I think the named Alexandria exile is a prime candidate, and if he's a sadistic leader, it's not a stretch to have him get new recruits to brand themselves as the "alpha" wolves, with the marked zombies being the "beta" wolves, humans who wear the vicious wolf skin (going back to the Native American myth/lore mentioned in the beginning of the episode).

I was so sure that Maggie would tell about the Governor after she started talking about her dad, but no... you don't want to scare people with your stories, right? Except you do, because that will shock them into seeing the reality that exists outside their walls.

As for the non-haggard Alexandrites, I figure if Gabriel can keep his baby cheeks by living off of the canned food drive goods alone, a small population in a large (maybe? how big is this walled town? we met two new unnamed men tonight on armory guard duty) walled village could have enough to survive, especially if they have any half-competent scavengers in their group. Add in some knowledge about semi-survival level power set-up (generators, solar panels, basic electrical wiring) as you could have with an architect, you could make a livable walled community. And if you hide behind those walls and create a safe little suburban enclave, you forget about the dangerous people in the world. The wife beater? Oh, he just punches his wife and child when he's drunk and surly, which looks like his normal status. He'd never swing a sword and kill someone, so why be scared when he's swinging a sword around? Anyway, he's only trying to kill Rick, everyone else is safe. Oh, until they're not, because that katana is really long.

People see and hear what they believe. This is also apparent with Deanna, who sided with Gabriel on his thin crazy preacher speech, because she was already uncomfortable with the unruly members of TeamRickCarol. Kick out the weirdos, keep the normal folks, they did it once before and they're fine. And they need a religious man, because that's apparently lacking in their community.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:00 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


filthy light thief: "As for the non-haggard Alexandrites, I figure if Gabriel can keep his baby cheeks by living off of the canned food drive goods alone, a small population in a large (maybe? how big is this walled town? we met two new unnamed men tonight on armory guard duty) walled village could have enough to survive, especially if they have any half-competent scavengers in their group."

I found this a little hard to believe, but Deanna mentioned something about the area around DC being evacuated early on, so there were very few people around, and thus few walkers and other threats, I guess? That's also why they've commented on seeing more walkers lately (because the Wolves have been sending them in their direction, I suppose). So they were in an area with few people, few walkers, and a reasonable amount of food to scavenge nearby (Aaron or someone mentioned at some point that they'd gone out to 50 miles or something like that), which makes it just plausible that they've managed without running into too much trouble.

Of course, they've still lost people, because they're incompetent. I agree that it's really hard to figure out how big Alexandria is. I've been guessing anything from 10-15 to 30-40 people so far, but it's hard to pin down. There weren't that many people at the party, and even fewer at the meeting at the end of this episode, but people keep popping up. One of the people on armory duty (if you're talking about the people Rick passes when he leaves the house, before he passes Deanna) was the construction team boss who was displaced by Abraham, I think. But there's the construction team, the scavengers, the older people, the kids, Deanna and her husband and family, Rick's love interest... There must have been at least 20, I think, at least before they started whittling them down.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:34 PM on March 31, 2015


I really like calling The Group "Team Carol", by the way. She literally got away with murder, it's clear who's really in charge.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:57 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


"And that's what makes it crack-like TV; the hate-watching."

I admit, I'm not really a hate-watching type of fan. Back many years ago, I did enjoy reading TWoP recaps of shows that had descended into primarily hate-watching status. Not watching the shows themselves, mind you, just reading the acidic recaps. That was fun. But I have a limited amount of patience for things that annoy me.

My experience with this show is more like filthy light thief describes, where it's sometimes good enough to really enjoy. For me, it's intermittently risen above that threshold and fallen below it. The long-term trend has been bad, but there's the sunk cost thing. But what I expressed above is a sense I have that my disappointment and frustration with this season and the long-term trend mean that there's a greater than 50% chance that I just won't get around to begin watching it next season.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:19 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know what this episode was missing? A Morgan training montage.

Complete with Karate Kid theme music

For no explicable reason Yoda is riding around on his shoulders while he smashes zombie heads
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:30 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Eugene's stilted and pompous speech patterns are pretty close to some of the worst examples of stereotypically nerdy fedora'd dudes on OKC, from what I can tell from hilarious tumblr roundups.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:11 PM on March 31, 2015


For no explicable reason Yoda is riding around on his shoulders while he smashes zombie heads

With his eyes covered. And now he's in a swamp? Waitaminute.... I smell a cross-over!
posted by filthy light thief at 5:28 PM on March 31, 2015


I think there was alot that was really good about this show out of the gate, and since then it's thrown up all sorts of obstacles that, in my opinion, make it hard to have a snark-free discussion about it. But I think it's part of the appeal of the show. I'd be curious to see how an alternate-universe version of this show that kept the original showrunner would have unfolded.

That said, I like hate-watching this. I know I'll see this thing through, whatever writing decisions get made.

I mean, that seems to be the ecosystem that AMC has set up for it - the surrounding chat, etc. in the post-mortem programming like Talking Dead, whatever one may think about Chris Hardwick, or the cheesy accoutrements like the inexplicable polls they do.

And hey, snarking about a TV series is a pretty healthy outlet when it comes down to it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:45 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


poffin boffin: "Eugene's stilted and pompous speech patterns are pretty close to some of the worst examples of stereotypically nerdy fedora'd dudes on OKC, from what I can tell from hilarious tumblr roundups."

I have literally known people who both looked like that (but heavier and with more neckbeard) and talked like that (but less, since they were more antisocial and less manipulative). I find him to be pretty believable, though annoying. I'm not sure he'd have survived, really, though, because he would have said the wrong thing to the wrong person eventually. Eugene's a bit too good at reading people and manipulating them to be the antisocial nerd stereotype they're setting him up for.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:45 PM on March 31, 2015


HOORAY MORGAN!!!!!
posted by Jacqueline at 9:49 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


For no explicable reason Yoda is riding around on his shoulders while he smashes zombie heads

With his eyes covered. And now he's in a swamp? Waitaminute.... I smell a cross-over!

I'd propose the following:

Yes to the training montage set in the swamp, and yes to the blindfold.

Minor variation required to make this really work in TWD's universe: after removing its teeth and lower jaw, he's strapped a zombie torso to his back as a sort of ersatz Yoda. In fact, maybe he just grabs one out that that pickup truck full of torsos in Richmond.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:42 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I found this a little hard to believe, but Deanna mentioned something about the area around DC being evacuated early on

For the most part I just assume nobody in a post-apocalypse is a reliable narrator about what happened around Z-Day and it usually doesn't bug me. Explaining a little-populated Alexandria annoys me a little more since this area has such a high population density and sprawling suburbs in so many directions. So evacuated where, exactly? You have the Potomac to your east and north with only a few bridges across and housing in fairly high density heading west a long damned way - the Shiller home index counts our suburban area continuing as far west as West VA.

I'd buy that they might have tried to set up camps in the many military facilities in the area but that doesn't push you all that far away, though many of them would be on the other side of the Potomac now.

The biggest weakness of portraying post-Zpocalypse in the Virginia area, I think, is that it doesn't have enough highly armed little Mussolinis peppering the landscape. But then again they're in the People's Republic of Alexandria, not over in Fairfax by NRA HQ.
posted by phearlez at 9:15 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are we by the way sure that this Alexandria is or is close to the actual Alexandria? I mean, it's somewhere in the DC area, but I thought Alexandria was more of a city.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:20 PM on April 1, 2015


Lone small voice in the room…

Why assume that Rick & Co are not communicating about their past experiences?

There were those long interviews with Deanna. As a viewer, would you really want to hear the Governor and Terminus rehashed when we only have 42 minutes of story-telling? I have assumed that they have shared their experiences, we just didn't see it. Kinda like if it were a reality show, you wouldn't see everything because of editing.
posted by slipthought at 5:35 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but you would think that there would be SOME indication that there has been a transfer of knowledge about the group's past history. So far I haven't seen any indicator. I don't need a rehashing, but I do need an oblique mention by an Alexandrian of something that has happened to the Outsiders in order to know that communication has occurred. Otherwise my assumption, based on the incredibly vague dialogue, is going to be that the Alexandrians know nothing.
posted by Seamus at 6:54 AM on April 2, 2015


There were those long interviews with Deanna. As a viewer, would you really want to hear the Governor and Terminus rehashed when we only have 42 minutes of story-telling? I have assumed that they have shared their experiences, we just didn't see it. Kinda like if it were a reality show, you wouldn't see everything because of editing.

Fair point, but you'd think there would be some device or other to indicate that - for example, at the end of any of the interview clips from any one of the characters, you could have had something like:

DEANNA: So what were some of the worst things that happened to you out there?
RICK: *long exhale* We found this compound that they advertised itself a safe place...
*cut away*

Or yeah, something like what Seamus said. An Alexandrian saying "Hey, don't worry. We don't eat people," as an ice-breaker joke at the welcome party when members of the group were looking hesitant.

Actually, that would have been pretty good.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:00 AM on April 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


ALEXANDRIAN (proferring a tray of Vienna sausages with toothpicks in them to ABRAHAM): Want a bite? Don't worry, we don't cook people here. Heh.
ABRAHAM glowers and clenches his jaw, exhaling loudly through his nostrils. ALEXANDRIAN slowly backs away with the tray.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:22 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Are we by the way sure that this Alexandria is or is close to the actual Alexandria? I mean, it's somewhere in the DC area, but I thought Alexandria was more of a city.

Well, Real Alexandria is more or less a county, as this originally Southern-born boy thinks of it, and is about 15 square miles. Legally, anyway, and you'd be talking about inside the Beltway and a more urban than not sort of region. Typically you also include the chunk below the Beltway as "Alexandria" and it's more likely to be the kind of place you could put a housing development like they have there. Different governance but presumably these people wouldn't make that sort of differentiation.

Really, none of it works terribly well for what we're shown road-wise, unless we presume that Rick & Co. were heading North on 95 or close-by side roads for DC and were scouted, then led off a bit to the side. But there's pretty much no way there's on the Maryland side, they pretty much have to be in Virginia given the way the land & Potomac are.
posted by phearlez at 8:29 AM on April 2, 2015


Wasn't there something in a previous thread showing how the view they had of the Washington Monument from the road is a view that doesn't actually exist and could not possibly exist?
posted by poffin boffin at 9:52 AM on April 2, 2015


This week's contrived composition: Rick carefully hitting his mark to appear reflected in Love Interest's window. "Don't turn around, Rick. And dear God don't move an inch or you'll ruin the shot."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:27 AM on April 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


poffin boffin: Wasn't there something in a previous thread showing how the view they had of the Washington Monument from the road is a view that doesn't actually exist and could not possibly exist?

Yes, it was a link to WaPo, which doesn't get into detail on that point:
The roads are clear the rest of the way and what’s that ahead? The Washington Monument! Seen from a high turn in a road that doesn’t exist!
Here's a Google maps view of Alexandria (city), and the Wikipedia article on Alexandria, Virginia. Here's a really well-made 360 degree virtual tour of TWD's Alexandria from AMC.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2015


slipthought: “Why assume that Rick & Co are not communicating about their past experiences? There were those long interviews with Deanna. As a viewer, would you really want to hear the Governor and Terminus rehashed when we only have 42 minutes of story-telling? I have assumed that they have shared their experiences, we just didn't see it. Kinda like if it were a reality show, you wouldn't see everything because of editing.”

Yeah, but what's more maddening is what came after. Deanna promised explicitly to hash out what happened when Noah died. She apparently hasn't done that at all – she talked to Nicholas, but did she ever talk to Glenn? It seems not; I remember he said something about that, about how she hadn't talked to him. Which is tedious and annoying, because that was a thing, and they need to deal with it.

And that would have been a great thing to bring up! Rick is sitting there talking about porchdick, making that out to be the sole issue, but why? His point would really be bolstered if he also said: "er, also your people and their weird policy of leaving people behind GOT ONE OF US KILLED LAST WEEK." Isn't that something you'd want to at least mention in the middle of at least one of the two rants you've given about how this community is unprepared? And yet nobody seems to want to say a word about it.

One gets the feeling that there's somebody on the writer's team who thinks that any dialogue about anything that happened in a previous episode is just dumb and boring and should always be cut out. Because this show consistently avoids talking about essential things that are actually important.

mmoncur: “Speaking of Wolves, how much do you want to bet that Morgan doesn't tell anyone about the threat they represent until at least Episode 4 of next season?”

Ugh, you're totally right. Because this is how they work on this show.
posted by koeselitz at 2:24 PM on April 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Something that has been bugging me for a while. Can someone explain to me why would they have the supports (diagonal ones) for the gate OUTSIDE the gate? Does that make ANY architectural sense?
posted by olya at 7:06 PM on April 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Works as well as the other way. You have this beam at a 45 degree angle preventing movement, but you have to adhere it at its base somehow. Presumably you attach it to some concrete pillar sort of thing; either with another vertical beam sunk in the concrete or maybe just bolted into the pillar itself.

Once you've done that there's no real difference to having it inside or out. The horizontal force isn't any different pulling or pushing. Inside the beams are in your way. Outside they're vulnerable to your attacking force but (a) from the Alexandrite's perspective those are exclusively slow, dumb deadites and (b) the wall itself is this corrugated steel over girders, so it's more likely to be the vulnerable aspect from puncture/bend than being battered down hole.
posted by phearlez at 9:35 AM on April 10, 2015


Well, but surely you* would prefer to have the supports on the inside of the wall so as to have clear access for maintenance, repair, replacement purposes rather than assuming there won't be a horde of zombies or god-knows-who blocking access on the outside when you need it.

*For values of "you" that are not screenwriters planning a lazy "we just need to swim through these shark-infested waters, crack open the bilge pump housing, start the mother up, and everything will be fine!" scenario.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:19 AM on April 10, 2015


Also, if they're on the inside, then baddies can't just walk up them and jump over the wall.
posted by chazlarson at 3:47 PM on April 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


...I finally saw this last night... Isn't the easy out that Rick shot the architect before he turned? I mean that is what it Actually looked like to me? And morgan is just "Rick? I have been looking everywhere for you!"
posted by mrgroweler at 6:35 AM on May 17, 2015


Something that has been bugging me for a while. Can someone explain to me why would they have the supports (diagonal ones) for the gate OUTSIDE the gate? Does that make ANY architectural sense?

First of all, I support all the arguments for keeping supports on the inside where you can get to them, and where they are more protected from atttack.

From a structural engineering point of view though, external supports would be acting in tension, and would not be subject to buckling. As a result, you could get away with using lighter supports. The supports they show for the wall are quite thin, and probably would not withstand very much force in compression.

Anchoring tensile supports to the ground needs to be a bit more sophisticated than for compressive ones, but it is certainly feasible.
posted by cardboard at 11:23 AM on June 1, 2015


Best comment/username combo of the week, I suspect.
posted by phearlez at 12:38 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


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