The Walking Dead: First Time Again
October 12, 2015 7:06 AM - Season 6, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Rick and the group are still having trouble assimilating into Alexandria. Will a new threat bring them closer together or drive them further apart?
posted by mama casserole (104 comments total)
 
It wasn't a terrible return, but I grew tired of the black and white "before" sections. Also the setup of the quarry walkers left something to be desired. It just felt like a big conceit to have a herd.

Also, it seems like the herd dynamics were backward. Daryl is riding his slow cycle and the gigantic herd is ambling along behind him at a snail's pace. Daryl is so unconcerned he doesn't even look back for a lot of the time. Meanwhile Glenn's group of 3 shoots open the store and a dozen zombies pile out one at a time, yet Glenn and Heath both almost get bitten. It would seem that the dozen or so would have been going slower coming out, while a rabid crowd of hundreds would be more agitated and moving faster.
posted by cashman at 7:19 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


We just got cable again, so this is my first commercial-interrupted TWD viewing in a long time. Between the non-linear progression and the commercials, I had a hard time following what the plan was. Then add in some logical inconsistencies, like, this quarry is close enough to Alexandria that it takes about the same amount of time to drive there as to walk (from the fact that Ron was able to follow Rick and Morgan on foot), but the Alexandrians never explore this area? It defied belief, especially given they are so eager for new recruits that Aaron is going 50 miles out to find people.

**FTWD spoiler**
It's really interesting that herding these zombies required an intricate plan and a dozen or more people (many of whom are seasoned zombie foes), and it still went wrong--but in FTWD one guy accomplished something similar on his own in just the second week of the zombie apocalypse. TWD wins this round for realism.
**end FTWD spoiler**

But I still think they are relying a little too heavily on the "Alexandrians are idiots" plot device. Last episode Glenn had two zombies on top of him and was able to get free without a scratch, but here Carter couldn't even escape a zombie who was tethered to a tree.
posted by mama casserole at 7:37 AM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Rick's speeches are getting to be a little John Waynish, in a cartoonish way. Perhaps that is by design but it is starting to get unbelievable. I like Lincoln and Nicotero a lot, but at this point Rick is still too generic aside from the camera angles they're shooting him from. For someone that has experienced so much trauma, I would love to see him develop some kind of stress response to it. Back around the time Lori died, he was hearing phone calls that weren't there. He was seeing people that aren't there. But now he seems to just be "Rick". But after dealing with these things for so long and after all those summers and all those different people, and the torture, and seeing friends and loved ones killed, and having a small child to take care of - you would think they would have him exhibit some notable signs of all the stress. Instead, they keep pushing him as the take charge leader of all these soft incompetent people.
posted by cashman at 7:52 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why didn't they open the store when they were there scouting out the area, and handle the zombies then? They were all there, they could have handled it.

Why did Rick send Morgan back to Alexandria? I didn't get what made Rick change his mind about having Morgan there.

I think the Alexandrians know more than they're telling about the zombie herd.

Daryl is riding his slow cycle and the gigantic herd is ambling along behind him at a snail's pace. Daryl is so unconcerned he doesn't even look back for a lot of the time.

Even zombies know enough not to really mess with Daryl.
posted by lyssabee at 8:02 AM on October 12, 2015


I was pretty confused about the timing. Is everything in black and white happening the day after the meeting? It can't be right? I would think it would take a couple days to get things organized. But then Rick walks up to the group leader and is like "I haven't had a chance to tell you how sorry I am about your husband blah blah blah". He wouldn't wait days to talk to her right? Its a small town. Also, a good time to say those things would be at a funeral. Are they not doing those anymore either?

Also, they didn't start doing anything about the zombies wandering into the woods until they got to the turn in the road. What about the zombies that wander off before then?

Poor Preston Myers. Not good enough to get Jennifer Love Hewitt to sign your yearbook and now you get bitten right in the face. Rick not reacting to his death was interesting. Michonne and Morgan still care when someone dies, even by their own stupidity. Rick seems to be done caring about anyone new.
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:19 AM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


It was fun watching the gang work together and I liked the Morgan/Carol exchange. But...All the zombies were nicely contained in one spot! Why didn't they try to burn them? Or take out a hundred every hour in shifts? I get that they had to deal with them because the semi wall was about to collapse, but why not handle them while they were all contained?
I think the girl was signaling the wolves with her lighter. And I think it's her blowing the horn.
posted by areaperson at 8:26 AM on October 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the large-scale quarry shots because they were very evocative of the comics, and I liked the color/B&W contrast for the flashback-to-present story lines. So, guess I'm in the minority here.

But I agree that they should've cleaned out the store WAY before then, and if I were Glenn I'd expect to feel a knife in my back. My biggest gripes with the episode were letting Nicholas go with Glenn on the scouting party ahead of the herd, and leaving Father Gabriel behind at Alexandria. Yeah, he would've fucked things up somehow, but I don't trust him at all. He's determined to commit suicide by Walker, can't they lock him up or something?

And Nicholas, so help me God if you hurt Glenn I'm going to digitize myself and hunt down your fictional ass for a televised whooping.

Also, fifty bucks says Maggie's pregnant and that's driving all this "turn the other cheek" business. Hershel would be proud, but then again his trusting nature didn't stop him from getting killed, didn't it?

Agreed that Enid is likely involved with the horn-signaling, though I don't know if she's actually blowing the horn herself. Her dad got exiled from Alexandria, so it makes sense that she'd want revenge/for him to come back and take over the community after it's been purged of the original residents.

Morgan + Carol = new murder OTP, even though I know they're not comic canon.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:27 AM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really hated the black and white flashback device. It's post-LOST and I think audiences are sophisticated enough to understand flashbacks without a color switch.

Ah, that Carol. Stereotype taxing like a boss. I loved the shot of her face after Morgan asks if she was a cop. You can see her mentally sizing him up and putting him into the "is a threat" category.

I really liked that Morgan is trying to get Rick to live up to his own standards and I hope he's able to pull Rick back from the edge of full blown Shane-ness.

Super glad that Rick is giving Father Gabriel the cold-shoulder. Maggie's and Glenn's willingness to forgive people who have directly threatened their lives, like Gabriel and Nicholas, is just not very believable.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:36 AM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


It was fun watching the gang work together and I liked the Morgan/Carol exchange. But...All the zombies were nicely contained in one spot! Why didn't they try to burn them? Or take out a hundred every hour in shifts? I get that they had to deal with them because the semi wall was about to collapse, but why not handle them while they were all contained?

Great question.
posted by codacorolla at 8:42 AM on October 12, 2015


They also could have fortified the semi wall with the many, many cars and pieces of sheet metal that they pulled together for their idiot plan and had a great zombie bait pit that would keep the woods around their settlement relatively zombie free while occasionally thinning the heard with an application of fire. Or, like, basically any other plan that's not the one they went with. I'm trying hard not to hate watch this series, but my roomie watches it, and it's usually just entertaining enough for me to not leave the room when it's on. I'll try to keep my negativity to a minimum.
posted by codacorolla at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Honestly, I think if I were in the group's shoes, the thought of the woods surrounding Alexandria burning up and taking the whole community down with it would be my main deterrent for destroying the herd with fire.

After all, it takes only a handful of burning walkers to wander off in the wrong direction and the quarry containment's been breached. Several had managed to slip through over the months/years already, right? So, not a foolproof containment area.

And besides, weren't they dying of thirst shortly before Aaron found them last season? It hadn't rained in quite a while, and I'm betting 3-4 years into the Zompocalypse the area's due for a few wildfires.

Of course, leading them away en masse was probably the most dangerous option, so naturally, that's the plan they went with. Too bad they lost their best structural engineer in the process, too.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:51 AM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah it would've made more sense to use all the gas in those cars to make some kind of napalm and just burn them all. But then I guess maybe they might start a forest fire?

I was hoping that instead of being walker-focused again they would deal with the aftermath of the meeting and then shift into a plot about the Wolves, because the likely parallel in the comics was definitely my favorite storyline for a while there. Walkers are boring, especially big ole herds of them, it's the people that make the show interesting.

Also, why is Carol still playing possum? Rick is on top now, and she's gonna have to show her true, bloodthirsty colors anyway.

And I love how some randos we've never heard of before just show up at the gate to replace the recently deceased (lose 3, get 3!). It's kind of like the Walking Dead is an academic department that always replaces someone who quits or is fired with a new hire just to make sure they don't lose that line in the budget.
posted by dis_integration at 8:51 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


A cold comfort refuge in the land where the laws of nature have broken to shreds, and the living envy the dead is a good metaphor for modern academia. I guess that getting tenure is like being a regular in the Rick group, where you're moderately guaranteed not to die, but one false step and you're the last shot the audience sees before the end of the season as you bleed out.
posted by codacorolla at 8:57 AM on October 12, 2015


Last season we learned the area had mostly been evacuated, and that's why there were so few walkers around. Were they evacuated to... a quarry? I thought it might be some sort of refugee camp, but didn't see any of the expected tents.

You really couldn't ask for a much better walker trap than a quarry. Seriously, go look at photos of quarries. It should be relatively easy to destroy the crumbling exit, I mean, it's crumbling already. And there isn't much chance of burning the hoard down there turning into a forest fire.

They should be herding the zombies to the pit, not away from it.

The show continues to fall into some of the same mistakes over and over again. Not living with consequences. Not seeing the character's reactions to big events. Feigning stupidity in order to build suspense.

Still, fun episode overall.
posted by 2ht at 9:00 AM on October 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Rick not reacting to his death was interesting. Michonne and Morgan still care when someone dies, even by their own stupidity. Rick seems to be done caring about anyone new.

I didn't think they cared about him or his face, I thought they were more like "You realize this looks like you killed him on purpose, right?" And Rick was just all fuzzy in the background killing another walker like Whee!
posted by cashman at 9:37 AM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


For me the most interesting part of this episode was the scene between Morgan and Carol. That could go in SO MANY directions.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 10:01 AM on October 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Imma spray concrete or lime over that zombiequarry with a big old firehose. I love Carol's "aren't you sweet".
posted by Iteki at 10:23 AM on October 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Overall, I liked this episode. I suppose part of that is that Fear the Walking Dead did its job reasonably well: my expectations for the franchise have been lowered overall. This episode featured some good character work, and while their plan to lure the herd away was definitely the worst option short of ignoring the threat completely, it still struck me as something they might try.

Stuff I noticed in particular:
* I'm glad Rick isn't getting together with the woman whose abusive husband he shot in the town square. Her gentle, careful way of pulling back from him was just right. I only hope they keep those two apart, because... ew.

* I liked Daryl calmly, quietly disagreeing with Rick. More conflicts on this show should take the form of reasonable discussions between people with plausibly differing points of view, to be settled after everybody's had time to think things through.

* Carol is one of the few times the show did a better job with a character than the comic did. I enjoyed seeing that trend continue here. It makes perfect sense that she would continue to play possum in their current circumstances: their hold on Alexandria is fresh and tenuous. More than that, she doesn't know or trust the new people yet - they're still out-group. I can't imagine her dropping cover until whomever survives prove themselves to her, or circumstances force her hand.

* Morgan is great, and needs to stick around. He strikes me as the anti-Rick: a man whose sorrow is so profound that it drove him completely bonkers... for awhile. (I loved him in Clear.) Now, he's made a conscious decision that life actually matters, and that it's not enough to become a hard man. Life has to mean something, decency is worth preserving. He's just what the show needs to keep from devolving into another round of Everybody Loves Nihilism. Plus, the peanut butter bar line killed.

* Rick just going "Whee! Time to kill more walkers!" while the engineer lay dead and Morgan and Michonne were stunned was the only time I liked Rick this episode. If he's gonna be a crazy hardass, I want to at least watch him doing something fun.

* Abraham is great, but his weird swearing remains a little jarring to me. I keep expecting him to say "Bullfeathers!" or "Raz-a-fraz-in' Walkers!" or something.
posted by mordax at 10:39 AM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I didn't think they cared about him or his face, I thought they were more like "You realize this looks like you killed him on purpose, right?"

That was my first thought too but he literally has a zombie bite in the middle of his face so it would be hard to say Rick just killed the guy for no reason.
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:49 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Why didn't they open the store when they were there scouting out the area, and handle the zombies then? They were all there, they could have handled it."

They stopped at the store on the way to the quarry. Rick said something like, "We'll clear this out when we pass back by on our way home" but then they got to the quarry, the truck fell in and the whole thing started RIGHT THEN - no dry run, only action! - so no one had even been back to the store yet.

[I'm happy to have been able to explain the structure of one of the few pieces of material left intact after they drilled all these gigantic plot holes all over the place.]
posted by komara at 10:49 AM on October 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


That was my first thought too but he literally has a zombie bite in the middle of his face so it would be hard to say Rick just killed the guy for no reason.

Sort of, but really it's just a big disgusting wound after Rick was trying to hold the guy's mouth closed. And then Rick shot him in the head. So by the time M&M got there his face was in bad shape and I doubt anybody could point to that mess and say "yeah definitely a walker bite".
posted by cashman at 10:56 AM on October 12, 2015


On the subject of Heath's wig, Who Wore It Better?
posted by cashman at 11:02 AM on October 12, 2015


Sort of, but really it's just a big disgusting wound after Rick was trying to hold the guy's mouth closed. And then Rick shot him in the head. So by the time M&M got there his face was in bad shape and I doubt anybody could point to that mess and say "yeah definitely a walker bite".

Rick killed him with a knife through the back of the head, it looked like a quick and clean kill and it shouldn't have affected the cheek wound at all. If they actually try to make that look ambiguous I'll be pretty disappointed. I read Morgan's reaction as being more dismayed that Rick didn't care at all that they lost Carter, and less about the circumstances of his death.
posted by mama casserole at 11:11 AM on October 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Last season we learned the area had mostly been evacuated, and that's why there were so few walkers around. Were they evacuated to... a quarry?

The returning scout explained that they checked out the quarry early on & found a camp of loners there. After that they left the place alone, not wanting to deal with the loners. It was the loners who were the seed of the herd once they inevitably died.
posted by scalefree at 11:37 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rick killed him with a knife through the back of the head, it looked like a quick and clean kill and it shouldn't have affected the cheek wound at all.

Ah yes.
posted by cashman at 11:37 AM on October 12, 2015


Stop trying so hard to beat me over the head with WHY I SHOULD CARE ABOUT ABRAHAM, show, and maybe I'll start caring about Abraham.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:26 PM on October 12, 2015


fifty bucks says Maggie's pregnant and that's driving all this "turn the other cheek" business.

Oh I'm sure you're right. When Glenn told her that she should stay and keep an eye on Deanna, she said "that's not the only reason, is it?" - I'm positive that's what they are referring to. Bleh, Maggie is my least favorite character of the original group.

I must have missed Enid's backstory - I'll have to refresh my memory.
posted by lyssabee at 12:28 PM on October 12, 2015


Lyssabee, here is a link to Enid's page on the WD Wiki (doesn't contain comic spoilers, though click away from that page with extreme caution).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:42 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I suppose part of that is that Fear the Walking Dead did its job reasonably well: my expectations for the franchise have been lowered overall.

We paused about five minutes in and commented on a) the fact that we'd already had more action in 5 minutes than in 6 episodes of FTWD, and b) how nice it was to have actual zombies in our weekly zombie show.
posted by kythuen at 12:42 PM on October 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Ug, don't talk about FTWD, it'll trigger my "9 days later!" fit.

This was a good episode, but here's the thing. The flashback being in black and white device illustrates what is wrong with this show. Have all flashbacks been in b&w before? No. It's internally inconsistent, frequently on an episode to episode basis. I think the audience could have handled those scenes in color, or even with a quick 'earlier....' title, or perhaps just given them some clues that time has passed. But what I'm talking about is how they haven't constructed a consistent language over the series. Heck there was that awkward Terrence Malick homage episode last season, you know?
posted by Catblack at 2:12 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Daryl is the Dykes on Bikes of the zombie parade.
posted by larrybob at 2:54 PM on October 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Herding zombie hordes isn't that hard, just call up Salazar and ask how he does it
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:08 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, I see mama casserole got there first.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:15 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought this was a strong start to the season!

LOL @ Rick's "we'll do it live" in the very beginning.

The open alone was better than the entire first season of the spinoff. So refreshing.

I absolutely loved the audio at the end—the way the stuck car horn became part of the music.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:16 PM on October 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


i just love carol so much

help
posted by poffin boffin at 4:37 PM on October 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


I thoroughly enjoyed this premiere episode - they packed a lot of action into a 90 minute show.

I'm leaning toward Enid being the person responsible for blowing the horn - wanting revenge for her father's exile could be a pretty powerful motivator to lead the walkers toward the town.
posted by Telpethoron at 4:42 PM on October 12, 2015


Is everything in black and white happening the day after the meeting? It can't be right?

I didn't take it that way. More like, everything in black and white happened between Pete's execution and, well, whenever things switched to color (when the dry run turned into a wet-and-sloppy run?). And the B&W stuff may not have happened in one day, or even necessarily in the order shown.

It does beggar belief that this quarry full of zombies could be so near, and yet unknown to the Alexandrians after all this time. And are they just trying to lead the herd away? Because, yeah—that seems like a dumb plan. The danger is that the existing barricade (the tractor-trailer) will fall—so, instead of building a stronger barricade, they hatch this elaborate, risky plan which involves building barricades elsewhere, letting all the walkers out, and hoping ten different things don't go wrong.

I'd like to be in the writer's room when these decisions are made. Because it really, really seems like they come up with the Drama™ first (e.g., "the group and the community are threatened by a massive herd of walkers"), and then work their way backward to figure out what sequence of events is necessary to make the desired Drama™ happen.

I think audiences are sophisticated enough to understand flashbacks without a color switch.

When have you known this show to trust its audience to understand anything that hasn't been beaten over their head?

Ah, that Carol. Stereotype taxing like a boss. I loved the shot of her face after Morgan asks if she was a cop. You can see her mentally sizing him up and putting him into the "is a threat" category.

Yes! Acting! That's the kind of thing that's missing from the spinoff—which (with a couple of exceptions) was just poorly cast, I think. I can forgive dumb plotting as long as I get to see Carol scheming.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:43 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


i just love carol so much


The day she dies is the day I stop watching.
posted by longdaysjourney at 4:44 PM on October 12, 2015 [5 favorites]



i just love carol so much

help

If loving Carol is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
posted by mordax at 5:18 PM on October 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


I loved the black and white, simply because it looked great on my TV. The color portions of the show always look tawdry to me.
posted by monotreme at 5:42 PM on October 12, 2015


Loved the scene between Jessie and Rick where she basically tells Rick in so many unspoken words to please take a giant step back from harshly interacting with her traumatized young son and family so soon already. Jessie is on Team Her Son, Ron. And BTW, Rosita is already training her. And she will fight. Respect. Take that, Rick. You can maaaaybe get back to circling each other properly again after a respectable amount of time has passed. Maybe.

Deanna's grief was heartbreaking to watch. So superbly acted. Telling Gabriel "You were wrong." Total gut punch.

I enjoyed the banter and ride-along between Sasha and Abraham - and his drunken peace sign that she surprisingly reciprocated.

Both of the lines about Eugene's hair were nice bits of funny.
posted by hush at 5:51 PM on October 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


"...which (with a couple of exceptions) was just poorly cast..."

I hope those two exceptions are Kim Dickens and Ruben Blades, and that you somehow overlooked Colman Domingo as "Strand". Otherwise, I'm going to be upset.

Really, I don't think that casting or acting on FTWD is that show's weakness. It's the writing. And I don't see how the writing on TWD is that much better. I agree that FTWD is a weaker show than this one -- but I can't see the huge difference in quality that other people seem to be seeing. I have found that almost from the beginning this show has infuriated and disappointed me nearly as much as FTWD did. And it's the writing and how it relies upon some really contrived stuff involving people being stupid in ways other than how real people are stupid (and they are, but differently) and just throwing stuff on the screen and hoping the audience doesn't say, wow, that makes no fucking sense.

The thing I agree with is that TWD has pretty much always had a few characters we care about a lot and some pretty compelling dynamics between characters that kept us interested. That's almost entirely lacking in FTWD. I mean, the weird thing is that often these characters are inconsistent and unbelievable but they do a good job of finding certain hooks that grab the audience. People really care about Glen and Daryl, and people find Carol very compelling ... even though all three can be inconsistent in contrived ways. They've hit on some archetypes and that's almost entirely lacking in FTWD, with the notable exception of Strand and to a lesser extent, Salazar. (Which is to say, Salazar is really just another iteration of the "hardened by the ZA" character that I'm frankly pretty bored by at this point. I am so uninterested in continuing to explore this facet of Rick for another season. So bored. So very bored.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:12 PM on October 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Really, I don't think that casting or acting on FTWD is that show's weakness. It's the writing. And I don't see how the writing on TWD is that much better.

It's also the willingness to do offer us spectacle, IMO. The Walking Dead is a dumb, dumb show. You're right: the writing isn't really much better than FTWD, although I'd argue it's a hair above. (Half the time, I actually prefer Z Nation because whatever they're doing wrong over there, Warren and Doc are great, and the production actually feels like everyone's having a good time.)

The thing is, TWD is also the show that gave us a big box store raining zombies. It gave us a gigantic herd. It gave us Rick deafening himself with a handgun inside a tank, and military weaponry demolishing a prison. When it's moving, I feel like it's fun enough to overlook how stupid everything is. YMMV - I freely concede very little about the show makes any kind of human sense ever.

FTWD refused to offer us that, seemingly by design: they really wanted to play up the 'family drama' side of stuff, instead of putting more zombies in their zombie show. (This is why I quipped about it lowering the bar - TWD is at its worst when it tries to be a drama, and FTWD was the spinoff that wanted to emphasize this. It's a reminder that we could always be back on the farm, talking about how 'the group is broken.')
posted by mordax at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


"We're at red..."

"...meet you at yellow."

IS THAT HELIUM? WHERE DID YOU GET IT? IF SO WHY ARE YOU WASTING IT?

Because, yeah—that seems like a dumb plan. The danger is that the existing barricade (the tractor-trailer) will fall—so, instead of building a stronger barricade, they hatch this elaborate, risky plan which involves building barricades elsewhere, letting all the walkers out, and hoping ten different things don't go wrong.

And yes, this. Sometimes watching this show makes me feel like I'm having arguments at work.

Them: "Well why don't we embark on this elaborate but poorly-thought-out plan which has all sorts of variables and that will only fix a problem for which we already have a solution that is risk-free?"

Me: "No."

So, escapist entertainment it often isn't.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:39 PM on October 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


they really wanted to play up the 'family drama' side of stuff, instead of putting more zombies in their zombie show

Yeah when the showrunner revealed on Talking Dead that that was what they wanted to do with the show - create a family drama and then incorporate the zombie element, I was aghast. I mean I spotted that from the first preview, but I thought it was a result of poor execution, not that it was that silly of a show by design!
posted by cashman at 8:47 PM on October 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, hey, wait - best walker trap ever? Yeah. So it's nearby. BUT IT WORKS.

Fucking NIMBYs.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:47 PM on October 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Here's one thing that bothers me. Everyone always looks rather unkempt... but Eugene and Abraham always have PERFECT (and really rather elaborate) hair. Do they do it themselves? Is one of the main characters a secret barber? This is why I'm awake at 1:13 a.m.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 10:13 PM on October 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


flyingsquirrel: I think the reason Eugene gave the hair respect to Heath is that it's code for "Yeah, you, me and Abraham know the secret barber in the zombie apocalypse. Let's keep it a secret, shall we?"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:19 PM on October 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


**FTWD spoiler**
It's really interesting that herding these zombies required an intricate plan and a dozen or more people (many of whom are seasoned zombie foes), and it still went wrong--but in FTWD one guy accomplished something similar on his own in just the second week of the zombie apocalypse. TWD wins this round for realism.


Fair point, but Salazar didn't need ALL of his zombie horde to follow him. If he could lead just a fraction to the compound's gates, the ensuing gunfire would serve to draw more. Even if half of the arena walkers wander off, it's still an effective diversion. Alexandria couldn't afford that kind of failure rate.
posted by HumuloneRanger at 11:04 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


FTWD could have just followed Morgan going from mad hermit to pretty good with a bo staff. I would have happily watched 6 episodes of that.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:16 AM on October 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


I just couldn't get over the dumbness of taking all the zombies out of the quarry rather than slaughtering them there. And maybe I missed a line, because I was never clear on where they were taking them, and I can't imagine a better option than the giant pit of eternal despair they were already in.

But I'll still watch next week. I don't know why, but I will.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:37 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I just couldn't get over the dumbness of taking all the zombies out of the quarry rather than slaughtering them there."

I sat there and kept trying to fanwank it. I mean, it was one of those things with this show that happens all the time when I watch it -- I think, holy shit, that's unbelievably stupid, why does the show think that I'm supposed to think this makes any sense? And then I'll think, well, maybe there's some way that it makes sense. Hmm. Can I make this make any sense?

So I sat there thinking, well, is there any practical way that they could kill all those zombies in place, which seems to me to be the obvious and much better solution? It's a horrible thing, and forgive me for mentioning it, but people will actually burn if you get them going. But are they bunched up enough? Is there enough gasoline or some other accelerant available to do this and could they realistically manage to pump it over enough of the zombies while being at a safe distance? Would this risk some flaming zombies escaping and spreading fire and the whole thing being much worse? And, yeah, they'd have to reinforce the barriers. Maybe all that makes it unrealistic, even though it seems like a much better idea.

I sat there working very hard to fanwank the plan into making some sense. I feel like I've been doing this all the time right from the start with this show.

The biggest problem I had with the plan is that they didn't even bother dealing with the whole obvious objection that if this is a big trap for zombies that was drawing all free-range zombies into it with the noise and therefore making the community much more safe than it otherwise would be, then shouldn't they seriously consider the possibility that this is a good thing that they should reinforce? I mean, if this plan works, then presumably they're going to have to deal with many more zombies making their way to their community and that's a lot of wall to worry about. Prison barriers didn't totally manage to keep zombies out in the past, given the way that things go wrong, and I totally don't see how this wall -- which is awfully long with lots of minimal sight lines along it and few people patrolling it -- would actually be safe. The whole idea here is that the quarry has played a big role in protecting the town.

"But I'll still watch next week. I don't know why, but I will."

So true.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:37 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Added to above: I do think that one of the reasons for the plan was so there would be a reason to build a wall somewhere else (that deflection barricade at the crossroads), so we could see Rick on one side of a wall and a thousand zombies on the other, and use that shot in the teaser for next week. Without context, it looks like a short piece of Alexandria wall, so we think OMG, there's a horde coming to Alexandria next week!

God, I hate when a show deliberately scripts an episode so it's easier to make a misleading teaser. I don't mind a clever teaser, but this one was just irritating.



That being said, I did enjoy Abraham and Sasha's interaction throughout the episode.
posted by Mogur at 6:51 AM on October 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


It made absolutely zero sense to me that their plan was to let the zombies out of that terrific natural prison they were all in, so much so that I thought I must have missed some kind of logical rationale that was explained at some point, but I guess not. They're just dumb.

And yet! I love all those scenes of the big hordes of zombies. It's still fun, this show. And I felt like they were sort of trying to ramp up the quality of the writing with the artsy black and white scenes, etc. And I like Eugene even though I know he's a poorly written caricature. I guess whatever they're doing, it's still working for me, kind of against my will.
posted by something something at 7:14 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


mama casserole: But I still think they are relying a little too heavily on the "Alexandrians are idiots" plot device. Last episode Glenn had two zombies on top of him and was able to get free without a scratch, but here Carter couldn't even escape a zombie who was tethered to a tree

They're not idiots, they're sheltered. They don't know how to defend themselves, and are still responding to the terror of zombies with frozen fear, instead of the cold and quick action that is required to survive in this world now.

LizBoBiz: Poor Preston Myers. Not good enough to get Jennifer Love Hewitt to sign your yearbook and now you get bitten right in the face. Rick not reacting to his death was interesting. Michonne and Morgan still care when someone dies, even by their own stupidity. Rick seems to be done caring about anyone new.

Well, we saw Rick write him off: "I wanted to kill him. So it would be easier. So I wouldn't have to worry about how he could screw up or what stupid thing he'd do next because that's who he is. Just somebody who shouldn't be alive now."

But Rick really is a NIMBY -- "Well, people out there, they got to take care of themselves, just like us." Yeah, just like you, who were starving and dehydrated until Aaron took you in and they gave you houses to live in and food to eat. I don't want to make this political, but I think Rick is a Republican of the "fuck you, I got mine" variety.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:21 AM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Unicorn on the cob: Too bad they lost their best structural engineer in the process, too.

You mean Carter? Mr. "I could draw up plans. I worked on the wall with Reg."? His wall was shiite - did you see how it buckled against zombies who didn't turn in time? Sure, it provided for a few enjoyable moments where some soft-skulled zombies died because the wall was stronger than their heads, but I was worried the wall would give out before the herd moved on past. Anyway, my wife (a high school math teacher) and I were talking about the poor geometries of the wall.

See, if they made a more gentle curve to the wall, starting farther back, the zombies would slide off the wall, rather than directly impacting it. You don't want to build a corner to bank them off, because while it's great for a single pool ball, you don't want to fire hundreds of pool balls at that wall, or it will give out. But I guess we can't blame Carter for it all - it was Eugene who pushed the pool table metaphor to sell the idea.

Speaking of Eugene, I'm not sure if I'd consider him a poorly written caricature, but an attempt to create a genuinely awkward character. If this is the case, he seems real in that I've met people whose personal skills are limited, and their attempts to interact with others ends up with some odd moments, like Eugene's thoughts on his hair ("The smartest man I ever met happened to love my hair. My old boss, T. Brooks Ellis, the director of the Human Genome Project. He said my hair made me look like, and I quote, "a fun guy," which I am." -- s05e05). I loved his lines in this episode: "Hey, it's good to see someone like me. I fully respect the hair game."


cashman: Rick's speeches are getting to be a little John Waynish, in a cartoonish way.

Which makes for some fun riffing: Rick, still covered in blood -- "Listen... I don't take chances anymore." (And I don't take showers, either.)


flyingsquirrel: Here's one thing that bothers me. Everyone always looks rather unkempt...

And where did they find this vast collection of earth-toned clothes, all without notable logos, patterns or images? Where are the Nike swooshes, the Ed Hardy graphic tees, the Hawaiian shirts?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:46 AM on October 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


And where did they find this vast collection of earth-toned clothes, all without notable logos, patterns or images?

YES. You could maybe make the argument that they're consciously choosing clothing that's easier to camouflage wandering through the countryside, but I noticed that everyone on FTWD had the same palette and styles from the get-go. Plus even the zombies are wearing it. Not ONE brightly patterned zombie?
posted by something something at 8:10 AM on October 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


"It made absolutely zero sense to me that their plan was to let the zombies out of that terrific natural prison they were all in..."

They did address the rationale for why they couldn't just leave the whole thing alone -- Rick said that the barriers on the roads keeping them in the quarry would eventually fail, and probably the one on the road with two trucks that would open the way all at once right toward the community. That was a reasonable argument.

Still seems to me like a much better solution is the one that the supposedly too-dumb-to-live guy suggested -- radically shore up that barrier. As we saw, though, they didn't have time. The zombies pushed one of the trucks off the road like the next day or whenever that was. Which is so amazingly contrived -- this barrier that's lasted so long as to collect all those zombies gives way within days of the quarry being discovered by Rick? Uh-huh. Right.

But the other possibility, given that this one road with the trucks that they were so worried about that leads to the town was actually a sloped road cut into the side of the quarry leading out -- that's why the truck fell into the quarry, eventually -- is to find some dynamite and destroy that road so that it's just a steep incline or a cliff back down into the quarry. Then if the other road in can't be similarly demolished, then use all those damn cars they lined up along the road as a barrier, instead. Or something.

I mean, look: this is like how all those people who argue for social security reform say that the solution to the problem of the money running out and a forced reduction in benefits twenty years from now is ... a forced reduction in benefits today. Because that makes sense. The solution to the problem is the problem! So if we're worried about the barrier collapsing and an enormous zombie horde coming up the road at us, what we should do to solve this problem is to remove the barrier and have the enormous zombie horde come up the road at us.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:21 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm really hoping that they never give us the backstory of what happened to Morgan's son, because my girlfriend was really sad at the thought of him dying, so I've constructed an elaborate story about how he's not around because he got into Howard University (girlfriend's alma mater) on a scholarship and he's doing really well there and making lots of friends, and so Morgan left to catch up with Rick because he was feeling some empty nest syndrome.

Don't ruin this for us, Walking Dead.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:25 AM on October 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Is there enough gasoline or some other accelerant available to do this and could they realistically manage to pump it over enough of the zombies while being at a safe distance?

I was thinking explosives, maybe? I feel like there must be dynamite somewhere, surely. Blow up the ramp out of the quarry and just leave it as a huge pit trap. It'll fill up eventually but that's YEARS down the road. Of course you have to get them all away from the ramp to drill down and set charges but clearly you could do that just by honking a truck horn on the far side of the pit.

but instead they take the weird convoluted cowboy way out because rick is really invested in showing how HIS way is the right way, the ONLY way, and that alexandria NEEDS him and his people more than he and his people need alexandria.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:27 AM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, I understand that eventually it would have failed, but it would have been far safer to reinforce the enclosure and take a couple days to come up with some way to kill them without letting them out.
posted by something something at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2015


IS THAT HELIUM? WHERE DID YOU GET IT? IF SO WHY ARE YOU WASTING IT?

They are actually being internally consistent here. It's clear that Alexandria has a supply of helium, and also balloons. And that they are completely willing to waste the stuff. At least in this case they are using it for a decentish purpose, rather than random artful decoration, I guess?
posted by instead of three wishes at 9:09 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


i hope it's foreshadowing for the midseason cliffhanger where rick convinces them all to move into a tethered zeppelin
posted by poffin boffin at 9:16 AM on October 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm really hoping that they never give us the backstory of what happened to Morgan's son

Good news and bad news: Morgan already talked about what happened, but if she didn't catch it, there's no reason to bring it up now. (IIRC, the kid died to his zombie mother because Morgan didn't ice her first, thus leading to his zombie-free zone in Clear.)

i hope it's foreshadowing for the midseason cliffhanger where rick convinces them all to move into a tethered zeppelin

Please get a job writing for The Walking Dead posthaste.
posted by mordax at 9:19 AM on October 13, 2015


the naysayers of rick's plan set fire to the remaining zombies and there is a tense moment when the flaming horde staggers awfully close to the tether! which is unexpectedly highly flammable because eugene was handling it just after applying hair product! the fire races up the rope towards our heroes! will they hack the dirigible free in time!
posted by poffin boffin at 9:23 AM on October 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well then, I'm choosing to believe that one of the conditions of the scholarship was that everyone agreed not to let that group of white folks who keep getting all of the black men killed know about how well things are going at Howard University.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:27 AM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I can't imagine that helium has much practical use in the zombie apocalypse—especially in the small quantities they're likely to find it in. To make any industrial use of it, you would need lots of helium, and intact factories, and electricity, and the means to secure them from walkers, and a lot of other specific materials, and a good bit of uncommon expertise. And anything that could be manufactured thusly is probably already lying around for the taking. Might as well blow up a few balloons before the tank leaks out completely—what else are you going to do with it?

As for the quarry: seems like you could just reinforce the barricade to keep the walkers contained, then send in crews in armored bulldozers or something. Smoosh as many as you can with heavy machinery, then use good old fashioned crowbars and bayonets to take out the stragglers.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:29 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


reinforce the barricade to keep the walkers contained, then send in crews in armored bulldozers

I am interested in your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by Mogur at 9:47 AM on October 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


As for the quarry: seems like you could just reinforce the barricade to keep the walkers contained, then send in crews in armored bulldozers or something.

This leads me to the point I came in to make. Not having read the comics, I think that somebody came up with the quarry idea and then they couldn't do a scene like that because of the imagery it would create. Of course, I haven't read the comics, so maybe Kirkman wrote up that scene exactly how they had it on the show.

But still, no way you can have a big quarry and send in bulldozers to shove hundreds of bodies around. Too distressingly close to holocaust imagery in my opinion.
posted by cashman at 10:04 AM on October 13, 2015


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: Herding zombie hordes isn't that hard

I know - all you need is a really loud car horn.

I really wanted someone to do the full headsmack and say "why didn't we think of that first?" when they heard the horn/siren. "We all could be safe as houses in Alexandria, while a wirelessly controlled horn/siren sounded and drew the zombies away, I sure feel like an idiot right about now."

You could even get a series of horns, drawing them farther and farther from Alexandria, and then go back to that most distant siren every few weeks to keep drawing them somewhere maze-like, like a regional mega-mall. Or you could lure them all into a stadium and lock them in, and re-lure zombies once a month.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM on October 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


Of course, I haven't read the comics, so maybe Kirkman wrote up that scene exactly how they had it on the show.

The herd thing does derive from an issue of the comics, but it was handled a lot better than the show. (They weren't contained, they were on the move and far too numerous to fight, leaving few options but diversion. The show people clearly wanted that iconic imagery, but didn't know how to set it up properly, which could be the tagline for the whole TV arm of the franchise. Except Carol - they really hit on something with her.)
posted by mordax at 10:28 AM on October 13, 2015


Might as well blow up a few balloons before the tank leaks out completely—what else are you going to do with it?

High squeaky voices to give the horde of walkers something to follow?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:56 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


"i hope it's foreshadowing for the midseason cliffhanger where rick convinces them all to move into a tethered zeppelin"

Or just someplace only accessible by ladders. Or an island.

Really, the whole problem of protection from roaming zombies is fairly easy to solve. The show has always just ignored all the possible solutions to the problem that aren't walls/fences (which will conveniently fail, eventually). The real threat on this show is that when anyone dies for any reason, they turn into a zombie. That's a nearly insurmountable problem that means that any sustained community is always at risk for a zombie outbreak. Ironically, the show has mostly ignored just how big a problem that is and how scary it is. Just one of those residents could have had a heart attack or fallen in the shower and zombie-shambled into one of their crowded garden parties.

Aside from that under-utilized peculiarity of this particular show, zombies don't need to be fast to be scary, but they do need to be able to climb and open doors and such. Basically, anywhere that living (able-bodied) people can be expected to reach, zombies should be able to reach. Then you end up with the constant nowhere-is-safe situation that we supposedly have in this show without having to make the characters deeply stupid and unimaginative. I suppose that maybe that makes the zombies overpowered and it's unrealistic to expect anyone to survive if there are millions of them around. But then just have far fewer zombies -- like, only one-in-twenty actually turns zombie.

Sorry, after five seasons of this show and a popular culture that's saturated with zombie narratives, it's tedious to keep talking and bitching about this stuff. It's just that I've been watching this show for five seasons -- I wish that the way that they deal with the zombies would make more sense. It's never made much sense. I wonder what it would be like to watch this same show, but where most of the audience is completely persuaded by both the danger and the decisions the characters make about it. Every time the decisions are dumb and don't make in-universe sense, it causes us to be slightly less invested in the show. If all this stuff was completely believable, within the worldbuilding of the show, then surely we'd be more invested than we are. Or maybe it's just me.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:16 AM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Just one of those residents could have had a heart attack or fallen in the shower and zombie-shambled into one of their crowded garden parties.

Wait, have Rick & co even mentioned that to any alexandrians? That everyone is already infected and anyone who dies of natural causes will rise and chomp?
posted by poffin boffin at 11:22 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Why don't they just build a moat?" -- Me, watching every single episode.
posted by bondcliff at 1:21 PM on October 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


"Why don't they just build a moat?" -- Me, watching every single episode.

I'm on Team Moat as well. Trenches/moats would so save on wall wear and tear in the event of medium-to large-ish hordes. You'd just have to do a little post-horde head popping with, say, a long piece of rebar or something.

I think we learned in one of the Woodbury episodes that burning a trench full of them doesn't really work so well. They fall apart but are still squirmy and bitey.

Also - leaving them in the quarry would have been a good way to study how long it takes for them to starve to death or rot out or whatever the dealio is with long-service walkers.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:51 PM on October 13, 2015


Or you could lure them all into a stadium and lock them in, and re-lure zombies once a month.

This. It's not like we're doing anything with RFK anyways...
posted by grateful at 2:11 PM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


A stadium full of the living dead, marshalled by a morally compromised man, ready to collapse at any moment. But enough about the Washington Football Team, what's happening this week on TWD?
posted by codacorolla at 4:07 PM on October 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


Why couldn't walkers just walk across the moats, on the bottom? It's not like they need to breathe to get across. And then the humans, who can drown if they fall in the moats, have to escape from the moat-enclosure. It's the prison all over again - anything you use in the hope of keeping THEM out keeps YOU IN.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:36 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Start looking into it too close and it gets iffy. Walkers don't really have any specific traits. Personally I would think they wouldn't make it past a moat because once on the bottom, they wouldn't be able to see anything, and wouldn't have a drive. They'd just be in the water. And as soon as there were 10 or 15 in there, the water would, if it wasn't already, stay cloudy. Like have you ever gone for a swim in a small lake? You can't see jack.

I mean thinking about it, sight is the real issue here. Take out the eyes should be the first step. They don't need guns or swords or axes. Just sharpened pool cues. Maybe pitchforks. Just go for the eyes. Take out the eyes, then push em over. A lot better than the noise of a gun or the up-closeness of a knife.
posted by cashman at 6:57 PM on October 13, 2015


I wish that the way that they deal with the zombies would make more sense

Last Friday we watched "Shaun of the Dead," and Mr. Squirrel and I both commented on how the ending - where the zombies were under control and used as labor (and pets kept in the shed) - was so much more realistic. Plus, Bill Nighy.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:54 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whatever that virus is, it apparently lets zombies ambulate indefinitely without any sort of food or water in TWD world (well - I guess, I watch the show sporadically). Put walkers in hamster wheels hooked to batteries, ring a loud-ish bell in one direction, and power your settlement for eternity.
posted by codacorolla at 8:20 PM on October 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


I've seen walkers with their eyes dangling out of their sockets, shuffling along without a care in the world. I don't think we have any reason to believe that they depend on eyesight.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:17 AM on October 14, 2015


Why couldn't walkers just walk across the moats, on the bottom? It's not like they need to breathe to get across.

I'm thinking an empty moat (is it still a moat if it's not filled with water?) with steep walls that the walkers can't climb up, similar to the quarry trap. Any zombie approaching the compound falls in the moat and is stuck. You have a draw bridge when you want to get in and out. Maybe once every few months you drive a steamroller or something around the moat and squish the collected zombies.

I always felt they should have dug one around the prison. Certainly there's a lot of unused construction machinery around.

Yeah, I know I sound like Ben Carson a bit, but I still think they're not thinking their defenses through enough.
posted by bondcliff at 6:21 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Right, but then you have a loud pit of groaning zombies surrounding your home, drawing in more and more zombies, now there's always zombie noises in the background and thus you don't notice that old Bill had a heart attack last night and is groaning his way over to eat your face.

also it would stink
posted by poffin boffin at 8:47 AM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, but you'll have them groaning against your fence anyway, and when enough of them collect the fence can no longer hold them and they break through. Isn't that what always happens?

Perhaps the moat could have an exit that leads to a cliff or a giant woodchipper or something.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, poffin boffin.

Look, I'm not saying I'd be better at building a compound than the people on the show but... I'd be better at building a compound than the people on the show.
posted by bondcliff at 8:57 AM on October 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Right, but then you have a loud pit of groaning zombies surrounding your home, drawing in more and more zombies, now there's always zombie noises in the background and thus you don't notice that old Bill had a heart attack last night and is groaning his way over to eat your face.

And eventually it attracts so many zombies that it's so full of zombies that the new zombies are able to crawl over the backs of the lower layer of fill zombies.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:09 AM on October 14, 2015


And eventually it attracts so many zombies that it's so full of zombies that the new zombies are able to crawl over the backs of the lower layer of fill zombies.

Kill the zombies. Gather them. Render fat from the zombies into zombie-tallow. Make candles from the zombie-tallow. Also you could make glue from the bones?
posted by dis_integration at 9:12 AM on October 14, 2015


And then you have to make sure Judith doesn't eat the glue. Damn, life IS hard in the WD universe.
posted by Seamus at 9:38 AM on October 14, 2015


really what you want is a trebuchet that can fire zombies at your enemies
posted by poffin boffin at 10:36 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


like even just the bitey heads would work
posted by poffin boffin at 10:36 AM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe once every few months you drive a steamroller or something around the moat and squish the collected zombies.


This is going to be the zombie apocalypse equivalent of popping bubble wrap.

really what you want is a trebuchet that can fire zombies at your enemies

Like a clusterbomb, but with bitey heads as the payload?

Kill the zombies. Gather them. Render fat from the zombies into zombie-tallow. Make candles from the zombie-tallow. Also you could make glue from the bones?

The first sign your post-apocalyptic redoubt is gentrifying is the artisanal zombie tallow candle shop opening up.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:40 AM on October 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


And eventually it attracts so many zombies that it's so full of zombies that the new zombies are able to crawl over the backs of the lower layer of fill zombies.

Coral: Dad, what's under those walkers?

Rick: More walkers, son.

Coral: And under those walkers?

Rick: Even more walkers.

Coral: Well, what's under those then?

Rick: It's walkers all the way down.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:44 AM on October 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was reading the wikia, and apparently walkers are more intelligent and physically able the fresher they are. If you ever managed to get widescale refrigeration back, then you could kill your human enemies, freeze them, and then selectively leave them to thaw in and around your foes so that they'd have to deal with a wave of healthy, intelligent walkers. If it's not getting too mad scientist, you could also tag them with radio controlled explosives to dispose of your army after you've finished.

I guess what I'm saying is that I want a spinoff with a super competent Rick Sanchez style mad scientist who uses his or her smarts to play the walker apocalypse like a violin.
posted by codacorolla at 11:47 AM on October 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'd like to be in the writer's room when these decisions are made. Because it really, really seems like they come up with the Drama™ first (e.g., "the group and the community are threatened by a massive herd of walkers"), and then work their way backward to figure out what sequence of events is necessary to make the desired Drama™ happen.

It seems obvious to me that the vision here was them herding walkers down a planned path. The quarry maybe as a secondary, but mostly because it gives them a source to herd.

I'm with everyone else that I just couldn't get over the decision to move the Zs. It's an issue but what was the solution they came up with here? Now you have them all loose, even if you got them a mile or two away. I might have forgiven that if they'd lampshaded it at least a little; have Rick say yes, now they're in the open but we know how to cope with them in smaller doses. Same thing for not shoring up this imminent threat. At least give me a "anything we take down there to try to make it stronger will agitate them into breaking free" or the like.

But really, if they'll chase flares why not just keep shooting flares down into the middle of the quarry? The fact that nobody in post-apocalype has figured out the palliative merits of a boom box as a honeypot irks the shit out of me.
posted by phearlez at 1:18 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The fact that nobody in post-apocalype has figured out the palliative merits of a boom box as a honeypot irks the shit out of me.

The Wolves have. Though they tend to put it to more offensive uses.
posted by scalefree at 2:02 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The fact that nobody in post-apocalype has figured out the palliative merits of a boom box as a honeypot irks the shit out of me.

Didn't the Wolves in season 5 use boom-thumpy music to "reload" the tractor trailers they were using to unleash walkers on people trapped in the loading dock area?

But yeah...didn't that car Sasha and Abraham were driving have a stereo that would have aided with the luring? Like, crank up some Sabbath, and drive back to the quarry and roll the car back down one of those ramps.

Unless this is some kind of long con by Rick to get the Alexandrians to realize what they're really up against.

"See? Look. This is what the world out there is like."

I mean I highly doubt it, but I'm just looking for a silver lining in the quarry scenario because it just seems like head-deskingly dumb writing.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:03 PM on October 14, 2015


The fact that nobody in post-apocalype has figured out the palliative merits of a boom box as a honeypot irks the shit out of me.

The Wolves have.

But yeah...didn't that car Sasha and Abraham were driving have a stereo that would have aided with the luring? Like, crank up some Sabbath, and drive back to the quarry and roll the car back down one of those ramps.

Which is exactly what Glen did in season 1 - use a car with a blaring alarm to lure away a herd - and it's insane that he didn't suggest a repeat. You know, instead of wasting their limited flares which aren't even that noisy.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:09 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the banter and ride-along between Sasha and Abraham

Does it seem to anyone else that they're setting up Abraham to commit suicide soon?
posted by mediareport at 4:30 AM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


He was about a second away from suicide when he met Eugene.

Also, they've used car stereos before -- I can't remember precisely when, but I think it was when they raided the department store with the helicopter/walkers on the rotting roof. Apparently they forgot. I'd think they'd have like, standard-operating-procedures by now. I have standard-operating-procedures for doing my laundry.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:37 AM on October 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was so excited to see the team actually executing A STRATEGY this week instead of just randomly reacting to things. But the strategy was insane. "Let's lead the zombies down the road until they're 20 miles away, then turn around and go home."

And apparently they're leading them RIGHT PAST ALEXANDRIA so all it takes is an idiot with a car horn to ruin the whole thing. And I guess they didn't put anyone in charge of "Stay home and make sure everybody is quiet" duty.

Also, the idiot (or evil person) with the car horn is the smartest person on the show because nobody thought to use the horns on Darryl's bike or Sasha's car or any of the many vehicles they lined the path with.

Come on, the walkers were all in a pit! Can't you rig a few cars to explode and drop them down the pit? That might not kill them all but it would give you a much smaller herd to deal with.

Also, Rick talking to Jessie about how he's going to take care of her kids took his character to a whole new level of creepy. I thought Eugene was supposed to be the awkward one who doesn't understand humans and their emotions...
posted by mmoncur at 2:06 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed this episode (especially after the damp squib of FTWD) but honestly, these people are dumb as bricks. Get some sort of siren, gaffa tape it to the 'on' position, and throw it into the middle of the quarry. That'll divert all the walkers back to the bottom and away from the exits, giving you time to build better barricades and drawing more walkers of of the surrounding woodland. Then, destroy the walkers in batches with controlled burn-offs.

Syphoning the walkers away from the quarry is beyond stupid. Not only are wasting the natural corralling opportunities of the quarry, you're releasing thousands of walkers to, at best, become Somebody Else's Problem. To eat any remaining survivors that might otherwise have joined the community. To make nearby travel more dangerous for everyone - perhaps even impossible. Walkers are the space junk of this world.

Others have addressed this better than I above, but AARGH. This kind of thing really burns my frog.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:34 PM on October 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not only are wasting the natural corralling opportunities of the quarry, you're releasing thousands of walkers to, at best, become Somebody Else's Problem. To eat any remaining survivors that might otherwise have joined the community.

Worse than that, even. Zombies are an attack force that swell their ranks when they win. Releasing that mob of N zombs into an area with M survivors means a likely resulting group of N+M zombs, minus what small quantity of N get killed and small quantity of M who are attacked in a way that prevents reanimation.

What makes this even more annoying (possible?) is that in most things it would be kinda hard to look into the question of making personal survival choices that harm the larger world. In almost all ways the nature of zombies means that a group has to choose survival over doing something to make the whole area safer. They're barely managing that. But here, with the quarry, they had a conundrum (to the extent it was not a manufactured/self-created problem) that they might have had to question "are we doing something that makes things worse for other people rather than us?"

But nobody ever raises the question of where the zombs are going to end up. Not only do they ignore "wait, won't they wander up to us more now?" but they don't wonder who else they might be dropping this surprise on. Which I think is fine for most people to not think of but surely some of this crowd is bigger picture. Hell, they could have at least made some of the established Alexandrites raise this; theoretically they're thinking of a larger/longer plan.
posted by phearlez at 8:02 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thing 1: Frau Biscuit and I binge-watched the entire sixth season yesterday. After about ten minutes of this one, we both decided we needed to go back and watch the final episode of S05 just to get our bearings again in a world of black and white quarries with tractor trailers falling into them (didn't help) and Deanna sitting bereft by a pool of blood and telling Fr. Gabriel, "you were right," (did help). Even so, with a sizable cast of characters and ever-shifting relationships, there were consequential developments that happened further back than the last episode. So occasionally I felt a bit like someone on the autism spectrum must feel regularly: "These two are suddenly hostile toward each other and I really cannot understand why."

Thing 2: at the end of the last episode, Morgan arrives at Alexandia just seconds after Rick has execute Reg. Early on in this one, Morgan arrives just as Rick is executing Phil. I like that twice in a couple of days there has been a moment of, "this is not what it looks looks like," between them.

Thing 3: the missus is a veteran viewer of even more action movies than I (or most of you, probably) and once she understood the vast seething horde at the bottom of the quarry, she complained to the screen, "no one has ever heard of fuel-air explosives?" I gently reminded her that ten minutes earlier she had scoffed that they had been able to scrounge enough helium for a dozen balloons; maybe fuel-air explosives were out at the party supply store.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:10 AM on April 3, 2016


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