The Walking Dead: Last Day on Earth
April 3, 2016 8:29 PM - Season 6, Episode 16 - Subscribe

To save one of their own, Rick's group must venture outside the walls. Their experience there will change their lives forever.
posted by DirtyOldTown (189 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Bitch nuts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:29 PM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What an amazing display of fuckery.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:30 PM on April 3, 2016


BONK!
posted by gatorae at 8:31 PM on April 3, 2016


So, so, so fucking cheap. Even cheaper than the Glenn fake-out.
posted by codacorolla at 8:38 PM on April 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


I told my girlfriend before this episode aired that I wasn't watching next season with her. By the end of tonight's slog I felt fully justified in having said that.
posted by komara at 8:40 PM on April 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


I like the story potential of Negan, with Alexandria becoming a vassal state. And say what you will about their politics, at least Negan can plan and organize people effectively.

But fuck, if Rick can't see a potential ambush site if he drives right up to a roadblock next to an overpass or embankment for people to hide behind, how did he live this long?

I've got to think the cliffhanger ending is a good way to have leverage/flexibility over people's contract negotiations. Personally, I don't care which one of those idiot characters dies.
posted by cardboard at 8:42 PM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm so pissed they left is hanging like that. Now I have to watch Fear the Walking Dead to find out what happens to that goddamn airplane?!
posted by gatorae at 8:47 PM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, so, so fucking cheap. Even cheaper than the Glenn fake-out.

I'm pretty sure the Glenn fake-out was to create ambiguity for this episode
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:51 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


The one thing I will praise is the weird mix of rattlesnake-like rattles and white noise. The sound use in the entire episode was great with the whistling and whatnot. But that dissonance and creepiness in the music in the last fifteen minutes was fantastic.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:11 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh no! It's the baddies! Let's all get out of the Winnebago for no reason and talk to them, because remember when I said I wasn't taking any more chances? Yeah, well, never mind. Huh. They seem like some okay dudes, just out having a nice game of Let's All Block The Road. Okay, now let's all get back in and drive the other way.

Oh no! It's more baddies! Let's all stay in the Winnebago this time and just turn around. I'm sure that's the last we'll be seeing of them!

Oh no! It's a bunch of walkers weakly chained together in an area surrounded by high ground! Let's all get out of the Winnebago again, because this isn't an obvious ambush and driving straight through would just be too easy of a solution. Also, there might be some clues stuck on them or whatever, because it would make a ton more sense for people to stage this whole elaborate scene that we could have easily just barreled straight through to tell us they were holding our friends hostage, rather than just using their words in our two previous encounters.

Oh no! It's an ambush! They're shooting at us! Kinda makes you wonder why the first baddies didn't do that first time around but, hey. Quick, everyone get in the Winnebago! The Winnebago is home base! They can't shoot us there! It's in the rules!

Oh no! More baddies! And they're standing on a precarious rig that we could drive straight through! Let's turn around.

Oh no! A flaming wall of logs! Let's turn around. Let's all get out of the Winnebago, except Eugene for some reason, and let's all stay together in one slow-moving, loud-talking clump, dragging Maggie on a stretcher even though she's so obviously going to die in like an hour and a half, and head into the forest. No way the baddies who always pop out of the forest will ever find us there!

Oh no! We walked right into the heart of all the baddies ever! And they've got our friends hostage! And now they're taking us hostage! I guess that was their plan all along! Well, except for when they were shooting at us earlier when it definitely seemed like they were trying to kill, and besides, it's not like they're going to get a ransom for us so it really doesn't make sense, but still!

Oh no! A miscast greaser from a dinner theatre production of not-actually-The-Outsiders is ready to rumble upside somebody's head, but whose head could it be??? It's our generation's Who Shot JR! Except we know it's not Rick or Corl, because then that thing he said wouldn't make sense, and why would he beat up someone who wasn't Rick. Except maybe Captain Redhead for the RPG thing. Hey, remember that grenade launcher? That was pretty sweet. Did we bring that? No? Why didn't we bring that? Seems like something we should have considered, since these baddies are always pulling the same roadblock stunt and it worked pretty well aginst that before. Oh well!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:14 PM on April 3, 2016 [26 favorites]


Are those Jeffrey Dean Morgan's actual teeth and they/he just emphasized them in an unseemly way? Or did they give him fake ones to complete the look?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:14 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hell, even if they have no more ammo for the RPG, just bring the empty fucking thing and calmly point it at them and suggest they get the fuck out of your way. They don't know it's empty.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:17 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


This really didn't have to be an extra half-hour.

I think something that has nearly ruined this show is that sometime in the last few seasons they decided to completely stop worrying about the availability of guns and fuel, which allows them to move the characters around and people to get into big, loud and dumb firefights, but takes away a narrative constraint that seemed to really help the first few couple of seasons. It's been three years or whatever, bullets should be more precious than food. Instead, they've basically turned every confrontation for the last few seasons into a heavy-arms combat scenario, and it's getting fucking boring.

Also, God bless Jeffrey Dean Morgan, I have no ill will toward him and have fun cashing the checks, but the guy has zero range and I cannot see him in anything without thinking "Hey, it's well-known character actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan!"

Anyway, gotta go spend the next six months not at all wondering about who will be the one who dies/doesn't die for whatever reason.
posted by skewed at 9:21 PM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, that mustache-leather jacket-ascot look! I was prepared to be unimpressed by Negan, but I've got to say that the Tom of Finland character design is working for me.

Classic gay erotica aside, though, this episode was terrible.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:26 PM on April 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


This really didn't have to be an extra half-hour.

You can say that again, in five slightly different ways.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:27 PM on April 3, 2016 [11 favorites]


I agree on the gas thing. But the bullets thing is most definitely being dealt with. For one, the people on The Hilltop have switched to spears and the like because they can't get bullets. And they remarked rather pointedly that Rick's group has been lucky to stay well stocked and sort of intimated they expect that luck to run out.

Then there's the Eugene storyline where he has noticed bullets are becoming scarce and wants to prove his worth by making new ones.

No, the scarcity if bullets is most definitely a thing.

The gas thing though... Yeah. Also, as has been pointed out in many places, gas doesn't have a great long term shelf life. So even finding more wouldn't guarantee it'd be viable enough to keep vehicles running.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:29 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


the scarcity if bullets is most definitely a thing.


Welll, having a character mention the scarcity of bullets every 8-10 episodes is not the same thing as bullets actually being scarce. Just about every conflict over the last few seasons has been a battle between groups carrying multiple automatic weapons fired more or less indiscriminately.
posted by skewed at 9:36 PM on April 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


I know it's set up such that we cannot know for sure who took the probably lethal beating.

But come on, you guys: it's Abraham. That exchange with Sasha about maybe settling down and having a baby? Crying out loud, that's like the zombie story equivalent of a cop movie where the old veteran cop says he's retiring next week and he can't wait to work on his boat. Or the equivalent of a WWII drama in which the sidekick character shows the hero a snapshot of his girlfriend he can't wait to see again after that get back home.

In all three of those instances, that's a speech you only give someone to make it more poignant when soon after they die a horrible fucking death.

Abraham is fucking toast.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:37 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


No, the scarcity if bullets is most definitely a thing.

Yes. As of, like, two episodes ago. Around the time they went into that satellite place guns-ablazing.

This is the first episode in years where anyone was like, "Hey, maybe save your bullets." But still we see someone shooting up a harmlessly tethered chain of walkers with the gun set to auto.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:39 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think there's a clear argument that many if not most of the characters on the show are dumb assholes about conserving ammo. I'm not arguing against that assessment at all. I'm saying the writers seem to understand they can't just say, "Well, they've been lucky" forever. The writers are setting up that scarcity of ammo is a thing even if the heroes haven't all caught on.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:45 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


But come on, you guys: it's Abraham.

So, so obviously. Showing Sasha a picture of his new boat called the Live-4-Ever was just icing on his season-long who-gives-a-shit soap opera arc that really does not seem like it's going anywhere. But maybe it's too obvious?

I dunno, I feel like at this point the only thing that could possibly keep me watching this show beyond the first five seconds of the next season (just to get the "I knew it!" out of my system) is something so crazy and left-field that I actually become intrigued. I strongly doubt that will happen to a sufficient degree, but I don't doubt the writers might try it. They've got all summer to come up with something. Preferably something that isn't just "And then the Space Cowboys show up to save the day."
posted by Sys Rq at 9:59 PM on April 3, 2016


Guys, guys! CLEARLY Morgan will save them all with his big stick, now that he is no longer averse to killing.
posted by davidmsc at 10:03 PM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is where I stopped reading in the comics - it was just one gratuitous death too far and I realized I didn't really want to stick around for Kirkman's umpteenth variation on the Governor. Think I will probably keep on watching the show, if only because I really love what Melissa McBride has done with Carol. Also it will be nice to imagine that there will finally be consequences for Rick's utter failure as a leader after Negan gets through with the group, just one person who just tells him to his face how much he sucks and that he doesn't get to be in charge any more. I know it'll never happen, but it's still nice to fantasize about.
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:03 PM on April 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


Fuck you.
posted by FallowKing at 10:10 PM on April 3, 2016


The only other character who might be been the one taking the beating is whoever the guy's name is that Ross Marquand plays. Why? Because they've done so little with him that even though I think Ross Marquand is the bee's knees, I still haven't bothered to learn the character's name.

Plus, you know Hollywood loves to kill the gay characters.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:14 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aaron? No, I don't think so. He had no reason to be there -- the show itself basically said as much -- and he hasn't had any of the trademark "getting to know you" bullshit characters always get before they die so we can sort of almost pretend to care. He's clearly only there as one more "maybe" on the list. But who would care if they killed him off? It might make for a good "why do they kill all they gay characters" thinkpiece, but fans (even gay fans) would just shrug. He's wallpaper.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:38 PM on April 3, 2016


beyond the first five seconds of the next season (just to get the "I knew it!" out of my system)

You mean episode three. If past season premieres are any indication, episode one will be about Morgan and Carol. Episode two will be a status update about Alexandria that will let you check off some, but not all of the characters who were on the chopping block. Episode three will start with a 30 minute flashback and end with finally revealing who died.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:45 PM on April 3, 2016 [28 favorites]


Augh.
posted by prismatic7 at 12:14 AM on April 4, 2016


Well, that was hot garbage.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:37 AM on April 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


Next season: Morgan rides in with a battalion of lazer tag mounties, jousting and thwacking all the baddies. Then all the good guys join forces and live happily ever after on their post-apocalypse cattle ranch.

Also this episode should have been 20 minutes: 5 for Morgan and Carol, 5 for the RV, and then 10 for the closing scene.
posted by p3t3 at 1:35 AM on April 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


Fuck. This. Show.

I'm done.
posted by Thistledown at 3:53 AM on April 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


I am so going to regret wasting time on this season when I'm on my deathbed.
posted by mediareport at 4:04 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just feel nothing at this point. I'm more annoyed than OMG INTRIGUED. I spent the entire Negan scene just sighing and waiting for him to hurry up and get to it. And that isn't good tension of "oh god get it over with", it was "I have other things to do; is this over yet?" Come on, writers.
posted by olinerd at 4:35 AM on April 4, 2016


Three.... no four roadblocks too long. (I lost count at two)
posted by arzakh at 4:37 AM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't think the series even deserves poking holes at anymore, but if the Saviors have that much manpower, firepower, and ninja-sneak power, then why not just do what a handful of Wolves already almost did and take Alexandria by force? Does Negan really think they're that valuable to keep around as slave labor? Or is it just because we've already seen too many Team Rick protecting the compound climaxes? Granted the tone of the final scene was well done, but the tedium and inexplicable circumstances it took to get there were pretty terrible.
posted by p3t3 at 4:48 AM on April 4, 2016


Let me join the chorus of fuuuuuck this show (for reals this time)! That was such a tedious slog where once again I found it utterly ubelievable, even for this show, that Negan's people have such amazing skills at forestry, silent teleportation, and roadblock-building. And still fail to actually do anything about the Winnebago crew. John Winchester Negan's Villain Monologue was long and boring and I actually did not get any sense of why Team Winnebago would be pissing themselves. First off, they're in this position because of their own idiocy. Second off, they've been in this position like a zillion times before (Governor, Wolves, zombie pack they collected and lost control of, etc). Suck it up, Team Winnebago.

And the "mystery" of who died is possibly even more insulting than the Glenn fake-out. FFS, resolve SOMETHING. Anything! This gives me rewewed appreciation for Game of Thrones where at least they always show you who's getting killed (even if they might not stay dead...).

I was tempted to stay on for another season because I used to love Carol, but since the show decided to turn her into a sniveling, rosary-clutching idiot as well, I am out.
posted by TwoStride at 5:07 AM on April 4, 2016 [9 favorites]


Negan doesn't seem interested in starting a war. He just wants people's stuff.
posted by rdr at 5:15 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can we get a professional logger in here? I'd like an expert opinion on how long it would have taken Negan's crew to setup that impossibly ridiculous, completely unnecessary waste of human effort they used as some sort of over the top, meandering, pointless mind game.

I'm much more curious about that than whose head Negan bashed in.
posted by 2ht at 5:25 AM on April 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


Also, did I miss something (very possible, it was hard to stay focused on the show), or were there about 60 guys on that road block before the commercial break, but when we came back they were suddenly replaced by logs?

Was this weird editing? Or can Negan's guys actually turn into trees, which they can then light on fire rather easily?

Because the tree-changing ability would actually go a long ways toward explaining the logistics of these last 2 episodes. And that might actually make the show interesting.
posted by 2ht at 5:29 AM on April 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


... yeah. I am also to the breaking point with this show. I haven't even felt like talking about it much since Richonne due to my 'do something other than complain rule,' but I feel like venting after that pile of trash. So:

* As everyone else has been talking about, the Saviors thing didn't have any tension or plausibility or value whatsoever. Negan's little speech was dumb in the comic, and completely impossible to sell in live-action. (Worse, he's actually *less* reasonable on the show - IIRC, in the comic he just wants 'half their shit,' with the admonition that if half isn't enough for them to get by, they should just 'make more shit.' I never thought I'd be saying Comics-Negan was a more believable and thoughtful figure than anyone, but here we are: a 50% tax beats the impossible 'we will just take all the things.' Thanks for that, show.)

* Carl locking Enid in a closet ranks as my Most Upsetting Moment In The Walking Dead. In that one moment, they made it clear that he's Rick: the Next Generation. Unto every generation shall be born a Rick who will get away with whatever dysfunctional crap they want, and they will survive and get their way, and fuck both the world of the show and the audience.

* I am TEAM CAROL 4 LYFE and it is clear the writers are no longer on board with that. I feel like the problem is that Carol could've solved this shit, so they have to take her out of play. Worse, they picked the dumbest way possible: instead of a warrior's death, as befits her, they're turning her into a weepy sad sack to discredit and humiliate her before they either kill her off or render her completely ineffectual. Plus, they're ruining the philosophical tension between her former ruthless pragmatism and Morgan's sort of insane idealism, which was the only truly interesting discussion the show has even tiptoed around in ages, and... argh.

At any rate, one more for 'fuck this show.' I couldn't think of anything nice to say about an episode that actually featured Carol and Morgan talking, which means the whole thing is probably too far gone for me at this point.

Upon preview:
Was this weird editing? Or can Negan's guys actually turn into trees, which they can then light on fire rather easily?

The Saviors are comic book ninjas, as seen in properties like The Tick. The log trick is probably a variation on being 'just a hedge.'
posted by mordax at 5:32 AM on April 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


Welll, having a character mention the scarcity of bullets every 8-10 episodes is not the same thing as bullets actually being scarce.

See also: food.

One nice thing about Talking Dead is that occasionally Robert Kirkman comes on and confirms that, yeah, basically, the only reason shit happens on this show is to provide character development for Rick.

Personally, I'm still looking forward to Fear the Walking Dead next week, because for all its flaws of pacing and lack of imagination it hasn't yet devolved into alpha male-worshipping nonsense. I feel bad for the Fear crew in all of this, to be honest, because I think the backlash against TWD's fuckery is going to hurt them more than the main show.

Even if my partner keeps tuning in next season (she's finally on the fence about it, even though she kept watching the first time the show did this story with the Governor), for my own part I'll be playing video games with headphones on every Sunday night.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:56 AM on April 4, 2016


I think it seemed like Abraham was going to be the one at the end based on the above-mentioned foreshadowing when he talked about starting a family. But, they did a camera POV throughout the episode of one of the characters who was in the box, and they obviously ended the show with a POV shot. I'm going to go with Daryl. Even though I used to like his character they haven't done a damn thing with him in so long I can't even remember when he wasn't just wallpaper.
posted by gatorae at 6:08 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


What a terrible waste of time. When the logs were on fire, for a split second I got a Beneath the Planet of the Apes thought. Maybe they'd do something neat. Maybe there was a twist. Nope, just repeated nonsense.

I wish instead of risking everybody, getting one of their members killed, and wasting gas and ammo, et cetera, they would have done something different. Like hey, where's there a library or a medical library in Virginia? All this time they've been going from place to place, and they've been alive for years, they should have scavenged some books on how to handle disease. Since they rarely consistently have a doctor around, that would be ideal. Also, since they're partially clueless on how to farm, have scrawled up Eugene plans for how to make bullets, and do all kinds of things stupidly - get some books! I guess that would be boring for most viewers, but I would eat that up.
posted by cashman at 6:17 AM on April 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


The only thing I enjoyed about last night's episode was when I screamed out "Hey that's the creepy locksmith from Broad City!"

The rest of it was absolutely terrible.

Also, I predict the guy who got beat was the red shirt from Alexandria. I don't remember his name but he's that guy who has pretty much done nothing so far.
posted by bondcliff at 6:29 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


It would be hilariously meta if Aaron's husband showed up to the save the day. Like, the show literally forgot he existed the moment he got back to Alexandria, right? Maybe that somehow manifests in an ability to be completely unnoticed by other characters, which he uses to sneak into the middle of the Savior gathering and rescue all the protagonists.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:49 AM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, I predict the guy who got beat was the red shirt from Alexandria. I don't remember his name but he's that guy who has pretty much done nothing so far.

Aaron? That was my thought for a moment, but I don't think so. I think it's Eugene. He already basically resigned himself to die, replete with half cry and Foghorn Leghorn hug.

Additionally, Kirkman said on Talking Dead that this character's death would change things. That the fallout from it would start a new storyline and blah blah blah. So if it was A-a-ron, that would be a stretch to all of a sudden have that be some ultra-meaningful thing that he died.
posted by cashman at 6:49 AM on April 4, 2016


So if it was A-a-ron

Oh my god thats the only way I hear his name ever since he was a character! Thanks K&P!


It really seemed like after the 3rd or so road block, they maybe should have decided to head back to Alexandria to regroup. There are antibiotics there after all, though they probably wouldn't do any good. What would have been good was to be training the people of Alexandria in midwifery, since you know, the town leader is preggo. Lets reduce our key-person-risk shall we?

So the guys with the pads and spears that found Morgan and Carol, they were with the guy that Rick killed at the barn last episode right? I think I remember him wearing the same thing those guys were.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:00 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why do y'all watch the TWD anymore? I ask as someone who hasn't watched the last season at all, but does check out the recaps from time to time, just to see what's going on. I do that because I care about the characters and am curious how it all ends, but find the show just repellent to watch after Beth's death.

I want to know what happens to everyone, but don't care to sit through all the drudgery of the plot anymore.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Years ago, when I was playing Resident Evil for the first time, I acquired something of an audience among my fellow dorm-dwellers. Probably because I'm a wimp, and would audibly shriek when zombies surprised me. I also entertained people who were better at video game strategy, because I would regularly do stupid things according to the in-game logic, like use a shotgun to kill a zombie at close range, or empty a clip into a dead zombie just to make sure.

I didn't do these things to be funny, and they obviously weren't to my benefit (there actually is a legitimate scarcity of different types of ammo). It's just that when I saw a fucking zombie I fucking panicked and pulled the trigger of whatever weapon I had handy.

All of that is to say, if I was actually in the zombie apocalypse, I probably wouldn't live very long, but I wouldn't give a fuck about scarcity of ammo and would kill everything extra dead until I couldn't anymore. So it doesn't overly bother me that our characters don't always have that front of mind. Rick should know better, as a former police officer, but most of the others don't have any weapons training that would lead them to be thinking about that kind of stuff all the time.

A LOT about this show bothers me, but that's not one of the things.
posted by terilou at 7:06 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: I want to know what happens to everyone, but don't care to sit through all the drudgery of the plot anymore.

Since the whole point, according to the creator of the source material is to find out what happens after the zombie movie ends, when everything is totally fucked and there can be no resolution (I'm paraphrasing, but not by much), I think you're destined to be disappointed. They will literally make these things until the last person stops watching or purchasing, and will likely not wrap things up with any satisfying conclusion in order to make some IMPORTANT STATEMENT about the nature of zombies in society. Or some shit.
posted by terilou at 7:10 AM on April 4, 2016


All of that is to say, if I was actually in the zombie apocalypse, I probably wouldn't live very long, but I wouldn't give a fuck about scarcity of ammo and would kill everything extra dead until I couldn't anymore.

That's fair. But we're at the point where, with rare exception, all of those people are dead, and the ones left alive are the ones that keep their cool in fighting situations and would likely think about their ammo usage.
posted by 2ht at 7:11 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I definitely don't think Eugene is the one taking the beating, if for no other reason than that, recent growing of a pair notwithstanding, he's still someone who was crying and dripping snot after being caught approximately fifteen minutes after going solo. It's hard to see how he gets from that to Negan exclaiming, "WOW! Look at you taking it like a champ!"

Eugene has grown considerably and his courage is starting to catch up with his heart in a commendable way.

But he is nowhere near the point of being able to be stoic about taking a lethal beating from a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:11 AM on April 4, 2016


So the guys with the pads and spears that found Morgan and Carol, they were with the guy that Rick killed at the barn last episode right? I think I remember him wearing the same thing those guys were.

Surprisingly, Rick didn't kill that guy. It's the exact same dude, which is why Morgan says, "I found your horse."
posted by tobascodagama at 7:11 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why do y'all watch the TWD anymore?

Probably the same reason I watched How I Met Your Mother through those last terrible seasons of miserable setups and pointless writing to fill the time. You've seen the show have good, interesting moments, and are interested to see if any more occur.

Also, I neglected to mention. Andrew Lincoln's acting in the final 10-15 minutes as they were surrounded by Negan's group was awful. He just kept doing that weird head shaking thing trying to look terrified and just failing to. He looked positively ridiculous. Aside from his "Stop this!" yell, which was well delivered, he stunk that scene up pretty bad.
posted by cashman at 7:16 AM on April 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Agree on Lincoln. Whatever he was trying to communicate there, it didn't come across.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:17 AM on April 4, 2016


He just kept doing that weird head shaking thing trying to look terrified and just failing to. He looked positively ridiculous.

One of these days, someone on this show is gonna do that and it's gonna actually be meningitis or something. And when that person dies, everyone else is gonna look real sheepish at the funeral, like, "Aw, jeeze, I didn't think there was something actually wrong with him, I just assumed he was having some emotions or whatever."
posted by tobascodagama at 7:27 AM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


I made a full season, books included thread, so that if you've read the comics and want to speculate without uncorking any spoilers in this thread, there's a safe place to do that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:29 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


p3t3: I don't think the series even deserves poking holes at anymore, but if the Saviors have that much manpower, firepower, and ninja-sneak power, then why not just do what a handful of Wolves already almost did and take Alexandria by force? Does Negan really think they're that valuable to keep around as slave labor?

Slavery always works for the slavers, allowing them to live a life of luxury. Until the slaves revolt once they realize they have the power of numbers. Except I'm not sure about the Saviors : Alexandirans balance (which is why the Saviors have other slave camps, right?).


Anyway, I'm looking forward to fans editing this show into something short and coherent, boiling each season down to a 2.5 hour movie or something. I'd watch that. Until then, I think this show got relegated to the "watch when you're really bored and don't want to think at all" pile. Until then, I'm looking forward to Z Nation season 3 airing ... sometime this year. And I can catch up on iZombie. And I'll check back in with Fear the Walking Dead for undead Johnny Depp Jr, I love that kid.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:39 AM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


That was awful and stupid. The one thing I liked about it was seeing Rick (and by extension, everyone with him) being punished for his hubris and for being a fucking idiot. The only thing that would have made that part of it better is if the Saviors just opened fire on them, killed them all, and the series ended.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:02 AM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


From the recaps linked on the sidebar:

"The Walking Dead just shit the bed."
"...the worst episode the show has ever done."
"The Walking Dead season finale was a ‘cheap cop-out,’ and people are starting to talk about it"

And a longer one, but my favorite: "After all that build-up, all that pointless meandering, and all of that media hype, there couldn’t have been a more perfect closing shot for this season of The Walking Dead. The camera faced the new villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as he slammed a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire down on top of somebody’s head, with blood running down the screen. The point-of-view angle was designed to keep the dead cast member a mystery until next year (fuel for the endless online-gossip mill that keeps the show in the news during its off-season). But it had another, perhaps unintended, effect: making the viewers feel like they’re the real victims. In short, we suffered through this whole season just to get beaten over the head."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:04 AM on April 4, 2016 [28 favorites]


I liked Negan overall. His monologue was absolutely too long, but we chuckled when he straight up called Rick stupid and Carl a future serial killer. Last night, I thought Eugene was the goner for sure, based on the multiple "you're a good guy now, Eugene" redemption scenes throughout the episode. But great points about Abraham here. If it is Abraham, the Alexandrians won't care except for maybe Sasha. And even she should be relieved because wtf Abraham, do you not notice the pregnant lady dying in the RV? And you decide that's a good time to tell Sasha you want her babies? I could not believe how tone deaf that scene was. My ultimate fantasy for the show was Negan would show up, walk right up to Rick and kill him. That would have completely redeemed the entire show for me! And would have made sense because Negan would kill the group leader both for revenge and so he can take over the group.
Small question: why did Aaron say he owed Maggie a favor? Was that based on their special time in the sewer tunnel together? But wasn't that scene more about Aaron saving Maggie?
posted by areaperson at 8:12 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


The most striking part of Negan's monologue that was in the comics that didn't make it to the screen was his extended thinking-out-loud about who he should kill. Rick? Nah. It'd make him a martyr. That's counterproductive. Better to let his people see him broken. And Carl? Nah. Keep him around in case Rick needs extra convincing, have his "boys run a train on the kid, several of 'em would be into that kind of thing." Maggie? Nah. She's a mother and way too hot. Michonne or Glenn? Nah, then they'll think he's a racist and that's not his thing at all.

It was so icy and jovial and matter-of-fact. It was the main thing that settled my opinion of him. It was a bit like the scene in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer where Henry explains calmly to Otis the best way to pick serial killing victims. It was simultaneously disturbingly logical and so cold-blooded and disconnected from humanity that it was horrifying.

Also, his speech in the comics made him trickier and harder to pin down from the get go, because he slipped back and forth from well-spoken and smart to ridiculously foul-mouthed and vulgar. Word is, they actually shot a Blu-Ray edition of that scene that is, well, bluer and that may set some of that right.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:26 AM on April 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


Michonne or Glenn? Nah, then they'll think he's a racist and that's not his thing at all.


That would have been pretty meta given the criticisms of the tv series. Can't decide whether people would have been pleased or pissed. Oh, who am I kidding? This is the Internet; people would have been pissed.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:29 AM on April 4, 2016


That's interesting, DirtyOldTown.
posted by areaperson at 8:35 AM on April 4, 2016


I was pissed when they killed off the Morgan's teacher guy, Eastman. Not because I cared about him that much, because he'd just been introduced and the whole thing was a flashback so I already assumed he was dead one way or another. No, I hated how stupid it was. A walker, or maybe two at most, came at him, and Morgan got in the way or something, and in the confusion, he got bitten. It was just stupid. Andrea's death was stupid. Amy's death was stupid. Jacqui's death was stupid. Denise's death was stupid. Beth's death was extra stupid. She pulls a knife or some scissors or something on a person with a gun. T-Dog barely even got to have a real name, instead appearing as a mascot for most of his time on the show, but at least he got a valiant send-off, saving Carol if I remember correctly. Shane was terrible, and he was in an epic full-moon mental and physical battle with the lead character, who then wail-cried after he killed him. He then came back as a walker and almost got to kill the main character. Merle was a racist and a misogynist and jackass and yet he got his redemption arc, then challenged the governor (or somebody), saying something like he wouldn't go out soft. He then came back after being killed, as a walker and Daryl had to sad-cry kill him and we all mourned as Daryl crumpled up into a ball.

If I got upset about a character dying, it most likely would be because it was a combination of horribly stupid and utterly random. And if there are patterns of which established characters face those demises, well of course those should get noted.
posted by cashman at 8:43 AM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, now that I have gone and drank the Z Nation Kool-Aid and found it tasty, let me do as so many others have done before me and recommend the shit out of that show.

Now to qualify that recommendation, let me add this caveat: if you're frustrated with The Walking Dead because it can't maintain its targeted quality level of Serious Prestige Cable Drama, Z Nation is not for you. HOWEVER, if you wish they'd just give up the ghost on that, settle in and make this thing a zombie show with a moderately coherent plot, more varied ideas, and an actual sense of humor, Z Nation is your fucking jam, man.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:55 AM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


I can't believe no one has cited the most hilarious Negan bit, him looking at Abraham's 'stache, thoughtfully stroking his own and then muttering, to no one in particular, "Damn, now I have to shave this thing."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:00 AM on April 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Someone has isolated audio that seems to include Glenn being halfway through saying "Maggie!" and getting cut off with a blow.

Of course even if you agree that's what's in the audio, that only matters if you think the producers are trustworthy people who wouldn't fuck with you or serve up a willful misdirect.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:12 AM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fan theory #1
wasn't Rick or Carl, because Negan said "pluck the kid's eye out and feed it to his old man" if he objects. So they're both going to survive the beating.
wasn't Maggie, Sasha, Tara, or Michonne, because Negan said "look at you, taking it like a man", and he is not sexist. Just a psychopath who is mentally about 12.
wasn't Daryl because he's Daryl.
wasn't Glenn, because he looked up at Negan in his last moments and Glenn would have looked over at Maggie instead.
Ergo, Aaron, Abraham, or Eugene, although I can't for the life of me think why any of them would be a 'game-changer'.

Fan theory number two: the showrunners shot Carol three times and beat the crap out of her in order to make Negan scary. If she was on her two feet with reasonable prep time, he simply isn't scary.

Fan theory number three: they didn't just turn around and go back to Alexandria because it was pretty clear that they wouldn't be allowed to (Eugene says "in front of us and most likely behind us, too" as they leave blockade #4).
posted by Mogur at 9:28 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


He actually said, "taking it like a champ."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:33 AM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


My ultimate fantasy for the show was Negan would show up, walk right up to Rick and kill him.

I thought that this was the series finale, not the season finale, so with 15 minutes left and nothing resolved I assumed that was what would happen and I was perfectly okay with that.
posted by peeedro at 9:36 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


the showrunners shot Carol three times and beat the crap out of her in order to make Negan scary. If she was on her two feet with reasonable prep time, he simply isn't scary.

I support this theory.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:36 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


He actually said, "taking it like a champ." -DirtyOldTown.

Damn my hearing! Well, "champ" still kinds of workds, I still think it sounds weird for him to talk to Maggie, Sasha, or Tara like that. Michonne probably not, but a slight chance of yes.
posted by Mogur at 10:06 AM on April 4, 2016


Chris Hardwick of The Talking Dead is kind of having a mini-meltdown on Reddit right now trying to engage with the fury of a million geeks.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:21 AM on April 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Fan theory number 4: Rick's headshaking was him trying to calm himself down -- he could feel that old familiar bloodlust rising, and he was scared he was going to go berserk and get Carl killed.
posted by Mogur at 10:24 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


The IMDb rating for this episode is a dismal 5.9 (which on IMDb might as well be a zero) and falling. The next-worst episode, the Beth-Daryl one, has a 7.2.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:26 AM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


The number one worst episode of the WD was Eastman, because none of that dude's story made sense. At all. And his name was Eastman. Blecch.

This one is in a battle for top place with me for worst episode. So much blathering around. Negan was so childish, not scary. The Gov was way more sinister with his "oh golly" routine.

I suspect it will be Daryl because of the POV aspect. Anothet possibility is Rick because Rick IS us, he is the audience, we've been experiencing his reality since the start. For a tonal shift in the show, that would be huge. I hope not. But.

Daryl has twice now rejected characters asking him to be a part of the group. I think he may be done. It won't be Glenn because they already teased his death. Carol will also die, she's done because they wrote her into a corner. The others are all possible deaths except Carl...they will keep him until long after Rick dies, he's Rick II.
posted by agregoli at 10:42 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've used iMDb a dozen or so times a week for the past fifteen years, probably. But it wasn't until today that I ever registered an account. I did this strictly so that I could give this episode a shitty rating.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:45 AM on April 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


So, I made the right decision to bail out of this thing three episodes ago.

Should have bailed out at the end of last season actually...

Come to think of it, I only really liked season 1.

Still going to watch Fear the Walking dead.

Wonder how they are going to fuck that show up....
posted by Pendragon at 10:49 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


If this show were truly daring, then Negan would have killed Rick. Rick's character has had a full arc since he has gone from being Morgan before Morgan was Morgan to being More Shane Than Shane. The only way for Rick to develop as a character at this point is for his pendulum to swing back to being a kinder, gentler human being like he was in Season 1/2, and I just don't see that happening with these writers. Plus they sort of attempted that at the prison with FarmerRick and it was just godawful. Living under the boot of Negan might subdue Rick for a while but the show is clearly action/gore rather than character or even plot driven, so I am sure that something stupid and improbable and actiony will happen at some point so Rick can win yet again next season.

. for Carol. Even if she doesn't die, they destroyed her character.
posted by gatorae at 10:50 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Since this episode is agreed as a shit-pile, here's my terrible but at least cutesy twist on the episode that I thought could happen.

Anybody else see Morgan riding around on the horse and start thinking about how things started? So while the actual show was doing pointless stuff for 90 minutes, I started thinking what if it was the same stuff as the beginnings of the show, but with different people doing the things?

So instead of Rick riding a horse down an empty street, looking for his 'family', it's Morgan looking for Carol. Instead of Dale driving a Winnebago around, it's Abraham. Instead of Jim being deathly ill and near death in the Winnebago while they drive for a cure, it's Maggie. Instead of T-Dog getting a little screen time to face peril while he goes to rescue the Dixon brother, it's Michonne. But then at the end of the episode, like the end of the pilot, the character(s) is surrounded by dozens and dozens of the walking dead, trapped with seemingly no way to escape.
posted by cashman at 11:11 AM on April 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


"Still going to watch Fear the Walking dead.
Wonder how they are going to fuck that show up...."


They already fucked it up somewhere between episode 2 and 3 (or was it 3 and 4?) where there was what might as well have been a little black and white title card saying:
TIME PASSES
SOCIETY COLLAPSES
and then we're introduced to their daily lives with the military "guarding" them.

ALL THAT I WANTED from this new show was an exploration of what it means to have a real zombie apocalypse happen. What are the stages? How does the government cope? How do enclaves form?

and instead I got a handwave of "this already happened so now we're leaving you with what you didn't want which is just The Walking Dead set in a different location okay thx byeeeeee!"

It instantaneously turned into the equivalent of the next NCIS franchise. We have TWD: Rural South and now they've introduced TWD: Los Angeles. Boy oh boy I can't wait for TWD: New Orleans where we get another bunch of unlikeable idiots running around making bad decisions in whatever location gives a good tax break on filming.
posted by komara at 11:14 AM on April 4, 2016 [27 favorites]


I completely agree, komara. I can't stand Fear the Walking Dead. It's so terrible. The last thing I needed was a high-school drama setup where the Walking Dead are the background and more ridiculous things happen. Remember when they killed off the black character. Then killed off the black character? Then had the other black character killed? And I remember one of them was just so preposterous. Dude had a fever and they had a pickup truck that could easily have taken him to a hospital, and they wrote him to say no thats okay, leave me here and let me die, I'm good. For just no reason. Like, my parents are out of town in Vegas, so I might as well just die here for a plot point. Stupid.
posted by cashman at 11:19 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can we talk for a sec about this season's love for the Splattervision shots with dripping of spurting blood hitting the camera? When the fuck did that start?

I might actually find that delightful in a show of more modest ambitions. But in the middle of what purports to be a Serious Cable Drama, it's tonally jarring.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:50 AM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Splattervision is so stupid, it reminds you there is a camera. Who likes that?

I am feeling sad this show is going downhill. I knew it would happen but still. And cashman, you are SO right on. We're back at the beginning of the series again.
posted by agregoli at 11:57 AM on April 4, 2016


I can tell you who died in at the end of the episode: The fucking Schrödinger's cat.

I bet dollars to donuts they couldn't decide who they were going to kill, and so didn't make any decision at all. And they are going to sit back and watch how this plays out. And while we're arguing about it, and fans are discussing it, they will drop hints, to see how it plays out. And then, based on how people have responded, at the start of the next season, they will make their choice and claim it was what they planned all along.

At this moment, everybody in the scene is both alive and dead.
posted by maxsparber at 12:02 PM on April 4, 2016 [24 favorites]


You could make a political cartoon with the bludgeoned body labelled "viewing audience's hopes for quality drama".
posted by cardboard at 12:04 PM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Over/under on the number of episodes at the start of Season 7 that fill us in on the horsemen in body armor, Carol and Morgan, what's going on back in Alexandria, maybe some other bullshit...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:09 PM on April 4, 2016


Maxsparber, I don't believe that, because Robert Kirkman has said he knows the entire storyline, including the ending of the entire show.
posted by agregoli at 12:13 PM on April 4, 2016


I can tell you who died in at the end of the episode: The fucking Schrödinger's cat.

I'd already heard some rumblings of people pushing for Glenn to die, so if it's audience based, that could make it him. The justifications were apparently nonsensical (because come on, if anybody is followable and has reason to live at this point, it's Glenn) but that's not surprising.

I hope season 7 is the last of the show as we know it. You can kill off a bunch of main characters in a season 7. But really, they need to figure out a storyline that isn't just going from armed encounter to armed encounter, like someone already mentioned. I can live through poor plot decisions and drama, but I have no desire in tuning in each week just to see who the main castmembers shoot it out with or fight.
posted by cashman at 12:16 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


You could make a political cartoon with the bludgeoned body labelled "viewing audience's hopes for quality drama".

I mean, if you're still in this game since the debacle with the Governor cliffhanger interrupted by half a season of The Sickness, then you get what you deserve. TWD is gonna keep on keepin' on, until the ratings collapse.
posted by dis_integration at 12:37 PM on April 4, 2016


I didn't find ANY cliffhanger on TWD to be this obnoxious. This is a new thing.
posted by agregoli at 12:42 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Girlfriend: I wasn't paying attention. What did Morgan just find?

Me: Carol's bloody rosary.

Girlfriend: Wasn't that the name of a pretty good Tori Amos song from the mid-90s?

Me: I honestly don't think that I could stand watching this show without you.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:37 PM on April 4, 2016 [16 favorites]


Question: Had Morgan ever seen Carol with her rosary? Even once?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:45 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure...she sat on the porch with it for at least a few days, I'm sure he did.
posted by agregoli at 1:45 PM on April 4, 2016


But he was busy building a prison that whole time, wasn't he?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:46 PM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think its a stretch that he knew it was hers. There are far bigger stretches, like why did Rick think they could get to the Hilltop AT ALL...
posted by agregoli at 1:48 PM on April 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


... or why every single Savior was just waiting in formation for Rick and Company to leave Alexandria given that they had no idea Maggie was going to spontaneously get sick and give them a reason to all leave together in one huge group?
posted by gatorae at 2:42 PM on April 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Maybe they just really enjoy setting roadblocks?
posted by tobascodagama at 2:46 PM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


For your giggling pleasure, AMC held a conference call with the media this morning: Scott Gimple Defends Controversial Cliffhanger
posted by mediareport at 3:03 PM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


That was actually really interesting, mediareport.
On whether or not fans can figure out who was killed from clues in the sequence…

“I believe there is no way. There are a couple of things in there that might help people, possibly limit the amount of people who are vulnerable. But I would rather people not go down that route because I truly don’t think there is a way to puzzle it out definitively.

“The reasoning behind that is these are incredibly smart fans to start with, and then you put it to this incredible crowdsourcing and they will get it. I’ll tell you with certainty, people will figure out what happens in [the season 7 premiere] even though there aren’t clues to determine it. And I’m not talking about spoilers, people will figure it out even if there’s no way they should be able to. I’ve seen it again and again. If you put very smart people together, I don’t know if we’re talking about the collective unconsciousness or something…
posted by cashman at 3:18 PM on April 4, 2016


Well, the date with Lucille wasn't the only time we got a first-person POV in the episode. Stylistically, it should be one of the people whose POV we experienced throughout the episode. That would be Rosita, Daryl, Glenn, or Michonne.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:23 PM on April 4, 2016


Realistically, do they even necessarily have an ending written to who got killed? They could watch social media and pick out whoever they think will have the most desirable impact. I'd imagine they don't have to have a thing written, or a contract signed until much later in the year, and even then they could (as someone pointed out above) do a flashback episode beforehand and not have to spoil anything due to casting.

Anyway, I'm sort of on the fence that they even have a specific corpse picked out.
posted by codacorolla at 3:27 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes, they know who they killed. WE don't, but they do.
posted by agregoli at 3:54 PM on April 4, 2016


The reasoning behind that is these are incredibly smart fans to start with...incredible crowdsourcing...If you put very smart people together

Ha! #1 way to try to placate angry fans? Flatter them.
posted by mochapickle at 4:09 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


OMG TV exists to SHOW YOU THINGS. And they refused to show us. I waited all season for a major character to die, and when we finally get to it, with all the speculation we enjoyed, we learn NOTHING?! It's so disappointing.

I feel like someone hyped up a big Christmas present and right when we were opening it, they shut off the lights and said, "Not until next year!" Ugh.
posted by agregoli at 4:25 PM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


... or why every single Savior was just waiting in formation for Rick and Company to leave Alexandria given that they had no idea Maggie was going to spontaneously get sick and give them a reason to all leave together in one huge group?

There's the theory out there that Enid is colluding with the Saviors. In the last episode she runs into Maggie in the pantry and tells her to eat some pickles then was with her later when she falls ill. This episode there was the conversation with Coral where she didn't really want him to go and what if he didn't come back? So, maybe it's Negan's peck of poisoned pickles ploy proceeding as planned.
posted by peeedro at 4:33 PM on April 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


cashman, the part I thought was giggle - worthy was this:

The reasoning behind this was in many ways what we saw last night was the end of the story of season 6. Where Rick winds up is completely different from where he started...

That's a wonderfully slippery way of characterizing one character arc of this season as the whole story, and avoiding responsibility for the disappointment after all the "meta" buildup about a Major Death (much of which came from the folks making the show).
posted by mediareport at 4:48 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Remember when Andrew Lincoln said reading the finale made him "physically sick"? He offers an unsatisfying explanation of the comment here, and refuses to answer a question about whether the cast knows who got bashed to death because "it's too painful." Whatever.
posted by mediareport at 5:09 PM on April 4, 2016


Ha! I didn't think that TV Guide ever went negative, but, The 5 Worst Things About the Awful Finale is here.
posted by TwoStride at 5:16 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dafuq is this show on, little psycho locks his girlfriend in a cupboard and when she asks "what if you don't come back" the sentence after that is not "what will I drink" or "I could die".

At least we found where all the black guys are. Dafuq is this show on?

I honest to god thought that they were going to blow up the entire truck full of main characters. Every time they left it unguarded while they gawped at the barricades I thought that someone would plant a bomb. I'm horribly dissapointed, I really thought they were going to wipe them all out and follow the dreams of the dirtbike cowboys.
posted by Iteki at 5:21 PM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's the theory out there that Enid is colluding with the Saviors. In the last episode she runs into Maggie in the pantry and tells her to eat some pickles then was with her later when she falls ill. This episode there was the conversation with Coral where she didn't really want him to go and what if he didn't come back? So, maybe it's Negan's peck of poisoned pickles ploy proceeding as planned.

Didn't we first think she was in cahoots with the Wolves? Anyway, this scenario is basically the only one that makes sense. Since otherwise how did Negan's crew know it was time to organize their bizarro road-block fun-party. Like, just piling up those logs is a whole day's work, or really more than a day, since they don't have easy access to a caterpillar.

And how did they know it was the Alexandria people who killed the folks in the outpost at night? Alicia Witt (who was taken from us too soon) didn't know it was Daryl who bazooked Negan's Hell's Angels. Even if they know about Alexandria, they didn't have any way of knowing it was Alexandria who took out the outpost.

So there must be a spy. But then again, tying up all the plot threads is way too much to expect from TWD.
posted by dis_integration at 5:30 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Apparently watching the episodes is way too much to expect because:

Like, just piling up those logs is a whole day's work, or really more than a day, since they don't have easy access to a caterpillar.

Eugene commented on CAT tracks at the logpile.

and

And how did they know it was the Alexandria people who killed the folks in the outpost at night?

Alicia was in contact with another group of saviors on their way to reinforce via walkie-talkie. In several scenes.

TWD has enough plotholes that you don't need to make some up.
posted by entropicamericana at 5:36 PM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Alicia was in contact with another group of saviors on their way to reinforce via walkie-talkie. In several scenes.

yes. but she didn't know who Maggie and Carol were or where they were from.

I missed the part about the CAT tracks. What can I say, it wasn't that engrossing.

I think the point still stands that they had no way of knowing that now was the time to organize their roadblock party.
posted by dis_integration at 5:41 PM on April 4, 2016


yes. but she didn't know who Maggie and Carol were or where they were from.

I urge you to rewatch the relevant episodes.
posted by entropicamericana at 5:45 PM on April 4, 2016


I urge you to rewatch the relevant episodes.

There's no need to suggest anything so drastic!

On a more serious note: you are correct about those plot points, but they're easy to skim right over both because the episodes themselves were sort of crappy, and those plot points are fairly nonsensical even when addressed. Like... them having a caterpillar doesn't *reduce* the number of questions I have about the scenario, and the fact Alicia reported back about Rick and Co. makes me wonder why Negan didn't take slightly more aggressive action with regard to them. "New player in the area slaughtered a whole base, had a rocket launcher, slaughtered all reinforcements" calls for something more than 'ninja road block party,' or even 'Lucille someone to death.'
posted by mordax at 5:57 PM on April 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've been trying all day to remember what this episode reminded me of, with the see-it-coming-10-miles-away finale preceded by 10 iterations of more-and-more ridiculous versions of the exact same thing. The Saviors are stalking cat.
posted by gatorae at 5:57 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fuck this show, AMC and Scott Gimple. What a bullshit cop out. (There's probably a special dick punching machine already reserved in hell for AMC and their "mid-season breaks".) Imagine if Game of Thrones had decided to pull something like "guess who dies at the Red Wedding -- we'll tell you next season!"

And that cop out was the last dumb thing with the episode. That whole chain zombie line was so dumb... why did they all get out of the RV with hills on either side of them instead of sending one or two of them up the side to check if it was an ambush? And then the bullets hitting right at their feet and not shooting anyone's foot?

Fuck you AMC, I'm sure you've got plenty of dumbness left over to poop into Fear TWD.

(Sorry if I sound bitter, I spent all day avoiding spoilers until I could watch it...)
posted by Catblack at 6:11 PM on April 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


TWD has enough plotholes that you don't need to make some up.

There's some of this going on here, yeah. There are people getting so carried away hate watching that they find "plot holes" that even a casual observer saw covered. That said, at this point, I kinda feel like I would if I were listening supportively on the couch to a friend lamenting the world's worst fucking roommate. That is, even if some of the complaints given are strictly from getting carried away, it's not really going to change the verdict, so I'm inclined to give a pass.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:00 PM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think it seemed like Abraham was going to be the one at the end based on the above-mentioned foreshadowing when he talked about starting a family. But, they did a camera POV throughout the episode of one of the characters who was in the box, and they obviously ended the show with a POV shot. I'm going to go with Daryl. Even though I used to like his character they haven't done a damn thing with him in so long I can't even remember when he wasn't just wallpaper.

There are compelling arguments being made for both Abraham and Eugene in this thread, but TBH the most damning piece of evidence I saw all night was the ad about 3/4s of the way through the episode for "Ride with Norman Reedus". A new show? Sure it's reality TV and probably quick and easy to film but I still gotta think it's a clue that Daryl's time has come.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:56 PM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Realizing that most of the people I know who checked out of the comic also did it at this exact moment in the story.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:06 PM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


The reasoning behind that is these are incredibly smart fans to start with...incredible crowdsourcing...If you put very smart people together

mochapickle: "Ha! #1 way to try to placate angry fans? Flatter them."

Yeah, he was doing so well with that right up until...

“I suppose it’s good that everything is met with skepticism nowadays. People are thinking critically and not just trusting things that are put before them. I’d love a little more trust. But I think it’s a good thing for society that people aren’t just trusting the things that are coming across their television set. It makes the challenge for us to win those angry people back with a great story that much more important and that much harder. But that’s the business we’re in. We’re not trying to do the easy thing. When you’re a parent, your kid might have a tantrum for a lot of different reasons and you still have to love them and try to do right by them. I do want to do right by this audience. I hope to win back or assuage some of the anger.”

Oof. He really is good at saying nothing, but sometimes something slips out.
posted by koeselitz at 9:45 PM on April 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ugh, that parenting comment is so gross. Calling TWD out for capricious storytelling ≠ tantrum.
posted by mochapickle at 11:15 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Worse, he's actually *less* reasonable on the show - IIRC, in the comic he just wants 'half their shit,' with the admonition that if half isn't enough for them to get by, they should just 'make more shit.' I never thought I'd be saying Comics-Negan was a more believable and thoughtful figure than anyone, but here we are: a 50% tax beats the impossible 'we will just take all the things.' Thanks for that, show.

Wasn't that almost word-for-word what he said in the show?
posted by mama casserole at 4:50 AM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


why do you think Andrew Lincoln, at the end of filming this season, was all shaken up by the script and went on about how it made him feel so bad, etc. I mean, the most distressing thing for me was Carl locking Enid in a closet.
posted by angrycat at 5:32 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I guess I'm the only person this episode more or less worked for. I thought the increasing sense of dread as it became apparent that the Saviors had blocked every road to Hilltop was effective, and rather than seeing it as redundant, I thought the slow burn of "oh, God, they've blocked this one, too, and with more people than before" really worked. The absolute hopelessness of the ending--no way out this time this time--was more suspenseful to me than than anything I can remember previously, and almost redeemed the series of implausible escapes beforehand. The previous successful conflicts with the Saviors now serve just to make this one worse. The Saviors will have their revenge. I thought Neegan was effectively chilling and way he toyed with the gang, taking his time deciding who was going to be viciously beaten to death, was just gut-wrenching.

The episode was far from perfect, and I think it would have benefited from dropping the Carol storyline to just focus on trying to get Maggie to Hilltop, but my reaction immediately after watching it is that they had finally gotten given us another genuinely solid episode. I do think it was a mistake not show us who was taking the beating (my money is on Glenn). If we knew that was happening to someone we cared about, it would have been a much stronger ending. As it was, the shock of Lucille was heavily diluted with frustration from yet another cliffhanger in a season that has had too many.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:56 AM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


why do you think Andrew Lincoln, at the end of filming this season, was all shaken up by the script and went on about how it made him feel so bad, etc. I mean, the most distressing thing for me was Carl locking Enid in a closet.

Why do you think anything an actor says about a forthcoming project isn't anything but 100% marketing bullshit?
posted by entropicamericana at 6:26 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


why do you think Andrew Lincoln, at the end of filming this season, was all shaken up by the script and went on about how it made him feel so bad, etc.

The actors on this show have always been so far off of audience reaction, it's just always mystified me. From when Sarah Wayne Callies was on the show til now, they interview the actors and actresses, and they say things about what the characters are going through and talk about things that are just so far from what the audience thinks, it's always been a head-scratcher. I have to imagine that for Lincoln, he read the words on the script that said "Rick is told to get on his knees. He looks at Carl, embarrassed to have to submit to the will of another man in front of his son. But he has to do it. His whole group is facing death, surrounded by killers, in a forest in the middle of nowhere. Nobody can help them. Nobody can save them. A man emerges from a vehicle with a bat wrapped in barbed wire and begins to toy with killing one of them, reciting a child's rhyme". And Andy got all feely.

But in actual life, the audience is like "Okay, the show is doing that thing where the bad guy captures the good guy but somehow is too stupid to kill them, so of course the good guy will somehow survive and escape, minus some character or another....lets get on with it".
posted by cashman at 6:29 AM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


It really bothers me that Denise's death was nothing more than a setup to give the team a reason to need to get to Hilltop. With Porchdick, at least they tried to make his death feel somehow inevitable in the context of the story--he had a conflict with Rick and that's a death sentence. But it was stupid stupid stupid for the group to let Denise go on that run and get killed. It annoyed me when it happened, but it's worse knowing that it was just a setup for the finale.
posted by mama casserole at 6:36 AM on April 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


"I guess I'm the only person this episode more or less worked for. I thought the increasing sense of dread as it became apparent that the Saviors had blocked every road to Hilltop was effective, and rather than seeing it as redundant, I thought the slow burn of 'oh, God, they've blocked this one, too, and with more people than before' really worked."

It would have worked for me, too, if I had been really drunk. I don't mean that the way that it came out -- it's not intended as an insult to you. Just that the idea of it and the outlines, some bits of some scenes...well, I can see all that working quite effectively. You'd think that those of us who are angry with the show would have low expectations and that having low expectations would make things work for us, and, you know, when I think about it I have to admit that this is sort of true. It's probably why I keep watching the show. But, for me, the show is like an enormous minefield of refrigerator moments -- except the "wait, what the hell, that doesn't make any sense" moment doesn't come later when I'm pulling lunchmeat out of the fridge, but basically about thirty seconds after something happens on the show. It's an alternation between going with the flow and then thinking WTF. And then, also, the cumulative WTFness of it all.

I really think that his relentless WTF nature of the show is what's killing it. Any one thing on its own isn't that bad, it's the kind of shit most television shows pull. But this show does this all the time, and at all levels. You can have this experience with the worldbuilding, with character evolution, with individual scenes. The genius of the show is that certain atomic elements of the show are well-done and compelling and they just feed these elements to the audience, over and over and over. And they cash the checks that result. But I think it shows a lot of contempt for the audience. And laziness. And just a kind of lack of respect for doing something that one could be proud of. The exception to this are most of the actors. They do quality work, stuff they can (usually) be proud of. That's one of those atomic elements that makes the show successful. But I'm wondering if the actors won't start also not giving a shit, just phoning it in and cashing their checks, too.

"The actors on this show have always been so far off of audience reaction, it's just always mystified me."

Given what I've just written, I think that's part of the explanation. The actors invest a lot into their performances and, in so doing, they have a skewed view of the show. I mean, this is trivially true for all actors, always. But my point is that I think that for whatever set of reasons, there's an acting culture on this show that takes their jobs quite seriously and they work hard, invest a lot into these roles. And that's a big part of why the performances are so good. But also why the actors are especially bad at understanding how the show is failing.

"But it was stupid stupid stupid for the group to let Denise go on that run and get killed. It annoyed me when it happened, but it's worse knowing that it was just a setup for the finale."

I disagree in part about the stupidity of Denise going on that run. Given that she's the only doctor, it was stupid from a larger community view of things. For Denise as a character, I think she explained herself quite well and I think her argument was very defensible. The show has made it pretty clear that zombies aren't that hazardous for those with experience, and you have to get experience eventually, and especially it's Rick's whole mantra that this is the way that the world is so it's arguably stupid that any of them not get this experience. But, again, the stupidity is that Alexandria couldn't afford to lose Denise and so while she very much both needed to and had a right to get some experience on runs, what should have happened was that she was carefully protected and shepherded through the process.

That said, I totally agree with you on your larger point. It was just contrived -- they used Denise's death as an emotional lever and as a plot point and it felt both cheap and a waste to me. I'm not totally objective about this because I like both the character and the actor a great deal, but they wrote her well, Weaver performed the role well, they developed an interesting character and that character should have been utilized in a way that got more value from this investment. The emotional impact of the death was greater than it would have been for another newcomer, but not really that much greater, partly because it was contrived and a bit of obvious machinery to move the plot to the next stop.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:44 AM on April 5, 2016


I disagree in part about the stupidity of Denise going on that run. Given that she's the only doctor, it was stupid from a larger community view of things. For Denise as a character, I think she explained herself quite well and I think her argument was very defensible.

Actually I think we agree, what I said was, "it was stupid stupid stupid for the group to let Denise go." I definitely got why she wanted to go.
posted by mama casserole at 7:56 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, right.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:01 AM on April 5, 2016


I actually prefer stupid, pointless deaths on this show. One of the things that made the comics so great early on (no spoilers here) is that characters would die at any point regardless of whether it fit their character arc, or drove the plot forward. The deaths were basically random and pointless, which made them much more realistic and often more traumatic. You're loving the story when suddenly, wtf, did he just die?

The show experimented with this a little bit, but mostly abandoned it when certain characters started becoming more popular. Now every time a person dies they get a 5 episode story arc and a 10 minute soliloquy first.

The comics still throw a few surprises in there.
posted by 2ht at 8:37 AM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


(That said, I don't really enjoy it when characters die because they are suddenly stupid. Like going out when you're the only doctor, or stopping to monologue when you're exposed and you know people are out to get you.)
posted by 2ht at 8:39 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


The actors on this show have always been so far off of audience reaction, it's just always mystified me.

It's important to remember that TV, films, theatre are all collaborative art to an extreme degree. The actors bring something to their characters, but ultimately the words on the page and the instructions from the directors have a huge influence as well. If your script page says your character feels a way and the director tells you that your character feels a way, at a certain point you just have to give in and play the scene that way, regardless of whether it makes sense logically or within the internal context of your character as you've been playing them up to that point. Good actors will at least try to come up with a justification for the discrepancy and work that into their performance, and I think that's what we usually see playing out when they answer questions on panels and in press interviews.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:05 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I thought the increasing sense of dread as it became apparent that the Saviors had blocked every road to Hilltop was effective, and rather than seeing it as redundant, I thought the slow burn of "oh, God, they've blocked this one, too, and with more people than before" really worked.

The thing is, as soon as they encountered the first group and the first group seemed completely unwilling to let them through and yet completely willing to let them try other routes, they should have considered the possibility that all routes were blocked. By the time a second route was blocked, they should have assumed all routes were blocked. Instead, at that point they decided they should try a third route even though the third route had the potential to be an excellent ambush spot, and sure enough...it was an ambush.

(And of course, they should've brought the RPG launcher.)

Escalating dread through a slowly escalating threat can work, absolutely. But the escalating stupidity of the characters completely undercut its effectiveness here, at least for me.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:10 AM on April 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


why didn't they send a messenger to Hilltop to get the OB to come back to Alexandria? Am I missing something or is that completely obvious?
posted by angrycat at 9:14 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Those are the kinds of thoughts/questions you're not supposed to have.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:20 AM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


He had some fancy equipment including an ultrasound machine, maybe they thought he'd need that to diagnose/treat Maggie.
posted by mama casserole at 9:23 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


why do you think Andrew Lincoln, at the end of filming this season, was all shaken up by the script and went on about how it made him feel so bad, etc.

Wouldn't you feel that way if you found yourself having to play the lead in something that sucked this hard?

Those actor quotes, in order to be read as even remotely positive, rely on an expectation of awesomeness. Knowing there is no awesomeness, they read as super-duper negative, bordering on, "For the love of god, please don't watch this. It's so terrible I fear for my career."

Andrew Lincoln was nauseated, Melissa McBride was in a pit of despair, etc. Yeah. Sounds about right.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:26 AM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


why didn't they send a messenger to Hilltop to get the OB to come back to Alexandria? Am I missing something or is that completely obvious?

I'm sorry, weren't people just griping about the stupidity of letting Denise venture out beyond the walls of Alexandria?
posted by entropicamericana at 10:26 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Okay, I had some serious issues with this episode like everybody else. But I think I'm the only person in fandom that actually gets where they are going with Carol.

From the tv guide review:
In the B story, Morgan (Lennie James) searched for Carol (Melissa McBride) just like he promised. And he found her! But she didn't want to go back to Alexandria because she was still consumed by this nonsensical reasoning of not feeling like she could kill for someone else. She didn't feel like she cared enough about another to kill for them, so she thought she would be better off being far away from everyone.

To me, they've completely missed the point about why Carol needs to leave. She cares *so much* for the people of the group and in Alexandria that she has to kill for them because she thinks they can't protect themselves. The whole tallying up her dead, that shows that she's reached a point where she really questions her reasons for killing. She begs the Saviors when they take her and Maggie to not make her kill, and does it again with the Saviors on the road. She's not begging for her life, she's begging them to not force her to take theirs.

Basically, she can't find the balance between protecting the people she loves and being a monster who kills everything in her path. I think this has been coming for a long time. She made those rationalizations when she killed the two sick folks at the prison. She made killing Lizzie a necessary thing to protect those she loved. She's done it over and over again but now, maybe it's Morgan's influence, she's starting to question what all that killing is doing to her. It's not that she doesn't care enough for people to justify killing for them. It's that she cares so much, she can't stop killing for people and is afraid that it will destroy who she is inside to keep killing.

There was a reason one of the three questions asked why you killed a human. That reaffirms your humanness. If you don't have a good reason for why, if it's not a matter of protecting yourself or those you love, then you're further down the line to monster than you need to be. And that's the whole point of this season is our crew has slowly slide down the slope to needlessly killing without finding out why. Sure, they were told that the Saviors were bad people and they needed to kill them to stop them from coming after them. But old Maggie, Glenn, and Rick would have need way more answers about why.

Carol's dilemma isn't out of line, it's just that it took her a long time to realize that she may have crossed the line from killing when it had to happen to killing to make things easier. Despite what she said to Morgan about the Wolf, you can't just kill someone because they may hurt you in the future. Because how do you know who will be a danger? Isn't everyone likely to hurt you? And then you just kill because you can.
posted by teleri025 at 10:36 AM on April 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yes! And she knows if she hesitates to kill, a loved one could be hurt/killed and she doesn't want to live with that either.
posted by agregoli at 10:54 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, honestly where they've gone with Carol here is the only good part of the show for me right now. And yeah, I like good ol' earnest-as-fuck Morgan. I like his jujitsu philosophy thing.

I actually had a flash just as they were loading pretty much everybody except whiny preacher into the camper – putting them all together and on the road in what seems like a stunningly obvious foolishness. Remembering Scott Gimple's repeated assurances that this episode would "CHANGE EVERYTHING," I thought: wouldn't it be awesome if they just... killed off all the regular characters and started over again completely with a bunch of those random Alexandrians that sometimes appear? Whiny preacher could take Rick's place. He would actually be a much better Rick, although that's not saying much since every character on the show would be a better Rick than Rick.

I knew they'd never do anything that gutsy, but one can hope.
posted by koeselitz at 12:46 PM on April 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Disagree. Loves me some Rick. He's the baddest. Priest is an asshole.
posted by agregoli at 1:26 PM on April 5, 2016


Wasn't that almost word-for-word what he said in the show?

On the show, he appears to want everything. In the comics, he stuck with half.

Carol's dilemma isn't out of line, it's just that it took her a long time to realize that she may have crossed the line from killing when it had to happen to killing to make things easier.

Carol's dilemma wouldn't be out of line with better writing, IMO. The rosary pretty much came out of nowhere - I don't remember Carol demonstrating religious tendencies before. They haven't been consistently showing her little kill notebook. (A friend of mine I am trying to lure over here quipped, "Carol realized she hated killing people when she learned math.")

In a better story, the relentlessly pragmatic murder machine questioning herself could be rich ground for good stories. Here? It feels shoehorned in because they're done with her being awesome.

I am bothered by similarly half-assed developments with many characters - they had a lot to work with that was just mishandled. Among my many complaints:

* Daryl and Rick straight up switching positions re: recruitment with no backstory before meeting Jesus.
* Abraham dumping Rosita in the coldest way possible, right before a life-and-death mission. Abraham's a dick, but they didn't even milk that for a fight or anything, or show us how someone that big of an asshole explained what happened to Sasha.
* Richonne.

Lots of this stuff could've been good. Most of them are not bad ideas fundamentally, but the writers really are more at their comfort zone writing dead guys who can't talk, reason or strategize.

wouldn't it be awesome if they just... killed off all the regular characters and started over again completely with a bunch of those random Alexandrians that sometimes appear?

I would be on board with that. If nothing else, I'd appreciate the novelty and guts required to do that.

Disagree. Loves me some Rick. He's the baddest.

Someone is wrong on the Internet!

(Although rather than getting all 'no he's not!' in a manner I recognize as completely unhelpful, I am more curious what makes anybody like him. Could you elaborate?)
posted by mordax at 1:42 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think it was Glen they thwacked, because at this point I expect they'll go that dumb route, with a whole "HAHA you thought it wouldn't be him because of the cliffhanger LAST season! Ain't we clever?" thrown in for fun. They'll think it'll give Maggie more depth or something too, I'm sure.
posted by Windigo at 1:54 PM on April 5, 2016


Carol demonstrated religious tendencies on the farm when her child was lost, then found as a zombie and put down. She prayed several times and mentions prayer several times. She also says she's not sure she believes in hell any more when she is looking for Beth with Daryl.

Know your characters!
posted by agregoli at 1:56 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


They've got all summer to come up with something. Preferably something that isn't just "And then the Space Cowboys show up to save the day."

My money is on the Gangsters of Love.
posted by CincyBlues at 1:56 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


(I want to know who "R" was on the top of Carol's kill list.)
posted by agregoli at 1:57 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mordax, I didn't say anyone was wrong, I said I disagree. It would take a long time to list why I like Rick, but geez, its not like I'm alone in liking the central protagonist on the show!
posted by agregoli at 1:58 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wasn't that almost word-for-word what he said in the show?

On the show, he appears to want everything. In the comics, he stuck with half.


I am gonna hafta stick up for mama casserole, and by extension, for the show (I have the sense that a lot of people around here only half-pay-attention when they watch, not that I can blame them) - Negan opened with a declaratory "I want your shit" but then proceeded to lay out in detail how they would have to give him half their stuff and if that didn't leave them with enough stuff they'd have to make or get more. That's pretty much word-for-word what you described.

I mean, DirtyOldTown is right, there's enough wrong with the show at this point that pointing out the spots where people were half-watching and not following the show is sort of silly, I guess. But, in this case, Negan's speech was ripped straight from the pages of the comics (minus the part where he reasons out who to kill, which I would have much rather had than a cheesy forced cliffhanger).
posted by mstokes650 at 2:12 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh I will still probably be a pedant about imagined plotholes. But there are enough real ones that I'm not holding it against anyone if their response is "Fuck this show anyway. It still sucks."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:56 PM on April 5, 2016


At this point, my trust in the producers is so low, I half expect to tune in for the season premiere and be greeted with a Terrence and Phillip episode.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:58 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, um. I was gonna complain about shitty writing and music cues in the first half, but then Negan showed up.

(I knew Negan was gonna be this season's Big Bad—but I haven't read the comics, so I don't know what that actually means.)

That was...tense and brutal. Like I was legit afraid and upset.

I don't really know what to say other than that.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:36 PM on April 5, 2016


I guess I'm the only person this episode more or less worked for. I thought the increasing sense of dread as it became apparent that the Saviors had blocked every road to Hilltop was effective, and rather than seeing it as redundant, I thought the slow burn of "oh, God, they've blocked this one, too, and with more people than before" really worked. The absolute hopelessness of the ending--no way out this time this time--was more suspenseful to me than than anything I can remember previously, and almost redeemed the series of implausible escapes beforehand. The previous successful conflicts with the Saviors now serve just to make this one worse. The Saviors will have their revenge. I thought Neegan was effectively chilling and way he toyed with the gang, taking his time deciding who was going to be viciously beaten to death, was just gut-wrenching.

No, you're not alone in this! Chez Hardcheese was unanimous in thinking it was straight up some of the best TWD since the beginning of Season 1. (Maybe not coincidentally, either, given the many visual/story callbacks to S1E1...)

Hell I'll go out on a limb and say I liked the cliffhanger. Symbolically, after Rick's whole speech about how "we can do anything as long as it's all of us," it really doesn't matter who specifically died, because "the group" has been irrevocably shattered.

Plus, and this may really be just me, but before the episode I had characters where I felt like "sheesh, just kill em off and be done with em." But after watching that scene, with the cliffhanger, I legitimately felt that any choice would have been horrible, cruel, and undeserved, and awful. I'm not sure I would have had that shift if we knew who it was.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 5:59 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think they're going to do something super clever and have Neagan kille his top henchman. He made himself out to be a big bad guy and Neagan will kill him as a warning to everyone not to forget who is really in charge, and don't get out of line. I came up with this idea by trying to imagine the most unsatisfying and creatively bankrupt resolution to the cliffhanger possible.
posted by skewed at 6:47 PM on April 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


Carol demonstrated religious tendencies on the farm when her child was lost, then found as a zombie and put down. She prayed several times and mentions prayer several times. She also says she's not sure she believes in hell any more when she is looking for Beth with Daryl.

Know your characters!


That's fair. In my defense, that happened on the farm, and most of what I remember about it was that I never want to see a farm again anywhere, ever. Also, it's been conspicuously absent for years in real time. However, point taken. (My counterpoint is that it just means they had better material to set this up with, and should have started sooner in the season - this is a show that spent that whole year setting up the reveal on Sophie, but they couldn't take half as long for Carol? I call shenanigans.)

Mordax, I didn't say anyone was wrong, I said I disagree. It would take a long time to list why I like Rick, but geez, its not like I'm alone in liking the central protagonist on the show!

No, that wasn't my intention. I apologize for communicating poorly. The intended implication was that my reaction to your statement was that you were wrong on the Internet, and I felt a knee-jerk reaction to launch into a three page essay about why Rick is The Worst.

Of course, I know that's stupid, (I was lampooning my own feelings there with the xkcd), but then I was suddenly curious what you saw in the guy. We all bring our own perspective to any narrative we examine, and it sounded more fun to understand your point of view for a minute than yammer about mine interminably.

*shrugs*

Anyway, you are not obliged to humor me, but that's all I was asking about - I was in no way accusing you of wrongdoing, and am sorry for not being clearer. I was in a bit of a hurry, and should've just asked when I had a few more minutes.
posted by mordax at 8:31 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Also, looking back, I actually have no idea how long the setup for Sophie was. It's entirely possible I'm wrong about how long it went on, but I'm sure it got more attention than Carol's change of heart.)
posted by mordax at 8:36 PM on April 5, 2016


The setup for Sophie took like years. Children were born, seasons changed, empires rose and fell. Seriously, it was like a whole season for her to finally get out of that creepy barn.
posted by mochapickle at 8:41 PM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


You mean Sophia? Not Sophie - they never called her that.

I'm also alone it feels like in WD because I liked most of the stuff on the farm. It was slow, sure. But very important for fleshing out the characters, and setting up the change in Rick.

Rick IS the audience. He came into the new world blind and confused, born out of the hospital into something he didn't have any clue about. He was scared, alone, and needed to adjust, big time. His hope for finding his family was keeping him going.

Once he found them, and found Shane, of course, he re-took that leadership role again (irking Shane by re-claiming Lori AND his authority over Shane in their job roles).

Then the CDC - his power of persuasion lets them escape certain death in that firetrap.

Sophia goes missing - his desperate run after her touched me - I still feel a pang every time I think/see him say "Keep the sun on your left shoulder" - the only advice he can think to give that little girl if he dies or doesn't find her again.

He implores everyone to keep hope. I find it an amazing little twist that he asks god for help in the church while they're looking for Sophia, and asks god for a sign. "Any sign will do." And then Carl is shot! It's like the sign from god is, "You're fucked."

His persuasiveness and hope at the farm again lets them stay until the farm falls. His attempts to reign in Shane and get along with Herschel let Herschel know he's a good guy, ultimately getting them to band together when the farm is overrun. Having to kill his former best friend and partner because of Shane's jealousy and rage is an amazing turning point.

After the farm and Shane, he is resentful of the group, resentful of being their leader. He is angry at everyone for doubting him when he's done so much to keep everyone safe and together. Also, right then is when he discovers that not only did Shane love Lori, but Lori loved Shane - more than him.

They almost starve, but it's under his leadership that they enter the prison (of course, that ended up being some BAD shit). It is safe harbor for a while. Here he decides to kill deliberately, giving that bad prisoner a machete in the head. Here is where he decides to not take chances. The scene where he has to kill the pigs in order to lead the walkers away from the fence is important to me too - sacrificing pigs, sacrificing the sick, the young, in order to save the group - it eats him up. The burden of having to make those choices, the loss of hope, the loss of the dream of farming and living at the prison in a community, augh! One of Andrew Lincoln's best scenes ever, watch it again!

But....he falls back on old habits by trying to negotiate with the Governor, who already proved he was an awful man by holding Glenn and Maggie hostage. He still tries a last ditch negotiation with the Governor, and the result is Herschel's head being cut off.

After the prison, he's broken. After biting that Claimed Guy's throat out, he's SUPER broken. And on his knees at Terminus! A trap they WALKED INTO because of HOPE. Hope is a false thing. Best to leave it behind.

The threats they face are too much, require too much vigilance for kindness to be possible. By the time they get to Alexandria, he says it - "I don't know if anything can make me walk through those gates." The whole group is suspicious there. And it's clear to him that he has to take over leadership of Alexandria, he has to be in charge or they will all die, the Alexandrians are too slow, too clueless to make it on their own. And lucky for all he's ruthless enough to be able to kill when it is necessary, like with Pete.

And now? Hope is a faint light within him still, when Carl is shot yet again, he cries at his bedside, hoping to show him "the new world." One where he wants to believe that we can live with others in peace, and end all this conflict. Which we know, sadly, is another pipe dream.

I think without this constant conflict between Rick's better nature and his knowledge of What It Takes to Survive (something we the viewers know just as acutely), the show would be immensely boring and simply heartless and cruel. Shane in charge all this time, for example? It would be ruthless killing with no second thought. We need that struggle, which is why even though I don't like everything that's happened lately, I appreciate they bring up that struggle with people like Carol and Morgan.

I think it would be courageous of the show to kill Rick at this point. However, I don't believe, for multiple reasons, they would do such a thing. I am somewhat expecting a cop-out, or someone lesser than a main-main character to be the one beaten to death. But maybe Daryl? I don't know. I am not getting my hopes up that it will be anything like what I would expect or want.

*(Sorry for the novel - I'm a Super Fan and have watched every episode of Walking Dead except the recent ones at least 5-6 times, if not more.)
posted by agregoli at 7:35 AM on April 6, 2016 [10 favorites]




I for one enjoyed your novel, I'm still off team Rick, but you sure made me miss the man he was.
posted by Iteki at 8:58 AM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


agregoli: I want to know who "R" was on the top of Carol's kill list.

Movie Pilot reviewed that list, and here's what they wrote about R:
Back at the very beginning of Season 4 Carol stabbed the father of Mika and Lizzie, Ryan Samuels, after he was bitten by walkers who had invaded the prison. Technically Ryan already died due to his injuries, but Carol's stabbing prevented him from reanimating.
They also disagree with her tally of 18, subtracting and adding a few for a new total of 20.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:58 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pffffft no he died and then she stopped the zombification, that seemed obvious to me. I really don't buy that was who the list referred to. My personal theory (for my own peace of mind) is a lost pregnancy because of her husband's abuse, before the zombies arrived. But who knows if they'll elaborate since she seems on her way out.
posted by agregoli at 10:01 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


If this show were truly daring, then Negan would have killed Rick. Rick's character has had a full arc since he has gone from being Morgan before Morgan was Morgan to being More Shane Than Shane.

I'm on Team #LetRickDieAlready - the plot armor is getting heavy for him, he must take it off and his blood must flow, so that the show can move beyond being The Rick Show and become something new.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Although maybe "R" stands for "Randall," the boy she didn't stand up for who Shane killed at the farm.
posted by agregoli at 10:05 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Rick IS the show. I'd be interested of what the show will be after him, as I believe it'll happen, but that's an entirely new show, essentially, since the POV will change. And then it'll be the Carl show.
posted by agregoli at 1:34 PM on April 6, 2016


I feel like the shame of it is, there are hints of a good show in here. I like how the first few seasons were about how Shane had tipped over, dropping morality for a sort of blunt utilitarianism, and so Rick killed him, but it's become obvious that Shane was just an early adopter. If the show were a little more nuanced, we could step outside this story, and from the outside Rick and his group might seem just as dangerous and psychopathic as the supposed villains they're dealing with.

But, good grief, the show started failing early and has continued to fail hard in its worldbuilding, and at this point I want a story set a few years after a disaster, where the people have pretty much come to terms with zombies, and even have a good sense of how to deal with each other, but must contend with packs of animals, or mosquito-borne plagues, or the fact that infections can kill them. The idea that they're still scrounging for tins of food, still have bullets, still have gasoline, still can find medicine, etc. is laughable. The word would be closer to that of Mad Max right now, or it would be closer to settled colonies, and the show wants it to be both.
posted by maxsparber at 1:45 PM on April 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Rick had no choice but to kill Shane. It's not like he decided to do so.

And that's the point we're at now...Rick and group are assassins, no better than the Governor and the like. That's why they've gone where we are now. Who is moral? Who is justified in their violence?
posted by agregoli at 2:36 PM on April 6, 2016


If that's the question, where could the series really go from there? Either Rick dies a monster or he gets a redemptive arc eventually. Neither option has me biting my fingernails.
posted by mochapickle at 2:54 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Neither does for me either - that's where they fucked up.
posted by agregoli at 5:15 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm skeptical that the show wants us to even consider the possibility that Rick was wrong to take on the assassination mission. The story it's telling us is about our heroes biting off more than they could chew, not about our heroes becoming morally compromised.

Maybe the Morgan/Carol B-story is supposed to introduce a moral element that parallels the moral questions of the A-story, but if so it's not working. The B-story is too black & white to do that job successfully.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:31 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah they tried to make Glenn the moral compass wrestling with that ninja shit and that doesn't work - so he was the only one that felt terrible?
posted by agregoli at 7:29 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I'm skeptical that the show wants us to even consider the possibility that Rick was wrong to take on the assassination mission. The story it's telling us is about our heroes biting off more than they could chew, not about our heroes becoming morally compromised."

I don't have any deeply knowledgeable analysis, but my very strong, long-standing impression is that the show keeps setting up these "have our heroes become monsters?" questions and then answering them with "no, they are right to be this way and anyone that objects is an idiot". Rick is a hero simply because he's our hero, this is world where heroes aren't virtuous because virtue is a lie and, in fact, falling for that lie is a way of not being virtuous. Because being the person who gets killed is the ultimate failure. Okay, but then they keep showing us these villains who very explicitly make that their credo. Why are they they villains, then? Because they're not Rick and the Gang. That's why. That's the only reason. And we're supposed to accept this, and not in an ironic way, but to actually admire Rick while despising Rick's more explicitly nihilistic antagonists.

Which, I guess, is the point of the Walking Dead. It's the death of ethics, of humanity, or something. Except that all the drama of the show continues to be centered around people struggling with their better human impulses. On the one hand, in writing this out, I feel like it's incoherent, does the show want to say that there's no right other than survival but then keeps making the villains be only just slightly more explicit about this? On the other hand, it seems like there's a suspicious consistency in this, in that, yeah, that's the point, that we're supposed to think that Rick is the hero and we like Rick simply because he's Rick and because these other people are presented to us as villains and if that seems arbitrary, well, it's not arbitrary because, hey, Rick is Rick and Rick is the hero, which isn't arbitrary. Only one person can be Rick. I feel like the real message here is an embrace of a tautology while denying that it's a tautology.

Alternatively, maybe the production staff is just laughing at its audience while they cash their checks.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:04 AM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


The only thing separating Rick and Co. From the other villians is they don't toy with peple, or capture people just to toy with and kill them. Which is a low bar, since they now creep in and kill people in the night on the word of someone else. I'm not sure they can keep this up, how can we continue to root for them when they've fallen so far from grace?
posted by agregoli at 5:28 AM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


It doesn't matter to me much whether they give us reasons to feel comfortable with Rick and company morally. I mean, many of us watched and enjoyed every episode of Breaking Bad and I don't think anyone was okay with Walter White morally at the end. That's just one example. There are dozens.

I will say--and I am aiming to say this rather pointedly--that in Rick's case, they could stand to give him some qualities that make him more compelling to root for, though. They need to give us something.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:14 AM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Breaking Bad is an interesting comparison. I think the real difference is that BB was tightly plotted and the entire point of the show was to watch the downfall of Walter White until his life imploded. Walking Dead has no such endpoint vis-a-vis Rick - unless he gets hungry and sets up his own Terminus camp, he's basically already as villanious as he's going to get. Therein lies the problem - what is the actual conflict at this point? Humans vs. Zombies is just background noise. Humans vs. Humans.. I mean, once they finish up this Negan storyline, I don't see how they can introduce yet another Big Bad. And the show seems unable to examine the inner Self vs. Self conflict in a meaningful way given the Carol debacle. Where do we go from here?
posted by gatorae at 7:05 PM on April 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


I have an answer to that, and it's an answer for the entire zombie genre: Everyone becomes a zombie, and it turns out to be more than totally fine -- no pain, no needs, no interzombie conflict of any kind, etc. -- and they realize all those years of trying not to be zombies were utter folly, and are faced with the horror of having killed so many zombies -- including all their loved ones, thus forever ripping them out of the beautiful and eternal kingdom of zombie union. Their entire mission from that point on is to destroy the Evil Living so the hyperutopian Age of the Dead can fully commence. Roll credits over a super-gory montage set to Belinda Carlisle's classic "Heaven is a Place on Earth."

But they probably won't do that, I bet.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:26 PM on April 7, 2016 [17 favorites]


That's really twisted, Sys Rq. I like it!
posted by mochapickle at 9:42 PM on April 7, 2016


FYI, there are some spoilers floating around that are (educated) guesses about who got killed. I'm not a big fan of spoilers, but in this day and age on this show, you can't cliffhang something like that and expect it to stay a secret for 6 months until the season 7 premiere.
posted by cashman at 2:13 PM on April 8, 2016


Sys Rq's idea is now the only conclusion I will accept. Love it.
posted by areaperson at 5:44 PM on April 8, 2016


That's very close to the actual ending of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend, which was the foundation of the modern zombie genre.
posted by koeselitz at 4:30 PM on April 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The guy who owns my local comic shop noted that the only Alexandrite who has the same hard side lighting from the same direction as Negan is Abraham.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:57 PM on April 12, 2016


Variety: Walking Dead Showrunner Says Season 6 Finale was 'Never Intended to F--- With People'

Gimple: "It only makes the tapestry richer."

To which I laugh and laugh and laugh.
posted by mochapickle at 2:20 PM on April 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


You can buy your own Lucille.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:36 AM on April 15, 2016


Ending a season with a which-main-character??? cliffhanger featuring an apparent murder and a Lucille?

Arrested Development already did it.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


You can buy your own Lucille.

Psh! $164.00! And not even a full sized bat. How could you beat anyone to death with this? Anyway, I can get a coil of barbed wire and a (fake) louisville slugger for < $30.
posted by dis_integration at 10:34 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's the theory out there that Enid is colluding with the Saviors.

I've been thinking this for a long time. Also that it's possible the wolves were a tributary of the Saviors. But Enid's been really fucking coy multiple times before a big confrontation. And she coincidentally wants to go along right before they all get ambushed? Yeah, no.

My bets on who dies:

For it to change everything, I'm betting it's actually a woman, that they have to watch her get beaten to death without making a sound to save their own worthless skins. For some macho guy like Daryl or Abraham or Glenn to get beaten to death - someone who would be totally willing to accept death to Be The Hero - would be meaningless. But someone who they feel they should be protecting, and they have to just let them die? Yeah, that would fuck with them.

Michonne - depends on if they know about Richonne or not. If so, then that would be the biggest punishment they could think of for Rick while still keeping his son around for leverage. She also is fully capable of doing it without a sound, and honestly her story at this point seems hopelessly like it has no arc.

Maggie - this would be the most brutal, because she's pregnant and sick and they did all this to save her. However, she was already maybe dying, which could either be a "good, you lose someone not actually valuable" (to the Saviors) or a "not meaningful."

Sasha - this is maybe the one I'm leaning towards most after Michonne. We would think the Abraham stuff was a setup for him - but really, it's one for her.

The only downside is it's not really realistic for one of the paired couples not to do something with the other one getting beaten to death.

But Eugene would be a cheap cop out, as would Aaron or Tara. It has to be core crew.
posted by corb at 8:14 AM on April 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


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