We’re hearing a lot of “FINALLY!” on the Dead-o-sphere this morning, along with “This is how season 3 should have ended!” Both of which are true and on-point statements, as far as we’re concerned, but we’re not willing to join in the chorus of praise. Yes, that was an action-packed, plot-moving hour, which is not something you can say about most episodes of The Walking Dead, which could more accurately be a series titled The Talking Living, because that’s all the characters on this show seem to do: talk, talk, talk. Endlessly.
Wait, we’re bitching again. Let’s start over.
Last night, we got the confrontation between the Governor and Rick that we should have gotten a good 6 or 7 episodes ago at the very least (but frankly, we would’ve preferred it had gone down even earlier than that, because the Gov became tiresome way too early in the story and it seems like everyone who watches the show would have liked it better if he’d been killed off a long time ago).
Oh, forget it. We can’t write about this show without bitching. We’re not even going to try, even if there were some viscerally exciting moments to be had in last night’s mid-season finale (a TV scheduling concept that we hate with the white-hot intensity of a thousand su– bitching again. Must learn to tamp that down). Look, we can’t complain about lack of plot movement, because it lurched forward last night, probably more than it ever has in one episode of the show. The status quo is not only completely upended, it’s entirely unknown. When the show comes back, we’ll have no idea what to expect in terms of who’s still alive and where all the characters are located, now that they’ve been scattered to the wind. And we certainly can’t complain about tension and excitement, because that was probably one of the best action sequences the show ever filmed. These are all big entries in the “plus” column.
But after last week’s episode, when we came to the realization that we’d just spent two whole story-hours watching the Governor do absolutely nothing we haven’t seen him do before, revealing absolutely nothing about him that we didn’t already know, we were slowly coming to the realization that we may just have to walk away from this show for being nothing but a series of disappointments and missed opportunities. Then we get an episode like this, which pretty much gives us at least part of what we’ve been asking for from the show, and yet it still left us a little flat. It’s kind of hard, after all, to watch a firefight go on between a couple dozen people when you only know the names of a handful of them, and even then, you’re not assured of any real insight into who they are. Sure, we were rooting for the prison side of the fight, but only in a nominal sense. In other words, “Gosh, we hope Sasha and Tyreese and Bob and Maggie’s sister whose name we can NEVER remember and those homicidal little girls and all those people on the bus survive because …”
Hunh. Can’t come up with a reason.
And then there’s the fact that this story really made no sense at all. Why would any of those people have agreed to what the Governor was doing? Even after he beheaded a man right in front of them, an act that would give pretty much anyone a reason to pause and reflect on their choices. How did that lady suddenly show up out of nowhere with her dead daughter (Blonde White Girl in Danger Alert!)? And what kind of idiot lets their kid dig in the dirt unattended in the zombie apocalypse? Why would the Governor kill Herschel and not Michonne when he had the chance? Why didn’t anyone try and take the shot when the Governor raised the sword to behead Herschel? Why did the Governor’s group pretty much destroy the prison as a refuge when they wanted it for themselves? We can understand why he would do something like that, but why would any of his followers?
But hey, at least Rick learned that you have to be hard in this world and flowery fantasies about a peaceful existence are only dangerous in the long run. That is a brand new lesson! It’s not like the show has hammered this theme incessantly since season one or anything.
Feh. Yeah, there was some excitement and we’re glad both that the Governor is dead and that the status quo is completely upended, but we’re deeply annoyed as to how we got to this point and we have no faith in the show anymore that this signals some sort of energizing new direction. We have every reason to believe when the show comes back that we’re still going to watch dumb characters sit around and argue over dumb decisions until a bunch of them die. That’s been the show’s formula since the beginning and absolutely nothing about it has changed.
Bullet points, because we’re cranky and can’t string full paragraphs together anymore.
- Andrew Lincoln is a terrible actor. There. We said it.
- Is Little Ass-Kicker still alive? They left it vague enough. After all, those Little Blonde White Girls (the homicidal ones, not the stupid digging-in-the-dirt one) were in charge of her and last we saw, they were heading back into the prison.
- By the way, did the Little Blonde White Girl Gang actually kill … those two people whose names we can’t even remember but one of them was Tyreese’s sort-of girlfriend? Was Carol covering that up? If she was, we’re not sure that makes any sense. She’d wander off into the wild and leave those girls without a pseudo-mother?
- We realize it was the middle of a firefight, but it made ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE for Michonne to walk away from a still-breathing Governor, mortal wound or not. That’s a lady who needed to finish the job and needed to see a beheaded Governor at her feet. Every bit of work done to establish her character evaporated in that moment.
- R.I.P., Herschel. It was probably time for the character to go. Not that we were bored with him, but they’d done everything they could with the character and he has more value to the story now that he’s dead.
- Darryl is a badass, but we knew that already. Can’t say we buy the use of a rotted corpse as a shield against close-range gunfire, though.
- And finally: If anyone in the remaining group still thinks Rick should make decisions for them, they need to be shot in the head with a crossbow bolt immediately.
[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC]