The Walking Dead: Inmates

Posted on February 17, 2014

Kyla Kenedy and Brighton Sharbino in AMC’s The Walking Dead

 

Here’s our take on the first two episodes of the second half of the fourth season of The Walking Dead: We don’t much care about the story being told but we appreciate the attempts to craft it as a story.

But before we expand on that, here’s our take on the entire series up to this point, just so we’re clear: There is no story here. There is no goal, there’s barely what we’d call a protagonist; nothing changes, no one experiences much in the way of growth without the reset button being hit again and again, and the only things that ever happen to any of the characters are terrible things, for the most part. It’s a tale told by a moody teenager who hates everybody. In the confines of a serialized graphic storytelling medium (i.e., a comic book), you can have a bleak, unending series of vignettes that hammer home a theme (Humans are the real monsters! For real!) and not have to worry about forward momentum or keeping an audience engaged through commercial breaks and between seasons. The Walking Dead’s nihilistic and relentlessly bleak worldview works like gangbusters in a black and white comic book, but is decidedly less entertaining on a basic cable drama. It’s just a series about traumatized people living in the worst possible conditions. And when the story tries to build something for the characters; give them goals and aspirations beyond living for the next few minutes, it tears it down every time, either because the characters are so unbelievably stupid or because the world is full of eeeeeeeevil people bent on destruction. This, to us, is boring. Imagine if by the 4th season of Lost, most of the original cast was dead, either from illness or starvation, or because the island was overrun with serial killers. And every week we watch starving, terrified people try to get water out of a coconut in order to live another hour and avoid getting their throats slit. That’s what The Walking Dead had become. In a lot of ways, that’s what the show still is.

It’s not that we want Happy Fun Time in the Zombie Apocalypse Hour. It’s just that we don’t subscribe to the view that says that humanity is so stupid and immoral that it can’t do anything but crawl through the mud looking for sustenance and occasionally getting violent with each other. People naturally want to build and form communities and make plans for themselves and for the children in the community. That’s not pie-in-the-sky thinking on our parts, that’s the whole of human history.  We’re somewhere around two years post-apocalypse and no one in the entire state of Georgia (and we’ve met several hundred survivors by now, which implies thousands more country-wide, if not hundreds of thousands or even millions worldwide) can manage basic hygiene or planting a garden or building an effective wall, not for any length of time, anyway. Everyone wanders around with guns and swords, looking desperate and hungry, occasionally killing each other or any undead who wander in their path. It makes no sense from a real world point of view and it’s not entertaining to watch in the long run, which is why we’re so frustrated with the show.

(As an aside: we would, if we had the power, declare a moratorium on any scenes set in the Georgia back woods again. Enough with this particular setting, writers.)

But with last week’s episode and this week’s (but to a lesser extent), there’s a real sense of structure to the storytelling now, even if the story itself hasn’t changed. That’s encouraging. Michonne’s journey last episode, as well as Carl’s, showed that you can have hope and optimism; some sense of humanity that makes sense to us in this story, while still remaining as bleak as ever. Carl realizing he loves and needs his father and Michonne realizing she desperately needs to be part of a community or family are relatable but nothing else about their surroundings have changed. You tell several episodes like that in a row, and you’re building a real world with real characters, something the show has largely failed to do.

With last night’s episode, that trend continued, although it’s a far less focused episode than last week’s. That’s probably to be expected, since we checked in with every single character left alive and we saw that they all more or less came to the same conclusion: It’s worth it to go on. No one knows why, or where they’re going, but every character was posed the question of whether or not they could continue, and every one of them answered with a “yes.” That’s how you do hope in a hopeless landscape. The only question that should follow after that yes is “What now, then?” This is the make-or-break moment for the show, as far as we’re concerned. It looks like there’s some sort of community they’re all heading to and new people to meet. That’s good. We don’t need either of these developments to necessarily be happy ones, but we’ll get bored really quickly if the new folks in the last scene turn out to be another set of garden-variety post-apocalypse psychopaths and we’ll almost certainly check out permanently if the mysterious (and hilariously ominously named) “Terminus” sanctuary turns out to be another death trap for the cast.

Move the characters in a direction, writers. That’s what we’re asking for. It doesn’t have to be a happy one, but we need to see them move. And if you’re going to provide them with conflict, just please don’t make it a rehash of The farm/Woodbury/The prison. We’re more than played out on all the stupidity and eeeeeeevilness. Let’s see these characters work toward something other than a shitty garden, living in prison cells, and surrounded by nothing but a flimsy fence. The longer we’re away from the prison the more we’re astounded by how dumb it all was.

 

[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC]

    • MasterandServant

      I was encouraged by these two episodes and quite happy to see the character of Abraham emerge last night. Obviously the show diverges from the books quite often, but this could really get the story back on track if done well.

    • lexilexi

      Just seeing Carol again made my night.

    • veriance

      I’m glad you are covering the show again this season. I agree with your post. They (writers) are doing SOMETHING but I’m not sure it’s enough. The show reminds me of The Dukes of Hazard but replace “car chase” with “gory zombie conflict”.

    • osu86

      I had this exact some conversation with my partner last night. We literally paused the DVR, and said, ok, it’s been at least what, 2 years? (Lori got pregnant, had the baby, Judith’s about 6-9 months). Even, if zombies obliterated the world, it just doesn’t seem plausible that all cities were systematically destroyed in the same way. Even if it’s wiped out say, 90% of the population, that’s still millions of people left. So, can we please see some world building or at least some attempts to rebuild society? There have to be enough people left to start meeting up in centralized locations, and moving forward.

    • Sobaika

      I would like a moratorium on characters wheezing/sobbing/dry-heaving themselves into a sloppy mess. I get that the zombie apocalypse is a traumatic experience. It’s just simply not that entertaining to watch several characters do it in conjunction.

      Brief little moments give me some hope – the look on Carol’s face when Tyrese hugged her, Michonne’s entire backstory, Lauren Cohan acting her heart out in the schoolbus (although to have all those prison folk survive just to die after Glenn left them for two minutes was a wasted opportunity).

      • MilaXX

        Loved that little hesitation and look of uncertainty on Carol’s face as Tyrese approached her. You could tell she was unsure of what he knew or how he was going to react.

    • dickylarue

      I’ve harped on the sad state of writing on this show for a few seasons now, but I will say I’m slightly encouraged by the last 2 episodes. That said, I still think they’re lazy in execution. Carol following them on foot made zero sense last night. Her speeding up in the car while they were about to be lunch might’ve been a more exciting plausible choice.

      I thought Glen’s arc last night was excellent. He went back for the things that meant something to him and moved forward in the hopes to find what’s left. I know “Hershel wanted me to do this” patter feels cliche, but I enjoyed his moments more than the Daryl/Beth stuff which didn’t seem to achieve much. I mean, they’re going to hook up. We all know that’s coming. I don’t see any other reason for the pairing story wise at this point.

      Of course because I think they’re actually trying harder to be smart here it’ll revert to Rick vs. the new head guy losing a few key players (don’t buy that beach house yet Tyrese) along the way.

      But as someone who has been critical of the writing, I’m happy about the last 2 hours of the show. The Rick/Carl/Michonne episode was excellent and last night’s was very good.

      • MilaXX

        Oh barf. Please don’t hook up Beth & Darryl. Isn’t she only like 18 on the show? I also dislike when shows feel everyone has to pair off or hook up. I don’t care in fan fic writers hook them up or hook up Rick and Michonne. I’m just not that interested in seeing it on the show.

        • dickylarue

          MilaXX – I hate that stuff too. Believe me. I don’t see what we gain story wise from that happening, but I also know these writers. They paired them together for a reason and I’m almost certain it’s to pair them up romantically before Darryl & Carol reunite to “add tension”. Otherwise, I’m not sure what Darryl is supposed to learn from Beth or vice versa so I think they’re unfortunately pairing them romantically.

          • Mismarker

            How about Carol and Tyreese hooking up before a reunion with Daryl?

            • MilaXX

              I just don’t think every character has to be romantically involved.

            • Mismarker

              I don’t think so either. Just questioning the hypothesis of Daryl and Beth being “together” solely to create tension when Daryl and Carol see each other again. If they are pairing characters up to create tension, that could also be achieved by creating a relationship (doesn’t need to be romantic) between Carol and Tyreese. Mostly, I just don’t want to see Daryl and Beth together that way. : )

          • MilaXX

            I’d rather she develop a crush on him and he turn her down if they must do anything romantic like with them.

        • Mismarker

          I don’t mind seeing romantic relationships blooming here and there but I agree about Daryl and Beth. Please, God, no. I see more of a sibling dynamic happening, hopefully. As far as couples, we’ve got only Glenn and Maggie now. Looks like Bob and Sasha might be something down the road. Rick and Michonne? Carol and Tyreese?

        • YoungSally

          Actually, it would be funny if Daryl tried to hook up with Beth and she gave him the same laughing blow-off that Carol gave to that short-lived inmate

    • http://www.fitnerdgirl.com McQueenMcLean

      I’m wondering if Terminus is a call-back to Atlanta, which was once a beacon of hope, so perhaps not so ominous sounding. Atlanta was once named Terminus way back when. Or, very much ominous sounding since we know how Atlanta ended up.

      • MilaXX

        I did not know that. Your theory makes way more sense than mine.

      • lifetime_student

        That’s the first thing I thought, “Terminus is Atlanta.” The map they showed was of railroads, and Atlanta was previously named Terminus because it was where all the railroads ended/intersected. If that is where Carol & co. are headed it will be interesting to see what changes have taken place since the group fled the CDC in Atlanta a year or so ago.

        • Mismarker

          Would be cool to see some of the action move back to an urban setting.

      • YoungSally

        Based on the traffic jams in downtown Atlanta where 75/85 and I-20 all meet….terminus is an apt name.

    • Mismarker

      I had to fast forward through most of the kids and Tyreese section. I’m fine with hours of zombie slashing but apparently can’t watch kids in peril or Lizzie taking too much pleasure in stifling Judith’s cries. Couple that with slicing and dicing those bunnies and if we didn’t know before, we certainly know now: girl be a straight up psycho. I predicted Carol might meet up with Tyreese and the kids and it is just as good as I expected. When and how will Tyreese find out about Carol (or was it Lizzie??) killing Karen?

      So glad to be done with the prison. There is real potential for something special now and I like it all. Need to also give a shout out to Michael Cudlitz as Abraham Ford. He was excellent in Southland and I’m so glad to see him show up on TWD.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        “I had to fast forward through most of the kids and Tyreese section. I’m fine with hours of zombie slashing but apparently can’t watch kids in peril or Lizzie taking too much pleasure in stifling Judith’s cries.”

        I’m totally not a kid person, but I can’t take seeing them in peril or hurt or afraid – I just can’t (I still get upset watching “Jurassic Park”). So based on that alone, I don’t think I could watch that episode again. Judith’s muffled little cries as she tried to breathe and Lizzy’s eerily calm, psycho face as she covered her nose and mouth – no m’aam sir, that’s one episode I’ll happily skip any rerun of. I was convinced that scene was going to give me nightmares when I finally dropped off to sleep. Of course, I burst into tears when Tyrese turned around and revealed that he had Judith in his arms. So between the Baby Judith/Psycho Lizzy scenes and Maggie on the bus, I was drained by the time the episode was over.

        • Mismarker

          I have a background in theatre and performance and can’t help thinking how difficult it must have been to film those scenes with the real baby that plays Judith. It was absolutely chilling to watch whether you’re a “kid person” or not! Scarier than many horror movies I’ve seen.

    • SRQkitten

      TLo said “we would, if we had the power, declare a moratorium on any scenes set in the Georgia back woods again. Enough with this particular setting, writers.” Is this more of a producer issue, taking advantage of the tax credits GA gives to film productions in the state? I’d heard this somewhere else, maybe in relation to Hunger Games.

      • MilaXX

        It makes no sense. How is everything 2 -3 days away? Even walking Tyrese and the kids are what 3 days out and see signs by following the train tracks. The same train tracks that nearly everyone seemed to have crossed while fleeing the prison. Michonne went as far as Macon looking for the Governor and never saw any of these signs pointing to Terminus? Is it in a pocket universe? Seem like it’s practically in their backyard.

    • crowTrobot

      Watching this show and True Detective on the same night doesn’t do The Walking Dead any favors.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        RIGHT?

    • JulieTy

      Dearest Gay Nephews:
      Now I’m just cranky that you didn’t write about Breaking Bad.
      xoxooxoxox ;-)

      • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

        Yes, TLO, why didn’t you cover Breaking Bad? I would have loved to know your brilliant thoughts on that brilliant show.

    • MilaXX

      First of all I’m happy to see you’ve decided to continue with recaps. It’s nice to have a place to discuss the show and not worry about people attacking you for having criticisms.

      As for the show. I thought this week was a bit crowded. I like the idea of viewing them in groups. I would have rather spent time with Carol, Tyrese & the kids and Darryl & Beth. Then next week pick up on Sasha, Maggie & Bob and Glenn/Tara. Both group piggy back on each other since the walker that attacked Beth was the guy Carol &Tyrese left on the road. Why they didn’t put a bullet in his head is beyond me. However, I also took it to mean that Darryl & Beth weren’t too far away from Carol & Tyrese, and possibly Terminus. Speaking of Terminous, I haven’t read Asimov’s foundation series since high school, but I recognized the name. Google tells me it may have been a sanctuary of sorts in the books so maybe the name isn’t so ominous, rather just the work of a post apocalyptic nerd.

      Lastly I wish they didn’t keep wanting to recreate comic books scenes. It may look awesome in the comics but on screen? Silly. The When that female jumped out the trunk looking like some guy’s kinky fantasy of the slutty warrior I nearly blacked out from rolling my eyes so hard.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      I actually liked the past two episodes, even if they were some problems/annoying moments. It was nice to see some of Michonne’s backstory and hear her speak in full sentences (not just the mumbly stuff they usually write for her). Carl’s breakdown was a bit annoying, but pretty realistic for a teenager. Carol’s sudden appearance could have been written in better, but I was glad she showed up when she did (I think the theory about psycho girl killing the infected in quarantine is looking more and more realistic). I hope the community that they’re heading towards off the train tracks is actually a half way decent one, and not Woodbury Part II, but I must say that I prefer the show when they’re on the road and not settled in one place.

      • lynde1038

        I’ll be really disappointed if it turns out that Carol didn’t actually kill Karen and David. It plays so much better as a terrible choice she made in an attempt to protect the group. And it doesn’t make a lick of sense that she’d subsequently let Lizzy into the quarantine, if she knew that Lizzy had killed two sick members of their group. *And* then leave on a run with Rick without tipping someone off that Lizzy might be dangerous! (And, yes, I fully admit that this show and “lick of sense” don’t often go hand in hand. :)

        But I am starting to wonder if maybe Lizzie saw Carol kill Karen and David, and if that’s feeding into her mental instability. And if Carol is going to have to make another terrible choice and do something to protect the group from the threat of Lizzy.

        • MilaXX

          It does but unless Melissa McBride is leaving the show, I think they’re going to somehow downplay this. I’m also thinking Lizzie was the rat feeder & vivisectionist so I don’t think we can put her seeing Carol kill them as the thing that put her off. Kid is odd and the show has made a point of letting us know this from day 1. On the other hand, I’d like to see the group come together and deal with Carol being the one who killed Karen & David. I have some complaints about that (mostly the sudden appearance of ambu bags and IV kits that could have saved them that didn’t appear until Sasha & Glenn needed them), but I’d love to see the group collectively deal with it as opposed to Rick unilaterally deciding.

          • lynde1038

            Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that Carol killing those two made Lizzy crazy. She was clearly damaged already. I was just thinking that if she witnessed what Carol did, could have further pushed her psychosis along.

            I would definitely like to see the group come together and deal with Carol’s actions collectively. I’ve wanted to see that since Rick made the unilateral choice, and unfortunately the writers keep having other more pressing issues get in the way. I’d sort of resigned myself to us never getting anything more on it other than Daryl grunting and pacing. I’d love to be wrong!

            • MilaXX

              My guess, and I could be wrong is that Lizzie killed them. Likely stabbed them. Carol burned them in an attempt to cover it up. However, with the exception of Rick & Carl the show has no problem getting rid of main characters so I can see them sticking to it and making Carol the killer after all.

            • Mismarker

              I will have a real problem if it is revealed later on that she murdered Karen & David. If she did do the murdering and Carol helped cover up, why did Carol knowingly let her into the quarantine area? Why did Carol accept banishment without warning Rick about her? If she is not the killer, why have her be so effed up? What is going to be the payoff of that characterization? Okay, I’ve got a lot of questions! I hope most of them are answered by the end of the season.

            • lynde1038

              Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel. Carol did way too many things after the deaths that don’t make sense if she was covering for Lizzy. Her reactions to Lizzy getting sick, and her knocking over the water barrels and such, make much more sense (and to me are much more powerful) as the grief and regret of a woman who made a terrible choice for what she thought were the right reasons, but which didn’t have the desired effect. She did this awful thing to protect the people she cared about, but it didn’t work and Lizzy got sick anyway.

              Plus, I think Carol pulling a Shane (re: Otis) is very consistent with her characterization in S3. Remember when she was telling Andrea to murder the governor in his sleep? Carol would definitely do this thing to protect people she cares about. And I think it is a very interesting, morally grey direction to take her. And, darnit, I want the group to wrestle with her choices and Rick’s reaction to them!

            • Mismarker

              Total agreement on every point. I loved that water barrel scene but it doesn’t carry the same weight if we find Lizzie was the real killer.
              Carol has become, by far, the most interesting character on the show. She’s grown and changed so much as a result of her circumstances. I like the Shane parallel! She’s a pragmatic survivor willing to do anything to keep herself and her loved ones safe. The powers that be were wise to bring her back into the action sooner rather than later.

            • MilaXX

              The water scene makes perfect sense if she thinks or rationalizes that she hoped K & D dying would curb or end the virus. So her frustration could still be because their death didn’t stop it. She doesn’t tell Rick because at the time he banishes her he’s likely wondering what he would do to the Lizzie if he knew she did it. He’s not exactly being sweetness and delight to her. She tries to talk her way into taking the girls, but Rick has appointed himself judge and jury.

            • Mismarker

              We don’t agree on this! : ) I re-watched “Isolation” (when Carol admits to the murder) and “Indifference” (when Carol is banished by Rick) a couple months back and focused on the scenes between Lizzy and Carol. There is no inkling in those conversations that they are sharing a secret. Nothing that we as viewers could look at and say, a-ha!, here is where the writers were dropping a clue that Lizzy was the real culprit. The facts as I know them: 1) Rick used his police investigation “skills” to deduce Carol was the culprit. The bloody handprint on the door to the courtyard was smaller than a man’s. Carol’s attitude and actions were increasingly risky and cavalier and all for the sake of the group. 2) Carol straight up admitted to the murders. Until we get some candid conversation b/w Lizzy and Carol wherein Lizzy brings up the murders or there is some other revelation, I’m still firmly in the Carol did it camp!

            • MilaXX

              Totally cool. Like I said, I can see it go either way. Either Carol did it, or Lizzie & she’s covering for them. Either way I am still firmly team Carol.

            • MilaXX

              Carol doesn’t know about the other things, things only we the viewers know about. The feeding the walkers, the rat vivisection, the weird playing in pooled blood, or the baby smothering. Lizzie may have thought she was doing her K & D a favor and stabbed them like she couldn’t do her father. The impression I got at the time was that the group didn’t expect K & D to last the night. So Lizzie may have thought she was doing a good thing, Carol caught her and covered for her. We’ve seen parents on the new covering for their kids all the time, even going to jail for them. Carol feels responsible for these kids. Perhaps thinking it’s a one off she allowed her to go into quarantined. After all the sick did need to be there and it wasn’t so far that Carol couldn’t keep an eye out until Rick decided to be judge and jury. It also makes sense that Carol would hang around the prison in this case. If the Governor hadn’t attacked perhaps she thought she could catch one of the others on a supply run and plead her case.

            • Mismarker

              Maybe. I’m just gonna say, for me, the code is not yet cracked. They could be setting Lizzy up as a mirror of a character in the comics. There was a boy who was “off” and some stuff went down with him after the prison. I won’t say more!

            • MilaXX

              I’ve heard similar vague rumors. I wouldn’t be surprised.

            • lynde1038

              Ultimately, for me it is a much more interesting character development for Carol to actually have done what she said she did. It doesn’t ruin her character for me or make her irredeemable. It makes her more interesting, and creates a good conflict for the group to have to wrestle with. It’s more interesting to me if Daryl has to come to terms with her making that choice, than if he can just brush it aside because she was only covering for a child. And after whatever they are about to go through on the road together, it is going to be more interesting to see Tyreese have to wrestle with learning that Carol killed Karen.

              I get what you’ve been saying about the writers needing to back it down in order to keep the character, but I’m not sure they do. It seemed like at least half the audience was on her side after the reveal (and is upset with Rick for exiling her, not just for making the decision on his own), so they probably don’t need to “undo” her actions in order for her to remain a viable character. Of course, it sure seems like a lot of folks are jumping at the chance to put it all on Lizzy, so I could certainly be wrong on that score! :)

            • MilaXX

              Oh I get what you’re saying and I agree it would be totally ballsy to have the group come together and face the knowledge that Carol killed K & D and decide as a group if they can live with that. In a sense it would be a bigger payoff for something that divided the fandom into #TeamCarol vs #TeamRick. However, with the things they are having Lizzie do, I don’t think that is what they are going for. I am fully prepared to be wrong and I’d love to see someone remind Rick that Carl shot that kid point blank. I just don’t see that happening.

              Then again I never imagine Walt would poison Brock either.

            • Mismarker

              We have the same thoughts but you are articulating them so much better. Please stop it. : )

            • lynde1038

              Sorry! I can’t help myself. We’re definitely sharing thoughts though, because my favorite aspect of Carol’s return is the irony of her saving Judith after Rick exiled her specifically because he felt he couldn’t trust her around his children, which you noted below. After the finale, I assumed Tyreese and the girls had the baby, and I was hoping Carol would find them just so that very issue would come into play when Rick and Carl inevitably cross paths with them again.

            • NYCGlamourpuss

              At first, after the K&D killings, there was some speculation at TWoP that Lizzy killed them, and that Carol did the burning to cover up for her. I thought, “No, no, I don’t think so, I think it was Carol, etc.” But now, given what we see of the late bunnies, given that Lizzy almost reenacted the finale of M*A*S*H with Baby Judith – and seemed to be enjoying it – I’m now rethinking my earlier opinion. I think it’s entirely plausible that Carol covering up for Lizzy may be how it went down.

              All I know is, I was so glad to see Baby Judith that I literally burst into tears when Tyrese turned around, and I was so tense while Lizzy was smothering her that I could have kissed Carol when she showed up. So yeah – lots of zombie emotions!

            • Mismarker

              That moment after Tyreese left the girls alone was too tense for me and I had to fast forward. Went too far in the recording and saw Carol’s face flash on the screen. I was so shocked and happy. How ironic that Rick banished her because he wouldn’t feel safe having her around his children. As far as I’m concerned, Carol saved Judith’s life at the moment.

            • NYCGlamourpuss

              Yes! I just posted that above, and quoted you! :-) You were lucky you fast forwarded that – the kids alone with Judith will give me nightmares – and not because of the zombies. I’ve never been so glad to see Carol in my life – I have no doubt she saved Judith from Lizzy. I really hope that they don’t drag out a Rick/Carl/Judith reunion for too long. It hurts my heart that the two of them still think she’s dead.

            • MilaXX

              I’d been thinking it was the kid for a while and I’ve always thought Tyrese had the baby.

    • lynde1038

      I’m really delighted you opted to keep covering the show! Thanks much.

      “It’s just a series about traumatized people living in the worst possible conditions. And when the story tries to build something for the characters; give them goals and aspirations beyond living for the next few minutes, it tears it down every time, either because the characters are so unbelievably stupid or because the world is full of eeeeeeeevil people bent on destruction.”

      This is one of my biggest hangups with the show. I’ve generally found the downward trend very engaging for 4.5 seasons, but it is starting to reach that point where it becomes hard to keep watching everyone either die or suffer horribly. For whatever reason, I’m really drawn to this show and I like most of these characters (underdeveloped as most of them are), and I want to see them get bigger victories than deciding to keep living and suffering one more day. I’m certainly concerned that Terminus is going to be another place that looks promising at first, but then goes terribly wrong. Rinse and repeat. When will I reach my own personal “can’t go on with this anymore” point?

    • BayTampaBay

      “Terminus” was one of the names for “Atlanta” before Atlanta became “Atlanta”.

    • http://www.vivalafeminista.com Veronica

      excellent summary of the series! And the last two eps.

    • lvogt

      Since everyone is infected and especially since people didn’t know it at first, places with higher density would be more problematic. Cities would run out of food and water fast and people would have to flee. The journey began by going to Atlanta. It was overrun. Woodbury and the prison were both attempts to rebuild communities that didn’t work out because of the Governor so I disagree with your premise. Because of time in these settlements our people haven’t gotten very far geographically but now there appear to be a couple more options.

      I also think many of the main characters have had significant growth and change. Carol became harder and more competent. Herschel became a realist, Rick went through self doubt, Daryl became less of a loner, Carl grew up and became assertive, Michonne regained her humanity etc. If there’s a lot of action, it’s too grim, if there is less, it’s too talky. You can’t win. Could it be better,? Sure, but I don’t by today’s complaint.

      • MilaXX

        Rick goes through self doubt more often than I wash my hair. We had no clue what made Michonne click until the scene with baby Judith last season which made understanding her anger towards the Governor baffling. We only know Glenn used to deliver pizza,Beth likes to sing. We’ve know some of these folks far too long and they’re barely more than cardboard cut outs. The Woodbury folks were glorified extras. In world building you need an actual world to give a darn about folks and we barely get that.

    • otterbird

      I just feel when the writers are swiping plots from M*A*S*H that maybe they really, really want to stop and reexamine.

      • Mismarker

        : ) I was 8 when that show went off the air and have never seen the movie. What plots are they swiping?

        • otterbird

          In the finale of the series, in 1983, so uh, yeah, 30 years but just in case (SPOILER ALERT) Hawkeye deals with traumatic memories of so forcibly pressuring a woman to quiet her crying baby while they were hiding from the enemy that she smothers the child. In his memory he substituted a duck for the child. Last night I was just waiting for Judith to turn into a mallard.

          • yllas

            Hawkeye lost his mind over this repressed memory, watching the woman kill her baby. In the last episode he was in a mental institution, that was the what the last episode was about. Am I correct? If not, someone come here and correct me.

            • otterbird

              I remember he was talking to a therapist; I don’t remember if he was institutionalized or not. It was one of the plots- I think Winchester befriended a group of musicians, and the Father lost his hearing. So, of course, I can remember those plot lines from 30 years ago, but I had to be reminded in a recap that Carole (allegedly) killed Tyronne’s girlfriend in the first half of Season 4.

          • Mismarker

            I vaguely remember this! My parents watched religiously and I know I saw some episodes. I remember thinking Loretta Swit was pretty and Hot Lips was a funny name.

        • elemspbee

          This is the one episode of MASH I remember! I too was waiting for the fowl substitute. :-)

        • MilaXX

          The finale of the series, they are on a bus leaving a very danger area. There are chickens and a baby crying. Hawkeye yells back, “Quiet that chicken!” Then when the camera cuts to the back of the bus, you see a woman has strangled her baby to silence her.

    • Columbinia

      I’m with TLo on this.

      Human beings survived for tens of thousands of years in hostile wilderness by forming communities. It’s basic anthropology. Other animals on this earth are bigger, faster, fiercer, stronger, have better sight, hearing and smell, bigger teeth and claws, or come already clothed in fur. Humans survived, flourished and now dominate the earth because they are smarter, use tools and work in groups. So why don’t the living humans in “Walking Dead” ever figure out how to stop being the hapless victims of shambling, stupid zombies? Can’t they hear or smell the rotten things coming from twenty feet away? And why do the characters keep driving alone in cars, hitting zombies and ending up in wrecks? No one on the show ever manages to be a hit-and-run driver when it comes to a zombie. C’mon, guys, band together and figure out survival.

      • yllas

        well…1) lazy writing? 2) gives the audience something to jeer at/talk about? 3) I think the zombies menace is not as shocking any more, because stragglers can be outrun/dispatched and the show could focus on rebuilding civilization more…but hey! zombies! there are those viewers who don’t care about that so much as they love closeups of creative ways of ‘killing’ zombies. OK, fair enough. I would love to know what happened outside of Georgia, USA, if there is ANY civilization left.

      • frosty dufour

        The main characters all have the zombie killing thing down pat, I think. The question the show and comic book ask, is what kind of society is possible within the constraint of an apocalyptic contagion? What ties will bind traumatized humans together when all the usual social rules, flimsy though they may be, are gone? The show thinks it is about a future, but it really is about the deep atavistic past.

        Two years into this world, and I want some answers. Like, can’t anyone figure out electricity? Did no electricians or plumbers survive? Why hasn’t the gasoline degraded by now? Why hasn’t Carol’s hair grown?

        • Mismarker

          I had to Google “atavistic”. It’s nice to learn a new word. Thank you for that!

          Woodbury had electricity and running water and I think it’s fair to assume we will meet others who have figured these things out. I have high hopes for Terminus.

    • rarero

      In the comic, they spent a winter in “Wiltshire Estates”, which was a lot like where Carl and Rick has recently found. Maybe they will spend the winter there? What you guys said about the cute couple that died in the episode when Carol left is entirely true, there should have been some natural selection which should have weeded out the emotinal and dumb people. But now story seems to be going on the younger ones, but that already seems played out. Remember when Carl wandered into forest and teased a zombie stuck in the mud, and panicked when it got self freed? What happened last week is exactly the same. Sure he is an adolescent in a post apocalyptic world and that really deserves being explored hopefully without turning it into a Twilight like drama. I am very surprised how much Rick got emasculated and I hope it will turn into a “To Wong Foo” moment and he turns out to be a well rounded protagonist within this season.
      Finally, thanks guys for the commentary, it my favorite thing to read on the web.

      • Mismarker

        The show has already shown Wiltshire Estates. It was in the second season when Shane takes Andrea on a supply run and they end up in a zombie shootout in a cul de sac. Same episode when Shane and Andrea got busy in the Hyundai.

        • rarero

          Yes !
          It is really weird that the show is less memorable than the comic. Show is slower paced and characters are deeper etc.

      • andreawey

        no shit! I thought the same thing about Carl, could he really still be that stupid?

    • andreawey

      little ass kicker almost kicked her last ass, why are the kids in this show so creepy? and btw why wouldn’t they have gone to Woodbury, that place was sweet, except for the psycho leader, these people just don’t do anything logical. I found both episodes boring as hell, I feel like we’ve been sent back to start!