Posts tagged AMC.

The Walking Dead Vol. 2 Miles Behind Us

This volume, Rick and his gang (Andrea, Dale, Glenn, Allen, Donna, Sophia, Carol, Lori, Karl, Billy and Ben) head out, away from Atlanta looking for shelter. Along they way, they run into more survivors, Tyreese, his daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris. After a brief stop in a gated community, which turned to be full of angry zombies, Carl is injured and they find themselves at Hershel’s farm, along with Hershel’s children (Lacey, Maggie, Arnold, Billy, Rachel and Suzie) and neighbours Otis and his girlfriend Patricia.

Carl heals quickly, but tensions flare between Rick’s group and Hershel, over Hershel’s barn o’zombies and Rick & co have to leave, leaving Glenn behind with Maggie. Rick & co arrive at the prison. And Lori is pregnant.

I think the main theme for this book is a kind of wary acceptance. Having moved on from Atlanta, there’s a greater sense of threat from the group, after the joy of reunion and the shock of the attack there’s less of a sense of hope of things getting better. Rick tries to hold onto the positive - but he does it with naive hope (Carl being able to sleep until the dystopia ends) and by refusing to look at the negative (encouraging everyone to congratulate him and Lori over her pregnancy). He even goes as far as to deny the possibility that the father of Lori’s baby might be Shane. But the general mood is one of fear and acceptance - Lori and Carol worry about giving birth without any medical attention. Even Tyreese warns his daughter, Julie, about the risk. Lori worries about raising a child in the dystopian world.

This volume isn’t about the world getting better, it’s about finding a safe place to survive - and being burned out so much that even the prison - living in a prison - seems like a good option. And it’s also about beginning to find a reason to survive, characters begin to have sex and partner off; embracing life and relationships in a much smaller population.

In a great moment of increasing inclusion, Tyreese joins the cast. Almost from the beginning, Tyreese is a productive and useful member of the group - partly by being so physically fit and a strong, capable fighter; which is pointed out repeatedly and gratefully by the group. They do not take him for granted. In turn, this leads to some extremely belated gratitude to Glenn, for the risks he took keeping them supplied, when they are forced to deal with hunger for the first time and learn the deprivations Tyreese’s family had to endure on the road. It’s late and they really should have said it sooner, but at last his achievement and risk has been acknowledged

But Tyreese is more than a big, strong Black man, even at this early stage, Rick frequently considers him to be his natural peer. Tyreese is the one he goes hunting with, Tyreese is the one who leads the second group whenever they split up. And when Rick is hasty or angry, Tyreese is the voice of reason. Beyond reason, he is the voice of compassion - after Otis shoots Carl by accident, it is Tyreese who reaches out to him.

In a parallel with the TV series, we also see Glenn in a relationship with Maggie - which is rare to see, an Asian man with a White woman in the media.

Unfortunately, the treatment of women hasn’t really improved since the first volume. Women are constantly put in a secondary role in this series so far. We hardly ever see them with a weapon, we never see them actually kill a zombie (even in the dramatic fight outside the barn, Lacey jumped in and died, Arnold fought and died and Maggie just fell to her knees comforting Herschel). Women are delicate flowers who are kept to child rearing and tending while the men fight - they’re certainly never consulted for any decision making. In the beginning, when Dale appoints Rick leader, his logic is that Shane is dead, he’s too old, Glenn is too young and Allen isn’t a leader. Not only are the women not considered for a leadership position; but Dale thinks they need a strong leader to be protected.

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The Walking Dead, Season Three, Episode 15: This Sorrowful Life

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Rick, Darryl and Hershel are outside of the prison making plans for Michonne.  Darryl says that it is not them but Rick responds that if they do this, they avoid a fight so no one else dies. Rick heads into the prison and stops in front of Merle, who is ripping apart a bed in a cell.  He tells Merl that they needs his help and he asks if Merle knows why he does the things that he does or the choices he makes when.  Rick says that they give the governor Michonne then Woodbury stands down.  He adds that the doesn’t like it but it’s what needs to be done. Merle asks who knows and Rick tells him Hershel, Darryl and him. Merle tells him to give Philip Michonne because he won’t kill her but take out one of her eyes.  Merle then says, you’re cold as ice officer friendly.  Merle advices they use wire not rope so that Michonne cannot chew through it  He then add that Rick is right and that he doesn’t know why he does the things he does but says that he knows rick and that he doesn’t have the spine for it.  Rick says that they needs to Michonne to the Governor by noon.

Rich rushes outside when he hears noise, but it’s just Maggie banging pots to keep the attention of walkers as Michonne walks in the field slaughtering them and Darryl, Hershel and Glenn drive a truck in.   Michonne tells Rick that they don’t have to win, they just have to make them getting to them more trouble than it’s worth.  The gang then heads back into the prison as Merle watches from a window.  Carol is putting Judith down and Merle asks her for some whiskey.  Carol asks him if he is with them and Merle tells her that he is there for his brother.  Carol replies that Darryl is with them and that it is not time to take shots but to pick side.   Merle answers that she is not like she was in the camps and doesn’t seem scared of anything anymore,  Carol says that she is not and Merle calls her a late bloomer.

Darryl and Glenn are working outside and he asks Glenn if Merle said sorry yet and that he is going to make Merle make it right.  Darryl suggests that they need a little forgiveness.  Glenn says that Merle says that he tied him to a chair, beat him and then tossed a walker in the room.  Glenn adds maybe he could call it even, but Merle took Maggie to a man who terrorized her, humiliated her. I care more about her than I do about me. Darryl then walks into the prison to find Merle.

He walks through the generator room until he finds Merle. Darryl asks what he is doing down there and if he has talked to Rick yet.  Merle says yes but that Rick doesn’t have the stomach for it.  Darryl replies if he does he does.  Merle asks if he wants him to and Darryl replies whatever he says goes.  Merle asks if Darryl even possess a pair of balls and asks him what happened to him  Darryl asks what happened with Merle, Glenn and Maggie.  Merle says that he has done worse and that Darryl needs to grow u.  Merle points out that they want t do the same thing he did and that people have to do or they die.  He suggests that people need someone like him around to do the dirty work. Darryl’s says that he wants his brother back and Merle responds that he is right there.  Merle then picks up the phone and puts it in his bag.

Hershel is reading from the bible to Beth and Maggie.  Rick is outside the prison collecting what looks to be internet cable wire and when he looks up, he again sees Lori.  He says, “you’re not there, she’s not there.”  He then drops the wire on the ground and walks away.  Inside the prison, Beth asks Hershel if he is okay and he responds, “what I wouldn’t do to keep you two safe.” Rick approaches Hershel and says that he can’t do it and that he won’t.

Merle has brought Michonne downstairs under the guise of dealing with some walkers. He uses his am to knock her unconscious and then drags her off by her feet.  Merle puts a bag over her head and then ties up her hands. Merle is walking Michonne down the street and tells her about the Governor’s offer and tells her that he got it down but Rick wouldn’t be able to.  Merle adds that Rick was the guy who came back to him but this is all on him and that it’s his job to do the dirty work.

Back at the prison, Rick tells Darryl that it’s off and that they will take their chances and then ads that he cannot find Merle and Michonne.  Darryl takes Rick to the generator room and Darryl says that this is where he took Michonne.  Rick says that he is going after him but Darryl says that just he will go and reminds Rick that he can’t track for shit.  As Darryl walks out he tells Rick you guys are family too.

Merle tells Michonne that he want his brother back though Darryl wants to be in the prison. Merle believes that if he pulls this off maybe all will be forgiven and they can stay in the prison.  Michonne points out that this is a whole lot of maybes but Merle says that you hve to play the hand your given. Merle says that he killed 16 men since all this went down, after Michonne points out that he is not a bad man beause he feels things.

Glenn approaches Hershel and says look at what that bastard has done. Hershel points out that he is one man and says that there will be others like him. Glenn is holding hershel’ watch and admits that he didn’t understand when Hershel gave it to him, but that he knows what it means now and what it takes.  Glenn says that he wants to marry Maggie because he wants her to know before who knows.  Hershel gives Glenn his blessing and Glenn thanks him.

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Race on The Walking Dead Part II

We have looked at Race in The Walking Dead before, back near the beginning of season two and we covered many of the problems with the show has when it comes to its POC, especially compared to the comics.

Unfortunately, the show hasn’t improved, quite the opposite in many ways, and it has reached a point where our original post now needs a sequel. Insert your own “I can’t believe I still have to complain about this” macro if you got ‘em.

Let’s start with the character who occupied so many of our complaints before - T-Dog. T-Dog the silent. T-Dog the characterless. T-Dog who did nothing but fetch and carry. Well, T-Dog lasted through the whole of season two and if he said more than five lines I’d be astonished; he disappeared for entire episodes, was completely ignored when anyone made any kind of decision and was, quite literally, background colour.

There seemed almost to be a shift in how he was treated in season 3 - he started to talk! He had lines, actual lines! He even… reach for your smelling salts folks… he even expressed an opinion over the prisoners and whether they should be allowed to join the group. He even disagreed with Rick!

Of course, it was too good to be true and shortly afterwards he was plunging into the walkers, sacrificing himself to save a White woman, Carol. Which means all of his sudden participation wasn’t so much an attempt to redeem his broken character as it was a way to desperately humanise him - or even remind us that he actually existed - before he died so we could believe the (very brief) sadness of the group afterwards. Though, maybe not, it’s not like they spent more than two seconds grieving for him. Three episodes later and he was barely mentioned again - I can think of one occasion, when Hershel tells Andrea about the group he tells her of T-Dog’s death. This causes her about 2 seconds of thought and then everyone moved on.

We could probably have predicted T-Dog’s death by Oscar’s appearance. After all, does the show really need two silent token Black men? And Michonne and Glenn as well? Inclusion cookies have been earned! It’s almost like a remake of Highlander - there can only be one silent Black token! Oscar himself should probably have paid attention to that lesson, after several episodes of doing his duty, standing there and being Black, he too was killed off in the fight in Woodbury to rescue Glenn and Maggie. This seemed to happen partly because the fight in Woodbury had to cost the group something - so Rick could later refer to it costing them. It’s hard not to see Oscar as a disposable, throw-away character used to add weight to the feud between the prison and Woodbury.

The other reason he died? Well, Tyrese was introduced - THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE! I feel there should be dramatic music for that.

So far we have not seen a lot of Tyrese, which, as we said before, is already a big deviation from the comics where he was an integral member of the group since before the survivors even reached the prison or Hershel’s farm. This delay means Tyrese didn’t join the group when Rick was still accepting of outsiders, willing to share leadership roles and welcome of help; instead he arrives when Rick is paranoid, suspicious and violently hostile. In a desperate attempt to fit in and be accepted, Tyrese goes beyond accommodating and is positively servile. Whatever they need, whatever they want, he bows, he crawls, he begs - desperate and subservient.

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Problematic Motherhood on ‘The Walking Dead’

Motherhood means life, so in some ways it is not surprising that a show where the dead rise and walk the earth, contains problematic treatment of motherhood. Despite all of the running, hiding and struggle to survive, motherhood has actually featured quite largely on The Walking Dead, the problem is that each instance in which motherhood has been an issue, it reveals not only the strong gender roles that The Walking Dead has enforced since the very first season, but an idealized form of motherhood.

The first mother we were introduced to was Lori.  She escaped the city with Carl and Shane (thank Gods he’s dead).  Lori’s main motivation was keeping Carl safe, when she wasn’t engaged in subsistence labour. It is Lori who sat down with Carl and forced him to continue his studies. It is Lori who tried hard to establish discipline and order in his life. Lori’s only real identity for the bulk of her appearance on the show was to nurture. The one time in which she chose to reject this limitation because of the impact that it would have on her life, she was shamed. If a woman can’t choose to have an abortion during a zombie apocalypse when food, and shelter are scarce, then when can she?  Her life essentially meant nothing if she was not fulfilling her role as a mother.  When she went to Hershel with her fears, she was given the “there there” treatment and sent on her way.  Even in the best of situations, labour can mean death but for a woman who had serious issues with her first pregnancy and now faced labour without any modern medical intervention, it was an absolute surety. In the end, Lori paid for her motherhood with her life.

Lori’s death did not however convince Rick to take on the nurturing role for his family. This duty was instead passed to Beth. Before taking on a role as primary caregiver to the newborn, Beth’s greatest claim to fame was lying down in her bed and giving up. Yes, in this day and age, The Walking Dead actually had a young woman take to her bed. With a child to care for, Beth is suddenly reinvigorated and taking an active interest in life again, she has even gone as far as to talk about how she always wanted to be a wife and mother. These are certainly admirable goals but the fact that she didn’t have other aspirations as well, speaks loudly about the role that women are expected to take on The Walking Dead. As young as Beth is, she is already being constructed as a mother type figure with no other discernible traits. Even Carl, who is several years younger than her is walking around with a gun and entrusted with protecting the prison. Though Judith is his sister, Carl’s involvement in her daily life is minimal at best. The only other caregiver we have seen look after Judith is Carol, despite the fact that Beth chose to claim Darryl as the reason for Judith’s survival and Rick chose to thank him for his contribution.  The efforts of both Beth and Carol have gone unrecognized.

Beth and Maggie’s mother is deceased and this of course happened off screen. Hershel is their parent and yet it is Maggie who does the nurturing work for Beth. There can be no doubt that a loving relationship exists between Hershel, Maggie and Beth, but again, their roles are strictly defined by gender.  By default, it is Maggie who takes on the role of parental figure, though this should absolutely be Hershel’s responsibility. 

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The Walking Dead, Season Three, Episode Ten: Home

We open right where we left off at the break, with Darryl and Merle surrounded by the residents of Woodbury. Andrea tries to talk to Philip but he says that it is not up to him anymore and that the people have chosen.  Philip demands that Meryl and Darryl fight to the death as Andrea begs him not to do this.  Merle raises his hands and says he is going to have to do whatever he has to do, to prove his loyalty is to Woodbury, then starts to punch and kick Darryl.When Darryl asks if Merle believes they are going to be let go, Merle tells him to follow his lead.

From a distance Maggie shoots the walkers in the ring and the others begin to attack.  Pandemonium breaks out and the residents start running.  In the confusion the group slips away, as Philip walks through the dust almost without a care in the world.  As they make their escape, Merle tries to lead the way pointing out that everyone is at the area. Rick tells Merle that he is not going anywhere with them, but Merle replies that they haven’t got time for this.  The group leaves through a partition without closing it, thus allowing a walker to enter Woodbury.

When they meet up with Michonne and Glenn, they are not impressed to see Merle. Michonne grabs her katana pointing out that Merle tried to kill her and Rick puts a gun to her.  Merle tells Darryl that it looks like he is going native. Merle tells them that Andrea has been sleeping with Philip and that they found Michonne in the woods with her. Darryl tries to tell Merle to shut up and when he doesn’t Rick knocks Merle unconscious.

Back at the prison, Hershel is taking care of Tyreese’s group with medical attention.  They are surprised to see a baby amongst them and at first assume that the child belongs to Beth. Sasha says that this is the first decent people that they have met. Tyreese admits that there used to be 25 of them until their camp was over run. Tyreese comments that he must be the first brother in history to break into prison and Axel says that this makes him the first White boy who didn’t want to break out.  Hershel warns Tyrese that they have a large close knit group and that they shouldn’t get to comfortable there as he walks away, Tyreese says, “please you can see what type of people we are.”

Darryl begs for them to take Merle back to the prison and argues that Merle is blood. Darryl points out that Merle knows how Philip thinks. They look over at Michonne and declare her too unpredictable. The others make it clear that Darryl belongs but not Merle and finally he says, “no Merle no me.” When Glenn brings up Carol, Darryl says that she will understand.  Darryl starts to walk away, and Rick stops and says, that there has to be another way, but Darryl’s mind is made up. Rick tries again and reminds Darryl that they started something last night.  Darryl walks away with Merle after telling Rick to take care of everyone. The rest start to get into the car and Rick tells Michonne that they will patch her up and then she has to go.

Back at the prison Tyreese’s group prepares to bury their dead when Alan says that it’s a golden opportunity for them to take over the prison because all they see is Carl, a woman, a girl and a one legged old man. Alan points out that the place is secure.Tyreese tells him to show some decency but Alan says that this survival of the fittest and that they shouldn’t wait around to be thrown out on their asses.  Axel and Beth brings out a shovel and offers to help and Tyreese quickly takes it stopping Alan from attacking.

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The Walking Dead, Season Three, Episode Six: Hounded

Merle is walking through the woods, when he comes across some oddly arranged remains.  It seems that The Governor sent them out in search of Michonne.  So much for the idea that Andrea and Michonne were always free to leave. The body is laid out to read go back and Merle starts laughing. When Merle hears a noise, he taunts Michonne but she jumps out and kills almost all of the men that were with Merle but does not get away clear, because Merele shoots her in the leg.

Rick is on the phone and the voice says that she is excited that someone answered, because she has been calling since this first started.  The voice says that they are somewhere safe and won’t say where she is.  Rick says that he has a son and a newborn baby and is with a good group of people.  Rick asks if they could take in others because his group could pull their weight. The woman promises to call back in two hours, as Rick begs saying that they are dying there.

Everyone is eating what looks to be oatmeal, when Rick returns to them.  He announces that he cleared out the boiler block and says that he has to get back.  Glenn offers to help to take out the bodies but Rick wants to do it.  Rick walks off quickly.

Neil is freaking out over the dead bodies and Merle tells him that he has to rise to the occasion because some serious shit is going on there.  Merle uses his new arm to stab the bodies through the head because apparently they don’t ever let their own turn.

Andrea is watching kids play when the Governor approaches and they start talking about the arena. Andrea says that she doesn’t like it but she get it.  Andrea starts to walk away and the Governor stops her. Andrea says that if the arena is an escape, this is the wrong one because the world is brutal enough already.  The Governor wants to set Andrea up in the kitchen but Andrea says that she wants to work the wall because she is a good shot and wants to stay that way. Notice how Andrea didn’t even blink at the idea that her natural place is the kitchen, though Philip knows that Andrea and Michonne spent months by themselves and still managed to survive.

Rick returns to the phone and this time a man is calling. The man says that there have been no attacks, no one has been bitten and no one has died.  The man tells Rick that he could be dangerous and asks if he has killed anyone. Rick admits that he has killed people who have threatened him and his group.  Rick says that he has had to kill four people and explains that Shane lost his way.  The man asks how Rick lost his wife and this throws Rick for a whirl, until the man explains that he knows Rick has a boy and a baby and therefore it make sense that he had a wife. When Rick says that he doesn’t want to talk about this, the man hangs up the phone. Rick screams no.

Andrea is set up on the wall with a woman who claims that she killed her father for her bow.  Andrea replies that isn’t why you killed him and then admits that she had to kill her sister.  A walker shows up at the wall and the archer takes two shots and still has been unable to take the zombie out.  Andrea hops over the wall and stabs the walker in the eye.  Her companion is not pleased and reminds Andrea that this isn’t a game.

Rick is still in the bowels of the prison, when Hershel catches up with him. Rick brings a chair over to Hershel, who has a seat.  Hershel says that he can still feel his missing limb and Rick says that he is sorry. Hershel tells Rick that Lori was sorry for the things that happened and that she planed on telling him.  Hershel tells him to take his time and Rick says that it’s not safe enough here but Hershel believes that there isn’t anywhere else.  Rick admits that someone called him and that she said they had a safe place.  Hershel asks if the woman said where they were and Rick says no but it doesn’t matter because if it’s safe, they’ll get there.  Hershel picks up the phone and puts it down.  He offers to sit with Rick but Rick says no.  Comic book fans will recognize what this phone means though in terms of order of story, it’s early.

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The Walking Dead Season Three, Episode Five: Say the Word

Andrea is enjoying a party in Woodbury.  Looking at this, one would believe that a zombie apocalypse never happened.  While his people party it up, the Governor is brushing the hair of a zombie girl.  It looks like they have decided to introduce Penny from the comics after all.  When she tries to bite him, The Governor puts a pillow case over her head and tightens a straight jacket around her. In the comics, Penny is his niece but on the show it seems that she was his daughter. What he does not know, is that Michonne is looking at him through a window from the ground.

At the prison, Rick is very clearly out of it and Hershel is handed the baby.  Darryl says that they aren’t loosing anyone else and decides to make a run for formula.  Rick is looking at an axe on the ground and he then picks it up and walks back into the prison.  Maggie, Darryl and Glenn talk about where they can find supplies.  Maggie volunteers to go “for Laurie.”  She then hops on the back of Darryl’s bike and the two take off. In a rage, Rick goes on a zombie killing spree in the prison.

The Governor gives a speech to the people about how far they have come and about remembering the people they have lost. While this is going on, Michonne takes the opportunity to search and finds her katana in his office. Michonne also finds a list of names, but every other page in the book just has slash mark after slash mark.  When Michonne hears The Governor coming, she hides.

When next we see Michonne, she is in a factory like area that is covered with remains.  Walkers are kept in a cage of sorts.  Michonee breaks the lock and lets the walkers loose and then takes them out one by one.  This is some badass action.  A man enters the area and it seems he’s got a bucket of blood body parts.

Michonne is now in the Governor’s office and he asks if she gets off on poking around in other peoples things.  He says that they have nothing to hide and Michonne answers that people with nothing to hide, don’t feel the need to say so. When Michonne brings up Penny, the Governor says that he loved her and that she has the wrong idea about him.  The Governor points out that Michonne wants to leave and Andrea wants to say, and he assumes that Michonne wants the Governor to kick her out.  The Governor says that he was about to give Michonne her sword back because she fits in and they have enjoyed having her.  The Governor adds that Michonne has broken the rules and suggests that she join the research team, in order for him to save face.  Suddenly, Michonne gets out of her chair, grabs her katana and puts it to The Governors throat and then backs slowly out of the room.

As Michonne leaves, Merle enters to find out how things went. The governor says that they don’t have a problem and asks Andrea to be sent over to him.

Glenn is digging a grave when Oscar and Axel come to see him to ask if he needs help.  Axel says “you’re friends, they’re good folks.” Oscar says sorry for their loss.  Glenn walks away saying that he needs two more graves and the convicts start digging.  When Glenn walks over to Hershel, he learns that Rick is still inside. Glenn says, “part of me wishes we had killed all of the prisoners on site.”  We get to hear a little bit about all of the good that T-Dog did. They wouldn’t have to fill in this backstory for T-Dog had they given him something to do other than stand around and be Black.

Andrea goes to see The Governor and he tells her about what happened with Michonne.  Andrea is shocked that they have captive biters and The governor says that the point is that Michonne held her sword to his throat.  The Governor says that Michonne makes people uncomfortable and some people want her to leave.

Andrea goes to her room to see Michonne packing.  Andrea tells Michonne that they can’t do things like this.  When Andrea says that they aren’t prisoners, Michonne replies that no one who comes here leaves.  Andrea says that they have a good thing going and she wants to give it a real shot. Andrea believes that Michonne has sabotaged this place and Michonne again asserts that this place is not what they say it is.

Glenn is following the zombie carnage in the prison on the hunt for Rick.  When he finally finds Rick, Rick is covered in blood. Glenn assures Rick that he doesn’t have to do this by himself and asks him to come out with him.  When Glenn touches Rick, Rick slams Glenn up against a wall.  Rick who has clearly lost it, walks further into the prison.

Merle and a few of the men head out to a trap they have laid for the zombies.  The hold one down and take out its teeth.

Darryl watches outside as Maggie breaks into what looks to be a daycare.  She starts packing her bag with diapers.  The two make their way through the building until they come to the kitchen.  They find a possum, which Darryl kills and declares dinner, and a few cans of formula.

Back at Woodbury, Andrea and Michonne have their bags packed and are leaving. When Merle sees them, he says that they are breaking his heart running away like that.  Michonne replies that they are leaving and Merle tells them to wait there a second. Andrea reminds Merle that The Governor said they were free to go whenever they like and Merle tells her to step back. Merle opens the gate and suggests Andrea and Michonne find shelter before night fall.  Andrea turns to Michonne, who says that they knew they were coming and this is all for show.  Andrea responds that she begged The Governor to let them stay.  Michonne reminds Andrea that they held their own before coming here.  Andrea says she doesn’t want to go back to living like that and that she is afraid that Michonne will disappear.  Andrea reminds Michonne that they always talked about a refuge exactly like this. Finally, Michonne says, “Are you coming or not,” and Andrea begs Michonne not to give her an ultimatum.  Michonne says, “you’d  just slow me down anyway,” and walks out.  Merle quickly closes the gate and Andrea looks through the gap as Michonne walks away.

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The Walking Dead Season Three, Episode One: Seed

The season opens with the camera staring right into a zombie’s eye. The moment it pulls away, Rick bursts through the door followed by Carl, T-Dog and Darryl.  None of the men say a word to each other as they search the house room by room. When Carl comes across a zombie, he shoots it with a gun that seems almost to heavy for him to hold. Gone is the Carl who hesitates about killing a walker. I suppose we aren’t going to spend this season with Lori asking every few minutes where Carl is.  It looks like they are moving him closer to the Carl from the comics. As soon as the house is cleared out, the rest of the group comes in. Darryl comes across an owl, shoots it and immediately starts plucking its feathers.  Carl goes through the kitchen looking for food and finds two cans of dog food. He sits down to open it up and when Rick sees what he’s about to eat, Rick grabs it and throws it across the room. I guess Rick still has his pride but as disgusting as it is, dog food is still food. This entire scene is done without anyone saying a single word and it’s clear that they have this routine down cold now. When the zombies start to approach, they gather up their things and they leave.

They come to a stop in the middle of the road and Rick puts Carl on watch. Clearly he is no longer seen as a little boy who needs protection.  They are looking for a path to escape the zombies and move forward. Rick says that they need to find someplace to settle for a few weeks.  Hershel says that Lori can’t take much more of this moving around. It has clearly been sometime since the farm burned down as Lori’s pregnancy has much advanced. While the others search for water, Darryl and Rick leave to go hunting, sure in the knowledge that the owl won’t stretch far. They come across a prison with zombies strolling in the yard. They cut through the gate and Glen uses wire to draw it closed.  When they reach they gate Rick starts to organize how to secure the site and kill the zombies. Rick slips inside while the others are providing a distraction, killing all of the zombies they can and he locks the gate.  The survivors are excited and Carol says that they haven’t had this much space since the farm.

That night they set up camp outside the prison as Rick walks back and forth in front of the gate.  Hershel starts talking about how the soil is good enough to farm and T-dog talks about building a trench.  Bessie points out that this would be a good place for Lori to have her baby. Clearly, everyone is thinking about laying down some roots at last. Carol brings over some food to Darryl and comments that Rick has brought them further than she thought.  When she starts to complain about the kickback from the rifle, Darryl starts to massage her shoulder and they share a moment.  Carol comments about how romantic it is and asks him if he wants to screw around and Darryl snorts. I found myself wondering if this is fan service or if they actually plan to move Darryl and Carol closer together.  They seemed to have meshed quite a bit. Watching this however I could not help but think that this does not look good for Tyrese because in the comics, Carol and Tyrese were a couple.  We keep hearing rumours that he has been cast or about to be cast but so far, there has been no concrete evidence of this and instead we still have the ineffectual T-Dog.

Back at the campfire, Bessie starts to sing and its clear the survivors have morphed into a family. Rick suggests that they all turn in because they have a big day tomorrow.  When Glenn asks what he means, Rick says that it looks like the place fell pretty early which means that there could be supplies like food and medicine.  Hershel is worried that they are dangerously low on ammo and Rick says that is why they have to in there hand to hand and assures them that they can do this after everything that they have been through. When he walks away Lori stops him to say that she appreciates this but because everyone is exhausted she thinks they should wait for a few days.  Lori says they need to talk because the baby is about to come and Rick cuts her off and says that he is doing stuff and if she wants to talk, she should talk to Hershel. Rick reminds her that he is still there and walks away.  I almost feel sorry for Lori at this point because she did in good conscience believe that Rick was dead when she slept with Shane.  It was about comfort and safety more than anything else.  When it came right down to it, Lori chose Rick over Shane.

An American flag is flying outside of a building which Michonne enters for supplies. She quickly uses her katana to make short work of them and picks up a pack of asprin on her way out. Back at the prison, the hand to hand combat has begun. These opening scenes have made up for the shortage of walkers last season. Rick, T dog, Maggie, Glenn, and Darryl are on the inside fighting, while the others are outside of the gates trying to cause a distraction. It’s Maggie who figures out how to kill the guards in the riot gear. When they find a civilian, they worry that the prison could have been overrun with outside people. Rick says that they cannot risk a blind spot and that they have to push in.

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The Walking Dead Season Two, Episode Eleven: Better Angels

The episode opens with Dale’s funeral where Rick says that Dale was honest and brave.  “I couldn’t always read him but he could read us. He saw people for who they were.  He knew things about us the truth - who we really are.  In the end, he was talking about losing our humanity and he said this group was broken. From now on we are going to do it his way, that his how we honour Dale,” Rick said in his eulogy of Dale.

In flash scene, we see Andrea, Shane, T Dog and Darryl driving until they come across some zombies, and then they stop to kill them.

They decide it’s time to move everyone into the house, saying that with winter coming they are too vulnerable. When Rick talks about releasing Randall again, Shane is upset, but Rick tells him that the plan was right, but the execution was wrong. Shane is clearly not at all mollified.

Alone  with Rick, Hershel says that he has no patience with Shane anymore.  When Andrea joins them, Rick asks her to keep an eye on things.  Hershel says that if he stays there permanently that Shane has to understand that what he and Rick says goes.  Andrea is upset about being asked to baby sit Shane, and tells Rick that maybe he should stop leaving.  Yeah, so now they have Andrea saying Lori’s lines?  If she hadn’t aligned herself with Shane to begin with, Rick never would have thought to ask

Carl approaches Shane and wants to talk, but asks him to promise not to tell his parents.  Shane says that this is a bad idea for both of them, but when Carl walks away, Shane calls him back.  Carl shows Shane the handgun he took from Darryl’s motorcycle and admits the role that he played in Dale’s death. Shane tells him that it is not his fault, and that he needs to hold onto the gun to protect himself.  Carl tells him that he is never touching another gun again, but Shane answers that this is not an option. Carl tells Shane to give it back to Darryl and walks away.

Glenn comes in the house and Maggie tells him to put his stuff in her room, but Glenn is not comfortable doing that with Hershel in the house.  So he can have sex with her in a pharmacy with the threat of death hanging over them, but Hershel being in the same house is too much?  Really?

Hershel gives up the bed to Lori, and says that he will take the couch rather than seeing a pregnant Lori sleeping on the floor.  When Lori says that she can’t because this is Hershel’s home, Hershel tells her that it is their home as well. When Lori attempts to refuse, T-dog says “if you two can’t decide, I’ll take it”.  Great, they can’t give T Dog anything serious to do but move shit around, but hey, he can play the role of comic relief.

When Hershel and T-dog go inside,  Laurie see Shane fixing the windmill.   They chat about life before the zombies and Laurie asks him to come down. Laurie says, “this is real and we can’t keep at bay; it’s already got us and it just keeps coming.  I made a mess of things, and I put you and Rick at odds. I don’t even know whose baby this is.  I can’t imagine how hard that is on you.  You lead us out of Atlanta with no thought of yourself. ” She tells him that she never thanked him for getting them out of Atlanta.  “Even though things got confused between us, you were there for me, thank you”.  Shane says that he she doesn’t need to thank him for that.  Lori says, “what ever happened between us, I’m sorry Shane. Please believe me I am so sorry”.

Okay, what the fuck was that? No, seriously, what the fuck was that?  Did she suddenly forget that Shane tried to rape her?  What woman decides to thank her rapist?  I am sick and tired of the way that The Walking Dead has chosen to treat the attempted rape like it never happened.  We are only encouraged to see Shane as bad because, he killed Otis.  What’s a little attempted rape right?  This is just one more sign that the writers don’t take their female characters seriously.  

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The Walking Dead Season Two, Episode Nine: Triggerfinger

There were a lot of things that bothered me about this episode.  Instead of doing a recap, I think that we would all be better served if we talked about the issues.

Let’s begin with Lori, and her killing of the walkers.  After she gets out of the car, she goes back to retrieve her gun and then she shoots them.  This did not make any sense to me at all.  At that point, Lori was clear of them and she was more than capable of out running them.  I don’t understand why she would risk a shot, when it has become a well established fact in the cannon that loud noises attract walkers.  It seems to me that the sensible thing would have been to only use the gun when cornered.  I think that this plays into yet another example of a woman on The Walking Dead making ridiculous decisions.  Granted, this one is not nearly as bad, as her getting into a tizzy for absolutely no reason, and deciding to go after Rick, Hershel and Glenn in the first place.

Speaking of Glenn, why oh why is he always the one put into a position of endangering his life?  Rick doesn’t even ask Glenn how he feels, he simply orders him out of the bar to go and get the car, though he knows that there are armed men outside, and the place is crawling with walkers. In and of itself, this scene wouldn’t have been that bad, if Glenn were not constantly used as bait.  It is further telling that he is one of only two regularly reoccurring men of color. 

If that were not enough, when Glenn finally returns to the farm, he feels guilty about letting Hershel and Rick down.  He feels that because Hershel saved his life and he froze, that he did not pull his weight.  From the very beginning, Glenn has been very active for the group.  When they were still camped outside of Atlanta, it was Glenn who saved Rick’s life.  It’s also worth noting, that if Hershel hadn’t gone on a bender in the first place, none of them would have been in that situation. But yeah, Glenn feels guilty for letting them down - this in an episode in which Rick said he had no guilt for killing to human beings.

When Glenn gets outside, he is shot at by a Black man, who is quickly taken out by Hershel.  My first thought was that this incident is yet more proof of the race problem on The Walking Dead.  Not only was this man shot by Hershel, he quickly became walker food.  It was Tony, the other man who was shooting at them that Hershel, Rick and Glenn end up saving.  Once again, the White man prevails.

There is a lot of fandom about Carol and Darryl,  but this recent episode proves that this relationship is not positive.  I know that Darryl is most often seen as a misunderstood redneck, but he has a history of being racist and sexist in his language. Last week, I liked when he called Lori Olive Oyle, and made it clear that he no intention of doing her senseless bidding, but I have a problem with him calling her a “dumb bitch”. In fact, to be technical, his comments were sexist and ableist.  He can dislike Lori to the end of time, but a man calling a woman bitch will always be a strong sexist statement. 

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