Monday, October 29, 2012

Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 3: Walk With Me

Best 10 minute opener EVER! Sooo many questions and observations:
1.) A helicopter?!? That's hours of speculation and discussion right there! And they were talking to a bunch of people back at some kind of base so there's another major group of people out there, probably ex-military. Of course our characters never got to meet or see these guys but at least a few of them are still alive so we get to find out a little bit more about them and where they came from later in the episode.
2.) Zombies = pack mules. I LOVE IT! Why not? If you're using them to fend off other Zombies and they're still shuffling forward who wouldn't thinking about slapping a few items onto their backs. Heck, why not let them schlepp ALL the stuff! This could revolutionize the post-zombie world. Zombies can be usefull! Think about it... you could chain up a whole bunch of modified jawless, armless, domesticated Zombies and form a perimeter around your property to keep out other Zombies. Kind of like scarecrows you know? They can carry your stuff, guard your land - heck, they may even be able to pull a plow! I mean probably not quickly or in a very straight line but what do you want from the undead? And you don't have to feed OR water them.... so much better than horses! Speaking of horses, they really do serve the same purposes except for carrying people around. They even act all sketchy when something's up or someone's coming. Pack animals + sentinels. This is beautiful. Michonne rules.
3.) Whole bunch of new guys. We'll see about them.
4.) MERLE! Of course he would show up at Woodbury. Don't be fooled peeps. I know it seems all rosy and quaint but a ne'er-do-well like Merle is not going to hang out at a church picnic. And is it me or does Merle have a retractable bayonet arm? Cool...

A&M get taken by the new guys and we next see them in Woodbury. They're all sulky, suspicious and ungrateful as a class of 8th graders and after a while you kind of want to smack them and make them be nice and appreciate this wonderful safe new haven full of generous people. (Except those of us that have read the comic who are screaming "RUUUUNN!!! While you still can!!)
They get the grand tour. I would be like "WOOOOW! Veggie gardens! Old People! Pregnant Ladies!" But A&M are of course battle-hardened, super-critical and suspicious. Love them.
Not super-clear on the pilot's story. Can't figure out if he was describing events that happened toward the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse or something that happened more recently. I'm leaning toward something that happened in the last month or so because he mentions "supplies lasting" ect.
The Governor promises to go after the rest of his group and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And that's when the episode cut to the most important, bestest, most vital and wonderfullest thing we have seen to date in the post-Zombie world: THE ZOMBIE RESEARCH LABORATORY. YES!!! I love this so much I can barely cope and I love the dude/nerd that works there already. I would soooo be your research assistant Mr. Zombie lab guy! I have many, many, Doctoral dissertation topics already lined up and ready to be tested. Let's do this! Finally someone has decided to look into these suckers and get some answers. Aaaand he appreciates the brilliance of Michonne which makes me love him even more and he doesn't even know about the pack-mule thing yet! Pure awesomeness. I'm no fan of Woodbury or the Governor but I'm ready to give up my freedom and become a library card-carrying, fully indoctrinated citizen of the town just based on this alone.
   The Governor runs out to wherever to find the other army guys and.... warm feelings gone. Hmmm.... don't you think you could have used the extra guns AND the extra man-power Mr Mega-tyrant Dictator Sir? Or is your MO to just waste anyone that could be a threat to your authority. If so A&M better watch themselves big-time. They come back, he gives some big cover-up speech and we find out that he's shagging the Woodbury PR rep AND he likes to relax at night by looking at his collection of severed heads. Nice one.
  I loved this episode. Questions were posed and then answered all in one nice little 42 minute package which NEVER happens in this show, we got major character development of existing characters plus a whole new slew of new characters. I wonder if the season will keep flip-flopping between A&M's story line and the rest of the crew back at the prison or if the 2 threads will merge quickly. I'm sure Rick and the Governor will get along real nicely....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2: Sick

Does this show make anyone else exhausted? I watched 2 episodes back to back last night and at the end of it I was pooped! I can understand why the characters are at the end of their tethers... I only live in the zombie world for 2 hours and I feel like I could sleep for days. Last night's episode (2 nights ago for you lucky viewers in the States) was epic and awesome. I was quite sure when I saw the title that the episode would be mostly about Andrea and Michonne, but they never even showed up! I loved the final shot of the opening sequence.... the prisoners are left standing alone in the room with Hershel's severed leg like "Dude, did that just happen?"
      This episode was all about exploring the human threat. Zombie's will eat you, but at least they're predictable. Other humans are competing with you for a limited food supply at best and looking to take your whole group hostage for a multitude of nefarious purposes at worst. The thing is, if people are going to re-claim the world and rebuild society they are going to need each other. Cue music... "people - people who need people". Ok, ok, I'll stop singing. But they are going to have to embrace each other at some point.
   This is one of those episodes where I'm not going to give you a re-cap. The plot was very straight forward. But the acting and nuances of the characters' relationships made it sooo interesting. Let's look at the prisoner thread first. As with any new group there are going to be keepers and chaucy ones. It's not unlike buying a pint of supermarket blueberries. Even if it looks like a good batch there's bound to be at least a few rotten ones in the middle layer no matter how hard you looked at the container from the outside. If you're really unlucky there's a nasty one all covered in fuzz that's contaminated all the ones around it. People are just the same. The dance between Rick and the prisoner leader was so subtle. I taught high school for 8 years and they just nailed the way the guy tested the boundary with Rick. He never overtly challenged him. For any thing he did he could have claimed it was accidental or misunderstood. But after a while you and the kid both know that it's all on purpose and it's escalating. And this isn't high school math class. After flinging a few Zombies at Rick by "accident" Rick looks him in the eye and sinks a machete into the guy's skull. Had to be done. After cleaning up the other tainted blueberries there's only 2 guys left. Hey more food for our guys right?
    The Hershel thread was intense. I was excited and curious to see if he would turn or be OK with the tainted limb taken off. They didn't get that leg off super-fast if you ask me so I was thinking he would turn. And when Lori gave him CPR and he grabbed her and rose up I jumped off the couch! Great moment. Hot Tip Lori: don't give CPR to people who are on reanimation watch.  It's right up there with "Continue to breathe as you go through your day". Really? Of course I wasn't that scared for her because there's no way the writers are going to give up birthing drama and take her out now. Carl comes through big-time in this episode. Goes off and finds the infirmary by himself and brings back supplies?!? Go kid! Lori freaks out on him and to be honest I would probably have done the same. Can someone tell me where the break happened between Carl and Lori? They always got along relatively well and now he hates her. Not sure when that started....
   The thing that bugged me the most about this episode was people walking around up to their elbows in blood and gore and NOBODY washing their hands!! Arrggh! I just want to take a face cloth to Rick more than half the time. There's got to be water somewhere... put Carl in charge of hauling it to a washing station for the love of God. I'd be driving everyone crazy if I was there with enforced wash-up time. Oh well. The episode ended with no foreshadowing and no indicators of what is to come except for someone watching Carol through the bushes so I have no idea what's going to happen next. Predictions for next week?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1: Seed.

I'm back!! And my internet is upgraded and fast. You'll get 2 in a row from me since I've been slackin'; one tonight and one tomorrow. So excited... let's do this!
     4 of our heroes start the episode out right by barreling into an old farmhouse and getting the job done. I think T-Bone's wielding a fireplace poker. That's kind of a weird and desperate weapon to be using this far into the game but he brandishes it with such gusto that I'm giving him a pass. And Carl! Does he get an Emmy for "youngest actor to kick ass and take down names" or WHAT? I don't even know what kind of gun he's using but the kid's rockin' it. They clear the farmhouse efficiently and well but with all that enthusiasm and adrenaline it's a wonder they don't shoot each other in the face when they surprise each other around blind corners. If it were us we'd have a post-raid circle-ups and come up with better safely policies am I right? Big shout-out to my boy Daryl for helping clear the place of the un-dead AND rustle up some dinner at the same time.
        The rest of the crew comes in and the baby bump is effectively used as an indicator that we have fast forwarded a few months ahead. First observations are that 1.) The group hasn't lost any more members and 2.) They have become much more battle-hardened and weary since we last saw them. The pet-food scene is able to portray SO MUCH with no dialogue at all that it's worth watching twice. They see more walkers approaching and bail out the back door and it was then that I turned to my Husband and said "you think Lori's going to hold onto her belly at all times until she gives birth or what?" I've been preggers twice folks and there's really no need to hold onto the thing. Yes Lori, we know it's there... congrats on finding new ways of being annoying. And then we got A NEW TITLE SEQUENCE! It's so 3rd season right? Not so much 'this is happening' as 'this is the new reality'. I loved it.
    It seems like the herding that we saw in the season finale has really become a problem. That should be interesting. They finally spot the prison and Rick immediately sees it's potential. Lots of really great Zombie moments. There were so many walkers in this episode.... kudos to the make-up people. Rick decides to run for the gate and everyone else either goes out as a distraction or gets on sniper duty. When Lori grabbed the gate I thought she was going to block him from going but instead she opened it for him. That's a huge indicator of how much their relationship has changed. Rick charges across the yard, secures the fence and then all they have to do is shoot fish in a barrel.
    They have a nice evening in the prison yard and even though they are very secure they have people on sentry duty. This is a first and again it shows how much they have changed and how savvy they have become. Even on the farm which was pretty unsecured they didn't have formal sentries. Daryl and Carol have a little something brewing (rawr!)
  Then Lori and Rick have their little interaction. Both characters are shadows of their formal selves. Lori puts up no fight at all and tiptoes around Rick like he's a bomb about to go off and Rick is so hardened that he's almost a different person.
    The next morning Rick, T-bone, Glenn, Maggie, Daryl and Hershel storm into the main prison yard. No, No, no. Why take a chance on getting surrounded? I would go in as a tight bunch, kill a few and then retreat. Repeat until the yard is clear. In the meantime you may have attracted many of them to the fences where they can be killed with no risk. The Zombies in body armor we HARD CORE! They push on into a cell block. I would have stopped for a drink and a granola bar but you know me... and are able to clear it out very quickly. Every body picks their cells. Maggie and Glenn are so sweet with each other. Such a contrast to Rick and Lori's relationship. Those 2 are not even sharing a cell! It would seem like a good place to stop and chill out before pushing farther but I guess lack of food keeps them from doing that.
    We check in with Michonne and Andrea. Not much happens with them. Andrea is sick and their segments seem to be there just to introduce the Michonne character. Love her pet Zombies with no lower jaws and no arms. That chick is awesome. Hope we get a little more story on these 2 in the next episode.
     Next we had a really good scene with Hershel and Lori where he tries to calm her down as she goes through a typical case of pre-birth jitters. Hey, not even I can blame her on this one, especially since she's considered the Zombie-fetus scenario. Yikes! Then the main squad gets back in action but this time they're in a basement labyrinth in the DARK. Soooo creepy. They try to mark their way out with spray-paint but then it all goes south very quickly. Tough to critique them on this one. They clearly have to push on or starve and I'm not sure their problems are their fault EXCEPT for Hershel basically rubbing his lower legs against this one Zombie's lips. Have we never as a group discussed giving them a wide-berth? Not rubbing up against them unless we are SURE they're dead... especially if they have no obvious head-wounds? Geepers you guys. Of course he gets bit but it does give us our first opportunity to see if immediate limb amputation makes a difference in survival. Worth trying at least once right? They hack off his foot and meet a whole new crew of guys that are human and appear to be well-fed. Hooray!
   It's worth noting that the Zombies are deteriorating. The ones at the farm-house were looking kind of dried out and sinewy and the suckers in the combat gear were practically composting inside their armor. So if they can last a little longer the undead may fall to pieces and our little band of heroes may be able to re-claim the world. Hope for the future. And hope for season 3! I thought it was an excellent first episode, you?


Monday, October 15, 2012

ARRRGHHH!!! So you know how I used to live in South Korea so I was always a day behind? Yeah well, now I live in South AFRICA (which is not such a bad place to live if the Zombies rise up. More on that later...) But we just got here and none of our shipments have arrived yet because of some damn transportation strike. So I have no computer, no apple TV and a truly shocking internet connection that won't even let me look at a youtube vid. I have episode 1 downloading. It should be complete in a matter of days... really. So stay with me and hang in there. More pithy commentary is coming. I haven't even seen the webisodes - they're blocked in this country. Oh the humanity!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Hang in there....