Hey folks. So I decided I wanted to watch a movie tonight, and rather than just choosing something for myself, I came up with an interesting experiment to try. I started up a poll via Twitter so you folks on the Internet could choose a movie for me, and then I promised that whatever the outcome of that poll, I’d sit down and write out my thoughts on the movie as I watch it. Here’s the poll — note that you can like or dislike options, or add your own if you have a better suggestion.
Right now, it seems like the haters are ruling things over there, as only a couple of movie choices have positive votes on them. I figured that even before the liveblog starts, I would give you my opinion of a few of the choices so you can have some context.
Currently, the first season of the Walking Dead is winning. I probably won’t watch the whole first season, and I’m actually currently watching that series on my own — I think I’m up to episode 3. So I’d probably just do two episodes of that if that wins. I’ve seen both Tron Legacy and Scott Pilgrim, but those might be fun to watch because I actually went on the junkets of both of those, interviewing the actor and directors about the movies. So I might actually have something interesting to say about those if they win. I own the DVD for Princess Mononoke, so I’ve obviously seen it a few times, and I do have things to say about anime. I also own the DVD of Super Troopers, and I actually met those guys once back at Ithaca College. I’ve seen Kick-Ass once, and I haven’t seen any of the other movies on the list at the moment — some of them look good, some of them not so much.
So there’s a little context. I’m heading out for a couple of hours now, so there’s plenty of time to put some votes and suggestions in over there. If The Walking Dead wins and someone else wants to suggest an episode for me to watch and commentate on, then I’ll choose the most highly rated one, otherwise I’ll just pick one myself. Good luck voting! Thanks for all your involvement so far — this is already fun for me. I’ll be back in this post later on this evening to type up the winner as I watch it live.
0:00 All right — the winner is The Walking Dead, season 1. As I said, I don’t have time to do the whole thing, and I’m in two episodes already, so I’m going to do episodes three and four. I’ll recap them and give you my opinions on the episode as I watch it live here. The whole thing should take 1:30 (two episodes, 45 minutes each), so that’s what the clock is.
I will say to begin that I think The Walking Dead show is pretty good. It’s well shot and well produced, but I haven’t yet been blown away by the writing or the characters (remember, I’m two episodes in). I’ve heard multiple people say that the series never lived up to the potential of the pilot, and I generally agree with that sentiment so far. It makes sense: You really have to be special if you want to use zombies and get something new done, and while The Walking Dead is a strong setting and has strong characters, we all kind of know zombies already. I am a huge fan of the comic books, I should say, too: I think there, the timing and even the scares can be pulled off a little bit better from panel to panel. But we’ll see — maybe I’ll see something in these two episodes that really sells me on the series.
0:01 This episode is called Tell it to the Frogs. I remember in the books that Sheriff Rick (that’s his name, right?) does eventually make it to the camp at some point, so I presume that will happen fairly soon here. There is no “Last time on The Walking Dead” on Netflix, but last I remember (spoilers!), the racist dude was left on top of the department store, and the Sheriff was exiting Atlanta with a van full of minorities and a really happy guy in a sports car.
And hey, we start this episode with Mr. Racist right again. I kind of thought his was a one-shot story, but I guess they did drop some tools out on the roof last episode, so I guess there’s more of him to tell about.
Aw, he’s delirious, and his wrists are all cut up. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Mr. Racist? Because I don’t. He’s racist, remember? Is it possible that there’s a racist with a heart of gold? “Hey guys, I really hate black people and mexicans, but boy … sometimes I just really need a friend, you know?”
2:08: Racist guy finally remember he’s at the top of an apartment building full of zombies chained to a pipe. He’s crying for Jesus. Would it be more poetic if these zombies didn’t used to be white people? “I deserve it,” he says. Man, they’re really trying to make you feel bad for the poor racist. I … still don’t?
4:01 What is he yelling? “I ain’t gonna start begging now,” I guess. “Don’t you worry about me begging ever.” How self sufficient. And here are the title credits. I really like the credits, actually — I saw that one shot of the empty highway even before the show was done shooting, and I was like, yup, that looks about right. I wonder why the title words show up the way they do. Maybe it’s like a zombie, shambling towards you? Left, then right, then left. The … Dead… Walking.
Now’s as good a time as any to tell you what I think about zombies. There are two things about zombies that really interest me in telling stories and entertainment. One is that they’re pretty much the perfect horror mechanic — they’re the living (ok, unliving) embodiment of all kinds of human fears. The main one is death, and that’s a fear that’s universal no matter who you are or where you’re from. No matter who you happen to be, death is coming for you, it’s inevitable, and when zombies start showing up, death isn’t just a quiet moan outside that people try and avoid talking about, it’s also trying to kick in the door and get to every last one of you. Zombie movies are also very much not just about your own death, but about the death of loved ones — every “oh no, he’s been bitten!” moment in a zombie movie is really about dealing with losing those closest to you. The premiere of Walking Dead, that story about the guy and his son trying to get over the wife/mother’s death, is about moving on and letting go of the people you love when bad things happen to them, which we’ll all have to deal with at some point and of course which we’re all anxious about. And then of course there are the other fears, like biological threats, creepy crawling hands, and all of that other stuff.
The other interesting thing about zombies is something I first heard someone (I don’t remember who, sorry) say about zombies in video games. Zombies are a human analog, in that they’re a way to show a lot of fun and exciting gory stuff, without actually doing anything bad to humans. The sheriff in WD can, for example, walking down the street, shoot five people right in the head, stuff an axe in the neck and forehead of five more, and then rip the head off of a woman and run away into a building. If he does that to real people, he’s a mass murderer and a maniac, but if he does that to zombies, he’s a real hero who’s just barely survived some major danger. Zombies let you do stuff like cut heads off and blow out brains, and even people who’s normally be sickened out by stuff like that if they saw it in a Human Centipede or Saw movie, think it’s awesome.
Oh hey, they just showed the racist’s name in the credits, and it’s Michael Rooker! I totally forgot — I saw Michael Rooker last year at Treyarch when they were doing promotion for the Black Ops zombie map that he stars in, and he was quite a character. He was supposed to be playing the map, but he wasn’t interested in actually playing Call of Duty — instead, he was drinking the free booze like crazy, and telling crude stories about women to the Activision PR guys. Unfortunately, I don’t remember any of the stories, but I do remember that Rooker was not kidding around about all of the various things he’d done to and then said about women. Lots of cursing. I thought about interviewing him for Joystiq, then decided against it and just talked to the devs for a bit.
4:44 One of the guys in the van says “Nobody’s going to be sad he didn’t come back” (about Rooker — now that he has a name, I kind of do care about him) ” … except maybe Darryl, his brother.” How convenient. He’s got a brother that we’re going to meet when they get back to the camp. I’m still not down with this — the guy was an unredeemable racist last episode, and the only reason he’s still there is because the fat dude dropped the key. That’s basically luck. And while I wouldn’t really put the guy to death, karma says he deserved it, and I ain’t fighting with karma.
5:33 Here’s the Sheriff’s wife and kid, hanging out with their would-be dad. “If you think this is bad,” says fake dad, “Wait until you start shaving!” Oh, that’s cute, he’s trying to be a father figure. I would love for this kid to not buy it at all, but of course he does. I don’t like this guy, I don’t like this kid, and honestly, don’t really like this lady.
I like the Sheriff, though!
7:12 The car is heading into the camp, still ringing with that alarm. I don’t buy that — don’t alarms shut off, especially when the car is turned on? It’d be funny if that alarm never, ever shuts off — five years later these people are still living out in the woods, all deaf, with a car alarm going off.
Also, the alarm was originally used as a lure for the zombies, if I recall correctly. Wouldn’t the people at the camp be angry that it’s still going? I guess they are yelling to turn it off, but it would have already attracted everything walking from miles around, no?
Oh — old soldier guy agrees with me. Him I like, too.
8:33 Should I be a little wary about the fact that the first camp the Sheriff runs into happens to be the exact one with his wife and kid in it? That’s what happens in the books, and I guess you could explain it away and say that there’s only one camp near Atlanta and so of course that’s the one that he’d end up at, but Atlanta’s a big city.
I should probably be more sentimental about this. This is a big scene, I guess. I like how it takes the lady (I can’t remember her name, but I think the actor’s name is Robin — she was in Prison Break) only like 30 seconds to get to “oh crap, I left a coma patient in the hospital and then shacked up with his buddy.” She’s so overcome with emotion — except when she has to remember to foreshadow exactly what happened.
I probably shouldn’t be so hard on the writers — the father stuff was just shorthand to show new viewers that this dude has moved into this family’s life a little too soon, I guess. But it doesn’t really endear me to the show.
11:40 See, this is why I like the sheriff — he’s smart. He understands, he’s honest, he’s our hero. When bad stuff happens at this camp (and trust me, I know it will, and not just because I’ve read the books), it won’t be because the sheriff did something dumb. It’ll be because these petty people with their stupid problems will cause all kinds of trouble. Look at Robin, all shifty. Leave the drama behind, woman!
Also, the soldier won’t mess anything up, either.
And here we go — one of the rednecks is a little too cold, wants the fire hotter. Shane apparently figures he hasn’t dealt with enough trouble (what with his surrogate wife and kid being retaken by a dude in a coma), and decides to pick a fight. Me? It’s late, we’ve had a rough day — I’d let the redneck light his fire and just let him get eaten when the zombies show up. But nope, Shane’s in a fussy mood because he can’t go hunting for frogs with the kid.
13:47 Pragmatic soldier brings Darryl up. Everybody claims they should tell the truth, soldier guy says no. Uh oh — I don’t agree with soldier guy on this; why lie? If Darryl gets angry, well, there are plenty of rooftops and pipes left in Atlanta, right?
The fat guy says that racist is probably still alive since he chained the door to the roof, and “that’s on us.” Actually, dude — it’s probably on the guy who dropped the key, right? That’s you, right? I wouldn’t start bringing “us” into this situation. “That’s on me,” is what you should say there.
And he’s racist.
15:44 Sheriff loves his kid. Don’t see how — what’s that kid done?
Then he jumps in bed with Robin. Did they even wash the sheets before Shane headed out? Because that’s funky.
“I want to take it all back,” she says. “The anger, and the bad times, and the mistakes.” Sheriff ain’t havin it. Also, it’s a little shameless and obvious to use “cocky” as an innuendo. Come on now, writers.
There’s Shane. I knew we’d get to him sleeping out in the rain. What’s he want? Go with another man’s lady, get burned, brother. I’d tell him to go talk to the sisters, but both of them are pretty annoying.
21:59 Sheriff can’t stop thinking about the racist, but before he gets the ok to play hero, we get a zombie sighting. I wonder if the writers have a time limit on how long they can go on this show without showing zombies. If I was in charge, I would. You’re one of the only shows on TV where you can show zombies nonstop? Do it! I’d care a lot more about the “cocky” scene if they were also getting attacked by zombies at the same time. Just saying.
They beat the zombie down — and then keep beating it. Guys, guys, guys! Chill out! It’s twice dead now. This is one reason why I liked Shawn of the Dead so much — in that one, they figured out that you just have to hit the brain, and then you’re good to go. I don’t know exactly how long it’s been in Walking Dead since this all started, but you think they’d be more efficient at killing zombies by now than just having five guys with blunt objects stand around and beat on it, no?
Like, for example, use a crossbow like this guy who just walked out of the woods. This guy’s loud, disrespectful, sweaty and dirty, and violent. Must be Darryl? I guess he actually does know about the brains, but I also like how they say he can’t cut the deer meat off, but then he pulls a bloody arrow out of the zombie’s head and just carries it off. I guess he’s not going to lick it clean or anything, but wouldn’t that be just as infected?
Also, speaking of questions, are they worried about the zombie deer at all? Maybe the deer was dead from arrows before the zombie bit it. But I’m still not clear on what exactly happened in this world — maybe they should stand around and beat the deer to death too, just to be sure. And then maybe-Darryl can shoot it through the eye, too.
25:32 Oh, he’s calling for the racist. It is Darryl.
Also, the sheriff’s name is Rick Grimes. Darryl fights about as well as his brother, which means the Sheriff counters and beats him down.
27:23 I forgot they call zombies “geeks” in this show. Not really a fan of that — I don’t think anyone in this universe so far, not even the asian guy who loves his sports car, has ever shown any awareness that they’re actually in a zombie apocalypse. Don’t you kind of have to do that now?
I guess Walking Dead is getting away with it, and yes, I guess it might make things meta if the characters have foreknowledge of zombies and their behaviors and weaknesses, but is it weird that zombies show up in a universe where there’s apparently no cultural references to the zombie mythos? In Walking Dead’s universe, that means there was no Night of the Living Dead, no 28 Days, and no I am Legend (originally written, by the way, in 1954). Zombies are also based on voodoo mythology — is there no voodoo in the American South of this universe?
If this is all true, and you subscribe to the idea of multiple universes with infinite possibilities, this might mean that if our own world ever actually gets to its apocalypse, it just might be some thing we’ve never actually imagined before. That would kind of suck, because whatever disaster awaited us would likely have no actual cultural meaning attached to it. As I said before, zombies come preloaded with all sorts of human anxieties and fears, but if you’d never heard of zombies and they suddenly showed up, you might not understand what they were all about.
Perhaps I’m getting too heady. Back to the show.
28:00 “The hell with all ya’ll,” says a teary Darryl. “I’ll go get him.” The sheriff is going back too. I agree that this point that it’s the right thing for the sheriff to do as a hero, but are we al forgetting that the racist is a racist?
Huh, Shane remembers. Good for him. “We left him like an animal caught in a trap,” says the sheriff. Do we all buy that the sheriff really wants to save him now, but didn’t back when they were actually leaving him there? I guess it makes sense in terms of moving the show’s plot forward, but if he really feels this way now, I don’t really see him leaving the city in the first place. As soon as they said “Oh right we left the racist on the roof,” that would probably have been the time for him to talk about how nobody should die that way, right?
30:48 The wife and kid don’t want him to go. What are they going to do? Just live the rest of their lives in the woods?
I guess the show is doing a good job trying to create a tangled issue here — at the very least, the writers are trying to create a little drama, and then putting characters squarely on one side or the other. That’s commendable, and it works. The characters are doing a nice job of trying to lay out each side clearly. But I’m not down with the premise; I thought the racist guy’s story was done, and I don’t want him back anyway. What are they going to do when they find him, bring him back to the camp? He was violent, stupid, angry, completely belligerent, and that was before he got left on top of a roof with a bunch of zombies.
32:56 Pragmatic soldier guy is pragmatic. I guess the van is being set up for the next episode’s central conflict.
34:24 “Four men, four rounds. Let’s just hope that four is your lucky number.” Shane’s being a real douchebag. And yes, that’s what I meant to say. He’s not wrong about leaving the racist behind, but dude, you don’t have to be so cocky about it.
35:24 Wait! The kid shows signs of intelligence! “Think about it, Mom. Everything that’s happened to him so far, nothing’s killed him yet.” Now that’s some solid thinking, kid. Glad to see you got past the “I don’t want you to go” nonsense from before.
They park on railroad tracks (sure, that’s convenient) and decide to walk into the city. Come on now. There was a construction site that was zombie free last time! I think maybe they blew the gates open on that, but there wasn’t anyone living in there — wouldn’t it still be clean?
I do like the music, though. The best part of this series is the subtlety. It’s very Japanese in its horror: Western horror movies go for big reveals and big scares, but Eastern horror movies (which have leaked over into a lot of Hollywood movies lately) show you the danger and let you discover it for yourself. Like The Ring — Eastern horror movies will open up a closet door, and hold a shot there for ten or fifteen seconds, and it takes you about that long to realize that THERE’S A KID WITH GLOWING EYES IN THERE STARING AT YOU. Western horror movies would just show the protagonist opening the closet and freaking out. Walking Dead isn’t quite as subtle as supernatural horror, but it is careful and slow with the way it reveals and scares, and I do like that.
36:25 Shane took the kid to catch frogs!!! Unbelievable. “Listen kid, I know your dad who you thought was dead just rolled back into your life after I hooked up with your mom, and yes, I understand that your father went into the city to fight zombies and save a racist even against your wishes, and you might never see him again. But hey, how about that frog catching?” Stupid.
I hope Shane gets eaten. I don’t remember what happens to him in the comics — I think I remember the sheriff being responsible somehow.
37:44 Haha, practical black lady is questioning “the division of labor here.” Us too, lady. Us too.
Oh man and just when I start to like her, they give the girls a sassy girl talk chat. The annoying girl misses her vibrator, and “me too,” the scandalous old lady says before they all start cackling like a bunch of hens. Come on. I hope they all get eaten.
Fortunately, the redneck breaks it up. He is exactly right — they are definitely not in a comedy club. They are washing clothes in a dirt pond. There isn’t a cocktail waitress or a goofy poster in sight. Right on, redneck.
40:04 Robin has major issues with Shane. Apparently she completely hates him all of a sudden, but I’m not sure why that would be. Guilt, I guess? Oh, apparently he told her that the sheriff died. Poor Shane. He’s totally getting eaten, before or after somebody kills him.
Darryl pulls another blood-covered arrow from a zombie’s head as they go through the department store. I wonder if it’s the same arrow that he used on the other zombie.
41:45 Uh oh, annoying blonde #1 is picking a fight with redneck. Haha his job “sure ain’t listening to some smart-mouth uppity bitch.” Oh, redneck. Saying that stuff right in the middle of an abandoned quarry with five girls who were just talking about how much they miss their vibrators? Nice move, buddy!
It’s all or nothing with these writers — either you’re completely and totally lovable and vulnerable in a world full of soul-crushing threats, or you’re a big talkin’ moron who doesn’t know when to shut up. The only guy in the middle ground is the asian dude, but at least he got to drive the car around on the empty freeway for a while.
42:33 It’s sexual revolution all up in this quarry! Yes, at this point, redneck has hit his lady and bought his way right into evil territory, but that’s fine — time for Shane to redeem himself and do something at least a little heroic. Shane takes out a little frustration, and beats the redneck like a deer-chewing zombie.
43:49 Show’s almost over, let’s get ourselves to a cliffhanger! The Lucky Four army finally makes its way to the roof, and … The racist is gone. Well, most of him is gone.
You might says he’s been disarmed. Looks like that hacksaw came in handy. That pipe sure lost its grip on him. Hope he got his severance pay! I’m just kidding — what a performance by Michael Rooker. Let’s give him a nice hand, everybody!
That’s all I got. And credits — let’s start episode 4.
0:00 The annoying sisters somehow found a canoe and decided to take a little fishing trip in the canyon. They’re arguing about what their dad knows about fishing, but guys — THIS TALK IS NOT REALLY ABOUT FISHING. It’s about the differences between these two despite the fact that they’re sisters. See how that works? If you ever have to write a scene, just keep that in mind — make your characters use words about whatever they’re doing, but have them actually talk about what they mean to each other! It’s like magic.
“Because he knew we were so different. He knew that you needed to catch the fish, and I needed to throw them back,” says the younger sister. See how this works? Also, this whole episode (called “Vatos”) is going to be about how characters either need to keep what they’ve got or throw it away for the future. Trust me. We’re only two minutes in, but I’m a writer. I know.
The girl who wants to throw things away got a bite. Which means by the end of this episode, we’re probably going to be throwing a lot of things away.
3:49: Yup, the weird guy who’s with pragmatic soldier guy is digging a grave while dramatic music plays, and then we jump to the credits. I knew he was going to play a part in this episode — he was a little too excited about rubber hoses last time around. Nobody gets that excited about rubber hoses, and doesn’t have a lot more to say about them.
Then we jump to a little crossbow/bullet mexican standoff on the racist’s rooftop. Not sure why Darryl is so bummed. Maybe he thinks they ate every part of the racist but the hand.
We do know that they cut the door open when they entered, and there weren’t any other zombies around, so the racist must have headed off the roof. They follow the blood and — fire escape? Oh no — another door. Wait a minute, if they only went back because they were sure the racist was alive, and the black guy was sure the racist was alive because he chained the door up, what about the other door? Wouldn’t he have remembered “Well, I chained one door, but the other’s completely open — he’s probably dead, no need to go back.” I think he would have.
7:06 “Jim” is the pragmatic soldier’s friend’s name. Always the pragmatist, PS tells him to drink some water, at least. Look, PS, he’s just really frustrated about that rubber hose. What if the van doesn’t come back, and you have to take the RV somewhere? That hose fit perfectly!
Racist apparently escaped into a room where there JUST HAPPENS to be a portrait of a bunch of rich white guys on the wall. Whew! Nice catch for him, huh? He must have felt right at home walking into there. “Hello, good sir, welcome to the boardroom! Have a seat here and let me just shake your — oh.”
8:37 The annoying ladies caught a bunch of fish, apparently. If only they’d caught a vibrator, too — then everybody would be really happy.
9:51 This is a big department store building. Apparently the racist cauterized his hand on a stove, and then jumped out down a fire escape. I knew it!
It’s probably worth noting that I don’t remember any of this racist stuff from the comics — as far as I remember, they went straight out to the camp, and then things went crazy out there. I guess this all works in the show’s universe, but I still don’t like that premise that they left him and then came back. I wonder if the first two episodes were written together, shopped around as the pilot, and then these episodes came later. That would definitely add to what I said in the very beginning (man, this is long, right?) that the show doesn’t really live up to its initial bang.
The Lucky Four are convinced by Darryl to head out into Atlanta and find racist Merle. I gotta say — I don’t know where or how they’re going to find him. That’s a real stumper.
11:53 “Why you diggin, Jim? You headin to China?” Shane asks a creepy Jim. What did Robin ever see in this guy that she jumps in bed with him right after her husband supposedly dies?
Jim just wants to dig some graves, people. Man. Just leave him alone! Can’t a guy dig a bunch of graves and scare a couple of kids in peace? Let him dig!
Then Jim brings up the whole deal with Shane beating up the redneck, and says he’s wrong for getting involved in someone else’s marriage. Shane? Involved in someone else’s marriage? NO WAY. Robin should speak up here — Shane would never ever insert himself into someone else’s marr– oh. Oh. Never mind then.
13:34 Shane attacks Jim. And handcuffs him?!? Holy crap, people! Just let the guy dig some graves so he can deal with the death of his family! Why’s everybody so concerned about Jim hurting some dirt?
14:34 Asian guy is suggesting that he and Darryl can deal with the guns better than the Lucky Four all together. I agree — I should learn Asian guy’s name, because I think he’s beating out the sheriff as my favorite character.
Although, we just learned that he delivered pizzas before the apocalypse, which means we’re learning something lovable and endearing about him right before he’s about to undertake a dangerous mission. That … is probably bad.
16:08 The Asian (sorry — Korean) guy wakes up a zombie who was just sleeping in a car.
I’ll repeat that: A zombie was just sitting there sleeping in a car.
“Muuurrhmmmm… brainnnsss… hey, guys — I’m just, I’m getting a little crampy here. I’ve been shambling around for a few days now, and boy are my dogs barking. Does anybody — does anybody just mind if I just sit in this car for a second? Just gonna take a load off here, just for a little bit. That’s cool, right?”
“Boy, this carseat is kinda comfy. I know we don’t need to sleep any more guys, brains and all that, but I just — Look, I’m just going to close my eyes for a second here, guys. Well at least one of them — my eyelid got ripped off on the other one. Man, I’m really tired. I’m just … I’m just gonna…. lay my head… zzzz… brains…..”
“Oh hey! Was that an asian guy running past me?! Or was he Korean?”
16:48 Spanish-speaking kid shows up out of nowhere, his gangster buddies are right behind him. And Korean guy gets kidnapped. I knew it!
I like that the sheriff gets his hat back. Listen guys, I’ve never been in a zombie apocalypse myself, but I do know that if one goes down, there’s nothing you could really use more than a really solid hat. It protects your eyes and skin from the sun, keeps the sweat off your brow, and it makes you look darn stylish while you’re burying an axe in some dead girl’s head. Yup, there’s nothing better to have during a zombie plague than a hat. Oh, and maybe a big bag of guns. That helps, too.
18:34 JIM’S BEEN TIED TO A TREE! Listen, there are a lot of things you can do in a zombie apocalypse — you can steal cars and planes, you can kill zombies all you want, and according to Shane, you can even beat up rednecks and tell women that their husbands are dead to sleep with them.
But you hear me now people: Don’t you ever, EVER, dig a bunch of graves. Not on Shane’s watch. No siree — nobody’s digging graves at this camp! Take that, Jim, you grave digger.
18:54 “How long are you going to keep me like this,” asks Jim.
“Well, I don’t think you’re a danger to yourself or others,” says Shane. “But you better stay away from that dirt out there. It doesn’t appreciate being moved all around with a shovel for the purpose of burying dead people. YOU GOT THAT!”
Seriously, Shane. Digging graves. Leave him alone.
20:08 Jim thinks the sheriff is tough as nails? Didn’t Darryl think his racist brother was tough as nails too? Nails must be extra tough in this universe.
21:21 Darryl just called the mexican gang “this little turd and his douchebag friends.” Hey now — did you really mean to call him a douchebag? Oh, you did? Oh, never mind then.
Turd’s feisty, but he freaks out when he sees what Merle the racist left behind. He fell down on the floor there, sheriff — why don’t you give him a hand up? Turd’s in a gang though — he’s his own man, not interested in handouts.
I got more, you guys. Don’t worry, they’re coming.
22:27 The Unlucky Three head over to the gang’s HQ and get told about Guillermo, who’s apparently the leader of the gang. I kind of think it would be great if it was the Guillermo from Weeds leading the gang, but nope. Guillermo looks like one of the kids from The Wire, though he’s not as great an actor.
Uh oh, my writer’s intuition is kicking in. We haven’t heard from the racist in a while, which means he’ll probably show up at some point here, just as things are getting to a boil point with the gang. We’ll see. Along those lines, the writers aren’t really nailing the whole “keep things or throw them away” angle, but we’ve got Jim hanging on to his family and their deaths, and the Unlucky Three catching Turd, and trying to decide whether to hang on to him or the guns. Nobody’s had to make a real choice yet, but I guess that’s where we’re headed.
25:12 Turd’s name is Miguel, but I’ll keep calling him Turd. Asian guy’s name is Glen, so I’ll call him Glen.
And again, writers do a nice job here of putting the sheriff in a tough position, and using the black guy and Darryl to really hash out the two sides of the issue. That’s something I don’t always do in my writing enough — characters who have to make a choice should really get both sides of the issue explored for them or buy them, and that always makes the eventual decision that much more of a payoff.
28:57 I wonder what this Mexican gang’s story of the zombie apocalypse is like. What did they do when they first found out zombies were everywhere? What have they had to eat all this time? They’re in some completely outfitted auto shop, and the folks in the camp outside the city had to strip that muscle car for parts? And I thought the city was completely abandoned anyway?!?
Also, if I was a head writer/producer on this show, and I did have a rule about how long the show can go before zombies show up to fight, this episode would have already broken it. At least we have some gangster’s abuela to resolve this tough situation.
30:09 Haha, Guillermo completely folds when his grandma shows up! Unbelievable. He was going to really kill three/four men for a bunch of guns, but his grandma can tell him to back down? I don’t know, guys — I know you like this show, but that’s pretty goofy.
Oh but at least we get to see some of their story. They’ve been gardening in the backyard, apparently — they’re gardening gangstas! And there’s a nursing home! And one of the gangstas is a doctor!
Oh man, and Guillermo was in on it all along! He was joking about the dogs! But he still would have killed the sheriff! “Wouldn’t be the first time we had to.” Really? REALLY?
I don’t know guys — I think the gangsta nursing home might have just ended this show for me. It’s too goofy. “These people — the oldies? Staff took off, just left them here to die.” THE OLDIES! Come on now. Guillermo is a custodian! I guess that explains why he’s such a terrible actor.
Not buying this at all. Guillermo is explaining how mexican gangsters are willing to stay in a city crowded with zombies to protect a bunch of “oldies” in a nursing home (possibly even having to kill armed cops who come by) just because they care. No really. That’s what he’s explaining.
Maybe I take that stuff about how he’s such a terrible actor back. He literally just had to tell this show’s most unbelievable story all by himself. And this is a show where the sheriff found his family in the first camp, and a bunch of guys went back into a zombie infested city to save a racist who they accidentally left on a rooftop.
I dunno, guys. I dunno.
34:30 At least the Lucky Four are back together. About time for the racist to reappear?
Yup. “Dude, where’s our van?” “I left it right here, dude.” “Dude, where’s our van?” Oh no! Now Jim won’t ever get his rubber hose!
35:46 “I built up the rocks so the flames can be higher? See?” Yup, thanks buddy. That is clearly the argument that was tearing this camp apart. Now that the flames are higher, everybody’s going to be fine.
Notice that as Shane comes down to talk to him, he’s hanging out with the sheriff’s kid again. Sure, Robin did just say about twenty minutes ago that he should stay away from her kid and her family, but that was before JIM STARTED DIGGING GRAVES. The world really has changed, people.
“I hope you understand the need for this time out.” I had no idea Shane had a psychology degree. Need some help getting over the horrible deaths of your family? Ask Dr. Shane, MD to help you out: he’ll punch you in the face, handcuff you, tie you to a tree, and you’ll feel better in no time!
36:38 The redneck is really smashed up, and as if we needed any more reasons to dislike him, he even intones a little sexual abuse to his kid. That I obviously can’t stand for — I liked him when he was breaking up the cackling ladies who clearly WERE NOT at a comedy club, and I understood him when he just wanted to keep a hold on his family, but he’s pretty clearly due for a zombie buffet at this point.
Also, the Lucky Four apparently have to run back to camp without that van. Seriously: Jim needs that rubber hose. I hope that van gets back in one piece.
37:24 Uh oh, pragmatic soldier winds his watch every day. Get the rope, Shane! Maybe it’s not just digging graves — maybe any repetitive motion isn’t allowed here at all.
Also, hey now, pragmatic soldier, with that “I give you a mausoleum watch to remember time” joke around the campfire. This ain’t no comedy club.
39:08 Just a few minutes left! Time for a cliffhanger. Yup, little annoying sister has to pee, and clearly nothing bad can happen now.
ZOMBIES! Guys, did you forget that this show was actually about zombies? Because I almost did. The last zombie we saw was the one waking up when Glen ran past, and … that’s been about it for this whole episode! Oh, and the ones Darryl killed with his arrows.
Oh redneck Earl, we barely knew ye. All we knew about you was that you hated women and abused your family. Surely there was more to know! Maybe we can see you in another life — an undead life.
Little annoying sister gets bitten too, which means the sisters are probably about to get even more annoying. Shane gets bitten, and none too soon. Luckily, the Lucky Four reappear to save the day. Oops — guess I was wrong; little sister isn’t going to be annoying for too much longer. Big sister will have to be doubly annoying for the both of them from now on. I guess they really are different — looks like giving up the things you catch is the wrong way to go.
But man, all those zombies really came out of nowhere, right? No zombies at that camp for weeks, and then they all just start suddenly stumbling in out of the forest? It’s weird — it’s almost like something changed, like something that wasn’t there before pulled them in. Something like the fire being larger, and … OH CRAP. Thanks for nothing, fire fixer.
Also, Jim is apparently psychic. THE END.
Whew! I hope you guys enjoyed that — I can’t imagine anyone is still reading this, but there you go, one and half hours of commentary. I would like to hear from you if you enjoyed this, and I especially would like to hear what you think if you happen to watch these episodes while you read this. I don’t know if this was completely successful, but I may try this again at some point — maybe I’ll make an audio commentary instead. Thanks for reading! Lates ya’ll!
I’m going to go and dig some graves.