My blog I've ignored for 2 years while attending the Brandcenter
There is a full blow outbreak in prison, and people are dropping like flies. Glenn is sick, Sasha is sick, and even that little creepy girl Lizzie is sick. Darryl is leading an away team to find medicine (Keep your head on a swivel Bob’Angelo Barksdale). Rick is being a cop again and investigating who killed and burned Tyreese’s girlfriend. Tyreese is wicked pissed at everybody.
Episode 3 answered one big question while continuing to lay the groundwork for the season.
First, our Walker Moment of the Night (WMotN) goes to the walker stuck under the car as Darryl tries to reverse away from the ginormous horde. Just as Darryl is trying to reverse his way over the walker speed bump, this guy reaches out for the tire, and there you have it.
On to some random thoughts on episode 3 of Season 4 of The Walking Dead.
1. Digging graves is exhausting
Dear lord, watching everyone dig graves is exhausting. Why are they still burying their dead? Why not just cremate? Is it because they don’t want to attract other walkers/humans with a giant plume of smoke? Or are they just holding onto some piece of the world they used to know? I remember in one of the first episodes after a herd of walkers came through the campsite and killed a bunch of people that someone (Glenn I believe) stated that “they bury their dead.” So they began the process of digging graves. They continued that tradition on Hershel’s farm as we saw graves dug for Sophia, Otis, and Dale. Lately though with a large number of graves at some point someone has got to stop and go “this just isn’t going to work anymore.” especially if you consider many of their dead have the super flu.
2. The Walking Dead’s long-running theme
I’m not talking about the eerie score during the opening credits that slowly build to a crescendo and just as quickly dissipates leaving you with the chills as the credits end. I am talking about a long-running theme of the show since its first episode. I like to call it the “Smart people doing stupid things because YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” theme. It occurs when a reasonable, rational person makes a decision that they are going to do something that they know is dangerous (usually alone) and they end up nearly getting killed or causing other people to rush out to risk their lives to save them.
Tonight’s participants were both Carol and Hershel who at separate times tonight decided that they were going leave the confines of the prison fence for the greater good of the group. I say “greater good of the group” because both of their reasons to venture out were noble and intended to help their sick and dying friends. Carol needs to unclog the waterline, and Hershel needs elderberries to make a tea that will ease the flu symptoms. I just guess the only reason why these situations keep happening is to bring drama to the show. I understand that if everyone started acting like rational, logical people that this show about the undead apocalypse would become dull.
Luckily we have characters that have no problem pointing out dangers to others yet are incapable of taking their advice. Carol wants to go outside the fence to unclog the waterline. Rick agrees but wants to focus on the matter at hand and wants to wait until the next day. Carol disagrees with Rick (and is right), but instead of trying to debate her point she just decides to go outside, alone, without a gun. Of course unclogging the hose is trickier than expected and eventually, the walkers notice her standing out in the open. She did bring a machete with her which she promptly gets stuck in a walker’s forehead [SIDE NOTE: That’s something that you don’t often see in a show with as much decapitation as it has. Usually, the walker skulls react like heads made out of paper mache END OF SIDE NOTE]. By chance, Rick is walking back outside and notices the commotion and comes charging to her rescue. Yaaa! Unnecessary drama and danger achieved!
Hershel (and his new leg we’re still not talking about) decide that they are going to go out into the woods to pick elderberries for a tea that will help with the sick. Instead of telling anyone he thinks it’s a good idea to go out (again) alone, without a gun. Luckily for him, Carl bumps into him and is going along as his backup. Cue Carl, putting Rick’s sheriff hat back on. I’ve missed that hat. I assume they just wandered in the woods looking for elderberries and happened upon some bushes were Hershel blabbed about the peacefulness of the woods non-stop as Carl watched his back. Not surprisingly their peacefulness was disturbed by a very gross walker that has been leaning on a tree for a long time and then a surprisingly even creepier walker limping around because she appears to have her leg still in a brace and pins. Hershel stopped Carl from putting her down. To save the bullet, to not draw any more attention to them? Perhaps he saw a comrade in the broken/missing leg department? Either way, we missed out on a potentially great one-legged ass-kicking contest.
3. I’m no doctor but.
I’m no doctor, but instead of just Hershel wearing a mask, how about all the sick people wear a mask as well. I mean, seeing how they’re the ones coughing up blood and cooties all over the place. Oh, and hey Doc, way to cough your blood all over Hershel, awesome. Hershel takes it way better than I would have. Another thing, if this flu is killing people as fast as it appears is there anyone left to make sure when someone dies they don’t turn and begin going cell to cell again a la Walker Patrick from episode 2? Are they locking people in the cells just in case?
4. Tyreese is having a day
Tyreese’s day went from bad to worse in a hurry for someone who isn’t sick.
After a day like that, it’s no wonder he nearly just gives up. I guess technically the episode ended on a high note for Tyreese as he went into Berserker mode on the horde of walkers and bludgeoned a crapload before escaping with Darryl, Michonne, and Bob’Angelo Barksdale on foot, in the woods, miles away from the prison, okay perhaps not exactly a “high note.”
I was sort of disappointed by the Tyreese “Berserker” scene. It was taken directly from the comic where a distraught Tyreese and Rick walk into a room full of walkers at the prison. At this point in the comic Tyreese is grieving and appears to have given up on life. As they start to fight the walkers, Rick begins to retreat out the door and calls for Tyreese to follow. He doesn’t listen of course because he is in full Berserker-walker-skull-crushing-rage-mode now. Eventually, Rick is forced to close the door and leave Tyreese behind. Rick and company reopen the door to finish off the walkers and possibly put their now walker-fied friend out of his misery but instead find an intact Tyreese sitting on a pile of walker bodies. It was a great scene in the comic and one of the few uplifting moments I can remember.
With the TV version, you still have a distraught Tyreese, bummed about Karen, but he still should want to live to save his sick sister. He eventually gets out of the car and starts hammering walkers. Unlike in the comic where you assumed he was a goner I never felt like Tyreese was going to die here. Maybe because I read the comic? The only people surprised by Tyreese’s reappearance are Darryl, Michonne and Bob’Angelo Barksdale as they all scurry off into the woods being pursued by what appears to be thousands of walkers.
5. So, Carol’s a murderer now?
The episode sort of ends suddenly when Sheriff Rick notices something on the door where Karen died and her body burned. Rick confronts Carol and straight out asked her if she killed Karen, and she responds immediately, nonchalantly, “Yes.” Her quick response was almost like she had been waiting for someone to ask her if she did it. I was surprised it was Carol. I thought it was going to be Sasha. I thought that Sasha killing Karen to protect her brother would be what drives Tyreese over the edge mentally. I figured it made sense for her because Sasha could claim she was just trying to look out for him. Carol though has placed Rick in the dangerous position of either telling Tyreese the truth or quickly covering it up to save Carol. Tyreese is not going to stop caring about who killed Karen and is only going become more unstable. Rick is also in the position of needing both Carol and Tyreese. Carol has recently stepped up in her role with the group and has been with Rick since almost the beginning. Along with Carl, Darryl, and Glenn she is the last of the original group Rick encountered after he awakes from his coma. After everything they’ve been through together, he is not going to let Tyreese harm her even if what she did was wrong.
At the same time, Tyreese is also the muscle Rick needs if there is another attack by either walkers or humans. I feel like Rick will attempt to pin the blame on someone in the prison that was sick and had since died, allowing Tyreese to have the closure he needs and save Carol from getting her skull hammered in.
Of Course, when has anything been tied up neatly like that on this show?
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Mr. Fenske is a professor at VCU Brandcenter in Richmond VA. The site is an extension of his efforts in the classroom, except for the cartoons, which seem to grow out of some disaffection he feels with the world. Thank you for visiting. © Mark Fenske
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