The Walking Dead: After

14244378-mmmainIt’s back! Our favorite zombie survivors are once again going to be gracing our televisions each Sunday. Last night’s episode picked up right where the mid-season finale left off – the destroyed prison and the loss of our beloved Hershel.

The first five minutes with Michonne were heartbreaking and exactly what I love most about this show. She’s forced to put Walker!Hershel down and you can see how much this affects her.  Instead of pulling her katana out with her foot, she lovingly places her hand on Hershel’s cheek, mourning the loss of a great man and the moral backbone of Team Prison. RIP Hershel.

We get to dive a bit into Michonne’s grief-filled past through dreams that show her as she was pre-apocalypse. We’d already suspected she was a mother after her reactions around baby Judi, but seeing her with her child is emotionally moving. I loved how we follow Michonne throughout the episode – how she rarely speaks yet we seem to know exactly what’s she’s thinking. At first she casts off her human family, refusing to follow the footsteps of the Grimes boys. But once she realizes she’s chosen to walk among the dead rather than the living, she gloriously downs the zombies and goes in search of her boys. I’m totally a Richonne shipper. The ending scene where she knocks on the door was maybe the second time I teared up during the episode.

As for Rick and Carl (the only other characters featured in this episode), we see them struggling, not just with the prison’s downfall, but their own downfall as father and son. Rick is badly injured and Carl is pissed as hell at him – showing his true teenage bitchiness. At one point, he even wishes his father dead which most teenagers do at some point. But watching Carl come to terms with the literal death of his father was another extremely moving moment.

I liked following Carl around on his own for awhile. We get to see just how much of a kid he still is – despite the atrocities he’s seen and committed. How many times can one teenage boy almost get bitten in the span of 45 minutes? If your name is Carl Grimes…a lot. His pudding eating scene made me giggle – with his one shoe having been stolen.

Many have labeled this episode as boring which I definitely do not agree with. After the loud, crazy, epic prison showdown in the previous installment, the quietness of ‘After’ felt appropriate and moving. Many of the actors and producers of the show have said that the back eight episodes are far more psychological than the show has ever been. You get to see that with episode nine as the dialogue is at a bare minimum. I think it’s an interesting storytelling technique and gives the actors a real chance to shine.

I do have one small gripe. Carl and Rick cannot have wondered too far away from the prison in the battle’s aftermath. With that in mind, how can there be so many un-looted, un-scavenged houses and buildings? Wouldn’t they have gone through everything nearby at this point? Just a minor detail, but it irked me nonetheless. Also, why aren’t they looking for the others??????? Did they not have a plan in place for this kind of catastrophe? I find that incredibly hard to believe, TWD writers.

Can’t wait to meet up with the others in 410! I miss my weekly Norman Reedus fix!!

The Walking Dead Compendium One by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore, Cliff Rathburn

unnamedY’all know by now I’m obsessed with all things Walking Dead. I started reading the comic almost two years ago, but never got around to finishing the first compendium because I didn’t want to jump ahead of the television series. I had watched seasons one and two which ended just before the prison arc. Now that I’m midway through season four, I finally felt ready to finish the huge tome that had been sitting at my bedside collecting dust for far too long.

The Walking Dead follows Rick Grimes. He’s a small town Southern sheriff who is shot in the line of duty just before the zombie apocalypse begins. When he awakens from a coma a few weeks later, he’s alone in a hospital in a world overrun with the undead. His mission becomes finding his wife and son and staying alive.

It’s a simple premise, but the social commentary is anything but. The many, many characters are so well done and so compelling that I’m shocked every time I think of how many words there aren’t in this graphic novel. The walking dead actually refers more to the humans still living because humanity feels almost like a thing of the past in this new, brutal world. Many people have become monsters. Others are struggling daily to avoid just that. No one is left the way they began.

And people die. Hell, almost everyone dies.

What I love most about the reading/watching experience is how well both mediums compliment each other. The show brings to life the essence of the comic perfectly – and I don’t often say that. The series fills out the holes, the details, the development of the comic. But they aren’t the same beast. Each tells stories in different ways. You might get from the same point A to the same point Z, but B-Y will be entirely unique which never leaves the audience bored.  I’ll even go ahead and admit that the television show might actually be better than the source material. Robert Kirkman even agrees with that observation to a certain extent.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the second compendium. I’m no longer afraid to read ahead for spoilers. And you shouldn’t be either! Even if you only pick only one medium – the written or the visual – you just can’t go wrong with The Walking Dead.

 

 

A Watch List

Okay, so just because I haven’t been reading much doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing other things. Most especially, watching the good ol’ television. Here’s what’s I’ve seen and the things I thought while doing the seeing:

1349815171-twd_ep1.1_daysgoneby_bts_lincolnzombie_full

The Walking Dead – obviously I love this show something fierce and just wanted an excuse to post more Norman Reedus. But also, I love how much of a character Georgia has become. It’s nice to see my home featured so prominently. Plus, I can literally feel what the characters are feeling (heat and humidity-wise) by merely stepping outside my door. I can take a drive down the same backroads they travel. And even take a trip to Woodbury (a.k.a. Senoia) if I so choose!

Six Ways to Sunday – a great little 90s indie film starring Deborah Harry (and maybe Norman Reedus, too) which I loved when it first came out and have rediscovered all these years later and still love it. It’s about a boy and his mother (the Jewish mob, Adrien Brody with some unfortunate hair styling, and Agent Coulson also make appearances).

images

Sons of Anarchy – I watched this in my efforts to avoid Breaking Bad. Just finished watching the third season and it’s hitting all of my buttons!! I’m feeling really nostalgic for Jimmy’s motorcycle which we exchanged for some much needed car repairs many years ago. We need another Suzuki cruiser in our lives.

supernatural

Supernatural – I’m rewatching season 7. I’m not sure where I quit the show, but have decided to catch back up. Because Felicia Day. Plus, Dean Winchester. I missed him. And Cas!!

Moonshiners – Okay, I don’t want this, but Jimmy does. He is borderline obsessed.

What have you been watching?

Also, Bonus Reedus:

norman-reedus-gq-magazine-october-2013-style-02

The Walking Dead: Too Far Gone (MAJOR SPOILERS)

The-Walking-Dead-Season-4-Episode-8-Too-Far-GoneThe mid-season finale was gutting. I literally screamed at the television in agony as Hershel met his end and cheered in utter euphoria when Michonne’s katana ripped through The Governor’s heart.

The beginning of the episode made me so sick. TG standing there convincing all these people that Team Prison needed to go and that they were baddies. I’m so glad at least Lilly seemed to see through his bullshit. Then in the camper with Michonne and Hershel (such a great scene) I loved Michonne’s “I’m going to kill you” line. Perfection. Hershel was the perfect Hershel. I’m glad he got this moment.

Rick finally told Daryl about Carol. And I think Daryl handled it the exact way that he should have. I never thought Daryl would go running after Carol like some lovesick Romeo. Mostly because I do not ship Daryl/Carol at all. I have a hard time shipping Daryl with anyone period. I like him being a lonewolf. Unless he wants to get closer to Rick….just saying.

What has come to my attention is that Carol may not have killed Karen and David after all. Something about the way things are playing out has me thinking it might really have been Lizzie all this time. And I definitely think Lizzie is doing the rat mutilations. I think Lizzie is a fledgling psychopath and that Carol knows.

Rick’s standoff with the tank was just so horrendously sad. He’s trying so hard and you can see how far he’s come (superb job by Andrew Lincoln). I hated the Hershel beheading. HATED IT. I couldn’t even watch it. I wanted everyone to just stop what they were doing and stab TG a million times.

Could Daryl have been more of a badass this episode? Blowing up the tank and then waiting for Mitch to crawl out of his hidey hole and putting a bolt through his mother effing heart. Didn’t even give him the clean death through the head. LOVED IT.

Rick and Carl’s reunion and finding Judith’s carrier filled with blood? The writers love to just destroy us, don’t they? Carl going apeshit on that walker out of grief was a fantastic moment and Chandler Riggs played it beautifully. I love that they are going to play homage to the comic book for a while with the Grimes boys.

Now that everyone is going to be split up (hopefully not for too long), I’m excited to see how these new dynamics play out. I was getting kind of bored and complacent at the prison. I love our group on the road. What the hell is Tyreese going to do with all those kids (I’m guessing he has Judith as well)? What the hell is Daryl going to do with Beth (please don’t go there TWD)? And poor Glenn is stuck with all the prison redshirts.

February is so far away!!! But the return of the show will make a good 30th birthday gift!

The Walking Dead: Dead Weight

walking-deadI’m alive. I’m still just not reading much of anything. So onwards we ho with The Walking Dead recaps.

You guys, DM has a killer golf swing, no?

The second (and final) Governor-centric episode aired last night and TG has made his rise back to crazy town. This time around he has a tank. A TANK. Team Prison can’t defend themselves against a tank. Their only sensible option is to flee.

Sometimes I look at Brian/Philip/TG and think he’s not entirely wrong in his leadership. The man is sort of the ultimate survivor regardless of how ugly that looks. His pitfall, though, is that he acts a little too quickly. Like, if he would just sit down over a cup of coffee and mull over the situation instead of heading off all hot-headed to the prison with a gun perhaps things could end better for everyone? Hell, Rick might have even enjoyed being under another leader as long as the man had morals. Ah, morals. Where have you gone since the world turned? Is TG moral?

What I really liked this episode was how all these other human groups seem so unorganized and weak. Team Prison is BAD ASS. I miss them so much. I think they might be one of the few groups who have been with each other long enough to truly have evolved into a family unit. That makes them so incredibly strong. After all, you can’t do this world alone. Season Three was all about that shit.

RIP Martinez and Pete. I sort of liked Martinez. Pete could have been a nice addition to an already attractive male cast (pardon my shallow).

Finally we’ve found some gay people in the apocalypse! That makes me super happy because when they initially cast these two girls I was thinking they might try and make them love interests for our male leads. Forty-somethings with twenty-somethings is just not my cup of tea, even though I know love in the zombie apocalypse can be complicated.

I think Hershel’s in trouble, y’all. And Michonne. Also, Rick. Rick standing down a tank on his own mouthing off has me worried. I think I have a general idea of what happens, but maybe I don’t. Maybe something is going to surprise the hell out of me next week and slay me. OH GOD. I’m going to be nursing a bottle of bourbon during the mid-season next Sunday night.

WHERE IS JUDITH????

The Walking Dead: Live Bait

960Hello, Governor! Welcome back. It seems that you’ve been on a long, harrowing journey that reminded me of Forrest Gump’s cross country run. When you crawled out of that tiny little tent at the beginning of episode 6, I might have giggled a little bit. Overall, I enjoyed your emo opening montage.

Unlike many others, I was well aware that ‘Live Bait’ was a David Morrissey-centric episode and that we wouldn’t be spending anytime with the prison camp. I was a bit sadface at first, but quickly got wrapped up in the story and got over myself.

I think him finding a new family is genuinely creepy and humanizing all at the same time. There were times when I was yelling at Lily & Co. to get the hell out of there and others when I was glad they had someone to protect them. I also found the chess scene with new!Penny really endearing. I kept having to remind myself that he had somewhat recently slaughtered a bunch of innocent people.

The spaghettios were awesome. Spaghetti Tuesdays, indeed. Cheeky writers.

Lily hooking up with ‘Brian’ was understandable, but one of those moments I was yelling at the tv in utter disgust. Not that DM isn’t attractive (he totally is), but the last girl he slept with he fed to a zombie.

The final scene with the pit was great. Loved all the grotesque zombie kills and the gore, I think, wasn’t gratuitous. Watching TG kill those walkers with his bare hands in such a fashion helps remind us of his own brutality and the limits he’ll probably go through to keep new!Penny safe. Rick and the prison had better not get in the way of that. Bad things that involve tanks are likely to happen.

So, yay for TG’s return! Next week’s episode looks to be a little more action-packed but still centering on TG and the return of Martinez. It will be interesting to see how that dynamic works out. TG is a master charmer and manipulator extraordinaire.

The Walking Dead: “Internment”

The-Walking-Dead-Daryl-Dixon-1600x900-WallpapersHunt.com-

There are SPOILERS. Beware.

I’m back! The Governor’s back!

Best episode of the season thus far. Scott Wilson is one bad ass motherfucker. I’m so proud that he grew up in my hometown!! I hope the Emmys notice his performance. I’m slightly worried about his longevity this season, though.

I thought Glenn was a gonner for sure. Maggie is awesome. Sasha has really grown on me. Lizzie is still super creepy.

Rick and Carl were an amazing pair tonight! I loved their scenes.

I’m glad Maggie sided with Rick on the whole Carol issue. Also super happy that Rick told the truth about his banishing her. I only wish he’d told Daryl and Tyreese in this episode so we could see their reactions. Shit is going to hit the fan.

But let’s talk about Philip/The Governor for a moment, shall we? This could be a great, exciting few episodes or a really boring season 3 rehash. I hope whatever The Governor has in store feels fresh and genuinely scary. Whatever it is, I think the prison plotline is DONE. Time to hit the road. I think the next couple of episodes center around The Governor outside of the present story – either back history or what he’s been up to/planning. I’m fairly certain the shenanigans will go down in episode 8 which is the mid-season finale. I am getting nervous as hell.