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The Walking Dead: Say Yes

twd-say-yes

It’s date night on The Walking Dead.  For Rick and Michonne (“Richonne”), that means hanging out at a nearby fairground with Greg Nicotero and a bunch of extras in zombie make-up.  Wacky, gory hi-jinks ensue.  The show’s writers managed to milk an hour-long episode out of that thin premise.  Let’s see if I can get a 500-word article out of it.

First, let’s talk about the fairground.  It turns out its the mother-lode.  Not only is there a stockpile of ready-to-eat meals just waiting to be loaded into a truck, there is also an army of zombie soldiers carrying around the firearms Rick needs to start his rebellion.  This treasure trove of goods and weapons has been left undisturbed for a couple of years now despite the presence of at least five large communities scavenging the area for supplies.

Theoretically, the presence of a hundred or so zombies should pose some kind of threat.  But by this point, we have seen the characters mow down walkers in much greater numbers.  There are several ways Rick and Michonne could have retrieved the supplies with minimal risk to themselves, but they decide to rely on their “plot armor” which admittedly has never failed them in the past so why not?

Whenever an episode of The Walking Dead includes a deer, it’s never a good sign.  In this case, the deer was of the CGI variety and it was less convincing than the army of talking gorillas that recently invaded Central City on the CW’s The Flash.  Rick nearly gets himself killed trying to catch some venison for his girlfriend.  Michonne, believing Rick to be dead, drops her sword and gives up the fight in despair.

What a massive disservice to the character!  Michonne has always been shown to be a strong and practical woman.  But her relationship with Rick has made her so dependent on him that she immediately gives up the ghost when she thinks he’s gone.  Not only that, but Rick later lectures her on the need to carry on in the very likely event that something eventually happens to him.  The once independent Michonne has become Robin to Rick’s Batman and it’s not a good look.

It should be noted that the death-fake-out is a complete cop-out.  Much like Glenn’s impossible dumpster dive from last season, we are shown an angle that makes Rick’s death a foregone conclusion only to see him somehow emerge alive and well from under a box.  How’d he get under that thing?  Magic seems like the only logical explanation.  When Rick popped up, he should have shouted “Ta-DA!” and all the zombies should have burst into spontaneous applause because that was some David Copperfield shit right there.

Naturally, Rick takes all of the guns to his new friends at the local garbage dump.  After having listened to Michonne praise Rick for his leadership skills, he then demonstrates what a poor negotiator he is.  After he delivers around sixty-plus guns to Jadis, she says that she needs twice that much before her people will be ready to fight the Saviors.  Rick protests that the deal was for “a lot of guns” and by his definition sixty is “a lot”.  Next time he might want to agree on an actual number before you start scavenging.

This is followed by Rick renegotiating the deal.  He decides that he needs to keep some of the weapons for his group – something he should have considered before handing them all over in the first place.  Why arm a group of strangers to fight on your behalf before arming your own group?  Only Rick knows the answer to that one.  Rick starts shouting out the number 10 and Jadis proves she’s not much better at negotiating by continuing to give Rick what he wants until he ends up with nearly a third of the weapons.

Where will Rick get the rest of the guns he needs?  Conveniently, Tara decides to tell him about the Oceanside group.  There was never really any doubt that she would eventually share this information.  She just needed to wait until late enough in the season for that to happen.

Meanwhile, there’s a B-plot involving Rosita and Sasha.  Rosita, like many a viewer, is frustrated with the show’s pacing.  She wants revenge on Negan for killing the man who dumped her for a chance at love with a girl he barely knew.  So Rosita ends up recruiting Sasha – the woman Abraham left her for – for a two-woman suicide mission with virtually no chance of success.  Remember Rosita’s last attempt at vengeance?  Apparently she doesn’t.  She had a clear shot at Negan and she blew it.  What makes her think she will fare better against Negan and his army on his home turf?  It’s almost like her actions are being driven by the needs of the plot…

Word count: 808

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Posted on March 6, 2017, in TV, Walking Dead and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Disappointed to hear that the Gorilla City apes on THE FLASH weren’t convincing. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that show’s creators were going to do that. In my head, I was dancing a jig. I definitely have to start watching that show.

    This one inspired me to write what I think is by far my best TWD article of this season. I just reread it and it’s silly, non-linear and sloppy as hell but I actually had fun hammering it out and maybe that makes it a fun read.

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    • Actually, I was very impressed with what the show did with their limited budget on The Flash. My point there was that if the CW can pull off a gorilla invasion satisfactorily, the top-rated show on cable should be able to render a deer convincingly.

      I read your article this morning and knew I wasn’t going to top it. I didn’t even try. Well done.

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      • It’s incredibly audacious for THE FLASH to even attempt something like that. I was thrilled back when I first heard Grodd was a part of the show in the first place. A show like SMALLVILLE did effects that seem like miracles on the budgets they had available. I’m presently concerned about Marvel doing THE INHUMANS for network television–seems like an incredibly bad idea, given the money it will take to get it right. Practically every Inhuman is a big-ass effects budget, just to have him on the screen. That’s a property about alien beings, where everything down to the last teacup has to be designed and manufactured. It’s probably not going to be any sort of ratings hit on a major network–Nielsens suck–and will end because it costs way more than it can make.

        Forgive my aside!

        After its first season, TWD has always looked like an uber-cheap show and even with penny-pinching AMC to contend with, its money problems have always been in how its creators opt to spend what they have. They’ve always had network-level budgets (cable budgets are typically much smaller) and they’ve almost always just looked like some cheap, direct-to-video b-movie. Z NATION spends, on an entire season, roughly what TWD spent on any 3 eps at its lowest budget and while it looks cheaper than TWD, it puts TWD to shame. I’ve found that very amusing over the years. And now, TWD, which has been clipping from ZN since ZN appeared, is regularly appropriating ZN’s approach to the material. But I’m going off on a tangent again!

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  2. Jim The Hammer

    Worst, Sloppiest Episode Ever?

    A romcom in zombieland (Romzomcom?), which is godawful enough just as a premise, but when you add in all the idiotic and incompetent ‘writing’ this li’l dandy packs in to the brim, well what you got there is, imho, the worst episode ever.

    Just think about the plethora of shitty plot devices/dialogue/character fails…etc… this one ep had: (Besides the many many examples you guys already mentioned… if I happen to repeat a few, I’m sure you’ll forgive me…)

    -the crappy CGI deer as a plot device in the first place. Something, anything else could have gotten our whacky fun-lovin’ couple to the fairgrounds, or placed Rick in danger at a crucial moment. I mean, forget that The Great Rick Grimes is actually distracted by a stupid deer while being VERY busy killing zombies/fighting for his life, how about the uber-moronic idea that such an extremely skittish and paranoid would calmly advance into a frantic scene of carnage and automatic gunfire? To graze on yes, well-cut grass, in the middle of an enclosure? AND get killed by a group of slow, lumbering, cretinous undead?? Maybe Buttons thought they were friendly people, but a wild animal?

    -If one thing’s been continually stressed, and established as fact in this series, it’s that whenever there are zombies about, ESPECIALLY large groups, you need to keep as quiet as possible. Because they’re attracted to any sound. Especially loud ones. Like gunshots from high powered rifles. But not when Michonne wastes valuable ammunition to take shots at the carnival shooting game. Usually a squeak-fart in a windstorm is more than enough to bring zombies down on your, um…. ass, but suddenly this isn’t the case because it was so cute and funny and romantic and then the roof caves in…

    -The roof caving in. just so happens, that at that exact moment, the weight of their 2 combined skinny asses is the critical mass needed to collapse the structure. Makes sense right? It’s been almost 2 years and roofs aren’t built to last for more than a couple of months, at most.

    -The whole car thing. Rick doesn’t notice the zombie in the windshield? Check. He gets the car in neutral but doesn’t try starting it first? Check. Vomit-inducing ‘cutesy’ dialogue while pushing it? Check. But then, watch out! Thar’s no brakes! Apparently no emergency brake either! What about jamming it in park? Who knows? There’s a commercial break coming up, so we need our 2 adorable fun lovin’ characters to be in quite the predicament as a cliffhanger. I could almost hear Waylon Jennings narrating: “Looks like them undead folk got ‘ole Rick and Michonne dead-to-rights!” (Country guitar lick follows…)

    -How the hell does Michonne get from being trapped inside the trunk, to popping up out of the sunroof with Rick? Maybe they did explain it, but that scene would have ended up on the cutting room floor, as there was so much necessary substance to cram into a mere one-hour episode.

    -The whole moronic idea that somebody in the midst of fighting desperately for his very life would not only somehow be distracted by an impossible deer, but then decide to go hunting for it, as savagely stupid, inept and ridiculous as that was, is merely the prize cherry atop this sundae surprise chock-full of idiotic gaffes and blunders.

    And so, in closing, I leave you with the claim that with these points, as well as the very many and varied examples already provided by you guys, and the many I’m sure have been overlooked, makes this episode not one of, but THE most awful and poorly-written in the entire run of the series.

    So far.

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    • At least your rant was on point. You had me cracking up with the comment about the mowed lawn. That’s so common I don’t even notice anymore. But you’re absolutely right. My lawn gets overgrown in a matter of weeks. It’s been two years!

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  3. “I could almost hear Waylon Jennings narrating: ‘Looks like them undead folk got ‘ole Rick and Michonne dead-to-rights!’ (Country guitar lick follows…)”

    Or, more to the point, it needed Doc and 10k to look at one another while trapped in the car and say, in unison, “Damn apocalypse.”

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