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Last week, things got busy and I wasn’t able to write a recap for the episode Heads Up. What did I miss? After weeks of wondering whether or not Glenn was alive, it turns out he was. They made that into a full hour somehow. Start to Finish is the eighth episode of season six which so far clocks in at ten hours less commercial breaks. All of that has been leading up to this moment, the zombie herd breaks through the walls of the Alexandria safe zone. Shit, as they say, is about to get real.
Except instead, The Walking Dead pads that shit out and ends the midseason with more cliffhangers. As a reader of the comic book, I have a fairly good idea of what happens next without having to wait until Valentine’s Day to find out. But I seriously have to wonder how much abuse fans of the TV show are willing to take. Because this is getting ridiculous.
As the show’s most popular character, you would think The Walking Dead would go out of its way to spotlight Daryl Dixon as often as possible. But this season, the show has made the puzzling decision to sideline its star while parceling out story fragments as slowly as possible. In Always Accountable, we catch up with Daryl as he and Abraham and Sasha complete the mission they started in the season premiere; 6 episodes and 7 hours of television ago. That mission, in case you have forgotten, was to drive 20 miles down the road. Seven hours of TV to cover a 20 mile drive. I can think of no better way to sum up The Walking Dead than the fact that it is traveling at less than three miles an hour.
This is the show we’re watching now. The writers are told to stretch 30 pages of a comic book into ten hours of television. There’s not enough story to go around so entire episodes are stitched together out of filler. It’s like biting into a sausage filled with sawdust. Some episodes, like this one, are not allowed to advance any storylines in any significant way. So instead, characters make speeches. I didn’t want to see it before. It’s not that I couldn’t see it. I could. I didn’t want to. Because seeing it would mean admitting that the writers of The Walking Dead are just jerking viewers along. And nobody wants to admit to being jerked around. But my fellow citizens of Viewershipia, we have been jerked.
I don’t know about you, but I get very wary any time The Walking Dead runs more than sixty minutes. The typical episode is heavily padded to meet the usual runtime. So any time the show runs long, you know you’re facing a lot of filler. Here’s Not Here gives the audience an hour and a half of Morgan’s backstory. In theory, this should be interesting. Morgan is a fan favorite character. But in execution, the show delivered ninety minutes with absolutely no new story. Everything that was revealed about Morgan’s transformation from crazy dude to Jedi knight, we pretty much knew already.
Thank You is one of those episodes of The Walking Dead that seems to be designed to work up a frenzy on social media. Perhaps the show runners anticipated that their ratings would be in a slump and this was an effort to give the series a bump? (Just to clarify, I’m kidding. But the timing of the stunt seems to be good considering the show’s ratings have been on the decline.) If you haven’t seen the episode and you haven’t already been spoiled by your FB friends, turn back. Spoilers follow.
Last week’s extra-long season premiere focused on Rick’s efforts to herd thousands of zombies past the Alexandria settlement to… well, he never really said. But presumable somewhere else where they can be someone else’s problem. Rick’s scheme was beyond risky. It was stupid. Any sane person would have found a way to kill all the zombies while they were contained. The hubris of Rick’s zombie herding plan was exposed when something as simple as a honking horn turned the now-freed zombies directly where Rick didn’t want them to go. Ooops.
My assumption at the time was that the Wolves, a mysterious group of villains, had been monitoring Rick’s activity and intentionally sounded the horn in an attempt to sabotage him. In this episode, we find out that the real explanation is far more mundane. And stupid. Like just about everything else that happened. There was a lot of stupid to go around.
Coming off of the six week slog that was Fear the Walking Dead, the bar was set pretty low for last night’s season premiere of the parent show. A little zombie action goes a long way on a zombie show. And First Time Again featured more zombies than ever. But it turns out that there isn’t a direct correlation between zombies on the screen and audience excitement. Because despite the presence of thousands of zombies, the episode was a bit of a snoozer.
Karen Allen starred in one of the best-remembered blockbuster movies of all time. She has worked with Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner, John Carpenter and William Friedkin. Her costars include Harrison Ford, Al Pacino, Billy Murray and John Belushi. But despite appearing in several hit movies, Allen never became a big star. As the 80’s ended, her career cooled off and eventually she threw in the towel. She left Hollywood for the Berkshire Mountains.
What the hell happened?
With Cinderella and Insurgent in theaters, it seemed like an excellent time to rank our female heroes. What exactly it means to be a movie heroine is open to interpretation. We’ve got some of the action heroines you would expect. But we also have some real world figures and some flawed protagonists. Who’s the best movie heroine? It’s time to find out.