Friday, November 28, 2014

No Rest for the Wicked, But Certainly They Deserve Some Downtime

“Crossed”

Sasha is smashing up something in the church. They’re using the organ pipes to construct a makeshift pointy wall of death to protect against incoming walkers. Inventive! Noah has joined the church group. He’s still limping. Gabe the reverend is contemplating the loving message his outraged and shut out parishoners left for him—“You’ll burn in hell for this!” Michonne, baby Judith, and Carl are left at the church with Gabe, who’s acting quite strangely. He’s trying to scratch off the blood left on the church floor, a la Lady Macbeth, presumably from the bloody night showdown in which Rick killed Gareth and his cohorts. Out, out, damned spot! Cut to credits!
Sasha and Tyreese are lounging in the back of a big truck. I guess they are all going to rescue Carol, but it wasn’t too long ago that Bob died, and Sasha is feeling down. Tyreese is unable to comfort her with the usual bromide, “Bob would have wanted…” Carol is lying in the hospital, whilst Beth pushes her ubiquitous mop around. Glenn, the Ginge and a prone Eugene (who was knocked out by the Ginge’s righteous anger after the revelation that Eugene is NOT a renowned scientist destined to save the world from the zombie virus), Maggie and Rosita are all still hanging around the fire engine. Tara has managed to salvage half-filled bottles of water from the fire engine’s tank, but the Ginge is having none of it. He’s pouty, so much so that Maggie threatens to “put him down” with her gun.
The glare from the Ginge's bright red hair causes Maggie to squint.

Rick is having a strategy session with his peeps, the Badasses. Noah is among them, but he hasn’t quite got his badass bona fides yet, in my humble opinion! Rick wants to keep the operation quiet. Tyreese wants to make an “even trade” holding some of the cops for hostage in exchange for Beth and Carol. Doesn’t Carol still need medical care? As far as I can tell she isn’t even conscious yet.
Gabe is still doing some serious scrubbing, but not so excited about choosing a weapon with which to defend himself. He’s still brooding about the fact that all those bad guys got slaughtered in his church. Carl counsels Gabe that he needs to know how to fight. However, the reverend is still too squeamish to kill walkers. Carl starts going on about the zombie skulls not being as soft as you’d like them to be all the time, and even I get a little nauseated.
Dawn the healthcare expert cum cop issues an executive order to take Carol off life support, because, she claims, Beth and her mop decided to butt in. But Dawn likes the way Beth is standing up for herself! She entrusts her with the key to…something important, presumably.
Back with the Ginge contingent, Glenn, Tara and Rosita amble off in the woods in search of water. The Ginge remains in suspended animation, and Eugene is still out cold. Maggie covers the Eugene with a blanket leant up against a ladder, I guess to provide some shade. She advises the Ginge to get over himself. Amen, Maggie! There’s no time for self pity in this crazy new world.
Beth privately meets with the bearded doctor. She asks what he would give Carol if he could. He knows about the key. He says epinephrine, to wake her up.
The water the Ginge break-off group finds is muddy. Rosita makes a homemade water filter and the three of them sit together and get Rosita’s backstory. Boy, does that water look cruddy.
The cops have recaptured Noah, whose limping certainly didn’t do him any favors. However, apparently he was simply bait, because Rick’s crew pops up and makes the cops drop down and surrender their weapons. Another car zooms up to recapture the cops. There’s a lot of firing. I think Sasha took one of the tires out. So it stops, next to the greasiest, grossest immobilized walkers that you’ve ever seen. They’ve practically melted into the ground. The bad guys take off running. The nastiest bald cop has attacked Daryl, who is narrowly avoiding getting bit by the melted walkers. Rick has the nasty bald cop in his sights, but better to keep him alive as a hostage, right?
Rick wields a very large gun.

Dawn doesn’t have too many fans out there, surprise, surprise. The lady cop wants to be set free so they can get rid of Dawn themselves. But nice bald cop wants to help the group, please, pretty please, he implores.
The Ginge contingent has found some nifty mesh and other potential fishing gear. Success! They catch something. Tara finds something special in the backpack…it looks like handfuls of mud, but who am I to judge?
Michonne tries to calm the Reverend Gabe. Her face softens. It makes me admire Michonne even more. She’s one of my favorite characters. However, Gabe is up to something with the floorboards in that room he’s locked himself into.
An old man fakes a coughing fit to distract the remaining cops whilst Beth filches the epinephrine for Carol. She starts an IV for her. Will it be enough for Carol to emerge from her coma? After all C has been through, it would be terrible if she died.
Sasha is angry. Tyreese wants to help her, but it seems like she needs to mourn. Aww, brother and sister hug!
Gabe is now making his escape from the church by inching through the crawlspace. Of course, he steps on a nail first thing. Limping off, he heads for the woods, unarmed. Shall we say he is not long for this bleak world? He’s then attacked by a really ugly female walker. She’s wearing a cross; he can’t bring himself to brain her.
The nice bald guy relates his backstory to a sympathetic Sasha. He mentions the walkers, er people, melted to the asphalt outside with napalm.
The Ginge is still strangely resting on his haunches, quite literally, as Maggie offers him some refreshing water. But wait, has Eugene woken up? Or has he turned?
The rest of the Ginge contingent is returning from their fishing-water gathering expedition. Sasha is having the nice bad cop show her something to shoot. He head butts her and runs away. Of course he could not be trusted! No one can. Will the gang ultimately rescue Beth and Carol? Will Dawn meet an ugly end at the hands of her own minions or Rick’s crew? And if B and C are saved, at what price? Someone is supposed to die next week, so prepare yourself for the sads.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Zombie Sleepover Partay Tonight! Bring Your Own Tent

“Consumed”

We enjoy some Carol flashbacks. Good; never can get me enough Carol. Carol’s driving her Ford station wagon that she took way back when Rick exiled her. Do you remember the dippy hipsters who bought the farm? I do. Good times. Last we saw, Carol had just bought herself a one-way ticket to Slabtown, where Beth is clinging to a tenuous, face slap-filled existence. So what’s this all about? Carol is armed and finds refuge in an abandoned building of some sort. She seems highly contemplative. She spots a fire in the distance and takes off in her aforementioned station wagon. She witnesses the burning of the prison. It must have been when the Gov’nor returned to kill Hershel and when he met his most welcome untimely end? Cut to credits! Am I the only one who finds it amusing that they advertise Slim Jim meat sticks during TWD?
Carol’s driving alone at night. She’s with Daryl. Is this another flashback? No, I think this is more modern day. Perhaps they are tracking Beth? Ugh, I’m super confused, readers! I need the show notes for this program, people. A cop gets out of the car that Daryl and Carol were following. A walker slams itself against their car. Ew. The cop appears to be dragging something across the ground. He-she gets back in his-her car. Daryl ran out of gas. Daryl and Carol go back to the abandoned warehouse-building. Walkers descend. Looks toney inside, as if it were an office building at some point. They mooch around. When this whole crazy tribulation is over, C could seriously find a job in the armed services. Covert Ops. As a commando, perhaps. She is totally badass now.
Carol cleans up nice; Daryl, not so much.

It seems as if it were a shelter for abused women and children. Carol has been there before, in a past life, when she was married to that lout who used to beat her. Carol  muses about life whilst gazing out the window. They’re going to split a bunk bed. A noise; they stand to attention in a flash. There are women and children walkers behind a glass door, pawing it. Carol wakes up in the morning. Daryl is burning bodies. Did he kill the aforementioned walkers, in an attempt to give them a half-respectful send off? Yep. So far, this episode has been disappointing. Boring, even.
Now, just for a moment, we flashback to Carol and Tyreese burying the girls. C and D are downtown. There are a few walkers ambling about. I guess C and D are still trying to rescue Beth from the hospital, but cannot be sure. Running through an empty parking level with their guns and crossbow brandished, they come to a hallway strewn with walkers in sleeping bags. Odd; a zombie sleepover! Did they roast s’mores and share scary human stories? More walkers trapped in a tent. C and D come upon some locked double doors. They are skinny enough to squeeze through! That squirrel-only diet has paid off big time.
A doctor’s office. Daryl wants to start over; he doesn’t want to know what happened with Tyreese and the girls. Good call, Daryl. They survey the panoramic view of the wasteland out the window. Daryl provides witty commentary on the expensive looking oil painting hanging in the office. A dog could have painted it with its butt. Nice imagery! They leave, squeezing through the locked doors once more, only to be greeted by a man pointing a gun at them. This must be an envoy from the cop hospital. It’s Noah, the kid Beth helped escape. The man slashes the tents and unleashes the walkers on C and D. They escape, but without their much needed weapons.
Carol flashes back to her unfortunate epidemiological experiment with Karen and anonymous sick guy back at the prison during the hemorrhagic flu outbreak.
They rifle through the white van they spotted from the office building. Walkers are coming. They hole up in the van, which is teetering on the edge of a bridge. Daryl straps in, Carol straps in and they hold on for dear life. They fly off the edge. They seem to be ok, but then dead walkers and blood rains down on the van. They are not totally OK, but for flying off the edge of a bridge they ain’t too bad. They hobble off.
Carol’s in pain from the self-induced crash. She injured her arm or shoulder somehow. They enter another abandoned building and spy on the distant building across the way. Carol acknowledges the death of the old Carol. A distant banging noise—finally, some real action! Sounds like walkers. They come across a walker with an arrow in his neck. More walkers, and distant gunshots, or perhaps it’s the rat-tat-tat of submachine gun fire. D pins the young black guy under a fallen bookshelf. D casually smokes a cigarette he finds. Too bad it looks like the generic kind. He’s about to leave the guy pinned but Carol wants to help him. D turns to go but at the last minute fires off one of his signature arrows, killing the walker that’s on top of the young guy. Whew.
Carol is wearing her Maude caftan bloodied with walker guts and walking through the forest. I think this is during her rescue of the folks at the so-called sanctuary? Back to helping poor young guy pinned. Now what? He’s limping. He finally mentions Beth, who did help Noah escape. The cops run over C as she runs into the street. She goes flying over the hood of the car. Noah restrains Daryl from running to save her. And so we reach the point that Carol is headed for Slabtown, a.k.a. healthcare hell. D finds a big, big truck and rides off into the sunset with a very bewildered, but presumably grateful, Noah at his side.
"Hi Carol! I'll be your doctor today and Dawn is your terrorizing cop. Enjoy."


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eugene & The Ginge, Best Buddies Forevah

“Self-Help”

It’s all about the Ginge this week, Abraham, that is, the biggest and baddest ginger of all. Eugene and his ubiquitous mullet (wherein all his power lies) also figure prominently, and we are additionally treated to some hot postapocalyptic sex. Speaking of sex, I’m lusting after Rick, and I even coveted the evil Shane while he was alive, but never been that attracted to the ginge contingent before. There was this one fair-skinned, six-foot redhead named David that I shared a lap with whilst swimming one summer, and I admit that I think of him fondly from time to time, but other than that, all quiet on the red front.
Abraham is driving the school bus and flirting with Rosita, or is it the other way around? Tara is chatting with Eugene about his hair style choices. Maggie and Glenn are happily ensconced in the back of the bus. So far, you will recall, we are operating on the premise that Eugene is the key to saving the world. He goes on about pathogens, missile sites, blah blah blah, and then we get back to the interesting topic at hand, his hair. They pass a pack of staggering walkers. Ginge swerves to avoid crashing into a wreck and crashes the bus as a result. The walkers descend upon the bus, naturally, and we cut to the opening credits. Once again, we are subjected to the sorriest group of zombies that ever were; didn’t the apocalypse claim any fashionable individuals?
Glenn and Maggie make small talk with the Eugene.

Ginge flashes back to a grocery store when he was bashing someone’s head in, a non-zombie person’s head. Hmmm. Reserve judgment, reserve judgment, times were tough, and a can of food was precious tender!
Tara hands the wimpy Eugene a knife and instructs him to be “brave.” He has this deer caught in the headlights thing going on, though, and does nothing while the rest of the group goes around stabbing walkers handily through the head. Recall that Eugene is the veal of the group; he needs to be protected because of his precious scientific knowledge. The bus catches on fire. The group has to walk. Eugene wants to retreat to the church, whereas Ginge says there’s no going back, dammit!
Eugene pauses to hock a loogie on a dead walker. They leave the burning bus.
Another Ginge flashback. He’s looking for Ellie, who’s with cowering children and alive. I expect there’ll be plenty more of these as the episode progresses, so I’ll be peppering my commentary with them.
The group is building fires? With books. Looks like they found a bookstore. There’s a little something something going on between Rosita and Ginge. I guess she IS attracted to gingers, or at least she has nothing against them, and it’s better than Eugene, after all. Ginge thanks Glenn for his selfless service. There’s a lot of red-haired mumbling that doesn’t interest me that much? Glenn is still under the impression that life will get better, perhaps due to Eugene’s future contribution to humanity.
Abraham and Rosita make sweet, sweet love as Eugene watches from the Self-Help section of the bookstore. O, sweet irony! Tara and Eugene have a tense conversation. Eugene admits to sabotaging the bus. Why? Tara wants to know. Eugene admits that he has no value if he cannot cure the disease. Tara refutes this, and further promises to keep his dastardly secret. “Welcome to the human race, asshole,” she tells him. Maggie and Glenn are looking forward to the future, too. How is it that she is not pregnant yet by him? They have sex like, 20 times per day.
Ginge is in flashback mode again, with the trembling Ellie and the two very scared children. Ginge is, after all, covered in fresh blood, telling them that they don’t need to be scared “of him” anymore.
Ginge’s hand is injured. Rosita wants to take a break and stay put, but of course Ginge wants to push on. It’s a matter of time, and they don’t have it to waste. The group heads across the street to a fire truck. It starts! Success. For now. Uh, no, it stalls and stops. As he was pulling out he opened the door of the firehouse, which may or may not be significant. Oh yes, it was. Walkers, and a lot of them! Luckily the highly pressurized water from the truck’s hoses seems to do the trick, splattering walkers right and left. Ginge is hysterical as he tries to fix the truck. If he didn’t laugh, folks, he’d be cry in’.
Have you ever noticed that redheads have more fun?

Ginge flashes back to the store he was in with Ellen and the 2 kids. They’ve left and he runs out to find them.
Ginge busies himself with the repair of the truck, while Eugene the pampered puss reads a book. Maggies makes conversation with Eugene—well, tries to, at any rate. He’s a bit Asperger-y. A grand stink rolls in. What could be so smelly? Hmmm. Is something on fire? That would be my guess. I can’t tell what it is, my TV is too small. I guess it’s a huge horde of walkers. Ginge says they can press on through, who’ll notice them? Ginge is irrational. The others try to convince him otherwise, even his GF Rosita. Ginge takes Eugene with the intention of dragging him through the horde, but then Eugene admits that he’s not a scientist and has no idea how to stop the zombie virus. Ka-boom.
Eugene’s ass is pretty much grass. This is a big admission. “I just know things,” he affirms, but he’s no scientist. He wants to get to DC because he thinks it does hold the key to survival. Eugene rattles off the names of all of the people who died in aid of his phony plight. Ginge finally starts to beat Eugene up, and rightly so, I think. However, he is pulled off by the others. Semiconscious Eugene is not doing well. Does Ginge have an anger management problem? He finds Ellen and her kids dead, decimated by walkers. Was Ginge an abusive husband? Ginge then saves Eugene in his flashback, and Eugene tags along with him. Why should Ginge wait? Because Eugene has a “very important mission.” How gullible was I? I thought Eugene was really a scientist and that he really had the answer, or at least a contribution to make towards a solution.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Beth Signed Up for Obamacare and Look What Happened

“Slabtown”

Well, we finally find out what happened to kidnapped Beth, who we know was taken away from Daryl last season. Beth opens her eyes in a hospital room with a lovely view of the windowless office buildings that now comprise downtown Atlanta. The nature of the room can only be courtesy of the semi-socialist single-payer health care system towards which the U.S. is inexorably headed. No, seriously, it’s just a post-apocalyptic hospital room in Grady Memorial, Atlanta, Georgia. Beth is greeted by a female cop and a male doctor. She wasn’t “kidnapped,” she was “saved,” and now she “owes” her captors. Ominous!!

Beth experiences the joys of the National Health Service, British style!

Apparently, this is a police force-physician run operation. Nice—also a glimpse into our dismal future? Beth seems to have been recruited to “help out” at the hospital. She checks out the cafeteria, which is surprisingly clean, offering tasty treats. A cop introduces himself as Gorman, the one who “rescued” her. He reminds her that “everything costs something.” Sexual favors, anyone?
And…the hospital’s sole doctor is eating guinea pig, which isn’t that uncommon in South America, but it is in downtown Atlanta. I guess it’s better than a pulled human sandwich (an homage to Gareth, who hopefully is rotting in hell). He shares his plate with Beth. A new “patient” is brought in (if I put another word in quotation marks, I swear I will “plotz”). The doc is not too optimistic, but Dawn the cop seems intent on saving him. Dawn is frustrated and mad, so she slaps Beth hard across the face, drawing blood. Okay, I’m officially confused!
Dawn is a mean one, according to the so far nice doctor. Another patient is brought in. She’s less than compliant. She’s also been bitten. Dawn wants to amputate. She asks Beth for help in holding down the lady whilst Doc saws off her arm. She meets a nice young man who is ironing scrubs. He slipped Beth a lollipop earlier to cheer her up. He reveals that he’s waiting for the right moment to escape.
Dawn the cop wants a heart to heart with Beth. She tells Beth that she should be happy. She’s helped her, and help isn’t free. Ahem. Dawn claims that they’re helping people. Yeah, just like Gareth had a “sanctuary,” she runs a “hospital” that “helps” people. What does this tell us about rebuilding the future following a zombie apocalypse? It tells me that humanity, or at least the remaining residents of the state of Georgia, is now incapable of doing anything nice just for the heck of it! Beth is essentially an indentured servant with some time to work off before she can leave.
Dawn is a good cop gone bad, who thinks she's doing good, for the greater bad.

Beth is mopping up blood in the amputated arm chick’s room. The woman shares some info about Gorman and Dawn. However, she does so rather cryptically, so I can’t say anything more than that presently.
Beth encounters the charming cop Gorman again, who is sucking on HER lolly. He is super creepy, taking a long lick of it and then offering it back to her. Ew. The doctor intervenes. Dawn calls the shots where Gorman is involved; she calls him off Beth. The Doc can’t answer Beth’s question as to why he stays, so instead of offering words, he takes her to the ground floor of the hospital. There are walkers clawing at the grated window. Working for Dawn is surely better than what awaits beyond the hospital, right?
He takes her to the roof and tells a story of how it began. We get yet another scenic view of a deserted Atlanta. The hospital at first was evacuated. A few were left, who clung to life by going on runs. The whole life-bartering system developed when Dawn approved the Doc taking care of an injured child in exchange for the kid working off his medical care. Beth is dubious. She leaves to tend to a patient.
She administers some drugs via syringe to a patient, who immediately begins seizing. She gave him the wrong drug; clozapine instead of clonazepam. Beth claims that Doc said it wrong, but he refutes this. He DID say Clozapine. The mopping/ironing guy (Noah?) takes the blame. Dawn tracks down Beth to give her a talking to, telling her that she’s weak. Dawn sees herself as a survivor who will be useful to any future recovery efforts (yes, if they need a concentration camp guard, Dawn is your man!) Dawn hints that Beth just doesn’t have what it takes. Beth and Noah plot an escape. Perhaps she’s not as useless as Dawn thinks, eh?
Whilst Beth is snooping around, sifting through drawers and the like, she comes across amputated chick Joan who seems to have committed suicide and is lying on the floor. Of all people, Gorman finds Beth, who comes up with a lame explanation about Dawn needing a key. Uh oh, looks like Joan is waking up, and it’s not going to be pretty. Beth shoves Gorman to the ground where he is chomped on immediately by zombie Joan. End of Gorman. You shan’t be missed.
Beth runs into Dawn and sends her straight to Gorman and Joan. After, Noah and Beth are attempting their escape a la tied bed sheets to the pit where the Doc dumps the dead bodies. Noah is left on top. After Beth reaches the bottom, it’s his turn. He’s attacked by a walker on the way down, and they both end up in the pit of human rot. Noah is limping, having hurt himself after landing. After shooting their way through (I guess Beth took Gorman’s gun) they reach sunlight and the outside only to encounter dozens of walkers. Luckily Beth is a crack shot. While she’s fighting walkers, a limping Noah escapes, but Beth is taken down by cops.
Beth stands up to Dawn. Gorman attacked her, attacked Joan. And it’s Dawn who let this happen, she says. Dawn’s solution? Violence. She punches Beth.
The Doc reveals, after being found out by Beth, that he knew the doctor whom Beth administered the fatal dose of Clozapine to. He just needed to eliminate the competition. Beth looks like she wants to kill the doctor (is that a sharp pen she’s hiding?), but the next patient rolls in, and surprise! It’s Carol. This should be good. I’m guessing she won’t be a fan of Dawn’s. They’re too much alike, after all.