Monday, September 28, 2015

"Paging Travis' Balls, Come In, Balls. Over!"

EPISODE THE THIRD

Riots. L.A., or at least the really grubby looking part, is under siege. Travis, his son, and his ex wife (dream team!) are still with Ruben Blades the happy barber. Mad Momster and kids are holed up in their house. Nick is grinding his oxycodone into a powder for easy and quick nasal ingestion. Don’t worry, MM, he knows what he’s doing.

The building next door to the barbershop is on fire; nice work, Angelenos! Way to pull together in a crisis. The occupants escape just in time, but for what? Cops are eating each other. People are running desperately through the streets. No, the Lakers didn’t just win the championship…It’s Zombietime!

Did I mention that this ep is ominously titled “The Dog”? The producers did not get the memo that we never, EVER want to see bad things happen to innocent animals or babies, which is why baby Judith is still alive in TWD.

MM and kids are playing Monopoly to pass the time, while Travis and his former family are fighting for their lives. Nice juxtaposition. Where will they go? Ruben Blades’ wife is partially crushed by a falling scaffold. Travis finds a car—I guess it is his vintage truck, and drives away in a hurry. The woman is ok but badly wounded.

Meanwhile, the board game of dirty capitalism continues. MM hears a noise and sombers up quickly.  Nick is still stylin’ the Beetlegeuse look. It helps that he hasn’t showered or brushed his teeth in two weeks.

Looks like the cops have their hands full. Travis drives slowly through the streets, whilst the cops shoot at what look like zombies. They must be entering a zombie-free zone, because it suddenly gets real quiet. Everyone wants to crash at Travis’ house. As they view the city from the hills, it very rapidly goes dark, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Time to put that friggin board game away! Meanwhile, life in the once friendly neighborhood is going down the tubes. Or going to the dogs, down the terlit, etc., depending on how you want to look at it. A German shepherd enters the house, briefly, with bloody paws, and then leaves, barking wildly. The three leave the house toting a flashlight, to look for neighbors. Very creepy. Lots of wood paneling in Susan and Patrick’s house. Too much, for my liking. No one seems to be home? Well, let’s just leave then. But, of course we can’t do that, that would be sensible.

The dog barks in the distance. Alicia notes that someone went into their house, across the street. Maybe it was Travis? The barking sounds frenzied, and then stops. Well, it was not Travis, he’s just pulling up. This is quite the cluster eff.

Travis is in da house, which of course is pitch black. I’m feeling a bit nauseated from all this excitement and anticipation. Something is feeding on the dog, and Travis finds it, apparently trying to reason with the zombie neighbor. MM has a shotgun, I believe, so T may not get bitten after all. One shot in the head from Ruben Blades doesn’t do it? No, but blowing it open with yet another shot does quite nicely, thank you! And to think Travis wanted them to put the gun down. Alicia gets snagged by a zombie as she runs through the neighborhood. Is this the end of her illustrious career at Berkeley? Heavens, no, she’ll live to attend another student sit-in.

They find “Susan,” whom everyone feels sorry for, but Nick declares her “dead.” For a hopeless drug addict, Nick is pretty smart, and everyone else comes off kinda dumb. Susan is “sick”? She’s making scary rasping noises, her eyes are clouded over, and she’s pawing at Alicia: she’s just sick?

So, yeah, the poor dog met a horrific end, but at least none of the human characters none of us care about are okay, right? Ugh.

MM says something sane, and wants to leave, NOW. So does Alicia, but Travis thinks it’s best to hunker down until the morning. Travis drags a body, presumably the canine muncher, and Ruben offers a great idea: burn the body to prevent the spread of infection. Travis sez, aw shucks, “he didn’t deserve this,” so cremation isn’t good enough for his former neighbor.

Mrs. Blades’ foot is in very bad shape. She needs a doctor, but there’s none to be found. Daughter Blades wants to leave with Travis and co. in the morning, but Ruben says they aren’t family, so he wants to stay put to wait for his cousin coming in the AM. However, the daughter is insistent.

Travis and MM share a private moment. A tender little momentito. I think Travis’ ex is a little on the expendable side, as far as characters go; she’s a little bitter, not very fleshed out—pardon the expression. Apparently Susan was a good neighbor, until she went bad. MM shares with the ex her way out in case she ends up like Sue; take me out, so Travis doesn’t have to.

Morning has broken! And the ever delightful Susan is awake, too. Top of the mornin’ to you Suzie! Travis buries a body.

Ruben schools the younger generation in the fine and delicate ways of the shotgun. It’s actually more complicated than you think. Travis, of course, is miffed that Blades is showing his son how to protect himself. Travis is anti-gun. I give that stance about 24 hours more.

MM wants to off Susan with a hammer. It’s the right thing to do. Susan is done, but Travis thinks that with a little medical help, she’ll be just fine. Ruben thinks Travis has no cojones, and he’s right. No balls Travis.

Everyone’s ready to get the hell out of dodge. Nick needs some more oxy, which is running low because MM has been sharing them with Mrs. Blades. Hey, Betelgeuse needs his meds, man.

Ruben is still intent on staying, in spite of sharing a backyard with that total downer Susan. His daughter is still adamant about leaving. She senses that MM and Travis and co. are good people, whereas Ruben points out that “good people are the first ones to die.” You may as well add “and so are black people,” because so far in this series they too are the first to be bit. This is in contrast to TWD, in which we have several well-developed and beloved black characters like Michonne that have real lasting power.

Uh oh, Susan’s husband is home, and she is hungry. MM tries to intervene, but it’s too late. She gets shot by commandos. MM should not have returned, methinks. I have never felt much affection for any of my neighbors, which I hope will serve me well when the apocalypse happens.

The feds are taking a human inventory of the occupants. They seem to know what’s up. Nick is wandering around, probably looking for an unlocked bathroom window through which he can score some prescription meds. He’s breaking in, which seems unwise to do when one’s neighborhood is crawling with commandos, but we pass no judgment, right?

Travis thinks things will get better now because the government is involved. Because whatever the government gets involved in turns out soooo well. Oh, Travis. Poor, dumb Travis.


Ruben Blades is still in the house. Guess his cousin isn’t coming.

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