Saturday, October 31, 2015

You Don't Faze Me, Bro!

“JSS”: Episode Two

I can’t tell you how badly I’ve wanted to use that subtitle. Remember John Kerry’s ill-fated run for president about ten years ago? You may recall that an earnest but hostile young man tried to ask Kerry a question at an inane town hall meeting, spouting some drivel about the war in Iraq. Of course, the young man refused to sit down and shut up, so one of Kerry’s goons tased him. Before he went down, he exclaimed, “Don’t tase me, bro!” It was one of the funnier moments in the history of television media. Maybe he didn’t actually get tased. I can’t exactly remember. But boy, was that classic.

Anyway, I’m leaning against comfy pillows in my warm bed while my husband is trotting out with Anna from Frozen and a baby great white shark (and Oscar the dog) in pursuit of chocolates and lollipops. It’s Halloween, beetches, and I can think of no better way for ME to spend it than getting the crap scared out of me whilst watching the antics of the whole Walking Dead gang. As you know, we are in spinoff territory no longer: this is the original and the best, featuring characters you really care about and pretty scary flesh-tearing zombies.

Last time I checked, Rick and Co. were in a tight spot. Hordes of pissed off zombies were headed towards Alexandria, the gated community where real estate can now be had for virtually nothing. A white bronco? A family seems to be inside. Then a young girl, a teenager walking through the rain, alone. I guess this is a(nother) flashback. TWD loves flashbacks. I think she witnessed the deaths of her parents at the hands of zombies. She traces the letters “JSS” into the dirt. After wandering for a bit, she stumbles upon a car, in which she takes refuge. Again, she traces her fave initials into the condensation on the window: JSS. Apparently starving, she stops again to snack on a tortoise. Wow, that is gross, but I guess it’s worth it cuz you can spell out JSS using the turtle cartilage!

Now she walks through tall grasses as she gingerly approaches…Alexandria! Are JSS her initials? Some secret code? They let her through the gates. I believe she has just proved that she is a survivor, and we have been treated to another character’s backstory. I suspect that this is the quiet girl that Carl is sweet on. Ah, Carl! He was not in episode one this season; perhaps he has absconded to the bathroom where he can count his pubes in peace.

Enough of that. Carol the Domesticated is picking out tonight’s canned surprise. Celery soup with just a dash of paprika. The other ladies heap praise upon her for her magic casseroles.

Carol spells it out to the mopey Chocolate Thief whose abusive dad, Pete the Doctor, was recently killed. Get over it, she says.

The Dead Doctor’s wife is in her kitchen. Did you know she is also a talented hairdresser? Looks like older son needs a trim. He’s still mad about dad dying, but he beat everyone in the family, including his kids. That part wasn’t Rick’s fault.

All seems quiet in Alexandria. Hell has not yet broken out. The Mayor is looking gaunt but solemnly contemplating planting corns and tomatoes.

Tara is on her feet again. “Denise” is the replacement doctor. She’s actually a psychiatrist, so she’s boning up on her anatomy while Eugene glares over her with his crazy hair. She did go to med school, after all, so it’s all good.

Carl is out pushing baby Judith in a stroller. Father Gabriel stops him to apologize, but he is still creepy as all get out. I’m ready to learn, he says. Carl mutters something about showing him how to use a machete and strolls on.

Carol’s tooling around in the kitchen. Something yummy is in the oven. A neighbor is enjoying a cigarette outside and—whoa! She gets whacked with a big sword by a big, smelly guy! That’s what she gets for creating secondhand smoke! Carol quickly retreats from her front window, no doubt to grab a gun. Commercial.

The community is under attack. Fire engulfs the walls, forcing the mayor to abandon her vegetable planting. Dirty people, outsiders, are running through the streets randomly killing people. These are not zombies; these are simply bad, bad people.

Carl is hunkering down with his shotgun to protect Judith, and now his girlfriend drops in as well. She is oddly calm. This is the girl who will chomp down on a tortoise in a heartbeat, remember. Carl is convinced that the invaders are toast. No noise outside the house.

Carol is stalking the mayhem from the bushes, armed with a handgun. She moves with the swiftness of a good cop—or a cat. Maybe a cat cop? She stabs one assailant attacking a friend who was already mortally injured, but it’s too late. Practical Carol stabs the injured friend in the head, because she always thinks ahead.

We now know the source of the unending horn! An Alexandrian shot the driver of a large truck driven by one of the violent marauders. He expires, falls forward on the horn, and voila. Truck is stopped, but another nightmare is in store for the besieged residents. Did you know that walkers are attracted to noise like moths to a flame?

Has this day turned out to be one, big clusterfuck or what? It began innocently enough with haircuts promised, delicious veggies, and bubbling casseroles, and now it’s totally engulfed in evil.

That horn is really annoying. The psychiatrist is trying to operate amidst the noise and chaos. Morgan saves the day—and our sanity—by poking the dead driver in the head with a sharp object. Morgan is the hardest of all badasses. He boldly confronts a murderer. Carol steps in dressed like a disheveled ninja and kills the bad guy. Morgan admonishes her for killing the dude!! Really? WTH.

The Mayor, who is definitely not known for her mad defensive skills, sits in the driver’s seat of the now stopped truck as she stares vacantly through the windshield. Surgery is not the psychiatrist’s forte, but Tara wants her to repair a torn femoral artery. Just give it the old college try!

A murderer who was chasing angsty teenager Ron pretends to plead for his life after being nailed by Crack-shot Carl. Then of course he grabs Carl. Carl invites Ron the Doctor’s Son in to stay safe from further mishaps. Guess what? Ron stays a devotee to his abusive pater and says, thanks but no thanks. I’d rather be hacked to death than hang out with you.

Rick’s future girlfriend the doctor’s wife locks her youngest in a closet before she searches the house keeping a gun trained on potential predators. It seems that she too, like Carol and Rick, attended the local police academy? Maybe they just picked up these slick moves from watching old episodes of Miami Vice.

She is ambushed by another disgusting, unwashed hippie. I wonder, why do all the marauders resemble members of cheesy 80s hair bands? Not that I have anything against cheesy 80s bands, but when they turn evil that is a different kettle of fish altogether. They struggle. She falls. Holy shit, that was a woman, not a dude. Hey, they all have hair like Weird Al Yankovic; hard to distinguish sex. Hairdresser Mom thankfully rises up off the kitchen floor, body slams the bitch, and succumbs to sweet adrenaline. That is, she stabs and stabs until she can stabs no more with pointy scissors. Hey, Brother Ron’s home! Hi, Ron.

Oh, crap, my family just returned home from their Halloween candy grab, and there are at least 20 tension-filled minutes to go. I’ll have to take a brief intermission, as I do not wish to permanently scar the mental well being of my young children. Be back soon.

Carol and Morgan have teamed up to fight the bad guys. Turns out that Carol’s ninja getup with gun hides the lower part of her face and makes her look like one of them, which allows her to operate in stealth mode. Clever Carol! Morgan wields his broken off broom handle and doesn’t want to kill people. Hmmm.

Father Gabriel, whom we all wish had died last season, is handily saved by Morgan, whose broom handle proves worthy after all.

Carol shoots and shoots and stabs in the foyer of the arsenal. She fills a canvas bag with assorted guns. A scared Alexandrian trembles nearby. The residents haven’t seen this much action, ever.

Morgan ties up Father Gabe’s would-be killer, because that’s his thing. It’s not Carol’s thing, though. She comes right up and puts a bullet in the marauder’s head after the man cryptically warns Morgan and Gabe, “people don’t belong here anymore.” After taking off running, Carol encounters a confused Maggie. Carol is not wearing a flowered blouse and high-waisted khakis. She is incognito as a dusty ninja! Yah! I think Carol gives Maggie a gun or two.

These killers don’t stop at mere murder; they hack incessantly. Is this jealousy? Alexandria is a pretty nice place, after all, and life outside its walls is bleak. Morgan’s pacifism doesn’t prevent him from taking on a small pack of grubby killers. Maybe there is something to a broom handle if you know the right moves. One attacker has a “W” carved into his forehead. Wolves. Was it only last season that Rick and Co. slaughtered a pack of wolves after their leader ate poor Bob’s barbequed leg?

The wolves run off after Morgan stands up to them. He slides the gate shut behind them. Carol sits down for a well-deserved smoke. Menthols. Hey, the woman deserves it—stop judging! She’s crying. Even poor Carol has a breaking point, and this, sadly, is too much for her. Thankfully, there are survivors.

The surgery has not gone well. The patient has flatlined. The psychiatrist gets thanks from Tara for her efforts, but the woman (no Dr. Pete, she) wants to be alone. Tara reminds the doctor to destroy the dead woman’s brain. Stabbing someone in the head is no biggie now.

Karl (or is it Carl?) reads a note from Enid, his on-again-off-again g-friend. Buzz! Carol’s casserole is ready. Take it out of the oven, Karl with a “K.” Sad.

Morgan wanders the now quiet streets with his broomstick. He enters a seemingly empty residence. A crazy is hiding behind a wall. He pounces on Morgan with an angry whoop. It’s hand-to-hand combat. Morgan beats him with the stick and hits him for a final time. I swear, people see that broomstick and do not anticipate the can of whoopass that is about to be opened on them.

Carol walks right by Morgan without even a hello. There is no room for mercy in her heart. Fin.

I am sorry this post is so late. My life is crazy right now, and I simply don't have as much free time as I used to.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Being Nice Doesn't Pay and Other Life Lessons Learned

Episode 6: “The Good Man”

We finally reach the season finale of our fave spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead. Last we saw, Ruben the placid barber who knows just what to do with a straight razor, was standing outside a stadium chock full of SoCal zombies. Remember the tied-up soldier from whom he extracted vital info? Yes, while Ruben was getting the job done Travis was traipsing around with soldiers and not killing zombies. Because guns are bad, mmkay? True, but not in a zombie apocalypse, Travis! Ugh.

Travis and family are packing up camping supplies for their desert trip. Ruben is finishing up with the soldier, who has outlived his usefulness. Soldier points out that if they want to find foot-free Griselda and Nick, they’ll need a map. Ruben, it turns out, was not the victim in his home country but probably the oppressor. However, as we have seen, honorable men are a dying breed in this new, cold world. Clinging to idealistic beliefs will get you killed.

“What is family now?” the doctor retorts when Liza inquires about her loved ones. Travis, in the meantime, is about to make yet another bad decision: he opts to let the soldier go, defying Ruben’s advice.

Ruben is letting the rest of the gang into the military compound. He strolls in like a boss, and the soldiers do take notice. They then see that Rubes is being followed by zombie hordes. I heart Ruben! What a cool customer. He returns to Travis and co. in an underground garage. Travis’ idiocy is uncovered. Alicia and Chris are left behind with one of the cars to wait while Mad Mom, Ruben, and Travis go to retrieve Nick, Griselda, and Liza.

Mellifluous black man is still wearing a nice suit whilst locked up with Nick, who by now probably smells terrible. Alarms sound as distant gunfire erupts. Mellifluous has a key! Escape time.

Liza and the doctor are stuck with the patients. The rescue helicopter refuses to land because the compound has gone to shit. Doctor sends her staff away, asserting that she will “take care” of the patients. Liza is in shock, but the doctor is firmly resigned.

Chris and Alicia are hanging out in the SUV, just waiting around in the empty garage. As they chat, a few soldiers come by. Upstairs, mellifluous is saving Nick and no one else.

Alicia and Chris are trying to make themselves invisible by crouching down in the truck, which amazingly fails to work. The soldiers want to escape too, and Alicia will make a comely traveling companion. Chris intervenes on her behalf. After he is punched out, the soldiers take off.

A stunned Liza slowly walks through the chaos of automatic gunfire, growling walkers, and random fires. The fences are giving way, and soldiers are being eaten. Nick and mellifluous, who is highly resourceful, are making their way through the maze of hallways and doors in the abandoned compound. Mellifluous stumbles upon a soldier who previously confiscated his cufflinks; he takes his gun and whispers something in the man’s ear as he is being munched upon.

Ruben is yelling for his wife, and Travis and Mad Mom are looking for Nick, who is unfortunately stuck behind a locked set of doors with mellifluous. Naturally, countless walkers are descending upon them. After several tension-filled moments, Travis and co. manage to bust Nick and his buddy out.

An industrial kitchen. Liza is surprised by a walker. The undead can be very quiet when they want to. Everyone rises to the occasion by grabbing heavy, sharp objects and clubbing various zombies. Teamwork! Liza breaks the bad news to Daniel (er, Ruben) and Ophelia about Griselda, who by now has been haphazardly cremated.

The doctor is still alive. Travis invites her to come along. Mad Mom grabs some meds, which should not go to waste after all. The doctor is going to kill herself to join the rest of the patients.

Mellifluous man (Strand) is headed west, not east, to his home on the coast. Mad Mom takes note. Will their plan to travel to the desert be averted?

The gang is reunited with Chris and Alicia in the parking lot. As they hug and chatter, cut-up soldier returns, armed. Andy is out for revenge against Rubes. He points his gun at Ruben, but then shoots his girlfriend Ophelia. Travis pounces and proceeds to beat the living daylights out of Andy. Too little too late, Travis! Once again, Travis’ lack of balls (or at least his misplacement of said cojones) has wrought personal heartbreak.

For once in LA, there is no traffic! The gang head to mellifluous man’s house. Ophelia is nursing a wounded arm. His house is modern and sleek. One feels that all is back to the way it should be upon entering his beautiful, quiet home. The sound of the pacific is just outside. A cooling ocean breeze ruffles everyone’s dirty hair. Even Nick feels good! Nick reflects that his life as an addict felt like the end of the world all the time. Now it really IS the end of the world, and he feels like an old hand.

Mellifluous man is packing his clothes. His incredibly expensive, well-tailored clothes. He’s leaving. He encourages Nick to “embrace the madness.” MM trains his high-powered binoculars on his yacht, “Abigail.” So, MM plans to wait out the apocalypse…on the Love Boat?? Hey, it beats the desert. Also, zombies can’t row a boat or swim for shit. Smart.

Liza, Mad Mom, and Travis all scuttle down to the beach in rapid succession. Uh oh! Liza was bitten back at the compound. She asks Mad Mom to shoot her. Travis turns up, blabbing about antibiotics, but Liza quickly disabuses him of this notion. Tears. I don’t think it will be too much of a stretch for Mad Mom to shoot her husband’s ex-wife. I’m sorry, but I don’t. The crack of a gunshot pierces the tranquility.

Travis wallows in a musical montage just for him as he pounds his fists into the scratchy sand: Nooooooo! Chris finds his mom with a gunshot wound to the head and is understandably distraught.

The sea remains the same. There is no such thing as a zombie fish. Time to get on that boat! It’s a crying shame that such prime, coastal real estate is now worth absolutely nothing. We shall have to wait a while to find out the fate of Travis and company. Will the yacht offer shuffleboard? Are drinks included, or will mellifluous man charge them extra? Will Travis and his balls ever be reunited? Season two debuts in 2016.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Million Man Zombie March Puts a Crimp in Rick's Style

“First Time Again”: Or, someone took my peanut butter protein bar!

Welcome back to The Walking Dead, Season 6! Wow, it seemed like just yesterday that Rick had to put down the abusive family practitioner and the Mayor of the beautiful gated community known as Alexandria lost her husband in the ensuing melee…oh, wait, that WAS yesterday. Season six happens to conveniently pick up right where we left off. I believe I had stopped blogging before the bloody finale, partly out of ennui, partly because I felt that my TWD obsession cannot compete with all the other arresting images and text that the Internets have to offer. However, I was wrong; like me, YOU, my devoted readers, crave more. More of the undead, that is, and this welcome back episode promises to deliver lots and lots and lots of zombies.

The ep opens with Rick et al (Morgan is here! Yay!) trying to herd a million zombies from a quarry to an unknown location. Abraham a.k.a. the Ginger Wonder is here, as well as the capable Michonne armed with her katana sword. And of course don’t forget Daryl who takes them down with a trusty bow and arrow. It’s like being reunited with old friends, with all the important (and surviving) players working together towards a common goal.

Back to the recent past, and away from the quarry scene, which is clearly set in the near future. The annoying Father Gabriel is still alive (drat). The Ginge drags a dead body, which I believe is the violent family doctor; too bad the only physician in town is no more. Tara has awoken from her coma, and Maggie and Glenn are together again. Eugene is genuinely happy to see that Tara is okay. Recall that he redeemed himself last season by proving his mettle. I just realized that so far this ep is in black and white.

The Ginge drowns his sorrows in hard liquor. Bear with me as I struggle to recall names. Back to color! And the gang is racing between parked cars, with Daryl zooming along leading the dead on his motorcycle.

Back in B&W land, Rick’s face is obscured by a dozen butterfly band-aids, which pretty much passes for advanced health care in Alexandria. Not sure I appreciate the toggling back and forth between the present and the color future featuring the tense herding scene.

Morgan and Rick share a moment. Morgan shows off his mad stylin skills whilst brandishing a broomstick. Rick is quietly appreciative. Eugene welcomes a young black man with glasses who says he and his group just returned from a two-week run, which means he missed all the drama and power struggles. A pert brunette and a tall, handsome bald black man emerge from the truck (not to be confused with the duplicitous Fr. Gabriel).

Rick explains to Morgan how the gated community works. The big wall that the Mayor’s husband Reg built? Keeps out walkers. Only Reg will be buried within the compound, Rick sez, and Mayor Deanna agrees. Take the dead killer doc far away, she confirms. The dead dr’s teenage son overhears all. Is there a revenge plot in the making?
Still debating what to do with the dead, abusive doctor: to bury, or not to bury? Rick interrupts Morgan because he hears a distant sound, a faint rumbling. Oh, it’s just a bazillion walkers in a cavernous quarry!  And teenaged son who followed M & R is about to get eaten by more walkers above the quarry when the dynamic duo intervene at the last moment to save him.

The million man zombie march is in full swing, with the parade being led by the enigmatic Daryl as he slowly edges his way down the road.

It would appear that the quarry walkers are not content to stay put.  Would you believe that Ron is not receptive to the man who killed his father? True, dad was a murderous prick who beat his wife and killed Reg, but still.

Glenn and Co find a small building filled with walkers and surrounded by farm equipment, tractors and the like. The black guy with tied-back dreads is helping (why can’t I recall his name??).

Community meeting time back in Alexandria! Guy with funky hair and glasses (see above) is talking. Rick shares his news about the quarry, and how they need to do something about this time bomb now. Even badass Carol, who is still dressed like the Church Lady, is stunned. Mayor Deanna’s edict? Do as Rick sez. Michonne volunteers. Maggie takes Deanna-watching detail because Glenn loves her and wants her alive. Fr. Gabriel volunteers and Rick shuts him down. One doubting man is not so happy with Rick’s violent but calculated reaction to the abusive doctor. Why should we listen to Crazy Ranger Rick? Even the douche guy Nicholas with the mini fro from last season who caused Noah’s death by revolving door is in! The doubter wants to hear the whole plan one…more…dang…time, because these housing association meetings aren’t boring enough, we have to spend one more freakin hour in Deanna’s living room as Rick rehashes his strategy. Zzzzz.

Rick pulls out his trusty map to make his point to the doubter. We’re going to draw the walkers away from the quarry and away from Alexandria. Turns out the doubter helped to build the actual walls that keep Alexandria safe, so he could contribute his unique knowledge…or he could sabotage the entire operation, which of course would lead to his probable demise as well. The zombies bounce off the steel walls in varying states of decay and freshness. Actually they all look pretty ripe to me. So far, so good.

Back in B&W, Rick takes a gander at the abuser’s wife, with whom he shared a kiss a while back. She is now looking all sweaty and inviting. Hello there! No go; she is still pissed. As everyone digs for turnips (well, that’s what it looks like), Carol reassures Rick that he’s in charge. Tara and Maggie discuss Douchy Nicholas, the one who lured Glenn to the woods to kill him. Tara is shocked he’s still around, but Maggie is much more pragmatic. Nicholas can change, he’ll come around. Awww, a hug.

Glenn and Co finally stop deliberating and attack the walkers trapped in the building. Nicholas steps up and saves funky hair guy! Perhaps Maggie was right. They are all dead, it seems.

Carol is handing out cups of liquid refreshment to all the toiling turnip diggers. Morgan has Carol’s number. He knows she’s no helpless innocent, and tells her so; Carol is not too comfortable with his astute observation.

Meanwhile, the Ginge opens a can of whoop-ass on walkers in glorious Technicolor, for no other reason than he can. I guess it makes him feel alive. Pete! That’s the abuser’s name. Thanks, Ginge, for sharing that detail of Pete’s brains landing in your ear hair. Sasha is a bit put off by his bravado, but whatev. It’s working for him.

Rick eulogizes Reg to Deanna, ever so briefly. He stresses the need for the colonists to defend themselves, which they have not had to do yet. Rick leaves a few of them to fend for themselves, which Morgan finds a wee bit disturbing. Rick definitely has a sink or swim attitude when it comes to survival, whereas Morgan prefers a more instructive approach.

Eugene searches for a snack. He overhears the Doubter plotting against Rick. Oops. Eugene accidentally backs into the shelf and causes quite a ruckus. The doubter aims a gun at Eugene. Rick walks in. Doubter keeps the gun trained on Eugene, and Rick says there is no way you are going to overpower the badasses that are Carol, Michonne, Daryl, et al, and the amazing me—Rick!—of course. How about trying to survive, Rick suggests, instead of wallowing in your own douchebaggery?

The herding plan seems to be working. Rick has it all under control. What could go wrong? The Doubter gets caught, and munched on. He does not go quietly, and his cries draw the walkers off the main road.

Baby Judith in B&W is looking very cute. Rick introduces her to Morgan, whom he invites to stay a while rather than continuing his nomadic lifestyle. Morgan is convinced that Rick is the same good man he met long ago. Rick expresses regret at not killing the Doubter when he had the chance, whom he regards as dead weight.

Dumb Carter the Doubter runs off in the woods by himself, gets snagged by a hungry walker, and bitten—on the face! This actually hurts as much as it sounds, and Carter screams loudly, thereby attracting a horde of noise-loving undead. Wouldn’t you know, Carter the (now screaming) doubter gets his neck snapped by Rick, who did, in all fairness, try to shut him up in a nice way at first. Morgan looks slightly verklempt. He can’t accept all the death, even though he acknowledges that yes, Carter was indeed uber annoying. Rick, on the other hand, blithely returns to the mission at hand. Luckily, gunfire by the others draws the walkers away from Carter’s direction and back onto the road.

Pete’s wife checks the gun inventory. Rick happens upon her. Apologies are in order, or do you pretend that it didn’t happen…? Not sure what the proper etiquette is after you’ve killed the abusive husband of a chick you are digging. Blonde Mom is mad that Rick told Ron off. Rick offers shooting lessons, but the wife politely but firmly draws the line. Rick is being dense here, it must be said! Pete was a son of a bitch, but he was still her husband and the father of her two kids.

Sasha and the Ginge cruise along next to Daryl, leading the hordes. At least the walkers are getting a good workout in. As usual, there is not one above-the-knee skirt in the dead bunch. Prudes.

An unceasing horn sounds off, luring the walkers toward…you guessed it, Alexandria. This does not bode well. Could it be the work of anguished teen Ron? A disaffected homeowner who is tired of being told what color flowerpots she is allowed to display? We shall all have to wait but a few days to find out. If my track record for posting late holds up, episode two will have already aired by the time you read this. No matter!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

All the Conspiracy Theories Are True!

EPISODE CINQO (but not de Mayo)

Looks like Doug is now in a detention camp of some kind, being interrogated by a black man with a mellifluous voice. Seriously! Rather, he’s being lectured to, and crying all the while. He seems to be taunting him, stating that Doug’s wife Maria is now nicely positioned to find a new man who will prove to be er, more manly when the s hits the fan. Mellifluous man moves on to a new “patient.”

Ophelia is none too happy that her family is gone, and she’s showing her displeasure by hurling verbal epithets and actual rocks at national guardsmen. Her boyfriend tries to calm her. One corporal expresses his disgust with the entire process.

Travis’ son Chris speaks tensely with Travis. Now they all have to deal with the niceties of maintaining a blended family! Think the Brady Bunch with a heroin addict, a film student, and a very angry Carol Brady. Chris is steamed that his mom left voluntarily with the feds.

Speaking of whom, Griselda (Liza?) is sewing up a wound quite tidily. Mrs. Blades lost her foot.

Militant mom finds the letter that Alicia read. She returns home and retrieves a flashlight. Hearing a few bumps, she explores with said flashlight. She finds an odd scene: a soldier is tied to a chair, his mouth covered with duct tape. It’s the handiwork of Ruben, apparently in an attempt to get his wife home. It may be Ophelia’s boyfriend. They ask him when Nick and the wife will be back. He’s being awfully cagey about details.

Ruben wants to make a “trade” with the army. Doesn’t sound like the best laid plan, Rubes! They will just shoot you and forget about the whole thing. At least he wants to keep Ophelia out of it, sending her back with MM.

Travis chats English lit with the military commander. Travis no balls gets spurned; civilian problems are not his concern. He does offer to take Travis downtown to the hospital. One of his men complains that they have been on duty for too long—waaah! We’re so tired! The commander hands him a hanky, presumably to cry in.

The truck that Travis is riding in stops to take down a zombie. The soldiers offer to let Travis have a go. He says, nah, I’m not a good shot. The commander then calls him out not to be soft. They debate for a while, back and forth, before Travis steps behind the very big gun, which will definitely get the job done but we know Travis is not known for his tactical skills. Uh oh, the zombie has a nametag—Kimberly! He balks, and the soldiers step in.

At the hospital, Liza and the serious doctor are keeping busy. Travis is enjoying the ride of his life, careening through the empty streets. They stop and all the soldiers get out to storm an abandoned building. Over the radio, the background sounds are not so good.

Anyhoo, Ruben draws on his knowledge of violence and his barbering background to systematically cut up the soldier with his trusty razor. He asks him about “cobalt,” a code name he has heard the soldiers use.

Alicia tools around on a bike as she chats with Chris. She takes him to an abandoned house, which looks like it belonged to wealthy people with plenty of toys and clothes for dress up.

Remember mellifluous man? He gets his temperature taken: normal. Nick is not so lucky, as his temp is elevated. Thanks to the man, however, Nick gets to stay in the cozy detention center.

Travis stays in the truck as he is told, until of course he gets out of the truck. Not all the men have returned, and it is now every man for himself. The mission to the hospital is a bust. They’ll drop Travis off close to home.

Ruben continues to ruminate on his past. He did some bad things then that he regrets, but hey, they kept him alive.

Liza does some exploring in the hospital. She finds Griselda, who is sedated. Unfortunately, she also is septic.

Alicia and Chris, both dressed to the nines, ponder the fate of the former inhabitants of the house they are plundering. Alicia downs champagne as they start breaking and destroying everything in sight, which is what teenagers are likely to do when left to their own devices.

Travis is back! He’s none too happy about Mr. Ruben’s cutting. In the meantime, the tied up, cut up soldier sadly recounts his experiences with the infected and the healthy. Travis bursts in, just as the soldier reveals the truth about cobalt. It’s the code word for evacuating the L.A. basin, but not of civilians.  They will be “humanely terminated” and the military personnel will leave. Guess what? All this is scheduled to go down tomorrow. Travis will have to postpone his morning run.

Life is bleak for Nick, whereas mellifluous man is coolly confident. He has plans for the future, and wants to include Nick and make use of his special skillz.

Griselda is hallucinating. She may be recounting the past. The doctor notes that her brain is swelling. She dies. Will she turn? Do they even know about that little trick yet? Yes. The doctor pulls out a gun normally used to kill livestock. She pulls the trigger. Whew!

Ruben climbs a flight of stairs at night. He approaches the doors of a padlocked building that are straining against the weight of many hungry zombies.  Next week: the season finale of FWD!