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.






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