imorca: (The Walking Dead by me)
[personal profile] imorca
So, I have disconnected my Directv subscription in an attempt to make myself more useful at home and also to save money. I'm not sure if this will work, but paying for a monthly Netflix subscription is $60 cheaper, so at least one part of the equation balances. I do, however, have an iTunes subscription to season 3 of The Walking Dead. So I get to see it a day after it actually airs. I am sad about this generally, because I can't livetweet the show anymore when the episode premieres.

So, this week Rick goes to meet with the Guv'na in order to negotiate a peace. Supposedly Andrea set up this meeting. The only thing is neither Rick not G-man seem to give a flying fuck what Andrea has to say. Both of them show up before she even gets there. When she comes in to try and mediate they both ignore her and they both tell her to leave. Now don't get me wrong - Andrea has been a character that I never liked as long as the show has been on, from episode 1. But, it's getting to the point now where it's starting to piss me off that I don't like her because it's now just a matter of some pretty abusive writing of a character, and not providing me with any redeemable qualities to try to find. The one good thing that happens is that Andrea gets in a great walker kill while Daryl and Martinez are gearing up for a swing-your-dick-around walker-kill contest. While they're saying "after you after you," she just gets the job done, and then stomps away while they go ahead and act like 12 year old boys. She tells Hershel she want to come back with them to the prison and then...she doesn't. Unfortunately, the one thing the writers didn't make OBVIOUS AS ALL HELL was why she'd go back. That I got from Laurie Holden's interview on the "inside the episode" clip on the website. She's going back to work an inside angle. Gosh. I REALLY hope we see that soon, because she is in need of 3 seasons worth of redemption.

The "what you're supposed to feel and/or take away from the episode" was smack-you-in-the-forehead this week, again. If last week was the "gotta get them to like Michonne" episode, this was the "gotta get them to see #TeamPrison and #TeamWoodbury as virtual mirrors of each other" episode - with, of course, the caveat that #TeamPrison is better. In order to make this AS OBVIOUS AS FUCKING POSSIBLE, the following pairings take place:

1) Hershel bonds with Milton. The two kind of sciencey-men get to know each other. The two kind of advisory-men get to know each other. But, of course, it's made clear that Milton is a wimpy loser who hasn't really understood this whole thing yet, and even though he's keeping a record of people's experiences for history, his "academic" understanding doesn't mean shit. In fact, it actually means "shitty," because he's on the guv'na's side. Contrast that to the folksy wisdom of Hershel's age, and his righteous choice to be on #TeamPrison. This whole juxtaposition is made clear - like a stick in the eye - when they are sitting together, Hershel reading Milton's journal. Milton asks to see Hershel's amputation stump. "It's important," Milton says, "for science" (or something like that). Then ole Hershel makes a folksy joke to point out what a foolish egghead that silly Milty is. "I'm not gonna show you my leg," Hershel says. "You have to buy me a drink first." Well, shucks, Farmer Greene! Don't that just point out what's wrong with our bespeckled nerd? He ain't got no sense of the humor! Now, let me just say that I don't really like Milton BECAUSE I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO. Nobody is supposed to like Milton. But further than that, I don't like what they're saying ABOUT Milton, given that he's the only one of his kind on the show: an academic. He's a scientist and a historian (at least). And the show is basically saying - if you didn't get this already - THEM LARNIN' TYPES IS JEST FOOLS 'CAUSE THEY CARE ABOUT THINGS OTHER THAN GUNS AND BEATING SHIT UP. We haven't seen Hershel try to teach anybody anything since before he lost his leg. Has #TeamPrison failed to realize that without the accumulation of information THERE IS NO FUTURE? Once Hershel dies - and he WILL die - all he knows is LOST. Why? Because they have no Milton. And because they haven't bothered to loot a single library in the entire time they've been around. Gee. Let's really allow humans to devolve into our animal selves. Let's continue to loot ammunition until there doesn't exist anymore instead of, say, figuring out how to make our own before it's too late? I could give them the benefit of the doubt on this that they are building an allegory that we're supposed to learn from...but no. They've set Milton up as too unlikable for that. For it to be an allegory, we'd have to like, want, or see a redeeming quality in the information we are failing to learn from. Or else the thing we do like would be trying to teach us while we refuse to be taught. Neither fits. The thing trying to teach us we don't like AND SHOULDN'T LIKE. The thing we like doesn't try to teach us AND SHOULDN'T TRY TO TEACH US. And what results is that there really isn't an allegory at all. 

2) Daryl bonds with Martinez. The two henchmen get to know each other. The two go-to killers get to know each other. Martinez fairs much better than Milton, because, of course, #TeamPrison would happily take another guy on who could kick some ass. 'Course, he IS a "douchebag" because he prefers methols to regular cigarettes. I mean, c'mon, real men SMOKE for chrissakes, and real SMOKERS don't go in for those pansy-ass, minty, GIRL-STICKS. In fact, when you get right down to it, Martinez is just too CLEAN. I'm guessing that he's probably checking out Milton's ass (and of course Milton probably enjoys it). Sure, Martinez says he had a wife and kids - but we all know that having a family - even having a relationship, admitting that maybe you might have feelings for somebody - is too well adjusted for any REAL HENCHMAN. Nope. It's probably just another sign that Martinez was too feminine all along, and just waiting for the apocalypse in order to have the boys all to himself. Now Daryl, there's a real henchman. No methols for him. No wife - fuck, no RE-LAY-SHUN-SHIP for him. Nope. Good soldiers put the fight and their BRAND NEW CROSSBOWS before anyone else. No, you did NOT see him holding that baby about 4 episodes back. No you DID NOT! And NO LOVE! NO WAY! Except between brothers, of course. But that is COMPLETELY NOT HOMOSEXUAL AT ALL, no way. It's brothers. Yeah. Brothers.

3) Rick bonds with the Guv'na. Yeah, totally fucked up. Rick gets to hear about how the guv'na lost his wife. OH GEEZE! THAT'S SO FREAKY - CAREFUL RICK IS GOING TO MELTDOWN! We get to see Rick fake being sane by pretending he can focus his eyes on ACTUALLY EXISTING OBJECTS. We get to see the guv'na fake being sane by pretending HIS FACIAL MUSCLES CAN FORM A SMILE WITHOUT A PROSTHETIC. We get to see the guv'na lie. Again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Gosh, is that getting old. I almost want the season to be over just so I don't have to say "And he lied again"...again. We get to see Andrew Lincoln use the same tone of voice and the same neck crane to demonstrate that Rick is ONE THE EDGE AGAIN. Gosh, yes, that's getting old, too. It was like an INSANE-OFF. Bottom line? #TeamPrison gives up Michonne or #TeamWoodbury kills them...KILLS THEM ALL. And Rick...to prove just how insane he is...actually seems to consider the possibility that...the guv'na isn't lying. That's it. RICK WINS THE INSANE-OFF! Rick is the most insane one at the table.

Back at the prison Michonne and Merle have a moment, Merle and Glenn have a brawl, Glenn and Maggie have unprotected sex, Beth shoots a gun...and Carol gets ZERO screen time. Good grief. If I didn't believe they'd already been set to kill her...I am now. Carl? Hmm...I think he must have run off and nobody noticed again. But hey - this season he has a gun, so it's all good. 

When Rick, Daryl, and Hershel get back to the prison Rick tells them they are going to war. Cue series of individual face shots as each character must internalize this. Oh...wait...was that two shots with Carol in them? What? Yes! Yes it was! Two shots of a character that has been with the group since the beginning! Congratulations! Maybe if you live through this season they'll put your actor's name in the opening credits, replacing the actor that played LORI, who died back before the mid-season finale, but who is still listed as a principle. Or you'll get to be in the opening credits with an actor that has only been in 3 episodes of the series, total. Then cue final scene where Rick reveals that he did, indeed, win the insane off because he tells Hershel that he's considering giving up Michonne. Sorry Rick. We're tossing you over the fence to the walkers, now. 

So, what would have taken place that would not have had me being an entirely sarcastic bitch about this episode? Well, there were a couple things already in there that showed promise. 1) Milton does, for the first time, seem to stand up to the guv'na. When they get back to Woodbury and talk about he delivery of Michonne, the guv'na says they'll kill everybody that brings Michonne in. "It'll avoid a slaughter," he says. Milton replies, "That IS a slaughter." I liked that a lot. 2) David Morrisey could not have played the guv'na any more creepily. His fake smile was hard to look at. Wow. 3) They should should win the Emmy for best make-up - not special effects, but regular make-up. They make the ordinary actors look so perfect to their reality in the show. 4) The Maggie/Glenn sex scene was hot. Completely inappropriate, and rather unbelievable in my view - but hot nonetheless. 5) Merle is quickly becoming my favorite character. Michael Rooker plays such a good thug it's incredible. And the writers - while screwing Andrea over as hard as they can - are giving Merle the ride of his life. Hmmm...that was some thinly veiled sexual innuendo there. Hmmm...I wouldn't mind a Merle/Andrea pairing...nope, not at all... 6) The "my kung fu is better than your kung fu" competition was pretty funny.

I would have appreciated it if, say, maybe Martinez talked to Hershel? You know, ANYTHING but the absolutely predictable? Or if Milton had surprised us by passing Hershel some intel? Or if Andrea had done something other than get further demoralized? She was a lawyer. She solved logic puzzles for a living. Are you telling me that she cannot formulate a plan? That she faced lawyers - professionals at sleight of hand - and yet she can't pick up on lies until they are REVEALED to her in all their glory?  And that Andrea, the one who was so shocked by the fall of civilization that she turned herself into zombie killing menace, still thinks mediation is going to work? She abandoned her principles on Randall way back on the farm. We know she only agreed with Dale because she knew he wouldn't win. Why would she think civilized principles would work again after what she's seen? I would have appreciated a moment of Andrea proving something about herself. Please, writers, help me not to hate her - or better yet, stop writing her to be hated. I would have appreciated Daryl doing something different. Oh, don't give me that "out of character" crap. We hardly know who Daryl is. Holding a baby? Out of character. Talking about his mom to Carl? Out of character. Giving a flower to Carol? Out of character. You know...until he did them...and then they are IN CHARACTER. So give us something. Let him grow. And speaking of Carol...How about giving her an episode this season that doesn't have to do with her explaining Daryl to the rest of the group? And how about having Rick consult a woman for an opinion? Yep. Any of that would have given me something to do.

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