“Feeling lost, crazy, and desperate belongs to a good life as much as optimism, certainty, and reason.”
“The so-called Left-Right political spectrum is our creation. In fact, it accurately reflects our careful, artificial polarization of the population on phony issues that prevents the issue of our power from arising in their minds.”
I can’t even tell you what happened to Joshua Pocalypse, friends. I met him five years ago when he was making music before an event at a local club. He was – and likely still is – a musician. He’s a DJ with a supremely keen ear. And, from what I recall, he paid his bills working for his father’s business at a coffee roasting company.
Can’t seem to pin him down on social media, although I know he was on Facebook at one point or another in the past. Nevertheless, today’s image is one of a DJ, performing for a club slowly filling up with people. There was an intensity to him that I found very magnetic. I like to think that the images here speak for themselves.
Inexplicable “hell-raiser” walkers. There’s no sense or reason to most of this episode, and it is painfully disappointing.
This episode, titled “New Best Friends,” is a clear example of the best and worst qualities of The Walking Dead. The small character piece between Daryl and Carol after their long-awaited reunion demonstrates a tendency toward emotional and arresting tension, depth of character, and attention to human detail. On the opposite side of the coin is the introduction of the garbage pickers, a collective of horrendously one-dimensional personalities in an already crowded cast. In these scenes, Rick – one of the only, if not the only, immortal characters – is the one pushed into danger. We already know he’s going to survive, so we don’t care when he’s fighting the most inexplicable and improbable of creatures. Meanwhile, we have characters like Rosita, a small scar on her face, now reduced to a character who is solely defined by her anger.
Roughly half of the episode concerned itself with this new community, who have set up their civilization in a garbage dump. Few details are introduced as to how this community functions – unlike The Hilltop, The Kingdom, and The Sanctuary – and there is little rhyme or reason as to how their leader, a woefully underwritten character, has ascended to a leadership position among them. The stilted language of these people, the icing on the cake, makes the explanation of their survival in the zombie apocalypse even more confusing than their terrible choice of locale.
That’s the bad part. The show hasn’t completely lost its way, and there is a great deal of solid source material – the comic book series – that the television show has to draw from.
Carol’s character is one of the show’s most complex creations, with one of the most engaging character arcs, and actress Melissa McBride has delivered consistently powerful performances. There was a palpable emotional pay-off when she and Daryl are finally reunited, after having been separated for the space of an entire season. Chemistry is real – Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus (who plays Daryl) have it.
The show is setting up, as it often does, all of the chess pieces in preparation for a grand finale. It will likely be a satisfying spectacle, and there’s nothing wrong with moments of levity. It’s just that the show has a tendency to stretch the narrative beyond it’s audience’s patience. As things stand now, not only is the narrative being drawn out, but ridiculous and improbable scenarios are cluttering up the story.
No community is going to risk its safety pouring melted pewter over a walker’s head to create some kind of “super walker” pin-head confection, only to give it up as a sacrificial lamb. Additionally, there is no sense in a community committing itself to war against total strangers (The Saviors) when other strangers (The Alexandrians) arrive and show that they have the gumption to kill their pin-head walker. This isn’t how trust is established, and this isn’t how war is waged. Period.
Rick and the Alexandrians need lots of guns, eh? Well shucks, I guess that’s why Oceanside (equally as underdeveloped as the garbage heap survivors) was introduced during the front-end of the season. Whatever will Tara do? Will she eventually tell Rick? You betcha, she will.
Yes. We all know. She’s going to betray Oceanside’s trust, and they’re probably going to join the fray against The Saviors, too. Because? Plot. Transparent, predictable, underwhelming plot.
I think we all know that Carol is eventually going to learn the truth about her fallen brothers and sisters, too. Daryl might have had her best interests at heart, but the truth will out, creating dramatic tension between these two soul-mates, and it’ll draw Carol into the conflict we all know is coming. There’s nothing wrong with foreshadowing, and there will always be predictable arcs in a serialized drama, but The Walking Dead is going too far. The surprises are never major plot points, but only involved with “which beloved character is going to die next?”
It feels lazy. It feels like the show is disrespecting its audience’s intellect.
Why does it feel like that? Because it absolutely, one-hundred-percent is doing just that.
Something’s always going to happen when resources are tight and survival is the game. With our stalwart knife-slinger, neo-samurai Michonne holds her cards close to the vest, which is part of her appeal. “The Walking Dead” has let her tragic back-story leak in, in slow deliberate drops. She is the ultimate stoic – even by Rick Grimes standards – laying in the prison doing crunches while discussing the group’s next move. She is the unsmiling guard above the gates to Alexandria. She is unattached, emotionless, and lethal.
She has had her moments, crying alone, caring for the wounded, considering the odds and calculating her risks. We appear to have entered into a new chapter, a new age of domestic bliss with Rick and Carl. But it isn’t going to last. Nothing ever does in “The Walking Dead.” Negan is out there, and the communities on the hill will add muscle to Alexandria, but Ezekiel’s tiger – spoilers – and bigger numbers won’t necessarily be enough.
The ‘next world’ is nascent. Michonne won’t be hanging up her sword anytime soon.
That’s a promise.
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“”Everyone has a job and that job never stops. You work until you feel like your back is going to break and then you collapse and sleep like you’ve never slept before. And that’s only if things are going well, which almost never happens. We had some shit go down…it’s hard. There’s no time to think about what happened to you, or what you did. You just work.”
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