First, an IMPORTANT correction. Sean, a reader, sends this email:
To whom it may concern,
This message is for “Gabe” the writer of The Walking Dead recaps, couldn’t find any other way to contact him. Dude, I love the recaps, fucking hilarious and shows just how awful the show really is. HOWEVER!!! Please, please, PLEASE for the love of flying spaghetti monster, STOP saying they driving in a Honda Fit, it’s a Hyundai Santa Fe, 2 completely different vehicles, one is a crappy Japanese 4 door compact car, the other is a crappy Korean wannabe SUV.
I’m sorry and I don’t mean to be a dick or anything, but no one seems to notice in the comments section and maybe it’s just because my OCD won’t let me let it go. I’m a loser like that. Attached are images of the two cars for reference.
Oh jeez. Obviously, my sincerest apologies for all of the PAIN and CONFUSION that “I” may have caused. I’ve already spoken to Ira Glass and he agreed to dedicate next week’s This American Life to a full retraction. It will also appear on The Moth. Obviously, I understand how betrayed and angry everyone must feel, so I totally understand if you don’t want to read the recaps anymore. Lord knows I wish I didn’t have to write them. I’m just a blog looking at a “Sean,” asking him to shut up. LET’S GOOOOO!
We start deep in the heart of the deserted Big City where stray zombies are eating…something. It’s not important. The point is: gross. Suddenly, a helicopter flies overhead and a zombie stops what it’s doing and looks at it. I think this is supposed to show us that all of the zombies followed the noise of the helicopter out of the city? Sure. So there are, what, 3.5 million zombies walking in a single file line out of The City until they get to The Fence. Obviously a few of them must have gotten stuck in the Swamp of Sadness or whatever because they’ve dwindled from 3.5 million to, oh, let’s say three dozen zombies. It’s still a lot of zombies, but it’s definitely not, like, a city’s worth of zombies.
The zombies push through the crappy fence that is seriously so crappy what is that fence even supposed to keep out? Then the zombies are just walking through the forest as zombies will when they hear the second gunshot from last week. Not the first gunshot for some reason, but hey, who’s
writing this show counting?! And so that is how the horde of zombies that is descending upon Carl and Grimes at the end of last week’s episode was created. By some fucking helicopter or something. Chain reaction.
Carl and Grimes are slowly making their way across the field, completely unaware of the 3.5 dozen zombies approaching, despite the fact that you’d really think that many zombies would have some sort of ambient groan or at least a visible stench. Carl asks Grimes how Shane died. Every father dreads having this conversation with his tween, but he’s about to tell him about the Shanes and the Bees when he finally (FINALLY) notices all the zombies coming towards them. “Go go go” he whispers. Haha. Uh, you can just talk at full volume. The whispering is kind of beside the point, probably. Anyway, Carl and Grimes seemed to have a pretty good head start and should just make it back to the farmhouse, but apparently they don’t have a head start at all, because now they are just in the middle of the zombies. They hide in the barn.
Meanwhile, inside the farmhouse, Glenn and Daryl have returned and explained that Randall was a zombie but he didn’t have any bites on him. Daryl also points out that Shane and Randall’s footsteps were overlapping but that “Shane wasn’t no tracker.” When there were two sets of footprints in the sand, that was Jesus TRACKING you. Lori asks Daryl to go out and find Grimes and Shane, because these dummies don’t even know that Shane is dead. Daryl goes out on the porch, followed by Glenn and Andrea, and they see the zombies so OK, we’re all aware of the zombies now. Now what?!
A bunch of stupid stuff. It’s just a mess. Apparently, remember how last week they decided they needed to batten down the hatches and put survival gear in the basement and stuff? Well, it was all for nothing. Completely meaningless. It’s not clear why. Just go hide in the basement and wait for the zombies to walk away! But, so, everyone gets their guns and gets into their Hondas Fit and start driving around shooting all the zombies. This makes no sense. Everyone keeps saying that there are too many of them, so what’s the point of driving around shooting SOME of them? Either organize a strategic emergency exit plan, or hide in the basement hoping for the best, but just driving around wasting ammo and fucking up your car transmissions and probably getting bitten by some zombies seems like literally the single worst thing you can all be doing. Similarly, Grimes and Carl pour gasoline all over the barn and Grimes sends Carl up the ladder with a lighter and tells him to drop the lighter when he gives the signal, which, so far so good, but then he opens the door for the zombies and heckles them to come and get it.
Why? They’re clearly doing everything they can to come and get it anyways. So just run away and let them come into the barn and then burn ‘em up. Why do you also need to tease them? Nothing makes sense. But it is scary and gross. And completely different in tone from anything that’s happened on the show thus far. Cool?
This is sort of the crux of the whole episode. It’s practically a different show. And on the one hand, considering how many problems some of us, could be any of us, it’s impossible to tell, have had with the show as it’s been, you might think this would be a welcome change, but the reality is that it’s off-putting and confusing. At this point, whether we hate it or hate it, the show has established its characters and been relatively consistent in style and tone. Now all of a sudden we’re in the midst of an actual horror movie, which is surprising but not terrible. It’s better than being in the one-credit Community College survey course of “The Ideas of Samuel Beckett” that’s been the rest of the season. But then some other stuff happens later, especially with our Hero, that just doesn’t fit with every single thing we know about him. And OK, sure, people change over time and that is called dramatic arc and character development, but this isn’t so much change over time as it is watching a Different Show about Different People. Whatever. Fine. Who cares. Back to the farm:
Everyone’s screaming and dying. Lori finally realizes Carl is missing and loses her mind. If there’s still time, you better cancel that order for one Mother of the Year mousepad from CafePress. Glenn and Maggie are driving around shooting some zombies and they get surrounded by zombies and Maggie says she can’t get through, which doesn’t seem quite right. You’re in a car. You can get through. Just drive the car? Glenn tells her to leave the farm. She cries. Get over it. They leave the farm. Grimes’s plan to lure the zombies into the barn only ends up burning, like, six zombies. Seems like a waste of a perfectly good barn. That one dude whose only line this whole show has been “I’ll help!” pulls the RV up to rescue Grimes and Carl from the room only to get eaten in the RV. Somehow Grimes and Carl are able to clamber down from the RV and make it to the farmhouse even though there are still just as many ZOMBIES EVERYWHERE as there were five minutes ago before they went in the barn in the first place but don’t worry about it too much. Herschel is just standing on the front lawn blasting zombies because this is his farm, goddamnit.
Sophia’s mom, Lori, and those two dumb girls who are not even anything make a run for it and one of the blonde ladies, like, seriously not even sure who she is supposed to be or how she is related to anyone gets eaten by zombies. So what.
Sophia’s mom gets broken off and is about to get eaten, but Daryl rescues her on his racist motorcycle. Ugh. Really, show? You kill Dale and Shane but Sophia’s mom lives? Herschel looks like he’s about to get Jack Attacked from behind by a zombie, but that is when Carl and Grimes surprise show up and are somehow, like, pulling up the rear even though before they couldn’t even outrun a couple of zombies? I don’t get it, but they convince Herschel to leave the farm. Andrea gets abandoned but you know she didn’t get abandoned abandoned. But so everyone is driving away and all that’s left are some zombies and the burning barn and the zombies don’t even seem to give a shit about the farmhouse, which seriously makes me think that they should have just hidden in the farmhouse? If you’re going to suggest that they’re not safe in the farmhouse, then you kind of need to show the zombies just Project X’ing the farmhouse, but what was a frantic and horrific scene of utter chaos ends pretty casually. Shrug Town, population Zombie Horde.
As dawn breaks, everyone is in their separate cars and trucks and motorcycles, freaking out and not quite sure what to do next. Well, that’s not entirely true. Mainly it’s just Lori and T-Dog having a dull fight. Oh, and Maggie and Glenn pull over to fuck just kidding but they should, that would be more interesting than the conversation they have about whether or not everyone’s alright. Herschel, Grimes, and Carl go to the spot on the highway where the season began. Oof. Do over? Carl says he won’t leave without his mom, which, yes, but also shut up, Carl. We get it, but you’re not in charge of anything. If you had a room, you’d be sent there for too much backtalk (and wandering). Grimes is at the end of his rope. Herschel tells him that his only duty now is to keep Carl alive. “Nature may have thrown us a curveball, but that law still holds.” HAHAHAHAHAHAH. Good point, Herschel. Nature may have THROWN YOU A CURVEBALL. That’s just a good way to describe what’s going on. “You follow baseball? It’s like a baseball thing, this hellish nightmare.” Just then, all the cars and motorcycles pull up at the same time and they are “saved.” That was almost impossible timing! If only everyone was that organized in escaping the farm, the one dude no one cares about and that girl whoever she was might still be alive and Andrea wouldn’t be running through the forest pistol-whipping zombies. Daryl suggests they go back and save Andrea, but even Grimes is like no, despite the fact that Grimes would drive 100 miles to save a sandwich if he thought the walkers were approaching the Subway. What’s important is that they have each other. And this bottle of Gatorade. And these garbanzo beans.
About Andrea: she’s running through the forest, pistol-whipping zombies. Again, just like back on the farm, she wastes way too much time and ammo shooting zombies who are not even in her way since there are more zombies than she’s ever going to be able to shoot, but so then she falls down in the leaves and uh oh here comes a zombie and she has been running so long and is so tired and I guess this is the end of Andrea except oh, no, phew, SOME FUCKING DRUID HAS A SWORD.
NERD ALERT. As if a sprawling show about zombies with a post-show recap by Chris Hardwick wasn’t already catering to the nerds enough, we are now introducing capes and swords into the mix? Haha. OK. Congratulations, nerds. (Before I get another email from some Sean out there letting me know that the druid with the swords is a heroine from the comics, don’t bother, I already know that and it changes nothing.)
Rick is out of gas and the gang pulls over. He says they’ll camp here for the night and go on a gas run the next day. “Does this feel right to you?” someone asks. What? What feels right at this point? Someone asks what they’ll do if another horde of zombies blows through. Uh, the last time that happened you had a perfectly good farmhouse but instead you ran around the front yard screaming, so I’m not sure what you want. Rick says they’ll find a place. Not just a place where they hole up, but a place where they fortify. GOOD FORESHADOWING! The talk then turns to how come there are zombies without bites, and that is when Rick reveals the big secret that the doctor from the CDC whispered in his ear before he DETONATED THE CDC (lol): everyone is a carrier for the zombie virus. HAHAHAHA. Good secret. Very important to keep it a secret. Somehow, for absolutely no good reason, everyone loses their minds that Rick knew this the whole time and didn’t share it with them. WHY? THE FUCK YOU CARE FOR? Bear in mind, there are no doctors or hospitals or cures and just seriously who fucking cares? The world is over. Get a grip. Glenn says that when he found out about the zombies in the barn he told everyone. Right. No, it’s totally the same thing, Glenn. Maybe you should be the leader of the group now, you silly clown.
Rick needs to gather his thoughts. He is followed by his loving wife and the mother of his child, Lori. Without any real prompting, he launches right into how he killed Shane after being lured into the woods in a surprise ambush and having his friend point a gun in his face. Hearing this news, does Lori, who not two days earlier had warned her husband that Shane was a dangerous lunatic, go to her husband and embrace him and apologize for ever cuckolding him with Shane in the first place, and attempt to provide whatever small comfort she have in the face of this horrible, traumatic event? Does she reassure him that he acted in self-defense against a monster who she raw-dogged in the woods and thank him for being brave in the face of unspeakable evil? No. She gags and then pushes him away. Welp! It’s official! The word “hate” no longer describes how I feel about Lori!
That night, by the light of the fire, everyone is whining about some fucking thing. Sophia’s mom is complaining about Rick. She tells Daryl that Rick is just going to drag him down. Oh good grief. After everything he did for this bitch. Daryl is like “What do you WANT?” which is a GOOD QUESTION. She says that she wishes that Rick was a man of honor. WOWOWOWOW! Not even sure how that one tracks, but as far as I’m concerned, Sophia’s mom got eaten on the farm so talk to the hand, Sophia’s mom, because nobody’s listening.
When a stick cracks in the forest, everyone loses their minds, which is fair because that would be scary, but then everyone’s like “Rick, do something!” Do what? Build a time machine and go back to kill Hitler (first) and then stop the Zombie Apocalypse from ever happening (second)? Rick gets mad. “I killed my best friend for you people!” Wait, that’s why you killed Shane? Whoops. I totally thought you killed Shane because he wanted to kill you and fuck your wife and called your son weak. But it was for the group, somehow? OK. My bad. I get so confused! Everyone is clearly very disturbed by this news. Personally, I think it has a lot to do with the way Grimes keeps telling this story. He might want to lead with the part where Shane tricked him into the woods in order to execute him because he wanted to fuck Lori. That seems like at least a good starting point. Grimes says anyone who wants to leave is welcome to, even though three seconds earlier he said no one’s leaving. Slow down, Grimes! Just gather your thoughts and unmix your messages. “There’ the door,” he says, which is a very funny thing to say in the middle of the woods during a Zombie Apocalypse. “Don’t let the door hit you on your way BRAINS!” Then he says that if people are going to stay, that they need to recognize that he’s in charge, and that this isn’t a democracy anymore. Oh, PS, apparently it used to be a democracy. Grimes is so mean now! I guess it’s really true what they say about how killing your best friend in self defense and escaping a horde of zombies in the middle of the night as your last sense of safety is torn away only to have your shithead wife turn her back on you in your most desperate moment changes a man.
The camera pans up from the woods to show an abandoned prison 10 feet away.
HEY, THAT WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE TO FORTIFY YOURSELVES SINCE IT’S LITERALLY A FORTRESS! Just an idea. This show sure does love using shots of buildings as “exciting cliff-hangers.” The department store roof! The CDC! The farmhouse! Now this! Fair enough! The end!