The Walking Dead: Claimed

Whether it is intentional or a matter of oversight, I wish the producers would change the opening sequence.  The opener makes me long not for the “claimed” but for things I wish the survivors could re-claim – Sophia, Hershel, Dale, Otis and his family, the Farm, the feeling of peace and solitude they felt while there.  I know that won’t happen, but there are some things I just miss and the opener is a constant reminder.  The reclaimed thing that I was most happy to see?  Carl’s smile.  Like Rick, I was grateful for his laughter. It felt good to know that Carl is able to talk, happily, about memories he had before the plague. Instead of a man-child, Carl was just a child, this week.  I am glad “mother” Michonne was able to make it safe for him to have and share those memories.

Michonne, the cheese thing? Not funny.  My heart dropped at the thought of Michonne becoming a growling, flesh ripping zombie, and hoped the canned cheese dripping and the snarling weren’t an indication of things to come. The silver lining is how that scene was used to help Carl and Michionne on their road to emotionally healing one another.   Even if it’s all in my head, I prefer to see the family with Rick, Carl, and Michionne forming.  It’s the closest to normal this show has been in a long time and I think we could all use a little happiness.  As it is, there are times when Rick needs saving, from himself and others.

Rick and the scavengers?  What in the name of Karma keeps drawing the worst of the worst to Rick?  How is it that the others are found by good people, and he appears to draw the attention of the likes of Shane, the Governor, and whoever else is one step away of insanity?

Abraham Ford? THANK YOU! Last week I questioned if Rick could be viewed as a failed leader.  This week I marvel at how great a leader he was given what he had to work with, folks.  Glenn went from being a true hero to a true asshole in a matter of a week.  Yeah, I get it, he loves Maggie, in his heart knows she’s alive, he wants to be reunited with her, he would never desert her.  Keep the following in mind: walkers roaming free, people at risk, chance for survival of entire the race.  Had he chosen to simply keep moving?  No problem.  That he chose to start a fight with the man who saved him instead of leaving him on the road passed out?  IDIOT!  Like Rick, Ranger Ford has his own issues, including a tomb raider clad second in command (no one believes in walker-proof clothing?) and the “scientist” who shot up the truck missing almost every walker in his path.

It can’t be easy to try to save people who are barely capable of saving themselves.

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House of Cards / Scandal VS. Helix / The Walking Dead

I am EXHAUSTED, in large part thanks to the BET Network, Shonda Rhimes and her merry band of preternatural writers, who seem to believe that the cliffhanger shouldn’t be reserved for the end of the show, but for every commercial break until the end of the episode.  They dare you to look away, and I took them up on that dare.  I lost.  My children were fed this weekend, I just don’t remember how it happened – but I suspect it took place between commercial breaks (#leftoversrock). BET aired a monster marathon this past weekend, to help fans catch up before the new season starts.  I am both thankful, and trying to figure out how to get up for work on Monday morning.

The exhaustion I feel is not physical, but psychological.  It’s so clear to me that #Scandal writers are determined to not give way to one good clear moment for the audience to catch its collective breath before they throw another twist or turn our way.  They give you moments that you know have to be significant (such as Olivia repeatedly playing back the morning her mother disappeared, while rocking herself in an upright fetal position) but they refuse to let you in, until it’s time for you to figure it out.  Paraphrasing Papa Pope in his speech to ( President) Fitz, “You are on a need to know, and this goes way above your pay grade” dear viewers.

As I watched the madness that is Huck, I found myself wondering if he was playing Quinn in the hopes of drawing out the people who were blackmailing her – understanding that she was probably under surveillance.  Maybe he knew she’d been set up and couldn’t tell her that he was on her side, there to protect her.  I held on to that hope until the second he pulled the first tooth and told her that he was going to make sure she felt pain.  Papa Pope is a hero?  Mama Maya is a terrorist?  He loves and is protecting his daughter, her cherished mother would slit her throat and not look back?  I am in a tailspin.  Cyrus set his own husband up to be used and James is now learning how to play the game?  Innocence lost.  Veep Sally has killed her husband and is only reprimanded for making the first phone call to the wrong person?  Crazy on Steroids! Where do you go with that?  How can any of these people be saved, pulled back from the legend?  I am driven to distraction waiting for the season premier to see if the writers will give us a clue.

Between Scandal and House of Cards, I don’t know that the difference in carnage is all that disparate from Helix and The Walking Dead (evisceration, endless violence, without ever being able to fill hunger or meet needs).  If there is one lesson both of the above political dramas teaches us, is that we don’t need the monsters of Helix and The Walking Dead to make us  afraid.  Dehumanization doesn’t have to take place at the hands of the scariest (and most soulless) monsters science fiction has to offer, it can sometimes take place at hands of people who appear, on the surface, at least, to be just like the rest of us. The Vectors of Helix, the Walkers of The Walking Dead are easy for us to identify.  We know them when we see them.  We cannot tell who the monsters are when watching House of Cards or Scandal and if we lived in those worlds, we wouldn’t know how to defend ourselves.  On the positive side, our political dramas do us a favor by allowing us to go into denial about the state of the political world crafted by gifted writers.  We can pretend that the world could never be that corrupt.  The monsters of Scandal and House of Cards are small “m” and not capital “M”.  We are safe without worrying who is crawling in the vent, or making inhuman noises behind us, maybe.