The Walking Dead – Recap: Season 6, Episode 11

Untying the Knot?

Wow! Months later and Abe, who was sweating Sasha for a chance to get to know her, is now sweating the sheets with Rosita. The bedroom scene comes just after we see Abe and Sasha coming back from patrol together.  Did the two of them have a change of heart about getting together? The looks they’re giving each other say there is still something between them.. 

… Read the full recap, here at:  AllAboutTheTea  Don’t forget to check out the latest AATT news on your favorite celebs and recaps of your favorite reality shows!

The Walking Dead Finale – “A”

TWD - Rick“A” is warm, terrifying, and puzzling.  Warm? Hershel is counseling Rick, via flashbacks, on saving Carl – who doesn’t seem to believe,  and has yet to tell his father, that he cannot be saved.  Terrifying? We get to what the scary depths of surviving a Zombie Apocalypse are and here’s a clue; you’ll feel safer with the Zombies.  Puzzling?  Lots of questions left unanswered, but were there also missed opportunities?  Read the full recap, HERE

The Walking Dead Recap: “Alone”

Sasha Maggie Battle Walkers

G’Day, readers!  My “Walking Dead” recap for last night’s episode: “Alone” Is up at All About the Tea  Don’t forget to check out the site for some of the best scoop on the net!  What’s covered in the recap?

  • Bob’s Backstory
  • Daryl and Beth (ruh roh)
  • Daryl makes new friends
  • Sasha becomes Sasha Fierce! Sorry, Beyoncé
  • Glenn is still alive?

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.

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.

The Walking Dead – Rick the Failed Leader?

Alternate title?  I have missed Carol so much.

As I watch the prison survivors body count build, I am torn on who I think Rick Grimes is supposed to be.  Is he a failed leader, or is he a man who was a brilliant leader for his time, before time literally and figuratively passed him by?   Rick’s focus has remained consistent, he is intent on doing what made him a seemingly brilliant cop – keeping the community together.  The problem is that most others around him, outside of his tiny group, seems to be focused on individual survival.

Rick had moments when he had to make tough and ugly decisions (like killing Zombified Sophia, killing Shane, and leaving a hitchhiker stranded on the side of the road – only to pick up that same, now dead, hitchhiker’s bag on the way back to the prison in case it contained anything useful).  That was the episode that nearly caused me to hang up my viewer’s badge and find some other way to spend my Sunday evenings.  It was cruel, it was harsh, and Rick left a man alone on the road to die – using the safety of others as his excuse for leaving a survivor behind.  At the same time, he stopped from killing the Governor long before the fall of the prison when it was clear that the Governor was a sociopath who would not give up on trying to destroy the safe haven the prison had become for the survivors.

The group that depended on his guidance, his expertise as a person who saved lives daily before the fall of civilization, is now scattered in the wind.  They are alone and afraid, and waiting for their own ends to come, in whatever form it takes -though they are not giving up willingly.  These first two episodes, and Rick’s possibly failed leadership makes me wonder:

Is the grand lesson of this series that we are doomed and that what happens here is meant to be part of our evolution?  Are we so uniquely self-interested that even as we approach the end, we care more about ourselves than rebuilding a society and banding together against those things that would destroy us?  What would make survivors serve a man, such as the governor, who makes no bones about killing other humans instead bringing them in to kill off the zombie ranks?

Whatever the answers, I realize know that I missed Carol, terribly. She understood that sometimes, as uncomfortable as it is, changes have to happen.  Towards the end, Carol became a unique mix of compassion and realism.  She became the realist Rick seemed to refuse to become.  While Rick periodically retreated into dream worlds that allowed him to avoid the difficulty of his new life, Carol embraced it and made no apologies for it.  We saw that with Michionne as well.  She also understood the need for a cross between compassion and realism, and the uselessness of  looking back.  Both women know that this mix of tough and caring are the only things that will save them all in this new world.

Is Rick a failed leader?  I don’t think so.  I think he’s a great leader, but one meant for a different place and time.  Watching the prison survivors move on without him, I can’t imagine that he could become a leader again.  They no longer need him, and sadly learned that the hard way.  Rick could eventually become the new New Dale, New Hershel, New… but then again, being the moral center of the survivor family hasn’t worked out well for anyone, has it?

Abraham? WELCOME! You’re sorely needed.

The Walking Dead – The Emotional Life of Carl Grimes

As the show opens, it’s clear to me that Carl is learning to emotionally detach himself, ready for the day when he’ll either have to live without his father (after losing his mother and his baby sister – maybe) or preparing for the day when he’ll have to be the first to say good-bye to his father – leaving Rick alone. It was clear long before he gave Rick the “drop dead” speech.  First Carl separates himself physically, walking ahead and leaving a weakened Rick to become a potential walker victim.  Then he separates himself emotionally (throwing Shane’s death in Rick’s face despite the fact that his father killed Shane in self-defense).

So much has been taken from Carl that it saddens me. He’s even loses the respect he has for his father only to regain it later.  It has become a vicious cycle for this kid.  Was Carl’s unexpected mention of Shane a clue of what’s to come, or just a random barb meant to figuratively twist the knife into his father?    Whenever these moments happen between the father and son I wonder just how far the writers are willing to stray from the graphic novels.  I have to wonder if Carl doesn’t become the new Shane and at some point try to take his father’s life.  He clearly sees Rick as a failed leader and failed father – but the only father he has and one he still needs.  What happens when the need is gone?  Will Rick eventually have to kill Carl, whose emotional fragility seems to be hidden behind a willingness to verbally eviscerate anyone who stands in the way his attempt to reclaim something that resembles a real life? How much longer before Carl’s verbal evisceration of others become physical?

You can see just how much Carl yearns for moments of normalcy and hasn’t accepted the new world,as he pretends.  Every moment of joy is so quickly replaced by realities of his new world order – his smile seeing computer games and a flat panel TV was quickly replaced with the realization that the TV cords were only useful for tying the door shut to keep the walkers out and the two of them safe , if only for one more night.  What would have once been a stroll down a beautiful tree-lined street became a trap for walkers and a fight for his survival.  Sitting on the rooftop, eating  a 120 oz can of pudding was tempered by him listening to the hissing of the walker behind him as it was reaching through a window at him, in what should have been a moment of solitude.  Carl, I’m guessing, is supposed to be imagining that home with its parents  inside and children and dog playing in the yard.  He was supposed to be imagining that street filled with children his age.  Tragic.

Those moments of vulnerability (such as Carl not being able to kill his father when he believes that Rick has turned – and the fact that he continues to come back to watch over him) give me hope that we will never see this father and son fall apart and make the ultimate choice to live, one without the other.  This is The Walking Dead, the TV series, so I’m never sure.

Michonne, who has been a rock from the moment we met her, was, this episode, a puddle of nerves, tears, and memories, and I thank the writers for that.  Thank you, producers, for finally bringing Michonne’s life to screen.  I thank Danai Gurira for always giving the audience a new reason to love Michonne.   She is incredibly multidimensional and it’s time for that to be stated openly instead of implied.  So the two awful men she turned into her first set of walkers were?  One her significant other, the other a friend.  I take it that the horrible thing they did was turn, and take the life of her beloved child?  I don’t need the gory details, the implications were sad enough.  I hope tonight’s scenes of her flipping and clearing a field full of walkers is an indication that she has a much larger role to play in the second half of this season.  Will Michionne become the leader that Rick cannot allow himself to become when needed (his refusal to track down and kill the Governor, for example, before the Governor had time to plan that first large attack prior to Andrea’s death)?

I’m glad the returning scene focused on Michonne, Rick, and Carl.  She needs and desperately wants the child she lost.  Carl desperately wants a mother. Both Michonne and Carl became vulnerable and Rick took a step back. Between the two of them, maybe they’ll save each other.  BRILLIANT!