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Category Archives: The Walking Dead

The Gut-Wrenching Season 2 of the Walking Dead

So the Misses and I finally sat down with some grub and decided to watch the first episode of the ‘second half’ of season 2 of The Walking Dead.

…and seven frustrated minutes later we shut the damn thing off.

Let Me Just Beat the Dust Off This Thing…

Hey guys!  Another few weeks, another post! XD  I might have to change Minecraft Monday into Minecraft Monthly or something at this rate hee hee

I was informed by a rather lazy family member that if we don’t post the animations to this blog they don’t know how to find them, so I might as well just post them before that person goes and breaks a nail -_^

First up is zee Impatient Chef!  Not that it is required, but if you want to go full screen with either of these two, 720 HD is available.  (Thought any higher would be over-kill XD)

Second one has a cool ending, actually.  Remember waaaay back nearly a year ago now with Developer Appreciation Week?  I did David Jaffe and the rest of the Eat Sleep Play crew as my first post?  Well, after this animation someone linked it to him on twitter and he mentioned that he wanted to post it on the official Twisted Metal blog.  How cool is that?

Working on a a sequel to it right now.  It’s pretty much set, but the wording might be a smidgin’ off so I’m chipping away at it.  Also had two more Walking Dead ani’s planned, but we might just scrap those even though the next one was gonna have Daryl in it.  Doubt we’ll have time before the season ‘starts up’ again, but we’ll see.

Anyhoo, enjoy the animations and have a good day, everyone!

The Talking Dead: Is Felicia Day Always That Cold and Superficial?

We tend to catch the Talking Dead segment after the Walking Dead airs, though I know it can be late or just non-interesting for some.  Some people out there likes them some zombies and that’s that.  No harm, no foul, says I!  I just think it’s a goofy little geek-centric show anyway, but for now it keeps my interest and I think it is great that the nerd culture is expanding in such a positive way.

Think about it; Two years ago a zombie based tv show was unheard of.  Not only do we have one of them now, but we also have a talk show about a zombie based tv show.  Awesome.

In case you missed this week’s talk show,  Napoleon Dynamite and Codex guest starred.  Or for you non-geeks, that’d be Jon Heder and Felicia Day.  Jon seemed to be enjoying himself and goofing off, while Felicia professed her undying love to Shane. To be more precise, her undying lust for the body of the actor who plays Shane.  She then went on to say that shooting an innocent and distracted man who helped her in times of need was not only smart, but inevitable.  Anyone know if Codex really is a priest and not a frost mage because she sounds like one icy…

That lust part of my statement did not take long to appear. Within the first five minutes of the show Felicia already drifted off and daydreamed about the two shower scenes of Shane and how she wouldn’t mind talking about just that for the entire half hour.  I know people can exaggerate, but she brought it back up several times and it got creepy-excessive.

Chicks digging hunky guys is not uncommon, but it was pretty odd to hear her mention it so openly.  For one, I’m pretty sure her largest target audience is all beings located in Nerdom.  Talking like that not only ignores the crazy high statistical amount of guys who watch her, but it shatters their dreams while collecting their salty tears for demonic IV bags when she prattles on about a buff jock, the nemesis o’ the nerd.

Archival footage of a traditional encounter between a jock and a nerd.

It wasn’t a one-time dealy, either.  The show opened with her public infatuation with the poor guy’s body, but she then leapt to the conclusion that Shane wasn’t just a lovely thing to look at (her opinion, not mine), but she stretched it so far as to say he is actually a good guy which is flat out wrong.

Based on said infatuation methinks something else is steering her thought process besides that grey noodle in her head, unless she never watched the first season and this was her first episode.  Which would make her a terrible person to have on air talking about a show she knows nothing about. Perhaps she is familiar with the graphic novels the show is based on, then?  I haven’t read much of it, but doing reviews like this I read quite a few that divvy out spoilers so I am aware of what goes on and how Shane acted in the comic.  But, there too, he was far from ‘good’.  Who this mysterious person is she is championing is unknown to me.

The show eventually carried on and they asked the audience about Shane and Otis, wondering if we would shoot Otis or not.  If I recall correctly, others on air himmed and hawed but eventually sided that shooting Otis was not the best idea.  Felicia on the other hand was in full support of Shane, surprise-surprise >.>  Based on the poll results one could argue that the basic data of those on air matched, 60% said they wouldn’t have shot Otis.  What separates her from that statistic though, is just how supportive of her murderous machismo man she was.  Not content with merely casting her vote in Shane’s favor, she was the only person on set to go so far as to say that Shane was not only perfectly right in shooting the defenseless man who already risked his own life to save Shane at this point, but that “it was inevitable.”

“Inevitable.”

Really?  Someone was going to turn the corner at the farm one day and pop off Otis for no reason at all?  Not to mention the director really did a lackluster job showing the audience how bad off the duo was, considering they were a good fifty feet ahead of the zombies who weren’t gaining on them, nor the fact it took nearly a minute to pull the supplies from Otis after he was shot and then repeatedly bludgeoned, showing just how much of a lead they had which was more than enough to start weaving in-between cars that they were approaching to give them even more distance between ‘the herd.’

But, Ms. Day was trying to say that Shane was just worried about his own survival.  I think that survival instinct kicked in at a pretty plot-convenient time in the story, but okay.  We can go that route, too.

Shane *did* have a bit of the crazy eye the moment he landed wrong on his foot and hurt it the second time. (Going to ignore the impossibly long time he never checked the room before going out of the window, as this was likely done to lazily allow the writers to stick in another zombie attack that ultimately was just a time waster as Shane got away just fine.  Plus it was kinda cool to see him shoot the zombie to have him let go.)  As he dragged himself towards an extremely vulnerable chain fence he did appear to have the ‘crazy eyes’ he had nearly all of last season.

Note the crazy eyes.

So one could say that perhaps that whole time he was just thinking about survival and his terrible actions last season were a result of an overwhelming desire to live.  ‘Kay.  Except that, just a short few scenes later, Shane falls and throws in the towel, demanding Otis carry on without him. That is not the words of a man with a massive will to live.  He just gave up right there and then.  He didn’t care about glory in saving Carl, he didn’t care about looking good to Lori or Rick.  He. Gave. Up.

So that idea is out.  It wasn’t instinct, it was just moronic and a dash of evil.  The following scene backs this up.

Shortly after Otis saves him, Shane shoots Otis to buy himself some time.  Mind you, the zombies were far from close at this point.  If they were supposed to be breathing down their necks it was not expressed well at all on camera. We never get to see just how far away the truck is parked, so we don’t know how much further the two had to go.  Was it a block away? Two? Who knows.  But what also does not make sense is, if Shane is in such dire straights to resort to killing his savior as a means to buy himself some time to get away due to an injured foot…. wouldn’t carrying double the load make him progress even SLOWER than before?  That is twice the weight putting strain on his injured foot every time he takes a step.  Only AFTER he kills Otis does he need the extra time to get away as the pain slows him down even more.

Does anyone else notice the moronic lack of thought-process he just pulled?  Pointlessly shooting Otis was not only evil but turned the situation into a self fulfilling prophecy that didn’t even need to get started in the first place.  It is a senseless, selfish, dark downward spiral.

I thought that perhaps, actors being actors, maybe she was just trying to play the devil’s advocate and have a good time on air.  Well, later on Felicia further defends Shane’s actions in the after-after show which can be viewed at this link.

In that video she states: “I don’t personally think Shane is a bad person.  He is just a guy whose morality changes because of the circumstances.  Which is what you shouldn’t do.  Probably.”

For one, there goes that ‘out on a limb’ statement I had in mind that she might just be acting, and two, that is one mighty big “probably” if you ask me.   Let’s take a look at a few of the things Shane has done in the past that we the audience know about, shall we?  This was all in season one, mind you.  This stuff should be public knowledge that she is aware of, unless of course she does not, in fact, know what series she is talking about.

Episode 1 – Shane has a ‘manly’ talk with Rick about how dumb his girlfriend is and how lucky Rick is to have Lori and Carl.  It is heavily suggested that Shane is jealous of Rick for this reason.

Episode 2 – An extremely animalistic sex scene between Shane and Lori is followed by Shane ignoring requests for backup from the scavenging team in the city. If it were not for Rick’s Guts-y actions (hee hee hee), the entire supply scouting party would have died. For the record that group consisted of Glenn, Andrea, T-Dog, and Merle.  If it were solely up to Shane, they all would have died.

Episode 3 – Rick returns to camp.  Lori totally cawk-blocks Shane and he takes out his frustrations by utterly beating the snot out of Ed’s orbital bone.  This is the first real sign of Crazy Shane as he started out with decent intentions but went too far.

Episode 4 - Ties a dehydrated man to a tree. Granted, he was actually ‘nice’ to the guy while Rick was more than forceful during his travels, it’s like the two swapped personalities.  This is the only episode Shane isn’t arrogant or crazy.  So that’s what, 17% of season one he was an okay guy?

Episode 5 – Shane takes a comment from Rick entirely wrong and then, when hidden in the forest, cowardly places Rick in the iron sights of his shotgun.  He tremors and grinds his teeth a long while, but ultimately doesn’t fire, though was caught doing this by Dale and awkwardness ensues.

Episode 6 – He gets drunk, attempts to rape Lori, then nearly kills the one guy that knows how to open the door and save them all before shooting off a few rounds into various computers with his shotgun.  Rick body checks him and then asks “Are you done, now?”

So, I’m not quite sure what anyone could cite to say that Shane was ever “good guy”.  Heck, he probably was barely a ‘decent’ guy. But Ms. Day painfully continues with the most outrageous thought-process yet:

“Shane is evolving.  Rick is kind of like a guy who needs to be forced to evolve.”

I think Beast sums my reaction to that well enough:

This statement just blows my mind by taking logic and bending it so hard that it bursts into a bizzaro universe where chickens eat Human Noodle soup and bacon is no longer awesome.  Since there is nothing negative one could can say about Rick compared to Shane, the only thing she could do in an attempt to pump up her hunky selection was to redefine Shane’s crazed actions as evolutionary.  Yes, because rape and random armed violence is the next level of human consciousness.  Anyone who doesn’t do that clearly is not as advanced as her preferred stud.

That was truly a great performance.  Felicia Day, in under an hours time, was able to leap from one extreme comment to the next with the finesse of a hardened circus performer, bind science and law to her will like an advanced quantum physicist, and then remodel previous facts of last season into a completely new perspective with such precision to mimic Michelangelo terra forming a slab of marble as he sculpted the statue of David.

I am sure fans of hers will be overjoyed to know that if the acting gigs ever dry up, she will be one top notch turd polisher, yarn spinner, or Lead Ignition Technician of combustible pants.

Bravo, Ms. Day.  Bra-vo.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 3 Review – Recap and Analysis

The Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 3

Save the Last One

While it wasn’t as bad as the first episode, I think this one was just “okay.” Similarly to “Bloodletting” last week; it had room for improvement.  The flow was still fairly brisk, but that was only because the setting jumped from one group to the next.  People even broke up into smaller groups this time around to aid with that, but still I think very little actually happened. And what did happen wasn’t a big deal.  I’ll get to why I think that is in a bit, but first I’ll give the busy person’s play-by-play.

Yet another shower scene of Shane.  If you include the bottled water bit at the start of this season, that makes it the third.  He is shaving his head and has a crazy look in his eye.  Oy.  Looks like they want to bring the ‘Crazy Shane’ of last season back >.> Bad way to start this off, in my opinion. To put it in polite terms, ‘Crazy Shane’ wasn’t the high-point of the first season by any means as he was about as consistent as runny egg yolk. But according to a certain red-head on the third episode of the Talking Dead, he’s hot. So who cares, right? (More on that double standard in tomorrow’s post.)

Carl is getting worse to the point of having seizures and Rick is just about out of cherry koolaid. He, Lori, Hershal and his crew are waiting on Shane and Otis, but Lori wonders if Carl would be better off dying in his sleep instead of surviving.  This monologue gets a bit long, but at least Rick is finally acting like his last season self.  Lori made him eat up a scene before it, so I guess all it takes is a sandwich to bulk up on confidence and assertiveness.  If he downs something from a glass vial labeled “Drink Me” will he shrink down, too? XD

Glenn and T-Dog appear during all this, and I was honestly not sure if they would still show up after Derle gave the ailing T-Dog some much-needed meds.  They show their support but ultimately disappear for most of the episode as the other duo’s took center stage.

"Pills here!"

Carol is still a pointless character, but this time around her wailing in the back of the RV paired with Andrea’s incessant tinkering with a loaded weapon (that nearly got her killed in episode one) drives Derle to leave under the guise of looking for the missing girl.  Good man. Andrea tags along and they happen upon a zombie hanging from a tree.  Andrea feels for the starving zombie, and pleads Derle to shoot him and end his misery.  He first nixes the idea, but Andrea answers a question of his, stating she still isn’t sure about if she wants to live or is merely doing so as a habit.  Derle still thinks it is a bad answer and a waste of an arrow, but ends the tree zombies ‘life’ anyway.

Dale sets out on his own, but they don’t really say why he opted to walk quite a distance down the road without a flashlight.  Either way, he returns to see Andrea and Derle make their way back.  While he is happy at the sight, Carol starts crying about not seeing the daughter and dives back into the van.  Because it isn’t good enough that they came back safe during an ill-thought search at night. For HER!

/facepalm

If only she had stolen two grenades from Rick so she could swallow one now.

Spoiler Warning

Shane and Otis appear in the school.  It isn’t explained how they got in, nor how zombies are less than fifteen feet behind them the entire time.  They end up momentarily parting ways and distracting zombies from one another, but in the end Shane injures his foot, falls, and gives up.  He tells Otis to leave him behind, but Otis refuses to do so.  We’ll get back to this in a sec.

Shane makes it back in time to help Carl who is now stable, but Otis has fallen.  Rick breaks the news of the post-mortem Otis with Hershal and Maggie appears to have a thing for Glenn.  Nothing physical happens, but it certainly came across to me that Maggie was a wee bit flirty with him.  During this, Lori returns to Carl who is sleeping and Shane steps in.  Lori says he can stay, and whether she ment in the room or in the group is up for debate.  Either way Shane gets clothes from a rather disgruntled Maggie, stating they might be big on him as it was Otis’s attire.  We are then once again back with Shane in the shower.  Two shower scenes in one episode. New record >.<

Team Jacob, eat your heart out.

Remember when Shane gave up and Otis forced him to carry on?  Sadly, Shane didn’t pay it forward and instead shoots Otis in the leg, using him as a distraction.  Otis does not go down without a fight and even when getting bludgeoned with a pipe (or something similar) is able to rip off a clump of Shane’s hair.  Shane manages to take the supplies Otis was carrying just before the zombies eat him alive, in gory detail.  I’m sure that bit unsettled the majority of the fans at home for better or worse ^_^  Anyway, Shane is seen shaving off his hair in an effort to hide the damage that the late Otis inflicted unto him and the credits roll.

All in all, decent episode.  Some twists, slight boring bits, some action and some dialog.  Nice over-all mix, but eh… there is one thing nagging me.  It isn’t a deal breaker, but it could be in future episodes.

The Problem

While the episode was far from bad, it wasn’t great.  There is plenty for people to claim and cite as awesome, and I can even provide a list for ‘em.  Hordes of zombies, guns that were actually fired, Derle venturing out at night and also firing off a bolt Rambo-style, a gory death scene with close-ups, some plot and character developement, an actual human finally died which was a first this season, and while it isn’t a high point by my standards I know a lotta ladies and a few guys probably enjoyed seeing Shane’s buff physique in the shower. (Again, more on that tomorrow >.>)

The problem that undermines the whole thing is that I was not emotionally invested.  I had zero attachment to anyone involved.  I didn’t care about Shane’s plight as I knew Carl was important to the story (for some still unknown reason) so he was safe.  Otis was not as he was a new addition an episode ago.  Add in the “Crazy Shane” intro and you can fill in the rest of the blanks yourself.  I do not want this to appear as if the issue is tied to a lack of surprise, as even though I knew more or less what was going to unfold, I did not yet know how.  That “How?” is where the crew should have stepped up and made the audience give a darn about people making it away safe and intact.

I’ll even give them credit that they tried to do that, but it didn’t quite work.  Carl flailing around on the bed was supposed to be a heart-tugging and raw scene.  Instead it was a child that was instructed to flop around for two long minutes in front of the camera.  It stunk of “Emmy Award Reel” too much for me to believe it was actually happening.  Instead of intrigue I was left with reality; a child actor trying really hard to look like he was spasming or just dancing very badly.  I give the kid credit, though.  If the scene was cut down to moderate levels and the emphasis and music was not so bombastic and so dominant it might have actually left room for me to care at all instead of them trying to force it on me :/

One final thing that bothered me to the point of getting me angered was during the Talking Dead preview of next week’s episode.  If you want to stay completely out of the know, feel free to divert thine eyes now.

Courtesy gap.

This has nothing to do with episode 3. It's from episode 4. For some reason they included it in the third one's gallery, so by golly I'm gonna use it and blow your minds.

So, the group is now at the farm and for some reason they are lowering Glenn down a well.  There is a bloated zombie down there, and they all know about it.  Suddenly the crank holding the line breaks and juts forward, causing Glenn to fall further than expected and closer to Jobba the Well Zombie than everyone would like.

Suddenly the footage is clipped and Mr. Dynamite is nearly falling off the couch screaming “That’s IT?!  It stops THERE?!” and immediately I was repulsed.  Why does he care that much?  I like Glenn a lot, and it would be a shame to have him go, but the show has not yet given any of us reason to care about anyone.  Let alone enough to act as over excited, shocked, and frustrated as he did.

Is he being dishonest?

To what end would that prove to benefit?  The audience?  How would over-acting help anything?  Maybe we’d tune in next week, but if it didn’t pay off or wasn’t handled properly, why would we return?  No, it seems like too much work for that scenario to pan out, plus the show has a massive following and has just been signed for a third season.  They are far from hurting for ratings.

Is he being honest, then?

Ironically this is the worst option of the two.  This provokes the question of why does he honestly care as much as he appeared to after that clip?  Has he been watching the same show as us?  Is he a long-time fan of the comic and drawing his connections to the characters from there, perhaps?  If the next episode is as ‘okay’ as the last two were, or anything near as bad as the first one was, last season was episode for episode far stronger and better off than this one.  In that case I have to wonder, if he really did care that much to literally be on the edge of his seat:

Is this how little it takes to impress those in Hollywood?  Is this why crap is so often sold to the masses?  Is this why our standards for entertainment are so disappointingly low? /coughtwilightfilms

I’ll leave those questions for you, my awesome commentors, to wax philosophic in the comments below.

Furthermore, Andrea should be destroyed ^_^

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 2 Review – It Was Good!

Score this one as a small, but important victory.  The episode wasn’t over-flowing with either zombies or action, but it never felt dull and always changed things at just the right time.  It found time to expand on characters, kept the story flowing, stuck in a flashback right at the beginning and T-Dog even got some camera time.  Also, Andrea almost was a decent person that I didn’t wish harm upon.

Till she snubbed Dale again.

As she was near the RV at that point, I really hoped a zombie would blind-side her like her sister.  The one in the woods was tantalizingly close to taking a chunk out of her, but ah.  Patience…

Carol is still a pointless character.  At least this episode she gave quite an emotional blow to Andrea when she mentioned right in front of her that she prays her daughter doesn’t end up like Amy.  Ah, it was great.  Misses and I had a good laugh at that one.   I still think Carol is zombie grub on two legs, but wondering if they are going to the polar opposite or irony and going to end up making her daughter a zombie that actually takes her out in the end.  Rather Dawn of the Dead style with the girl in the basement, but if done right would still get a laugh.

More Like This, Please!

More like this episode, and none like the first episode, please!  Feel free to improve upon it, of course ^_^  Let’s hope the next episode is another actiony one and not a talky.  Break the curse of the first season!  Happily surprise us!

I have to give pointers to Rick’s actor.  He completely nailed being in shock when he was on the porch after dropping off Carl.  Seeing him jitter about, glazed eyes and staring off on auto-pilot as Shane wiped the blood of his forehead.  Seeing him nervously muck about with the soiled rag was spot on.

Hats off to the writers this season, as Shane is a completely watchable human being right now.  He usurped some of the Mary Sue out of Rick and has become a great guy and hero of his own story in his own right.  Last season I wasn’t pleased with his actions but felt he was also getting a terribly raw deal.  This time around they are showing him in a different light which is interesting to see.

Inversely, I am a bit miffed at how often Rick is crumpling this time around.  While the too human, human last season was a bit much in one direction, this time around we get the opposite.  A mess of doubt and emotions who is constantly second-guessing himself and full of questions on reality, morality, and even his own reasoning abilities.  I gather from the interviews of Talking Dead after the shows that this is temporary and is sculpting him to be ‘the great leader his is in the comics’ but right now, I’d like that to happen a bit faster.  I don’t have comics to base this on and keep saying “I know it’s bad now, but just wait, you’ll like it.”  Heck, Andrea was supposed to be an awesome character and thus far I cannot see why Dale would have stayed with her, nor how anyone with ‘gun rights’ (or crossbow for that matter) would want to save her at all, if not straight up do her in themselves.

I can envision this comic where Andrea is on the RV doing nothing productive as usual in panel one, panel two shows Dale opening the door to check up on her, and panel three is just his left arm and leg in view as the door rips off his hinges and giant crimson letters spelling out “RAAAAAGE” have knocked him out of frame as they fly out from inside the vehicle.

Just give that chick a bullet already. I don’t even mean shoot her.  Just give her a bullet and let her fall onto it from a great height.

And coat the bullet with salt.

Dale is still a cool guy.  T-dog is in a tight spot, we’ll see if the drugs kick in to save him or not. Glenn finally got some camera love and even got a joke this time around!  Yay.  Daryle is being hyped up as this uber cool tough guy, but I sorta think he was more awesome last season.  Perhaps this time around he feels… a bit stock?  Too soon to judge, but that’s my gut feeling at the moment.  It’s like every scene he’s in he just dominates and everyone else there is only there to serve him his best representation possible.

Side note:  There were two mentions of Merle this episode.  Will that amount to anything in the near future?

Anyone else flashback to Left 4 Dead when they started throwing flares?

As often is the case, a decent product following a terrible disappointment tends to shine quite brightly by dynamic comparison alone.  (Matrix 2 vs Matrix 3.  Star Wars 1+2 vs Star Wars 3.  Cataclysm vs Mists of Pandaria, though MoP would have done fine on it’s own.  I just wish Cata didn’t seem like such a waste or even a filler by comparison.)  I liked the whole episode.  I liked how commercials weren’t shoved in my face this time around, in fact instead of dreading the commercials themselves, I dreaded having to wait five minutes to get back into the episode because it hooked me this week.

This was a minor victory.  This proves you are actually adequate for television.  By many standards, being adequate is proof you are actually too good for television, but I digress.  Kudos to a good job, but keep it up.  You have plenty of room for improvement and to grow, so do not drop the ball again!  Continue to dazzle us in the coming weeks, please ^_^

Furthermore, Andrea should be destroyed.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Premier

What did I think of “What Lies Ahead?”

In a word: “Commercials.”

In another word: “Let-down.”

And yes that is a single word. It’s hyphenated, it counts as one! XD

It wasn’t bad, but I was expecting more.  This was yet another ‘Talky’ episode that I disliked last season.  I understand a lot of stuff is going on and they are explaining a lot and setting a stage, but I also think they only made it 90 minutes to sell the insane amount of ads that we running near the end.  If they cut it down to an hour not only would the ad problem go away, but they would be forced to terse and tighten up the action and lop off the boring bits that were ever-present.

Again, it was not bad.  But it was clearly edu-tainment.  It told us stuff so they can actually act on it later.  In comical terms, it was the setup of a joke, and the punchline will be given next week.  Or two from that.  Sometime.  Just not *now*.  And I wanted payoff *now* after waiting a year to watch this.

Some good news though!  Shane and Lori are now actual, factual characters!  I’m so proud.  Last season they were just graduated foil characters.  This time Lori is actually doing something and holding her own, while Shane is apparently shedding the ‘crazy’ bits and going rogue for the good of the group.  He went from neutral villain to anti-hero.  Kudos to him.

Andrea can go stick her finger in an outlet.  I don’t care what she does in the comic, I want this chick dead.  Nothing but hate and angst.  Every scene she was in was like watching a highschool poetry class unfold.  Big words people do not normally use, let alone under threat of zombie attack, and again not when that ticked off. You just don’t have higher brain functions going on when you rage as much as she was against poor Dale. Ungrateful for his intervention she wishes nothing more to be killed off.  We here ate Encrazed Crafts truly wish that she succeeds in her goal.  Quickly and with gory detail.

Dale is still awesome.  Delaying the group from making a tough decision so coyly and seeing T-Dog willingly go along with it was great.  “Tricky hose” indeed ^_^  Sadly, Rick is still a Mary Sue.  This time with extreme comparisons to Jesus.  Well done on the subtly there, crew.

The gore this episode wasn’t over-the-top, but I did notice the rest of the group I saw it with got a bit squeamish and complained at how realistic it was.  The only thing I was thinking when I saw Andrea attack the one zombie in the Road Warrior was frustration as I had an idea to write a story were people really did resort to using a screwdriver in such a fashion against a zombie.  Now if I do it I’ll get instant comparisons and claim that I stole it from them.  Raspberries!

One final nifty thing of note, as I mentioned up top, last season I complained how every other episode seemed to be all dialog while the others were action.  The fifth episode prompted me to state the following:

One final bid for longer lasting viewership:  action keeps people glued to their seats.  Dialog and only dialog episodes make people feel like they are sitting in glue.  (Subtle change, that is.)  The first is exciting and pushes the story along wisely and still finds time for character advancement.  The second is slow, uncomfortable, and fairly boring.  (I did like the humorous explosion in the lab, though.  Nice comedic timing of the robotic voice.)  The Walking Dead doesn’t need to be *filled* with gore, action, and zombies…but if all it IS filled with is speeches and heart-felt discussions…well…we are left with this:

After they bite off your ear, they'll talk off the remaining one.

-Encrazed Crafts 11/29/2010

So imagine my surprise when I found out they were actually having a live after-party talk show titled the “Talking Dead.”  I don’t wanna say I called it, as I’d much rather prefer dividends for coining the idea XD

What did you guys think of this episode?  A little slow on the pace?  Commercials a bit much?  Also notice they still managed to squeeze in a shower scene as Shane opened water from the truck? Man, they sure do love shower bits on this show.  That’s what, three so far?  Every time the people in them are super smiling too.  Kinda creepy.  Tell us your thoughts on this Walking Dead episode below!

Furthermore, Andrea should be destroyed.

The Walking Dead – Speedy Recap o’ Season One!

As season 2 is just about here (less than 24 hours, woot!), I thought it to be wise to give a quick refresher on what the goings on was in the first season.  Both as a reminder for potential plot reasons, as well as a quick run-down to all those unaware of the awesome that is the Walking Dead.

Ironically, I had this whole thang typed out, but upon reviewing my previously typed up stuffs I noticed I already did this before!  XD So, as I found it critically biting while still being a solid outline of the events that happened, I’m just gonna copy/paste it right here.  I would put up a spoiler alert, but if you are going to watch it tonight most of this will be ‘spoiled’ anyway.  If you are unaware of the goings-on in the teaser that was season one, you might be confused.  But in a good way ^_^

——–

The first episode had Rick escaping the SNAFU’d hospital with one snazzy transitional scene thanks to those wilting flowers.  The flip side of that coin, sadly, was just how lame the intro shot was of Rick shooting the obviously turned teddy bear zombie girl, and how much the hospital bit reeked of 28 Days Later.  Luckily this was left behind without a seconds thought as Rick passed by the Half Biker Girl Zombie torso and he met up with Morgan, who quickly threatened to kill him at least half a dozen times.

Morgan and his son Duane got Rick up to speed and out of town in no time flat.  They even had time for a shower!  Anyone drop the soap?

/crosses fingers!

Duane has a heart wrenching moment where he is unable to put down his unliving wife and Rick puts the barely there Biker Girl Zombie to final rest before ‘borrowing’ a horse and trading it up for a tank and a grenade.  End.

Shane and Lori, spread eagle near a tree.  C-O-U-P-L-I-N-G!

Guts starts off with Glenn helping Rick escape, some crazy old blonde chick puts a gun to Rick’s head, racist southerner gets ‘cuffed to a flimsy and eroded pipe, Rick and Glenn get a deep tissue massage made from deep tissues, and a clumsy black guy drops a key.  Glenn likes him some sports car.  End.

Frogs shows that Shane and Lori might actually be decent characters after two terrible showings in previous episodes.  But!  Oh noes!  Rick’s back!  Lori tells off Shane who immediately reflects this anger and ever-so-mild distemperment into Ed’s skull after Ed is seen slapping his wife.  Racist Redneck decided drilling through his ‘cuffs was too hard, but didn’t think to go through the thin, corroded metal twig, and instead recreated Saw with magically almost no blood loss.  Mighty fine grip you got going on with your belt there, Amos!  End.

Vatos!  Ah, how I’ve missed you.  Rick attempts to snatch his cache of weapons and radio, but in exchange he loses Glenn to a marauding latino gang.  Racist Redneck Jr. gets a butt shot off before they get away though, so so it’s all good.  In the end the Vatos were just posing as tough guys and Granny gives Rick a tour of a medical facility…that Rick never thinks about holing up in with the rest of the people back at camp.  Oh, bother.  And zombies attack the campsite, leading to a very fulfilling chaotic zombie battle, with bats, shovels, shotguns, crossbows, and rifles.  Woot!  End.

Wildfire lingers far too long.  Andrea should be shot.  Jim is the real man’s version of Rick without Main Character Powers.  Black Lady is offensive and does not visibly have a relationship with T-Dog.  Shane wants to shoot Rick for no reason.  Andrea wanted to shoot Rick for no reason.  Mr. CDC hijack’s our TV and takes us by surprise before blowing up his wife’s remains in a botched experiment.  It made me laugh, though.  End.

TS-19 was another great episode, yet it is fairly split on the love/hate-o-meter to the reviewing audience.  Mr. CDC explains to the dum-dum casual audience what zombies are and exactly what we should have known from day one.  He could have said “Watch Shawn of the Dead” for the first half of the episode and saved a lot of exposition.  I still liked it, thought he acted wonderfully, and hope he gets a lot of great work after showing off his abilities here.

Back to super short recap:  Everyone likes wine (‘cept Carl, boo!), Shane is mad in the shower, Rick and Lori are very happy in the shower, Andrea is wasting our time as well as theirs with all that hot water washing down the drain, Shane fails at Surprise Sex, Rick’s drunk, Mr. CDC locks everyone in for no honest reason, and then he lets them go before getting all Lost in Translation with Rick.  Black Lady and Mr. CDC die in a massive explosion that, again, half the reviewership thinks was over done or out of place and fake.  A short sandbag wall blocks the flames from killing Andrea, sadly. :(

——–

Wasn’t that great?  Man, I’m awesome. (Misses: “And so modest, too -_^!”)  Speaking of the Misses, it’s our anniversary today.  So how’s that for a nice Anniversary gift, eh?  The Walking Dead is back on AND the Halloween event in WoW starts up tonight.  We still need to level up hardcore to be able to queue for that as we are 78 now with no rested.  I’m hoping we can queue up for it at 81 as 85 just is not in the cards for a handful of hours to play >.<

If you’d like to know more about the episodes or even just what I thought about em, check out the previous posts I did on em!  Have a great day every one, still about… fourish hours till the show starts.  Have a good’in!

Episode One     Episode Two      Episode Three

Episode Four     Episode Five      Episode Six

In-Depth Recap o’ the Season

(FYI, my favorites were four, six, and one.  In that order.)

Dead Island: Commence With the Awesome

Behold the epic undead trailer.

(Note: Theres some gore in there.  But no nekkid bits.  Just gooey red stuffs.)

Zombie games are far from rare right now, but I really must insist you guys check out that trailer in the link above.  The skill involved to tell a story without a word of dialog is difficult, before adding in the constant back-and-forthing with the timeline, but it was handled masterfully.  THIS is what zombie outbreaks are about, folks.  THIS is why zombie storylines should be the scariest of all horror films if produced properly.  The sense of loss is deep, and for god’s sake a video game just massively one-upped the intro to Walking Dead using the exact same premise.  (Obviously dead young girl used to get the audience’s attention and set the stage of “shizzle just got real.”)

I am leaning more towards the “if they ironed out the trailer this well, the gameplay should be equally awesome” and letting my jaded gaming soul stand in the corner.  That trailer was far too overwhelming to be a mere publicity sponge, the gameplay surely must at least mimic it to some degree.  (Right?)  I’m really digging the setting for this game, and while the previewer in the above link was gaga about the graphics, as long as the controls are fluid, the action is paced well, and the game doesn’t get too grindy, I’ll be happy.  At the very least, that trailer was better than nearly any Resident Evil movie or any post black-and-white Romero zombie flick.

Survival Horror is making a come-back, folks!  Procuring weapons on sight and having to run from fights to live another day is going to make some people hold those controllers with white knuckles.  Fellas, snag a copy of this game no matter how it turns out and the lady-friend will be glued to your arm for as long as you can milk the storyline.  For those without a companion, don’t forget there will be a multiplayer co-op mode as well ^_^

And the Front Door is Open….AGAIN!

Well it’s been two weeks!  How’d you guys handle a solid fourteen days without even a booster shot of the Walking Dead?  Season 1 is dead and gone, but its memories shall linger on.  Was it good?  Bad?  Review time!!  Let’s open this up with a speed run, shall we? 

(Of course, spoilers are on the way, and if you have not seen the show, you’ll probably leave this really confused…)

And GO!

The first episode had Rick escaping the SNAFU’d hospital with one snazzy transitional scene thanks to those wilting flowers.  The flip side of that coin, sadly, was just how lame the intro shot was of Rick shooting the obviously turned teddy bear zombie girl, and how much the hospital bit reeked of 28 Days Later.  Luckily this was left behind without a seconds thought as Rick passed by the Half Biker Girl Zombie torso and he met up with Morgan, who quickly threatened to kill him at least half a dozen times.

Morgan and his son Duane got Rick up to speed and out of town in no time flat.  They even had time for a shower!  Anyone drop the soap? 

/crosses fingers!

Duane has a heart wrenching moment where he is unable to put down his unliving wife and Rick puts the barely there Biker Girl Zombie to final rest before ‘borrowing’ a horse and trading it up for a tank and a grenade.  End.

Shane and Lori, spread eagle near a tree.  C-O-U-P-L-I-N-G!

Guts starts off with Glenn helping Rick escape, some crazy old blonde chick puts a gun to Rick’s head, racist southerner gets ‘cuffed to a flimsy and eroded pipe, Rick and Glenn get a deep tissue massage made from deep tissues, and a clumsy black guy drops a key.  Glenn likes him some sports car.  End.

Frogs shows that Shane and Lori might actually be decent characters after two terrible showings in previous episodes.  But!  Oh noes!  Rick’s back!  Lori tells off Shane who immediately reflects this anger and ever-so-mild distemperment into Ed’s skull after Ed is seen slapping his wife.  Racist Redneck decided drilling through his ‘cuffs was too hard, but didn’t think to go through the thin, corroded metal twig, and instead recreated Saw with magically almost no blood loss.  Mighty fine grip you got going on with your belt there, Amos!  End.

Vatos!  Ah, how I’ve missed you.  Rick attempts to snatch his cache of weapons and radio, but in exchange he loses Glenn to a marauding latino gang.  Racist Redneck Jr. gets a butt shot off before they get away though, so so it’s all good.  In the end the Vatos were just posing as tough guys and Granny gives Rick a tour of a medical facility…that Rick never thinks about holing up in with the rest of the people back at camp.  Oh, bother.  And zombies attack the campsite, leading to a very fulfilling chaotic zombie battle, with bats, shovels, shotguns, crossbows, and rifles.  Woot!  End.

Wildfire lingers far too long.  Andrea should be shot.  Jim is the real man’s version of Rick without Main Character Powers.  Black Lady is offensive and does not visibly have a relationship with T-Dog.  Shane wants to shoot Rick for no reason.  Andrea wanted to shoot Rick for no reason.  Mr. CDC hijack’s our TV and takes us by surprise before blowing up his wife’s remains in a botched experiment.  It made me laugh, though.  End.

TS-19 was another great episode, yet it is fairly split on the love/hate-o-meter to the reviewing audience.  Mr. CDC explains to the dum-dum casual audience what zombies are and exactly what we should have known from day one.  He could have said “Watch Shawn of the Dead” for the first half of the episode and saved a lot of exposition.  I still liked it, thought he acted wonderfully, and hope he gets a lot of great work after showing off his abilities here.

Back to super short recap:  Everyone likes wine (‘cept Carl, boo!), Shane is mad in the shower, Rick and Lori are very happy in the shower, Andrea is wasting our time as well as theirs with all that hot water washing down the drain, Shane fails at Surprise Sex, Rick’s drunk, Mr. CDC locks everyone in for no honest reason, and then he lets them go before getting all Lost in Translation with Rick.  Black Lady and Mr. CDC die in a massive explosion that, again, half the reviewership thinks was over done or out of place and fake.  A short sandbag wall blocks the flames from killing Andrea, sadly. :( 

TIME!

Woo, not bad.  I’m outta shape for all this.  Should have stretched before-hand or something…  sheesh I’m getting old…

So with that breifish recap outta the way, as we all should have know that already.  Overall I liked the season, and I’d probably give it a B+ if I used a grading scale like that.  The highlight of the season was Vatos, TS-19, and the pilot.  Though hearing my Dad exclaim in surprise and horror as Carol pickax’d her deceased husband’s earcanal was right up there.

But what now?  What do we thinx gonna happen next season?  Well, I gots me some theories and things I’ve noticed (and a lot more I forgot!).  Here are some that I remembered:

Where is the story headed from here?  We have quite a lot of extra characters still not in the comic that can easily be zombie fodder.  Carole/Beaten Wife is not a completely pointless character.  She was in it to make Ed look bad (check) and to give Rick a grenade at the magically correct time (double check.)  Her use is now fulfilled, and as she and the Keymaster from the second matrix share a common theme, hopefully she meets the same end as him.  Hmm.  Might sound a bit harsh…but she was the omnipotent extra in Mist which Darabont had a bad hand in, so I still stand with my ‘Keymaster Her’ proclamation.  If you need a reason as to why she ends up dead, she STOLE a grenade from a Police Officer for gawd’s sakes.  How dim can one be to…that’s like hitting a parked cop car.  And I’ve seen it happen.  (Now we all know why Ed kept slapping her!  Ooo!  Dark comedy!)

Also, currently her daughter does not have a point to exist.  She was only really seen leaving her dad in the tent, and crying when the Mexican Family (still don’t know their names) left in Wildfire.  G.G. Carl?

T-Dog currently is a decent character.  He’s had a few lines in a few episodes which, I’d say, makes him one of the better tacked on characters.  There is a strong African American male character in the comic that should show up fairly soon if they are back on the comic’s track…which might turn into him instead of the actual dude it was in the book.  Merle could easily be thrown into the mix as I’ve heard Governor arrives at about the same time?  Comic geeks would know, but not I.

Speaking of Geeks, they really used that term a LOT in the ending episodes which I did not notice the first time through.  Why is it no one calls them zombies, ever?  Walkers, Geeks, ‘one of them,’ etc.  Just call em out!  It’s not like a religious slur or anything because of the distant voodoo connections, people.  Besides they were saying the n-word just fine in the second episode, so if they went with “geeks” to avoid offending a religious background, but were ok with potentially inciting an entire racial background…eh.  Worst of all, ‘geek’ is fairly accurate in terms of largest target audience of this show.  Way to offend your fan base, guys.  Smooth moves the lot of ya’!

It has come to my attention that the bomb that would self-destruct the CDC building was a Thermobaric weapon, defined as:

“a ‘fuel-air bomb’  is an explosive weapon that produces a blast wave of a significantly longer duration than those produced by condensed explosives. This is useful in military applications where its longer duration increases the numbers of casualties and causes more damage to structures”

Any fans of Command and Conquer: Generals (and the expansion Zero Hour, of course) will know about this baby.  It was the USA General’s special power and one of my favorites.  It could be upgraded to a MOAB, of Dubya’s Iraqi War fame, but I didn’t like it.  Wasn’t as strong, and didn’t have enough ‘heart’.  Before the Fuel-Air Bomb went off there was that hint of silence, and then the fireball started, grew, and then bah-BOOM!  Twas’ a favorite, and now that my raving is complete, here is a video of it in action. 

Note any similarity to the ending?  (Which can be seen here, by the way,) While it might not be a large consolation to fans of the comics, I think it does mimic at least a video game’s representation of the same type of explosive.  And the bombs are intended to burn a bit, not just kablooey right off the bat, ya know.   Though there will still be ‘it was overdone!’ people yelling at me from the nay-sayers camp,  I still likes it.

Jacqaui is the name of the black lady, by the by.  Anyone else find that she and T-dog’s ‘relationship’ to be at least…eh…unpolitically correct?  Let me give you an example from a completely different show, The Tester.  It’s a Playstation thing where people fight a really rough battle just to get an entry position that normally is done by people that are not paid for their time, and generally are pulled in right from the street.  Not kidding.  Why these suckers put themselves through hell for such a terrible spot in a company is beyond me. 

Back on topic, in one episode they were split up into two teams.  The white team and the black team.  There are two black contestants in the show at this time, and guess what team they went to?  Both were placed on white team.  Why?  Because if they were put on the black team it would be racist, says the politically correct textbook.  And why did they have to be in the same group, why not one on each?  Because *that* might be considered racist, too.  Why didn’t they just call it the Red and Blue teams, I have no idea.  But now, back to Walking Dead.

The ONLY two black people on the show just happen to be in a relationship.  Maybe.  It could be they were connected for years, hooked up during the zombieggon, or T-dog just has a preference to black women.  We don’t know.  They were not in the comic, so I can’t even say ‘oh, the fans will know if they read it’ much like how Harry Potter movies panned out, because they were only brought into existence in the tv show.  Whatever was in the show is all we have to rely upon, and from what we were given, they just happened to be black and they just happened to be in a relationship.  Maybe.  At no point in the series other than just before they were going to blow up did anyone even suggest the two were an item.  It was badly handled and was a very weak attempt at conflict or drama.  To be clear: All we know is that they are black, at this point.  And now they happen to be together?  Why?  The one time the two were ever physically near one another was after T-dog was attacked by Merle, some four episodes ago for about thirty seconds of on-air time.  She spent MORE time with Jim and they were not together.  Why was she and T-dog coupled?  Race.  Smooth move, again, writers.  Smooth.

Ah!  My good buddy Foucault had an issue with, was they these survivors ain’t durty!  In the comic they looked rugged and worn, weathering zombie attacks should take a toll on one’s physical representation, eh?  Well, I gotta defend the show a smidgin’ here and note that at the very beginning of Wildfire, they were all messed up.  Dirt on their face, clothing mangled, all that jazz.  How they got from this to super clean I think is supposed to be explained by yet another painfully obvious shower scene at the CDC, but still, I can see the complaint that they all shouldn’t be super models by now.

Note:  Saw the end of Wildfire last night again, Dad finally got around to sitting down the day before Comcast took it off Demand, and had more time to listen to Jenners.  (First time heat came on and muffled it a bit, and thought it was a commercial at first.)  He said Wildfire has been going on at that point, for 194 days and about 64 since it went global.  (As far as he knows, could be yet another throw-back to 28 days later that all he ‘knows’ is that the government told him.  He even says ‘I bet there isn’t [anyone] still  listening out there, is there?  Is there?”) So that means somewhere in that timeline there, Rick got shot and left for dead by Shane.  Morgan said power’s been out for about a month, but I don’t think he was keeping track of the time.  I still think Rick only lasted about a week or two, the most that Popcorn Logic (movie’s use it all the time) could allow.  He woke up dehydrated, voice scratchy.  So he drained that IV and was running on empty for probably a day.  If Morgan did not keep track of time, and was obviously torn about seeing his wife, I do not think his word is as scientific as Jenners.  The only other person keeping track is Andrea, who should be shot as how they handled her character in the series so far, and Dale.  But Dale only knows what time it is, while she knows what day.  Maybe their kids will be astrologers!  Anyhoo, did that specific CDC spread the virus or whatever?  Still don’t know where it came from, which is not gonna bother me, but could bother some.

Small things that bothered me was just how ‘throwaway’ their names and the music was.  If I didn’t type up these reviews I would have NO idea what anyone’s name was.  The music is the same way, minus the intro that is repeated every episode, I can hear it, feel it, and then it is lost and not coming back to the memory banks until I re-watch the episode in question.  This is the oddest thing I have witnessed in a long while.  I can explain the names, as they aren’t used that often at all as generally we don’t go up to people and use their name every sentence we say (that would be creepy.  Happened to my younger cousin on WoW once though haha  “Hello Palmogranite.”  Good stuff.  And yes that is his human warrior’s name.  He plays on Trollbane, Alliance side. Give him a pat on the back for trying to level up as a tank, which for a newer person to the game is quite commendable.  Of course I talked him *into* doing that…)… but as far as the music goes, it is weird.  I cannot explain how I can’t remember it at all, to me it is almost like the show has no music playing ever, and I distinctly remember hearing groaning and other shuffling ambiance in Guts while they were talking outside or on the roof.  Was a great audio moment that reminded me of a great deal of zombie-based games like Left 4 Dead.

Finally, is the topic of Darabont helming the writing almost entirely solo.  Sigh.  This I actually take issue with, as it could lead to Very Bad Things.  The main point of contention here is the dreadfully awful The Mist which he had a big hand in failing.  To sum up my ire for this…film…is that everything before the last 10 minutes was good and the problems forgivable…UNTIL THE ACTUAL ENDING FAILED TO DELIVER.  That is the extremely short version of my rant.  So now, we have failed horror attempt man penning yet another horror.  Is he basing it on the comic?  His own?  Did he dislike season one because it strayed from the comic?  Is he just going to do a shot for shot recreation to appease the book fans, making most bored of it before the next season starts?  We don’t know…but as he will be in charge, might I throw in my bid for terrible-idea-that-might-just-make-it with Frank in charge?

We need for the main group of people to keep doing whatever.  Do that stuff for a long long while, and then get to a really tight spot.  Lots of death, huge number loss and maybe it’s just down to Rick and Carl, and Carl just got bitten.  He ends up putting his son out of misery before he turns and he just happens to be out of bullets to off himself.  Follow me so far?  K.  So now as he’s angushing about putting down his last family member a shuffling sound can be heard growing louder and louder and finally we see…not a horde of zombies, but military men in gas masks!  They are clearing the way!  Rick is saved!  But!  Oh noes!  He could have cured his son if only he waiting a teeny bit more.  Oh, the not-really-ironic-or-dark-comedy-non-irony!

But for that to ‘make sense’ we’ll need another person or group of people to show the audience what Rick should have done, because no one likes anything more than seeing a good main character fail.  Something that will spit into the face of our mind’s logic as we are forced to accept it as decent, not because it actually was, but solely because it is different!  No room for well written endings here, no, we still need that group to show Rick how wrong he was…someone that left for no real reason, adding nothing to the story, but existed solely to re-exist days later so I can laugh manically at the audience for not predicting the pointless character was the right one all along… someone like…

Shoulda followed us. Your bad, not ours.

That Mexican Family who left for no reason, but was done in such an obvious way so that we can use it to tie in the terrible idea of a finale!  YES!  Let’s do that!  What do you mean you don’t like my wonderful idea, staff writers?  Yer’ FIRED!

Also, saw a bit of the ‘forbidden fruit’ yesterday and paged through some of the first compiled section of the Walking Dead in comic form.  From what I saw, massively, massively better.  Didn’t sit down and read it, just when they got attacked (and Jim was actually shown bitten, who’da thunk it?) and Andrea popped of Amy at the drop of a hat.  Didn’t dwell on it.  Didn’t stretch it out painfully and pointlessly.  Didn’t damn her character by pointing a gun at Rick for no reason, AGAIN.  Sigh.  That’s what happens when Hollywood enters the picture…any gamers out there would understand this as either EA or Sony gobbling up a decent game then meddling with it and wondering why the money stopped coming out of it.

But there is still hope!  All in all it was still a great season, I just can’t read the comic or I probably won’t be able to watch it by comparison haha  Still, ‘for TV’ it was good.  Hope next season is better!  Less empty drama, more solid action!  I leave you with a funny that I thought up, considering how many people were surprised or rather upset that Merle was not shown at all since the third episode. Enjoy, and thanks for reading again, yall!

Perhaps Season 2 Will Be "Where's Merele NOW?"

There’s a Girl in the Garden.

The sixth and final episode of the Walking Dead has come to a close.  Took some time to actually get to start typing this out today as Comcast managed to lose my internet pretty much all day, along with the rest of the midwest.  Add in decking the halls for a few hours, finishing up the tree, then cleaning up the mess in the process, the whole day was spent.  (Would have been nice to know Comcast was to blame, as I spent a good two hours cursing bitterly that I would not be able to enter the Shuffle On zombie role contest once the show started.  Luckily we got it back just before they stopped taking the code, which was NIGHTMARE today.)

But enough about us!  On with the spoilers!

The opening was great!  We got to see familiar scenes way back from the beginning of the series not so long ago, as well as seeing how the hospital ended up the way it did.  The military killing any and all in a full blown slash and burn purge of any contamination was an interesting choice, albeit cliche, but still passable.  Adding in gas masks made them jump for oppressive jar heads to full-on Umbrella Corp, but it was so brief in this scene it is of little consequence.  This scene also had some strong vibes of the original Half-Life:  harsh and dimwitted military willing to kill anything tied to a failed mission.  Which provides a funny mental image…

Warden Freeman. The 'Walker' Atlanta Ranger.

I did enjoy seeing a military person shoot up the ceiling, which explains what caused the wires to sag as Rick walked past.  (Not that I was wondering, but it was a cool detail to see.)  This ‘death hall’ that Rick passed through so long ago (to us, anyway) has a feeling of Metal Gear Solid when Cyber Ninja was fully revealed to the player and Snake.  Guards shooting randomly as they make a failed attempt not to get killed off.  A genius commenter left this message on one of my posts that I thought I should bring up here:

“One idea I like, is that when Shane said the hospital was real bad when Rick regrouped with them; how would he know? Also, Rick living that long with no nurses helping him for up to that whole month is a stretch. …Unless Lori was holed up for a week or so at her house, Shane checked up on Rick and got him new fluids etc, then left him when zombies gained the upper hand, possibly blocking his door off with that gurney that Rick had to push out of the way.

Shane, in that scenario, would have known Rick to be alive when he last saw him, making the lie he told Lori still beneficial to her well being, but damning to Rick in more ways than one.”

-Encrazed Crafts

Oh wait, that was me!  Ha-HA!  I am a mighty prognosticator of prognosticators, my friends!  Ok, ok.  Enough gloating.  While not every letter was mirrored perfectly in the scene, I do take a level of satisfaction calling out several things on the dot.  Shane was there, he did tell Lori Rick died to save her and Carl’s lives, and he put the gurney where Rick had to push it out of the way when he finally came to.  Shane didn’t know that he was still alive, but at least he saved his friend from getting gnawed on.

The way they handled Shane this episode was for the most part flawless. He was a little crazy/rowdy when he first got there, and I can see him being pissy that Rick got his way, but that’s minor.  Once alcohol and seeing him chug a bottle in the shower was shown, a confrontation with a drunken and scantily clad Lori was quite predictable.  This too was handled well, showing Shane wanting what Rick has, showing he did want to keep them safe, and showing that he really did think Rick was dead, and being wrong about that is eating him up.  Being drunk is a perfect excuse for him trying to get another shot at Lori, and allows him to be cast as the ‘poor guy’ next season.  He did right, but it was taken away from him.  I hope they leave the crazy out of him next season as it didn’t really fit and came across as forced every time it showed up.  Shane and that shotgun of his.  Oh, that rascal!

Seeing Rick drunk and candid was a surprise, and actually made me wonder if the CDC guy ran out of water to serve, turning the place into a Pirate ship. (Later we find out it was more of a last hurrah, of course.)  Hearing Rick’s inner thoughts under the influence was a nice admission on his character’s part.  He knows they will most likely die out there, but will not show any signs of weakness around his family and friends.  He takes up that burden to save them even more grief; now that is a courageous thing to do.  Again, this is how to properly show character traits without degrading them in the process (Andrea pointing a gun at Rick [twice], Shane doing the same, Rick nearly openly weeping to the surveillance camera, etc.).

Humor was present this episode, and gladly appreciated.  The sense of dead-pan (no puns, no puns!) timing was pretty tight as well, either based on lights turning off or suggestions the audience at home knows that the characters to not.  Saying the timer ticking down is when the plant is ‘decontaminated’ instantly brought back how the test chamber was explosively ‘decontaminated’ in the previous episode.  This was of course then made blatantly obvious to the viewer at home after seeing about fifty different mechanical objects covered in the explosive logo in the basement section of the CDC building.

Andrea’s ‘infection’ hinted at in the previews last week are a clear example of how editors like to swing controversy into everything possible.  (Just a minor note/gripe.)  Daryle was once again the funny yet overly-aggressive everyday man this episode, and his line about wanting to use a fire axe on the CDC worker was a gem.  Seeing him continue to beat on the door with the axe fruitlessly in the background also provoked a laugh out of me, but that could just be my sadistic tendencies surfacing.

The CDC guy was handled wonderfully, and this man has proved he has quite the acting chops.  (Acting chops being a variant of Slap Chop, I presume?)  He was scientific, but not cold.  Calculated, yet emotional.  Telling Rick everything is going to be ok was a heart-felt scene, a man that is reassuring a stranger he just met (a drunken one to boot) was a nice thing to say.   But there is at the very least a hint of darkness there, as we know later on they were all scheduled to die within 24 hours when the timer finished counting down.  I felt for him, especially after finding out it was his wife that was the person seeing get turned into a zombie, that he put her down, and that she was the source of the flesh he was testing on.  He also turned into GLaDOS at the end when he warned Rick of what was to come next. 

“Are you trying to escape? Hahaha. Things have changed since the last time you left the building. What’s going on out there will make you wish you were back in here. I have an infinite capacity for knowledge and even I’m not sure what’s going on outside. All I know is I’m the only thing standing between us and them.

Well, I was.”

-GLADoS

I think the only real negative thing, at least the most negative scene I can comment on this episode, was showing everyone showering.  I just do not find this to be that big of a draw.  We saw Rick, Morgan, and Duane all showering in the first episode.  Was it merely a throwback to that setting, as the beginning of this episode did as well?  Nothing was really revealed, other than seeing Shane booze-out, which made me both chuckle at his current state, while wag my finger at him for watering down perfectly good spirits.  Seeing people shower didn’t really show anything new, it did not reveal character details we did not already know, and I thought the idea of showering was handled enough back in the first episode.  I dunno.  Could just be me.  Gamer’s are not exactly known for our hygiene, after all…

Killing off the black chick this episode was a bit…I don’t want to say “nice,” but it was at least a sign of atonement for Jim.  Also she apparently is connected to T-dog?  Never really explained that.  (Dale wanted Andrea to come with him as well, but they aren’t dating yet, so can’t really use that a comparison.)  The Misses told me she’d probably prefer to go out that way as well in a zombie situation, but I disagree to a point.  Willingly letting yourself get blow’d up should only even be considered when there are no other alternatives.  They had plenty of ammo, hell they made their own way out.  (Though that nade should have done a lot more than just merely shatter glass, in my opinion.)  If the horde was rushing them and they had only the option of “die fast, fairly painlessly” or “die extremely painfully due to nom-age and then turn into one of them” I’d probably opt for the first one.

Hearing Mr. CDC calmly describe how fast and painless it would be was pretty neat as well.  Locking them in was a little bit forced, though.  If they could not get out up top, why arbitrarily lock them in downstairs as well?  Why not promote the idea of them going to bed and waiting?  Why lock them in at all if you *know* there is no way out?  To funnel the drama into one room and make actors say their lines, of course.  Minor gripe, though the Misses caught me by surprise again:

“If it self-destructed because it ran out of fuel…why not let them out to get more gas?”

Well, dang.  First with Merle’s rusted pipe versus his hand, now this.  You win again, superior logic!  Formidable opponent, indeed.

In terms of episodes…I’d have to say this was a close second to Vatos.  Vatos, this, first, third, second.  That’s my order.  Great show, great season (barring few annoyances/conflicting ideas in the script), and can’t wait until next.  I should probably do an over-all review of this season as a whole, but that will have to wait (till probably this Sunday).  Thanks for readin’, yall!

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