Monday, November 29, 2010

Bow Down Before the One You Serve


So we finally get to the meat of it. The conflict that I've been waiting for, and the main reason why I'm a fan of apocalyptic tales: when things fall apart, who puts them back together again? Or, as several of last night's characters bottom-lined it: who's in charge, here?

The show opens during the morning after the fish fry zombie attack, where the living are faced with the important question of what to do with the dead. The zombies, they burn, but what about the former camp members who bit the dust? Obviously, their brains must be scrambled first (no reanimation allowed!), but then do they deserve a proper burial or should they, too, become part of the funeral pyre?

Concurrently, Andrea continues to keep vigil over her zombie-victim sister, Amy, in a series of scenes that finally manage to find the right note of tension, horror, and pathos. I found myself feeling sorry for the gal.

Still, let's be honest here; the show's female characters are nowhere near as strong or interesting as its male. Apparently, in the apocalypse? It's a man's world, too, and so the question of who's in charge comes down to the show's two alpha males: Sheriff Rick and Deputy Shane. Rick is just trying to do the right thing. Shane wants to be the boy with the most cake. So far, the jury's been out on Shane's potential to slip into good guy or bad guy territory, and even the scene in the forest where he holds Rick in the sights of his gun doesn't lead us to a verdict one way or the other. We could take it as either wishful thinking or practice for a future act.

In the end, however, Rick's plan wins out. The group decides to take his advice and head back into the heart of darkness, or in this case, the CDC, smack in the middle of Atlanta. Which is manned by a lone scientist who just may or may not be slightly mad.

Good stuff all the way around . . .

17 comments:

Big Shamu said...

Loved this episode especially Carol whacking her husband in the head. I liked the pacing and the sadness that despite your best efforts you still get bitten by a zombie and hope that your fellow humans treat you with respect and dignity.
Karma is going to smack Shane upside the head, just wait and see.

moi said...

Shamu: And maybe Lori, too? Is it just me, or does it seem like Andrea is being positioned as the female equivalent of Rick and Lori as that of Shane? If so, that could be really interesting.

Big Shamu said...

Well if the quick glimpse I saw of the last (whimper) episode was any indication, I think Andrea gets the Fever.
I don't know if Lori will get a visit from the Karma Fairy, she seems pretty horrified that was duped into a relationship by Shane. Not knowing the full backstory of all their relationships before the world went to hell it's hard to tell.

moi said...

Shamu: I saw that, too, but also got the feeling that she escaped full infection? Hell, if they kill her off, there goes any hope of an interesting female character. Not that Lori isn't interesting; I just don't like her much. Or her stupid bangs. Reason #56 why the Zombie Apocalypse sucks ass: all the good hairdressers and colorists are munching on their clients.

R said...

I don't like Lori. so what if her husband is dead -what was is, like six weeks before she starts shagging on Shame? he's repulsive. She seems to be very impressionable -swaying this way and that. pitiful and not a character i identify with. It might be because i am an elderly lady now, but i think post apocalypse? i would probably avoid sex for a whole lot of obvious reasons.

i was looking forward to seeing the zombie reanimation of Amy, and they handled that well. I would not have gone to the cdc...i would maybe try and find a way to sail to the bahamas or something. i dont know. a well outfitted yacht? something besides going into ATL - trust me, it sucks!

I think merles brother shouldve shot the guy they left to die. are you not worried that he will become a zombie? i was. we may meet him again.

I hope we see the dad and son from the first episode again. i liked that kid, he was so cute enjoying that hot shower.

andrea is the best hope for a real woman character, but the humanity of the sista was touching. only sic episodes? dag.

Big Shamu said...

About the killing of the infected. Even knowing all they know about the zombies some people still have a hard time killing or having someone else killing a still human being. Some people seem to be able to kill all day long (Merle's brother, can't remember his name) others seem to be able to kill in self defense or in defense of family like Andrea and there could be some who can't kill at all, dead or alive. Not to mention the daily dealing with death. In our every day lives death mostly doesn't come scratching into your very own personal space. I can't imagine how hard it would be to keep your humanity when faced with that.

Heff said...

getting interesting, isn't it ?

moi said...

R: So the question becomes, when jump starting civilization, do you try and recreate a semblance of what was, or do you boil down your options to simple survival, as far away from the problem as possible? Hell yeah, what fun it would be to find a tricked out yacht and load it with supplies and head for a small, easily defensible island, pick of the few remaining zombies, and establish your own little world. Unfortunately, the problem of who is in charge would still remain. I think Rick wanted to head to the CDC for reasons other than just looking to see if there's been a cure. I think he's hoping to find someone or some group that has taken a leadership role. One that he doesn't want and one that Shane shouldn't be given.

Shamu: True that. It's easy to posit what you'd do if faced with a certain situation but the fact remains there's no way to really know until it happens. And as much blah blah blah that's been written about our society's so-called immunity to violence, I actually think the opposite is true.

Heff: And still: no Merle!

Big Shamu said...

You know I watched most of The Road on Friday night. The parallels between the zombies of the The Walking Dead and the Living Zombies eating humans to survive in the Road are fascinating. Who are the good guys and what exactly does that definition cost you in survival of the human race?

K9 said...

the road was really good. i liked it better than the book, and viggo was so the right man for the role. the scene with the people in the basement? really dark and terrifying -but not over the top somehow. just really interesting how it was handled.

no. we cant know how we will act in the ZA - however i think to put a bit and still living person down is an act of charity. who do you hate enough to allow them to zombify?

moi said...

Shamu: The Road was brilliant, if probably way too grim and slow moving for the vast majority of viewers. Which brings me to what you said over at TLo about people no longer having the patience for old-fashioned storytelling.

K9: I probably would have shot Jim, too. So far, we have been given no indication that zombies are anything other than mindless eating machines, so his wish to be with his family, if he meant it literally, struck me as silly.

I think I'd let Kim Kardashian zombify. And while I'm at it, her useless sisters, too.

Rott Weiler said...

Kim's a good choice. she could eat her own ass for days. grrrrherhahaha

Big Shamu said...

Yeah, Moi, can you tell who has the theater background? Good lord some of the monologues alone would make some people go all crossbow and put an arrow in some poor actor's head.

Here's the other thought I had about killing the living infected. Maybe somebody has immunity or maybe someone's system adapts and defeats the zombie virus (for lack of a better description). We see it all the time in nature, viruses adapting to overcome antibiotics. Weeds adapting to defeat pesticides. What if Andrea, while not bitten but exposed to the blood, a weakened exposure, produces the AntiZombie blood that the rest of the world needs?

Better thought, how many zombies would each remaining adult/young adult need to pick ax in the head in the world to make a noticable dent?

moi said...

Rott: You rotten! But I laughed, anyway.

Shamu: Zombie-squared times Living Young Adult-squared, times remaining supply of axes, divided by . . . oh, hell, that's way too math-ey for me. But I like where you're going with the Andrea anti-viral theory!

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Big Shamu said...

See, this is what the TSA body scans do to a person, they start typing gibberish about vindication and tastefulness.

moi said...

Anonymous: Drugs r bad, m'kay?

Shamu: And giving birth to interpretation. That's gotta sting . . .