Hosted by Fashion and Entertainment Editor Joseph Lamour
I would like to take the opportunity to express my dismay that more and more shows are doing this midseason finale thing. It really is just the worst thing for my emotions, especially for fanboys and fangirls like me who find the week-long lull between episodes torture enough. However, one good side-effect to the dreaded midseason finale is having two cliffhangers intensify a show’s season, and this hour of Walking Dead in particular was all the more riveting for it.
This week, we see what happens when Rick, Michonne, and the rest of the Lil’ Asskickers infiltrate Woodbury. Considering the title of the episode is “Made to Suffer”, one can imagine the rescue mission proves…unpleasant. Particularly if you’re a supporting character of color. Watch out, everyone but Merle in Woodbury patrol…but, part of what makes The Walking Dead so great–in spite of the pitfalls–is the tense drama elevates the story. And, in spite of how much (constructive!) criticism I and the rest of the tablers impart, the fact that is that we here at the roundtable all are huge fans of TWD. That fact gets lost in the critique sometimes, so it never hurts to put some love out there. Plus, how can an awesome show get any more awesome if no one points out how?
Before the roundtable hibernates for the winter, Kenneth Hwynn, Carly Mitchell, and newcomer Nikki Urban (welcome, Nikki!) join me, as we witness Glenn do things to a corpse that we will never unsee. Or unhear.
Just Once I’d Like To See A Really Dapper Zombie. They’re Always…So Casual.
Ken: I’m going to preempt this episode and just take a guess that Andrea ruins everything.
Joe: Ken, it seems likely, since she clearly can’t see the truth through all those cartoon hearts floating around her head. I hope her character wakes up and smells the coffee before she becomes the new Lori.
Carly: I think it may be a little late for that. Right at the start I exclaimed, “Why are the writers making us dislike her so much?!”
Carly: Thank goodness for some fresh blood with this new group because I’m sensing we’re going to have some sacrificed characters this episode.
Ken: Fresh blood might just be right–not sure how long these new guys are gonna last.
Joe: I wrote in my notes: “Who are these black actors with lines, and how many minutes will it be before they die?” Then, I noticed the very ballet-like way that burly man is moving, and I realised who he was. I won’t spoil it for those who remain unaware.
Carly: So, I turned to my husband and said, “Is there ever a point where, during this, you learn to sacrifice your own when they’re lost? Is it really possible that this far into the apocalypse people aren’t able to let go of someone that will kill them in the next few minutes?
Joe: Honestly. Can’t people learn to take precautions? You have to be near your wife in her last moments–totes understandable. But, why don’t we do the rest of the group a favor and put a mask on near the end or, taking a page from The Governor, make use of a breathable fabric bag or t-shirt. Be resourceful. Finish it off with some fitted gloves, and you have yourself a perfect zombie-safe outfit.
Joe: That is a disgusting bowl of ew The Governor has for Penny there in his “trophy” room. When is someone going to notice this place or his daughter? The Governor has had two lady friends spend the night without either of them suspecting a thing, yet Michonne heard Penny right away the first time she was in his house.
Ken: Yeah, Joe. And also, I’m really confused, how is it after spending eight months with Andrea that Michonne doesn’t mention this key fact to Rick and crew. Maddening…
Joe: Or, Ken, Michonne doesn’t notice Rick and these other people are exactly like the people in all of Andrea’s stories. (They must have had some conversations outside of zombies and food in the past year.)
Carly: Someone mentioned that last week in the comments section how ridiculous and frustrating it is the depth of the withholding of information this season. I completely agree.
Glenn Gets Creative With Corpses
Nikki: I did not think it was possible after that nasty half-botched birth, buuuut I think Glenn just upped the gross factor! Clever? Yes. Disgusting. Yes, yes, yes. I also love how far Glenn has come, especially since Herschel gave him his “approval” gift. I even think he was flexing more muscles while ripping that arm apart.
Joe: Thank goodness for mute.
Carly: I had to stop eating my dinner, close my eyes and ears, and hum. Aside from that, I agree–I’m just head over heels with Glenn and what they are doing with him. Treating him like a full character instead of just a sidekick, with his own motivations and desires.
Joe: He’s had a riveting bunch of scenes. Steven Yeun is acting his pants off, too. Just chewing the scenery, that one.
Carly: What on earth does Hershel think he’s going to do stopping Carl? People, let’s just let this kid redeem himself.
Joe: The powers that be have definitely realized that ladies can dole out as much badassery as the boys. Carol had a great couple of lines shooting down Axel, and right after Maggie stabs a dude in the neck with a zombie bone? Sweet.
Carly: Carol. I love you.
Joe: If everyone died except Michonne, Daryl, Carol, Glenn and Maggie I’d prooooobably be okay with it.
Carly: How are we still allowing this bitten woman to be lugged along???
Joe: I know, right! Y’all: hammer your friend all about the forehead and scalp! How much you wanna bet this lovely Yaya DaCosta-esque girl (Sasha, played by Sonequa Martin-Green) in the new group is going to die because no one ever took care of it? Especially because she’s the one who expressly said, “Leave her outside.”
Joe: Uh, society doesn’t really exist anymore, Governor, the concept of “escaped convicts” no longer applies in a society without laws. What a great line though…the Governor came up with that political spin almost instantaneously. He was already thinking of how he was going to present it to the town, even while it was happening. Buzzwords and blind faith.
Carly: Right? ‘Escaped convicts’ and ‘terrorists’! You don’t need much more to get people riled up.
We Won’t Mix Up Two Black Actors, We Promise!
Carly: I cannot begin to express my disappointment about Oscar.
Joe: Hey there, Shane! Goodbye, T-Dog, #2 (Interesting…they introduced one black character at the beginning of this episode only to kill Oscar 20 minutes later?) Daryl, look for your brother after the shooting! Maggie! stop drawing attention to yourself by screaming like that, but good call on shooting Oscar in the head. I totally would have forgotten!
Yeesh! This battle royale scene is chock full of activity isn’t it? I can’t take notes fast enough.
Ken: Do they have a quota on the number of black or Asian characters on the show? It’s getting pretty blatant.
Carly: I said the same thing, watching that, about the quota.
Joe: It’s almost like the black men on the show are running a really, really depressing relay race.
Carly: Why wouldn’t they show Michonne reacting to her pets being in the tanks?
Joe: I think Danai Gurira (Michonne) actually looked at the one in the tank and reacted, but the camerawork didn’t make a point of it. I mean, that’s basically the reason she killed his daughter because, thanks to him, she was forced to kill her zombie companions. Who, by the way, still haven’t been introduced officially.
Carly: This episode is a whole new level of horrifying for this season.
Joe: That was a great fight scene between the Governor and Michonne. I was convinced hoping Michonne was going to chuck a biting zombie head at him.
Carly: I completely forgot that Merle lied about Michonne being dead. We all knew it wasn’t gonna go over well, but when the lead-up involves The Governor losing his daughter and an eye? Hoo, boy.
Carly: Huge kudos to Danai Gurira showing the depth of Michonne while saying, “You need me,” and so clearly emoting how much she needs them in return. At least in this moment. This whole episode has been such a great range for her after so much stagnation.
Joe: I’d submit this episode for Emmy consideration if I were them. Emmys for everyone! Especially Michonne, Glenn, and the Governor. The chops on display!
Carly: Apparently brother-battles makes the Governor’s eye bleed profusely.
Joe: He’s also noticeably disheveled–I mean, he just lost an eye, so I give him a pass. But I don’t think he would usually let the townsfolk see him that way.
Ken: “Excuse me, do I have something in my eye?”
Joe: Kind of great that the glass was only one of three pins to burst Andrea’s fantasy-boyfriend bubble. Oh, that awkward moment when you finally notice the chomping zombie heads all over your boyfriends floor after seeing the shard of glass jutting from his eye and not before you settle on his twice-dead daughter. Almost makes you regret doubting (and almost shooting) the friend that saved your life over and over again.
Ken: I’m loving this new look on Carl. He’s becoming pretty ruthless and badass. Like father, like son.
Joe: I love the way Beth and Carl interact like they’re in school and not a zombie apocalypse. His little “Yeah, I saved them” schtick was cute. And thank goodness he saved them, because this show needs a Black Highlander– “There can be only one!”
Ken: I have a feeling Tyreese (Chad Coleman) will be important.
Joe: They certainly can’t T-Dog him–there’s source material to work from! Sasha, however, is not in the novels. Let’s see how developed she becomes. Here’s hoping.
This week’s Michonne Beheading Count is 0. Stabbing a little girl in the head doesn’t count. Almost!