The Walking Dead Roundtable 3.13: “Arrow On The Doorpost”

Image from AMCtv.com.

Another day, another zombie war. Like I said in my recap, this weeks episode was rife with racially motivated plot points. Jeannie Chan, Carly Mitchell, Jenn Kim, and Nikki Urban join me to talk about it all:

Joe: Just a little something fun & random: Racialicious fave Francesca Ramsey posted a little Michonne cosplay the other day. According to her, there’s also be a video coming up, too.

Jeannie: Joe, that’s awesome!

Joe: I’m giving her a stylist’s two snaps for the accuracy of that vest. It even has studs on the sides. Anyway, on to the episode. What did everyone think?

Carly: I gotta say, this whole dynamic of Rick v. The Governor would be way less dramatic sans eye-patch. I love that thing.

Jeannie: Agreed. Sadly, The Governor’s eye-patch lends more character to the show than some of the other actual characters.

Jenn: I’m not going to lie; I was soooo proud of myself for not looking away when he lifted that eye patch. *high-fives self*

Joe: It’s a lot less gross “healed.”

Carly: Leave it to Andrea to open the door all dramatic-like, noisily interrupting everything. I know I’m in the minority, but I feel bad for her. There’s just so much she either doesn’t know (by choice and by people keeping things from her).

Nikki: Well, well, well! How the mighty have fallen! “Get out and let the leaders do the talking.” It’s nice to see Andrea stripped of the power she thought that she had in this situation. She continually overestimates her influence. I am really enjoying this kill-off taking place, though!

Jenn: I have so many mixed emotions when it comes to Andrea. Carly, I’m in the minority with you when it comes to feeling bad for her. I related to her when she traveled with Amy and expressed serious over-protectiveness, and mourned with her when Amy was tragically bit. I was proud of her when she turned her mourning into strength by learning how to shoot a gun and by proving to be as useful as the men when it came to killing zombies. However, the show’s writers have done a serious disservice to her character by, as Nikki so eloquently put, making her “continually overestimate her influence.” She’s been insufferable this season, partly because the character always looks dumbfounded and employs over-exaggerated head tilts, and partly because, as viewers in this society, we hate it when a woman thinks she’s more important than she is.

Joe: Mmm, let me stop you there. I think we hate it when anyone (male or female) thinks they’re more important than they are. For instance, whenever Milton speaks, we all roll our eyes, I think. It just mostly ends up being a lady on this show because I suspect the writers have never spoken to one in person.

Jenn: Granted, but the negotiation scene was especially painful to me because I actually felt serious satisfaction when she was thrown out of the room. I was so annoyed with Andrea’s smug expressions that I was glad she was treated like a child, like a little girl who had to wait outside while the dads worked out their “adult” problems. But didn’t Andrea deserve to be part of the negotiations? After all, she had orchestrated the meet and was the only one who knew both the Governor and Rick on a personal level. Instead, I didn’t question the “natural leaders’” choice to kick her out, the leaders whose authority we never question because it’s implied in their race and gender. Sigh.

Joe: Andrea, this episode, basically. From The Simpsons.

Joe: I do admit I felt satisfaction when they were all “get out!” in that scene as well. I just ascribe it to how discordant she was being rather than what she was saying. Because everything she said was actually correct. The writers were just portraying her as if she were a certain Hollywood lawyer.

Carly: I’m really happy with these side stories going on, e.g. Daryl’s ‘henchmen’ date and Milton hitting up Herschel for a little leg. It’s nice to see that not everyone is up to the same level of brinksmanship as their leaders.

Joe: 5 writer points for brinkmanship, darling.

Jeannie: It is refreshing. But Milton creeps me out. And the conversation he had with Herschel was weird… Also, this competitive spirit between Daryl and Caesar kinda reminds me of something else…


Jenn:
Haha, nice reference, Jeannie. Milton is totally creepy; he’s the Waylon Smithers to the Governor’s Mr. Burns.

Joe: LOL. I can see the resemblance. You’ve meme-spired me:

smithersmilton

Carly: I love Glenn. I am not in love with his nearly spot-on Rick impression here with Merle. Honestly, it could be word for word from an earlier scene.

Jeannie: Uh, I’m sorry, but the whole point of The Governor meeting to “negotiate” with Rick is to get his hands on Michonne?! What. What. “One woman worth all those lives in your prison.” Seriously?! I. Am. So. Angry. With. This. Show. Is this conversation really happening? I can’t even…

Jenn: I suppose that’s the only reason why they gave us a sweet Michonne-filled episode last week.

Carly: This show! I can’t just relax and enjoy a sexy little love scene because it has me all keyed up, convinced that something awful will happen while they are away from their lookout!

Joe: The entire time I was expecting one of them to be shot. (With bullets. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

Jeannie: This show is definitely one that keeps me on edge for a wide variety of reasons. But this helps… *rewinds*

Jenn: Seriously, I cannot say it enough times: at least this show depicts an Asian man as a sexual being. And I’m appreciative of the fact that this episode finally shows some hot sexy-times between Glenn and Maggie, instead of just winking-ly referring to it in passing. It’s depressing how few movies and TV shows actually depict an Asian man in a sex scene, and the visual it provides the audience is essential in challenging the emasculating stereotype. Also, I heart Glenn and Maggie and believe in their love; they give me hope in this desolate, zombie post-apocalyptic world.

Carly: I’m sure many people aren’t big fans of the show’s use of music lately considering how very rarely they do it, but I love it. I agree it’s a shortcut for the writers to set some kind of mood that isn’t clear enough in the dialogue or action. But, in a show where all the characters are so secretive and obtuse, I’ll take any shortcut I can get.

Jeannie: But I honestly don’t get how much more the soundtrack is adding to the tone of these scenes. I feel that it’s completely unnecessary. The show is dramatic enough and, if the writers (or the actors) aren’t doing a good enough job bringing me in on the moment, adding music when music plays little to no part on the show just confuses me.

Carly: I’ve got mixed feelings about this conversation about Michonne. I appreciate that they show Rick really struggling with this regardless of what Herschel says, although I really wanted Herschel to talk him out of turning her over. This reminds me of that lecture in my college philosophy class about the lifeboat dilemma, killing one to save many

Joe: Uh, you’re taking a Harvard class? I’m learning new things about you Carly. Or should I say…Tyra? Anyways, like I said in my recap:

I have to admit, it makes me a little uneasy that two white fellas are thinking about giving a black woman to yet another white guy. In plantation country, no less. What is this, Mississippi in 2012?

It’s totally skeeving me out that the writers don’t see these things when they write them, rehearse them, and block them out. If Glenn had come out and had the talk with Rick, it would have made it a little less “slave trade” to me. What does everyone else think?

  • Gary

    To Joe, Carly, and the rest of the roundtable, it made me super uncomfortable when Rick and Herschel had in the the conversation about ‘giving up’ Michonne to the Governor in order to save the rest of the (mostly) white folks from being part of the upcoming war that will thin both the groups.

    On another point, I actually like the use of music (that makes a point) in TWD. I loved hearing Beth sing that Tom Waits song two weeks ago, and enjoyed hearing Warm Shadow by Fink this past week…but that’s just me, someone who likes Americana type songs, and I would totally blow my gasket if they did a Valerie June or Alabama Shakes song. Just saying.

    -Just a gay white guy that loves good horror stuff BUT wants social justice in that genre, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/H3DTrip Head Trip

    First you should be able to comment without being associated with any other site, such as facebook. I don’t see why Andrea did not tell Rick and crew that Michonne saved her. The show has had these tones form the beginning. Remember the scene in the CDC. “Sista said I’m staying.” No one cared, not even T-Dog (who should have a real name). However, one man was going to lose his life in order to get Andrea to continue wit the group. It was like the Sister did not matter, but Andrea was invaluable. I don’t know if you remember that in those Lifeboat exercises, the lawyer is one of the first to go. Lawyers don’t save lives, on post-apocalyptic times. The show pushed the idea that compared to a Sister, a lawyer is the better pick. Makes you go hmmm