The Walking Dead is back but not in an “action-packed here we go” kind of way but rather a philosophical, “can the human race or even just our band of survivors come back from the brink of destruction and madness” kind of way.
It looks like things are going swimmingly for everyone. There are gardens and animals growing so perhaps the runs out for things (and the danger that comes with them) can be reduced. Michonne is smiling, Carl is reading comics all night and kids are running around taunting walkers and giving them names. People are hooking up and Maggie might even be pregnant - well no, but they had me guessing. You can come back, the human race has a chance, but then again…
As I’ve said before, if life actually started to become livable, even enjoyable, you wouldn’t have much of a show so there are terrors waiting in the wings. Beth shows us that it doesn’t do to get attached to people. Stay in the present and just be glad that you got to know those who die. The Governor is still out there, or even if he isn’t, the insanity of things you’ve done and things that have been done to you will continue to haunt you. Kelly, a bride with a zombie head for a husband, shows us that some people may be alive but they haven’t made it. They are broken beyond repair. And the demise of Patrick and Violet the pig indicate bigger dangers that have little to do with walkers.
In more subtle ways, the lie of an idyllic life is evident. We now have a council – Hershel, Glenn, Daryl, Sasha and Carol. They have to urge Rick to wear a gun outside the gates. And Carol is secretly teaching the kids how to defend themselves but doesn’t want Rick to know. There is a scene with the other children of the group and Carl that illustrates how different he is from them. He doesn’t need story time. He already knows how to use a knife. But Rick wants him to go back to being a kid, which is obviously impossible. Why is everyone willing to let Rick hang on to this dream?
While I generally appreciated this episode, there were a few things that bothered me. First, we now have a bunch of “red shirts”. Star Trek fans will know what I mean but for others, I am referring to the pool of new, obviously expendable people in the group. I don’t like to spend an episode getting to know a character only to watch them die a horrible death. I guess that would be the reality of this kind of life and like Beth, I should be happy to have known them, but I think sometimes this is just lazy writing. My other gripe is - how did the zombies get up on the roof of the shopping centre? They weren’t all in that helicopter, were they? Did they go up there to escape? If so why wouldn’t they leave as soon as the first one turned? I know it’s a small detail but it still bothers me. Also that is some poorly built roof.
Obviously this is a set-up for the rest of the season. Our group of survivors has had a short break while the show was on hiatus, but things will now heat up since we are watching again. I’m not much for the unrelenting horror that this show provides but I do love the philosophical questions about life and what it means to be human so, for me, this was a good premiere. I’m sure we will have lots of blood and guts to come for those who like that sort of thing.
Bits and Pieces
How do the stakers decide which zombies to take out? After watching WWZ I worry about a build up of bodies. Do they go out and burn them?
It was clever to use a boom box to lure the zombies out. Our survivors seem to be figuring out how to manage the walkers and that must be why we need another kind of threat.
Kelly and Eddie, the lovely newlyweds, brought the pre-walker days back into the story. Our group seems very far away from those days.
I enjoyed Michonne “killing” the zombie sign.
Why didn’t Bob use the wine bottle that was right beside him?
Carol: “Just so you know I liked you first.” Also “Sorry pookey” (Daryl must have something going on with one of the new people.)
Maggie: “You know everything’s going to work out right. Right?”
Daryl: “Damn romance novel.”
Hershel: “Things break but they can still grow.”
Michonne: “Your face is losing the war.”
Michonne: “You want to do this detective?”
Tyreese: “Is there any time you weren’t the boss of me.”
Sasha: “Ya, a few years before I was born.”
Rick: “How many people have you killed?”
Kelly: “Just me.”
Kelly: “You don’t get to come back from things.”
Maggie: “Because I don’t want to be afraid of being alive.”
Beth: “I’m glad I didn’t say good-bye. I hate good-byes.”
Hershel: “You came back. Your boy came back. You get to come back. You do.”
I guess we'll see if you do or you don't.