The Walking Dead: 30 Days Without an Accident

Kelly: “You can’t come back.”

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.”
Rick: “Why?”
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.


Jess Lynde said...

I hate the notion that the philosophy of the show might be that we can't come back from brink of destruction. Or that the characters can't come back from the things they've done. (I'm not disagreeing with that assessment, I just find it depressing.) Obviously, not everyone can come back. But I surely hope that some can, because otherwise, what the hell are we watching for? Just to watch people that we've theoretically become attached to lose a long, slow fight? Long term, I'm just not sure I'm up for that experience. Certain shows can get me to hang in for a long, slow descent into hell, or for constantly getting slapped upside the head with the near futility of trying to fight the system, but I don't know if I'll be up for that with this show. At a certain point, I need a silver lining. Some of these people have to be able to come back. Some of them have to have a livable, moderately decent future. Just watching them suffering indefinitely (or until they die horribly) doesn't seem sustainable to me. (Nor does rotating in a new crop of characters to watch suffer unspeakably, then die.) Even The Wire occasionally gave us small shreds of hope to hang on to!

Now, I'm depressed, Doc! And I enjoyed the premiere! I think I liked it so much because I want to hang on to all the little shreds of normalcy and some lighter character interactions. I laughed and smiled repeatedly during the hour (especially at that homicide detective bit), and I guess I want to pretend that there weren't hints of doom all throughout, even before the "horrible, horrible death" ending. But you are right. Good things can't last on this show. It wouldn't be good for the drama (or for the gore-loving masses). I just wish we got more chances to see that the characters have reasons to believe it might actually be worth surviving in this world. But, alas, that stuff mostly just happens between seasons. :)

Billie Doux said...

I agree, Jess -- I loved the little shreds of normalcy. I loved Rick kissing the horse. :) I loved storytime, especially with the knives, because it's still The Walking Dead. I even thought there might be something romantic going on between Rick and Michonne.

And I was all happy because Beth's new boyfriend was played by Kyle Gallner, who was just terrific in two seasons of Veronica Mars -- and now he's dead already. Damn. Dan and I were also talking about the fact that they've added a lot of possible red shirts. Let's hope it isn't as predictable as that.

The ceiling collapse was very well done, very edge of your seat. It felt to me like they were saying, yes, things may be getting better, but we're still having an apocalypse, guys. And the walkers are all looking worse, aren't they? They're getting even more disgusting as time goes on. That felt genuine.

We have a new show runner and he appears to be doing a good job, so maybe it won't be quite so bleak this season?

Anonymous said...

This was the very first episode that I saw as it aired, so don't any one of you think of not watching any more. :)
I've only just powered through the previous 3 seasons two weekends ago, so that I would have a still going show to follow that many of you here seemed to watch.

There are many things I do not like about how the season began. Skipping forward in time just like the previous season. Will we ever get to see how the zombies are doing during winter, getting stuck in snow and slipping on ice?
Staying at the prison for a whole another season?
Bunch of unwelcome new faces just showing up and acting like they belong? They don't remind me of Star Trek, rather Lost with Nikki and Paulo and others and Others.

I think you can come up with a midly plausible explanation for why so many people were left up on that roof, though.
There must have been some way up there. Then it's a reasonably smart place to go for the roof, try and flag down rescue choppers. They can't go back down if downstairs got overrun, and the waist-high fences all around prevent an easy escape/suicide for everyone.

I'm looking forward for the rest of the season, hoping the unnecessary crowd get dispensed of in record time.

Jess Lynde said...

Welcome to the show, Anon! Re: winter zombies. Per some teaser trailers from a month or so ago, this particular time gap covered about 6 to 7 months, which should put things around mid-October to early November (a year and a few months past the start of the series --- yes, we are all supposed to pretend that Carl hasn't gone from about age 10 to age 14 in the span of about 15 months). So, depending on the time span covered by this season, you may get to see some cold-weather action. However, it doesn't really get very cold in that part of Georgia in the winter, especially not during the day. Not like it would farther north. So I doubt freezing zombies would ever be an issue for the prison crew. (Unless activities elsewhere in the world mess up the climate.)

And I wouldn't necessarily count on getting into winter. The seasons thus far have typically only covered very short periods of time, with the big passage of time occurring between seasons.

As far as staying at the prison, I'd imagine the production team sunk a lot of money into that set/location and they want to get as much use out of it as they can. It seems reasonable that they could milk another season of story (or the bulk of a season) at that location, so I don't think it necessarily hurts the story-telling to stay there longer. But we shall see.

Freeman said...

Pretty strong start. I'll admit I'm still hesitant after last season but maybe this show will dust itself off. I like their little set-up they got going in the prison, nice and homey.

I'm glad I'm not the only one sensing a little heat between Rick and Michonne. He was all smiles at her presence and Carl really seems to look up to her. And I still don't know what's going on between Carol and Daryl. We shall see I guess. I have a sneaking suspicion they may make the Governor into a version of Negan in this which makes me worried for a certain other couple in this series.

So is Bob gonna be that guy in the group that keeps causing stupid stuff to happen around him, causing more and more people to die? And are they gonna keep ignoring that possibility that he's a liability?

I found the workplace sign of Beth's humorous in a macabre sorta way. It's interesting to see how the children are adapting to the apocalypse compared to the adults.

I saw someone in another review post the idea that perhaps Daryl may have infected the nerdy kid inadvertently when he licked his fingers and shook his hand. That would be pretty grim.

Lastly, I reckon that roof was significantly weakened by the fact that a helicopter pilot decided to park face first into it. And I figured it's a possibility that the noise of the crash may have caused some zombies to file up there.

Henrik Bennetter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henrik Bennetter said...

Sorry, deleted last post due to stupidity.

At last! It's back! The reviews I mean. No episode is complete without it.
This time, like so many before, your thoughts reflect mine almost eerily doc :) so I don't need to get into that too much. I just have to say my first thought was "Redshirts!!!" :D

Let me just say what I hope happens this season. Like I've said before, I really really hope they don't go the way that Kirkman did in the comics and I sure as hell hope they don't have an "inner" threat. Someone among them that wants to sabotage and take over. That's already been done.
I definately do NOT want the governor to come back, in any shape, form or size either.

What I would like to see is more of what we've just seen. How to manage in the "new" world, how this situation become more or less bearable and how they decide what the next move is.
I would also like to see more of Michonnes exploring (and of course we will since we don't know who she's looking for. Or do we?) and maybe some sort of quest to search for an answer to how this all happened.
My hopes aren't all that high, with what I've seen of sneak-peeks and such, but still - it'd be nice.

One thing that really bothers me still is the use of motorized vehicles. It's never been established how they get their fuel, has it?
It just feels like a cheap (or rather pricy) sponsor-thing.
By now it would be much smarter, and so very much quieter and healthier, to explore by bicycle wouldn't it?

Freeman said...

Personally, I'm with you concerning the Governor Henrik. But it doesn't seem likely since he's the first dude we see in the "previously on..." segment. Also, it definitely seems like Michonne is hunting for the Guv to get revenge for Andrea.

Fun fact: Macon is the hometown of the main character, Lee Everett, in season one of Telltale's The Walking Dead videogame. Glenn is also from Macon, at least in the comic/videogame.

Henrik Bennetter said...

Of course! She's looking for the governator. Silly me.

Ah yes, the game Walking dead. Highly, highly recommended!

Lamounier said...

I was all happy because Beth's new boyfriend was played by Kyle Gallner, who was just terrific in two seasons of Veronica Mars -- and now he's dead already.

That's where I know him from! I kept trying to remember.

The end of this episode made me think of how terrible the world these people live in is. Someone from your group dies and you already have a killer among you. That's horror.