A Collection of Caliginous Choppings

Drunken Tidbits of the Dead: Too Far Gone

thewalkingdeadseason4

Warning: this blog post has been started on my third bourbon, and it might become four or five by the time I finish.

Holy fucking shit. Well, maybe I shouldn’t start with my reaction to the fall of the prison. Maybe I should start with an apology. I’ve neglected this blog, and only in its second month of existence. The truth is that I’ve been keeping up with my shows — American Horror Story and the Walking Dead — but I’ve been too damn busy to write up an in-depth post. Lately, I’ve been stuck in a pink, candy-coated land of sugary K-pop. My job has been really busy as the school semester is winding down, and one of my good friends just exited my life (potentially forever). I realize that not all of my random readers will understand, but certainly some of my hits from here in Korea (Jen), and those who have lived the life before (Arron, and albeit shortly, Mitch) will understand.

But enough about me. Hot damn The Walking Dead! I had initially though that the show was rushing too quickly to this plot point — probably the most anticipated (in comic and television) of the entire show — the fall of the prison. Some thought that it should have happened last season. I don’t agree, but I also don’t think that Woodbury should have fallen last season. This prison storyline should have been strung out a little longer, without the (hinted at, but ultimately swerved) redemption of the Governor.

Okay, this had flaws, and plenty of them. How the hell does anybody manage to run away from the machine gun fire of several well-armed people in the span of a few seconds? (I realize that Breaking Bad also suffered from this, but I criticized that show to my friends as well.) Both Rick and the Governor should have been dead within seconds of the gunfight starting — seeing as Carl et. al. had ‘Brian Heriot’ in their sights, and at least some of the guns were pointed at Rick. But they both managed to avoid HEADSHOT INSTAKILLS. And then later Rick is able to somehow jump the Gov. without anyone else coming to help him or pull the two men apart. How does that happen in the throes of combat? You’d think that someone would have been watching one of the two and tried to help the one that they didn’t like.

It’s with a sad and heavy heart that we say goodbye to Hershel. I’m actually a little surprised that more of the main characters didn’t die. I was almost certain that either Maggie or Beth would be shot through while clutching Baby Grimes. Instead we were served with the unsatisfying conclusion of a bloody car-seat. (And the shittiest thing is that it didn’t even have any bloody chunks, leading me to believe that one of the other children may have grabbed the baby. I realize this is cable TV and it is not kosher to kill children outside of  HBO or other premium channels, but it was a tad bit disappointing not to get a conclusive ending for little Judith Grimes.) Back to Hershel dying — I’m happy that the show kept the bit with the Governor being unable to lop off his victims head with a single strike like Michonne. Originally, SPOILER FOR THE COMICS STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT THAT SPOILED the Governor took several swings to remove the head of Tyreese, but I seeing as he was no-where near as endeared to the at-home viewers, I had thought that Glenn (or extra-special-devilishly Darryl) would fill this role. Although, I must admit that Hershel isn’t a bad choice, but I wonder if that puts the kibosh on a potential wounded-member-of-the-group-wanders-off-to-die-and-gets-eaten-by-cannibals storyline with what I had pegged for Hershel. OK, NOW THE COMICS SPOILER IS FINISHED.

hershel with his throat cut

Just a moment, I’m pouring myself a fourth bourbon.  It’s the Costco Kirkland brand. So cheap, but also not terrible on the tongue. This episode was great for showing the emotional range of David Morrissey. Actually, now that I think about it, I would like to see his story in TV form prior to becoming the Governor. DAMMIT, HERE WE GO WITH ANOTHER COMICS SPOILER: It was great that Lily killed him. Just like in the comic, but here it meant something more. I was also satisfied with the story that rounded out young Megan’s short life (although she was absent from the comic). It featured an homage to Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, and really, any other zombie property that includes the living dead arising from the earth, but it also sealed the deal as to the Governor’s demise. None of the children that grow up in this world will be normal. Lizzie and the prison group confirm that. Megan was sheltered from her life away from the dead, and too young not to be warped or lost to the horrors of the new world. The Governor obviously didn’t want that for her. She was his new daughter (versus Hershel’s who he didn’t give a shit about), and he was fighting for the prison for her sake more than Lily or Tera’s. OKAY, I’LL END THE COMIC SPOILER HERE. But speaking of Lily or Tera, I wonder if we’ll see them again in the second half of this season. I really hope so! It would add an interesting dynamic to see some people who had originally been opposed to the prison group joining up with them later.

walkingdead_S4ep8_zombieoftheweek

And speaking of joining up with them later: I’m almost dead certain that Carol will come back this season. It is just too convenient that she is on her own now, but that now most of her former survivor friends are too — OK, NOW I’M FEELING THE WHISKEY — I think that Carol will be the conduit between Rick’s group and the new people with Abraham et. al. (fuck, that’s a comics spoiler, and a spoiler in general if you haven’t been following the online news about this show, but actually, not really, since I’m just name dropping a person whom you’ve never met before). Anyway, now I think that Darryl and Rick are the only people who know that Carol was the killer (since Hershel is dead) and the group has more to worry about these days than Tyreese’s potential lover being prematurely killed along with all the other dead redshirts, apart from Previously Seen Before Black Lady on the Bus. They’d best hide it if they do meet up with Carol later — and I think that maybe Tyreese’s concern about Whatever-Her-Name-Was will take a back burner to his concern over the well-being of his sister. But ultimately, it was pretty shitty that we didn’t have a more drawn-out moment between Tyreese-Darryl-Rick. (In which Andrew Lincoln tilts his head to the side and half-scowls, Chad Coleman looks angry and a bit bug-eyed, and Norman Reedus remains my sexy-as-hell-guy-I’d-go-gay-for.) Also, I bet that the whole feeding the rats to the zombies at the gates thing dies too, because that was a stupid side story and it was probably only crazy Lizzie (who I want to stick around!).

Yeah, alright. I’m pouring myself another bourbon, and I’m gonna stop hitting the backspace when I fuck up the spelling of words.

Welcome to the extra-special, extra-drunken edition of TIDBITS OF THE DEAD WITH AXE-WIELDING ALEX. Here are some random thoughts from the rest of the show, as I’ve not taken to plying my inebriated brain to fixing the coherent arguments of whatever the hell I’m thinking about.

    • David Morrisey as the Governor has been a great actor, but I agree with the online sentiment that he has not been redeemed as a despicable character on this show. Also, I’m not absolutely certain that the TV show did a good job of setting him up as beyond redemption. I felt that Rick almost reached him. He said liar, and then cut off Hershel’s head. But he previously admitted to Michonne that he knew his daughter Penny was not alive. (I wonder what would have happened had Lily and dead Megan arrived sooner.) Maybe he would have gone along with Rick’s idea of letting them all live.
    • How the hell is Tera the only one who questions the Governor? What’s-his-nuts-tank-driver’s brother was killed by Brian Heriot, and still her follows him blindly into battle. I’m happy that at least someone questioned the madman, and I hope that this episode isn’t the last that we’ve seen of Tera and Lily. (Yeah, it’s shitty that Tera’s lover got capped in the head by Lizzie, but I’ll hold out on her finding love again — maybe Sasha is a lesbian?)
    • This line: “Don’t look back Carl, just keep walking”  That comes straight from the comics. It was awesome then, and it was awesome tonight. The entire shot — with the prison in flames, and the walkers all in the background was exactly the same just as awesome!
    • How the fuck are there so many walkers, which Rick and Carl gun down, the night before the attack, but only like two (that the Governor easily dispatches) during the late afternoon showdown of Georgia’s last remaining humanity? I think that Martinez’s group should have been shown as having dealt with more.
    • And since we are on the topic of Martinez, how the fuck does he get killed in the last episode when there are actually so many fucking redshirts in the Governor’s group? There’s no way that goes unnoticed. Just as there is no way that such large groups as the previous episode (around 10 [or less] killed by whomever {hopefully cannibals} and Martinez & the Governor’s [what 20 or so?] go unnoticed by Rick and the prison’s group [who, remember, spent months wandering around {an entire winter at least}] before stumbling upon the prison and other people like Woodbury.)
    • Shit, I’ve actually been lying and going back and fixing my mistakes, but this last point was hard to write — what with parentheses, brackets, and whatever the hell the pointy brackets are called.
  • This bourbon is pretty damn good. If you’ve never had it, then I highly recommend that you do. Yes, I feel a bit woozy, but my mental clarity is pretty damn awesome. I’ve not got the inclination to go back and look up whatever delicious amber liquid the Governor and Rick shared last season was, but I’m sure that was just as good as this shit.

    this shit brought me back to chopping up Pieces of Darkness.

    This shit brought me back to chopping up Pieces of Darkness.

    • Will Beth and Carl hook up now that there is one less father (and one less older boyfriend) in the way?
    • Does having a 2 episode buffer help to detract from the fact that this episode featured the miraculous recovery (after a single night) of sick Glenn and all the others?
    • Which is more annoying: Michonne’s ability to roll away from danger in front of all of the Governor’s people, or her completely random disappearance from the show after killing Brian Heriot with her samurai sword, but without her helping of Rick and Carl to safety?
    • Darryl killing badass rough voiced tank driver with a cross-bow bolt to the heart was pretty awesome. I have a feeling that we would have liked (whomever his character’s name was) had we gotten the chance to meet him, but since we didn’t, our more favorite redneck character wins out.
    • Bob the Drunken Combat Medic (like me, only with more combat experience) put away his alcohol and got shot for his trying to help out the group. He is redeemed in my eyes, as I no longer think there was a Governor spy in the midst of the prison. [Though, I’d still be interested in how Shumpert and Martinez managed to make it alone before meeting up with the larger group of expendable redshirts].

Okay. That’s it for my drunken recap of this midseason finale of the Walking Dead. Hopefully more good characters come in YET ANOTHER COMICS SPOILER — I think Abraham & Eugene will be  in the next episode and Jesus (next season) will come in soon, but save that fucking weird tiger dude for a while (maybe season 6?). END COMICS SPOILER.

I’m gonna pour myself one more drink and then pass the fuck out. Happy late Thankskilling to your and yours!

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9 responses

  1. English

    I was looking forward to this review and your drunken rambles made it that much better. I really thought Beth and Judy were going to get iced together, way not to pull the trigger on that one AMC!

    Random thought: we saw guys hiding and in camo against the fence during the firefight. I had originally thought these were guys with the governor, but what if they were our favorite scouts from Alexandra?

    2 December 2013 at 2:19 pm

    • I didn’t notice them, but I’ll probably rewatch this episode, and the one I missed blogging about, before the show returns. I’ll look out for them then.

      I think that Beth might face the chopping block before the end of this season, but I really wonder if AMC will kill off a baby.

      12 December 2013 at 12:23 pm

  2. OK daaaaaaang you skipped an episode and I thought this was it and when I realised it wasn’t I scrolled down to see if you’d posted two at once and BOOM FAVOURITE CHARACTER THROAT CUTTING DEATH SPOILER!

    It’s cool, my fault, not yours. I hope everything’s OK in the K, Sparkling? A friend leaving possibly forever sounds bad, I hope it’s in the Carol meet-again-someday way and not the Shane you-did-this-not-me way.

    Anway R.I.P Herschel you wonderful grandfatherly dispenser of nuggety rural American South wisdom. Smooth seas do not make for good sailors.

    (I’m also drunk posting, just got home from my visiting 50 bars in melbourne i’ve never been to before i leave in a month challenge)

    – Totally agree about Michonne just vanishing, wtf? I can buy that she rolled to safety because when someone’s shooting at you shooting back’s your first priority, not the rolypoly prisoner. But she killed the Governor then just… wandered off instead of helping Rick? Also why did the G kill Herschel instead of Michonne, whom he hated?

    – I absolutely think this should have been the end of last season. Sorry it’s TV there’s rules.

    – Speaking of TV, what is “cable”? I thought it was TV you paid for, but is HBO not “cable”? Why is killing babies OK on one but not the other? I’m an Australian Gen Y’er so I’ve been forced to torrent TV since 2006 and I don’t understand how anything works anymore.

    – Tying in with what everyone has been saying about the prison extras who are total nobodies – and wtf I thought they all died in the plague but then there was someone hovering behind Cutty during the stand-off and then even MORE of them on the bus still – that’s a serious problem with the show. Every survivor has a story. Everyone alive matters, in this world. Instead we get a bunch of expendable redshirts who are quite happy to follow the Govenror into certain death because the plot demands it.

    – It 100% made sense for everybody involved to take up Rick’s offer of moving into the prison. Would it have been more interesting? To see Rick and the Governor trying to live together and clashing? Probably not. Great actors (and they are both that) clashing is usually great TV (i.e. Ben and Locke in Lost, or Walt and Gus in Breaking Bad) but the Walking Dead’s writers continually let down their better actors. I am more interested to see them on the road for the rest of the season than whatever half-baked character drama they could have come up with in the prison.

    – Which leads me onto the peace I’ve found with the show – it’s not well written at all, and I wouldn’t tolerate poor plotting and poor characterisation from a straight drama. But TWD gets away with it because it’s a pulpy zombie show and I can embrace the concept. I do wish it would either go full pulp or manage its existential philosophising a bit better, instead of the limbo it’s been in for 3 seasons, but either way I’m along for the ride.

    that concludes my drunken 2am thoughts on the walking dead, thank you for your time

    5 December 2013 at 3:31 pm

    • Aw, shit Mitch, I’m sorry to have ruined the midseason finale for you. I’m unabashedly addicted to this show, so I torrent it a few hours after it airs in the states. Don’t you do that down there in Perth too?

      The Walking Dead is aired on AMC, which is cable, but not a premium channel like HBO and Showtime. Generally speaking cable shows can get away with more graphic violence than broadcast TV (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX) but they won’t show nudity or feature adult language like shows in premium cable.

      I agree that the fall of the prison should have been a season finale type event, and the end of Woodbury was seriously mishandled in the last season. In the comics there is a much better reason for the Governor to try an attack once, and then recoup and retaliate again later. And it doesn’t involve recruiting a whole new slew of folks to do so.

      I also agree 1000% on the redshirts situation. It is pretty obvious that these are just a rotating cast of extras. When the show comes back on I bet Glenn’s group is the most decimated, as they have the most expendable characters. Yet everyone else seems to be on foot and should be more vulnerable. BUT REMEMBER, this is a show about the golden inner circle. Those are the untouchables; we only care about them.

      Michonne’s disappearance will probably be explained by her having took the baby. That is a critical bit that should have been shown, but the AMC peeps obviously want the audience to feel the loss that Carl and Rick feel about her death — at least for a while.

      Fifty bars in a month seems doable, but it also seems pretty damn expensive. Where are you moving to?

      12 December 2013 at 12:38 pm

  3. Jen

    My favorite one yet darling! And not just because I am mentioned in it!! ❤

    12 December 2013 at 1:48 pm

  4. I do torrent it, but it’s one of the few shows my girlfriend and I both watch together, so we wait until we’re both available. It’s OK! The death of one character doesn’t constitute spoiling an an entire finale, even if he was the character that I loved most dearly and secretly wished was my grandpa.

    The redshirt thing bothers me more than it would in any other medium because television is the most perfect way to build up a background cast of recognisable fellow survivors. It’s a visual medium. You don’t even need to name them – viewers will mentally tag them as “guy with the huge beard” or “girl with a crush on Daryl” or whatever. Then you can give them a couple of lines, or someone refers to them by name, and over the course of a season you have a useful background cast. The Indian doctor was a good example, only there needed to be another five or six of him. What I think it comes down to is budget – it’s easier and cheaper to get random extras in for a day of shooting than to have 20 no-names attached to an entire season – but it’s not like they don’t have the money, and the set design/wardrobe/verisimilitude aspect of the show is actually very well done (iron-clad rules from Hyundai aside).

    Doing 50 bars was great and probably didn’t cost that much – I visit half that many bars in a month anyway, or at least I did, so all I had to do was go to different ones. (Challenge successful with two days to spare, btw.) I spent the last three years in Melbourne and I’m now having a rent-free, job-free summer sabbatical at my dad’s house in Perth before moving to London around March or April. With any luck I’ll manage to plough through a good chunk of End Times.

    10 January 2014 at 6:19 am

    • Hey Mitch, sorry I’ve neglected responding to you in over a month. Hopefully my newest post featuring a large picture of Hershel doesn’t spoil anything for you again. I’m predicting a bus crash that kills almost all of the redshirts in the next episode. Maybe one or two survive to help out Glen, but I doubt we so much as learn their names before they too are eaten by zombies.

      How is End Times coming along?

      10 February 2014 at 12:24 pm

  5. Pretty well actually – I just finished November a minute ago. I’m quietly confident that I can finish the bastard in next few months before I head to the UK. A lot of the problem before was that I was writing it so infrequently I honestly couldn’t remember what was happening, or what I intended to happen, so I had to re-read the last 10,000 words every time before I actually wrote anything. But being on a sabbatical gives me the chance to actually set a schedule and write every day and keep stuff fresh in my mind.

    I don’t know if it’s ever going to be quite the same as it was back in the day – I’ve changed a lot as a writer – for example, I don’t know if I can still write an action sequence as well as I used to. But it will be finished and that’s the important thing. I’m particularly happy, even as the writer I am today, with how October ends; also to a lesser extent with the climax of November. But yeah, we’ll see.

    13 February 2014 at 4:55 am

    • I’m sure that you’ve matured as a writer overall, action scenes be damned. I look forward to the conclusion of the King boys’ story. Of course, I’ll have to go back to the beginning to remember everything myself!

      24 February 2014 at 12:34 pm

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