[As promised, Floyd and I are going to chat online every Monday to complain about AMC's "The Walking Dead", a free television show we watch of our own free will.]
dn: Season 2 of The Walking Dead starts, and our heroes are driving a caravan down the Georgia interstate. We learn they're short on gasoline. Why are they short on gasoline? Granted, they have several cars and a huge RV, but it seems there are plenty of cars around to siphon gas from in this post-zombie world.
floyd: yeah, I felt that a lack of fuel was a weak excuse to not turn around and avoid the blocked highway
floyd: also, why did they think the highway wouldn't be blocked?
floyd: it's like Post-Apocalyptic Living 101
floyd: avoid the highway, because it's going to be crammed full of abandoned cars
floyd: or some reason
dn: it is strange there there would be sudden congestion on one short stretch of interstate. do you think there was some kind of Oceans 11-esque pulse bomb the zombies set off to disable everyone's cars?
floyd: without knowing the exact geography it's impossible to tell
floyd: I guess it was because of that overturned trailer
floyd: but why did that overturn?
floyd: that's the thing that's never really explained in zombie lore
dn: I'm dubious. Anyway,
floyd: was the traffic jam swarmed by slow-moving zombies?
floyd: which somehow made a trucker jackknife and overturn?
dn: the group decides to use this opportunity to siphon gas and search for supplies
floyd: turns out there's plenty of fuel, as you pointed out
floyd: and supplies
dn: Mrs. Grimes has a problem taking things from the cars, saying, "This place is a graveyard."
floyd: but it's a graveyard!
dn: how long after the inital zombie invasion do you think this is?
dn: several months, right?
floyd: two weeks?
floyd: how long did it take Grimes to find the others?
floyd: you think several months?
floyd: they're still freaking out too much for it to be that quick
dn: I guess we don't exactly know, but wouldn't you say it's time she start thinking in Post-Apocalypic terms by now?
floyd: well, sure, but I mean, for me that switch would have turned on really quickly
floyd: probably right around the first time zombies tried to kill me
floyd: and the abandoned cities and all
floyd: and the legions of corpses
dn: She should have a tougher attitude. Tough enough to do something CRAZY like TAKE FOOD FROM DEAD PEOPLE'S CARS
floyd: she's showing total pre-apocalypse morality
floyd: although to be fair, I don't see the problem with stealing from the dead now, so I can't really relate at all why that would be a problem
dn: yeah, that is kinda your thing
dn: with the necrophilia and all
floyd: Bring back the estate tax! Occupy Zombie Atlanta!
dn: So next...
dn: The lookout does an excellent job of looking out for zombies, because he sees one. It's next to the other hundred that he failed to see.
floyd: that are 50 yards away
floyd: all of a sudden
floyd: he was using binoculars
dn: yes. and Grimes directs everyone to get under the cars
floyd: which seems, at the time, like a terrible idea
floyd: but it almost works
floyd: because zombies can't smell people this season or something
dn: let me talk about some plot holes a moment
dn: in season one, they successfully camouflaged themselves by wearing zombie flesh.
dn: so the zombies couldn't smell their aliveness
dn: now, they can hide their smell by hiding under cars?
floyd: sounds like an Axe commercial
dn: two of the group had to act fast because they couldn't get under cars, so they threw corpses over themselves for shields
dn: and that worked? So the zombies can smell you if they can see you, but not if you're hiding under a van?
dn: am I missing something?
floyd: I mean, I guess
dn: shall I move on?
floyd: i mean, I don't know any better
floyd: it's almost as if the zombies behavior is predicated on what will create the most suspenseful scene
dn: it's almost like this WHOLE THING is FAKE!!!
floyd: these zombies are real drama queens
floyd: did you ever consider that maybe it was a trick?
floyd: that the zombies were just pretending not to sense them as they shuffled by
floyd: and then, when the humans were lulled into a false sense of security, the zombies would turn around and slowly shuffle back and eat them?
dn: well, that would be interesting. setting them up for a later ambush
floyd: it would be more interesting than what happened, anyway
dn: so next...
dn: the little girl in the group runs off in the woods to escape some zombies, and the rest of the episode is the group trying to find that girl
dn: and it's terribly dull
floyd: well, let's go back for a second
floyd: the one zombie decides to check out the RV, which must have just reeked of manflesh
floyd: just the one
floyd: the others shuffle past
floyd: but this one is a little more canny
floyd: he smells it, the whiny panicking woman
floyd: so he checks it out
dn: she's hiding in the bathroom, so he decides to open the door, like a zombie does
floyd: but only after she decided to continue trying to reassemble the gun
floyd: and drops a piece on the floor like someone that deserves to die would do
floyd: the zombie hears this
floyd: puts it all together
floyd: "RRRaaaarrrghghg, there's people in there"
floyd: THEN tries to open the flimsy door
floyd: None of the other zombies notice this commotion
dn: no, even with all the screaming
floyd: for some reason
floyd: and, as you pointed out, she proceeds to stab the zombie in the eye socket with her mouth wide open
dn: WIDE OPEN
floyd: despite the spurting, highly contagious zombie blood
floyd: which miraculously misses her mouth and eyes
dn: like she's desperately trying to infect herself with some zombie blood in her orifice
floyd: well, she was suicidal ...
floyd: maybe she ... wanted to be infected?
dn: going back a second, do you think a zombie can easily set up and get in that RV?
floyd: was the door even open?
dn: yes, but I always thought they took the path of least resistance
floyd: ok, let's follow this really quick
floyd: man stands on top of 14 foot RV with binoculars
floyd: doesn't see zombies until they're right fucking on top of everybody
floyd: not even enough time to warn the woman IN THE RV DIRECTLY BELOW HIM
floyd: that there's zombies on the way
floyd: she's caught by surprise
floyd: by these fucking zombies
floyd: ok, Christ, moving on
floyd: it's just, would it be that hard to set up the zombie shuffle-by better?
dn: yeah, seems like she could have closed the RV door
floyd: it's just so goddam lazy
dn: the writers just try to think of ways to get close human/zombie proximitiy on camera
floyd: so all the zombies go by except for the two stragglers
floyd: despite the rrrhaarrrging, and the screaming
floyd: remember Dan, it's not about the zombies, it's how these regular people cope with living in a zombie world
dn: anyway, the girl goes missing, so Grimes and Co. have to search for her
floyd: can we talk about that for just a second?
floyd: this girl gets noticed by zombies
floyd: the mom doesn't make a fucking peep
dn: you think she should have made noise to draw the zombies toward her?
floyd: well, she should have done something if she was going to play guilt trip for the rest of the episode
floyd: on Grimes, the only one with enough balls to actually try to save the child
dn: right, so mistakes were made, and she gets lost in the woods.
floyd: after the least exciting chase scene since ...
dn: Grimes and redneck guy go searching for her, and come across a new zombie, which is shot in the face with a crossbow
dn: they realize he's eaten recently, and decide to cut him open to see if he has little girl in his stomach
dn: they find the remains of a woodchuck. like, the whole skull of a woodchuck. in the zombie stomach.
floyd: is that what it was?
floyd: I didn't see that, I was eating
dn: pretty sure they pulled out bones, a skull specifically, because how else would you know what rodent it was?
floyd: I just took their word for it
dn: this raises a billion questions about zombie digestion, and the zombie's quest for flesh in general
dn: if they NEED flesh to eat and survive, why are there so many half-eaten humans lying around?
floyd: and how did that zombie catch a freaking woodchuck?
floyd: I mean, woodchucks aren't as agile as many other rodents
floyd: but they're still hard to catch
floyd: for a living human
dn: Yeah! I don't think zombies can even bend over far enough to pick a dead woodchuck off the ground!
floyd: much less the slow-moving, creaking undead
floyd: those zombies chasing that girl were almost running, though
dn: yeah. not 28 Days Later speed, but ambling kinda fast
floyd: they probably had the agility to bend over
floyd: if the woodchuck was actually dead
floyd: the zombies did eat that horse in the first season
floyd: maybe the woodchuck was injured?
dn: and climbed up the zombie and went to sleep on his shoulder?
floyd: I just pictured a zombie woodchuck sitting on a zombie shoulder
floyd: the woodchuck was basically the puppet from Caddyshack
floyd: now that's what they should have pulled out of the stomach
floyd: "It's ... it's a hand puppet ..."
floyd: and then the Caddyshack song plays
floyd: "It's alright .... nobody's looking at me"
dn: this show needs more Kenny Loggins
floyd: and then zombie Rodney Dangerfield appears
floyd: STILL GETS NO RESPECT
dn: can we talk about the church?
dn: so they hear bells ringing, and find a church in a clearing
dn: your typical rural Georgia church in the clearing of some dense woods
dn: the doors are closed, so they open them and see...
dn: 3 zombies in pews, facing Jesus at the altar
dn: those zombies aren't hungry? Don't wanna get out of that room and explore?
floyd: I think it was a metaphor
dn: for a shitty tv show?
floyd: something like that
floyd: it was meant to make the audience ask the question: Was Jesus the first zombie?
floyd: the answer is no, no he wasn't
floyd: Lazarus was the first zombie
floyd: it's in the Bible
dn: the doors weren't barricaded or locked, you know. and those bells were ringing every 10 minutes or so - they should have been drawn to the sound
floyd: it made absolutely no sense
floyd: these zombies follow no code
floyd: because I can't remember
floyd: have they explained how zombie-ism is spread?
dn: not really, but biting seems like the cause. you'd assume any zombie blood would also infect you
floyd: I mean, would would assume, but we'd also assume that zombies wouldn't just sit in an unlocked church, or eat woodchucks, or shuffle down the highway for no reason
floyd: I'm just saying, we haven't seen anyone turn yet
floyd: and there are corpses just laying around that aren't zombies
floyd: with no apparent head trauma
dn: right. did it not say anything about it in the comic?
floyd: the comic was worse than the show
floyd: and I can't really remember if it did
floyd: I mean, I think it's just going on those assumptions
floyd: but these people don't appear terribly careful around zombie blood
floyd: bashing brains in with rocks with their eyes open, stabbing while screaming, etc.
dn: wearing zombie flesh on their person. anyway, let's move on to the final sequence, where the group splits up and heads back toward their cars
floyd: God this episode was long
floyd: and they split up after TWO desperate pleas to Jesus
dn: Well, when you have a Jesus statue handy, you gotta use it
dn: the guy's not omnipresent, you know
floyd: how predictable was it that Grimes wasn't religious?
dn: "I'm a Sheriff. I believe in the law."
floyd: tough as nails, that one
dn: "I'm still wearing a badge for some reason."
floyd: a cuckold, but tough as nails
dn: so Grimes, the redneck, and Grimes Jr are walking in the woods and come across a deer.
floyd: so they split up
floyd: smartly taking the child with them
dn: Redneck goes to shoot the deer with his bow
dn: probably because it's bow season and not rifle.
dn: once you down a buck with a bow, Floyd, you never go back to a gun
floyd: they don't want to fire the guns, because it would attract zombies
dn: Grimes stops him from firing
dn: the bow
floyd: because the kid wants to get close to the fully grown deer with a full rack
floyd: terrible parenting
dn: and because he doesn't want to collect meat for the group from which to live off of
floyd: it's not the redneck
floyd: it's Shane
floyd: with a shotgun
dn: oh sorry
floyd: the redneck went back with the others, for some reason
dn: so they let Grimes Jr walk up to the deer
floyd: so to be fair, shooting a deer with a shotgun is pretty stupid
dn: I don't know why
floyd: because they're both terrible parents
dn: was he going to pet a deer? try to ride it like a horse?
dn: break its neck?
floyd: get gutted by antlers?
floyd: that's what I thought was going to happen
dn: yeah man, When Animals Attack
floyd: wipe that shit-eating grin right off of that dumb kid
floyd: "and that's why you always leave a note"
dn: instead, we hear a rifle shot, and the bullet is fired from somewhere in the distance, goes through the deer and hits Grimes Jr in the stomach
floyd: that is one high-powered rifle and a lucky shot
floyd: or unlucky, I guess, if you didn't want the kid to die
dn: so the end of this episode
dn: I'm not happy with it
floyd: be honest, though: would you have expected the episode to end with anything other than a shameless deus ex machina?
dn: It's going to focus them on healing this kid now
dn: when I want to see them going somewhere cool and doing something cool
floyd: man, are you looking forward to an hour of people acting anguished over a dying child?
floyd: a child with a high-powered rifle bullet in his freaking gut?
dn: it's a disappointing turn
dn: another disappointing turn
floyd: Tony Soprano barely survived a gut shot from a Midnight Special
floyd: this kid, in a sane world, wouldn't stand a chance
floyd: but this isn't a sane world, is it Dan?
dn: it sure isn't
floyd: in a world where 1% of the population controls 50% of its wealth?
dn: until next week?
dn: see you then
floyd: I'll work on more ways to push Occupy propaganda