Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Walking Dead - 30 Days Without an Accident


** / ****

I couldn’t help but laugh as the episode, 30 Days Without an Accident concluded. Perhaps the idea that Beth would keep record of this was not such a good idea: as if doing so is just inviting disaster. I have learned to take character interaction and development in stride. Two characters introduced in this fourth season premiere episode die after getting some decent development: Zach (Kyle Gallner), seemingly a boyfriend for Beth, and Patrick (Vincent Martella), a teenage friend of Carl’s. Patrick seems to have been taken in to the prison, associating himself with cooking and such. Zach seems to have bonded with Daryl while doing supply runs, including a brief romance with Beth. Because all of the developments involving Zach and Patrick off-screen (off-season), what little time they get to build any personality is undermined by their quick departures. The norm of the series is to give characters some dialogue and establish their relationships with the significant principles and bump them off later. Zach does have an appealing banter with the rather docile Beth, working on autopilot, about goodbyes and leaving her (he is considerate in his feels for her while she just won’t acknowledge the danger of the supply run), and later (the one I preferred) with Daryl, trying to guess what he was before the world went to hell. Daryl’s response to Zach seeing him as a homicide detective while Michonne scoffs agreeably is a nice moment before the store raid is undermined by Bob’s clumsiness. Bob (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) wants to go along on the supply run so he can prove his worth to the prison community, with Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) vouching for him. He sets his eyes on a shelf of wine (yes, breakable glass as the undead, rotting and hideously disintegrated, walk about on the roof of the building) and before long it tips over as the bottles shatter, stirring up the walking uglies who begin to fall through weak places of the ceiling! I particularly heartily giggled at a few of the more grotesquely embellished zombie gore bits including one of the undead hanging by his entrails while another splats on the floor in an immediate come-apart! While I personally never tire of a good head crush under foot, Bob (pinned under the shelf that tipped over on top of him) literally pokes his thumb in a split-headed zombie crawling on the floor towards him (with added bloody red meat being the zombie’s crawl resulting from a foot hanging to the leg by fleshy strands!), prying back the skull as the brain is made vulnerable. Never to fear, though, as Daryl arrives to usurp the zombie’s chances at a tasty Bob. Zach isn’t so lucky, though. In helping Bob, Zach puts his own self at risk, as another crawler takes a bit into his foot…before long Zach collapses and loses his neck to another gnarly bit of eventual zombie chum.

A pig named Violet appears sick to Rick as he goes about his morning activities, passing by the slop pin to take a look at her. Carl is encouraged to join the other kids for “storytime”, although he’s resistant. Rick would like for his son to return to a sense of normalcy, although living in a prison as zombies accumulate outside the gates, as members of their community try to lessen the numbers by jabbing and stabbing them in the heads/eyes with piercing instruments is commonplace. Carol reading from a book to the kids (who have seen their loved ones killed…and what happens to bodies during and after “the turning”), and then waiting for the “coast to be clear” to teach them how to use a knife for protection while Carl enters the library awestruck, he’s told not to inform his father on their secret lessons in defending yourself under the guise of storytime. Meanwhile, the pig’s gradual decline and death foreshadows Patrick’s own oncoming sickness, working like a type of flu that causes sweats, coughing/gagging, and nausea. While hoping to “cool off”, Patrick collapses in a shower, blood oozing from his face. When he awakens at the end a  zombie, the ramifications of this will most certainly and detrimentally effect the idyll (what little there has been) existing in the prison. Just starting to grow crops to support the community when journeys outside will not, trying to form a type of organized order of living as a small, enclosed society, the correctional facility had somewhat developed despite the undead outside and dangers that once made any living difficult.







The episode puts a lot of emphasis on Rick’s journey outside, locating a young woman named Clara (Kerry Condon) while investigating traps outside. Patrick had complemented Daryl on finding the deer while Carol digs at him for being a “hero”. Daryl kind of trying to remain chill as he walks about inside the prison while so many greet him is one of my favorite moments in the episode. And that Daryl would be more emotionally affected by Zach’s loss than Beth kind of emphasizes the effects of this damned zombie outbreak. Beth responds with little emotion while Daryl can barely keep his shit together. He does but admits that he’s tired of losing people. Beth just removes the 3 from the board, returning it back to 0. At least they got to 30, right? Rick, meanwhile, finds his deer ripped apart with its insides spilled out. Clara looks as if she were a zombie, actually. I asked myself throughout if this was intentional or Clara had just let herself go so long that this is where she is at. She does tell Rick that her husband was the one who served as protector, hunter, and thinker. Something moving in a sack is what remains of him despite how Clara, before reaching her camp, talked about him as if he were still alive and well. I guess in Clara’s lost mind, he was still alive. Truth be told, this was all just bizarre to me. Their journey to her camp absorbs a lot of running time and yet when they reach her camp, Clara picks up a knife and charges at Rick. Rick would have taken her back to the prison, but her persistent need to return to her husband only results in her stabbing herself in the stomach. I don’t know. It gives Lincoln his moments to look down at this person, ache as the gun tremors in his hand, tells her what questions she must answer in order to be included in the prison community, and looks on in torment as she gradually dies. I guess that is enough to include this piece in the episode. He finds someone in the woods who has been driven into madness because she was forced to do things morally questionable (but perhaps in the world after the outbreak, this might be considered understandable in order to survive), like no help people and eat from what nature provides less than desirable.

There is a slight bit of attention to Glenn and Maggie. Maggie is possibly pregnant and Glenn sees baby items in the store they were raiding. She tells him she isn’t pregnant and he’s relieved. I had to kind of roll my eyes as Glenn talks about how fear has kept them alive, with Maggie retorting that they’re just breathing. It is the kind of dialogue to expect on the show, wanting to apply a serious tone to such a somber episode. While I recognize that humor is hard to find in this kind of landscape, it wouldn’t hurt if The Walking Dead had a little bit more than just Daryl amused as Zach eyes him as a homicide detective.

I always did enjoy Hershel’s attempts to mentor Rick, give him advice, trying to speak to any given difficult situation he might encounter with sage wisdom his time on this earth has provided. Rick didn’t always listen, but, at this time, Hershel has the experience of a long life lived and any advice that might help is worth a listen.



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Ms45 w

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You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

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Ckvh

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Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

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Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

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