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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Walking Dead 5x07: Crossed


Is season five the best season of The Walking Dead so far? I've heard speculation saying people think that it is. Frankly, I might be inclined to agree. At the same time, you could argue that (despite the incredible popularity of The Walking Dead) that's damning the show with faint praise.

The reason I bring up the quality of this season is that this episode was pretty good. I wouldn't call it excellent though. The Walking Dead has hit this sweet spot of being good enough to not rag on but not being so excellent that I feel the need to heap praise atop of it.

I suppose another way to put it is: I have no idea what to write about.

This was the penultimate episode of the midseason (which, these days, is basically its own season). So this episode was all about getting the pieces in place for the big showdown between Rick's group and the hospital. Well, that and checking in on the Abraham faction who may or may not play a part in said show down.

An episode checking in all splinters of Rick's group was a welcome departure to the singularly focused episodes we've been getting recently. We were able to get quieter character moments with the Father Gabriel plot and the Abraham parts (can you imagine an entire episode devoted to Abraham being semi-comatose and waiting to see if Eugene wakes up?) but got more action with Rick and company plotting a hostage exchange to get Beth and Carol back and then capturing the hostages. There was even a suitably tense moment as Daryl nearly got bit but (probably improbably) did not.

Normally, when all else fails, I try to discuss the central theme of an episode. But, honestly, I can't find it. Maybe you did? Did anyone figure out the single thread sewn through all these disparate stories? This episode seemed more about straightforward plot than thematic resonance. That's not necessarily a bad thing but it did make this episode feel more utilitarian.

All in all, though, I enjoyed this episode. I rarely got bored and didn't roll my eyes. The big issue I had was that I knew I was going to review this episode and couldn't find any real angle to write about.

Other Thoughts:
Did Rick's group even ask Father Abraham if they could tear up his church?

Speaking of tearing up the church, what exactly was their goal? Building a zombie fence?

I was looking at GREATM and tried to think what the woman's name is who starts with R. Which probably tells you how impactful a character she has been so far.

It's Rosita, by the way.

I think after like more than 5 minutes of unconsciousness serious brain damage is likely to have occurred. So, I'm not sure how good Eugene will be doing now.

Tyreese's plan vs. Rick's plan was pretty much the pacifist vs. aggressor. Shockingly, they went for pacifist's plan. But will that work out for them? There's already complications...

You'd think I'd be on Tyreese's side and I kind of am but, at the same time, while Rick's plan means more death it also means the hospital group is no longer around to prey on other people.

Carl said the Terminus people were liars and murderers and Father Gabriel accused Rick's group of the same actions. Shouldn't Carl just respond, "BUT THEY ATE PEOPLE!"

The hospital group seems overly concerned with getting Noah back. I guess they're assuming he's going to try and cause problems for them? Which he already is, I guess.

Maybe before Glenn and Tara crack jokes about DC they should remember that it was a red herring for them for, like, a few weeks while for Rosita it was at least months. (And people she knew probably died in the name of that red herring.)

So Office Dawn now likes Beth because she has proven her strength? I think Dawn might actually be Apocalypse.

If I was Beth I wouldn't trust the doctor's suggested medical treatment. Then again, what other choice does she have?

I feel like Rick's group should've surrounded the cops when they lured them into the trap.

I also call BS on the whole "one officer can tell another person is an officer after a minute of interaction."

I was confused why the group didn't immediately start killing the melted zombies. It just seemed dangerous to keep them around and it wouldn't be much effort to kill them.

Case in point, Daryl nearly bit it...er...got bit.

Am I the only one who feels the sexual tension between Michonne and Father Gabriel?

Shouldn't stepping on a nail as you try to leave somewhere be seen, by a priest, as a sign from God?

The hostages seemed to think Officer Dawn wouldn't exchange Beth for them. Even if they aren't Officer Dawn's favorite, is Beth worth all three of them?

I like how Sasha agreed to kill one of the melted zombies. Why not all of them, just for good measure? Then again, maybe she shouldn't have tried to kill any seeing as how it turned out.

8 comments:

  1. So Officer Dawn now likes Beth because she has proven her strength? I think Dawn might actually be Apocalypse.

    "En Sabah Nur" translates to 'Dawn Light' according to the internetz, and I remember him calling himself 'Son of Dawn' once. I think you might be right. Let's see if she's going to refer her people as the horsemen.

    I didn't look it up this time, yet, but I'll bet the verses numbers on the church board are again referring to hand picked lines about the dead rising from their graves.

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  2. Actually, his name means "The Morning Light" in Arabic.

    I'm actually liking Rosita. Now that's she actually getting some characterization these last few episodes, she becoming interesting, and a good addition to the show.

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  3. Well, Turkish really, if Google Translate is to be believed. Anyway, close enough at least for the Finnish-speaking me for whom 'dawn' translates literally as 'the-coming-of-morning'.

    But if she gets stabbed into throat in the next ep I'm ready to call it.

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  4. Google Translate is sometimes (ok, quite a few times) wrong. I'm saying this as an Arab person. His name is "Morning Light". Just like Ra's Al Ghul is "Demon Head" in Arabic.

    Granted, it makes little or no sense for someone who was around during Ancient Egypt to have either an Arab or Turkish name...but given the history of the country, Arabic makes more sense.

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  5. You know, wwk5d, I kind of remembered from an old comment of yours that you might be, but decided to go on anyway with the risk of coming down in flames with it. Damned Google Translate seemed so sure! Didn't know about Ra's Al Ghul.

    Anyway, enough of that, there's also this TV show with zombies and shit. Watched my first ever episode with this one, they're showing it very-nearly-real time for us too here, hilariously on FOX's local channel so I'm still game for them buffing the upcoming X-Men movie with this popular show here with 'Dawn' like they at Marvel do with their Agents of SHIELD. If they kill her in the next ep she'll be zombie-Apocalypse. Anyway, you don't stick your fingers into zombie mouth, that goes against everything. You just don't.

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  6. I feel like Rick's group should've surrounded the cops when they lured them into the trap.
    Yeah, what a poorly-conceived trap, poor already-limping Noah even got hit by the car.

    I also kept yelling in my mind "seriously, no one is gonna take the cops' bulletproof jackets ?"

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  7. At the start of The Talking Dead (which I caught just because I didn't stop my recording fast enough) Chris Hardwick "joked" that the characters should all start wearing helmets, for as much as they keep getting knocked out. To which I countered, "or, the writers could just stop writing them like idiots".

    At the same time, you could argue that (despite the incredible popularity of The Walking Dead) that's damning the show with faint praise.

    I'm inclined to agree, though like you, that's more damning with faint praise for me.

    The Walking Dead has hit this sweet spot of being good enough to not rag on but not being so excellent that I feel the need to heap praise atop of it.

    aka The Reviewers Curse. Honestly, I have no idea how some of the reviewers at places like HitFix or the AV Club manage to review every episode of thoroughly mediocre shows week in, week out.

    This episode seemed more about straightforward plot than thematic resonance.

    Like you said, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Frankly, the show could use more episodes more concerned with plot, but that's me and my interest in, you know, story.

    Speaking of tearing up the church, what exactly was their goal? Building a zombie fence?

    That was my assumption. Securing the church against zombies, basically. Boarding up the windows, making a fence, etc.

    I was looking at GREATM and tried to think what the woman's name is who starts with R. Which probably tells you how impactful a character she has been so far.

    It's Rosita, by the way.


    Haha! Well played. It took me a minute as well to figure out the R. Can I just say, I like Tara? Her joking about DC maybe was a little too soon, but it's nice to have someone on he show who isn't totally doom and gloom all the time. The thing with the team name was a nice touch.

    I think after like more than 5 minutes of unconsciousness serious brain damage is likely to have occurred.

    Frankly, when he started waking up and moaning, I was expecting him to have died and turned, but the scene definitely played more hopeful than tense, so I doubt it.

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  8. You'd think I'd be on Tyreese's side and I kind of am but, at the same time, while Rick's plan means more death it also means the hospital group is no longer around to prey on other people.

    Yeah, once again, I feel like the show is setting up a situation to make a "Shane was right!" point to shut up those of us who disagree with that sentiment, but still missing our point. So they're going to try Tyreese's approach, it will fail, then Rick will kill people, and the show will be saying "see, Shane's way is the only way! The other way failed!"

    Except, as you point out, like with Terminus, this is a case of Rick's group assaulting a ruthless organization that preys on others. The Anti-Shanes have no problem with the characters taking down those groups, and taking them down hard. They need to be stopped before they prey on other people. But Shane's approach is "kill anyone who's not in your group, immediately and ruthlessly, without question" and that's not really the situation here.

    Now that I think about it, why did they bring Tyreese along on this mission? Since he's fairly anti-violence (or at least anti-offense) at this point, why not leave him with Carl and Judith, where at least he'd only have to fight in defense? He's a good fighter, but not any moreso than Michonne, I'd wager.

    Shouldn't Carl just respond, "BUT THEY ATE PEOPLE!"

    Yeah. I mean, Rick's group has the moral high ground here. I'm not sure why the show is trying to muddy that.

    Then again, what other choice does she have?

    I went through the same thought process.

    I also call BS on the whole "one officer can tell another person is an officer after a minute of interaction."

    It's such a common trope now I almost hardly even notice it. But at this point, you almost feel like people should say, "you move like a cop. Or someone who has watched a lot of cops on TV and movies."

    I was confused why the group didn't immediately start killing the melted zombies.

    Ditto the stuck under the fence zombies that Glenn, Tara and Rosita eventually killed. These people should always be killing zombies every chance they get, ESPECIALLY when the risk and effort in doing so is minimal.

    Case in point, Daryl nearly bit it...er...got bit.

    That was ridiculous, of course, but at the same time, Daryl using a zombie head a weapon is so ridiculous you just have to love it.

    Am I the only one who feels the sexual tension between Michonne and Father Gabriel?

    Yes?

    Shouldn't stepping on a nail as you try to leave somewhere be seen, by a priest, as a sign from God?

    Or, at least, a sign of "gonna die from Tetanus soon".

    Then again, maybe she shouldn't have tried to kill any seeing as how it turned out.

    Morons. Just...morons, the lot of them. If they'd just killed all those zombies like they should have, the officer wouldn't have been able to dupe Stupid Sasha.

    @Frenchie: I also kept yelling in my mind "seriously, no one is gonna take the cops' bulletproof jackets ?"

    This x100.

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