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The Walking Dead on AMC
Topic Started: Oct 22 2010, 03:22 PM (9,313 Views)
Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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Season 8- Episode 8- "How It's Gotta Be"
There was a scene, last night, where Rick and Negan are finally in an isolated one-on-one setting and begin fighting. It ends when Negan suddenly falls through a window and escapes...reminding me of the recurring gag in the Australian series "Danger 5", where Hitler ALWAYS escapes by falling through a window, every episode. Big difference is that "Danger 5" is total comedy, whereas "The Walking Dead" is supposed to be serious.

Negan's near-death escape scorecard has had two more tallys added-- escaped his entire complex being over-run by walkers and escaped a face-to-face conflict with Rick the Killing Machine (who even had possession of Lucille for a brief moment).

Bigger deal is that CARL appeared to have been bitten by walker. Occurred, off-screen, while he was trying to help his new pal, Saddiq. Or did the bite happen a few episodes ago, when Carl and Saddiq faced off with some walkers...and Carl's been hiding it? In a close-up, we saw that Carl has to shave, now. While his physical growth hasn't been as much of a distraction to me, I could see how that might've led to writing him out. Although... we've thought that Carl was a goner, before, and he's lived. Still, I like Carl and was surprised that he's supposedly hated among fans.

Also felt like I missed something, early on. Rick, Jerry and Carol appeared to have been in a vehicular t-bone accident. Yet, they all showed up fine, later. It appeared that Jerry had been captured by Simon's Savior group...but I guess that was just some random guy? Shortly after, Siimon appeared to shoot Jesus... but it also turned out to be some random guy. The Saviors then attacked Alexandria with what appeared to be flare guns... yet they all hit and immediately blew up buildings, as if the buildings had been wired for demolition from within.

Like I mentioned before, had this been a continuous season of 16 episodes in a row, I probably would've bailed. Definitely need a break from this ongoing "YOU CAN'T GET ONE OVER ON NEGAN" bullcrap.
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Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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Wanted to get this out there before the season returns, next week: Carl definitely got bit... but I think there's a chance he might NOT die. If they want to have closure to the overall story, it could be that Carl turns out to be immune to the Walker plague. Then you have an end in sight as well a new plot point, as everybody would want a blood transfusion from Carl.

Why Carl is immune? Nobody knows, but they could figure it out in a season's time. Maybe.
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Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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Well...so much for that theory. Carl's dead (although we didn't see whose exact body they were burying) and that's that. We got THE longest death bed scene ever filmed. Almost an hour of Carl coughing out his last words. It was actually a nice way to go and Carl faced death with the most dignity of anybody on this show.

Yet, now Rick's Batman is without Carl's Robin. I've said before that they've been the focal point of the entire series and for the most part, it's worked. Yet, aside from Rick, who do you really give a darn about? Michonne, maybe. Fanboys LOVE Daryl, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see him drop out. Everybody else: just filling out the roster.

The flash-forward dream segments were annoying. Not only because Jerry was there (I love Jerry, but I don't think Carl has met him), and so was Negan. There was an underlying theme of how you don't have to kill everyone and that there's hope... but again, it's a little too late for this show to suddenly have a conscience.

In other news, King Ezekiel sure is a fast healer. No mobility problems at all. They finally killed a significant Savior-- Gavin, who seemed like the most reasonable one. I want Simon to be next, but we'll probably get Mean Butch Chick, before then.
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Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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Season 8- Episode 10- "The Lost and the Plunderers"
For no reason whatsoever, the directors tried to be all ARTSY, mix up the linear narrative, and label each segment with a character's name. At first, you thought the names would be tied to the letters Carl wrote... but that wasn't the case. So just an annoying ARTSY effect.

But aside from that, this episode delivered. It did the impossible by making the trash people interesting. Jadis dropped her weird minimalist act and snapped on Simon the Douche. After all her peeps were gunned down by Simon's crew, she had no choice but to lead them to a compactor and grind them all into Walker Bolognese. Mmm....bolognese....

I finally "get" Jadis, I think. She was a hippy/trippy Art Chick who used "found objects" at the dump. Probably thinks she's a "minimalist", so that'd explain her "art" and her weird demeanor. Even the fact that she's at a dump. She's a little like King Ezekiel in that sense. Once society collapsed, she decided to jump in, head-first, on how she'd like to create society (or, more likely, act out against it). Think of her DumpVille Commune as a big middle finger to what came before in society. I get the Art Chick vibe, but others might not... so you can say she's like your pretentious hipsters who sip weird drinks at the bar and brag about being gluten-free.

Then Simon dropped the bombshell that the garbage folk have a helipad AND solar panels. The latter sounds like a catch-all plot device for future episodes, but both explain a lot. When Rick was on top of the heap, last season (the famous "UFO scene"), he just MAY have seen those things...which would absolutely explain why he's been so hard-up to get the garbage folk on his side. Of course, a future episode may ignore that, as Rick may be surprised to find these things... but it's a good explanation, for now.

I also softened a little bit on Negan, this episode. Amazing, considering my well-documented hate for the character. His conversation with Rick wasn't him just being his usual galavanting asshole self. He spoke some hard truths and it seemed justified, for once. He also offered some explanation for how he's trying to "save" people... but I call bullshit on that, as he's still a shallow bully and that ignores a LOT of past transgressions. Like, killing all the men and boys at Oceanside (if it comes out that THAT was an exaggeration, then it's further proof of shitty writing that caters to Negan fanboys).

It also looks like they're trying to put all the crappy tactics on Negan's lieutenants (Simon, especially). Probably the writers falling in love with the Negan character and trying to spin things so he sticks around.

Think this show's rebounded and looks to be headed in a good direction for the rest of this season.
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Erick Von Erich
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...and the last three episodes (up to Season 8- Episode 13) have all stunk like a moldy sock. We got the semi-annual and traditional Culling of Extras and yet-another Savior attack. Of course, seemingly NO Saviors were killed.

A few weeks ago, they decided that the zombie infection is a thing, once again. The last time somebody was bitten, didn't die, and turned was probably Bob about three seasons ago. Now, the writers have suddenly started thinking this is "28 Days Later", where one drop of zombie blood can turn somebody. Okay..so how do we explain EVERY walker fight scene this show has had, where Rick and Company survive with walker blood all over themselves?!

The writers also seem to be going all-in on pinning all the bad stuff the Saviors have done solely onto Simon. Negan survived roughly 24 close calls with Rick's machine gun, axe and an entire house full of walkers, last week. He's currently a captive of Jadis, but that's about as dangerous as going on a Kiddieland Roller Coaster. Sure, it COULD kill you...but only if you're a complete numbskull and give the coaster a lot of help. I'm going to punch my monitor if they end up killing Rick and having Negan as the main guy, going forward. Sure, it always seems like Rick's immune from any peril, but now with Carl gone, everything's off the table.

It looks like Morgan is set to crossover into "Fear the Walking Dead" in the final three episodes of this season. I haven't watched "Fear", but if I'm still into this show at the end of the season (3 weeks), I might follow the fourth season of "Fear", which is set to continue airing in the same time-slot. It'll basically be "The Adventures of Morgan" for people like myself.

Only interesting plot point, recently, was the introduction of "Georgie". An old broad (and her crew), who are trying to help people live off the land with medieval/non-electrical methods. That came form completely out of left field, but will probably be covered, next season.
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Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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Season 8- Episode 14- "Still Gotta' Mean Something"
Negan escapes yet another near-death experience. He was left to die in a dark building, filled with walkers... only to get captured, somehow, by Jadis and taken to the garbage dump. We see him strapped to a low-rolling gurney and he looks to be in some deep shit. Then, in a fairly sloppy storytelling move, he suddenly has his arms free, has a gun, a flare and some of Jadis' personal photos. He also has Lucille back...despite the fact that it was lost in the same building and had been SET ON FIRE... but it's back, none the worse for wear. To quote Negan's catchphrase from this episode: "what the shit?"

A helicopter shows up, probably attracted by the flare, which of course goes out at the exact moment. Jadis had apparently been trying to signal them for awhile. The helicopter pilot; who doesn't bother to use his/her EYES; flies off and fans are left to speculate on the whole thing. We also saw Jadis' minimalist Ikea-ish little boxed bungalow; which again makes perfect sense for her character.

Meanwhile, Rick and Morgan are merciless as they screw over and kill some Saviors who had just helped them. The asshole Savior who killed Henry's brother is FINALLY killed off in a well-deserved gruesome scene, though.

But the bigger thing is how Rick killed the Saviors. The writers seem to be pushing Rick as a psycho and NEGAN as the nice one. Wait... Negan, the guy who showed up at Alexandria, two times, trying to kill EVERYBODY (fire-bombing it the second time), killed somebody in cold blood by slicing open his guts, got off on trying to slice Carl's arm off, killed all the males (boys included) at Oceanside, jizzed his pants while killing Glenn and Abraham...is supposed to be walking a morally straight line all of a sudden?!

Oh, and come back next week for yet another Savior attack. Don't forget about DWIGHT, who smokes cigarettes and says he's sorry! Negan also picked up a MYSTERY PASSENGER (my guess is that it'll be Gregory. Oh boy).

They have a few episodes (2?) to wipe out this terrible Negan/Savior stuff, but it won't happen. This show changes, week-to-week, in acting, direction, tone and basically EVERYTHING. So you never know which version will show up on a weekly basis. You could drop a truck full of nails on Negan and he'd show up in the next episode, whistling and smiling in his leather jacket, because the show thinks he's COOL. The stuff beyond Negan/Saviors could be interesting (the helicopter, Georgie and even Jadis, believe it or not), but at this point ANY type of new conflict would be an improvement. Like, an ongoing arc about everybody contracting dysentery.

I'm about ready to say "f*ck this show". I know, I know, nerds always say "I'll give it X amount of episodes/issues, then I'll drop it"...yet it rarely happens. But the amount of enjoyment I get from this show has been lowered and lowered and the inconsistencies drive me crazy. Better stuff to do with my time.
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Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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Season 8: Episodes 15 & 16
As I predicted five episodes ago (see above), they actually PINNED ALL THE OCEANSIDE KILLINGS ON SIMON. Are you f*cking kidding me?! So I suppose that guy Negan gutted in Alexandria? That was actually Simon in disguise! All the people Negan wanted to kill? I suppose that was Simon momentarily mind-controlling him with his Magic Mental Mustache! Yay, Negan! You're a swell guy.

Later on, Negan says his selection of killing Abraham and Glenn was "bullshit". He just didn't want to have Carl see his dad die. Oh yeah... so I suppose it was perfectly okay, about 10 minutes later, when he tried to CUT CARL'S FREAKING ARM OFF?!! Unless I'm missing something, when Negan first met the Cast, he didn't know who was who. Specifically, that Carl and Rick were father and son. He was still about 10 episodes away from thinking Carl was "cool as shit". I call total bullshit on this entire retcon of Negan's atrocities.

BTW, how the hell does Rick slice open Negan's throat...but his intent was to NOT kill? Hi, I won't kill you... but I will just slice your throat! Obviously, I'm not well-skilled in the art of Throat Slicing, but this had a less than 10% believability factor.

I'm perfectly fine with ejecting on this show, now. Everything's tied up enough, that I don't need to stick around for the next conflict or Evil Villain Group (yes, I know the "Whisperers" were teased in this episode). There's still a subplot about Maggie and Daryl wanting to go against Rick and kill Negan, but if there's one thing that's constant in this show, now, it's YOU CAN'T KILL NEGAN. His bad Fonzie/Cyrus impersonation will continue into Season 9.

I also gave the crossover episode of "Fear the Walking Dead" a try. Morgan runs, walks, drives, then walks again...all the way to Texas. He meets up with a fairly optimistic and skilled gun-slinger named John Dorie. "Like the fish, but I spell it with an i-e". Yes, that's how he introduces himself. Like Jerry and Ezekiel he seems like one of the few cool n' friendly people still around. They soon run into some random bandits, then meet another new companion, Althea... who has a big freakin' SWAT armored car! Shades of the LandMaster from "Damnation Alley" or that big truck from the 2005 "Land of the Dead". At the end of the episode, they're captured by, apparently, the main cast of "Fear the Walking Dead". A mystery about recurring "51" flags also popped up.

If I get a bug up my tushy; and free time; I might binge-watch "Fear"...but I've heard mixed reviews about that series.

I've watched this show for longer than I ever thought I would (started in 2012). I've had one of two breaks along the way, but I'm okay with stepping away entirely; or at least for another break until Season 9 is added to Netflix in 2020.
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