Another week, and another episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead hit the airwaves with the intent to melt faces…and melt faces it did. This week, we’ve got not one but TWO of Multiversity’s best and brightest, the ineffable Walter Richardson and myself, to run down their thoughts on the episode.
Walter Richardson: Well, after last episode’s game-changing ending, I was very pleased with how character-driven this episode was.
JM: Well that seems to be par for the course for this series and for the comic as well. I’ve always said that The Walking Dead was more like a character drama (or even, dare I say, a soap opera) that periodically included zombies as opposed to a full on horror story, and its nice to see the show pick up those elements and set off running with them.
WR: Exactly. I know a few people who tuned into the show expecting nothing more than zombie-killing, and boy have they been surprised. This episode proved how much more the series is than just violence for the sake of violence, even more so than the episodes preceding it.
JM: Absolutely. So, starting off with the first big reveal of the episode: Jim sure had it rough, huh?
WR: Did he ever. We all knew as soon as we found out that the disease was transferred by bite that we would see someone get bitten, but it was especially heart-wrenching after Jim’s bit of redemption from last episode.
JM: I’m not sure he ever wound up fully redeemed, but I agree it was pretty inevitable that we’d see the pain and agony of someone dying slowly of this disease. I think Andrew Rothenberg did an absolutely stellar job portraying the last hours of a haunted man, dying of something he doesn’t even fully understand.
WR: Oh yes, he was outstanding. The confusion, the desolation and the fear that he expressed all seemed hauntingly real.
JM: Another “little too real for comfort” moment, despite focusing on a completely impossible occurrence, has to be Andrea putting her sister down for good.
WR: Seriously. After that scene me and one of my good friends were discussing whether or not we would be able to do that were we in her shoes. I’m still not sure.
JM: As odd as it may seem, I think I might, were my sister to ever have her throat ripped out by a zombie, but thats neither here nor there.I think it provided a nice sense of closure to the scene with Morgan and his wife from the first episode, showing exactly what people are capable of within this new world order.
WR: That’s what I first thought of as well. How much of it is from the passing of time in this new hellish world and how much of it is Andrea just being more strong-willed than Morgan?
JM: This would be one of those instances where my familiarity with the comic kinda takes my understanding beyond what the show itself has given us, but I think you and I both know how Andrea’s will stacks up next to Morgan’s. At least in the long run.
WR: This would be a bad time to mention that I’ve only read the first trade’s worth of material, wouldn’t it?
JM: Nice going, sir! Well regardless, Andrea wins. And so we reach the inevitable exodus, which may be one of the most vulnerable we’ve seen the group since the start of the series.
WR: Indeed we do. I feel that they left off at a great spot. We know that something big has to happen on the grounds of the CDC, we’re just not sure exactly what. Nobody who saw this episode is going to want to miss the season finale.
JM: Absolutely not. My guess is that the CDC will ultimately be a stand-in for another prominent location from the series moving into the season two. I have to say though that I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the series is delving into the origins of the outbreak. After 79 issues of the comic we still aren’t quite sure of the exact nature of the disease. It seems like the show will be coming right out with it…or, trying to at least.Continued below
WR: I’m almost expecting a Y: The Last Man sort of thing, where we get a bunch of different possible explanations, but they never outright state the cause. And I agree, I totally see the CDC becoming the new base of operations for at least the first half of next season. Actually, I just reread what you wrote, and that wasn’t what you said. My point still stands.
JM: Thats basically what I said, which you’d know if you read the book like a good little boy. How about that outburst from Rick right before Mr. Drunk Science Guy opened the place up? We’re finally starting to see his armor break down it seems.
WR: Oh yeah. Up until now, he’s been remarkably composed for someone who woke up in the worst nightmare possible. Now, after all that bravado, we’re seeing that he’s still just a normal guy who wasn’t any more prepared for this than anyone would be.
JM: Couldn’t have said it better myself. So what are you expecting from the season finale?
WR: Well, I’m certain that it will end with a bang (probably a lot of them), but beyond that? I’m not sure, but I’m ready to find out. And that’s what I love in a story.
JM: Same here, and I’m actually pretty excited since one particular scene in this episode made me believe more than ever that one particular bang from the comic may actually come to pass on the small screen, which will have me at the edge of my seat all through the finale.Even with your limited knowledge, I bet you know which bang I’m talking about.
WR: Oh, I do, and I was ready for it with this episode.
JM: Guess we’ll just have to see! So, final verdict?
WR: Two rotting thumbs up!
JM: I’ll double that and throw in a pick ax to the brain!