The Walking Dead, S5, Ep. 3: Four Walls and a Roof

SPOILERS GALORE! BE FOREWARNED! ABANDON HOPE OF NON-SPOILAGE, ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE!

Have I made my point? Turn away, if you don’t want to know stuff.

First, let me make this abundantly clear: when Beth finally frigging returns to the series on which she is ostensibly a regular, and she isn’t dressed in leathers and feathers and dragging Channing Tatum behind her on a chain, then an enormous opportunity has been lost and she seriously needs to contact her agent to renegotiate her contract. (Video clip = NSFW/kids)

Yeah, just like that.

Second: I realize I am probably opening my inner psyche up to be plumbed by armchair psychologists out there, but here goes. This episode had a scene that was incredibly brutal, where Rick Nation slaughters…and by slaughters I mean, HOLY HELL, kills the shit out of…the remaining Terminians, turning them into so much hamburger (pun fully intended). And you know…I was OK with it. I don’t know. Does this mean I’m desensitized to violence? Or does my mindset mean that if I survive a zombie apocalypse and end up in a confrontation with a professed group of cannibals who’ve eaten the leg off a member of my family, set said crippled, half-eaten family member outside my safe house as bait to lure me out, and engineered a home invasion with the intention of killing and eating the rest of my family, I’d not mind killing them with extreme violence, myself?

Son, you done made one mighty big mistake.

Son, you done made one mighty big mistake.

Because woah, the demise of the Terminians was extreme. But sorry not sorry; I thought Gareth & Co had it coming. Every bit of it. Join or Die” might have worked for Ben Franklin in the dawning of the United States, and to some degree the principle makes sense in a world where survival hangs so tenuously from a thread. There’s something to be said for the safety of numbers. But the deal from Gareth wasn’t a post-apocalyptic, “In unity there is strength, let us be brothers!” No. It was more “There is no nobility in the world, and I am sociopathically detached from my human side. The only difference between myself and the walkers out there is my ability to calculate environmental threats. But I still want to eat human flesh, and if you don’t join me and my group, then you’re next on the menu.”

It's like playing Where's Waldo, but with zombies. Walkers. Whatever.

It’s like playing Where’s Waldo, but with zombies. Walkers. Whatever.

Can I just point out: that is a gorgeous bit of cinematography.

I found it ironic that Gareth thought to plead for his life, promising that if Rick would let them go they would never, ever see him again. What was it he said when Bob tried to bargain with him, tried to tell him that they have a person who believes he can resolve the zombie crisis, while poised over a trough waiting to be bled out? “You can’t go back, Bob,” he said. Still, it seemed he half-expected Rick to let him go, so long as he promised to never, never ever, try to eat the members of Rick Nation again.

As an aside, wasn’t there an episode involving The Governor called “Too Far Gone”? Yes, yes there was. I am sensing a theme. Apparently, even in the barking mad world of the post-zombie-apocalypse, there is an edge and you can go over it, and if you do…yeah, it’s not good for you.

Really, Gareth. I told you this was a bad idea.

Really, Gareth. I told you this was a bad idea.

My boyfriend found the level of violence enacted by Rick Nation upon the Terminians shocking, and I know the extreme violence of the scene was brutal and controversial. I get it. They could have been more merciful, more expedient, more humane, less invested in a blood orgy. They weren’t. And Rick did get a look on his face akin to that of a velociraptor in Jurassic Parkbefore delivering Gareth unto his final reward with–as promised in episode one–a red-handled machete.

Yep. Pretty much the same.

Yep. Pretty much the same.

But it is an icky, icky world they live in. Last season, Rick tore someone’s throat out with his teeth, and when he did that he seemingly had no choice. This season, he dispatched the somehow-even-worse-than-zombies clan of cannibals, and it seemed that in the interest of humanity, he had no choice. They would move on to the next victim, and the next, and the next. You can’t let that live. Though OK, OK, fine, they could have been less crazy-eyed and stabby about it. But they weren’t. Moving on.

So, Bob. Poor, poor Bob. Poor, I always wanted to hear more about his backstory, about how he managed to survive not one, but two, overrun encampments, wherein he was the only survivor. The viewer got to see just how detached from any semblance of civilization the Terminians were, talking to Bob while eating his leg in front of him. I mean, seriously. Gareth was right, for him (at least) there was no going back.

Bob Stookey presents: Worst Day Ever, a play in one act.

Bob Stookey presents: Worst Day Ever, a play in one act.

And yes, Bob was bitten, Bob was dead anyway, long before being dragged into the woods and made into a snack. Gareth & Co’s eating of him–infected as it was (and thank you, friends, for blowing up my Facebook feed with posts that screamed, “TAINTED MEEEEEEEEAT!”, but I digress)–opened the door for us to ask, what WOULD have happened to the Terminians if they weren’t killed by Rick Nation? Would Bobmeat have, ironically, killed them? We’ll never know. But we can wonder, and wonder what this is foreshadowing. Because I can’t imagine introducing the idea of tainted meat and not ever using it again.

As an observation…OK, so Bob received a noble death, or at least as noble a death as one can get in this show. He was surrounded by loved ones who sat vigil with him until he died, and he got to have some prophetic last words. He told Rick, “Nightmares end. They shouldn’t end who you are.”

You. You have a gift, you.

You. You have a gift, you.

Nice, right?

Um.

Is it me, or are Bob’s last words, basically, “Stay gold, Ponyboy”? (And if you don’t get the “stay gold” reference, read and/or watch SE Hinton’s The Outsiders immediately and welcome to an immutable icon of American culture. Nice to have you with us.)

So at the end of the show, the group is split again, as Abe heads to DC with Rosita, Eugene, Glenn, Maggie, and Tara, and so much for safety in numbers, amirite? Seriously, what is UP with Abe? And with Eugene? They act as though a giant clock that only they can see is ticking. Maybe he’s sick of it all and just wants the apocalypse to come to an end (the horror..!), but who doesn’t?

Rick stays at the church with the remainder, waiting for Daryl, who returns at the end of the episode with a mysterious someone in the woods behind him. Who’s he got? I have no idea. Is it Carol? Probably not, considering he got this look on his face when asked where she is:

That's not a good face.

That’s not a good face.

Side note: if she’s dead, I will be really, really pissed. #TeamCarol

Fingers crossed that it’s Morgan, because, you know. Morgan. I mean, he showed up for like five seconds at the end of one episode, once. So what’s his story? Where does he fit into all of this? Of course I think it would be nice if Daryl is just being cagey about Carol and yes, she’s with him and was just back in the bushes having a pee and he was kind of embarrassed about it because lady-business and all. But this show is never nice, and particularly not in the first three episodes of this season, which has been all about how nothing is ever safe. Sure, Rick makes that speech to Carl, but there’s also the name of the episodes…”No Sanctuary”….”Four Walls and a Roof” (which is what their church/safehouse gets called). There’s no “Hooray, we’re home!” in any of it.

In next week’s trailer, Daryl says he’s seen Beth, and she’s different. Here’s hoping for leathers and feathers, y’all!

*Photo of velociraptor from http://es.jurassicpark.wikia.com/wiki/Velociraptor

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Gallery: Separated at Birth

I get a kick out of “separated at birth” pictures…there, I’ve said it, and I don’t apologize.  I think they can make you think about relationships more than you might, or see parallels (more than just appearance) that you might not of before.  And, they can be really goddamned funny.  So I started putting together my own “separated at birth”s.  I’ve already posted a Ryan Reynolds/Nick Nolte picture (which I will include again at the end of this post, so I can be anal-retentively complete in my posting), but here are a few others.  This will be a continually evolving page, and suggestions will be happily accepted (though I do reserve editorial right; if I put it up is my decision).

And so, without further ado…the humble beginnings to the “Separated at Birth” gallery.

I’m going to keep this statement short and simple: I like Lindsay Lohan.  I think she’s way more talented than she ought to be, and I’m not surprised she’s got issues with substance abuse because her innate vulnerability shows up in pretty much every single one of her performances.  Yes, even in The Parent Trap.  Every time I see her I want to say, “Lindsay, honey, knock it off.  You’re going down a dangerous road, one that will be impossible to come back from.  If you don’t stop what you’re doing, before you realize it things will be way out of control and you will look exactly…

…like Carol Channing.”

Now I don’t want to imply that there is anything wrong with Carol Channing. She’s had a tremendous career and is an outspoken and beloved member of the celebrity firmament.  But she is also 91.  LiLo, you’re way too young to ought to merit any comparison to a 91-year-old lady no matter what the reason, and yet here we are.  Put down the Botox, pull out the cheek implants, and knock it off with the Restylane in your lips.  If you need daily affirmations call me, not your plastic surgeon.  Good luck.

In a twisted moment of separated-at-birthery, paparazzi recently rushed 66-year-old Blondie singer Debbie Harry outside the Mercer Hotel in New York City.  They thought Ms. Harry was 25-year-old Lindsay Lohan, who was also recently seen at that hotel.  <sigh>  Oh, LiLo.

I was watching the VMAs (what?  It’s not a crime) and thought, who’s the weird creepy guy sitting next to Jay-Z?  Kind of looked like Sal Mineo, only not nearly as adorably vulnerable, or one of the Jets from West Side Story…only kind of freakish and hostile, with what looked like few to no redeeming qualities.  And then I found out that it was Lady Gaga as alternate personality “Joe Calderone”.  Goooood.  But sad.  Garth Brooks came up with the Chris Gaines alter-ego and at least he tried to be attractive, in an emo, chin-pube-sporting, complete-failure-of-what-attractive-means sort of way.  Beyonce comes up with Sasha Fierce, which is, you know.  Fierce.  But Lady Gaga?  Comes up with her version of Ralph Macchio as Johnny from The Outsiders, just before Ponyboy gets beat to hell by the Socs and Johnny has to shank Leif Garrett.

Celebrity alter-egos: When one ego just isn’t enough.

When I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) (and if you haven’t watched this yet then hello, welcome to Earth, I’m sure you’ve had a long journey…would you like some tea?) I kept thinking Bellatrix LeStrange (Helena Bonham-Carter) was derangedly over the top, but in a cartoonish and caricature-y way, not in a freaky/demented way.  And she’s supposed to be an insane, deadly zealot that you know will stab you as soon as look at you, not insane but you kind of laugh at her even though you’re sure she’s got a knife in her skirt.  Sort of like her fellow Brit, comedian Russell Brand:

The matching hair?  The waist-cinching belts?  *Killing me*

I was working on the final project for one of my classes, comparing the movies The Hurt Locker and Avatarthe 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, and the largest grossing film of 2009, or ever.  I watched a LOT of Avatar, and Neytiri’s character reminded me of someone.  And then I realized, those big eyes!  The little freckly patch over her nose!  The skin color!  It’s another one of my favorite movie heroines:

Don’t get me started on how many things I found wrong with Avatar; that’s another post for another day.  Suffice to say, when you think about it, Neytiri’s character development makes her, by the end, as unthreatening and ultimately servile to Jake, as Dory is to Marlin. And I don’t even want to think about the sexual dynamics of Finding Nemo, lest I go insane.  So.  Moving on.

OK, OK, I should be nicer to Donna Shalala.  She’s had a distinguished career–she’s the former Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration,  has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has been the President of the University of Miami for the last decade.  She probably does more before she finishes her morning coffee than I manage to get done in a day.  But that doesn’t change the fact that she looks…almost exactly…like the Heat Miser.

And from what I understand, she is indeed…too much.

So.  Back to pop culture.

I admit it, I can’t stand Justin Bieber, and I don’t have pre-teen girls, so I don’t even have to pretend to not despise his music.  But one day, while confronted with his visage, I realized he looked decidedly like another figure in the music world (I was originally going to type “another music icon”, but it’s about the Biebs…I couldn’t do it…and I’m not linking to anything about him, because if you can’t find a frigging link involving Justin Bieber, then you need to learn how to work the interwebs).  Anyway.  Justin Bieber, meet Helen Reddy.

For more Bieber look-alikes (“Biebians”), please direct your attention to Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber, though this does lend a rather curious twist to the song “I am Woman“, especially if the Biebs covers it.  (I smell a Grammy…!)

And, for now, the final comparison.  I absolutely think Ryan Reynolds is dreamy, and I’ve thought so since Van Wilder…though not even I could find a reason to want to sit through Green Lantern, because if you couldn’t tell that was a stink bomb from fifty feet away…well, they have medical professionals to help with this, but I digress.  Anyway.  Ryan Reynolds.  So.  I was trying to think of who it was that Ryan Reynolds reminded me of, and it bugged me for months.  Finally, eventually, I realized why the connection was so slow in coming…

He and the young, Rich Man, Poor Man-era, handsome buck Nick Nolte have striking similarities (though Nolte’s porn-stache in the clip I linked to is unfortunate).  Same nose, same jawline.  But Nick Nolte, of late, has become–to put it mildly–a train wreck.  Please, Ryan Reynolds, do what you can to avoid this.  Eat right, smear yourself in lamb fat, engage in voodoo, start an exercise regimen that involves being chased by bees…I really don’t care what you do, so long as you avoid…this.

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