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THE WALKING DEAD: Harvey, Adair & Smith Don’t FORGET

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Season 5, Episode 13 “Forget ”

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(Authors Note: We apologize for the extreme delay this week. Really. Dustin had a thing, and then I had a thing, and then we were all out at Planet Comicon this weekend, and it just got pushed back and back and back. Still, we write these for you, so here it is. Published as the new episode is airing. Sigh.)

Curtis: What… what are you LOOKING at?

Dustin: What?

Curtis: Are you trolling for tail on the internet?

Dustin: So?

Curtis: THERE ARE PEOPLE HERE!!

Dustin: Just you.

Curtis: That is NOT the point!! … is that what dudes DO with each other?

Dustin: What? It’s natural.

Curtis: I kind of need Tim to come back. Now.

Dustin: He’ll be back tonight… but until then…

((click))

Curtis: DUDE!! Stop it.

RECAP!!

Curtis: Wait! Wait. Without Tim here, there are the disclaimer and info stuff to say, and I really need a minute to try and get certain… things bleached out of my mind. So this is the AMC The Walking Dead review, where Dustin recaps stuff and swears a lot and Tim looks at what things mean, nitpicks, and applies too much logic to a show that defies logic regularly. I do the Tweeting thing, even though there aren’t any goblins and there totally should be.

Dustin: Are you done?

Curtis: I still feel like I need an adult, but yeah. Wait. There are SPOILERS. Obviously.

Spoilers_WalkingDead

RECAP!!

The house still has pictures of the former tenants in it. Which just seems like bad planning to me. Sasha does not like it either. She can’t sleep with all these dead white people looking at her, also she is trying sleep on the floor in the hallway. Which must suck for anyone who has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

She goes to get her sniper rifle to go “hunting”. The woman who runs the store room is… interesting.

Out she goes.

She sets up the pics on a log and snipes the @#$% out of them.

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“Me? Not much. Just sniping the @#$% out of things. You?”

Oooookkkaaayyy she’s comic book Andrea now. I get it. The show is trying to undo all of Darabont’s bonehead mistakes! Good for you, show! I remember how excited I was when The Walking Dead was announced lo all those years ago. I thought Darabont was the perfect choice because he was an absolute genius at adapting the tone and feel of Stephen King’s work.

Then season 1 & 2 were… well… is ‘@#$%tarded’ the right word? Yeah, I think that works.

Darabont beat the themes of the comic book to death and altering the characters in ways that were just so incredibly ridiculous, I can barely fathom it all these years later. Darabont deserves particular ire for his treatment of Andrea and Lori. Comic Lori, while not exactly a prize all of the time, was at least loveable enough that her death at the hands of The Governor was sad and shocking. And Andrea… well… while there were times I liked TV Andrea, and sympathized with her, she never held a candle to Comic Andrea. I’m very excited to see Sasha take up the sniper rifle.

This is going to be great.

After she snipes the pictures, she takes a moment to sit on a stump and breathe. “Come and get me,” she says to no one in particular.

Sasha has decided to take the opposite track than the one Tyreese took. Tyreese looked out on the new world and folded in on himself because he was scared of the man this world was making of him. Sasha has decided to lash out to protect the woman she is becoming. Which is exactly what Andrea did in the comics.

Dead walkers. Carol, Daryl and Rick have convened at the run-down house where Rick hid the blender gun. They are planning some sort of caper to steal some guns back so they can take the town if need be.

Timothy: I’m here!! Sorry, the radio show ran long. What did I miss?

Curtis: Lots. Things seen that… cannot be unseen.

Timothy: What do you, oh my God! Dustin!!!

Quiet you. I’m recapping here. Daryl still has not bathed, I think. Gross, Daryl. Gross.

Carol has been spying like a beast. I love this. She knows all the goings on of the Inventory Lady and just what window to open in the armory to get to the guns the quickest.

Carol wastes a walker. I am in love with her.

There is a “W” carved in the walker’s forehead… uh oh…

Uh oh, indeed. And while I agree with your thoughts on the Sasha/Andrea connection, I’ll have some thoughts to come back on that later.

Michonne is getting her uniform and it looks amazing. Rick arrives and the talk about how weird it is that they were made sheriffs so early. Michonne wants this to work; Rick is still wary.

Rick is always wary, for reasons we’ve talked about before, but in short? This show has given him no reason to trust, well, anything.

Daryl is out in the woods. He pulls a crossbow on Aaron. Hi, gurl, how you be?

They look at each other. Daryl asks why Aaron is following him and Aaron lies and tells him he was just hunting rabbits. We all know what you were hunting, Aaron. We all know.

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“He knows I have a boyfriend, right?” “Yeah. He doesn’t care.”

They decide to hunt together.

In the comics, Aaron and Rick become really good friends, but it looks like we’re setting up – and no, Dustin, I don’t mean setting up – that friendship to be between Daryl and Aaron, and I’m OK with that.

In Deanna’s office, Maggie has been given the task of being Deanna’s official aide or whatever. Rick takes them on a security walk, where he points out all to places where Alexandria’s security is all 2000 and late. Rick is basically shocked that Alexandria wasn’t overrun with cannibalistic marauders ages ago. He suggests someone be put in the clock tower as a lookout instead of the gun being held in place by a broom that they are using now. Sasha volunteers.

The stunned look on everyone’s face when Deanna tells them that no one is ever up in the tower is kinda the stunned face that we’re making here, because how the holy hell are any of these people still alive? Their scouts with any skill apparently number exactly two (Aaron and Eric), their team making supply runs is trying its active best to get killed, and there is no one manning the walls, ever? Team Zombie should have rolled up to find a conveniently empty town to move into, because all of these people should be dead.

Deanna is like: Please come to a party and I’ll consider you for the job.

Deanna has SO MANY PLANS, you guys!!

On the other hand, Deanna is such a clearly intelligent and canny woman, there is a good chance that anyone living who tried to attack the place simply got talked out of it.

Carol is having a recipe swapping powwow with the other home makers of the Junior League, but she breaks off when she sees Rick approach. She tells him the best person to pull of the gun caper is her, since she is basically invisible as a meek middle aged housewife. The caper is afoot!!

And Carol continues to be the most interesting character on the whole show. The biggest character arc, and the biggest contradictions.

Daryl and Aaron are hunting. Aaron takes Daryl to look at a beautiful horse that has been running wild in the woods. Aaron says he has been trying to get close enough to get a rope around the horse’s (Buttons) neck to lead him back to Alexandria for a while.

Ah… symbolism.

Daryl takes the rope and goes after Buttons… and… every woman watching’s panties explode.

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“You think it’s sexy now? Wait till you see me actually ON the horse.”

Heh.

Walkers.

Buttons flees. Aaron and Daryl make short work of the walkers and go after Buttons.

Carol goes to the armory to get come applesauce. And some chocolate. Because apparently there a several vacant houses in Alexandria, but only one store room for both guns and sundries.

OK, so a centralized location for things makes sense, and there’s an argument to be made for keeping the things you need to defend the important stuff (food) close together, but when you’ve got Carol and Rick up to stuff, it’s going to come back to bite you. Possibly literally.

There is a guy in there, too. The armory lady leads the guy into the gun room to do some… gun stuff? Carol follows and allows the guy to mansplain guns to her just long enough for her to unlatch the window.

Well of course he doesn’t, because clearly Carol is just a harmless housewife who needs to be taken care of by a big, strong man. Except…
Aaron has been following them for a while, right? He’s seen her out in the world, hasn’t he? And Aaron is smart, so shouldn’t this behavior be sending up all kinds of red flags?

Or is Deanna playing a long game here?

Arron and Daryl talk about horse riding… stuff? Arron tries to convince Daryl that they all belong in Alexandria. I hope we can all be friends. Daryl and Aaron are going to be amazing Super Best Friends. I can feel it.

Yep. This conversation, well, this not-quite-monologue Aaron has, about being outsiders is pretty on-the-nose. And another metaphor portion of our program, in an episode pretty heavy on them. Still, it’s a apt one, because just as Aaron and Eric can’t change who they are, and wouldn’t even want to, neither can Daryl.

Back in Alexandria, it’s party time!! Everyone arrives.

And it’s about as surreal as you would think it is.

Deanna is hosting like a mother@#$%er. When Rick arrives with Lil Ass Kicker and Carl in tow, Deanna wants to smoosh the baby so hard it’s crazy.

Hey, remember when Rick was hot? Deanna do.

Abe and Rosita arrive and look 100% uncomfortable. Then he sees the beer.

Deanna introduces Rick to her husboring Reg. Reg is a glasses. Reg drinks scotch and small talks about Zombies. THEY SMALL TALK ABOUT ZOMBIES!!

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“Reg is a glasses? What does that even mean?” “I don’t know dear. Just smile and nod.”

This is the world now.

It’s a little more than small talk, and it’s making Rick’s plans that much harder, because he’s being confronted with what appears to be genuinely nice people who are looking at Team Zombie, and Rick himself, as people. Not something to be used, or exploited, or as adversaries, but people. Reg praising Rick is about as undermining of Rick’s fears for this place as it gets.

Rick has some wine.

As he should.

Jessie and her dumb, totally doomed family arrive.

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I’m really sorry that you’re doomed to die a terrible death. Now go play.

Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron find Buttons. He has somehow ended up trapped in a pen full of walkers. Aaron and Daryl go in to try and save him. There is a lot of brain bashing going on.

Unfortunately, Buttons is eaten by walkers. It’s super sad but Aaron and Daryl decide to #43 the walkers who ate him. So catharsis, I guess?

Interesting how we’re so used to seeing people get killed by the zombies, and yet once we bring in an animal – something that we really never see in this show except for the first season and this one – it becomes even worse. And again, metaphor, but it’s a genuinely disturbing scene to see that wild horse be killed.

Hey, here’s a math problem for ya: If the population of Georgia and Virginia combined is 18 million (roughly) and say… 5% (900,000 people) of the population of those states survived the initial outbreak of walkers and went on the fight the good fight, how long would those survivors need to completely eradicate walkers from those states, if they killed walkers at the rate The Walking Dead suggests people kill walkers (about 5 per person per week)?

The Answer? Less than a day. If 900,000 people killed 5 walkers a week, that would be 45 MILLION dead walkers in a week. That is essentially one seventh of the population of the US. So 900,000 people could basically clear out most of the eastern seaboard in about a week, if they wanted to.

See, math CAN be fun.

It can be, and this is an illustration of why we can’t stare too hard at the world of The Walking Dead. From the expiration date of gas, to the core concept of the last few seasons that most people are just terrible, you kind of have to ignore a LOT of reality to let this show play out. Of course, we’re talking about a show where the dead come back to eat you, but still. The reality is that the military would have smacked this thing down in about a week years ago, but then we wouldn’t have had a story.

Anyway, Aaron and Daryl are super sad about Buttons, so they put him out of his misery and head back to town. Metaphors abound in this forest.

Henceforth, this shall be known as The Forest of Metaphor. I suspect we’ll be returning quite a bit.

At the party, Team Zombie is very out of sorts.

Noah is there. SHUT UP NOAH.

Word is ‘ol Noah isn’t long for this world. Shocked, shocked I am to hear that.

Maggie and Glenn go and tell Cousin Oliver that he’s part of the family now. Suuurree he is. Jan and Marsha said the same thing.

Meanwhile, Daryl, all cleaned up and looking spiffy, is by a tree in the front yard of the house. But he can’t bring himself to go in. He walks past Aaron’s house and Aaron steps out on the porch to invite him in.

And one million fan fictions will describe the events of evening much better than I could.

And none of those things are going to happen, by the way. Not that the fan fiction won’t happen, ’cause it will.

Back at the party, Carol gives Rick the high sign that she is going to do the heist.

Jessie introduces Rick to her husband. He’s a doctor. They are doomed. DOOMED I TELL YOU!! Why does Dr. Husband have an A on his hand? What does that mean?

Jessie talks about ordinary life and… oh, God, she’s stupid.

Shut up, Jessie.

SHUT UUUUUUP.

She’s all: This world is better because diversity and equality. You know what? I bet Sasha and Michonne would be happy to go back to a world where they are followed around department stores and they can’t get cabs if it meant that EVERYONE THEY EVER KNEW OR LOVED wasn’t EATEN ALIVE by ZOMBIES!! But what do I know. Jessie might be right. Let’s all join Up With People.

OK, in fairness to Jessie, whom I am not a fan of much (Rick and Michonne! Make it happen AMC!), she’s not any worse than any of the Alexandria folks, which just means that she’s blind to the outside world in a time when being blind in the outside world is a really bad idea. We know about Jessie and her husband and family from the comic, and odds are good they are, in fact, doomed, but still. She’s emblematic of the bigger problem of Alexandria, which is that it’s a mirror of the idiots at the Hospital: Both groups are trying to hold on to a world that doesn’t exist anymore, and it makes them dangerously disconnected from the dangers they are in.

There is this weird pasta maker running joke, and it’s like, super bad.

Back at Aaron and Eric’s house, Daryl is eating pasta like he ain’t never been to an Italian restaurant before. Eric starts to bring up Daryl and Aaron working together, and Aaron is like: Shut the hell up, we almost have that threesome you want.

Daryl is like: Okay, what’s the deal? Because I’m top versatile and I need to know what we’re all here for before we begin.

None of this, by the way, is actually happening quite as Dustin is describing it.

So Aaron tells him he wants him to be his new recruiter partner, but it will mean having to build a couple of motorcycles from scratch first.

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“I… I love you man.” ” I know.”

This is better than sex for Daryl.

This is pretty much the best of all possible things, and here’s why: Aaron and Daryl bonded a bit by trying to save a wild horse, which they eventually lost. They will bond even more rebuilding an IRON HORSE. That’s what you call a full circle.

Daryl knows the difference between a good person and a bad person. EVERYONE @#$%ING WEEPS FOR JOY.

And more importantly, Aaron, by virtue of being one of the two gay men in Alexandria, is keenly aware that he is still, after all this time, looked on as kind of an outsider by his neighbors. In Daryl, he recognizes someone else who doesn’t quite fit in, but who, like Aaron, wants to enough that he can’t just leave. Becoming a Recruiter with Aaron will give Daryl that freedom to be a part of his family when he needs to be, and be on his own when he needs to be.

At the party, Michonne has a tiny sword. She is standing on the patio looking out at the neighborhood. Abe joins her and they talk symbolism and how Michonne will carry her sword everywhere whether is it on her back or not. Forever. She looks damn hot, too. Abe is drunk, but he’s a happy drunk, like Curtis.

I am, indeed, a pleasant imbiber.

… are they flirting? Or do I just assume everyone has sexual chemistry with Michonne because she’s so amazing?

Well, yes. Abe is probably flirting just a tad, but we know he loves Rosita, and Michonne is, in fact, amazing.

Stop!!

At the armory/pantry/art supply store, Carol breaks into the gun room where she steals a little chocolate…. and a whole bag of pistols.

But she’s caught by one of Jessie’s little jerk children!!

Carol is all: Hi! Hearts and flowers!! The little jerk is like: OK!… why do you need all those guns? Can I have cookies?

So she basically murders his innocence with the best ever tale of child murder and cookies I have ever heard.

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This is not a picture of this moment, while at the same time, this is completely a picture of this moment.

Here’s the thing about this scene: Carol is not threatening a child, she is threatening another survivor of the apocalypse. Sure he’s young, and he’s been sheltered from a lot of the horrors others have had to face, but in Carol’s mind, he’s no less dangerous than anyone else. Think about it: every child Carol has ever encountered has spelled danger for her. If I had survived Sophia, and Carl, and Sophia II, and Puppy, I might not be too keen on a kid showing up to witness my plans and machinations either. Frankly, that kid is lucky she didn’t just garrote him and throw him over the wall.

So in closing: I think I am in love with Carol.

And the really disturbing thing? If Carol had killed the kid right there we would all still love her.

She basically tells the kid that if he tells on her he’s going to wake up tied to a tree and left for the walkers, and we’re still rooting for her, because, like Rick, she’ll do anything to protect her family. Where we’re not fans of Rick’s back and forth on the matter, we’ve seen Carol evolve from battered wife to a fierce warrior who will love her family so much that she’ll be the monster that this Walking Dead world calls for sometimes, no matter the cost. And you believe her here, no question, that she would do this to a child if he makes her choose between her family and him.

Back at the party, JESSIE HAS LIL ASS KICKER!! I am not okay with this.

SHUT THE @#$% UP, JESSIE!!

Rick may have turned the corner on Alexandria… but I doubt it.

He kisses Jessie’s dumb face.

Well, he’s turned a corner on Jessie, anyway. I’m surprised we don’t get a rack focus to her husband.

They like it. I’m already over it.

Rick has a type and it’s insufferable.

See, I don’t have the problem with Jessie you have, but I also don’t see a future for her and Rick, even if her husband wasn’t in the picture. Rick is in farrrrrr too different a place than she is to have anything actually work between them, and if he’s looking at her as something from the past say, a wife-figure or a mother-figure for Carl and Judith, then he’s already doomed the relationship.

Deanna invites Sasha to join a group who is chatting about the most mundane things ever. Things that I doubt Sasha liked talking about before the world went to hell. PTSD is all around her. Someone asks her what her favorite meal is… and Sasha… snaps like a twig.

What you’ve left out here is that when Sasha arrives, the guy who opens the door for her is the son of Deanna’s whom she said would be manning the tower. So clearly, now would be the time for someone to attack the town.

The next morning, after what I can only assume was the most awkward party exit ever, Sasha is at the gates waiting for Deanna. Deanna arrives and tells her that she is still trying to figure her out. She’s @#$%ed up, Deanna, there. The work is done. Sasha tells her Alexandria isn’t real, but Deanna is like bluff= called.

Then she gives her some bullets and lets her out of the gates.

At Blender House, Carol shows off her haul, well, minus the chocolate. She ate that. Daryl decides that while he is glad they have the guns, he is going to give Alexandria a chance, and that means not carrying a gun in secret.

Rick takes one.

Which is, oddly, fairly silly, considering as the sheriff of this town, he already has a gun, but OK.

Michonne hangs up her sword on the mantle, but she’s conflicted about it.

It’ll come down soon, I have no doubt.

The spies reenter Alexandria and go their separate ways.

Jessie and husband wave at Rick and he waves back.

Then he finds a place where a walker is trying to get into Alexandria. Rick puts his hand on the wall and looks pained, as he is want to do.

What is he doing here? The look on his face… it isn’t pained, but I don’t know what it is. He can hear the walker through the wall, so is it that he knows the walker can’t get through, or is it that he wants it to so he can find some kind of meaning in killing it?

So you were going to say about the Sasha/Andrea convergence? Because it’s a thing they are doing.

Yeah, they are, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, having Sasha take on that role is a good thing, and we’ll get our TV Andrea that we should have had, just under a different name. I am OK with that.

But?

But it makes me all the more angry about how Andrea was written on this show. Not all of the blame can fall on Darabont, since he was actually fired before the second season started shooting, even if his fingerprints are all over the first half of it, but it did start with him. It’s the writers after that I think made it far, far worse, because they could have fixed it and they didn’t. They had a season and a half to make her a better character, and give Laurie Holden a part that didn’t waste her talents week after week. Instead we got the woman who fell for an obvious psychopath and ignored every single damn opportunity to get herself out of the mess that she made herself go into, and got herself and a lot of innocent people killed.

And I think a lot of Andrea’s attributes migrated over to Carol, although not in an exact way, obviously. In many ways she was a better Andrea analogue than Andrea was herself. Certainly the comic Andrea and the TV Carol grew into smart, capable, and when needed, deadly women, but I wish they had let Laurie Holden have a chance to play the part.

Well, now Sonequa Martin-Green gets to, and that’s OK.

Yes it is. And the next episode looks like we’re getting more Eugene, which should make Curtis happy.

Yay!

And more Gabriel, which will make no one happy.

Truth. We’ll see you next week, folks!

 

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Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

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