As usual, this column may contain major spoilers and readers should consider that if they are fans of the television show.
You know what is fun about roller coasters? It is the constant up and down motion. You know that every time you drop that things are gonna pick right back up or spin or something fun. If you rode up that initial incline, dropped and then just went perfectly straight for a while, people would hate it and discourage others from riding. That’s a hint from me to the writers of The Walking Dead, because right now things have dropped and are just plodding forward without twists and turns or any fun.
DALE, WE BARELY KNEW YE! So, Dale is dead and some congratulations go to the writers because I know from Facebook, GetGlue and Twitter that many did not like his character. Listening to your fanbase is important. I would say that making sense is equally if not more important. Look at what happened here; Dale walks into an open field and hears a cow lowing in pain. He sees that it has been torn open and partially eaten. The simple conclusion is that a walker did it. He does the classic horror movie pan and scan that leads to the classic horror movie “it’s right behind you.” I have to wonder if there are any focus groups or quality assurance teams that these writers are accountable to, because that was the biggest bullshit cop out I have seen in a long time. If this were a show about Aliens, Predators, or even Freddy or Jason, I could see Dale getting caught by surprise. But he was out in the quiet of an open field with the zombie coming at him from the same direction he walked up to the cow from. There is no way it could sneak up on him. We saw this thing try to get Carl. Even before it was struggling to keep hold of him, it was far from quiet. You could hear it drooling, moaning and breathing. If they wanted Dale gone, there were better ways to do it.
WAIT, THEY KILLED WHO? Like him or not, Dale had a place in the story. I am not saying that because he lasted much longer in the book, nor because of the relationship he had with Andrea in the book. Dale was a voice of reason and the only member of the group that can fix a car. He also was not the most or the only disliked character on the show. Now I am all for a story not following the stereotype and killing the black guy first, but would anyone……let me restate, would ANYONE remotely miss T-Dog? This guy is so insignificant that he does not even have a real name. He does nothing, he helps no one and he has no skills needed by the group. He eats, sleeps and shits. The only reason I can see them keeping him around is that every time someone is going to die, people expect and even hope for it to be him. Oh well, looks like his days of standing around looking stupid are not done just yet.
WIFE OF THE YEAR And if you can’t feel the sarcasm in that title, please stop reading now. Lori Grimes is a mother, wife, occasional whore and total hypocrite. Two episodes back she was all in Rick’s ear about Shane this, Shane that, he wants to take what’s yours. She was perfectly content to (albeit indirectly) tell her husband that he needs to kill Shane. Then Rick asks her opinion on what to do with Randall, an outsider that has no connection to any of them. “I don’t know, I will support whatever decision you make.” Gee, thanks for nothing. You gave that whole speech to Maggie about telling Glen to man up, but you can’t woman up and help your husband make a hard decision? She didn’t even have to tell him what to do, she coulda just talked it out with him and made him feel a little better. We know the chick loves to talk. Here’s another candidate for next to die. I don’t care if she’s pregnant. Do her just like Dale got done and when the zombie rips her open, make a gummy bear fetus for the character to eat. As disgusting as that sounds, it is better than the way she and the baby die in the book.
IT’S 10P.M., DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR CHILDREN ARE? Yes, Carl got Dale killed, but is it entirely his fault? This kid does not listen to anyone, but no one actually checks up on him to see if he is listening. Shane told him to stay away from Randall, yet he shows up for the execution. Where the hell was Lori? He wanders off into the woods in the middle of the day and steals a gun from Daryl’s bag. He was able to just walk off the farm like that, he was gone for a long time and no one even questioned where he was or how his pants got dirty. Once again, where the hell is Lori? Even at the end when Dale is screaming, Lori tells him to go into the house where it is safe but he is right there as Dale lay dying and sees the zombie that he basically set free. Lori does not even yell at him for disobeying her, she just holds him. I know there are bad parents, but when you let your child do all this when there literally are monsters both living and dead roaming about, “bad parent” is an understatement. And the worst part of it is that this Carl is nothing like what comic fans came to know. That kid only took lives when he meant to.
WASTED OPPORTUNITIES It is now painfully obvious that season two will be spent almost entirely on the farm. There has been so little progression to the story and there are only two episodes remaining in the season. I have come to accept that the show is basically an alternate universe to the events of the comic. I have accepted that not everything is going to happen the same way, but there are some things that must not change. I went into this during my previous rant about keeping the show alive, but I left one thing out. This is a big one, so I once again invite people who have not read the book to stop now; this one shocked the hell out of me and a great many others. Notice that everyone in the show has either died as a result of becoming zombie lunch or getting shot in the head. Even the two guys in the bar were shot in the head. Last week, Rick noted that the two cop walkers had no signs of bites anywhere on them, yet they turned. In the book, a black girl was shot dead (through the chest) in issue# 14. As her father held her body screaming and crying, she opened her eyes and tried to eat him. This told our heroes the horrifying truth that there is no escape from becoming a walker. Now they could have had Beth die when she went into her coma and they had another chance when she slit her wrist. I hope they reveal this in the season finale because it is one of the elements that can help save the show.
No one with common sense expects this show to be action packed every week. At the same time, we are all tired of the constant talking and talking and more talking for sixty minutes. Last night’s episode was just stupid. Dale spent half of it trying to convince people to not kill Randall. I have to admit that the scene with him and Shane talking was awesome, but only because of their history. It showed that maybe they could have worked together. Then that scene along with Dale’s speech, became a waste. All that is left is the need for them to get off that damn farm. For some reason, even Mr. “I’ll keep them safe” Shane does not get that the farm is not safe. The barn full of walkers should have been a wake up call to move on. It is one thing to flesh out a story and another to beat a dead horse. At this point, the writers are beating the horse from episode one and we all know there is nothing left of that poor thing.