The Walking Dead is one of the few, rare TV shows that is not overrated. It is better than most of us will ever be able to explain to our friends.
After the last scene of “Welcome to the Tombs” faded away on my screen, and the Lykke Li “Unrequited Song” had its’ chorus reverberating in my mind, I went to get a drink. Now, I don’t mean that in one of the adult senses. I may be an adult, but I don’t drink like one. (I’d almost always rather have a cute little Shirley Temple than whatever it is you’re trying to ply me with, really. A Shirley Temple will always give me a couple cherries, and a sweet aftertaste.) No, I was getting a Diet Coke. But I require my Diet Coke to be nearly frozen… I’m pretty picky about a lot of things. And in this case, I needed ice. Of course, I don’t have an ice maker. I have the annoying trays like the other *peasant people like me have. We have to make our own ice, dammit. (I’d say we’re better for it, but we’re not. We’re all spoiled.)
My ice cubes hadn’t entirely frozen from their last refill, however. They were still dripping with wetness, and had a shiny gleam to them. I plucked a few of the more solid pieces out and put them in a tumbler. (Just cause I’m not drinking like an adult doesn’t mean I can’t use pretty adult glasses.) I admired how shiny and reflective these only-just frozen ice cubes were, compared to the dull, matte look of typical ice cubes.
Being wet, they attached to each other the way a wet tongue on ice adheres in a cartoon. Poking at them with my index finger, I watched them twirl ’round, and begin to settle in the tumbler.
And that, that was how I felt.
My thoughts on The Walking Dead finale needed to just have time to settle down in my brain. I was overwhelmed by the impact the episode had on me, and was equally overwhelmed by the task before me to write up my weekly review*.
So, I watched The Good Wife. It’s one of my favorite TV shows. And I’d recently had a dream about Matt Czuchry and wanted to see his handsome face on my screen. (And it was very handsome, Matt. Thank you.)
Now, I’m back here… trying to figure out what to tell you guys how I felt. Can I just use words? Amazing. Epic. Explosive. Semi-soul-destroying. Addictive.
Enough about ice cubes, time for real talk.
Well, what do you think? I understand why Carl made his decision to kill that kid. He didn’t want to be tricked or fooled. He couldn’t take a chance that the guy would still turn around and try to end them. I think that everyone – Rick, Hershel, etc – are especially tough on Carl because they see him as one of the last innocent’s around. He represents the future direction for the world. And he’s adapting almost too well.
The plan our A team had was kind of genius. My one thought was that they should have rigged all those cars to explode or be wrecked so that the Woodbury people couldn’t make that quick getaway from the trap. Of course, what would that have solved? They would have stayed and a longer battle would have ensued? The Governor wouldn’t have had a chance to kill them all, but a lot of people would still have died on both sides. I’m not sure what it would have done, what do you think?
The Governor’s little plot with Milton killing Andrea was so subtle and genius. He knew what he wanted, and he realized that even if Milton disobeyed he’d die and turn and then try to kill Andrea. It was … like I said, genius. But evil. Which I guess means I think the ol’ Gov is an evil genius.
Is the Governor still alive? I think so. I think the threat of not knowing will be scarier for us than if we’d seen he was still alive at the end.
He is a ruined man. Hardly human, anymore. Transformed. And dangerous.
A Good Death
Call me morbid if you need to, but one of the things we all want in life is a good death. We want it to be chock full of meaning. Same as we do with our own future funerals, we’d love to suggest the songs that should be playing in the background during the harrowing moment. And even if we can’t die with dignity, we want to die with emotional impact. But most of us won’t… I don’t think so. And before we start freaking out about that, let’s at least give a nod to Andrea’s death scene. Because that, that was a good death. And because so many characters die on The Walking Dead, a good death is not owed to any of these characters. Remember T-Dogg? Deaths on this show are often brutal and fast. (Even though zombies are pretty slow…)
Milton also died a good death. He refused to give in to The Governor and kill Andrea. It might mean he lived another day, but he refused to compromise what he believed. And that means something. It has to.
What was brought up about Andrea in this episode is what her motivation was. She was stubborn, and I know I’m not the only one who rolled their eyes at her. She was the worst! Except, of course, not really. She was infuriating, but not the worst. I think her scene with Milton showed that her motivation was compassion. She made a lot of dumb choices because of her compassion. She cared too much. She wanted to save people and help them in ways that maybe were unrealistic. But it’s good to know that a person like her still survived that horror. And it helps me remember that Andrea may have annoyed the crap out of me, but she really did mean well most of the time.
In the last scene with Andrea, we saw her friends caring for her. She was reassured that she was still part of their group, and everyone knew her intentions had been good. That was gratifying.
Michonne stayed with Andrea. For a moment, as their eyes lingered, I wondered if there would be a kiss. But that would have been cheap. Because these two women were friends. Real, deep friends. And even if they shared a kiss behind that door, it wasn’t for us to see. And I … I like that. I like that it was a complicated story. Maybe Michonne would have liked to be with Andrea in that way, maybe not. I think what they demonstrated was the way two people can bond, and even triumph over hardships. Because even after it all (the fights, Andrea staying behind, etc), they still had that bond.
And I even had the nerve to think, hey, maybe Michonne is thinking she wished she’d never wasted her time saving Andrea’s life all that Winter. Because now Andrea is dying anyway. But that’s me being a pessimist. I always forget that the journey is bigger than the destination, even though John Lennon schooled us so well.
Laurie Holden, we will miss you on this show.
* I have this sense of myself because I just caught up on three episodes of The Rachel Zoe Project. Her spoiled everyday luxuries enrages me. Zoe may know good fashion (Anne Hathaway on the red carpet is usually a testament to this), but this hardly cancels out how shallow her attitude about life is. I suspect she only allows her various home refrigerators to create ice cubes from bottled French water.
* Okay, you caught me. I think I skipped one or two episodes. Sometimes it’s hard to write when you aren’t sure who is really reading. I wish you guys would comment more. Seeing the numbers attached to a piece means so little to me when I can’t imagine what any of you are like.
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Photo Credit: AMC. We honor those with writing credits for this episode: Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore. We also want to give additional thanks to Lauren Cohan for giving us this Exclusive Interview.