Bowie V. Ibarra
Things have once again come to a head in the mid-season finale of 'The Walking Dead'. And with all the teasers we got up to the finale, I had one question from my dependable Wild Speculators:
Who dies? this round?
author of 'The Flu' series from Permuted Press
I hate to say it ... Herschel. But I'm hoping for Beth.
R THOMAS RILEY
author of If God Doesn't Show from Permuted Press
ARMY ED, Special Weapons and Tactics advisor to ZBF.com
Well, here are some notes from the show, including the body count.
LORI PARENTING SKILLS
So, what is it about the zombie apocalypse that has made parents think they can use the old 'stay where I can see you' school of thought. It's like Lori with Carl not staying in the house. This isn't play in the mud time anymore like in the olden days. This is the zpoc, where zeds are randomly walking through the wood in packs.
This muddy zed might finally explain those zeds in the road the other episode. The Governor stopped his car because of mud in the road. It must have been a flood plain and the zeds got caught up in it.
Well, anyway, we got to watch a young child get bit by a zombie. Not fun.
A SHOUTOUT TO LUCIO FULCI?
Am I the only one that noticed that mudslide zombie was reminiscent of Spanish Conquistador zombie from Lucio Fulci's classic, 'Zombie'?
Check it out here.
THE GOVERNOR AS JIM JONES
You got to admit, the Governor might be a sonovabitch, but he's got an assload of charisma. this guy was like a Zpoc Jim Jones of Jonestown fame, leading his sheep into the flames for his own self-interests.
I mean, look at him. Coming in to the new group, even after the mysterious deaths of previous leadership, he still earns the hearts and minds of the survivors and convinces them that making a move on the folks at the prison is the right thing to do.
I have to admit, I don't know how I would react to some dude showing up, mysterious deaths of leadership, and mobilization of a group of unskilled folks against a fortified position in the middle of the zpoc. I don't know, maybe stay quiet, pack my shit, and run the other way with my friends.
BODY COUNT AND TEASERS
We had a huge zombie death teaser with the cutaway from Daryl as a zed was about to sneak up behind him, but that didn't go down.
We had a huge teaser for Rick as the Governor took the full mount and was raining blows to his face when Michonne came in for the save, running him through.
I believe there's another big teaser for 'Lil Ass Kicker's alleged death. Yeah, daddy Rick and big brother Carl saw the bloody baby carrier. We also saw what a hard time the kids were having lugging that thing around. Hell, you can see that most every day outside of the zombie apocalypse. Those things are a pain in the ass.
So in the midst of the debacle, it stands to reason that since we didn't see the baby get eaten, that one of the kids or an adult picked the baby up out of the contraption and ran off with her.
Of course, I said the same thing about Lori, and that they would come face to face with her zombie and that didn't play out.
So, in the end, the Governor ate it, and he executed Herschel. Dipshit Mitch the Bitch took a bolt to the heart from Daryl. And the Governor's new family pretty much ate it as well.
HERSCHEL'S MEXICAN CARTEL STYLE EXECUTION
This sucked a lot.
Herschel's an amazing character, and one of the most noble of the series. He got a piece of his neck sliced by the Governor, sparking the skirmish to take the prison. As the battle started, Herschel tried to slide away, only to be recaptured by the Governor and have the rest of his head hacked off.
Having watched Mexican Cartel decapitation videos online in an effort to research my 'cartel vs. zombies' work in progress, I've learned, much to my horror, that decapitations are not as glamorous or easy as we've been led to believe. It would most definitely taken multiple hacks with Michonne's Hanzo sword to finally lop the head off.
You know, like Mary Queen of Scots. The executioner's job was not easy. And though I've seen some executions from the middle east that did not take as long as Mexican cartel dudes using knives to slit the throat and start digging in, the fact is there's lots of effort put into cutting folks heads off. That's what made that final gruesome moment with the Governor finishing Hershel the most disturbing moment of the episode to me.
Also, whatever you do, don't Google 'Mexican Cartel Decapitations'.
No, seriously, don't do it.
ALSO, WHY HERSCHEL?
So, The Governor has a choice to hack off the heads of Herschel or Michonne. One is an old man who doesn't really have any serious beef with The Governor, apart from him being a total asshole. The other is a woman who killed his daughter, messed him up in the head, and is his biggest reason for making the lives of The Walking Dead Fun Bunch miserable. What the hell? Just a strange choice.
Well, that one pre-teen finally took the exiled Carol's words to heart. Well done on the pistol headshot, little girl. I don't care what the internets says about you, you're fine by me making executive decisions in the heat of battle.
THE HEART OF HUMAN CONFLICT
And, in the end, we see the true problem with human existence bringing itself to the fore again. The late Rodney King said it best when he said, 'Can't we all just get along?"
The Governor shows up with a tank and his 2nd militia to take the prison, demanding Rick and his friends leave. Well, duh, Rick's not going to walk away from everything he and his friends have made at the prison and points out how stupid it is for the Governor to overrun the prison. Then nobody gets it. Rick even offers to squash the past and live together in a truce for the greater good.
But the governor's not having it, and everybody loses.
It makes one wonder if Carl would have taken that shot with his rifle and scored, what would have happened? Would the militia have tried to move on the prison without their leader? Hershel might have lived. Who knows?
SEPERATE STORIES OF SURVIVAL
In the end, the Governor's 2nd Militia was decimated, the prison overrun by zeds, and the Walking Dead Fun Bunch were splintered. You've got Glenn and the folks on the bus as one group. You figure Tyrese, the kids, Maggie, and Daryl. And Carl and his Dad. Is that right? Did I miss something?
The Daryl/Tyrese dynamic will be interesting, with Tyrese having beef with Carol. We'll see how that plays out. I'm already seeing an episode where this team meets Carol in the future.
Army Ed was a big proponent of seeing how different groups survive. Looks like this will be the story for the second part of the season: How these three groups survive and if they reunite.
This is pretty easy to identify. Three big things stick out:
Will Carol return?
What the hell was with that dissection of the rat?
Who were the folks that massacred that small group in the woods?
Well, that's that for now. Until February, pick up one of my books or one from Permuted Press today. It's good shit. You should read them.
Down the Road, Down the Road: On the Last Day, and Down the Road: The Fall of Austin. Pick them up in paperback or Kindle today.
BOWIE V. IBARRA earned his BFA in Acting and MA in Theatre History from Texas State University. Network with Bowie at his official website, ZombieBloodFights.com today.