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Utopia Talk / Movie Talk / The Walking Dead (Cont. 12)
Cherub Cow
Tue Sep 07 02:58:06
Thread 11 (Season 9 finale to S11E04):
Cherub Cow
Tue Sep 07 02:58:12
"I disagree with killing off the strong black guy... he was like the STR 18 Fighter of the party, more interesting than most of the riff raff"

Yeah :/
He was short-lived, so it wasn't an emotional loss, but he was clearly a warrior for the group. I think they were trying to show that some level of stealth and cunning make up important features for surviving the mercenaries/reapers (rather than brute strength and being a big target), but I'd rather he just be temporarily wounded and stationary like they did for Alden. I hope this wasn't a strategy of killing off the true alphas of their group because that again puts Negan in the line of fire.
the wanderer
Tue Sep 07 11:48:44
i think it was just a redshirts situation :p

presumably Ranger Daryl made it (i haven't seen ep4 yet), and Cleric Gabriel did... & Maggie & Negan
Cherub Cow
Mon Sep 13 06:34:54
"(i haven't seen ep4 yet)"

AMC's evil strategy is working!! They've already made a class divide between the advanced episodes and the timely episodes. Join the T0rr3nt revolution!! ;D

S11E05: "Out of the Ashes"

Nice episode!
This one got things back on track by developing multiple stories at once — much more fulfilling.

I liked Rosita's conversation with Judith.. lots of emotion there, courtesy of Carl's farewell to her. But it was also like that conversation from Léon:
[Mathilda]: "Is life always this hard, or is it just when you're a kid?"
[Léon]: "Always like this."

[Judith]: "Does it get easier?"
[Rosita]: "I'd be lying if I said it did."

I think the writing could have been more metaphoric/quotable there, though. Rosita explained the concept of keeping people alive through shared culture (how Carl and Rick were a part of Rosita because of the experiences they shared), but there was no strong thesis moment where she said it in a way that Judith would remember.. which is kind of important, since the scene was about the importance of remembering. With the hand-print board, they could have also made a great metaphor there that would have paralleled the fallen Hilltop compound.. where physical memories (e.g., the board, the compound) will fade, the things we build represent tools in our becoming, but we become the living memories of the past.

Aaron's development was also nice, and it was good to see it happen quickly rather than costing him something over several episodes. Sometimes the show takes it for granted that people can catch themselves slipping pretty quickly. Sometimes it only takes one afternoon to realize that you've been unreasonable..

In the house scene, it looked like Negan was ready to apologize for Glenn. He's been trying to find out how to do it. In that scene, it looked like Maggie already saw him apologizing with his eyes, and she was responding to it with anger — like, she feels like he doesn't get to apologize, because she can't forgive him. I watched the stupid after-episode commentary hoping they'd at least talk about that exchange, but they talked about all the obvious stuff in the episode and didn't mention that exchange. It's probably because it's foreshadowing of Negan's apology (still to come), so they don't want to make it a spoiler.

They revealed that the Commonwealth is kind of a soft target. Yumiko's brother basically said that he hasn't dealt with conflict since pretty soon after the beginning.. which makes him kind of like Tara wandering out of that apartment and into the Governor's compound. They have a separate military crew, but it would clearly be a better idea for the Commonwealth to be training its citizens for emergencies instead of letting people pretend that the wild has been tamed. The next episode preview doesn't look like it has any Commonwealth developments, which is a bummer since it just got interesting. :p
the wanderer
Thu Sep 16 01:25:55
ok, I saw ep4... as soon as John Locke* showed up all I could think was how well his glasses holding up ~10 years into a zombie apocalypse :p... at least give us some tape

& yeah, killing that dude over suspicion of cowardice seemed odd as well as taking in Daryl so quick

*wasn’t actually John Locke

the wanderer
Thu Sep 16 01:48:20
they could’ve done the ‘make Daryl kill the other hostage guy’ thing

or tripped them up with the ole:
bad guy: “well, Daryl told us...(X).”
hostage: “oh right...(X)”
bad guy: “Daryl didn’t say shit”
the wanderer
Tue Sep 21 11:44:31
saw Ep5

i assume they'll find some way to make the commonwealth evil (all the stormtroopers hanging around obviously a little troubling :p)... but not sure it will make sense that it is evil

they have advanced flavor ice cream & donuts, all should move there & live happily ever after

i agree on being a good episode... no huge annoyances leapt out :p

although when they spot the zombies being herded, seems charging in blind an odd choice rather than trying to detect the living people... also pretty terrible hostage control
Cherub Cow
Mon Sep 27 06:29:20
Yeah.. especially since they had ranged weapons. Carol could have just thrown some arrows over there to see who flinched.

"they have advanced flavor ice cream & donuts, all should move there & live happily ever after"

I hope so. But I'm wondering how the commonwealth connects to that giant movement of people (caravan) that we saw Michonne run into. Apparently that's a separate group, but I thought it would be the same one. I also thought the Commonwealth would be bigger.. but it seems like just this one town of a few blocks? I can't tell if that's just production limitations. It'd be nice to get an overhead shot that shows the scale (CGI, of course). But.. if it's just this small.. then it's just weird that it hasn't fallen *already*..

@S11E06: "On the Inside"

Pretty poorly directed episode. Weirdly, this was directed by Greg Nicotero, who did just fine on the previous episode. Maybe he was experimenting? It seemed like they were intentionally going for a super-corny horror movie vibe. They even did fog lit by a flood light in the background in one shot (before Connie and the new guy from the island got to that house) — an atmosphere trick for night shots that was used a lot in '80s horror. Then the stupid music in a lot of scenes ("Psycho"-style ♫ree! ree!♫).. and the bad attempts at jump scares. It's funny how Walking Dead has been horror this whole time but not *that* kind of horror. It's not supposed to be a comedy ;p

This one wasn't too notable otherwise. Daryl was still threading the needle, sisters re-united... From the last scene at the "Apocalypse Now" compound, the obvious guess would be that Pope knows about Daryl's duplicity, which means it's totally up to Leah (Lynn Collins) to make the decision for or against Pope — that factor, and, of course, Daryl's speech to her that he's following her lead, wherever that gets him. So she knows that he trusts her completely, and she has to decide whether or not to protect that trust and make a scenario where they can be together. I really hope they work out. They're probably the only characters worth investing in right now.. which is extra dangerous for them if the writers want to go GoT again like they did with Beth ;D

Also, when Connie and Kelly reunited... that seemed like a moment where it would have made a lot more sense if they were a couple (the case in the comics, apparently). That seemed like more of a romance moment than a family moment :P
Cherub Cow
Mon Sep 27 07:55:47
@S11E07: "Promises Broken"

*Much* better episode!
This one even went back and forth to Commonwealth and Maggie's group for good plot coverage.

And lots of good moments, including that conversation between Maggie and Negan that was needed... and it had a fun twist for Maggie :D
Funny that Negan went back to *that* moment (Rick's group kneeling) instead of his personal moment with Lucille. You'd think his big regret would be leaving her, but maybe he liked too much his successes after her. So that was the big coin flip we were waiting for.. answering the question of whether or not someone like Negan had learned the right lessons. Killing Rick's entire group would be even against Negan's own rule of "people are a resource", so it looks like Negan only grew to resent everyone for beating him.. like his own morality was further corrupted instead of improved via empathy. Instead of apologizing for Glenn, he would cause even more violence... Pretty wild. And heartbreaking for Team Reformed-Negan ;)
..though maybe he would point out a difference between how he would have handled them in the *past* versus how he would behave *now*.. and that might be the more important factor? (#TeamReformedNeganMaybeStillPossible?) Not for *Maggie*, though ;p

Gabriel's scene was also nice. I don't usually pay too much attention to his religious turmoil, but that scene with the praying Reaper was an important scene for him. "God" at least as a metaphor would get him off his current cynical track. Gabriel has not been doing well lately, so if letting a positive metaphor back into his heart would help his decision-making become more balanced, then — for him — it's a good thing. It'd be nice to see him happy too :) .. kind of neat how he grew from that coward who didn't help his people to someone who has to pull himself back from being too cold and violent.

I also really liked the attention they paid to how completely removed from the horror that some of the upper castes have become in the Commonwealth. That scene with Yumiko reading that vacation book was interesting, since, on the one hand, it's showing how disconnected these people have become (already back to the limits of decadence), and on the other hand, it's showing that it's all a fantasy, since those Italian villas from the book probably fell to ruin. It's all props and the last remains of a dead world being paraded around. It reminds me of that Mad Max 2 quotation: "You're living off the corpse of the old world". The Commonwealth can probably find a lot of nice stuff, but even Cuba's well-preserved cars start to look out of place once the styles changes.

I'm also now interested in the Commonwealth story, since this second political faction within it has an even more hidden plan. Particularly... why would he need to abduct Yumiko's brother? Was she mentioning his surgeon history too loudly? Blerg.
the wanderer
Wed Sep 29 01:36:35
saw ep6, I agree the brand new glasses guy probably knows about Daryl... was nice of Daryl to go the extra mile and cut off that finger though :p

I liked the silence bits to show it would extra scary, though seems like could’ve been better on that, more enemies seen behind her during silence or something

although I don’t want to be watching her writing and then trying to decipher what she wrote... (in general, I hate when shows make you have to read texts off phones or something :p). also I guess she’s completely mute? can’t even scream? is that how mute works?

Moving on... not sure it makes sense multiple gollums would develop together... seems like something that would only happen solo... perhaps needs experimentation with college students or homeless or something

also didn’t care much for Daryl’s warning of shaking a wire and Maggie happening to see... he knew they were going to the right area yet didn’t seem to have a plan
Cherub Cow
Tue Oct 05 07:16:38
Yeah, it was pretty last-ditch that Daryl pulled anything off there.

"(in general, I hate when shows make you have to read texts off phones or something :p)"
Yeah! I had hoped that media-makers had gotten past that. There was a movie years ago now that stylistically put all text messages on the screen as an overlay rather than trying to zoom in on a phone (I may be thinking specifically "Non-Stop" (2014), but it seems the trend started even earlier in the 2010s). I was hoping that would be mass-adopted. They could do the same for hand-writing..

"also I guess she’s completely mute? can’t even scream? is that how mute works?"
Yeah, I didn't realize it until this episode. I thought that she was just deaf and didn't like to talk because deaf-speaking can be jarring, but she must be physically mute also, which would mean physically unable to make noise.

"not sure it makes sense multiple gollums would develop together... seems like something that would only happen solo..."
Yeah, that was weird. With multiple people there would be some baseline socialization. It doesn't make sense in a somewhat well-taken-care-of home like that — even with the house being a trap for visitors in a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" kind of way. Then again.. if they'd spent more time than an episode, maybe they could have sold it? ;)

@S11E08: "For Blood"

Arg... that was a pretty good episode, but it really should have been a 2-parter if this was going to be a pause in the show schedule. They won't be back until maybe February 2022, so a sloppy cliffhanger makes it an annoying show-pause.

Otherwise, it was cool to see them focus on two stories (Alexandria and Maggie's group). The opener with Maggie's group now fully playing the part of Whisperers was especially cool.

Pretty strange that Pope didn't make a move on Daryl. I thought for sure that Pope had found out from Maggie's teammate (whom Pope tortured and killed previously) that Daryl was a long-term part of Maggie's group, but Pope was totally in the dark. Maybe the theme they intended was that Daryl really can be difficult to read, which was hurting Pope's usual intuition. They *did* have that scene where Pope was having to read Daryl only indirectly from the way that Leah was reacting.. but they missed a potentially strong moment wherein Pope could have been ready for Daryl's betrayal (very dangerous for Daryl and Leah).

I was hoping that Daryl would get ahead of it with Leah, maybe telling her right after Pope that they should now try to save her people so that the groups could unite.. but Daryl did not see it coming that Leah would still (reasonably) want to protect the rest of her family. Honestly, that should have been part of his pitch, and/or he could have gotten a head start by only knocking the roof soldier unconscious instead of killing. He *saw* how invested she was in her family.. she wouldn't just leave that.. :/

Back to the cliffhanger: that was stupid. Maggie and Negan were just sort of.. standing there. And with Daryl in the mix, the obvious mid-season return would just be that he gets them out of there. Like, they rewind a few seconds, and Daryl tells them to take cover before the arrows start launching. Then, after a bunch of walkers die, Gabriel pulls up in a vehicle and they leave with all the food. That would have been a much better end to the mid-season. That way, Leah just looks at Daryl driving away, he looks back at her, and we don't know if she'll come after them or just rebuild and forget him. Whatevs :p
the wanderer
Wed Oct 06 02:01:16
saw ep7, I think still they’re going for reformed Negan, him just not rolling over as the bad guy... him killing but for noble reasons (protecting his own people)

that governor’s son-on-a-date scene pretty annoying :p
especially Stephanie watching a zombie approach the girl and she can’t say “hey, look out!”?
the wanderer
Tue Oct 19 03:31:12
I finally watched ep 8... Pope sure liked sacrificing his own people

you forgot to complain about yet another ‘kid does something stupid and annoying’ moment
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