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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
Cherub Cow
Tue Mar 01 08:06:52
It's back! The second block of their three blocks of 8 episodes...

@S11E09: "No Other Way"
Arg :/
Looks like one of the Reapers got into the abandoned Church/warehouse thing (they sort of show that the zombie that attacked Maggie at the end was wearing Reaper gear).
Alden must have gotten him and then succumbed to his wounds. Poor guy. He was the last connection to Enid and to Negan.
Kind of nice for Negan to go on his own again, and it was cool to see Maggie make Negan's decision with the Reapers. Father Gabriel's decision, on the other hand, was a bit nonsensical. The other priest was not really a massive threat to him (even besides the other priest literally putting away his weapon), so it came off as pure spite — like Gabriel was rejecting god not for any lofty reason but simply because Gabriel feels like he himself is a piece of shit.. which makes his self-reflections hard to disagree with ;p

It was a little choppy on the editing side that they pretended that their episode 8 cliffhanger didn't happen going into this episode, but I don't really have high expectations in this show anymore. Also not sure I like their "Six Months Later" thing at the end. It seems like they're accelerating the timeline to give themselves more space and not have to worry about character pacing. It's kind of lazy and almost reminiscent of GoT when they abandoned development and went straight to following an outline. Oh wells. Maybe it reverts *back* to six months before, lulz.. I'll see right now..

@S11E10: "New Haunts"
This is getting hilarious. The "each the rich" and workers' rights narrative... Rosita feeling guilty about being a cop.. which samples "ACAB" logic.. activists infiltrating the media.. fucking krikies. This show was owned.

*Within* the context of the show it makes a *little* sense, since there is clearly a huge divide of inequality between the upper echelons and the poor, but we're not really seeing the entire story since they've sort of glossed over the scale of the Commonwealth. If it's *just* the characters on screen, then it's obviously absurd to see ultra-rich people having wine-socials while there exist crews of dead-body removers within the same social group.. but they've mentioned a scale of "thousands" of potential workers, which means that there's potentially a middle class of artisans all over the city. It makes it pretty difficult to feel sorry for worker's rights when they're **evading zombies**. I'd think people would be pretty psyched to not get fucking eaten even if there *were* some strange wealth inequalities.

They also showed that the kid who "revolted" was clearly incompetent, so it sort of fits if he was severely punished for failing at his job. Or is the show saying that police (since he was of the police forces) should be allowed to fail with no repercussions? If that's the case, then their police state versus the people narrative just ate its own tail; they would have to claim that the police need a union to protect them from state prosecution. And the kid's incompetence also extended to him vandalizing 9 months of a worker's efforts (destroying that painting), which is a total dick move and pits worker against worker. Then, of course, threatening someone's life, which makes him deserving of even greater punishment even in a non-dystopia.

So, if they're *really* trying to pollute the story with a direct critique of modern capitalism, then they need to get more dystopian about it. Simply having to wait in line for medical care is not dystopian, since, if anything, that also implicates a social program of universal health (get used to lines in that event — it's a feature). If they wanted to spice that up, they need to show that the wealthy were getting top placement in line for trivial things like cosmetic surgery. Simply showing that Ezekiel wasn't getting surgery and is sad is not enough to make it unjust.

Based on the flash-forward of the last episode, it's got to be that it's a big pyramid scheme where the decadent echelons rely on recruiting laborers to complete menial tasks, where empire expansion relies on seizing resources rather than creating them (in other words, a kind of repeat of Negan's society). If, for instance, they do not own any fields and crops (which is unlikely, given that they showed livestock), that could show a supply issue that has to be supported with a pyramid scheme. That kind of massive inequality might make more sense for aligning the audience with the lower classes, but so far they're not cutting it with this "ripped from the headlines" bullshit.

@S11E11: "Rogue Element"
"[She] knows how I feel about the militarization of the police"??
You have to be fucking kidding with this writing. This is the fucking zombie post-apocalypse. "Militarization of the police" is not a fucking thing. That's stupid to the level of "Fear the Walking Dead" having an anti-gun episode.

And the ridiculous concept that the state-owned media would hire two obvious activists to carry the Party line is absurd. They would not allow them to snoop around like this. Their activist bullshit would have been sniffed out and they would have been put somewhere where they couldn't learn anything. All this is showing is that it was right to hate these characters, since they do not even possess the mental forethought to learn things while pretending to serve the Commonwealth's agenda (i.e., discretion). I seriously hope this cast gets wiped out.

lol. Okay. Eugene getting rekt by a honeypot was hilarious, so that partly made up for a lot of the Commonwealth plot. It makes sense now why she was the "post-apocalyptic discount Lisa Loeb" and "a little too rewarding" — it plays right into Eugene's hipster-girl fantasy, which they molded to get him to reveal intel. They also (accidentally?) doubled the plot of "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qv0rw36hMA — itself an updated Cyrano de Bergerac) by having him fall in love with a voice but introducing him to a different physical person. Funny that she didn't bother coming forward until after Eugene's breakup XD

Since the Commonwealth appears to have an intelligence apparatus, that makes me wonder if I should reevaluate some of the other oddities. Like, maybe the Commonwealth has allowed the deaf sisters to snoop around because the Commonwealth wants to test their loyalty. If they pass, then maybe they get invited to the inner circle where they can betray Alexandria and/or Hilltop.

The list thing was somewhat interesting, since it shows that even the top policeman doesn't decide who disappears. It also floats topics like a eugenics program or an even lower class of untouchables. Honestly, though.. the writing and direction has been so bad in the Commonwealth episodes that I really don't care. I just hope that Connie, Kelly, Magna, and Yumiko get wiped. They've been worthless characters since they were introduced.
Cherub Cow
Mon Mar 07 07:21:51
@S11E12: "The Lucky Ones"

Okay, I'm *starting* to see what they might be going for with the Commonwealth (aside from the Commie narratives of the show-writers). This episode started putting a protection-racketeering scheme into motion, so that would make the Commonwealth into a kind of villain here. And it's a little different from Negan's frontal-assault type of racketeering, since the Commonwealth deals more subtly.

The Lance Hornsby character (Commonwealth sub-leader at odds with main Commonwealth leader Pamela Milton) seems ready to go rogue by using his control of the military to seize the three communities by force, which would take away the benevolent character of the Commonwealth. This would be a case of a mega-city trying to trample rural communities so that they could install one vision over the entire surviving world.. sort of like the initial territorial expansion of Rome under a monarchy or like a neo-feudalism. Maggie wants to keep her community's sovereignty, which would be a threat to a feudal model.

Still, they've held off on explaining the threats. Maggie easily could have (and should have) asked what happens if she refuses their help, but instead she opted to cancel any pacts and all trade with no thought to consequences.. which makes little sense. To make the cynical take, this paints Maggie as regressive, since she wants to live in the past rather than accept even the minor help that would improve the community at even a basic level (e.g., a back-up food supply, better walls, better perimeter protection). But, to give Maggie credit, "Everything costs something," and Maggie is suspicious of the cost of accepting any help from the Commonwealth. She would rather put the cost directly onto her own works, which makes sense. And this also means that she's founding a community of hard-working people rather than entering into a pyramid scheme that undervalues its laborers.

And of another threat, Milton threatened Hornsby, but so far the only real threat is that people who disobey the system end up in the lower castes of the fiefdom.. but they haven't revealed the untouchable (lowest) class yet. Maybe it's just more of the farming communities (like the opium-poppy field workers), except there must exist communities where the workers do not receive any pay at all — indentured servants who pay off the mistakes they made, where "mistakes" can include petty insults against the Commonwealth.

It was nice that they gave time to Eugene and Max. Max is definitely more likeable than imposter-Stephanie. Actress Margot Bingham plays the shy/nerd role a bit better, which shows some good casting decisions there. I'm still curious how imposter-Stephanie and the Commonwealth's apparent intelligence apparatus factor into things. I'm not sure this show can sustain the type of creative writing that would be required for spy games. Maybe it's just something they've already revealed: that they outright seize people if they have valuable skills (e.g., the surgeon who just wanted to make cake). In that case, they might poach specific people from the three communities in order to weaken those communities.. which would make sense with their taking of Rosita, Eugene, and Daryl — clearly, some of the more capable people.

I also maintain that it's ridiculous that they were making such an issue of the health care situation. Ezekiel hinted at the hospital having lots of patients in line.. but he didn't really give some kind of vision of a better system there. Again, in socialized health care, there's going to be a line. Would he prefer to believe that everyone should be treated simultaneously regardless of their ability to work or pay? That's impossible — especially in the apocalypse, with there being a handful of doctors and limited resources. If they had shown someone with a more serious condition who had been waiting longer and who could offer more to society but who didn't have a better position in line.. then okay... but they didn't. They also could have shown the doctors intentionally not treating people at all... but they didn't do that either. All they have is Ezekiel's aimless sense of injustice. Maybe that's a reflection of the ignorant writers of this show? Not sure.

Anyways. I guess they'll answer a lot of these questions, it's just weird presentation so far.
Cherub Cow
Mon Mar 14 07:40:43
@S11E13: "Warlords"

Cool! They finally revealed the dark underbelly of the intelligence apparatus. I'm guessing that the CIA guy taught the others the craft, unless they just happen to have more agents in their midst. Also neat that they wipe out problem communities. That was a hidden part of the equation (i.e., what happens to the rejects.. might still be more to it, though). It's funny.. that CIA guy ("Carlson") has shown himself to be pretty cool (sort of acts like Josh Brolin's Sicario character), but he's clearly not going to last long against Maggie's group ;p

Cool cameo by Michael Biehn! (Kyle Reese from "Terminator" (1984), Hicks from "Aliens" (1986), etc.). He doesn't seem to make a lot of content, so this was a random appearance.

And Negan clearly should have gone farther out before settling down. He's not even a half-day's ride from Hilltop? That's a bit silly, honestly. You'd think he'd at least travel for a week before setting up somewhere.

Curious what Hornsby's move was here. Biehn's character indicated that a Commonwealth convoy *was* attacked by the apartment complex peeps (if Carlson's ability to detect lies can be believed), but that makes it odd that no one in the complex came forward. So if Carlson was *wrong* and Biehn was truthful (they "found [the convoy] like that"), then I don't see Hornsby's strategy. Meaning... did Hornsby's convoy get attacked intentionally by Hornsby's own people? Or, maybe Hornsby didn't lose any people but simply staged and abandoned convoy materials so that Carlson would wipe the complex people. In that case, this might simply be Hornsby purging the area so that he can control it, amassing enough power with a hidden military that he can challenge Milton. The complex might just be a useful staging area for him to challenge the three communities (located centrally between Hilltop, shoreline, and Alexandria).
Cherub Cow
Mon Mar 21 04:40:32
@S11E14: "The Rotten Core"

This seems to be the payoff phase of this 8-episode block (action-heavy episode). Just 2 more episodes before the show disappears for a few months..

The house scene had some stupid holes in it. When Daryl ran into the room, he immediately made the same mistake that the trapped character made: he closed the door behind him despite power loss being a potential issue. The show-runners didn't even seem to notice this, since the characters did not have to pay for the mistake. The trapped character was also *clearly* the weakest link, but they did basically nothing to help her once they left the room. They just put armor on her and said, "K! Good luck!" That's a big oversight and shows that they have somehow not developed the ability to keep other people alive. At this stage, they should all be the type of leaders who can immediately assume responsibility for the lives of others, but they couldn't even keep this one person alive.

That was also a poorly directed scene, since the show-runners gave a wide shot that showed hundreds of walkers around that house, then they made it seem like the walkers in the house were the only ones, whereas more of the herd outside would definitely have been attracted by the gun shots and the previous alarm.. At the very least, the show-runners should have shown more walkers entering the house and mixing in with the group again..

Negan seems to have had his own "Kill Bill" scene with Glenn&Maggie's son. It was like the scene with Beatrice (Uma Thurman) and Vernita (Vivica Fox), where Beatrice suggested to Vernita's daughter that she could come looking for vengeance some day when she was old enough. Looks like Maggie made sure to make Glenn Junior hate Negan too..

They made some absurd time jumps with Negan's story, though. Starting a new and strong relationship should have taken at least a year, but I think the time jump from Negan's departure from Maggie was only about a maximum of 6 months (since the flash-forward teaser — yet to arrive — was supposed to be 6 months). Getting Negan's new wife caught up to speed and totally aware of his past should likely not have been so quickly glossed over..

Leah's (Lynn Collins') arrival at the end was pretty cool. Looks like she's pretty well adjusted after losing her entire family ;)
Cherub Cow
Tue Mar 29 06:35:19
@S11E15: "Trust"

Good setup for the mid-season finale.
Hornsby showed that he's pretty chaotic, which makes you wonder how he survived this long. It could simply be credit to Maggie's group that they can out-play him, but Hornsby seems way too confrontational with the intimidation tactics. Maybe it's a Daenerys situation where he doesn't realize that subordinates were keeping him from making bad decisions; without CIA-guy Carlson protecting him, he's on point and doesn't have protection from his own mistakes. It does not look like he'll survive the next episode.

Leah teaming up with Hornsby also seems like a terminal decision for her. I figure they'll have Daryl kill her just before Leah tries to kill Maggie, though that might be too obvious even for these writers. Best (alternative) case scenario would be that Leah kills Hornsby (a double-cross to help Daryl) and Maggie kills Leah in an impulse moment, so Daryl gets to say goodbye to Leah after she's redeemed herself.. but I doubt they could pull that off with this production team.

Their health-care commentary is still pretty weak. They make it sound like the hospital simply had all sorts of resources but wasn't doing anything with them.. because why else would the surgeon have spare time to go across town to do an appendectomy? Or is their strategy to sleep-deprive the surgeon with double hours and make him less effective? Surgeons would likely be *the* bottleneck in this society, since it's unlikely that many made it, so it would be less about supply and more about qualifications.

The corruption plot is still too stupid to care about. They'll save that for the next 8-episode block anyways. I guess they'll build their pinko Utopia soon. It almost seems like a child wrote this idealistic garbage. I'd blame it on this episode's writer (Kevin Deiboldt), but this was set in motion by novice writer Magali Lozano (S11E10) and carried forward by somewhat seasoned WD writer Vivian Tse (S11E12). With *three* writers failing to properly handle that story line, that drops the blame to showrunner Angela Kang. They could easily have saved the story line by showing a bunch of surgeons hanging out and not treating anyone because no high priority (rich) clients needed surgery, but nope.. it's "injustice" just because everyone isn't all getting help immediately. That shows such little sense for complexity.

9 more episodes of this torture.
Cherub Cow
Mon Apr 04 02:45:07
@S11E16: "Acts of God"

"I figure they'll have Daryl kill her just before Leah tries to kill Maggie, though that might be too obvious even for these writers."

Guess it was not too obvious. They didn't even let Leah understand her own death for dramatic effect (just a head shot), and Daryl barely paused afterwards.

Though I was wrong about Hornsby, which means that the Commonwealth still has him for an enforcement mechanism in front of Milton going into the last 8 episodes of the series.

The little journalism side-plot is still stupid, and it's further showing the incompetence of Magna's group. All they had for print was that Milton's son was using expendable people to score cash from that house.. but that's that. There's no direct connection to Milton herself, so making their headline "Pamela Milton Is Lying To You" will be easily countered by Commonwealth press. All Milton has to do is..
1) deny,
2) call the story a lie and/or re-write the story with a more positive narrative (perhaps: "Those people were given a chance to rehabilitate by performing difficult tasks for the good of the Commonwealth"),
3) burn the credibility of anyone who supports the story,
4) and, if more evidence appears, fall back to "I had no knowledge of my son's and/or Hornsby's actions — refer to him as a separate legal entity".

This is not unlike the DNC's Hunter Biden strategy, but I don't think that's the commentary they're going for.

Magna's group also exposed themselves by printing en masse, since it will immediately be asked who had access to the printing press, and further publication will be made difficult. With such shit writing by the show-runners, Magna's group will likely get another shot (per their plan of turning public sentiment now and dropping the bigger story later — possibly by crowd-sourcing information), but, in a world of good writing, if this were their one shot, they failed terribly. They should have decoded the "coordinates" (found the meaning of those numbers), found out where the rest of the missing people had gone, found the connection to Milton, and *then* published.

So, again, I really hope Magna's group is wiped. Just imagine showing up in the only functional society of the post-apocalypse and immediately trying to destroy that society without even first approaching the leader to correct the society's dysfunctions. This is not to argue in favor of "benevolent" corruption or a noble lie for a functioning society — this is a matter of tact and practical consequences. They went right to "tear down the system", and since the world is actively and literally eating itself outside of the walls, tearing down that system might just be fucking retarded of them. This isn't exactly Terminus, the Governor's compound, or Negan's compound; this is a relatively functional society. And that shit about Max asking for scholarships? Fucking ridiculous. If this were normal society, funding a lavish party rather than scholarships would be poor decision-making, but a society barely holding it together under the strain of a zombie apocalypse might just benefit from some levity, so if that was Max' motivation for taking such a short-sighted step, then wow, writers..

But, maybe there will be a happy ending after all. Maybe Hornsby will save the society by revealing the location of the missing people to Magna's group. Maybe Magna's group will find out first hand.. by being put into the "Nothing But Trouble" Mr. Bonestripper machine. Then, maybe Maggie takes charge of the Commonwealth and Rick's group arrives at the walls to kick off the Walking Dead movies.

Have to say, the Commonwealth flag-drop scene was fun. Time for them to class up the place with some post-apocalyptic gentrification. Lol. This fucking show.
the wanderer
Mon Apr 04 23:59:45
i watched the first 2 episodes but haven't been able to muster enough interest to watch more :p

the only important thing is that Carl is dead
the wanderer
Tue Apr 05 00:00:35
...not meaning that happened recently, just an assessment of all seasons
Cherub Cow
Thu Apr 07 03:15:38
Carl's death was a good moment for the show. If Carl is the Bran Stark of Walking Dead, then Walking Dead at least gave the people what they wanted with Carl ;)
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