The Walking Thread

[Content Note: Violence. Spoilers are lurching around undeadly herein.]

image of Grimes rage-screaming while Daryl holds him back
Uh-oh. Daddy's on the brink again.

This week on The Walking Dead: Everyone has a job, feelings are for dum-dums, and there's a new Governor Cyclops in town!

When we pick up with our ragtag group of future zombie chow, the Icky Poopoo Cough Flu is ravaging the population of no-names at Grimes Jail. Dig dig dig. So many graves. Glenn and Maggie share a Meaningful Look. RIP people who never even got a line because the excruciatingly meticulous investigation of the Newton's Cradle kinetic pendulum that is Grimes' emotional state does not leave room for NONSENSE like other people's lives.

Elsewhere, Tyreese, standing over the charred bodies of his girlfriend Karen and Rick from Accounting, gets super enraged by the collective lack of concern being demonstrated by Rick, Daryl, and Carol. On the one hand, Karen was Tyreese's girlfriend, and if you think it's hard to find someone who gets you in the real world, imagine how hard it is during the zombiepocalypse. On the other hand, Karen and Rick from Accounting were definitely going to die anyway and in the meantime were totes contagious, so.

The weighing of these realities are plastered all over Grimes' and Daryl's and Carol's faces as they look at Tyreese's angry face, and their ambivalence only makes him hulk out all the more. He smashes Daryl up against a fenced wall, and Daryl wisely gestures to Grimes to back off and let Tyreese get it out of his system, and Grimes takes that excellent advice for fully three seconds before jumping in and telling Tyreese to "calm down." It is at this point I figure Tyreese will just murder Grimes and I won't mind and let's wrap it up the end.

But Tyreese just pins Grimes, a tiny little man who somehow manages to overcome the much larger Tyreese, and smashes his face into the pavement, until Daryl pulls him off before he kills him. Grimes looks horrified and stares at his bloody fist. Whooooooops your brain is broken again, Grimes!

That is, of course, Hershel's cue to find Grimes and have some insufferable conversation about how Grimes has to protect and save people blah blah fart. Which happens.

Meanwhile, Sasha is sick, too. Oh hell no. These writers are so goddamn lazy! Off the top of my head, I can think of about eleventy-seven different ways to create emotional conflict for Tyreese that doesn't involve endangering and/or killing the two women who are affiliated with him. BUT FUCK INGENUITY! And double-fuck giving female characters their own agency so they can do more than just serve as imperiled appendages to facilitate male plot arcs. It's so much easier to just demolish Tyreese's property.

Something something council meeting. Daryl and Michonne will go on a run to a veterinary hospital 50 miles away to collect antibiotics. Children and old people will be quarantined for their protection.

Carl the Hat is pouting (NO WAY!) about having to go into quarantine with a bunch of babies and fogies. Grimes tells him to shut it. He's got people to protect. "You wanna be treated like a patriarch?! THEN ACT LIKE A PATRIARCH!"—Grimes, probably. Carl the Hat tween-sneers that he hopes his dad realizes he will have to shoot anyone who gets sick and turns. This terrific conversation lasts a few moments longer.

Uh-oh. The water hose is clogged. Someone needs to go out in zombie territory to fix it. Uh-oh. Glenn is sick. You know it's really getting dire when someone with a name AND a penis gets it!

(NB: Not all men have penises. Not all people with penises are men. But this show has neither the sophistication nor the sensitivity to include trans* characters. If, however, I am one day happily proven wrong about that, I will eat Carl's hat.)

Maggie and Blonde Girl have a great conversation through the quarantine door about everyone has a job (which is the vaguely drawn thematic topic of this episode) and about how having a job to do means "we don't get to be upset." Whut? One of the most exhausting and infuriating things about this show is the aggressive emotional auditing and policing that goes on between characters constantly. Telling other people how to feel is as constant a presence as gurgling zombies.

If I had even the slightest faith that the writers of this show knew what they were doing, I might be inclined to make an argument that the show was secretly a brilliant commentary on how the ubiquity of emotional policing in our terrible culture of judgment can feel like an onslaught of voracious, fetid, nightmare creatures lurching toward you with outstreched arms, seeking to poison you with their toxic disease.

But I'm pretty sure this show is actually arguing that emotional policing is the awesomest tool in the kyriarchy toolbox.


Hershel heads for the woods to collect elderberries to make tea for the sickies, and Carl the Hat insists in a typically obnoxious way on accompanying him. Carol heads for the stream to fix the water hose, and Grimes has to save her (or at least he thinks he does), so he yells at her. Tyreese and Bob the Army Doctor join Daryl and Michonne, and they all head for the vet clinic.

Hershel says a bunch of things about choosing how to risk your life, which I can't hear over the sound of my own yawning. The doctor coughs blood DIRECTLY into Hershel's face, which is presumably not supposed to be funny, but makes me laugh uproariously. Blonde Girl holds Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes, because we all have a job, and that is hers! Glenn coughs. Maggie frets. The vet run crew hears a voice on the radio. Whuzzat?! Before we can find out, they drive into a swarm of zombies. SO MANY ZOMBIES! The car gets stuck in the muck of zombie corpses, so they have to make a run for it. Slash slash slash. Thump thump thump. Arrows. Tyreese is taking his anger out on all the zombies.

Grimes investigates the scene of the murder, and finds a bloody handprint smaller than his own. THAT COULD ONLY BE ONE PERSON! He confronts Carol and asks her if she killed Karen and Rick from Accounting, and she says yes. Which is really going to complicate things since all the dudes have been promising to ruthlessly punish whoever dunnit.

Next week on The Walking Dead: The plot moves forward in a virtually imperceptible increment.


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