The Walking Thread

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

image of Carl the Hat sitting on a roof eating out of a giant canister of chocolate pudding; a zombie hand reaches out of a window behind him

When last we left all our Zombiepocalypse Survivalists back in December, everything was a right fucking mess and Grimes had barely edged out Captain Murder in the the big Patriarchy Prize Fight for Grimes Jail. Captain Murder was finally dead, Grimes was making a break for it with his glittering prize belt, some number of Grimes Jailians had escaped on the Escape Bus, and Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes had fallen victim to hungry zombies. Or so we were led to believe—but I've still got ten cans of matzo ball soup on Carol having snuck back in to save her.

Now, if this were any other show, the Mid-Season Premiere would almost certainly answer some of our burning questions, like: Who survived? And: Where are they? But that sort of nonsense is for shows that do stupid shit like advance plot at a reasonable speed and respect their viewers, and The Walking Dead is not that kind of show, people!

Thus, the Mid-Season Premiere of The Walking Dead can be totally summarized losing no major plot points in six words: Carl thinks he's grown; Michonne walks.

Really, I should just let those six words suffice as the entirety of my recap, because THAT IS ALL THAT HAPPENED, but let's face it: The whole reason you're reading this recap is so you can laugh at my perplexed rage about the inconsistent density of zombie skulls and my epic contempt for the petulant tween harrumphing of an emergent patriarch in a gross hat, and I AM NOT GOING TO DISAPPOINT.

So, we pick back up in the clearing smoke of the battle for Patriarch's Gulch, and Michonne is strolling around surveying the damage when she comes across Hershel's zombified severed head, because of course she does, and I laugh for fully one million years, because it is FUCKING RIDICULOUS.

Everything that should mean something on this show is terribly silly, and, in case you'd forgotten, here is a shot of Hershel's zombified severed head looking fucking ridiculous four minutes into the second half of this season!

Good grief, this show.

Michonne relieves two zombies of their arms and jaws, then puts them on a leash, in a throwback to her entrance into the series, so she can travel among roaming bands of zombies with her docile zombie-slaves throwing off her human scent or whatever. There are plenty of scenes elsewhere in the series that contradict the idea that zombies are tamed by the removal of arms and jaws, and/or by restraints, but NEVER MIND THIS IS IMPORTANT GROSS IMAGERY OF A BLACK WOMAN MAIMING WHITE MEN TO ENSLAVE THEM DON'T ASK QUESTIONS JUST GO WITH IT.

In other Michonne news, Michonne has a dream about the two black zombie men she'd similarly maimed earlier in the series, who were her boyfriend and his friend or her brother or something? I don't know. I don't care. Michonne is tough and will do (almost) anything she needs to survive. Which we already knew, because we have seen Michonne being tough and doing (almost) anything she needs to survive. SHOW DON'T DREAM-TELL, WRITERS OF THE WALKING DEAD.

Also: Michonne, whilst traveling with a band of zombies, notices a zombie who looks kinda like her and freaks out and kills all the zombies.

Most of this episode, however, is about Carl the Hat, which makes sense if you think about it (please don't think about it), since the show is down to one patriarch, who's currently in bad shape, and we need MOAR PATRIARCHS STAT.

When we meet back up with Grimes and Carl the Hat, Carl the Hat is walking down the road while Grimes limps behind him with a nasty leg wound. "CAUURHHHHHL!" yells Grimes. "CAUURHHHHHL! HEY, CAUURHHHHHL!" ("Hey, Cauurhhhhl!" is the "WAAAAAAAAAALT!" of The Walking Dead.) They come to some abandoned restaurant, which is somehow within wounded-leg-walking distance of Grimes Jail, but far enough from Grimes Jail that the Grimes Jailians hadn't already pillaged it for supplies. Sure. Space makes as much sense in this show as time does.

Anyway. Grimes and Carl the Hat have some testy argument about not wasting bullets on zombies, and I swear I am just like WHATEVER WHO CARES USE ALL THE BULLETS, because if the shoot-out at Grimes Jail taught us anything, it's that there are literally SO MANY BULLETS.

But, much like the density of zombie skulls, which are as soft as butter when the situation calls for a quick kill and as hard as steel when the situation calls for some crush-resistant tension, the availability and scarcity of bullets, and concern thereabout, varies depending entirely on what suits any given moment in the show.

"Let's have Grimes decide to take a stand against Captain Murder and waste enormous amounts of ammo against someone with a fucking tank who is intent on killing everyone! Ha ha cool! Now let's have Grimes scold his annoying kid for using a single bullet to kill a zombie whose skull was inexplicably resistant to an at-all-other-times totally effective axe attack! Ha ha neat! We are making THE BEST SHOW FOR SURE."

Grimes and Carl the Hat take up residence in some house, in some neighborhood, which has also not been ransacked by anyone yet apparently. Something something bicker fight tween angst. Grimes is gurgle-breathing because he's badly hurt. He collapses onto the couch. Carl the Hat doesn't care if he dies. (You and me both, kid.)

Carl the Hat kills some more zombies outside the house and finds a big tub of pudding and eats it. I wish I could find a way to make recapping any of this shit funny or interesting, but I am proficient at sarcasm, not MAGIC.

In the middle of the night, Grimes wakes up and is super gurgly, and Carl the Hat thinks he's been zombified. He can't kill him, though (I mean, it's one thing to kill your mom, but this is HIS FATHER we're talking about!), and awaits his fate, but there's no fate, because Grimes isn't zombified. "You're a man," Grimes tells him, which is literally the exact same piece of dialogue I'd make up to mock this scene, so it is official: This show is beyond parody.

At the end of the episode, Michonne follows their footsteps from the restaurant to the house, and knocks on the door. "It's for you," Grimes tells Carl the Hat. Ha ha ha! You see, it's FUNNY because Grimes has been a terrible garbage nightmare to Michonne, and recently wanted to exchange her life for the lives of people he'd known slightly longer. Ha ha ha! This fucking show.

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