The Walking Thread

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

image of Grimes hiding under a bed with a book and a bottle of water
Uh-oh! LOL!

See, here's the problem for me with The Walking Dead (okay, one of many problems, but this is a pretty big one, and this episode was a perfect example): Everything that is supposed to be tense and/or meaningful is FUCKING HILARIOUS. Grimes hiding under the bed? Comedy gold. Carl the Hat's emo angst? Lollerskates. Grimes sticking his booted feet slowly over the edge of the roof? STOP YOU'RE KILLING ME. I know this stuff isn't meant to be funny, and, when I think about that, it just makes everything even funnier.

It's not like I don't have the emotional capacity and eminent willingness to invest in dark material. I do! Have you listened to me talk about Breaking Bad for a second? And fuck if I'm not completely captivated by True Detective, during which I don't regularly find myself bursting out laughing. It's something specific to The Walking Dead, and I am pretty sure that the something specific is that it is terrible.

(Just kidding! It's terrific!) (Just kidding!) (Or am I?) (This is at least as compelling a mystery as one you might find on The Walking Dead!) (Just kidding!) (MAYBE.)


We open this episode with Sgt. Abraham Ford—played by Michael Cudlitz, an actor who has been in many things, including Lost, but who will always be Sgt. Denver 'Bull' Randleman from Band of Brothers to me, but with this horrible dyed red hair, he's more like Sgt. Red Bull, amirite? Ha ha I am right! Sgt. Red Bull grins while he mows down a bunch of zombies. Tara, who knows from psychos after her fun adventure with Captain Murder, points out that he was smiling, to which he responds, "Well, I'm the luckiest guy in the world." Ha ha okay, player. He seems neat.

Tara and Glenn are the only members of Grimes Gang who ended up with Sgt. Red Bull and his crew—which consists of a live-action video game avatar in short-shorts named Rosita Espinoza and a mulleted doctor who doesn't know how to use a machine gun but does know how the zombie virus got started and is definitely going to save humanity if he can get to D.C. Which is where they keep all the good petri dishes.

The episode jumps back and forth between this bunch and Grimes, Carl the Hat, and Michonne, but, unlike the writers of The Walking Dead, I'm not going to pretend that the subplot with Sgt. Red Bull is robust enough to constitute multiple segments, and I will quickly sum up in one sentence what happened: Glenn wakes up and is pissed that he's three hours past where Maggie is likely to be, and he gets in a fist fight with Sgt. Red Bull, and while everyone's distracted with what looks like the shittiest MMA fight ever, a bunch of zombies descend, and Doctor Mulletsworth, who inexplicably does not know how to use a machine gun despite surviving the zombiepocalypse for somewhere between one and one million years, shoots a hole in the tank of the truck, thus consigning them to the fate of walking on foot. The End.

Also? Doctor Mulletsworth walks like a Clydesdale and talks like Mr. Spock. This means he's smart.

The other half of the episode can be summed up even more succinctly: Michonne and Carl the Hat look for supplies while Grimes hides under a bed from some Bad Guys, then everyone escapes. I mean, this was a real wet fart of a story arc. A bunch of (not really all that tense) tension, which ends in Grimes running across a lawn while no one's looking. Big whoop.

I can only imagine that if I were a viewer who actually felt some sort of empathy with these characters, and was real worried for Grimes for a whole hour, the resolution coming down to a Scooby-Doo sneak past a distracted Bad Guy would be a huge letdown and not just yet another occasion for me to wonder how much the writers of this shit are getting paid.


Here's how it went down: Michonne and Carl the Hat are having breakfast in their new house, yukking it up over soy milk in one of the most awkward and poorly acted scenes in this entire series, which is really saying something. Then Carl the Hat mentions Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes and gets real sad. Don't worry, CAUURHHHHHL! She's still alive! And I'm sure you'll be reunited in eleventy million episodes or less!

Having overheard Carl the Hat laughing for a moment of his grim existence, Grimes tells Michonne that he can't be Carl the Hat's dad and best friend, so he's gonna rely on Michonne to be Carl the Hat's buddy. There is literally one other adult in his immediate sphere, and Grimes is still handing out orders. This fucking guy.

Michonne and Carl the Hat take off on a supply run, telling Grimes to stay put and rest, since he's beat to shit. He climbs into a bed upstairs and falls asleep, only to awaken to the sound of a bunch of gruff dudes downstairs. He squirrels himself under the bed just in the nick of time, as two of the Bad Guys have a fight over who gets to sleep in the bed, and one strangles the other to death, dropping his body facing Grimes' hiding place, before taking over the bed and snoring away.

I don't know if these nincompoops are new to the zombiepocalypse or what, but how do you kill someone and then just leave his corpse there at the end of the bed to REANIMATE AND KILL YOU WHILE YOU ARE CATCHING A SNOOZE?! The fuck?!

Meanwhile, in another example of convenient inconsistency, the dead guy does not reanimate in like three seconds, the way other dead folks have previously, but just lies there unzombified while Grimes slowly makes his way out of the bedroom.

Also? We're definitely meant to understand these dudes are terrible because one of them kills another over a bed, but we're not supposed to think Grimes is terrible when, like two seconds later, he kills one of the dudes (who is sitting on a closed toilet with his pants up? sure.) without even stopping to try to find out if the dude would be friendly.

Or maybe we're supposed to take away some Important Commentary on moral relativism, and how everyone thinks zie's a Good Guy in a zombiepocalypse. Ha ha just kidding! We're definitely just supposed to think Grimes is a fucking hero at all times.

Meanwhile, Michonne and Carl the Hat wander through other houses in search of supplies, and, after Michonne fails to make Carl the Hat laugh by squirting canned cheese directly into her mouth, then says she's better at making toddlers laugh, Carl the Hat, a tween boy, picks up that totes obvious cue (this kid's quite a genius!) and presses Michonne to divulge she had a son. Her son's name was Andre Anthony, and he was her only child, and he died.

I really like Michonne.

In one house, where you go through bathrooms to get to bedrooms, Michonne finds a family who ended their lives together, and she doesn't let Carl the Hat see it.

Back at Grimes House, Grimes makes his way out a second-story window, then dangles off the roof, then drops down and hides next to the porch, where Head Bad Guy (?) is eating some shit directly out of a can. Grimes is poised to shoot him, but then Head Bad Guy gets called inside by some Bad Guy antics. So Grimes runs away, perfectly timing his escape to meet with Michonne and Carl the Hat who are returning from scavenging, and they all run away.

Later, they're walking down some train tracks when they find the sign reading: "Sanctuary for All, Community for All. Those Who Arrive Survive." Grimes says, "Let's go," and they do.

I hope it this sanctuary isn't being run by Captain Murder's long-lost twin brother Captain Redrum! That would be bad!

Welp, we'll find out in two weeks, maybe, because next week: DARYL AND BLONDE GIRL!

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