TWD S4 E5, “Internment” by Dusty

What I’m drinking: Newcastle Werewolf.  The goal was to save this for Hemlock Grove, but, at this point, it seems unlikely I’ll go back to watching that show.  At least not anytime soon.
This is a decent beer.  Not nearly as good as Newcastle Brown Ale, but pretty good.  It has a bitter berry taste to it (especially in the aftertaste), and I’m not a huge fan of that. Still, it’s red and has a werewolf on the label, so I love it.

Six things that annoyed me:

1.  “Don’t doubt yourself.  We don’t get to do that anymore.”  Rick rattled off this line to Maggie.  These kinds of lines drive me crazy.  I know this was meant as a pep talk, but it comes off as an empty platitude at this point.  Like “we’ll take this one week at a time” or “we’ll give 110%”.  I understand the thought behind it: “With this world being the way it is, we don’t have the luxury of being weak.”  It makes sense.  But it’s used so often in this show it has become laughable.  At this point, it’s almost like counting how many times the phrase “God help us,” shows up in a disaster movie.

2.  Zombies breaking through the fence.  While I enjoyed watching the scene, I couldn’t help but think about how things could have gotten to that point.  Zombies stacking up against an already weakened fence, and they had one person out there with a killin’ stick.  They know how close they came to catastrophe with that fence not long ago, but they just chose to ignore it.
I know the prison is overrun with zombie flu.  I know there is a medicine search party of four currently pillaging the countryside.  I know that Rick told one of their most accomplished zombie killers to hit the road.  But there has to be more people in that prison.
Which leads to another gripe with writing.  When they’re looking to kill someone off, there is no end to new characters to choose from.  Father of two?  Dead.  Love interest of a young girl?  Dead.  But now that they need someone to help clear the fence, there’s suddenly no one around.  I know zombie flu is ravaging their little prison community right now, but I refuse to believe that Rick, Maggie & Carl are the only able-bodied people currently around.

3.  Hershel’s insistence on killing the dead away from prying eyes.  I understand it to some extent (trying to keep up morale), but everyone in that prison has been living through a zombie apocalypse for at least a couple years, and is now infected with a virus they know will kill them if left untreated.  They’ve seen worse things than a dead person getting stabbed in the head.  Just do it quick and don’t mess around.  The time it takes to turn into a zombie differs with each person.  The last thing you want is a cell block full of the undead, solely because you didn’t want to ruffle any zombie feathers.
(I say “zombie feathers” because it appears as though animals are making a habit of feasting on the undead.  I assume it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing zombie animals.  And zombie birds are one of my greatest fears.)

4.  The fact that Hershel didn’t attach a shotgun to his leg (like a slightly-less-sexy Cherry Darling) seemed to be a waste of a good shotgun.  Snap that thing on your stump and get the party started, old man.

5.  As much as I loved the father-and-son bonding over zombie slaughter scene (more on this in the next section), I couldn’t help but question the positioning of the guns.  Just a big ol’ bucket of guns right where anyone could grab them.  It worked out well for Rick and Carl, but for all anyone (but Rick) knows, there’s still a maniac stalking the prison, killing the sick.  If someone is killing those infected with the flu, it’s usually not a stretch to see that person start killing people who appear to be well.  After all, everyone is technically infected.  I can almost see Frank Reynolds – doused in Purell – wandering the prison yard with a gun, muttering about needing to purify the world.
And yet, even though there’s a murderer on the grounds, guns are made readily available to anyone who can walk to the gun buckets.  Doesn’t seem like the wisest idea.

6. The reveal at the end, showing the Governor standing outside the prison.  I’m not entirely sure why I’m supposed to be scared of him.  He lost his following.  For all we know, he’s completely alone by this point (he had two lackeys the last time we saw him, but they didn’t seem to be completely on board with the murder of innocents).  The prison may not be quite as secure as it was originally thought to be, but it’s still a bit much for one man to overcome.  Just because we see him, we’re supposed to be scared.  Make no mistake: he’s a psychopath.  If I came across him by myself, I wouldn’t stand a chance.  But against a group of well-armed people in a prison?
Oh, they’ll figure out some way to make him scary.  Maybe he has a new army (unlikely).  Maybe he’ll sit outside and kidnap people as they leave on supply runs (the more likely scenario is that he’ll kidnap Carol and use her as a hostage.  Much weeping and gnashing of teeth will accompany that scene).  Maybe he has some brilliant master plan to infiltrate the prison and take them down.  Whatever it is, it’ll be far-fetched.
I hope they prove me wrong and make this great.  But I have a feeling it’s going to be a giant mess, filled with lots of menacing stares.  I can’t wait.
It’s about time they moved on with the story, though.  That zombie flu storyline was all played out.  I’m curious to see what happens next, but I’m not holding out hope that it’s going to be amazing.

Five things I liked:

1. Hershel trying to keep things light by keeping a sense of humor.  Of course, I doubt (spa?) spaghetti humor is the best option when the cast has seen more than their share of intestines.  Probably kills with dogs, though.

2. Dr. S dropping the line, “Make sure all the doors are shut,” in the middle of his depressed rantings.  Someone finally had the sense to do this.  It’s amazing it hasn’t become a problem yet.  (For the record, I called for this in my write-up of the third episode.)

3.  Lizzie being smart and drawing Henry away from Glenn.  Well done, kiddo.  Well done, indeed.

4.  Father and son having a bonding moment with automatic weapons.  Just like God and John Wayne intended.  It was a bit of a shame that neither one of them was wearing an American flag bandana, but it was still an enjoyable scene.

5.  Loved hearing a Ben Howard song show up, even if it did seem a little dramatic.

Final thoughts:

For the most part, I liked this one.  It wasn’t without its flaws, but it was much better than the last two episodes have been.  There was tension without a lot of unnecessary drama, with a heavy helping of zombie killing.  I can’t tell if I really liked this episode, or if I just like it better than the last couple.  Life can be confusing sometimes.
Last season had a pattern of a couple good episodes, followed by a couple terrible ones.  This is looking like it’s following the same pattern.

Did you guys read Fremont’s write-up?  You should.  At the end, she talks about things for “the haters to complain about”.  Did anyone see her writing that?  Was she looking in my general direction when she wrote it?
You don’t have to answer that.  I already know she was.

What I listened to while writing this: Granada’s Takes a Lot of Walking.  A perfect little pop album.  I tend to listen to this in the morning, but it works well as a winding down album, too.