TWD S4E13, “Alone” by Dusty

What I’m drinking: Country Boy’s Cougar Bait.  A local brewery.  This is their blonde ale.  It has a light taste to it that lends itself well to warm days.  We’re finally getting some of those, so this seemed like the time to start drinking this again.

Five things that annoyed me:

1.  After all this time, it’s amazing that some of these people can’t kill a single zombie.  Granted, they were coming through the fog (FOG ZOMBIES!), but they only came in one at a time.  Then, after killing a handful of zombies, Maggie, Bob & Sasha started joking around and talking loudly.  For all they know, there were more zombies not far away.  The survival skills of these people are nill.
And these are the survivors.  They’re supposed to be the smart ones.  And yet they do stupid things that open themselves up for attack all the time.

2.  Glenn and Maggie trying so desperately to find each other.  It’s sweet that they’re dead-set on reuniting, but they need to be smarter about it.  Realize that it’s not worth putting yourself and the rest of your group in jeopardy for such a small chance of actually reuniting.  Try to figure out the place they would likely be and try to make your way there.  Don’t run recklessly through the zombie infested wilderness just because you think they will be there.  The odds of them being in the exact spot you think they will be are very low.

3.  Daryl opening the door to the house without looking through the slats first.  Just how dumb are these people?  Daryl is one of the smarter and more cautious characters in this show.  He wouldn’t just do that, even if he did see a dog walking around earlier.  He’s smarter than that.
And why were the zombies not making any noises?  They always make noise.  Yet suddenly there is a gaggle of zombies, standing silently just outside the door.  It makes no sense.

4.  Daryl being forced to join up with Rack and his merry band of rapists.  Here’s to hoping he is smart enough to blend in for a while, then take them out, one by one.  I would like to see an entire episode of Daryl in full Jason Voorhees mode.

5.  Bob’s speech about not wanting to be alone.  Yet another example of the utter lack of subtlety in the writing.  Judging by the 5 minute intro, we could tell that Bob didn’t want to be alone again; that being with people is what made surviving worth it.  I didn’t need him to completely spell it out in a speech.  For me, it ruined the sentiment.  Just let those themes speak for themselves.  I hate that the writers constantly feel the need to spell every single emotion out.  Let the scene stand on its own.
I love the remake of Night of the Living Dead, but there’s a line towards the end that has always bothered me.  Barbara is standing in the aftermath of the evening, watching men gleefully do terrible things to zombies.  “They’re us,” she proclaims.  “We’re them, and they’re us.”  That’s the zombie genre in a nutshell.  That movie (and the original) did a great job at bringing that point up.  It was there all along.  I didn’t need a character to say it for me to understand it.  That’s how I feel with this show, except they feel the need to do it with every single point.  Every emotion spelled out.  It’s lazy, and it’s infuriating.

Six things I liked:

1. The opening scene, showing how low Bob was before he joined up with the group.  The song went well with it, and we got a see a bit more of a character we knew very little about.  I loved his little smile when he rode off in the back of the truck.
Also, the image of depressed alcoholic Bob chugging down cold medicine in a prison of his own creation made me chuckle a bit.  “Remember?  He’s an alcoholic.  Let’s talk about it some more.”

2.  Fog zombies.  The tension before the zombies broke through was terrific.

3. Sasha being the voice of reason about Terminus.  “If it sounds too good to be true…”  Everyone else is heading there without asking any questions.
I understand the thinking.  The prison group has been fractured, so maybe everyone else will head there.  But someone needs to be asking the right questions and wondering if it’s really as good as it sounds.  Zombie films are full of false sanctuaries.  Pacific Playland.  The army camp in 28 Days Later.  The island in Dawn of the Dead.  The camp in The Battery.  The Winchester.  And so on.  They never work out like the characters seem to think they will.

4.  Beth breaking out a Waxahatchee song (“Be Good”).  Love that band.  Love that song.  If you haven’t listened to them yet, I highly recommend that you do.  American Weekend is a beautiful album.

5.  Daryl’s escape from the basement of walkers.  I like how he used the gurneys to keep the bulk of them at bay and make an escape route.  It also allowed him to kill several of them without putting himself in danger.  Very smart.

6.  Maggie beheading zombies with a road sign.  Kind of reminded me of Rene in Undead taking out zombies by attaching a saw blade to a broom handle.

Random thought:

The Law of Inverse Ninja Strength states that the effectiveness of a group of Ninja is inversely proportional to the number of Ninja in the room at the time. Roughly translated, the more ninjas, the easier they are killed.  I believe the equation is power = 1/n (where n = number of ninjas).  The same applies to zombie killing.  The more zombies, the easier they are to kill.  Get down to one or two and they can be very difficult to finish off.  Maggie, Sasha & Bob struggled with a few in opening, yet Maggie and Sasha were able to dispatch several without breaking much of a sweat towards the end.

Final thoughts:

Probably the best episode of the season (definitely the best since “Inmates”).  It moved along at a pretty good clip.  Had quite a few good zombie killing scenes.  I think I’ve come to a point where very few characters interest me enough for a full episode, so an episode that jumps between a few different groups is much more interesting than one that focuses on only one group.
I still had some issues with it (obviously), but this was a pretty good episode.

What I listened to while writing this: Margo Guryan – Take a Picture.  Guryan’s story is fascinating.  She was a classically trained pianist and worked as a jazz musician for a few years.  She ended up becoming enamored with pop music after hearing The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows”, and released this (her only album) in 1968.  She is able to work her classical and jazz influences into her music.  It’s a beautiful pop album, perfect for lazy sunny days.