The Geektastics » Weekly A safe space to geek out! Wed, 19 Mar 2014 03:33:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Contains Spoilers: The Walking Dead Episode 4.12 /2014/03/03/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-12/ /2014/03/03/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-12/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:01:23 +0000 /?p=5303

This post contains spoilers for the “The Walking Dead” Episode 4.12.  If you do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT read on!

Daryl and BethEpisode 4.12: Still

Written by Angela Kang

Directed by Julius Ramsay

We get another character specific episode this week; this time we’re focusing on Daryl and Beth.  They spend a terrifying night locked in a trunk as waves of walkers approach the car.  Not surprisingly, they stay away all night and are finally able to get out in the morning when the crowd of walkers has dissipated.  They go into survivor mode immediately, stripping the car and the surrounding area for valuable supplies.  Once in the woods, they set up their camp.  Daryl tries unsuccessfully to kill a squirrel, but has better luck with a snake – resulting in a pretty disgusting snake gutting and eating scene.  Daryl is chowing down on that snake, right?

Beth decides she needs to try alcohol, since she’s never tried it before.  I’m pretty sure she expected Daryl to be 100% behind her on this, but I can’t see a scenario where going on a run for a non-essential item like alcohol is a good idea.  Daryl basically tags along because there’s no way Beth is going to make it on her own, and he feels responsible for her.  They try their luck at a country club, only to find that a group had holed up there before apparently turning on each other.  There’s some gross hanging zombies reminiscent of the second season and a large pile of bodies in a back room underneath a handwritten sign that says, “Welcome to the Dogtrot”.  Clearly, there were some class issues as well, as a particularly disturbing image appears in the pro shop.  A women’s head and torso have been attached to the lower half of a mannequin and a sign was hung around her neck reading “Ritch Bitch”.

After discovering the bar, Beth sees that the only liquor left is a half-empty bottle of Peach Schnapps.  Daryl is determined that her first drink will be something stronger, and leads her to a house he had previously discovered on a run with Michonne.  It is a still, a house almost expressly used for making moonshine.  Beth encourages Daryl to drink with her by involving him in a drinking game, Never Have I Ever.  The game starts innocently enough – Daryl has never been out of Georgia or on vacation.  But, when Beth says that she’s never been in jail, Daryl becomes defensive and confrontational.  Beth doesn’t back down, and we learn that Daryl is grieving the loss of their group and feels guilty about not trying to find the Governor.  He weeps and is embraced from behind by Beth.  They end the night talking about their siblings and Daryl reveals what he was doing before the epidemic – nothing.  He followed Merle around and let his older brother dictate what they would be doing.

This episode was devoted to fleshing out two characters that are still a mystery to most of the audience.  We’ve been able to watch Daryl’s significant character development over the past three seasons, but we know little about his background.  The writers have included hints that his childhood was rough, but the revelations in this episode have shown conclusively that life is actually better for Daryl now, than it was prior to the epidemic.  His insecurities are laid bare and he expresses to Beth that he was “nothing” before, indicating that he found his purpose in the group.  Now that the group is gone, he is foundering.  Beth appears to be the one thing that keeps him going.

Beth was a fairly thin character before this season.  She was mostly known for singing and taking care of Judith, but she has been the strong, motivated one in this duo and her strength is a surprising development.  She is convinced that there are other survivors and wants to keep looking for them, despite Daryl’s pessimistic attitude.  I believe that she was less invested in actually getting alcohol than prompting Daryl to help her with a task to keep him going.  Hopefully, they will continue to make Beth a well-rounded character so that she does not experience the same fate of Lori and Andrea.

This storyline is prompting many fans to speculate that the writers are developing a romance between Daryl and Beth.  Certainly, the two have had much more alone time on screen than the other fan-favorite ship, Carol and Daryl.  I think, at this point, it could go either way.  The two have chemistry and now have a bond, but if a romance does develop, I hope that it takes more time to manifest.  I also hope that the group reunites soon.  It appears that the next episode will focus on the other scattered survivors, so I’m crossing my fingers for a reunion in the following episode.  I think it would be a mistake to drag out the separation until the season finale.

Norman Reedus and Emily Kinney did a great job in this episode, which is no small feat, considering that the entire episode focused on their characters.  Reedus in particular did a wonderful job conveying the range of emotions Daryl goes through, and I hope that he gets to display this range more often in the future.

The Best Bits:

All of Norman Reedus’s scenes.  He did an amazing job!

The Best Kill(s):

Daryl wailing on the walkers in the country club was awesome!

Is a romance on the horizon for Daryl and Beth?  When will the group reunite?

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Contains Spoilers: The Walking Dead Episode 4.10 /2014/02/18/cs-walking-dead-4-10/ /2014/02/18/cs-walking-dead-4-10/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 07:01:50 +0000 /?p=5264

This post contains spoilers for the “The Walking Dead” Episode 4.10.  If you do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT read on!

TWD 4.10Episode 4.10: Inmates

Written by Matt Negrete and Channing Powell

Directed by Tricia Brock

This week we get to see what happened to the other scattered survivors.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about Beth’s voice over diary entry juxtaposed with Beth and Daryl’s current reality.  It felt like something that would make sense and sound awesome on paper, but it was one of the show’s more heavy handed moments.  I hate to see Daryl so pessimistic when he was finally opening up a bit, but he has to be devastated by losing everyone, especially after finding out about Carol.  I think he’s struggling – he wants everyone to be alive, but he also wants to prepare himself for the worst.  Hopefully, they’ll join up with the others soon and we’ll see the (new) old Daryl again.

Tyreese has his hands full with those three girls.  I can’t imagine traveling in those conditions with a baby, but I am super glad that Judith made it.  I was fairly sure that the baby hadn’t died, since we didn’t see a body – and we know the “Walking Dead” rule.  Lizzie continues to be creepy and evidence mounts that she is a budding psychopath.  Did you see her stabbing those bunnies?  That is a huge red flag for future serial killers.  She also makes a comment about Sasha being gone that seemed to be made exclusively to hurt Tyreese.  And then we have the excruciating moment where she appears to be smothering Judith.  The scariest part of that scene was that Lizzie seemed to be enjoying cutting off Judith’s air.  I think it’s pretty clear that she is the person who fed rats to the walkers and dissected the rabbit at the prison.  Knowing what happens in the comics, I’m starting to get scared for Mika

I wasn’t sure why Tyreese left the girls to go investigate the screaming, but he may have been afraid that it was Sasha.  I loved Chad Coleman’s performance in this episode.  He has an amazing emotional range and I’m hoping that they really continue to develop his character, as the comic book counterpart is such a huge part of the story.  I’m glad to see Carol back, but I think the longer she waits to tell Tyreese about her part in Karen and David’s deaths, the bigger the blow up is going to be.  There’s a large group of people who still think that Carol was covering for Lizzie, but I really hope they don’t go down that path, because it jives more closely with Carol’s recent character development to have her be the killer.  I do think she’s going to be devastated when she finds out what a pyscho Lizzie is, though.

I’m pretty sure Sasha is in the same mindset as Daryl – she wants to find Tyreese, but she’s prepared for the worst.  Bob seems to be excited to be alive and that he’s with others, considering his past history of ending up the lone survivor of two groups.  Maggie is clearly grieving the loss of her father and letting that grief influence her decision to find Glenn at any cost.  She does try to leave Bob and Sasha behind to keep their exposure to danger minimal, but I definitely think she wouldn’t have made it through that bus without them.

I’m happy to see the awesomeness of Glenn reemerge.  We haven’t really got to see badass Glenn since early last season, so I loved seeing him put on that riot gear and push through the crowd of walkers.  Glenn has always been the most logical and forward thinking of the group, so it makes sense that he would accept Tara and enlist her help in getting out of the prison and finding Maggie.  I still think Tara is kind of a limp dishrag of a character, but hopefully they’ll develop her and give her something good to work with.

And now we come to the ending!  We get the iconic shot of Abraham Ford, Eugene, and Rosita that looks like it was pulled straight from the comic book.  The show has clearly made sure the look is exactly right, so hopefully they put as much work into making the characters awesome.  I’m thinking that Terminus is going to be a combination of the Hilltop Colony and the Alexandria Safe Zone (which means we may see Negan sometime soon), and there’s also a possibility that we’ll see the Hunters as a big bad for the rest of this season.

I hope that the groups start to converge pretty soon.  The worst thing they can do is drag the separation out for the rest of the season.  Scott Gimple and the writers seem pretty invested in moving the story along, so I have faith in them.

The Best Bits:

GLENN!  I heart you badass Glenn!

The Best Kill:

Newcomer Tara gets an awesome head bashing kill right at the end of the episode that gives me hope for her character!

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Contains Spoilers: The Walking Dead Episode 4.9 /2014/02/10/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-9/ /2014/02/10/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-9/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 07:01:26 +0000 /?p=5225

This post contains spoilers for the “The Walking Dead” Episode 4.9.  If you do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT read on!

TWD 4.09Episode 4.9: After (Mid-Season Premiere)

Written by Robert Kirkman

Directed by Greg Nicotero

The Governor’s attack has brought the return of badass Michonne.  The only hint that she’s not completely back to the stone-faced, silent Season 3 version of herself is the small wince we see when she stabs through Hershel’s reanimated head.  (And, was that really necessary, writers?  Isn’t it bad enough that’s he’s dead?  *sob*)  Luckily, we also get to see the Governor’s body and confirmation that he’s really and truly dead with a giant hole in his forehead.

Being in the middle of the apocalypse doesn’t change the fact that Carl is teenager.  He’s been defiant before, and even challenged his dad before, but we get to see the full force of his teen angst.  Unlike most teen angst, it’s backed by some heavy duty trauma, so he’s got plenty to be angry about.  It’s interesting that it still manifests in the usual way – passive aggressiveness, acting out, and talking back.  His fights with his dad are petty, despite the fact that their lives are in serious danger.  Carl isn’t above dealing a few low blows, including bringing up Shane.

We see a glimpse of Michonne in her old life, arguing about an art exhibit in a beautiful city apartment with her boyfriend and his friend.  It seems like memory at first – a relatively unimportant moment, but one that represents the normality of the past.  But, we start noticing signs that things aren’t what they seem, even though Michonne doesn’t.  I loved the nearly seamless transition from Michonne holding a kitchen knife to a katana, and her obliviousness while the men went from talking about art to survival.  We also see that Michonne did have a child at one point, which makes sense considering her reaction to Judith.

Carl takes the opportunity to confront his dad while Rick is passed out on the sofa holding the door shut.  He’s obviously angry and he says things he doesn’t mean, but he also has some valid reasons to be upset and disappointed.  Rick kept them at the prison knowing that the Governor was out there, but he didn’t do much to get them prepared.  The farming he did was a way to not deal with reality, and he wanted Carl to do the same, which could have got them killed.

Carl is tough for a kid his age, but as we see when he goes off on his own, he’s still got a kid’s common sense.  He nearly dies twice.  He’s excited about the big screen TV and stacks of video games before it dawns on him that he can’t use any of it.  He tries to break down the door the way his dad does, but his small frame just bounces off. But, he does get  a rare moment to be a kid on that roof with the giant can of pudding.

Even though I knew Rick wasn’t dead, I did hold my breath for just a minute when he was reaching out for Carl and rasping.  Carl has a reversal and clearly can’t do what he did for his mother because he doesn’t want to be alone.  He finally admits that he’s scared, even with all his posturing.

Michonne joins a group of walkers for protection, but she realizes she wants to be around living people again after being confronted by a walker that somewhat resembles her, and slaughters them all in an epic scene.  She returns to the tracks she found earlier and follows Rick and Carl’s trail.  We get to see her talk to her boyfriend as she described in “Clear”, and she effectively says goodbye to him – she misses him, but she’s angry that he gave up.  From what she said, it’s very possible that he may have killed himself and their young son.

Rick and Carl have a heart-to-heart that culminates with Rick finally acknowledging what Carl’s wanted all along – that he’s an adult.  But Carl knows better now, and he shrugs off his dad’s apology.  They will both have a better appreciation for each other now.  We get a rare good ending for a “Walking Dead” episode, when Michonne finds Rick and Carl and weeps with joy.  I loved Rick laughing with relief and saying, “It’s for you.”  It was an awesome way to ease out of a really tense, dark episode.

This episode belonged to Danai Gurira and Chandler Riggs.  They were both amazing.  I was hesitant to see a Carl-centric episode, but I think the writers did a great job of balancing his good and not-so-good qualities to show him as a well-rounded character.  I really feel like if they continue developing Michonne this way, she is going to be a stellar character, maybe even better than the comics version, because of Gurira’s acting ability. (I loved getting to hear her talk about Michonne on “Talking Dead” – she obviously loves this character and loves playing her.)

The Best Bits:

Michonne’s dream was both beautiful and horrifying, and I loved the way they avoided a lot of the dream clichés and the detail they put into the background elements as it progressed.  I also really enjoyed Carl eating the crap out of that pudding.

The Best Kill:

It can only be Michonne killing the entire herd of walkers.  She rules!

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I Heart: The Walking Dead Season 4 Midseason Premiere Edition /2014/02/04/i-heart-the-walking-dead-season-4-midseason-premiere-edition/ /2014/02/04/i-heart-the-walking-dead-season-4-midseason-premiere-edition/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 07:01:02 +0000 /?p=5179 “The Walking Dead” is coming back Sunday. Are you ready?

Instructables has instructions for a miniature zombie survival kit that fits in an Altoid tin!

Check out these awesome gifsets that compare episodes 1.1 and 4.8 to their comic book counterparts on the Tumblr blog Keep Calm and Carol On!

Uproxx has a pretty badass infographic detailing the kills for this season as well as each character’s most and least useful moments.  (You may also want to check out their “Ten Open Questions After the Mid-Season Finale” to brush up on where we left off in December.)

Artist Duke Dasterdly has some amazing alternate posters for previous seasons of “The Walking Dead”.  Buy Season 1, Season 2, and Season 3.

The ultimate “Walking Dead” infographic comes from the National Post.  Created by Richard Johnson and Andrew Barr, it details the onscreen kills, a chronological list of the onscreen zombie deaths (complete with dispatcher and weapon used), the weapons used, and the leading zombie killer stats – all organized by season.

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I Heart: The Tumblr Edition /2014/01/14/i-heart-the-tumblr-edition/ /2014/01/14/i-heart-the-tumblr-edition/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2014 07:01:59 +0000 /?p=5151


Women Rock Science

An awesome tumblr blog all about women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  It promotes interest in STEM for young women and educates about the history of women in STEM, dating back to the 11th century.


Mari-Liis blogs beautiful, fascinating posts about science and astronomy.  She is passionate in her love of science and the universe and shares that passion with her followers.  You can also follow her on Twitter @sci_universe

Mental Floss

Quarterly magazine Mental Floss spreads its awesomeness to tumblr with the kind of fun and informative posts that echo the feel of the mag itself.

We Are Star Stuff

Another gorgeous science and astronomy tumblr that will light up your dash.

It’s Okay to Be Smart

Joe Hanson, the host of the PBS web series “It’s Okay to be Smart”, has an awesome tumblr.  He posts the latest IOTBS videos, as well as other cool science-related posts!

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I Heart: The Podcast Edition /2014/01/07/i-heart-the-podcast-edition/ /2014/01/07/i-heart-the-podcast-edition/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 07:01:10 +0000 /?p=5130 Between commuting to and from work and my designated email and chat days, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts.  There is a huge variety of podcasts covering all manner of subjects, which means that there is something for everyone.  I’ve listed some of my favorites below.

I Heart Logo

Welcome to Night Vale

Frequently described as “The Prairie Home Companion” in the Twilight Zone, Welcome to Night Vale features Ceil Baldwin as the voice of local news radio announcer Cecil Palmer, the velvet voice of reason calmly detailing the incredible supernatural ongoings of the small desert town.  Two-headed quarterbacks, hooded figures, a mayoral battle between a five-headed dragon and a faceless old woman, and a child warrior fighting against an army of evil librarians are business as usual for Night Vale.  Welcome to Night Vale has become an underground phenomenon with a huge online fan community.  Presented as a regular local news radio program, the “Weather” features up and coming musical acts.  It’s one of the most creative, surprising, addictive programs I’ve encountered so far.  (It also has a kick-ass merch shop!)

Release Frequency: Bi-monthly, on the 1st and 15th

Perfect for: Supernatural/Sci-fi fans who appreciate the surreality of old-school anthology programs like “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits”

The Smartest Man in the World

Comedian Greg Proops talks about baseball, history, films, literature, and politics on his weekly podcast recorded at gigs around the world.  Proops is hilarious and highly knowledgeable, relating funny stories full of little known trivia on all of these subjects.  He spends equal time on globally important subjects (designated as “the boring, preachy part”) as well, particularly feminism, racism, and the oppression of the poor.  He frequently reads poetry, pays tribute to great icons who’ve recently passed away, and encourages his audience to be informed.

Release Frequency: Weekly, Mondays

Perfect for: Listeners who are seeking a good balance of entertainment and education.

The Two-Headed Nerd Comicast

A homegrown podcast from my adopted hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, the Two-Headed Nerd is a comics-centered podcast hosted by Joe and Matt.  It’s briskly paced and tightly edited, so listeners get thoughtful reviews of a wide variety of recently released comics.  These guys know their stuff, but they definitely make their reviews approachable for comic newbs.  They’re super interactive with their audience and actively look for audience feedback on a number of social platforms.

Release Frequency: Weekly, Sundays

Perfect for: Seasoned and new comic readers looking to expand their collections with help from experts

The /Filmcast

/Film’s official film review podcast features critics Dave Chen and Devindra Hardawar reviewing recently released films with a guest reviewer.  The normal format for a /Filmcast episode is broken down into three parts – what they’ve been watching, film news, and the main review.  For more significant films, they will also do bonus episodes focusing solely on those films.  Chen and Hardawar are definitely film buffs, but do not restrict their praise to critical darlings.  They’re honest about their likes and dislikes and they aren’t afraid to disagree with each other or their guests.  Film nerds will appreciate the careful analysis and the clearly defined spoiler section.

Release Frequency: Weekly (for the most part, although they do take periodic breaks), Mondays

Perfect for: Film nerds who see a large number of movies in the theater

How Did This Get Made?

Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas collaborate with a guest to tear apart bad movies until there’s nothing left.  The main group has a great dynamic that makes for hilarious listening, even if you haven’t seen the movie.  They frequently do live episodes and their past guests include Weird Al Yankovic, Damon Lindelof, Adam Scott, and fellow star of “The League” Nick Kroll.

Release Frequency: Bi-weekly (Mini episodes are released on off weeks), Tuesdays

Perfect for: “MST3K” fans and those who love watching “so bad, it’s good” flicks

Go Bayside!

“Saved by the Bell” super fan April Richardson is working her way through the show’s entire series run (but no “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” or “College Years”), including the two made-for-TV movies!  Each week, she sits down with a friend to analyze an episode and celebrate a treasured piece of her adolescence.  Richardson’s enthusiasm for the show is perfectly balanced for her willingness to affectionately poke fun at its more ridiculous qualities and she brings in guests with a wide variety of connection to the show – fellow fans, newcomers, and even people who appeared as extras on the show!  The whole show is available on Netflix and she announces the next featured episode to allow listeners to watch along.

Release Frequency: Weekly, Tuesdays

Perfect for: 90s kids who grew up watching the show first run on Saturday mornings or who caught the onslaught of weekly reruns on multiple channels

StarTalk Radio

Astrophysicst Neil deGrasse Tyson presents astronomy and science in an attainable way for the most casual of science enthusiasts.  He frequently cohosts with comedians Chuck Nice and Leighann Lord and covers everything from the cosmos to robotics to virology to the science of sex, complete with expert interviews.  Dr. Tyson never talks down to his audience, but he also makes the science easy to understand.

Release Frequency: Weekly, Sundays

Perfect for: Astronomy (and science) enthusiasts of all levels

The Naked Scientists

Scientists and researchers from Cambridge University bring science to the general public through BBC radio.  Each episode includes expert interviews, science news, and live lectures.  In addition to the regular Naked Scientist podcasts, the line up includes Naked Neuroscience, Naked Genetics, and Naked Astronomy.  The separate podcasts allow listeners to focus on the science genre of their choice, but they are all wonderfully informative.

Release Frequency: Weekly, Sundays

Perfect for: Science enthusiasts of all levels

In Our Time

Hosted by Melvyn Bragg, this BBC-produced podcast covers a multitude of topics – history, philosophy, religion, art, and science.  Bragg discusses a weekly subject with three expert guests.  In Our Time is one of the most popular podcasts in the world, and for good reason.  It’s awesomely educational and interesting and it motivates listeners to find out more on their own.  I can’t recommend this podcast enough!

Release Frequency:  Weekly, Thursdays

Perfect for: Anyone who loves to learn


All of these podcasts are available for download on iTunes and many of them can be directly downloaded or streamed from their home websites.

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Contains Spoilers: The Walking Dead Episode 4.8 /2013/12/02/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-8/ /2013/12/02/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-8/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 07:01:37 +0000 /?p=5221

This post contains spoilers for the “The Walking Dead” Episode 4.8.  If you do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT read on!

TWD 4.8Episode 4.8: Too Far Gone (Mid-Season Finale)

Written by Seth Hoffman

Directed by Ernest Dickerson

We know the Governor is in full form from the get go because the leather coat is BACK!  The people in Woodbury 2.0 seem to eat up his Grade A bullshit just as hungrily as the original group, despite the fact that he’s the newcomer.  It’s that same old Greg Stillson-esque political charm that reels them in, and he seals the deal by telling half-truths about the sins committed against him by the prison group.  Only Lilly seems to realize that he’s a con man, which means I vastly underestimated her.

For some reason, he seems to think he can schmooze Hershel and Michonne too, even after they’ve seen what he’s capable of.  Hershel tries to play along, but I don’t think for a second that he really believes the Governor has changed.  I think he’s trying to buy he and Michonne time in that scene in the trailer.  Changing his mind is the optimal, but unlikely, outcome.

Daryl took the news about Carol pretty much as I expected.  I think he was mad at Rick and hurt that he wasn’t included in the decision, and I also think he was devastated by the loss of Carol as a friend.  Ultimately, though, he accepted the decision and shared the responsibility of telling Tyreese the truth about who killed Karen.  I think, because of who he is, he is always going to back Rick because he truly believes that Rick has the group’s best interests at heart.

I think it’s pretty clear that the person who dissected the rabbit is the same one who fed the rats to the walkers.  I’d put money on it being Lizzie.  I think she’s got some deep-seated problems and I get the feeling the final outcome is going to be pretty shocking.  There’s some speculation in the fandom that Carol is actually covering for Lizzie and that the little girl also killed Karen and David, but that seems like a pretty big stretch.  Carol’s new MO is all about being strong and proactive to survive, and her killing them as a preventative measure is in line with that.

Of course, Tyreese never gets to hear the truth about Carol because the Governor interrupts … with his tank.  Again, the Governor seems to think that Rick is going to accept that he’s willing to just “talk” and that he’s going to let them leave peacefully.  They’ve gone through all of this before, when he asked Rick to hand over Michonne.  He was going to ambush them then and he’s obviously planning to ambush them now, although he’s being a little more obvious this time.  Most likely, it’s just a show for his people, to show that he’s every inch the benevolent dictator he’s promised to be.

Rick’s decision to accept the Governor’s new group comes directly from Hershel’s advice.  Hershel genuinely believes that they can live together if everyone is willing, and I think Rick desperately wants to believe that because he’s so tired of watching people die.  You can see the hope on Hershel’s face and it’s directly contrasted by the dread shown on Michonne’s.  Michonne is the realist and she knows that the Governor is unwilling to bend, because, to him, compromise is the same thing as failure.  Rick has the same kind of hope as Hershel, and he believes that he can “come back” from the trauma he’s experienced and the things he has done.  But the Governor knows that the same isn’t true for him.  He tried to start over when he met Lilly and her family, but that unending thirst for power is still there.  He can’t come back from his past sins, and he doesn’t want Rick to be able to either.

I knew in that slowed down moment when Hershel starts to smile and everything starts to go hazy for the Governor that it was over for Hershel.  I don’t think there has been a death on this show that’s affected me as much as this one.  Hershel was the soul of that group, as I said a couple of posts back.  Fans have touted him as the “new Dale”, because Dale was considered the moral center of the group, but Hershel was more than that.  He supported people without judging them.  He used his own failings as examples of how people can hit rock bottom and come back.  Out of everyone in the prison, he was the most compassionate and the most loving.  He almost single-handedly kept their hope alive.  You can see the anguish on the group’s face when the Governor attacks him with the katana.  I think they could have lost Rick at this moment and there would have been less damage to the group’s center.  Rick had already tried to distance himself, and, as he said, there are several leaders among them.  Hershel’s loss is so devastating because it represents an end to their hope for normalcy.  It’s a huge blow to their morale, and I think that’s precisely why the Governor chose him over Michonne, despite their turbulent history.

Once the Governor makes the decision to kill Hershel, that group that he professed to care so much about becomes cannon fodder.  He is only interested in taking out the prison and everyone in it, as evidenced by his callous shooting of Meghan.  He lets everyone else go ahead while he hides behind a truck, just like the pawns in the chess games he played with Meghan.

This is the fight we were hoping to see in the Season 3 finale, and I’m glad we didn’t have to slog through eight more episodes to see it.   Despite having tanks and a ton of weapons, Woodbury 2.0 gets beaten by a smaller, less equipped army, which is admittedly a bit far-fetched, although the prison group probably fights like a well-oiled machine by now.  Predictably, Tara was all talk and couldn’t handle the actual fighting. Lizzie nails Alisha right in the head, which saves the otherwise cooked goose of Tyreese.  Mitch, for all his tough-guy army swagger, gets ousted by a grenade and then foolishly tries to surrender, but, of course, Daryl isn’t having any of it.  (I thought it was interesting that Daryl ended up being the one who killed Bizarro Merle.)

And Carl saves his dad – again.  (We probably haven’t seen the last of that trope.)  Carl is the one holding his dad up, after they discover the empty bloody carseat and presume that Judith is dead, mirroring the scene when Rick discovers that Lori has died giving birth.  Rick is physically and mentally anguished, and we can guess that Carl will end up being the one who makes their survival possible in the second half of the season.

It was so satisfying to see Michonne be the one who got to kill the Governor.  I was rooting for her (with Daryl in a close second), and I think it was definitely her intention to leave him to be ripped apart by walkers while he was still alive.  It wasn’t quite as earned for Lilly, but he did get her into this mess and basically killed her daughter (twice), so I’m okay with her finishing him off.  I loved the scene of the herd of walkers trampling over the white king chess piece, just as a final “screw you” to the Governor as well. It was also nice to see walker-Clara, the Irish woman who tried to lure Rick to feed her zombified husband’s head, as a call back to the season premiere.


The group is scattered now, and in the chaos it was confusing to see who ended up with whom, so here’s the rundown of where everyone ended up:

Maggie, Sasha, and Bob – Maggie runs over to Sasha and Bob to ask if they’ve seen Beth, just as Bob is injured in the firefight.  Sasha and Maggie move Bob away from the gunfire to treat his wound and the bus full of survivors drives off, forcing the three to flee on foot.

Tyreese, Lizzie, and Mika – Tyreese jumps behind some debris to avoid being shot by Alisha and a random male Governor supporter and is saved in the nick of time by Lizzie, who shoots Alisha in the head without blinking.  When Tyreese tells the girls they have to leave, they run off, and he runs after them, telling them that they’re going the wrong way.  It will be interesting if they run into Carol.  Carol will be ecstatic to see the girls, but things could end badly if Tyreese finds out that Carol killed Karen and David.

Glenn and the survivors on the bus – Glenn tries to follow Maggie and help look for Beth, but Maggie knows that Glenn is too weak to run and likely to be killed, so she tells him to stay on the bus with the others.  The bus drives off after being shot at before Maggie can make it back.

Daryl and Beth – Beth was trying to round up the children and got separated from the bus.  She runs into Daryl, who tells her that they have to leave right away.  They appear to run together into the woods surrounding the prison.

Michonne – Michonne helps Rick by killing the Governor and helping him up, but she’s quickly on the run again and on her own.

Rick and Carl – Carl helps a badly beaten Rick by killing the walkers approaching him.  Together, they find the empty carseat and break down over the death of Judith.  Carl helps Rick into the woods away from the prison as Rick tells him, “Don’t look back.”

Judith?  We’re supposed to assume that Judith was killed by walkers, but as we’ve learned from this show, unless you see a body you can’t be sure that the person is actually dead.  I have a feeling we’ll be seeing Judith alive and well somewhere down the line.


The Best Bits:

I absolutely loved the moment in the trailer when Michonne tells the Governor she is going to kill him.  She’s so calm and straight-forward and she has a hint of a smile on her face.  She has that same hint of a smile as she watches the Governor cough up blood after running him through with the katana.

The Best Kill(s): 

I had three favorites – Lizzie’s dead on shot of Alisha, Daryl shooting Mitch, and of course, the Governor.  Good riddance!

How long will it take for the group to find each other?  Is Judith alive?  How many times will Rick shout “CAH-RUL” in the last eight episodes?

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Contains Spoilers: The Walking Dead Episode 4.7 /2013/11/25/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-7/ /2013/11/25/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-7/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 07:01:20 +0000 /?p=5218

This post contains spoilers for the “The Walking Dead” Episode 4.7.  If you do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT read on!

TWD 4.7Episode 4.7: Dead Weight

Written by Curtis Gwinn

Directed by Jeremy Podeswa

Oh, Martinez.  Back in Woodbury, you at least seemed street smart, but I started to doubt you when you decided to get in the car with the guy who just mowed down your fellow townsfolk.  You should have left “Brian” in the pit and you definitely shouldn’t have offered to share power.  Bad move.  The Governor was never going to let you live, knowing that you could tell the others the truth at any moment.

This camp seems to be the Bizarro version of Rick’s group.  The Governor rejoins Martinez, much as Rick found Shane as the head of a ragtag group of survivors, and the two vie for supremacy – basically a small scale version of the conflict between Rick and Shane that covered the first two seasons. Except this time they’re both Shane, and the Governor kills Martinez for his own nefarious purposes instead of self-defense.  There’s also a pair of survivalist brothers, completed with squirrel hunting. The elder brother is a Merle-like asshole, an ice cream man turned tank driver named Mitch.  He’s a beer swilling, rough-talking misogynist who is keen on taking what they need from a small camp and is angry when another group beats them to the punch.  Pete, on the other hand, is a nice guy and a natural leader whose first thought is to take the smaller group in.  He refuses to rob the group and insists on gathering their own supplies (sound like someone else we know?).

Of course, in this world, Pete gets killed for his kindness, which the Governor convinces his brother is weakness, and Mitch is made his second in command.  The Governor clearly sees Pete as a threat, perhaps even viewing him as the “new” Rick.  He makes quick work of making the camp into Woodbury 2.0 – starting a wall, digging pits, and cultivating an ingrained fear of outsiders.  He’s even got a new makeshift head aquarium in the form of walker-Pete chained to the bottom of the lake  It doesn’t seem good enough for the Governor, though.  He mentions finding a “better” place to Lilly, and even tries to flee with her, Tara, Alisha, and Megan before being turned back by a mud pit full of entrenched walkers.  We see that he’s still got the prison on his mind and, even with his new family and followers, he can’t shake the need for revenge against the prison group, especially Rick and Michonne.

This could go one of two ways.  We could see a struggle play out between the two camps over the next nine episodes, culminating in an all out battle in the season finale.  The groups are fairly evenly matched, although the prison group has been weakened by the virus.  It could very easily become Woodbury 2.0, with people being kidnapped from both sides and Rick and the Governor going head-to-head – again.

We could also see a much quicker resolution, with the end coming next week at the mid-season finale. They’ve primed the pump for this quicker resolution with how quickly things are progressing for the Governor.  In the space of a couple of weeks (months?), he’s acquired a new family, found a new group of gullible rubes to lead, and worked his way back to the prison to spy on the vulnerable prison group.  As we’ve seen with previous seasons, there’s likely to be at least one major character death, a whole lot of chaos, and a nail-biting cliffhanger ending.

Even though this episode was much more interesting than last week’s, I’m anxious to get back to the prison group and I’m hoping that the writers have wrapped up the Governor’s storyline by the end of next week’s episode.  I’m still not interested in any of the new characters they’ve introduced, and they killed off the one decent person that had the potential of connecting with the audience.  I’d much rather see Rick’s group deal with the threat of the virus, than spend another half season dealing with the Governor.

The Best Bits:

Was I the only person who relished seeing the Governor have to hole up in a crappy trailer and take orders from Martinez while it lasted?

The Best Kill:

Martinez’s death was pretty harsh, although completely avoidable.  The writers didn’t take long to remind us how ruthless the Governor is by having him tip Martinez head first into that pit of walkers.

Are we in it for the long haul with the Governor, or is he living on borrowed time?

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Contains Spoilers: American Horror Story Episode 3.7 /2013/11/21/contains-spoilers-american-horror-story-episode-3-7/ /2013/11/21/contains-spoilers-american-horror-story-episode-3-7/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 07:01:21 +0000 /?p=5025

This post contains spoilers for the “American Horror Story” Episode 3.7.  If you do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT read on!


AHS 3.7Episode 3.7: The Dead

Directed by Bradley Buecker

Written by Brad Falchuk

This episode was one of the weirder ones of the entire series, which is saying something.  We saw a bit of back story about Kyle.  He explains to his frat brothers that he’s not going to ruin his chances of becoming a respected engineer with a tattoo chosen on a whim.  He teases the others about getting Chinese symbols and meaningless shapes.  In the present, he finds that his brothers’ tattoos are now part of his reassembled body, which makes him cry out in anguish.

Zoe makes another attempt to kill him, this time with a pilfered gun.  She can’t bring herself to kill him, however, and decides instead to try to teach him the words for basic actions.  He’s frustrated because his intelligence is there, but he can’t communicate.  Zoe’s called away by Cordelia to talk about Fiona’s role in the murder of Madison, and Madison takes the opportunity to connect with Kyle over their common resurrections.  Zoe agrees to help Cordelia kill her mother after the newly blind woman reveals that her second sight allowed her to see a glimpse of the crime.  Cordelia also warns Zoe that her growing power has been noticed, and while she can’t confirm that Zoe is the next supreme, there’s enough of a threat to be worried.  After Zoe finds Spaulding’s enchanted tongue, saved by the vengeful Myrtle Snow, she reattaches it and forces him to reveal the truth of Madison’s murder, then ruthlessly kills him after getting the desired information.

I’m almost certain that Zoe is the next Supreme and her exponentially growing powers seem to be giving her a confidence that she didn’t have in the first few episodes.  She’s pretty ruthless now, except when it comes to Kyle.  She still can’t manage to kill him, even though he’s obviously dangerous.  I don’t know if she’s strong enough to go up against Fiona yet, even if Fiona is starting to weaken.  I’m guessing it’s going to take the entire coven to take her down.

Cordelia gets a late night call from her scumbag husband, but quickly blows him off.  He’s revealed to be sitting in the middle of a heavy arsenal of weapons, apparently ready to bring the hurt down on the coven at Marie Laveau’s request.  After nearly falling down the stairs, she’s saved by Madison and her new gift shows her the truth of Madison’s murder and resurrection.

Like Zoe, Cordelia’s becoming hardened.  She’s a far cry from the clinical potion maker and gardener we saw in the premiere.  I’m guessing there’s going to be at least one casualty at the hands of Hank, but hopefully Nan’s mind-reading capabilities can warn the others of his coming.  Speaking of Nan, I really missed seeing Jamie Brewer.  I’m hoping she’ll be back for the next episode.

Madison laments the emptiness she felt in life and continues to feel after death, trying to fill the whole with food, magic potions, and ultimately sex.  Zoe walks in on her and Kyle having sex, the only thing that allows Madison to feel.  Madison confronts Zoe about what she witnessed and convinces her to join the couple in bed.

Madison is probably my least favorite character.  Even though I’m not as invested in Kyle and Zoe’s relationship as I was with Tate and Violet, I was really disappointed to see Madison go after Kyle.  I’m not sure how I feel about the three way relationship either, but between Madison and Misty Day, Zoe’s got a lot of competition for Kyle!

Queenie and Delphine encounter each other in the kitchen, both hoping for a late night snack.  Madison has cleaned out the pantry, and the two are forced to go out for fast food.  They begin to bond over cheeseburgers, but Delphine sours the mood by pointing out that Queenie’s race separates her from the rest of the witches in her coven.  Queenie seeks the advice of Marie Laveau, who offers to let Queenie join her – if she brings Delphine to get her just desserts.  Queenie asks Delphine about the worst thing she ever did and Delphine reveals that she once killed a slave’s newborn to use in her “beauty treatment”.  Cruelly, she asks the baby’s mother to be her handmaiden and tells the woman about the “secret ingredient” – all because her husband impregnated the woman.  Queenie is disgusted and tricks Delphine into going willingly to Marie’s salon, where she is imprisoned.  Marie uses some of Delphine’s blood in a recreation of the sadistic woman’s beauty treatments.

I can’t say I blame Queenie for turning Delphine over to Marie Laveau.  The real LaLaurie and her husband did unspeakable things to their slaves, which would be hard for anyone to reconcile.  Cordelia’s intentions seem more altruistic than Marie’s, but Marie’s anger is completely understandable.  We’ll see if Queenie stays with the voodoo crew or goes back to Miss Robicheaux’s.  As always, Angela Basset turns in a fierce performance this week.  She is so gorgeous, it’s unfair!

Fiona spends the night with the Axeman, despite knowing that he has a murder victim in his bathtub.  Her hair begins falling out in large clumps, consequences of her chemotherapy treatment.  The Axeman opens up about his past and tells Fiona about their complicated, one-sided relationship as he watched her grow up.  She flees in disgust, but eventually returns to him.

The Axeman’s history with Fiona is decidedly creepy, but I feel like she went back to him because his desire makes her feel wanted and beautiful.  I am impressed how Murphy and Falchuk manage to make their characters complex and three dimensional.  All of the characters Jessica Lange has played so far could be simple villains, but they’ve each had a tragic, sympathetic side that makes them compelling to watch.  Lange will definitely be in the Emmy race again this year, but her costars (Basset and Kathy Bates, especially) are going to give her a run for her money.

The Best Bits:

Danny Huston is always amazing and his performance as The Axeman is really, really good.  I’m happy to see he’ll be around for at least one more episode.

Queenie has a big choice to make.  Do you think she’ll stay with Marie Laveau or will her loyalty to the girls at Miss Robicheaux’s win out?

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Contains Spoilers: The Walking Dead Episode 4.6 /2013/11/17/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-6/ /2013/11/17/contains-spoilers-the-walking-dead-episode-4-6/#comments Sun, 17 Nov 2013 07:01:49 +0000 /?p=5215

This post contains spoilers for the “The Walking Dead” Episode 4.6.  If you do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT read on!

Episode 4.6: Live Bait

Written by Nichole Beattie

Directed by Michael Uppendahl

TWD 4.6My first reaction to Shumpert and Martinez leaving – WHY DIDN’T YOU SHOOT HIM AND TAKE OFF WHEN HE KILLED ALL THOSE PEOPLE?!  Was the breaking point really that he let a walker crawl through their campfire and he didn’t flinch when it was shot?  That means he’s crazy, not the fact that he killed their entire group?

The argument being made by the writers to the hundreds of fans wondering the same thing is likely that they were worried that he would also kill them them and that they took off during the night because he let his guard down and they could get away.  Which I would buy, if there weren’t two of them and they didn’t both have guns.  I still think they should have shot him right after the massacre happened.

This episode left me a little cold.  Are we supposed to feel sorry for the Governor/Brian?  More importantly, are we really supposed to believe that he’s changed?  He is sweet to the little girl, probably because she reminds him of Penny, but he’s already rewriting his history to make it seem like he’s the good guy.  Actually, he’s probably been doing that all along, but this is the first concrete evidence of it.

Maybe it’s because they’ve been sheltered from a lot that’s happened, but the Chamblers move pretty fast.  One minute, Tara is threatening to kill him and then they’re bringing him dinner and inviting him over for an after dinner coffee klatch.  He becomes their errand boy pretty quickly, too.  They’ve only known him for a few hours before asking him to help put their dad to bed and the old guy already has him risking his life for a shiny new backgammon set.  Then he gets sent out for oxygen tanks, in the ultimate “here’s your hat, where’s your hurry”.  And, of course, there’s the “I know we just met and my dad just died, but will you be my boyfriend?” conversation.

I’m not a fan of this group.  Lilly has no personality and the little personality Tara has is annoying.  The Governor seemed pretty consistently annoyed by them as well, particularly since they were so clueless about how to act around the walkers.  Of course, he never could resist the ladies, even back in Woodbury.  And, obviously, Meghan has become a surrogate for Penny.

As I said in my last post, I don’t really care what the Governor has been up to since the Season 3 finale.  I hope this is going somewhere, and we aren’t going to see it dragged out until the Season 4 finale.  They need to wrap this storyline up quickly so we can get back to the good stuff.

The Best Bits:

The Governor’s face was priceless when Lilly said her dad had been “gone for awhile”.  I actually laughed out loud.

The Best Kill:

It has to be pulling a walker’s head in half with a bone – no question.

Is Martinez long for this world, considering the Governor is trying to start a new life?

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