Monday, March 31, 2014

TWD Season 4 Finale!


OK folks, it's over & done with for this season! Here's what I thought about the series finale episode:

It sure wasn't what I expected, but not in a bad way. I think they way they edited the episode to underscore Ricks evolution (or de-evolution as some might say) wasn't really necessary as we all know what Rick has done. It doesn't make sense to do it that way from the perspective of a new viewer either, as the flash back scenes wouldn't help them at all to understand the transformation without more context.

 Regardless, the episode picked up ques from the comics in the Hunters finding Rick & the gang, which I liked. I really liked the way Rick approached Terminus. That's the way I would have done it. As I stated in my last blog, the other gang just meandered all up in Terminus without a second thought! I was also glad to see that my speculation regarding the memorial room was right, looks like the name of all the people that they've sacrificed or have died are written on the floor.

Further, we know that the cannibal hypothesis seems to be correct, as we saw bloody bones of what appeared to be human remains in one area as the group is being shot at and "herded" to the box cars. Also, the clue of the powered milk and the faint yelling of others in the other train cars can be heard as well. Cramped up, fattened up & slaughtered.

The rear door was obviously the "right" way in, as Mary stated that she thought that Rick and company were smart and could be one of them. Looks like the "dummy" way in is a test to weed out potential members from meals.

Could we finally be seeing the start of Carl's dark descent into that "dark place" that execs, writers & the actors keep alluding to? He's seen his father go there and keep it together, perhaps it's foreshadowing that promised story arc.

Now, the "brutality" part that was highly touted, to me, wasn't there. There has been more brutal moments than Rick biting Joe in the neck and going ape-shit on Dan. To be honest, Dan did deserve everything he got...and more. There's nothing more sickening than a pedophile rapist. Rick flipped the switch and punished him as his conscious would allow. Now, the scene itself put me in an uncomfortable position, as I did not know how they were going to show the act itself upon Carl. I can't watch scenes like that without squirming a little- I just don't like sexual violence in any form- especially when it involves children. However, they conveyed the danger without going to far and for that I'm glad.

As an aside, during filming the box car scene, there was one take where Rick walked up the steps alone, entered the rail car and then we hear him scream. Maybe they shot different things and saw how it played out during editing maybe. Who knows? Maybe they shot something now that will be used in Season 5? Just guessing.

Overall for Season 4? Here's my top four moments:
                                                                           1) Prison attack by the Governor.
                                                                           2) Death of Herschel.
                                                                           3) Carol murders Lizzie.
                                                                           4) Rick inside Terminus.

OK, so with that said, I'm waiting on April/May so we can start going back to watch them film season 5 and get some pics! No hiatus for us here in Georgia for TWD!

Monday, March 24, 2014

TWDSeason 4: Just One Episode Left!


Well, here we are again folks! One more episode left in this season and the wait begins for filming of Season 5 sometime in April (rumored).

This season has been a little unbalanced, in my opinion. It really has. Character inconsistencies, contradictions and a seemingly rushed-to-tie-up-loose-ends situations. There are certain things within the show that just don't add up. So many questions and observations had to be addressed!

 So, a couple of us fans got together and had a healthy discussion regarding the series as it is currently, speculation regarding future events, and all those little details that geeks discuss when talking TWD. Our discussion brought up a lot of different views and pointed out certain things that, I think, should be talked about.

Our round table discussion (sometimes debate!) began with a general consensus that this season has been unbalanced in its narrative and characterizations. The first half of this season has only one redeeming event: the Governors final attack upon the prison & the death of Herschel. Now, I've already posted a blog regarding this first half of S4, so we'll forego any further dissection of it at this point.

Let's move on to the back 8. Where to start? We started with the obvious: the painful fact that about 80% of the episodes consists of the characters walking around in the woods & endlessly talking until a few walkers (or other threat) show up and a scramble ensues. Were there meaningful character developments? Any real surprises about the characters? Not really. Great acting to be sure, but how are we as an audience supposed to try & relate to our heroes when they become downright unsympathetic? How are we supposed to root for our favorite character when they act totally contrary to their growth (their ESTABLISHED character) within the story since the beginning? Especially without being provided a reason!

   The first few episodes were typical of the TWD pattern: a series of "moments" with a wrap-around story. The narrative is not pushing forward constantly and furiously, as it should be within the scenario- but rather it crawls to a predictable resolution without the characters changing. I say they don't change because they may step out of their known characteristics and go nuts or do something totally contrary to what they have learned, they always return to their established characterizations. It's like a character takes a detour, only to arrive right back where they were.

   Carl & Ricks situation is a prime example of this. Carl nuts-up, spews out vileness towards his unconscious father (who had saved his life on many occasions prior) only to tell him that if he died, that he'd be fine with that. The whole "Carl descends into a dark place" promised by Kirkman in Season 3 seemed to have been set up, but then discarded. He simply turned into an arrogant, ungrateful little asshole for one episode. He ate some pudding and he was back to his old self. That's some powerful pudding right there folks.

   The entire set-up of the prison walker feeder was put in place, clues given, Lizzie & Mika alluded to aaaand...well, they wrapped that story up rather quickly. Almost like they had to hurry up & get them girls out of the way so a new direction could be taken. It was a shocking episode, but it wasn't unexpected. Carol & Tyreese wrapped up their situation neatly & cleanly without even a good argument. .

   I mean, why would Lizzie (Borden? A real subtle clue from the jump by the way.) be saving her sister from walker attacks one moment and disemboweling her the next? Feeding walkers one moment & shooting them the next?I agree that the girl was confused and obviously psychotic, which was pretty obvious. Carol admitted she should have known, she saw the signs- while Tyreese had no clue whatsoever about any of it. How could they both be so clueless?

   Again, a series of "moments" until a shock or action sequence. Seemingly endless (and ultimately useless) talking between characters seems like filler material until the next gag. Was new revelations or other character developments introduced through this dialogue? No, ultimately Carol was still able to kill like she did Karen & David. She really didn't change, despite all the crying.Was there another option regarding Lizzies murder? Probably. Tyreese obviously agreed with Carols idea of putting Lizzie down as he did nothing to prevent it, which is against his established nature! No, Lizzie's murder was out of necessity of the writers to get out of that story line and do it with some shock value. Once those sisters were gone, the new story line can be pursued.

Which brings us to the whole "Terminus" story line. We knew from the first second we saw that damn sign that something wasn't right! Somehow, our heroes (even though they had just gotten out of a conflict with Woodbury & the Governor) totally forget about it & follow the signs without too much fuss or thought! Didn't they learn anything? Hell, they walked right in without so much as even checking the place out first. Someone should have questioned their trip to Terminus before even going! I've seen these same characters talk endlessly about matters much less serious than this!

The whole Abraham, Rosita & Eugene scenario are just as ludicrous. I mean, really, Glenn & Maggie were at the CDC for Pete's sake- they know more about the virus than anyone else, so why take old mullet head at his word that he can "save the world" so easily? After they all re-united, someone should have (& would have, if they maintained their established characterizations) stood up & questioned the good doctor & his companions regarding it.

No, the characters are following an automatic course set by the writers to go to Terminus so a new set-up can be established. So, they cut a few corners in wrapping things up at the sake of the characters lack of growth.

I admit that Terminus is intriguing in it's potential. We all suspect that the people there are cannibals or something as just as evil. We know what will happen, we just don't know how or when.

Then again, we were promised the Prison would be an incredible story line, a "new" zombie threat       ( zombies with a flu, btw, where are those zombies now? Seems that was wrapped up without explanation too.)- only to be shown a series of "moments" connected by walking in the woods or corridors talking.

At least Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar, Star Trek: TNG) was there to greet them. That was the biggest surprise of the entire episode!

I'm holding out that the promise that this season finale will be brutal and shocking. It better be, they've got some catching up to do.