Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 10, “New Best Friends”

I have to dive right in because I’m so excited about at least one thing that happened on tonight’s episode! So…

Seriously. Every week. Every episode. We're gonna do this.

Seriously. Every week. Every episode. We’re gonna do this.

Opening shot of Ezekiel and some of his peeps waiting for some Saviors to show up and take their stuff. It’s a truck load of watermelon and fuel. The watermelon is in IKEA baskets.

tbh they must be Dulcinea watermelons because these baskets aren't that big.

tbh they must be Dulcinea watermelons because these baskets aren’t that big, which is cool because that’s like a “screw you” to the Saviors, who probably think they should get large watermelons and stuff! 

Greasy haired Savior demands Richard’s gun. A fistfight ensues. Ezekiel makes Richard give up the gun because Ezekiel still thinks he can keep the peace with these dipshits. Gavin the Savior makes threats to Ezekiel. Greasy haired Savior takes Morgan’s ninja stick. Morgan is pissed.

Back at the Kingdom, Ezekiel lectures Ben for being quick to fight. This is some nonsense. Like, a year or two into the zombie apocalypse, everyone needs to get on board with fighting to survive. I’m bored with these people who think diplomacy is the way to go. 

Anyway. Daryl shows up and wants to know where they went. He is unimpressed that Morgan is bleeding. They have a stare down. Daryl is all, Carol wouldn’t put up with this. Morgan is all, Carol left because she doesn’t want to kill anyone else. He won’t tell Daryl where to find her. 

Next Daryl goes to make friends with Richard. He is practicing archery. He lets Daryl have a turn. It’s nice to see Daryl with a crossbow in his hands again.

Hello, luvvah.

Hello, luvvah.

By the way: Can I just tell you how stupid it is to have a Richard on a show where a dude named Rick is the main character? It’s very stupid.

Ads. Beats by Dre with Nicki Minaj. Humans. Show looks bad — I watched three minutes of it the other night and it was just… not good. iPad. Naked chicken chalupa from Taco Bell. Just kill me now. Ads are so awful. What am I even doing with my life????

Snickers Crisper looks delightful though.

Mmmmm. Snickers!

Mmmmm. Snickers!

Richard shows Daryl his secret stash. They go out walking. On the highway. Because in the zombie apocalypse, you can do that without getting… oh wait. Haha. Anyway! They’re going to wait for Saviors to drive by and shoot them. Richard tells Daryl about Carol but doesn’t know Daryl knows her. He’s left a trail to her cabin with the weapons cache, with Carol as bait. Like, they’ll follow the trail to her cabin, and they’ll kill her, and since Ezekiel “cares for her”, Ezekiel will be angered enough to join Rick and the All Stars in their fight against the Saviors. Daryl knows it’s Carol. Also this plan is terrible and Daryl knows it. He takes Richard down. They engage in fisticuffs and then have a standoff and then Richard convinces Daryl to stand down and stick with the plan. Which still sucks, just saying. And then Daryl warns Richard that if anything happens to Carol, he’ll kill him. And then he leaves. Presumably to find Carol.

This is so convoluted. Richard is a terrible strategist and he looks like the Governor and has the same name as Rick. Seriously how the hell is anyone supposed to keep up with this nonsense? 

Ads ads ads.

There is an ad for Los Pollos Hermanos and I legit just spit my drink out. 

Thanks, AMC.

Back to the show. The Children of the Corn are back, leading Rick and the All Stars into a junkyard. There is some sort of effed up circle ritual happening. Just like in Children of the Corn! A lady with a really unfortunate haircut steps up to demand info.

For real, check this out:

She does not have a good stylist.

She does not have a good stylist.

I mean for real, who did she piss off in hair and makeup??
It's legit worse than the trash heap she calls her kingdom.

It’s legit worse than the trash heap she calls her kingdom.

Rick is all, show me Gabriel first. On our couch, we are all, no one cares about Gabriel.

Rick schools Bad Hair Day about the Saviors and tries to get her to team up. She says no.

Fight! Gabriel even holds a knife to some ugly chick’s neck! Then he gives them some preacher talk and takes a turn at trying to convince them.

It’s a terrible idea to team up with these people. I just want to throw that out there. Even if they change their minds and say okay, it’s a really terrible idea. 

The leader takes Rick up a hill of trash to look over her shitty area.

Everything the light touches is our kingdom, Simba.

Everything the light touches is our kingdom, Simba.

She yammers about stuff being difficult or some nonsense. This entire show is nonsense sometimes. God. 

Then she pushes him down the side of the trash heap. So that’s cool.

Ads. Call of Duty. Are all of these calls of duty different or what is the deal?

Back in Trashland, Rick is stuck in a pit with an extra creepy zombie with pointy armor.

Oh wow. That is... you got something on your head, man.

Oh wow. That is… you got something on your head, man.

Pointy Trash Zombie is ready for a snack. Rick doesn’t know what to do, given that he has no weapons and only a giant pile of trash at his disposal. Michonne has to coach Rick from the other side of a pipe through which she is watching. She’s all, “Use the heap!” It’s like Obi Wan Kenobi up in here. Rick does some stuff with the trash, gets a sharp object. He kills the creature and Bad Hair Day throws down a rope. He climbs back up and she says they want guns. Rick grins. He is a sick, sick man. He is also injured, on his hand and his leg. 

So they strike a deal. They will get a third of whatever guns Rick and the All Stars can find. She wants more but Rick says no. Her teeth are oddly good for someone with hair that bad. She claims her name is Jadis. I don’t buy it, mostly because people don’t really name their children things like… oh wait. Never mind. 

She takes her Corn children with her and Rick and the All stars are free to leave. Pook really, REALLY wants Rick to get a bandage first. Evil Rob is all, “It’s a terrible idea to get a bandage from these people. It’ll be covered in bacteria.” It’s a tough call for me. But he has a bandage by the time they leave. 

Ads. Are we someday going to stop allowing Matthew McConaughey to sell cars for Lincoln?

Already 7:45! This episode is going quickly.

FINALLY! Carol!

There is never enough Carol in this show.

The look on Carol's face right here is straight out of my own parenting playbook. She has no time for your SHENANIGANS.

The look on Carol’s face right here is straight out of my own parenting playbook. She has no time for your SHENANIGANS.

And Ezekiel and his men and one lady are outside, doing something and claiming that they tried to be quiet and not bother her. Carol isn’t buying your nonsense, you guys.

She just wants to read a damn book, you guys.

She just wants to read a damn book, you guys.

Jerry the Fat Samurai brought her a cobbler. He grins when she accepts. Everyone in my house falls instantly, irrevocably in love. This means he will probably die two episodes from now.

In real life, he is a Jewish Samoan named Cooper Andrews.

In real life, he is a Jewish Samoan named Cooper Andrews. Look at that face! 

Later Carol’s trying to read another book and someone else knocks on her damn door. WHO CAN IT BE.

The internet doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Daryl and Carol fan art, you guys.

IMG_1560a8755cfdbceaa6a49ee1cce686cf2634

Daryl and Carol by sairobi on deviantart

Daryl and Carol by sairobi on deviantart

Carol and Daryl Chibi Valentine by nasubionna on deviantart

Carol and Daryl Chibi Valentine by nasubionna on deviantart

Daryl and Carol Reunited by jadeddreams1 on deviantart

Daryl and Carol Reunited by jadeddreams1 on deviantart

Caryl by akimao on deviantart

Caryl by akimao on deviantart

by poppprocks on nanozine

by poppprocks on nanozine

by Ashlee Casey on reddit

by Ashlee Casey on reddit

I could do this all night. But I won’t. Just one more…

This one is my fave. For reasons.

This one is my fave. For reasons.

Anyway, obviously it’s Daryl at the door and they stare at each other for a good minute before they embrace. Me and Pook are crying. Just a little. But still. Totally crying.

Scene change! Rick and Gabriel are talking while they make everyone else pack the car. Guess who is still boring and annoying? Spoiler: It’s Gabriel. 

And then Rosita and Tara are bickering again. This is bullshit. At some point, this stuff wouldn’t matter to people anymore. Bickering and hating each other because they once hooked up with the same man. This is what men think all women do all day long though, isn’t it? This has always been the issue with this show: the male creators have no idea how to write women. And of all the women in the world, Rosita and Tara would be least likely to behave like this. So this is a stupid waste of time throwaway scene. 

Rick grabs a terrible trash sculpture for Michonne before they head out.

Ads. Kong: Skull Island. Meh. How many times are we going to remake this damn movie? 

Back at the cabin: Daryl and Carol are in her living room in front of a romantic fire.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

She tells him why she left the group — she doesn’t want to keep killing people because it’s killing her inside. Then she asks him if the Saviors came and if they hurt anyone. Daryl lies without hesitation and tells her everyone is all right. She gives him stew. He leaves after dark but first they hug again.

Do you think someday they’ll actually hook up? Maybe on the very last episode, the whole world is burning and they are the last ones left and they know they are not long for the world, and so they’re like, “Let’s just do this already,” and they get busy and that’s the last we ever see of them.

(Hey Walking Dead producers? I can write for you! Call me!)

Tiger! Daryl is bonding with her. Morgan comes in and compliments Daryl’s rapport with the tiger. Daryl is like, we need the Kingdom. You gotta make that happen. Morgan is all, I can’t. Daryl is annoyed. Morgan tells him they are alike and that he knows that Daryl didn’t tell Carol about Abe and Glenn or she would have come back with him, ready to fight. Daryl’s like, whatevs, get us the Kingdom, MORGAN. 

Daryl leaves for Hilltop in the morning.

Scenes from next week show Negan and Dwight picking on Eugene. Great. Like, Eugene is a wuss anyway. It’s not going to be any fun to watch Negan and Dwight pick on him. 

You guys. Pollyanna McIntosh (Jadis) is on the Talking Dead and her hair is not a whole lot better in real life. She is lovely though.

Remember Jordan in Real Genius? That's what this hair reminds me of.

Remember Jordan in Real Genius? That’s what this hair reminds me of.

 

And now for some gratuitous Norman Reedus. Because hell, why not?

Did you know that back in the 1990s, Norman Reedus was a model? He did a whole campaign for Prada. And I actually have vivid recall of this campaign because back in MY 1990s, I was writing a terrible book about a rock star and superstar pop singer, and I read a boatload of fashion magazines for inspiration, and the Norman Reedus Prada ads were included in my vision notebook (that’s what we used to have in olden times, before they invented Pinterest).

Anyway.

b9709d0d85dde393974f01a9f629bbb0

 

Sweet dreams, and see you next week for an episode that has to suck more than this one because Negan will be back and we all know how much Negan loves the sound of his own voice!!

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 9, “Rock in the Road”

Oh god. Here we are again. It’s like no time has passed at all but apparently it’s been two whole months or something? I don’t even know. I’m missing the trainwreck known as the Grammys for this so I hope everyone appreciates my sacrifice.

As ever, SPOILERS FOLLOW.

I know. People who whine about spoilers make me cry too, Daryl.

I know. People who whine about spoilers make me cry too, Daryl.


All right. Midseason premiere. Let’s do this. Which… “midseason premier”. Everything on television is such an event now. I’m so over it. Can’t we just watch our STORIES without it being a THING? 

Boring Father Gabriel is reading a book in the dark while he’s supposed to be on watch duty. Typical. I guess he assumes God’s got it under control.

Now he’s wandering into a house in the dark and knocks a bunch of shit down, causing a huge ruckus. Nice.

He’s loading stuff from the pantry into a plastic bin.

Ah. Stealing a car, preacher man?

Yep. He’s bailing.

Pretty much.

Pretty much.

Ads. Snore.

Hilltop, and The Ricking Crew are meeting with the dude in charge in his office. This Hilltop dickbag is starting to sound a lot like Negan. Jesus is like, “You’re a dick, dude.” And the dickbag is like, “We’re not fighting.” 

You guys, I’m not gonna lie. My husband made Elvis sandwiches for dinner and there was a situation with my bread and I had to take care of it during this very overlong scene with Gregory saying “no, Hilltop isn’t gonna fight” and The Ricking Crew arguing and Carl Poppa saying he’s going to train the people. None of us missed anything and then Enid rallied some more Hilltop people to the cause and Daryl was like, “We don’t need numbers because we can just blow shit up” and I knew I loved Daryl for a reason.

Also this sandwich kicks ass.

Ads for Arrival and some kind of over the top Verizon plan that thinks highly enough of itself to use music from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Come on, Verizon. Get a grip. I’ve seen 2001: A Space Odyssey and you are NO 2001: A Space Odyssey. I mean, look at this. It’s just an opening credits shot and it’s amazing.

Once, in first grade, or maybe it was second, I don’t know because I am old now, we did a music and dance program at school for the parents and one of the dances was to the opening music from that movie, and it was real weird. Like, the kids pretended to be space rocks but then they came to life and danced around like rock-shaped aliens? It was the 1970s. I don’t know. Anyway now I’m in this place:

 

Creepy. My baby daddy’s name is HAL. I bet that’s NO COINCIDENCE.

But I digress.

Road trip! To The Kingdom!

Jesus needs a haircut.

Sweet silver angel over the sea please come down flyin' low for me

Sweet silver angel over the sea
please come down flyin’ low for me

Horses!!

The guards are like, who are all these people? Jesus is like, friends of mine. The guards are like, line up. Daryl isn’t having it. He will likely never get in a line ever again. Rick tries to be reasonable. It grates on him. But the guards take The Ricking Crew through the gates. 

Inside the Kingdom, hippie music is playing.

Pretty sure these dudes are about to show up.

Pretty sure these dudes are about to show up.

The guards lead The Ricking Crew through the streets and they see the young people training and the other people doing their… gardening. And suddenly here is Morgan and everyone hugs! Or almost everyone. Not Rick! And then he fills them in on Carol and Daryl is listening with extra ears. Morgan says she’s gone and Daryl looks super sad. And then Morgan says he got them an audience with the king. 

King Ezekiel! And the tiger!

Khary Payton as Ezekiel - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Khary Payton as Ezekiel – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

King Ezekiel is going to be at Denver Comic Con this year and I am super stoked. I hope he brings that tiger. 

Conversation ensues. I can’t believe Rick just calls him King right off the bat. And that no one else is behind him snickering. Even Daryl is like, “Sure. King. Whatever.” 

This is ridiculous. I can’t believe they’re having this conversation like it’s the Renaissance festival. Just talk like normal people.

Ezekiel asks for Morgan’s opinion. Whatever. Morgan’s all, maybe we can just capture Negan. Nope. I’m waiting for Daryl to speak up but he doesn’t. I guess Daryl really is a man of few words. 

Then Rick tells Ezekiel a story about a rock in the road. And some bag of gold. And how the king left it there on purpose because… stuff. And thangs. I don’t know. This seems like b.s. When do we fight??

Rick is at least amused by King Ezekiel.

As are we all.

Seriously if we don’t see Carol in this episode though I’ll be kinda pissed that I skipped the horror show that is the Grammys. Katy Perry has BLONDE HAIR, you guys. 

She looks like Christina Applegate got in a fight with Fraggle Rock and emerged victorious.

She looks like Christina Applegate got in a fight with Fraggle Rock and emerged victorious.

And Jason Derulo is dressed up like Hip Hop Count Dracula.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Jason Derulo attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 12: Singer Jason Derulo attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

I’m just trying not to make him angry lest he summon whatever that collar is to life.

Oh also here is this weird Humpty Dumpty ad from the Super Bowl.

ANYWAY.

Ezekiel’s boy wonder Benjamin is in the woods training and almost gets killed by Carol. She is deeply unimpressed by his earnestness and offer of water. He fails to tell her that The Ricking Crew is in town. He must not know how much we all ship Carol and Daryl. 

My glasses suck so I can’t quite tell but I think Ezekiel is tucking someone into bed with the I Have A Dream speech. 

Benjamin comes in and tells him he saw Carol. Ezekiel tries to be casual in asking how she is but you can tell he ships it. He ships himself and Carol hard. And just know that I’m all in for a Ezekiel-Carol-Daryl Hunger Games style love triangle.

Anyway Benjamin is like, we have to help them, and King Zeke is like, “Thanks for your wise council, young one.” Or something.

All this King shit is annoying and weird though.

Morning and it’s archery practice for the children. This IS the Renaissance festival. Daryl looks pained watching their terrible technique.

Ezekiel’s like, we’re not fighting with you. Rick’s like, “Please?” Ezekiel’s like, “Nah.” Rick’s like, “Come on, dude.” Zeke’s all, “Nah.”

 

Something something blah blah blah stuff and thangs.

Something something blah blah blah stuff and thangs.

Ezekiel offers Daryl sanctuary inside The Kingdom since the Negan squad are after him, but refuses to let his people join in their fight. They start walking away. Richard the guard wants to fight. And Rick wants Daryl to stay. Daryl’s like “I ain’t” and Rick is all, “Stay behind and stare him into submission. Whatever it takes.” And Daryl knows he is defeated and has to stay. And then the gates slam closed as The Ricking Crew leaves.

At least Daryl will see Carol soon. Hopefully by the end of this episode!

Ads. Call of Duty. Wendy’s. Some gross energy drink. Brad Paisley wrecking Nationwide. Barf.

God. Next week we’re starting this shit late so I don’t have to watch ads.

This movie with Scarlett Johansson looks so boring. Ghost in the Shell. Snore.

Back to the show. Out on the highway.

Hahahahahahaha Negan is memorializing Fat Joey over the PA system.

Cars block the highway. Rick decides they’ll move them, then move them back, so the Saviors don’t know they were there. I don’t think that’s gonna work but okay, whatever.

 

Jesus thinks it's a terrible idea too, you can just tell.

Jesus thinks it’s a terrible idea too, you can just tell.


And then they discover a whole explosive tripwire system. Rick and Michonne want the explosives for their coming battles. If only they had Eugene to help! Rosita is like, allow me. Now they’re all messing about with dynamite. This seems like it will end badly.

So the whole tripwire/explosives system? It’s a trap for a giant herd of walkers, who start coming around the curve in the highway as they’re removing the explosives. The Ricking Crew are piling dynamite and other explosives into their vehicle. But only the ones that seem like they’re in good condition. Um… okay. And the walkers are getting closer and closer. 

This is all very exciting but I fail to see the point. They send Jesus and Sasha to run back to Hilltop and tell Maggie they haven’t given up. Which… whatever. 

Then Rick and Michonne drive two cars with a wife stretched between them and now down hundreds of walkers, then make a run for it back to the group’s car. EPIC CLOTHESLINE!

Hopefully by tomorrow there will be a gif and I can insert it here.

They drive away and one of the piles of dynamite goes off, blowing up a bunch of walkers.

Aaaaand ads.

Oh, Passage. How I have not missed you. Does anyone care about this? They are choking in dust from the bomb going off underground. And given that they’ve been stuck down there for two months with no one missing them, I shouldn’t wonder. 

Back to Alexandria. The gates open and a bunch of Negan’s trucks drive in. They’re there to find Daryl. And kill him. And trash everyone’s houses.

It’s super boring when the guy who really wants to be Negan tries to talk like Negan. Luckily they leave, so I don’t have to throat punch anyone.

The two Alexandria guys fill The Ricking Crew in on Gabriel’s disappearance. Rick doesn’t want to believe Gabriel would just steal stuff and run. Rosita’s like, of course he would. I am with Rosita, really. 

But then it seems Gabriel laid some sort of trail. The Ricking Crew are like, “LET’S GO!” 

The gay dudes are bickering in their perfectly clean house. The one is like, “I’M GOING WITH! RICK NEEDS ME!” And the other one is like, “STAY HERE. Don’t be stupid.” I’m with him. Also, why is it that the gay couple’s house is the only spotless one after the Negan dudes are done trashing everything??

The Ricking Crew have gone to look for Gabriel. They find footprints. Now, you know and I know that the footprints do not belong to Gabriel. Because we’ve been seeing that person in the black boots spying on The Ricking Crew the last few episodes! But the crew doesn’t know this.

And so of course they wind up surrounded by what looks to be the Children of the Corn, all grown up. CREEPY.

REPENT.

REPENT.

And Rick smirks and that’s the end.

Seriously, all of these people look super inbred. And I’m here to tell you, if the only people who survive the zombie apocalypse for longer than three years are super inbred backwoods weirdos, count me out. Just let Daryl put me out of my misery early on. With his crossbow.

Someone find this man a new crossbow, stat.

Someone find this man a new crossbow, stat.

See all y’all next week!

This show makes me talk like I’m from Georgia. But only inside my head.

A Geek’s Place Is In The Revolution: Stories To Help You Fight

Come and Claim ThemIt’s dark times, fellow geeks. You know it, I know it, let’s face it, we all know it. There are lots of different, and valid, ways to manage this darkness. Maybe you volunteer, or donate to causes that you care about. You can play a game, ride your bike, pet kittens. Drink heavily, and eat all the cake. The point is, you have options. Me? I like to lean in to the darkness. It helps me find the light. The following is my list of books and movies that I turn to, the stories that inspire and guide me. They are stories of perseverance, stories of war and revolution. You know, your classic tales of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. And don’t worry, if fluffy escapism, or riotous laughter is more your thing, we have plenty of suggestions for that route too.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Handmaid's Tale CoverAnyone who has known me for any amount of time knows that Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is my hands down favorite book of all time. To explain why would likely be a huge post all on its own, so here’s the short version. While a lot of people find this book to be unendingly bleak, Offred’s story of stubborn survival never fails to uplift me. I often say “The Handmaid’s Tale is not an instruction manual.”, but as we move forward into uncertain, scary times, I think it can be. For us. Offred may look like a woman keeping her head down and just trying to get through, but she does more than that. She remembers who she is, and survives to tell her story. Sometimes, that’s enough.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Hunger Games CoverSuzanne Collins’ absolutely brilliant dystopian nightmare is something I reread (and rewatch) all the time for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, I just need a good, full on, ugly cry. Sometimes, I want to watch Katniss Everdeen kick some fascist ass. Sometimes, I just want to experience all over again Collins’ absolutely scathing commentary on the intersection of entertainment and war. It depends on the day. The Hunger Games doesn’t pull any punches and once you’re done reading it (maybe for the millionth time), you’ll be ready to volunteer as tribute.

World War Z

World War ZI love this book so much. The documentary journalism style. The super creepy zombies. The cross-section of survivors with stories to tell. The humor. Hell, I even geek out over the footnotes. Humanity, for all its horrific flaws and poor decisions, will find a way to survive even a never-ending horde of mindless, hungry undead. Did I mention the super nerdy footnotes?

 

 

Lord of the Rings

LOTR CoverThe original, epic fantasy saving the world with magic swords and the power of friendship story. Profound and inspiring, with glorious speeches, epic battles, plus hobbits! Hobbits are great. Hobbits with pints and a ridiculous commitment to hope, even in the face of horrific enemies and truly terrible odds. I have a particular fondness for the movies myself, but you can’t go wrong either way.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter CoversThe whole series is obviously always worth reading or watching again, at any time. Let’s just be clear about that. But, in particular, books 5-7 make up one of the best primers for geeky revolutionaries of all ages. Harry, Hermione, Ron and their friends are just kids, but they don’t let that get in the way of waging a war against the Death Eaters.

 

 

Les Miserables

Les MiserablesDo I even really need to explain this? If Do You Hear the People Sing doesn’t make you feel all the emotions, I really just don’t know what to say. Vive La Resistance!

V for Vendetta

V for VendettaV is for when you really want to embrace the darkness. Beautifully paranoid and bleak, V is also an incredible elegy to humanity’s unwillingness to wither and die in the face of fascism and nuclear holocaust. Incidentally, the film adaptation also allowed me to forgive Natalie Portman for the travesty that is Attack of the Clones. But, let’s not get into that. This is a time for geeks to band together!

 

What’s your fuel for fighting the good fight, fellow geeks? Share in the comments, and we’ll see you in the trenches.

 

 

 

 

 

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Episode 7, “Sing Me A Song”

Herewith: This week’s recap of The Walking Dead!

Oh but wait.

This walker still has some nonsense she wants to say.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Whatever, whiner. People come here FOR spoilers.

On with it!

Oh great. Another 90 minute episode. What have we all done to deserve this?

(Somewhere is a parallel universe where people still adore this show and feel like extendo-episodes are a treat.)

We open on Michonne, walking down the highway. I think it’s raining, so that’s a first — maybe someday it will actually be winter on this show, too. She is whistling and annoying me. A couple of walkers follow her and eventually she dispatches them with a sword. Drags one into the forest. Leaves her bag behind with the walkie talkie that connects her with Rick.

Cut to Rick and Aaron waking up in the back of a truck. They look outside and see… something.

And then we have some rando Saviors, also in a truck. It’s the truck Jesus and Carl are hiding in. Jesus is, like, pouring syrup into the road? To leave a trail? And then he tells Carl it’s time to jump out. And Carl goes “Show me,” and Jesus jumps out without him and Carl keeps going. Sweet trick, Carl. Even Jesus knows it was clever!

"Foiled again by that damn kid!"

“Foiled again by that damn kid!”

Once at Negan’s compound, Carl ambushes the guys unloading the truck with a gun and kills two of them. And then Negan comes up and says Carl scares the shit out of him. And then says he will show him around. And then the opening music goes and cuts to a shot of the yard, and Daryl doing something with the yard zombies, and up to a view of the building they’re staying in. It looks to be some sort of old power plant, maybe. It has smokestacks. I don’t know. I’m trying to pretend I care. It’s hard.

Ads. I don’t understand the Amazon Echo.

Negan takes Carl inside after bitching about not getting to have sex with any of his wives that day and also telling Carl to not be afraid of him because he finds it a disappointment. All the people are assembled and Negan gives them a little speech. Dude literally never stops talking.

Rosita and Eugene are doing something and Spencer shows up. Spencer is annoying.

Negan takes Carl to a room where a bunch of women are sitting around looking bored or traumatized. It’s a thin line in the apocalypse. Negan tells Carl to make himself comfortable and goes to talk to his wife about some nonsense that no one really cares about because we don’t even know who the hell these people are. Ooky music plays and we are supposed to feel creeped out. Then Negan talks to some girl named Amber who cheated on him with some dude named Mark. So many names of people we don’t care about, so little time.

Oh wait. No. We have 90 minutes of this shit! Plenty of time.

Carl is eavesdropping. Creepily.

Negan makes out with the other wife. Daryl and Wannabe Daryl show up. You know — the ginger fellow who used to be married to that wife. DWIGHT. I can never remember his name. Because I don’t care about him. Daryl asks how Negan got Carl there. Negan tells him it’s none of his business. The men leave and the wife lady drinks.

I mean, I feel her. Drinking could only improve upon this.

Oh.

Wait.

I digress.

Back in Grimville, Rick and Aaron are still looking for stuff. They climb over a fence and head up a road with a handwritten sign telling people not to go there. They are rebels.

Rick's all like...

Rick’s all like…

And then Spencer and the annoying preacher guy are in car talking about whether or not Rick is hateable or inspirational. Like most things in the apocalypse, it’s a thin line. Spencer talks about how his mom served in Congress and lifted people up and did good in the world. My husband makes an obscene gesture. The preacher thinks Spencer is a “tremendous shit”. This is literally the first time the preacher has ever been interesting. He gets out of the car to walk home. It’s just like Cher in Clueless when Elton tries to molest her!

It's an ALAIA!

It’s an ALAIA!

Then Spencer runs into the woods. I just don’t even care enough to warn him not to.

Back to Negan. He takes Carl to his bedroom. Gross. “I want to get to know you a little better, Carl.”

He tells Carl to take the dressing off his eye so he can see it. As punishment for killing two of his men. So Carl does it. It’s horrifying.

Negan can totally see your socket, dude.

Negan can totally see your socket, dude.

And then Negan wants to touch it because Negan has issues. But Carl is crying and Negan sort of apologizes, although it’s a gross creepy nonapology about how he forgot Carl is just a kid.

Then Fat Joseph shows up with Lucille, which Negan left by the truck. And Negan tells Carl he shouldn’t cover up his bad eye. And he gives Fat Joseph the business and talks about Lucille like she’s a real woman.

Fat Joseph is sort of adorable, by the way. I feel like he’ll be dead by the time the midseason finale ends next week.

I am Fat Joseph and I am not long for this world.

I am Fat Joseph and I am not long for this world.

After Fat Joseph leaves, Negan tells Carl to sing him a song. Insists, really, even after Carl says he doesn’t know any songs.

Carl sings a super terrible rendition of You Are My Sunshine while Negan swings Lucille around.

Then he asks Carl to tell him what happened to his mom. And goes, “Damn, no wonder you’re a little serial killer in the making.”

Hahahahahah.

Just like in the funny pages, you guys!

Just like in the funny pages, you guys!

I mean, it takes one to know one, I guess.

This is bizarrely boring.

Finally Negan says the iron should be ready and they go downstairs. And he has Carl hold Lucille and Carl doesn’t even flinch And some Captain America looking dude is sweating and tied to a chair. I bet this is Mark!

Trust me, I'll look a lot more interesting once Negan's through with me.

Trust me, I’ll look a lot more interesting once Negan’s through with me.

 

Carl really should just walk around with that eye showing. It makes him more interesting.

Negan makes Dwight assist with the iron. And then he holds it to Mark’s face till Mark passes out. Everyone has to watch so they know it can happen to them too. Carl’s like, I’ve seen worse.

Mark, by the way, has pissed himself, and Negan makes Daryl mop it up. Because Daryl’s the janitor now.

Chicks still dig me. My eyes are haunted. Chicks dig that.

Chicks still dig me. My eyes are haunted. Chicks are into that.

Ads. Jennifer Garner for Capital One is super irritating. Possibly even more irritating than this show. Hmmm.

Back to Spencer toying with zombies in the woods. Basically he was trying to get their weapons. And a note in one’s pocket. I can’t read it but I bet someone on the internet knows what it said.

See? Complete with circled words!

See? Complete with circled words!

God, the internet is so predictable.

Back to Rosita and Eugene and the quest for a bullet. Eugene is talking nonsense. Rosita calls him a coward and weak. She is not charming him into this. “For once, do something useful. And make me a bullet.” Eugene gets to work.

See. Some men respond to bitchiness.

Ugh back to Dwight and his ex-wife and their cigarettes. Please stop trying to make us care about these people. Good god. Dwight is getting all judgy. Even that is super boring.

Back in Negan’s room, Negan is doing some accounting and Carl asks if he can wrap his face up again. Negan says no. Carl asks why he hasn’t killed any of them yet. Negan says Daryl will make him a good soldier. And Rick is already getting him great stuff. And he likes Carl. So. Okay then.

Negan and Carl are leaving in a truck. Daryl tries to threaten him if he does anything to Carl. Negan has Dwight put Daryl back in his cage.

Jesus is on top of the truck one second but not when they drive away. Hmmm…

This must all sound weird out of context.

Ads. And this week’s installment of Passage! Creepy dude has a tunnel? Lets the one woman in but not the one called Sierra. So Sierra stabs him. Seems legit.

Back to Daryl in his cell.

Oh haiiiiiiiii, Sad Eyes.

Oh haiiiiiiiii, Sad Eyes.

Someone is coming! Daryl looks apprehensive. Someone slips a note beneath the door. With a key. And it says “GO NOW!” What??

Oh. Evil Rob says it is Jesus. Because Jesus was on the truck and then not on the truck.

But will Daryl do it??? Or will he assume it is a TRICK?

Anyway. Back outside somewhere in the Hundred Acre Wood, Michonne corners some red-headed lady and tells her to take her to Negan. Evil Rob criticizes the lady’s terrible hair dye. My plan is working. Which plan is that, you ask? The one where I pay a lot of money to get my hair dyed properly and now my husband can spot the difference!

Anyway. Carl and Negan arrive at Carl’s house. Negan points out that Olivia is fat. Olivia cries.

Solid acting choice as usual, Olivia.

Solid acting choice as usual, Olivia.

 

This show is stupid.

Then he offers to screw her. She says no. Or slaps him. Whichever. He says he is 50% more into her now.

This show is so stupid.

He sends Olivia away to make lemonade. Carl shows him their house.

And Judith is in her crib in her room, and she is like twelve now.

Awww.

Awww.

 

Ads. I keep forgetting this is recorded. CURSES!

An ad for the season finale marathon shows us a bunch of people we miss, like Beth. Sad face.

Awww.

Awww.

Back to Rick and Aaron. They’ve found the compound of some loner dude who may or may not be dead. Zombies in a pond protecting some stuff. This can’t end well.

Eugene and Rosita are still bickering.

If Rosita = Ralph and Eugene = Alice, anyway.

If Rosita = Ralph and Eugene = Alice, anyway.

Spencer creeps up in his creepermobile. He has soup. Something something list and Latin and Spencer’s mom and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

WHAT.

I’m awake.

Front porch at Carl’s house. Negan is snuggling with Judith. Seriously Judith is like 10 now. He kisses her on the forehead and tells Carl maybe he’ll just kill him and Rick and move into the suburbs.

I don't know. It feels a little forced.

I don’t know. It feels a little forced.

I’m not nearly as creeped out by Negan and Judith as I should be.

I mean, it’s obviously no ovary-exploder. Not like this…

But it’s not as creepy as it should feel. And for that, I blame Rick’s terrible parenting skills.

And that’s the end of the episode.

Next week is the midseason finale. Presumably it will be more interesting than this was. We can dream!

This week’s installment of People Who Are Hotter In Real Life Than Their Walking Dead Characters: Ann Mahoney.

Rawwrrrrr.

She is like an irritable librarian. 

Why are you so adorable, Ann?

Why are you so adorable, Ann?

And here is a treat for some of you who are super religious. Or just into Jesus. Whichever.

Pandering. Totally pandering.

Pandering. Totally pandering.

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep 6, “Swear”

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Oh look! It’s that naggy “no spoilers” zombie again!

We’ve talked about this. It’s a recap. There are spoilers.

There are ALWAYS spoilers.

Let’s begin.

Oh but wait. Check out this cute photo from AMC of the best moment from last week’s episode:

Skate City, it ain't.

Skate City, it ain’t, but it’ll have to do. 

Okay. Moving along.

My eyes are fragile tonight. This episode better happen in daylight.

The beach! Finally a beach!

This seems calm and relaxing. What could possibly go wrong here?

This seems calm and relaxing. What could possibly go wrong here?

Personally, I would have aimed for a damn beach YEARS AGO. I mean, why bother surviving the zombie apocalypse for THIS long if you’re not going to just do whatever the hell you feel like doing? Go to the beach! Read lots of books! Come on!

Ok. So. Tara has washed up on the beach. This can’t be good. And a young woman and a tweenage girl find her and bicker over whether or not to spear her through the head even though the woman knows she’s still alive.

Oh cool, another psychotic little girl who wants to murder people. This show is so fun.

I forgot my stopwatch. But we got three minutes of episode and four minutes of ads, according to the DVR. That’s some b.s.

Flashback to Heath and Tara in their RV, talking about the crap they’ve found on their two week trip. Eight cans of okra and some aspirin. Negan doesn’t want your cans of okra. I’m just guessing.

Nope. Nobody likes canned okra.

Nope. Nobody likes canned okra.

And now they’re having one of those existential conversations about what they’re really doing all of this for, and Heath is like, “You’re in this for yourself. We all are.”

Heath is so judgy. Damn.

He probably has a point though.

Back to Tara and these new people. So do we have another cultish compound near Ocean City? Is that the deal?

Of course, Ocean City already IS a cultish compound. Have you ever been there? Total nightmare. It’s like those crappy traveling carnivals that used to pop up in the mall parking lot once a year, but the size of a whole city and with a boardwalk and a million ugly people.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) It's this, but triple the amount of people.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
It’s this, but triple the amount of people.

The only good thing in Ocean City is the place with the really great fries.

OH, and when you drive home at the end of a weekend, the traffic is like those videos you see of people evacuating from Florida when a hurricane is on the way, only slower moving. And god forbid you have to pee. You’ll wind up in line at the one fast food restaurant between Ocean City and Annapolis with 100 other women who also have all had to pee for the last two hours, so it takes everyone ten minutes to pee once they’re finally inside the single bathroom.

Don’t ever let your boyfriend take you to Ocean City on a holiday weekend. That’s all I’m saying.

I’m thinking this is actually further south, though. Down in Virginia. The beach is too wild.

Anyway.

Tara follows the young woman into the woods. Why in the name of all that is holy in this world and the next do these people continue to enter the woods? Stay outta the damn woods, assholes!

Sure. Hide behind a camouflage tarp. No one will ever know.

Sure. Hide behind a camouflage tarp. No one will ever know you’re there.

Oh look! Women carrying around laundry baskets!

Maybe this is a women-only cult. That’d be an exciting change.

It’s fascinating to me, by the way, that we can only imagine cultishness when we imagine the aftermath of apocalypse. Cultishness and eventual authoritarianism. That’s pretty much it. No utopias. And no peace. What does this say about us?

It IS all women. And honestly I feel like Tara is right to look at wigged out by that as she does. These don’t look like friendly women. And they have legit tactics. Like clickers, to alert one another, like the Americans did after landing on Pacific islands during World War II.

Aaaand they are shooting at her. See. Nothing good ever happens in the woods.

Of course there is some vaguely batty older woman who seems to be in charge.

Why is it always a white lady?

Why is it always a white lady?

Natania. That’s… not a real name.

She lets Tara live. FOR NOW.

Ads. That was 12 minutes of action, 3 minutes of ads. Now they are just messing with us. Because 12 minutes is kind of long!

 

This episode is going back and forth between “right now” and whatever happened to lead up to Tara washing up on the beach. So right now, the question is what happens to Heath. And we see him and Tara walking across a bridge, where they’ve found the remains of some kind of settlement. And a giant pile of dry concrete that spilled out of the back of a dump truck. Tara’s all, “Oh heyyyyyy, let’s see what’s under it!”

SPOILER ALERT: IT’S WALKERS. It’s always, ALWAYS walkers.

OMG. When will these people learn they are in a zombie show?? Don’t go tugging stuff out of a giant pile of dry concrete!

Back to the lady cult. Tara is chained to a heating unit in the waiting area of the ladies’ cult office. And now the ladies have come out to speak to her. Tara tells them lies about a fishing boat. What?? Why not just tell a version of the truth? Weirdo.

See how sincere I am being by my eyes??

See how sincere I am being by my eyes??

Ah. She got knocked off the bridge after waking the walkers buried under the cement.

These women are like, we don’t mess around. We normally kill on sight.

More women should be like this. Just in general. Probably. Just kill on sight. Give fewer people the benefit of the doubt.

This is just a working thesis. Don’t quote me on it if I ever run for office.

I mean, I can’t run for office because I’m not a citizen. But if I could, you know.

Anyway.

The mean-faced lady leads Tara through the dark woods and we assume she’s leading her to some crappy hole in the ground. But really it’s the matriarch’s house. And it’s dinner time. They have yellow Fiesta Ware.

If I can keep my Fiesta Ware, maybe I’ll stick around after the zombies come.

Ads again at :32. Four minutes of them. Hmmmm.

 

The matriarch is offering to let Tara stay. And her friend too. Tara says her friend is a man, and asks where all the men are. All the men and boys were killed in a skirmish with another group, which we eventually find out was the Saviors. This is why they usually kill on sight: they can’t trust anyone.

Now Tara tells them the truth about where she is from. And how she wants to go back because she has a girlfriend there she wants to get home to, and other people she cares about. And she tries to convince them to work with her group.

DON’T DO IT, LADIES. Her group sucks!

Natania the matriarch says she can leave. But they’re going to send someone back with her.

And NOW we’ve reached the ridiculous amount of ads. That was five minutes of show, five minutes of ads.

The matriarch sends the mean faced lady and another one out with Tara. I feel like this will go poorly.

Yep. Sure enough, they try to kill Tara the first chance they get. No surprises there. They really can’t trust her. I can’t blame them. I like her well enough too, but if I’m trying to keep my little colony a secret, I wouldn’t let anyone leave it alive either.

And now: Cindy to Tara’s rescue. (Cindy is the young woman who found Tara on the beach in the first place.)

I am scruffy but beautiful. Let me help you.

I am scruffy but beautiful. Let me help you.

They get away from the two escorts who were trying to kill Tara. Then they stop to figure out their next moves. Tara tries to convince Cindy to just leave with her, fearing that Cindy will get into a lot of trouble if she goes back to the lady cult without having killed Tara. And then Cindy is preaching some weird version of the same truth that Heath was saying earlier. That none of them HAVE TO do the things they’ve done. They do them because they’ve decided that’s the person they want to be. And she has me until she says that no one is really evil. And then Tara and I both call bullshit. Because there ARE evil people. So many evil people.

This is why we (the collective “we”) like this show though. This enduring question about what we become when life turns to garbage. And until we get an answer to that question that we can all live with, we’re going to keep watching this show, or others like it.

Bunch of zombies on a bridge. Come on, Tara. You can outrun them. Cindy will have your back with her gun.

So far, so good. Except I keep waiting for Cindy to turn on Tara and shoot her in the back.

See. I don’t trust anyone on this show. I’m SMART.

Cindy is out of ammo.

But Tara makes it past the worst of the zombies just as she runs out, and comes to the other side of the bridge. First though, she sees a zombie that might be Heath because of the braided hair… but the zombie turns around and it’s a lady zombie, with boobs and a dress.

And can someone please tell me who’s been taking care of this lady zombie’s braids this whole time??? Is there a zombie salon right on up the road where you can go and get your braids touched up? Come on now.

And now a flashback shows what happened to Heath… maybe. But it also appears he drove away. And there is a mysterious key card on the ground by the fresh tire tracks. It’s either a breadcrumb from Heath, or a breadcrumb from the Saviors, who may or may not have Heath.

Maybe someone just had to pee on their way home from the beach. Ever think of that?

Maybe someone just had to pee on their way home from the beach. Ever think of that?

This show is so confusing.

Tara glances back. The two crabby ladies have caught up with Cindy and are leading her away. She’ll be fine though.

Now Tara is walking home alone.

She finds this old boat. Then she ends up hiding in a souvenir shop. And eating beef jerky. And taking a pair of sunglasses.

And she makes it back to Alexandria and Eugene greets her, sobbing. Because Denise is dead.

The episode ends with Rosita begging Tara to tell her she found a place with guns and ammo. Long pause. And Tara says no. Both because she wants to be that better person she believe she is, and, I’m guessing, because she wants to keep the place to herself in case she needs it one day.

I liked this episode. I like Tara. Even though I consider her a “newbie” character, I appreciate getting to know her this way rather than with a backstory too early on. Because as I always say, I don’t care about your backstory if I don’t care about you.

Also she is super pretty in real life.

Hi. I'm Alanna Masterson. I'm super pretty in real life.

Hi. I’m Alanna Masterson. I’m super pretty in real life.

Also tonight, Alanna Masterson (Tara) is on the Talking Dead. She did all her own stunts for this episode! We like a sister who does all her own stunts.

As long as they aren’t too dangerous.

So long until next week, lovelies!

Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep 5, Go Getters

Settle in, y’all. I watch this show so you don’t have to.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

No, YOU wait. There WILL be spoilers. Because it’s a recap. Spoilers is what I do!

Damn walkers. Always telling me how to live my life.

Anyway.

Here we go.

Maggie! Someone we actually give two shits about.

She is at Hilltop, and the doctor is here, telling her she will be fine and the baby is fine. But she should stay till the baby is born, just in case.

Sasha is waiting outside. She had Abe and Glenn buried there. There is a nice moment where Maggie says she is trying to decide if she’ll stay at Hilltop, and Sasha says, “We’re staying.”

Jesus walks up with some flowers for the graves. He looks like a bad combination of Jared Leto and Michael McDonald circa 1970. It’s real weird.

Do this... in remembrance of... whatever.

Do this… in remembrance of… whatever.

Old Hilltop Dude shows up and starts bitching at everyone. He wants Maggie and Sasha to leave because they bring trouble with them. Jesus argues. Sasha argues. I don’t even know the end result of the argument but no one seems to be leaving except the old dude stomping off so… I guess we’re good? For now?

Back to Alexandria. Rick and some people are going out scavenging. That seems like a crap idea but no one asked me, so there we go. Carl is displeased.

Carl asks Michonne why she’s not going. Michonne is super cryptic, because she is Michonne.

Carl goes to find Enid. She is climbing over the wall. “I have to see Maggie,” she says. Carl is not impressed and says he’s not saving her anymore. She thinks she is more badass than him and keeps going.

Back at Hilltop, Jesus is helping Sasha settle into a place. Every time someone talks to Jesus it sounds like they are swearing. I realize this is just me projecting. Jesus says he will work on Old Hilltop Dude and see if he will let them stay. Sasha’s like, “Whatever.” Maggie comes back and Jesus leaves.

Basically there are just a lot of people coming and going in this episode.

Enid is riding a bike. And then there are walkers. And then it gets run over by a runaway car. But then it’s Carl driving and Enid manages to look surprised. No one watching at home is surprised, because Carl is literally never where he says he’s going to be (staying behind with Judith, not saving Enid anymore).

Even Ned Stark knows, ffs.

Even Ned Stark knows, ffs. (I know. I know it isn’t Ned Stark. Thank you. Thank you so much.)

Back to Hilltop in the middle of the night. There is loud classical music and fires. Walkers are streaming through the gates. Sasha and Maggie get up to go help fight with Jesus. There is a lot of hand to hand combat and then Maggie runs a bunch of them down with a big tractor.

I’m confused. I don’t understand the Hilltop situation. They don’t seem to have a good handle on anything. I mean, when the outsiders have to step in and save your asses in the middle of the night.

But whatever. Now it is morning and Carl and Enid are walking down the middle of a road.

And now we’re back to Jesus.

Jesus irritates me.

I feel like I’m going to go to hell for saying that.

But he irritates me. I don’t like his face. Like, look at his eyes. They are super creepy:

Blue steel? More like creepy steel, amirite?

Blue steel? More like creepy steel, amirite?

Sasha tries to get Gregory (aka Old Hilltop Dude) to let Maggie stay because they helped the night before. Gregory says no dice. And then a gang of Negan’s thugs drives in through the gates. Gregory shoves Maggie and Sasha into a closet. Yeah. That’s a GREAT hiding place.

More Carl and Enid walking. They find some roller skates in a bag in the middle of the road. And then there is some nice music and Carl and Enid are holding hands, skating down the road.

The Negan guys barge into Gregory’s house and the guy leading their group says, “We need to talk.”

Nothing good ever happens on this show when people talk.

Luckily we started watching late tonight so we can skip through the ads! Evil Rob pauses on the little spinoff episode though. It’s not long enough to care about.

Back in Gregory’s study, the Negan apostle is looking at this painting of a dude on horse. And trying to make subtle threats to Gregory, all Negan-style. He might not be so bad, but Gregory is so super boring that I’m literally about to fall asleep.

Gregory is about to dime on Maggie and Sasha.

Jesus looks pissed.

I bet they are no longer in that closet.

Nope. It’s a box of Scotch.

And now the Negan Surrogate makes Gregory kneel in front of him.

Carl and Enid come out of the forest and see Negan’s men loading up the trucks. And then she realizes that Carl didn’t come out there for her. No – his plan is to go with Negan’s men and find a way to kill Negan.

Now we’re back to Gregory and Jesus and bickering and Jesus insisting that Maggie and Sasha are staying and then Jesus punches Gregory and Maggie tells him he better start referring to her by her name. I’m so confused about this whole Gregory situation.

Oh! But now Jesus is now explaining that Gregory was already in charge when he got there and he wasn’t really sure why but now he realizes it was something that just happened. That makes sense to me.

Sasha asks Jesus if he can figure out where Negan lives. He’s all, “Sure. No problem.”

Uh. Okay. I’m sure this’ll turn out well.

Then Maggie finds Enid sitting outside. Sasha comes in. Enid manages to casually say she got there all on her own, and not betray Carl’s plans. They are about to eat soup and sandwiches. Enid put the balloons from last week on Glenn’s grave. The three of them hold hands while Maggie says grace. It’s another one of those really lovely moments that this show does so well sometimes.

We see the Negan trucks pulling out. Jesus is in the back of one, opening a bottle of the scotch. And then Carl peeks out from behind some other boxes. And Jesus looks kind of annoyed.

So once again, Carl is not in the house. And?

WHO IS WATCHING JUDITH?????

tmw you realize your entire family sucks.

#tmw you realize your entire family sucks.

Poor Judith. She didn’t sign up for this life.

And that’s a wrap.

On tonight’s Talking Dead, the Jesus actor is sporting a man bun and Chris Hardwick is reading dirty tweets about Jesus. Also Kevin Smith.

Overall, this episode was an improvement over last week. But almost anything would be.

Save

Save

Save

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Shannis Reacts: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep 4, “Service”

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

Yes, spoilers. ALWAYS spoilers.

SPOILERS!

MORE SPOILERS!

AND A FEW MORE SPOILERS!

 

Oh god you guys. It’s a 90-minute episode. I honestly don’t know if I can survive 90 minutes of this after the week we’ve all had.

We open on Michonne and Rick, awkwardly sleeping. I feel like all sleeping would be awkward after the Abraham and Glenn get killed incident.

Michonne’s got other plans for the morning though. They involve heavy weaponry.

I feel like this purple tank is a new color for her.

Bearded Rick is kinda hot. It’s true. Salt and pepper. I’m down.

Why is it always summer on this show? Like, I get that Georgia is a hot place but they still have a type of winter. And Alexandria is in the DC area. There is for sure fall and winter and rainy spring in DC. So what is with this super duper hot summer in literally every single episode? I mean, I feel like adding some rain would drive home how badly this all sucks.

“I don’t believe I’d be up to that.” Eugene. Okay.

Negan’s early. And irritating as usual.

So irritating.

Oh look. They dragged Daryl along with them.

Ads! My fave.

This is really irritating, this Negan crap. I’m not sure I can stand an entire season of this. He never stops talking.

I think my husband has that same shirt that Rick’s wearing.

Oh good. They’re taking all the weapons.

I guess that’s why Michonne left with weapons? To hide them? It seems like that should have been the plan all along. Although the Negan people did show up early. I feel like smarter people would have planned for this.

Rosita is displeased by the order from Dwight to go find Daryl’s bike. Dwight just don’t care.

Watching this show makes me think in a redneck accent.

Michonne is just sitting on a rusted out old car. Wasting shots on a redheaded zombie.

See, now that kill is why I don’t eat while I’m watching this show.

There’s a dead deer in the woods. Michonne looks upset.

I don’t get it.

Ads. My favorite Matthew McConaughey ad for… something.

I liiiike redheads.

I liiiike redheads.

 

Negan is talking about his balls again. Like anyone wants to hear about that.

Is anyone out there on Negan’s side? Maybe some of you are rooting for Negan.

Oh. Oh no.

Oh. Oh no.

 

Father Gabriel IS creepy as shit. This is the only thing I will ever agree with Negan on.

So they pretended Maggie and Sasha are dead. Clever. And it turns out it was Creepy Father Gabriel’s idea. The one time he’s made himself useful.

Carl is acting the badass. At least someone is.

I mean, I get being pissed that he’s taking all your medicine but COME ON. How come no one considered this at all? How come no one considered that MAAAAAYBE Negan wasn’t really to be trusted? This is just yet another stupid move on the part of the Rick team.

Ads. Again with the Newt Scamander movie. I hope it turns out to be really good because there has not been a single movie this year that I’ve been genuinely excited over once it was over. It’s depressing. I need a proper blockbuster that I can get behind. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve enjoyed most of the movies I’ve seen this year. But they haven’t stuck in my head the way movies usually do.

So much salt and pepper beardery happening in these scenes between Negan and Rick. I would dig it if Negan weren’t so irritating.

So Negan’s letting them keep all their crappy food, but he’s going to take all the guns. Big surprise.

Rosita and the tall guy are at the railroad tracks looking for Daryl’s bike. I feel like every time they go to the railroad tracks, bad things happen.

Now we’re missing two handguns. Negan is like the most irritating bean counter in the history of zombie shows.

Now see. I don’t believe for a second that Negan doesn’t enjoy killing women.

God. SO MANY ADS. Network execs be like, “Oh heyyy, 90-minute episode! Let’s put in MORE ads!”

Rick’s up here in church preaching to everyone to turn over the two guns so Olivia doesn’t get killed and everyone’s looking like NOPE.

And this one guy asks how they’re going to get out of this. And Rick’s like, we aren’t. Such a great, inspiring leader.

Back to Rosita and the tall guy in the forest, bickering about guns. Well, first she offs a handful of walkers then takes a gun off one of them, and then the tall guy comes over to pester her about it. And she asks if he’s going to tell and he makes a face like he’s not sure and she makes a face like she knows he’s a weakass punk.

I mean, he’s Deanna’s son, so.

MORE ADS. Also a Passage segment. 30 seconds a week means it’s going NOWHERE fast.

Also let’s be real: Most people would kick Ariana Grande out of their car.

Rick is peeking out the window and now he’s tearing the tall guy’s house apart, trying to find the missing guns. Father Gabriel is all, “It’s going to be okay.” WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT THIS WEEK? Shut up, Father Gabriel. Why is he even still alive??

SPENCER. That’s the tall guy’s name. Never trust a guy named Spencer.

Rick found the missing guns. Hidden well away. In Spencer’s house.

Now the ugly chubby Negan dude is picking on Carl’s girlfriend, who wants to keep some balloons. Can you just, like, let the poor child have her damn balloons? What the hell?

Negan wants to know who it was that hid the guns. Rick’s like, nah. Negan’s like, yeah. Olivia’s like, TELL HIM SO I DON’T EFFING DIE!

Matthew McConaughey is sitting in his Lincoln again. He looks very satisfied. My mom had a Lincoln for a couple of years and went back to a Toyota Camry because she wasn’t super stoked about her Lincoln. Matthew loves his though.

All right, all right, all right.

All right, all right, all right.

 

Oh, an ad for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. This movie got terrible reviews. And I’m not surprised. It looks bad. Real bad.

 

You guys. I don’t understand about gas in the zombie apocalypse. How do they keep fueling up these cars and trucks? Is there someone who’s capable of forcing their way into gas tanks to get to the gas? It seems like that would require heavy equipment. I just… I don’t get it.

Michonne has the dead deer. Negan just wants the rifle. Lolz.

Rick tries to keep Daryl. Daryl won’t speak so Negan’s like, nah.

Oh. Negan does want the deer.

And Rosita and Spencer brought back Daryl’s bike. For Dwight. So he can taunt Daryl with it. Or become Daryl. Whichever. You’ll never be Daryl, asshole.

This episode is boring, y’all.

It’s so boring that I looked up Daryl photos again and check this out — do you guys know about Polyvore? Where you can plan your daily outfits based on different themes or inspired by characters or whatever? You see a lot of these on Pinterest if you look at clothes there. And apparently, there is a whole Daryl Dixon-inspired underground on Polyvore:

Goth Daryl!

Goth Daryl!

Weird Pants Daryl!

Weird Pants Daryl!

"Lady Dixon"?? Whaaaa...t?

“Lady Dixon”?? Whaaaa…t?

Not Daryl.

Not Daryl.

Whiskey Daryl!

Whiskey Daryl!

Summery Daryl!

Summery Daryl!

This kind of begs the question: Why DOES Daryl have so many great clothing pieces in the middle of the zombie apocalypes? Also, I can actually imagine girls dressing like that at country music festivals.

Negan’s talking about his dick again. I bet he has a micropenis. Otherwise he wouldn’t need Lucille. Or talk about it so often.

Honestly this ad where Peyton Manning talks about UC Health is more interesting than this episode of The Walking Dead.

I’m pretty sure the episode itself is actually like 65 minutes and the remaining 25 minutes is ads.

So let’s make a prediction about Daryl: I think he will play ball with Negan, but he will eventually snap out of it and come back to help Rick and the gang.

Ohh, Daryl.

Ohh, Daryl.

Remember that show LOST and how in season 2 they tried to foist a bunch of new characters from the plane on us that we KNEW weren’t there all along and there were Paolo and Nicki? Spencer and Rosita feel like Paolo and Nicki to me. Rosita is pointless now that Abraham’s gone.

Also the Negan gang took all their mattresses. Super uncool.

Rick’s telling Michonne about Shane. And how he knows Judith isn’t his. And how he had to accept it. And how that means Michonne has to accept that this is their life now. And Michonne knows it’s bullshit.

stash-1-508e12056b82a
That’s a big admission for Rick though. Even if he’s using it to make a b.s. point.

So later on, Michonne’s alone in the hunting field again. And then she sees or senses something. And it’s a mattress fire. They took all the mattresses, just to set them on fire. And now Michonne is PISSED.

And then Rosita knocks on Eugene’s door and asks him to make her a bullet. Just one. WHO IS IT FOR?

Next week looks slightly more exciting, with the return of the Hilltop people and Jesus and stuff.

This week’s installment of Daryl In Happier Times:

My hair has not been washed in months and chicks still dig me.

My hair has not been washed in months and chicks still dig me.

 

 

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Reaction: The Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere

TWD S7 collage

Warning: THIS. POST. CONTAINS. SPOILERS. So many spoilers. So, so very many spoilers. 

You know how when you are married or in a serious relationship, there is always that one thing you have to struggle with to make your partner happy and make the relationship work? For some people, maybe it’s sports, or a partner who is a workaholic, or living with someone who is very messy. For me, in my marriage, the thing I struggle with is liking The Walking Dead. It’s my husband’s very favorite show in the history of ever (with the possible exception of The Shield, which ended years ago), and he takes it very personally and wouldn’t even watch Game of Thrones until the fourth season because he felt that Game of Thrones fans looked down on Walking Dead fans (don’t ask). I didn’t watch The Walking Dead at all at first but then he lured me in with a marathon one day midway through the first season and I was pretty hooked, and we also caught up on the comics by binge-reading the graphic novel collections.

But then season 2 happened and I had moments of being super irritated with it. And then season 3 happened and I had more moments of hating it than loving it, and more characters on my “Please make them die next” list than off. The show’s depiction of women as whiny harpies was beyond frustrating for me, and the characters making the same mistakes over and over beggared belief. And seasons 4 and 5 were lessons in love/hate for me. And then season 6 started off on this AMAZING note and I was loving everything about it… and then some stupid stuff happened again, and there was the major cliffhanger ending on the season finale, and I was furious, and ready to be done with the show. But when I say things like that, my husband gets this sad wounded puppy dog look in his eyes, and I feel like a terrible person, like I just kicked his kitten or something, when really it is Robert Kirkman’s fault for writing (occasional) garbage.

So I went into viewing tonight’s season premiere with a serious attitude problem, announcing to the world that this was The Walking Dead’s last chance to keep me as a viewer. If the resolution of last season’s cliffhanger was lame — if it was anyone less than a character we all cared about who was killed by Negan to teach the others a lesson — I would be done.

And it looks like my marriage will survive the season! Because it wasn’t just one but two characters who died at the sadistic hands of Negan, and one of them was Glenn! Readers of the comic will recall that Glenn was killed by Negan in issue #100 of the series, and I was pretty adamant that despite a lot of other areas in which the show has departed from the books, I needed it to be Glenn who died (my runner-up for acceptability was actually Maggie). Not because I didn’t like Glenn — what kind of person doesn’t like Glenn?? Glenn is great and decent and loyal and handy in a fight, and he’s the father of the baby Maggie is pregnant with. No — it’s because the show needs the dramatic stakes that are created by his death.

Things weren’t going well for the first twenty minutes or so though — Negan talked a lot and as delightful as it can be to watch Jeffrey Dean Morgan act the hell out of the role, we really needed him to shut up and the reveal be made. But no — Rick threatens him so he has to torture Rick for a while, and then after half the episode has passed, we finally learn who Negan chose to die: Abraham. Abe. He was a fan favorite, but I had never emotionally connected to him or any of the people he brought with him into the group, so I was feeling the let down. But THEN! Daryl jumps up and goes at Negan, ready to fight back! And Negan’s guys subdue Daryl and Negan keeps his promise — he kills another one of the group because they didn’t stay in line. And this time, it’s Glenn. And there it was: one of those really great Walking Dead moments where you’re angry and scared and sad, all at the same time.

And Negan doesn’t let up with Glenn. Nah — he makes Carl come forward and lie on the ground and tells Rick to CUT. OFF. HIS CHILD’S ARM. And if he won’t do it, Negan’s men are going to shoot the rest of the group. And Carl’s all, “Just do it, Dad.” And everyone’s heart breaks, mine included, regardless of the status of Carl’s hair (still needs cutting).

Ultimately Negan backs off, getting some sort of reaction he likes out of Rick, enough to appease his whacked sensibilities for the time being. But he has his men take Daryl, throwing him into the back of a van and threatening to send him to Rick’s doorstep piece by piece if Rick or his people crossed him again. I’m scared for Daryl and my immediate reaction is to be afraid that Negan and his people will somehow turn Daryl to the dark side.

But we’ll see. That’s the important thing: That I care once again about what happens to these people.

Maybe the best part of the episode is at the end, when Negan and his people leave, and Rick and what’s left of his people are sprawled in the dirt and start picking themselves up, and Maggie gets up and says, basically, “Let’s go. Let’s figure out how we’re going to get them for this.” And no one else can even fathom this right then, but it’s all Maggie has left. And the truly heartbreaking moment comes when everyone else lifts Glenn and Abe and carries them to the truck so they can bury them properly, and Maggie is left standing there looking lost for a minute. Where will they even go from here?

Where, indeed. The possibilities are endless. But it can only, should only, be very, very dark, and this show has proved time and again that it’s at its best when it goes to the darkest places. It’s not a show about zombies — it’s a show about humanity, and how living in the very darkest of our nightmares will make us behave. And now we’ll get to see what the very worst brings out in Rick and his group. Obviously the nightmare has turned Negan and his henchmen into something evil and power-hungry and lacking in any kind of compassion or humanity. What will it do to Rick, or Carl, or Daryl — men who are on the very edge anyway? What will it do to Maggie, who has now lost everyone she has ever loved? What will it to Michonne, who had to sit there and watch and feel helpless? She has a history of not doing helpless well. What will it do to Sasha and Rosita, who loved Abraham? What will it do to Eugene, who lost his hero? And what will it do to Carol and Morgan, who weren’t there but will doubtless feel as if they should have been (well, Carol for sure — Morgan is iffy and I still don’t like him)?

Also, despite how evil and terrible he is, Negan is one of the best characters I’ve ever seen on television. I can’t look away from him when he’s on screen, and the utter glee with which Jeffrey Dean Morgan approaches the role is palpable. So is the fear he manages to create in both his victims and the viewers — I know my stomach is tied up in knots whenever he’s going off, and I can’t be the only one. Plus he makes me giggle maniacally. Because of the gleeful thing. I don’t know — it’s hard to explain. But Negan will definitely be one of those characters that you want to see thwarted but would be sad to see go. And that’s perfect. That’s one of the things this show sometimes does really well.

I’m confident that even Robert Kirkman can’t screw this up. At least not until late in the second half of the season.

So I’m back in. What I would appreciate in return for my loyalty going forward is fewer ridiculous “trick” episodes and cliffhangers. Quit bringing in new characters and expecting us to care about them from the word go. And stop with having the characters we DO care about continue to make the same stupid mistakes over and over and over. At some point, it’s just exhausting to watch the group split up all Scooby Doo-style and have it bite them in the ass (usually literally) by the end of an episode.  Quit insulting our intelligence, in other words, and just continue to make a good, compelling, well-written drama. Zombies are cool, but they don’t have brains. Humans do, so that’s what we care about.

And my marriage will appreciate it. A lot.

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