Re-Entry: Countdown to The Walking Dead’s Season 5

“Re-Entry”

re-en-try:  noun

1. the action or process of re-entering something

2. (law)  the action of retaking or repossession.

3. (atmospheric)  the movement of an object into and through the gases of a planet’s atmosphere from outer space, which exposes the object to the opposing and potentially combustible forces of gravity, atmospheric drag, and aerodynamic heating.  These forces can cause objects with lower compressive strength to explode…

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Well gang, it was quite the epic summer, full of beach trips, little league games, summer camp, and many lazy, blissful hours spent floating in the pool, beverage in hand, getting hosed down by trigger-happy kids and their super soakers.  Ahhh, memories.

But now, Labor Day weekend has come and gone, the kiddies are back in school, and it’s time for me to get back to work. The Walking Dead’s Season 5 is coming, people, less than a month away, and if the recent interviews with Andrew Lincoln, Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, and the rest of The Walking Dead cast and crew are any indication, Season 5 is going to be balls-to-the-wall, more gory, brutal, and savage than any season thus far.

When we last left Rick and the gang, in The Walking Dead’s Season 4 finale episode, “A,”  many had found their way to Terminus, only to be stripped of their weapons, riot gear, and choice items of clothing and accessories, forced at gunpoint into a train car (where they reunited with some old, and new, friends), and were left to marinate in their own sweat, blood, and tears before, ostensibly, being harvested into Sunday barbecue by Gareth, Mary, and their creepy comrades at the Sanctuary Cannibal Co-op.  

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Um, Rick-In-Charge don’t think so, Terminans.  Neither does Rick Smash!

After dropping the Season 4  finale bomb on us,  Kirkman, Gimple, and the WD cast and crew took a well-deserved break, bid us farewell for the summer, and left us WD fans to catch our collective breaths, scratch our heads, look at each other, and ask, online and in the IRL, “What the hell just happened? Were those Sanctuary people…cannibals?”

In various interviews throughout the summer, Scott M. Gimple deftly evaded the cannibalism question whenever asked…which was often. On The Talking Dead summer preview special (which aired after the July 4th “Dead, White, and Blue” Walking Dead marathon on AMC),Chris Hardwick finally turned to Gimple and asked, in mock exasperation, “So, Scott M. Gimple, what is the deal with Terminus? Are they cannibals, or what?”

In response, Gimple smiled his enigmatic, Mona Lisa smile and make some clever, diverting comment, but he wasn’t giving anything away. It was clear that Gimple was holding onto that juicy tidbit tighter than a virginal coed putting her boyfriend through the paces of the “10 Date Rule.”

In response to Gimple’s non-response, Chris Hardwick and Aisha Tyler gleefully got their young and irreverent revenge on Scott M. Gimple by pouncing over to him and pawing playfully at him, petting and rubbing his head, as if trying to absorb the secrets locked inside by osmosis, goading, “C’mon, tell us! Tell us!”

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Gimple’s initial horror as he realizes what is about to happen….the fear is real.

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“Tell us!  Tell us!” (Gimple’s silent prayer, “This is not happening, this is not happening…”)

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As the cute young people playfully paw at him and rub his head, Gimple tries one last vain attempt at escape…curling up into a human ball and imploding unto himself like a collapsing star.

Three weeks after the hilarious TD Gimple Incident, the WD cast and crew held court at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con like the rock stars they are, and unveiled the official trailer for The Walking Dead, Season 5.

Check it out…you have probably watched it already, of course, any number of times by now, scanning it again and again for any new clues about the season to come, as I have, and will again.

Now, before we deconstruct The Walking Dead’s Season 5 trailer, I would like to take a moment wish a very Happy Birthday to our main man, Andrew Lincoln, who turns 41 today, September 14, 2014.  Much love, much love, Andrew Lincoln!

May I speak for all of us on Team Rick when I say: Thank you, Andrew Lincoln, for being born, and for bringing us Rick Grimes, Rick-In-Charge, and Rick Smash!  And thank you for bringing us that cute guy in Love, Actually, who told the Keira Knightley character he loved her with the series of cue cards, out in the cold…that guy was totes adorbs.

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In honor of Andrew Lincoln’s/Rick Grimes’ birthday, I am bringing you a little Metallica-dance-party blog-break…so, get on up and shake one out for our man, Andrew Lincoln, to Metallica’s Seek and Destroy:

(And, just because Andrew Lincoln’s birthday is the gift that keeps on giving, we at barnfullawalkers bring you this tasty treat…Entertainment Weekly’s spread, “27 Times Andrew Lincoln Looked Hot During the Zombie Apocalypse”):

http://www.etonline.com/tv/151108_27_times_andrew_lincoln_looked_hot_during_the_zombie_apocalypse/index.html

Well, that was fun!  Now, where were we? Ah, yes, the Season 5 trailer.

First off, watching the trailer, I would say that the cannibalism theory is all but confirmed at this point. The Season 5 trailer opens with the now-iconic shot of Rick, as he turns from peering out the train car door he has cracked open, letting the light from the outside world pour into the darkened train car, and onto his people, and utters the famous “made for primetime TV line” from The Walking Dead comic series: “They’re gonna realize they’re (fucking) screwing with the wrong people.”

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If Rick-In-Charge says it is so…then it is so.

But, Daryl doesn’t look so sure…

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Especially when Abraham yells, “Move!” and someone tosses in a canister of…tear gas? sleepy gas?  into the train car.  Enter…the Dicks With Gas Masks, come to gather up the human harvest…

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As the trailer continues, we hear Gareth’s voice in a soft, whispery voice-over, “I just hope you understand…we didn’t want to hurt you…nothing was personal.”

Oh, I’m sure it never is, Gareth…nothing personal, we don’t want to hurt you, we just want to eat you.

What an a-hole. Trying to sound all reasonable and shit. Gareth looks like a vegan emo-punk scenester, but is probably the king of the cannibals.  That guy can eat a bag of dicks…wait…he probably already has!

Ewwwwww!

During Gareth’s creepy voice over, we see scenes of Rick and the gang trying their desperate escape out of Terminus, their paths getting blocked again and again by snipers’ bullets as they are corralled, trapped.  We see a (scary) shot of Rick’s head, slamming into the concrete, then he looks up, dazed, to see the back of a man, who seems to be sawing apart a human body, laid out lifeless on a chopping block table.

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Blurry, dazed shot before Rick blacks out of what looks like a man, clad in butchering apron, goggles, and chainsaw, going to town on some poor doomed somebody, as the piercing shriek of the chainsaw escalates into a deafening cacophony.

Next shot is of Glenn, Daryl, Rick, and Bob on their knees, hands tied behind their backs.  It seems they have been forced to kneel in front of what looks like perhaps a combination of chopping blocks/sinks, or collecting tubs, presumably to catch the blood that will spill when the goons behind them beat their heads in with bats, and slaughter them. They are all gagged, except Bob.

Gareth is standing  before them, on the other side of the blocks/tubs, with a pen and a journal-looking notebook…collecting memorable last words, perhaps, for the Sanctuary Cannibal Co-op creepy comrades to read aloud and laugh at while stuffing their faces with peeps burgers, later, at dinner?

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I call them the “Creepy Comrades,” while Chris Hardwick and Aisha Tyler call them the “Terminans.” Andrew Lincoln, and many of the cast and crew at WD refer to the Sanctuary citizens as the “Termites.” Whatever you call them, it is clear that these Sanctuarians have a lot of explaining to do.

Bob seems to have the wits and resourcefulness to use his last words to throw a quick, desperate Hail Mary pass out there, telling Gareth, You don’t have to do this…we can turn the world back to how it was!”  Bob’s eyes are huge, and earnest, as he explains to Gareth that they have a man in their group that holds the cure to the zombie outbreak. “We just have to get him to Washington…you just have to take that chance!”

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I have grown to love Bob Stookey, despite having a major “stranger danger!” initial vibe about him. Big ups to our man, Bob, as he uses his quick wits to adapt to the situation at hand, saving the day, once again…or at least buying the gang some extra time, and us WD fans a couple more seasons of our fave show. Thanks, man!  (Sorry I was such a B before.)

The next shot shows Gareth, who has bent down to be face to face with Rick Grimes. Gareth has a sick little smile on his face as he stares into Rick’s eyes, challenging him…it feels to me that he is really getting off on having a true adversary, one who equals (surpasses) him in intellect, cunning, and leadership mojo: Rick Grimes.

Rick, whose mouth is not gagged, returns Gareth’s stare in a silent look of unbridled hatred and defiance.

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It’s a powerful moment, the silent standoff between Gareth, and Rick, who is so freaking hot in his defiance.

In the next series of scenes, we hear Gareth’s voice, again, telling what I assume is the group, “You don’t have a choice…none of you…You join us, and (we?) go to Washington and cure this thing.”

I put the word “we” with a question mark, because while I played the trailer over and over again, I couldn’t be sure if Gareth said we go to Washington” or you go to Washington.”  Too many years of going to out to hear live music, and blasting tunes directly into my ear canal via ear buds, has probably ruined my hearing by this point.

It really sounded like “we,” and that makes me wonder if Gareth is as sick of Sanctuary as we all are by now, and if he’d rather take a chance outside the safety of its walls and go on a suicide mission to D.C. just to get the hell out of there…especially if Mary is his mom.

In the following group of scenes, we see a shot of Rick holding…Baby Judith!  It appears that Carol, Tyrese and Judith found their way into the Sanctuary Cannibal Co-op by this point….wonder how that first scene between Rick, Carol, and Tyrese is going to play out…

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Baby Judith is surely going to be held behind at Sanctuary as a hostage while our gang goes to Washington.

In another scene, we see a shot of the gang, reunited, in the woods, Glenn’s voice saying, “We get to start over…all of us.  We’re not splitting up again.”

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We hear Sasha’s (?) voice:  “We don’t know what’s coming next.”  Then, a shot of Abraham, glass in hand, as if giving a toast, or a sermon, or a Braveheart-style rallying speech.. He seems to be addressing our gang, who are seated in what looks like a chapel area, in pews.  The room is lit with the kind of tall vigil candles we saw in the rooms at the Sanctuary when the gang was trying to escape, the rooms with slogans like, “We first, Always” scrawled on the walls.

Abraham’s voice resonates with the feeling, the conviction, and the fervor of one who truly believes what he is preaching, even if it’s just in the moment, while the others in the group sit silently, listening to his words.

“When we get to Washington, we will make the dead die, and the living will have this world again.”

It seems they have wine in Terminus, which is a good thing...you would need a whole bunch of wine to wash down the taste, and the bad karma, of eating human flesh!

It seems they have wine in Terminus, which is a good thing…the Terminans would need a whole bunch of wine to wash down the taste, and the bad karma, of eating human flesh, if they are indeed cannibals…and I am 99.9% sure that they are.

So, by this point in the trailer, it seems reasonable to surmise that our gang narrowly escapes becoming another Sanctuary Cannibal Co-op human harvest by cutting a deal with Gareth and the Terminans…it seems our gang must “join” the ranks of the Creepy Comrades and head north to Washington D.C., to deliver Eugene to our nation’s capitol, and try to get a cure going for this walker epidemic thing that’s been happening all over the world for the last year and a half.

Watching the trailer, it looks like it was a super-close call for our gang, as we see one shot of a Terminal Thug wielding what is either a bat or sword, winding back, getting ready to bash or slice into Glenn’s head/neck.  Glenn, who is kneeling, and gagged, squeezes his eyes shut and clenches his gag with his teeth, anticipating the blow:

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This image sent rumors flying around social media that Glenn was going to die in the Season 5 premiere, but I am happy to say that it appears that Glenn will be with us, and Maggie, for a while longer…yay!

So, it seems that Mr. Grimes (and the gang) is going to Washington. It is 638.1 miles from Atlanta to Washington D.C.  If our gang were to follow along the highways (which seems a logical and fairly direct choice) they would need to go through, or near,  some major cities and populated areas, including the cities of Atlanta, Greensboro, and Richmond, before getting to Washington D.C.  

In Entertainment Weekly’s recent feature on The Walking Dead’s upcoming Season 5, WD executive producer Gale Ann Hurd confirms that our gang is embarking on an extremely dangerous journey, “You’re never going to find the cure to the zombie apocalypse in the sticks. Now they have to re-enter The City of the Dead (a.k.a. Atlanta), and there are many cities of the dead that they’ll have to encounter to complete their mission.”

It is a tall order, even for our beloved gang of seasoned warriors.  The next scenes in the trailer show many flashes and moments of walker hordes, walker kills, and explosions, both ballistic and emotional. In one scene, Rick is talking to Carl, telling him, “I don’t trust this guy…no matter what anyone says, no matter what you think, you are not safe.

In another voice over, we hear Gareth’s voice, saying, “You don’t trust us any more.” and then Rick’s soft threat, as he grinds out, “These people are my family, and if you hurt them in any way, I will kill you.”

There are also many suggestions that certain members of the group may come into some danger, most probably from Gareth and the Terminans…one scene shows Sasha yelling, at someone, “Where are our people?”  

There is a chance, however, that the danger to our people could come from a new character coming, Father Gabriel, who is a character taken from the comic series. I am not familiar with the Father Gabriel character of the comic series, as I did not read that far into it.

I also have avoided researching Father Gabriel, as I want the television storyline surrounding him to be unspoiled, but Father Gabriel seems like he’s done some things, things that are probably pretty bad.  Anyone alive still at this point in the walker apocalypse has had to see, and do, some horrific things to survive this long.

Apparently, this shot of Father Gabriel's church is taken directly from the comic.

Apparently, Father Gabriel’s church, pictured here, was created exactly from the church in the comic series..

It looks like Father Gabriel has def seen, and done, some dark things to survive.

It looks like Father Gabriel has def seen, and done, some dark things to survive. ..the dude looks pretty tortured.

Both Robert Kirkman and Scott M. Gimple have confirmed that the WD story lines for Season 5 will be following the comic series more closely, and we can expect to see more iconic characters from the comic series to come.

There is also potential, it seems, for discord and division within the core group of Rick and the gang. What is the dynamic going to be between Rick and Carol,  at last reunited after Rick singlehandedly banished Carol from the prison community back in Season 4?

How is Maggie going to react if/when she finds out that Tara was part of the Gov’s Makeshift Army 2.0 and was playing for the bad-guy team when the Gov beheaded Hershel?  And how are Rick and Abraham, who are both used to being in the leadership role and calling the shots, going to be able to get along and find a way to work together in this epic and perilous journey to Washington D.C.?

And, a couple of core questions burning a hole in my heart: Does Eugene’s mulletted head truly possess the cure for the walker epidemic?  Is this guy for real, or is he faking?

What do you think?

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What is going on under that epic mullet of yours, Eugene?

Another burning question in my heart:  Are we going to get to see some of our favorite characters get busy in Season 5, or what?

Robert Kirkman confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that, “There are certainly more couples.” While we know the obvious pairings of Glenn and Maggie, Bob and Sasha, Abraham and Rosita, we fans are wondering if our favorite hot dudes, Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes, are going to get another chance at love in the zombie apocalypse…

Rick…he’s a tough one.  Still wearing his wedding ring, super focused on keeping his people safe and getting the job done…doesn’t leave much room for romance.  But he’s so freaking hot, and it’s been, like, forever since our man’s gotten some.  I have always wondered if maybe something was in the works with Rick and Michonne…that would be…so hot.

And now, to Bachelor Number TwoDaryl Dixon.

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Daryl and Carol 2.0?  While I love the thought of Carol getting a second chance with Daryl, can things really go back to the way they were? Carol’s kill-happy shenanigans at the prison, and Daryl’s brief foray into young love with Beth, may put the Daryl/Carol pairing into the “let’s just be friends” file. But we shall see, won’t we?

And speaking of Beth

I thought it was quite the masterful presentation for the Season 5 trailer to seemingly end, and go to black screen, after a particularly gripping (and hot) scene showing Rick singlehandedly mowing down about five living, enemy dudes armed with assault rifles, then turning to face…someone, or something, with a grim, unremorseful, totally smoking hot look before lowering his gun…

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I texted my WD buddy, while watching the trailer in the writing process: Rick just singlehandedly mowed down like 5 live, weapons-baring  enemy peeps on a bridge.

 <3

(Sigh…)

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My WD buddy texted back: Such a man, that one.

…then, the screen goes black, the Bear McCreary music hums darkly, and then, we see…

Beth's new digs...what is this place?  Prison? Mental ward?

Beth’s new digs…what is this place? Prison? Mental ward? Looks shitty…

...especially when we see some sadisic-looking lady cop telling Beth that her personal needs are not jiving with this institution's mission, to serve the

…especially when we see some sadisic-looking lady cop telling Beth that her personal needs are not jiving with this institution’s mission, to serve the “greater good.” Uh, oh, that’s never good news.

We see poor Beth, dressed in prison-looking scrubs, peering down a steep elevator shaft, looking for a way out of what looks like Hell.

We see poor Beth, dressed in prison-looking fatigues, peering down a steep elevator shaft, looking for a way out of what looks like Hell.

Beth freaked, trying to offer some comfort to a poor woman who looks like her bitten arm is about to be amputated with cape wire...

Beth freaked, trying to offer some comfort to a poor woman who looks like her bitten arm is about to be amputated with cape wire…

Beth seems to be connecting with her own inner warrior in this hellhole...

Beth seems to be connecting with her own inner warrior in this hellhole…

Damn...

Damn…another walker prison riot?

Whatever Beth is doing to survive in this hellish place, it seems that she has earned the unlucky top slot on the  sadistic lady cop's  hat list, earning poor Beth a savage blow upside the head with the lady guard's baton...

Whatever Beth is doing to survive in this hellish place, it seems that she has earned the unlucky top slot on the sadistic lady cop’s hate list, earning poor Beth a savage blow upside the head with the lady guard’s baton…

Run, Beth, run!

Run, Beth, run!

Kirkman adds to the Beth Mystery, telling Entertainment Weekly that while the Beth storyline may take some time to unfold, “It’s going to have some far-reaching ramifications for all the characters.”

Yikes!

While the answers to all these questions will surely unfold with the debut, and progression, of The Walking Dead’s Season 5, I think I can safely say that Season 5 is going to reward us WD fans with lots of hot flexing, epic berzerker-style zombie-killing mayhem, unparalleled effects and super-gruesome walker characters, like this guy:

Ummm, Nicotero? You've got some explaining to do, buddy.

Ummm, Nicotero? You’ve got some explaining to do here, buddy.

Scott M. Gimple says this of the Season 5 premiere:

“(The premiere) is epic, intimate, emotional, insane, bloody, and, hopefully, surprising.”

October 12th, people…it’s just around the corner.  I advise that you stock up on your choice beverages, and get yourself some Bach’s Rescue Remedy and a Daryl Partner, if you don’t already have one. (See my Season 4 mid-season prepost, “What Happens After?” for more on Daryl Partners and other WD coping mechanisms.)

Note: (All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

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On a final note, I do need to apologize for not keeping my promise to post over the summer about The Walking Dead webisodes.  I love the webisodes and look forward one day to writing about them, as well as past seasons of The Walking Dead television series.  Those of you who read my blog know that my writing style seems to involve deconstructing scenes, dialogue, etc, ad nauseum, imbedding lots of DIY-style photographs, captions, music into each post.

The result is some serious word-count, tweaker-style recap madness…and if you are still reading after all this, then I guess you like it, and that’s good, because that’s just how I do, people.  It takes me an average of 8 hours to complete a post, with the watching, rewatching, picture-taking, writing, rewriting…and I’m ok with that.  Just know that the post on that Sunday’s episode may not be up until Tuesday/Wednesday night…or maybe even not til Friday.

And know that when the post does come, it will be another act of love, filled with juicy bits, for our favorite show…and once it’s up, it’s on the internet forever and ever!

So, this summer, I did choose to set the blog aside and  to savor the sweetness of being in the real world, sharing adventures and fun times with family and friends.  My kids are at such fun ages, and they are growing up so fast, that I wanted to fully immerse myself in the good times while they were happening.  The result was one of the best summers of my life.  I have no regrets.

I am happy to say that my readership has grown over the summer, with barnfullawalkers getting views from all over the world.  I seem to be developing an awesome Brazilian fan base, which makes me super happy, as I love all people, and things, Brazilian.

I asked my Brazilian friend if she could teach me how to say hello, and welcome, to my new Brazilian friends, and she taught me this phrase:

 “ALO ALO para todos os Brasileiros!!”  

(Which means, I think, “Hello to all Brazilians!”)

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My final gift to you, dear readers, before we part ways, for now…epic covers from EW’s amazing WD feature.  And because those haters in Hollywood snubbed The Walking Dead television series for the 2014 Emmy Awards, and because at barnfullawalkers we do not let such insults go unchallenged, we will award a “Deadie” at the end of each Season 5 post, for some outstanding acting feat, walker-kill, special effects, or just epic awesomeness.

Until October 12th, my WD darlings…enjoy the playlist.

Playlist:

Gang Starr, “Mass Appeal” (Dedicated to the pop culture phenom that is WD)

Fidlar, “Blackout Stout” (For the poor peeps who came expecting a true Sanctuary, and instead woke up in a dark, locked train car…)

Phantogram, “Blackout Days” (…and for the poor peeps that met their final end on Mary’s grill)

The Lions Rampant, “Shot Gun Shells” (Rick Grimes don’t beg, Gareth!)

Ramones, “Blitzkrieg Bop” (For Rick Grimes and the Train Car Superstars and the other prison peeps…may the powers of Dee Dee, Johnny, Joey, and Tommy be with you all)

Beastie Boys, “Rhymin & Stealin” (Dedicated to MCA, who would have turned 50 over this past summer…B Boys forever!  And, p.s., I too am most ill when I’m rhymin’ & stealin’. <3)

Radkey, “Start Freaking Out” (Season 5’s coming, people…start freaking out!)

Season 4, Episode 2, ” Infected”

“Infected”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

I will just preface this post with this: the Season 4 premiere episode of The Walking Dead,  30 Days Without an Accident,” was watched by 16.1 million viewers, with over 10 million of those viewers being in the coveted 18-49 yr old demographic, outperforming all other programs showing at that time, including NFL football. Awesome!

“Infected”

Opening scene: it’s night, and some psycho with a flashlight is feeding the walkers rats through the prison fence. (Later on Talking Dead,  mental mastermind Greg Nicotero explained how they achieved the effect of the walker eating the rat…they used actual rats and “fed” them into an automated prosthetic robot mouth. While no rats were actually hurt during the shooting of this effect, I don’t know if any of us who watched it will ever be the same!)

Now, I know that in my last post, I was leaning pretty heavily towards Bob being the bringer of walker snacks…while Bob is still on my short list of prime suspects, I am also wondering if the walker-feeder may be Lizzy, the cute/spooky tween girl who has a penchant for naming the walkers outside of the fence. She hangs out by the fence a lot, actually, looking out towards the walkers as they hiss and snarl and bare their teeth back at her. By her own sister’s admission, Lizzy’s “messed up…not weak.”

I imagine we will learn about Lizzy, Bob, and everyone a little more as the season progresses.

While the night walkers are enjoying their midnight snack outside, inside the prison, Tyrese is making out with his hot girlfriend, Karen. He’s got the cell all cozy and shit…and then, being the male unicorn of sweetness and sexiness that he is, Tyrese actually sings to her: “got you under my skin .” Our man is busting out all the love moves.

But maybe it’s all just a little too much, too soon for Karen, because she has decided not to sleep over and is going back to her cell.

I was watching this, thinking, “Ummm, wait…whut?”   I was thinking, Girl, you should stay with that big sexy man… and now, you are in the darkest bathroom ever, and that is not great for you!

Of course, the scene is shot amazingly as Karen moves through the bathroom and showers, all dark and inky and shadowy, like a horror movie…and we know who is in there..oh God, here he is, sitting up. Yes, people, Patrick Walker is about to go nucking futs on Cell Block D.

Karen makes it out of the bathroom and retires to her cell, not knowing that Patrick Walker is lurching about a half cell-block behind her. She pulls aside her flimsy curtain and settles down for the night…alone (for some reason I still do not understand).  

Damn, I thought they had doors on those cells… I would be like, “Um, can I get one of the cells with the locking doors and bars, please? Thank you!”

Here’s what happens when you go with the curtain option in zombie prison-dorm life…Patrick Walker is gonna come knocking on your curtain (or, at least until he hears a cough a couple of cells down and goes to investigate):

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Shot of my tv…sorry for the amateur technique…I cannot seem to find the images I want to use online…I thought there was a whole world of computer-obsessed insomniacs out there posting all the pictures and clips I want to use in my blog, but apparently not!

So, I tried to shoot some video of it all going down on my phone…it took about 45 minutes of retakes and rewinds to film Patrick Walker’s first neck chomp on the Red-Shirt guy to Red-Shirt Walker’s roll-over-and-spill-his-guts-out scene.  I then finally got it so it didn’t play upside down on the computer., and then, my blog wouldn’t let me insert it into my post…damn fickle technology!  (My brilliant friend just suggested we try to download the episodes, then use images and videos from that to use for the blog..genius…and probably not legal.).

I did get one shot of Patrick Walker chewing meditatively on some of Red-Shirt guy’s innards:

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Patrick Walker is by far my favorite walker yet…maybe it’s because he is so creepy yet cuddly at the same time.  Maybe it’s because he can really bring the mayhem. Maybe it’s just because that Phineas actor kid plays a really great zombie. He was probably valedictorian in Greg Nicotero’s famed Zombie School. Check out the link about Zombie School on the AMC website:

http://www.amctv.com/the-walking-dead/videos/inside-the-walking-dead-zombie-school

I thought the whole Red-Shirt wifebeater guy getting chomped and spilling his guts on the floor was pretty believable at first, but my best WD buddy wasn’t having it. She texted me, That guy didn’t even move!  to which I texted back,  Patrick Walker chomped him good right in the front of the neck.   She replied, Yeah, but no arm reaction at all?  

Excellent point.  I answered back, Maybe he had an instant heart attack.  Pretty weak, I know, but I really didn’t have anything else. It was kind of not believable, once she pointed that out.  (Ha ha, later on Talking Dead, they refer to the red shirt dude as “Deep Sleeper” in their In Memoriam segment, when they honor the fallen, live and undead alike.)

Meanwhile, the sun’s come up and it’s time to rise and shine at the prison. Glenn wakes Maggie up taking a Polaroid of her sleeping…and who can blame him? I mean, we all have a crush on Maggie, don’t we? I am a happily married woman, and even I am a little lady-gay for Maggie.  Lauren Cohan is stupid hot.  Steven Yeun plays Glenn perfectly as the geek guy who can’t believe he landed a stone fox like Maggie.  You gotta love Glenn and Maggie. They’re so cute and flirty with each other. They manage to keep the zombie apocalypse sexy.

Out in the garden, Michonne is on her horse, ready to ride off on another weird solo adventure…Rick and Carl are seeing her off before starting work on the garden. Before she rides off, Michonne asks Carl why he doesn’t wear his (Rick’s) hat anymore…Carl answers that it’s “not a farming hat”…awww, snap! That’s gotta sting a little, but Rick plays it cool, even when Carl hints at going with Daryl on a run…and then after apologizing to Rick for his resistance to Rick’s new farmer lifestyle, Carl outright asks Rick when he can stop being gun-grounded and get his gun back. Rick doesn’t reply directly, just suggests that Carl add some worms to the slop to give the pigs more protein…I really liked the communication between Rick and Carl throughout the whole episode…by the episode’s end, you see how far they have come in their father/son relationship.

Then the gun alarm goes off, and all epidemic hell is breaking loose at the prison. It’s another wild, great scene…last week, it was raining walkers in the store, and now this week, it’s a walker prison riot.  Season 4 is not fucking around, people!  In one hot and gratifying instant, Rick drops the farmer act and becomes Rick In Charge, ordering Carl to the tower with Maggie and assessing the situation (Cell Block C is clear, Cell Block D is fucked) before running in to battle the walkers in Cell Block D.

The mayhem is so fast, with major carnage.  Rick hands off his shotgun  to someone else and turns his energies to helping get the panicked masses to safety. Glenn pulls off some major ninja-style knife kills, and Daryl saves the little curly-haired boy from Red-Shirt Walker, then saves Glenn from getting chomped by Patrick Walker by ordering Glenn down and shooting a crossbow into Patrick’s brain. “Awww, it’s Patrick,” laments Daryl as they stand over his rekilled form…yes, Daryl, your young fanboy is super dead.

The scene with Michonne and Carl at the gate is great….Two walkers on top of Michonne, and Carl blows the top walker guy’s brains in with one shot…you can see the joy in his face. My buddy texted me, Carl’s still got it ..Yes, he does, just like his dad!

Greg Nicotero said later in Talking Dead that the prison attack casualties totaled 14 civilians…men, women, and at least one child. That is a major theme in this episode, a mother losing her child in the zombie apocalypse.

In one telling scene, Beth is wrapping Michonne’s ankle in her cell while little Judith is seated on the floor, playing with red plastic kegger cups…Beth asks Michonne if there were any children killed in the attack. Michonne nods. Beth wonders aloud what someone who loses a child would be called, “We see all these widows and orphans, but what do you call someone who lost a child?” Baby Judith starts to cry at that moment, and Michonne flinches, gets a pained look on her face, like the sound of a baby crying is unbearable to her. “She always cry?” she manages, her voice tight.

Later, when Beth asks Michonne to hold Judith for a moment, Michonne hesitates before reluctantly taking the baby. She holds Judith at arm’s length at first, unable to look at Judith.

Judith begins to cry, and Danai Gurira plays it so beautifully as she slowly turns her head to look at the baby, then smiles at her and pulls Baby Judith closer to her chest. Michonne’s face lights up as she holds the baby, smiling, then dissolves into silent tears. Beth watches from a distance, realizing (as we do) that Michonne has probably lost a child herself, before walking away to leave Michonne and Judith in their moment together.

My heart felt like it had been torn from my chest watching those scenes…it’s a parent’s worst nightmare.

Daryl and Rick have to go around and rekill all the bitten people…Rick continues to show more and more edge, mixed with his beautiful look of sadness and regret…sigh….sorry, getting totally derailed by Andrew Lincoln…again.

Anyway, Rick and Daryl find a young walker teen shut in his cell…the kid that sleepwalked… Charlie…he wasn’t bitten or scratched, just the bloom of blood around the mouth and streaming from the eyes. Hershel and some young med student guy come look at the body and agree that there is a virus or aggressive flu in the works…a fast-acting flu that basically makes people’s faces explode blood out the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

Wow, just when you think shit couldn’t get any more fucked up than it already was in zombie apocalypse. Now people can die from some Explodey Flu and turn into a walker literally overnight! Remember Ol’ Bloody Eye, the first walker featured last episode? He had the streaming blood from his eyes…Greg Nicotero said that this flu has changed the overall look for the walkers in Season 4.  Deliciously gruesome, Greg Nicotero.

Outside, digging graves, Daryl thanks Rick for his help in the prison and asks if maybe Rick is ready to come back to being in a leader role in their community…Rick hems and haws, brings up all his mistakes from before…Daryl is having none of it, reminding Rick that he is always there and always solid when the shit goes down…then Maggie comes running, yelling for Rick and Daryl to come help…the walkers are rushing the outside ring of prison fencing, and it’s starting to tip over.  Rick, Daryl, Maggie, Sasha, Tyrese, Glenn are stabbing the horde of walkers furiously (“culling the walkers,” Greg Nicotero calls it…love it!) and pushing back desperately as the fence continues to give. Maggie and Sasha see the dead rats on the ground and realize that someone from the inside has been feeding the walkers.

The fence keeps coming down…and Rick looks wistfully at his garden…he tells Daryl to get the truck…he gathers up the piglets, and they drive outside the prison gates into the mass of walkers.  This scene is so symbolic and sad, with Rick’s face a study of loss and determination as he slashes each piglet that he raised in the hind leg to draw blood and disable it before tossing it towards the walkers.  My friend had such a hard time with this scene…she texted me that the pig scene really messed her up. The music, another work of genius by Bear McCreary, was really haunting and added to the feeling of grief at the loss of Rick’s dream to rebuild a simple and peaceful life at the prison.

Honestly, I am a little on the fence about Carol right now. I totally get that after taking years of abuse by her shitty husband Ed and losing Sophia, she would feel the urgency of needing to teach the kids at the prison how to defend themselves, but I think she’s being a little weird about it,  like not telling the parents and telling Carl, “Don’t tell your father!”  All she’s gotta do is assemble a prison-PTA meeting and tell the Woodbury parents something like, “Look, I know at Woodbury you had Do-Art and Dunkin’ Donuts and shit, but around here, kids need to know how to defend themselves!”

And I’m sorry, but she was totally creepy to let Lizzy try to rekill her own dad…that girl was so not ready for that…she almost unhinged Lizzy, and then later was all like, “You’re weak, Lizzy!” I mean, I’m glad she gets to be a mom again and all, and I know she’s out of practice a little, and now it seems she and Lizzy made up, and Lizzy has a knife now…and I really don’t know how I feel about that.

Love the last scene with Rick and Carl, when Carl tells his dad about Carol teaching the kids the art of the knife kill.  Rick listens, dismantling the pig pen and pouring gasoline over it and setting it on fire.  He thanks Carl for telling him and assures him that he won’t tell on Carol.  He then opens up a tackle box, takes out Carl’s gun, wrapped in cloth.  He unwraps the gun and hands it to Carl.  Then he takes his shirt off and tosses it into the fire…yes!  Shirtless Andrew Lincoln, like a panacea for the soul after such a burly episode.

But, for poor Tyrese, the episode is not quite over. He goes with flowers to visit his sick girlfriend, and instead finds her cell splattered with blood and a big smeary blood trail meeting with another blood trail…he follows the blood trails down the hall and discovers two charred and smoking bodies, a man’s and a woman’s..sitting next to the bodies is a gas can. As he stares down at the bodies, Tyrese recognizes with horror the bracelet that Karen wore on her right wrist.

So, there it is, and here’s a playlist to wrap it all up tight like Carl’s gun.  And this last song is for you, Tyrese…so sorry about your beautiful lady friend!

Playlist:

Submarines  “1940” (Amplive remix)

Rise Against  “Death Blossoms”

Those Darlins  “Waste Away”