On Saturday, as I was cleaning up the dishes from Saturday Second Breakfast, I got a text from my WD buddy: Dude, I’m so worried we are gonna lose Carol.
Upon reading these words, I felt my breakfast twist into a hard lump inside my stomach…it was like a ball of hot pain, a sick, sick feeling…I texted my WD buddy: I just got a sick feeling in my stomach, reading this.
She texted back: I can’t stop thinking about it.
Try as I might, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, either. While I was riding the high of such an incredible episode as last week’s “Consumed,” I couldn’t shake the horrible, nagging feeling that it had pretty much all the elements of a Carol Swan Song to it, and that the possibility was real that we may lose Carol, or Beth, or other beloved characters, come the mid-season finale of Season 5.
Now, I don’t know what’s coming, people. I merely abide by the Law of Kirkman: We cannot control the Mind of Kirkman…Kirkman does as Kirkman wants, and Kirkman can, and will, play with our emotions. It’s nothing personal…it’s how he do.
I can only speculate…and ruminate (for hours, days)…and obsess. I, like you all, am merely a puppet on Kirkman’s strings. Kirkman is the Puppet Master, and we are his puppets, and Gimple, Nicotero, and the WD cast and crew are like Kirkman’s Army, with each general, officer, technical wizard and soldier carefully chosen, trained, and armed to kick our TWD loving asses in a way that we will never, ever forget, no matter how long we live on this earth.
I, like you, can only do so much to try to prepare for the inevitable, the point where we start to lose people in our core group as The Walking Dead’s Season 5, and the storyline beyond Season 5, progress.
My personal survival methodology includes (but is not limited to) the following: spending 8-12 + hours writing each week’s insane tweaker blog post; keeping my pharmacopeia of coping mechanisms stocked, cocked, and ready (within arm’s reach, whenever possible); and establishing a loyal, true, and similarly Walking Dead Obsessed friend to be my Daryl Partner (my WD buddy, of course…she solemnly swore to be my Daryl Partner, and I solemnly swore to be hers, and so we are bonded for life).
(For more on Daryl Partners, please refer to my Season 4, mid-season prepost, “What Happens ‘After?'”, which can be found in the archives section, February 2014.)
One other thing I know is that Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Sasha, is pregnant, 8 months along at the time of this writing. I first discovered this on Instagram, when Lauren Cohan posted a picture of Sonequa Martin-Green holding up a onesie that said something like, “Zombies, please…my Mommy’s got this!”
Doesn’t exactly look great for Sasha’s longevity prospects as a character on The Walking Dead, unless they are able to work around it, and she gives birth during the filming break, and is ready to get back to work ASAP…they did such a good job hiding her pregnancy during Season 5 so far, who knows? It seems that with the TWD cast and crew, anything’s possible!
(BTW, Sonequa Martin-Green was one of the guests on Talking Dead after the airing of “Crossed,” looking very glowing and happy, beautiful and healthy, so whatever happens to Sasha with the mid-season finale, I think this beautiful mom-to-be is going to be just fine with the outcome!)
Norman Reedus said in an interview that he had to go off and have a good cry for about an hour before he was able to film the mid-season finale…sounds pretty intense. We are going to lose at least one, or more people in the mid-season finale, so I would recommend that you get yourself a Daryl Partner, get some coping mechanisms ready, and keep reminding yourself that while the shit may go down on our favorite show, and while we may lose some beloved characters as the storyline progresses, we all must remember that this is a show. It’s not real, as much as some of us out there say they wish it were. I am not one of them. I enjoy warmth, and creature comforts, and being alive, thanks.
So, while our show does feel so real to us WD obsessed fans (because we love it, and our gang, so much), and while some of our beloved characters may get killed off, the actors who play them will remain alive, well, and rich off the royalties that The Walking Dead will generate for the rest of their lives…and I say amen, and hallelujah, to that!
(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)
To me, watching “Crossed” was like watching a beloved football team go in to play one of the biggest games of the season, the one with the highest stakes, and watching them lose it all, with one big epic fail after another…bad calls, false starts, fumbles, interceptions, dropping balls in the end zone, and in the end, a missed field goal to seal the win for the opposing team. A crushing defeat, really hard to watch.
I can’t be mad at them, our team, our gang, for losing this round. They have been through so much, all on little to no sleep, food, or respite or any kind…they got, like, one night’s rest in a creepy priest’s cursed church after hacking the enemy camp to bits on the altar. I mean, damn. But, while I can’t be mad, I also can’t get my heart into recapping the whole mess, play by play, and reliving it all over again.
I just…cannot. Besides, it’s Thanksgiving week in this part of the world, and the kids are off of school all week, and we are travelling to visit family. So due to time constraints, and due to the fact that there are just some things I cannot bring myself to do, I am going to get right to the heart of the matter, here. I am going to center this post around Three Burning Questions, and Two Statements that are searing a hole in my heart after watching, “Crossed.”
(P.S. Of course, I said all this, and then recapped the shit out of “Crossed” anyway…apparently, it’s a compulsion.)
Burning Question #1: Why does anyone question Rick Grimes anymore?
The man had a diagram, people. He had a plan. “At sundown, we fire a shot into the air…get two of them out on patrol. Then, once it’s dark enough that the rooftop spotter won’t see us, we go…cut the locks to one of the stairways, take it to the fifth floor,,,I open the door, Daryl takes one of the guards out…”
At Tyrese’s question, “How?” Rick has a ready answer. “He slits his throat. This is all about us doing this quiet, keeping the upper hand…from there, we fan out, knives and silenced weapons. We need to be fast.”
Rick continues, marking the diagram he has scratched with chalk into the ground, assigning Tyrese, Sasha, Daryl to their areas, while he, Rick, takes out Dawn Lerner.
Rick adds, “If they’re smart, they’ll give up,” as the gang will outnumber them then, five on three, six on three, once Beth gets a gun.
Noah adds that their numbers would go up to 12 on 3 once the wards got wind of what was going down. They want out, and as Noah says, with confidence, “They will help.”
Um, sounds good to me!
Tyrese, however, has doubts. “That’s best case scenario…what’s worst case? All it takes is one of those cops going down the hall at the wrong time, then it’s not quiet…all hands on deck…you’re talking about a lot of bullets flying around.”
Sasha, who is in the throes of grief, and who couldn’t really give a fuck, says, “If that’s what it takes…”
Tyrese disagrees, says it isn’t, and proposes The Worst Plan B, Ever…if the gang gets two of Dawn Lerner’s cops, then the gang can wrangle an even trade, the two cops for Beth and Carol, “theirs for ours.”
Oh, yeah, that always works, especially in these times… Did Terminus teach you nothing, people? People are super fucked up now, and they don’t play by the rules…the only rule that seems to apply, in these dire times, is kill or be killed.
In these times, the ones that have the upper hand, and the element of surprise, win the battle. And a battle is all it takes, in this scenario: get rid of the threat, get your people, get a working vehicle, and get the fuck out of Atlanta, grab up Michonne and the kids at the church, then go north, and find the rest of the crew.
Rick, however, is being a good leader, and a hot leader, as always, and deferring to his people, giving props and recognition where they are due.
He acknowledges that while Tyrese’s plan could work, his plan, with the element of surprise, and eliminating most of the threat, will work.
Rick Grimes was a deputy, and he’s done this before, professionally, before any of this zombie apocalypse shit started going down, and he, Rick Grimes, is a huge reason why many of them are still alive, this day, standing around and making this plan...just sayin’!
And this is Beth and Carol we are talking about…the stakes are too high to fuck this one up. Rick owes Carol big time, and these are Daryl’s special ladies. Do we really want to leave it all up to the generosity of Dawn Lerner and her Douchesquad, their willingness to negotiate a trade?
And, are we really naive enough to think that Dawn and her Douchesquad are going to just let the gang go, to let them drive off with Beth (their prize virginal blond ward, who happens to be Dawn’s pet nemesis) and Carol without as much as a post-apocalyptic police chase through the decaying city of Atlanta?
They have cars, they know the terrain like the back of their hands, and they could give chase, shoot out the tires of the gang’s getaway truck, injure or kill peeps in a bloody shootout. Any of these dire scenarios would certainly attract walkers to the scene and incite a real and added threat to an already cagey situation.
So. the way I see it, Tyrese’s Plan B is not the better plan, as it has way more sketchy variables than the chance of a stray cop in a hallway where he/she isn’t supposed to be. Rick Grimes’ plan of slitting some throats and taking out some crooked cops on the DL, then overtaking the hospital, is the way better plan, overall.
But, then Daryl speaks up…and sides with Tyrese.
“Nah, it’ll work, too,” Daryl says of Tyrese’s Plan B, to Rick’s shock and stupefaction (and mine, quite frankly).
Daryl maintains that if they take two of Dawn’s cops away, then what does she have? He thinks Tyrese’s plan will work.
Rick’s look says it all, and the bottom of my stomach fell out at this. Right from the start, it sounded like The Worst Plan B, Ever. And, as it turns out, it was The. Worst. Plan B. Ever.
Operation Plan B: Epic Fail all goes down like this:
At first, it was all going pretty well. Shepherd and Lamson, the two officers of Dawn Lerner’s Douchesquad assigned to investigate the gunshot, come speeding up in one of the Grady Memorialmobiles to some industrial looking building…at the sound of another gunshot, they find Noah, who is acting as bait, making a show of trying to limp away, but they swerve the car around, lightly clipping him and knocking him to the ground.
As Lamson, the dude cop, zip ties Noah’s hands behind him, he gently tells Noah to tell him if the zip tie’s too tight, then looks around, asks where the “rotters” are that Noah was shooting at. A whistle sings out, and the cops look up and find themselves surrounded, at gunpoint, by Rick, Daryl, Tyrese, and Sasha.
After a moment, Lamson says “Ok,” puts his hands up, and soon, both cops are kneeling. Rick tells them, softly, that they need to talk…offers them water, food if they need it.
Lamson addresses Rick, “Mind if I ask you something?”
Noah murmurs to Rick that Lamson looked out for him and the wards. “He’s one of the good ones,” Noah tells Rick.
It seems Lamson’s shameless cop-stroking buys the crooked cops a moment of distraction, because right at that moment…
Tyrese manages to shoot out a side window of the car, and an exchange of bullets ensues. The two captive cops manage to dive into the car, and their buddy, Officer Baldy, is firing back at Rick and the gang as the car speeds around a corner. The car almost gets away, but not before Sasha puts a well-aimed bullet into one of the car’s tires.
Yeah, Sasha, that’s what I’m talking about!
The gang chases the car around the corner of the building…they see the GM CreepMobile stopped in its tracks, a walker’s arm twisted up in the front wheel. Above them, spray painted on a water tower, is the message “Evac Here,” and a blasted out FEMA trailer is alongside it. On the ground, melted and seared into the asphalt, are the Napalm Walkers…
As the others pursue Lamson and Shepherd, who are on the lam, Daryl stays back and sleuths out where Officer Baldy is hiding.
Hmmm. not in the stalled CreepMobile, not in the FEMA trailer…
The gang brings the cops into a large room inside the industrial building, and Shepherd, the female cop, tries to tell them that their plan to trade would work if they had different cops to trade.
Shepherd, Lamson, and Officer Baldy are on Dawn Lerner’s shitlist, supposedly, as she knows that they want to replace her, Dawn Lerner, with Lamson, and have him be in charge. Shepherd suggests that they let the cops go, who will deal with Dawn Lerner themselves, and then will let their people go.
Lamson interrupts this, saying that they’re not going to do that…he proposes that Rick and the gang let him, Lamson, talk to Dawn, as he has known her for eight years, and knows how to talk to her. Lamson seems to be taking a page from Deputy Rick Grimes’ book of copspeak when he says, softly, reasonably, “Let me help you.”
My WD buddy is so cute, she sent me this email after rewatching this episode:
I just watched the episode again and I just want to reiterate how Rick Grimes would have known that cop was full of shit. He wouldn’t have trusted him like that. The writers did not do him justice with that. And they are wrong.
Ha! How cute is that? I replied:
I fully agree! But, they are tired, been through a lot, and that cop was Cop-Stroking Rick…been awhile since someone recognized, and the group wasn’t giving him the love he deserved, so he was susceptible to flattery!
(See what happens when you hold back the love, people? Don’t hold back the love! It messes your people up!)
Rick, who is love-starved in the moment, and who was not allowed to smash, earlier, isn’t thinking straight, so he even tells Lamson the full timetable, that they’re going to leave in about 10 minutes, offering him whatever he needs, before they go.
Rick even does Lamson a solid and thanks him, refers to him as “Sergeant Lamson,” telling Lamson, “You’re still a cop.” Lamson can’t bring himself to agree, saying, “Naw, the real ones are all gone.”
Lamson adds that his name is “Bob,” which sends Sasha’s head whirling around. Rick nods to her, and stands up to leave.
Which brings me to Burning Question #2: What the hell, Sasha?
Sasha, who is love-starved, and messed up, herself, is not her usual saavy sister self in the moment, and she plays into Lamson’s theatrics like a total rookie…like a Gabriel.
At his sighed, “Dammit,” she comes over to him, looks down questioningly. He tells her he’ll be ok, and she replies, “So will I.”
Uh, oh. Bonding with the enemy. Bad. Very bad.
Lamson, who knows he’s in at this point, lays it on thick about how he recognized one of the “rotters” out there, napalmed to the asphalt…a fellow officer, Tyler, who was on the team to evacuate survivors out of the hospital before the bombing, and who got assigned by Dawn Lerner at the last minute to drive the last van of survivors out of the city, replacing Lamson as the driver.
Lamson tells Sasha that Dawn Lerner made the change because she wanted “someone she could really trust” to do the job, and Lamson says that seeing Tyler out there, stuck to the asphalt like “an endless joke,” made him realize that it could have been him, and feel helpless, because “there’s nothing I can do.”
Wah, wah, cry me a river of crocodile tears, Lame-son.
“Let me help you,” Sasha offers, and that line is a recurring one through this episode…there are people in these times who will say it to trick you, and people who will say it sincerely, in a real offer of help.
How can one know who to trust, in these times? Continue reading