We need to talk about that “Walking Dead” ending last night

posted at 9:51 pm on October 31, 2011 by Allahpundit

Because I dumped on the show a few weeks ago, and in honor of the holiday, a thread to make amends by tousling their hair for that nifty curveball they threw us at the end of last night’s episode. This season’s still waaay too talky, and the sudden prospect of a romantic subplot for someone as dull and marginal as Glenn has me shivering with dread, but Shane’s lurch towards Kurtz-dom means we’re now guaranteed at least one interesting character to watch, finally. Strange though it may seem, there aren’t many examples in the zombie canon of people cracking under stress. One would think coping with the global undead cannibal apocalypse would drive a good chunk of the population around the bend fairly quickly, but no: Everyone in the Romero movies is pretty chill and grounded with the notable exception of Barbara going catatonic in “Night of the Living Dead.” Now, at long last, we’ve got another person melting down from the pressure and, unlike Barbara, this guy is capable of anything — murder (he pointed his rifle at Rick last season), rape (he assaulted Rick’s wife at the CDC), you name it. Right now he’s the only thing standing between us and a solid hour of Rick and Lori working through their marriage issues, Andrea and Dale easing into an ersatz father/daughter relationship, and Glenn and the farmgirl picking daisies and philosophizin’ about God. You’re our only hope for entertainment, Shane. At the rate we’re going, if this guy doesn’t go on a series-changing rampage, the writers will figure out a way to make the zombies talk and then they’ll start working out their marriage issues.

Here’s a highlight reel from last night. The curveball with Otis comes at the very end. I figure there are only two paths for Shane now as he turns increasingly ruthless and freaky deaky. One: A la Darth Vader, he’ll redeem himself at the very end by recovering his moral bearings and sacrificing his life so that the group can live. Knowing how these writers love melodrama, there’ll even be a weepy death scene with Rick leaning over him while Shane whispers, “Ah did what ah had ta do.” Two: He goes full-blown nuts and starts killing members of the group, taking hostages, etc, and has to be terminated by the reluctant hero. Shane as Kurtz, Rick as Willard. The horror. The horror. Exit question: Er, why didn’t Shane at least shoot Otis in the head? No need to let the man suffer, jackass.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

As to the zombies eating…

Depends on the source. Max Brooks material (Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z) they are simply driven to feed by some primitive instinct and they will eat until their insides burst. They have no actual need for sustenance.

Also in Brook’s stuff, zombies do eventually deteriorate though at a slower rate. The virus (Solanum) causes a slow down of the decay process. Additionally insects and animals do not eat zombie flesh which further slows down the process of nature.

Just depends on the source for some things.

In the original NOTLD (1968) the zombies are afraid of fire, they turn away from it. Most zombies since, fire doesn’t do anything to dissuade an attack – though of course if the fire did catch the zombie would eventually be immolated to the point of non-threat.

I think there is something to the ‘everyone is already infected’ idea. I only read the first few years of the comics, but they infer it at a few points in the story, at least in the comics.

And the doc told Rick Lorie is pregnant. No reason to speculate about it since its a major plot point in the comics.

Also, Shane finally went off the deep end, he’s (probably) not long for the world.

catmman on October 31, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Their eyes continue to see. But without being alive, the moisture and blood supply the eyes need wouldn’t exist, so they would go blind, making them not very threatening.

keep the change on October 31, 2011 at 11:11 PM

If you punch the undead in the mouth and cut your hand, isn’t it the same as being bitten? Shane needs to check his knuckles for broken skin.

Valiant on October 31, 2011 at 11:12 PM

The Series (Walking Dead) has already made it very clear that biological science isn’t their concern. Enjoying the Series requires an utter suspension of BELIEF as to anything quantitative.

Lourdes on October 31, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Lourdes on October 31, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Oh, I agree completely.

It is really sloppy. More questions than answers.

I was actually asking the whole ‘paradox’ thing in the first episode until they let on that yes, they were back in Earth’s past but in an ‘alternate’ past, meaning an alternate reality. I’m still scratching my head over that one.

But the whole eco-vibe from this show just kills me. They have ‘sonic cannons’ on the perimeter of the settlement which aren’t meant to kill dinosaurs, even those attacking, yet their small arms are lethal and they use them with impunity when they go out in the wild and run into trouble.

Huh?

And they had an episode where some flying dinos invaded the settlement, yet everyone’s house is made out of wood with paper/cloth walls and windows? They didn’t build some bunkers into the houses before they built them in case some dinos penetrated the perimeter? Even John Hammond wasn’t that stupid…

catmman on October 31, 2011 at 11:31 PM

This really bothers you doesn’t it?

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 11:20 PM

My opinions on zombie canon bother you enough to even think such a thing?

keep the change on October 31, 2011 at 11:35 PM

you know you’re in trouble when they have to have a show after the show to explain the show.

Kaptain Amerika on October 31, 2011 at 11:36 PM

So I think what he found there was what he expected: everyone’s already infected…

Lourdes on October 31, 2011 at 10:23 PM

IF that’s the case, then there is no point to saving the boy’s life… he’s (un)dead already.

Neo-con Artist on October 31, 2011 at 10:32 PM

But the CDC-Doc only whispered what he whispered to Rick, in Rick’s ear so no one else could hear what the Doc was saying.

So perhaps no one but Rick knows what’s-what (either they’re all already infected or the wife is pregnant and doesn’t either know herself or wants anyone else to know — BUT SHE’D have known it’d be apparent when she submitted to a blood test, so that doesn’t make sense, that she’d be functioning as if it was her sole secret).

Lourdes on October 31, 2011 at 11:36 PM

The Series (Walking Dead) has already made it very clear that biological science isn’t their concern.

What you mean to say is that the writers haven’t bothered to put in the effort to make the premise more consistent – which is the hallmark of lazy writing. Since they have already invoked science to explain the zombie apocalypse, then they should make the effort to remain faithful to some basic principles. Star Trek does that. It’s all fiction, but they create fiction that is consistent with the physical universe. 28 Days Later was logical. Even if the premise was that a supernatural force was at work, that would be logical.

keep the change on October 31, 2011 at 11:41 PM

My opinions on zombie canon bother you enough to even think such a thing?

keep the change on October 31, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Except its not. Zombies don’t rot like normal corpses and everyone knows that. You are trying to apply physical rules to something that totally defies physical reality. I can understand getting annoyed if someone takes it too far and ignores all physical reality in making a show, but you couldn’t make a zombie movie at all if you following physical laws without excpetion. You have to allow for a certain suspension of disbelief or you should confine yourself to documentaries.

sharrukin on October 31, 2011 at 11:41 PM

Why didn’t the guys just smear themselves again with Zombie-Juice? It worked in Atlanta, no reason it wouldn’t work for one hour running from a trailer.

Lourdes on October 31, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Because Shane and Otis were not there to watch it work…

Duh?

Just kidding. I watch Son’s of Anarchy too, and they screw up everything but killing people, and I mean everything. How can succesful murderer’s be so inept at everything else possible?

When one of the SOA get’s pinched for murder, I’ll know we are closing in on reality. When Walking Dead survivor’s don’t walk into traps of mindless zombies, one more step to reality.

Who watches TV for reality?

Hog Wild on October 31, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Otis’s truck is sweet. A 1964 Ford F100 Shortbed.

portlandon on October 31, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Since they have already invoked science to explain the zombie apocalypse, then they should make the effort to remain faithful to some basic principles. Star Trek does that. It’s all fiction, but they create fiction that is consistent with the physical universe. 28 Days Later was logical. Even if the premise was that a supernatural force was at work, that would be logical.

keep the change on October 31, 2011 at 11:41 PM

I agree and it’s why STAR TREK is such a successful adventure. They do have their implausible moments (“the Jeffries Tubes, proton reactor, connected to the Copper Coil Redundant Replicator…” whatever)…

The dialogue, I guess, has to be fantastical in order to support the fantastical premise of the entire STAR TREK films, but sometimes that tv series get just too absurd with the ridiculous nonsensical terms that even the most astute Physics or Engineering mind would laugh at (and do).

But it comes across as an enthusiastic series/films (STAR TREK does) because they make obvious efforts to attend to gravity (no pun intended) in the scientific references (such that viewers can and do follow along without going negative).

Yes, I agree that The Walking Dead has fallen down (again, no pun intended) in their easy-disregard of science. As also practical sense (the broken camper, all those fine campers just lying around, etc.).

Lourdes on October 31, 2011 at 11:55 PM

you couldn’t make a zombie movie at all if you following physical laws without excpetion.

You can make any fantasy work better if it works with logic. It doesn’t need science, it needs to be consistent with itself.

28 Days Later is a zombie movie and the premise suffers from none of the same problems.

keep the change on October 31, 2011 at 11:57 PM

Keep The Change freakin rules.

And the flamethrower comments are exact. Screw the flamethrower, just start massive fires everytime you encounter large numbers. The brains might not melt right away, but the lack of skin, muscle and eyes are going to downgrade their threat level by a factor of 95.

Burn whole areas or flood them. Hell, wouldn’t liging in cold weather stop half their rotten asses? Dead flesh still gets frostbite right?

budfox on October 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Rabid is another example of a more credible zombie outbreak.

budfox on November 1, 2011 at 12:01 AM

I can’t believe anyone still watches TV.

Sharke on November 1, 2011 at 12:07 AM

Everyone in the Romero movies is pretty chill and grounded…

Are you mental?

In Dawn Roger goes nuts and gets careless on purpose which leads to his death. Francine zones out in the mall and smears lipstick all over her face, and Peter contemplates suicide when escape is all but assured. (In the original ending he did commit suicide… by thrusting his head into the helicopter blades.)

In Day Dr. Logan’s work with the zombies has driven him practically insane. Miguel actually does go insane and Capt. Rhodes turns into a dictator, completely loses his cool and goes on a murderous rampage.

And those are just the first two sequels. Nevermind Land Of The Dead, Diary Of The Dead or Survival Of The Dead. Since NOTLD Romero’s films have been all about people losing their cool.

I think you need to stop by my zombie blog and catch up on your homework!

Rude on November 1, 2011 at 12:18 AM

Shane’s “transformation” is reminding me of the character Jack from the book Lord of the Flies. I guess that makes Rick Grimes Ralph to Shane’s Jack.

RedRobin145 on November 1, 2011 at 12:21 AM

I see no problem in Otis being killed. Zombieland put it best, “Fatties were the first to go.”. I say this as a fat man who knows he will be one of the first to be eaten. With a little salsa for flavor (I hope).

mechkiller_k on November 1, 2011 at 12:23 AM

I see no problem in Otis being killed. Zombieland put it best, “Fatties were the first to go.”. I say this as a fat man who knows he will be one of the first to be eaten. With a little salsa for flavor (I hope).

mechkiller_k on November 1, 2011 at 12:23 AM

Like hell. Porkers just have to think more than skinnies. Carry a semi-auto and have the will to use it. Don’t put yourself in a position to have a foot race with a zombie horde and you’re golden.

sharrukin on November 1, 2011 at 12:29 AM

What’s wrong with what Shane did? Are you people nuts?

faraway on November 1, 2011 at 12:40 AM

I see no problem in Otis being killed. Zombieland put it best, “Fatties were the first to go.”. I say this as a fat man who knows he will be one of the first to be eaten. With a little salsa for flavor (I hope).

mechkiller_k on November 1, 2011 at 12:23 AM

You might like In the Heart of the Sea, the true story of the Essex, and inspiration for Moby Dick.

The fat guys were the only ones who survived.

TexasDan on November 1, 2011 at 12:55 AM

Exit question: Er, why didn’t Shane at least shoot Otis in the head? No need to let the man suffer, jackass.

Live meat flopping around and screaming brings the zombies.

csdeven on November 1, 2011 at 1:16 AM

Merle is going to show up with the lost girl.

csdeven on November 1, 2011 at 1:24 AM

why didn’t Shane at least shoot Otis in the head? No need to let the man suffer, jackass.

Because Otis has to be ALIVE to attract the zombie hoard and allow Shane to escape. He wasn’t going to make it anyway, it’s amazing he hadn’t already dropped of a heart attack.

A cold, hard decision, but the right one.

Adjoran on November 1, 2011 at 1:33 AM

Read the comic… Seriously.

Ampersand on November 1, 2011 at 1:45 AM

but Shane’s lurch towards Kurtz-dom means we’re now guaranteed at least one interesting character to watch, finally.

Oh, holy sh*t, Allah. Your reference to Kurtz is a link to an Apocolypse Now entry in Wiki?????

Jeebus, dude.

nukemhill on November 1, 2011 at 2:00 AM

Daryl (the hillbilly) and Dale (old guy) are the only ones I actually like of the main characters. The rest are way too whiny or just plain unsympathetic.

sharrukin on November 1, 2011 at 2:13 AM

Read the comic… Seriously.

Ampersand on November 1, 2011 at 1:45 AM

Nah, I don’t want to spoil the plot twists… if there are any.

clancy_wiggum on November 1, 2011 at 2:20 AM

Right now he’s the only thing standing between us and a solid hour of Rick and Lori working through their marriage issues, Andrea and Dale easing into an ersatz father/daughter relationship, and Glenn and the farmgirl picking daisies and philosophizin’ about God. You’re our only hope for entertainment, Shane. At the rate we’re going, if this guy doesn’t go on a series-changing rampage, the writers will figure out a way to make the zombies talk and then they’ll start working out their marriage issues.

Oddly enough these characters deal with questions that make this show interesting and unique…. this quality make the show work better than any other similar movie…. deal with it….

dec5 on November 1, 2011 at 3:38 AM

Well, I’m going to talk about the comics here but I don’t think it’s too relevant to the show…

But Shane is the most interesting character for comic book fans as it stands now simply because he’s killed so early in the comics. He was always an interesting character, but very few of the original group are even still alive. Since the show obviously has no interest in actually killing him, the story with him can really go anywhere.

However, by keeping Shane alive, they’ve totally destroyed Carl’s plot lines which are probably the best. By the time they get to the farm in the comics, Carl’s already killed two people (one being Shane), so you could imagine how strange things become. In fact, in the newest issues Rick is dealing with the serious problem of just how desensitized Carl has become. That’s really an impossible direction to go in with the show now.

Also, the Glenn/Maggie romance actually gets rather interesting, and is really how the author shows young people handling the end of the world. Their relationship is really the only “normal” one. And I don’t think it’s that Glenn’s dull, I just think the show isn’t doing anything with him. Heck, I forgot he was around in the episode from two weeks ago since he must have had 3-4 lines.

And interestingly, Andrea is supposed to be around 27~, which is what made her relationship with Dale strange. They obviously aged her tv show character to make the eventual romance a bit easier for TV audiences to swallow.

In saying all this, last weeks episode was definitely the best in awhile and although I’m upset over the fact that some key characters are missing (TYREESE!!!), they are trying to do something interesting with keeping some of the comic story lines while mixing the timing (Carl’s gunshot wound is in the comics, but comes MUCH later in the story) and that totally let’s it continue to earn its spot on my DVR!

Rainsford on November 1, 2011 at 4:08 AM

And interestingly, Andrea is supposed to be around 27~, which is what made her relationship with Dale strange. They obviously aged her tv show character to make the eventual romance a bit easier for TV audiences to swallow.

Haha, a May-December romance is less palatable to an audience than a zombie apocalypse. After real life wars where a lot of eligible men die that’s one of the normal things to occur.

scotash on November 1, 2011 at 5:56 AM

Allah:

Everyone in the Romero movies is pretty chill and grounded with the notable exception of Barbara going catatonic in “Night of the Living Dead.”

Oh really? So this first segment of Romero’s 1978 “Dawn of the Dead” has everyone “pretty chill”…umm…really?

I personally thought people in this part of the movie became over the top insane. (click to watch youtube video)

darkmetal on November 1, 2011 at 6:37 AM

Is anyone else getting tired of that blonde lady being all pissy with the RV guy because he stopped her from killing herself?

“You took my choice away!”.

Boo freakin’ who.

portlandon on October 31, 2011 at 10:12 PM

This.

Er, why didn’t Shane at least shoot Otis in the head?

Zombies want their food alive usually.

CW on November 1, 2011 at 7:18 AM

There’s a good argument that shooting Otis was a moral thing to do. Otis was a dead man anyway – they both were – so why not divert the zombies’ attention so that one of them can live?

Morality isn’t always sunshine and daisies.

BCrago66 on November 1, 2011 at 7:36 AM

I don’t see why everybody thinks that Otis getting killed was such a plot twist. The minute the fat guy, who the audience had just met ten minutes before and wasn’t emotionally invested in, left on a suicide mission to the zombie infested high school with a regular cast member, you knew he wasn’t coming back. They might as well have put him in a red shirt a la Star Trek before he and Shane set off.

At the moment that their pickup truck drove down the driveway you knew that Shane was going to face a “difficult choice” at some point during the adventure and Otis was going to be zombie fodder. Admittedly, I didn’t think Shane would kneecap him and leave him as live bait, but I figured at some point Shane was going to have to decide between saving Otis and saving himself.

Dukeboy01 on November 1, 2011 at 8:18 AM

The show is a real treat because it only follows the epic comic LOOSELY.

Now if they make Herschel’s farm the way it is in the comic…I already have chills.

Black Adam on November 1, 2011 at 8:19 AM

But if Otis was freshly dead (shot to the head), wouldn’t the zombies have still feasted on him? He wouldn’t have had time to get cold.

crushliberalism on November 1, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Yeah, it’s over the top, yeah, there is a lot of drama. But I love it still! The only thing I know about zombies is from reading the Zombie Survival Guide so maybe that is why. I try not to read too much into something made strictly for entertainment. But I suppose if the zombies started dancing together and you could vote for your favorite then it would be a real Thriller!

(oh, and the ending surprised me, did not see that coming at all.)

nwpammy on November 1, 2011 at 8:53 AM

But if Otis was freshly dead (shot to the head), wouldn’t the zombies have still feasted on him? He wouldn’t have had time to get cold.

crushliberalism on November 1, 2011 at 8:28 AM

If he was freshly dead, he would have become a zombie and come after Shane.

csdeven on November 1, 2011 at 9:04 AM

It kinda made me sad when I saw what he did. It started out with him seeming to get the short end of the stick. I felt sorry for him, then he pulls this. He keeps going back and forth. He becomes the nice guy that will risk his life for a friend’s son. Then while doing that he becomes the bad guy who will kill another man to get away.

I don’t know why they didn’t just keep running til they got to the truck and jump in quickly. Or why the rest of the group didn’t drive their truck through the pile of zombies.

The remake of Dawn of the Dead was awesome. (The dog part where the dog isn’t attacked was a little cheesy, but no biggie.) One of the most memorable scenes was when they welded the armor all over the vans and had thousands of zombies outside the vans trying to get in. They eventually thru the propane bombs into the group in order to clear the path. When it is zombie versus car, the car usually wins.

jeffn21 on November 1, 2011 at 9:09 AM

bah, threw, not thru, lol. Can’t believe I did that, I guess it’s early.

jeffn21 on November 1, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Read the comic… Seriously.

Couldn’t agree more. Shane is becoming true to form, although the comic makes a lil more sense.

JVelez on November 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM

If he was freshly dead, he would have become a zombie and come after Shane.

csdeven on November 1, 2011 at 9:04 AM

No. If Shane shoots Otis in the head, he dies…and stays dead. Because he’d have been dead for 7 seconds, the zombies would still presumably feast on his freshly killed corpse.

And even if you were right and Otis gets reanimated, prior shows have demonstrated that the reanimation takes a couple of hours or more. Shane would have been long gone by then.

crushliberalism on November 1, 2011 at 9:56 AM

I just keep wondering why no one has built a flame thrower for crowd control…not “big” thinkers in that group. Molotovs anyone?

Ala Nazi Zombies!! LOL

lakeman on November 1, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Zombies that can bite you AND are on fire so you can’t melee them easily are way too dangerous. Fire isn’t the best weapon. Zombie Survival Guide had that right.

oddjob1138 on November 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

“Zombies that can bite you AND are on fire so you can’t melee them easily are way too dangerous.”

Don’t melee with zombies. Or with hungry bears. Definitely not with hungry zombie bears.

GalosGann on November 1, 2011 at 1:29 PM

The Walking Dead is a story of Rick’s humanity – he begins as a do-gooder policeman and ends up, well, in a very different place. (to be spoiler-conscious)

IMO Shane is a very important character to the story. He shows us one possible path Rick could take in the zombie future, or possibly how Rick might react if he loses his family. That is his character’s purpose. Later on he becomes replaced with a far more antagonizer character, but that time will come.

I love how the TV show is extending this story line. It is already a vast improvement on how the comic handled things. It was the best story going in the first 20 issues of the comic, so i makes sense for them to focus on it.

IMO Glenn’s character will get screen time at some point. Hes been in the background so far, but he will emerge as a fan favorite. Mark my words. I’m surprised the writers haven’t given him more to work with.

tflst5 on November 1, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Lets face it Otis violated rule #1(Cardio), so he was doomed from his very first scene. His girth provided both a visual distraction and extended consumption delay. He shot him in the leg because of the certainty that the zombies would be attracted to his screams. By Shane’s expression, I figured he was weighing his options before he shot. Factoring in his bum leg, chose not to taker any chances. Besides the guy did shoot the kid and they wouldn’t have been in this situation if lard-butt had checked his background before he shot at the deer.

Zaire67 on November 1, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Palate Cleanser for WD fans.
(content warning)

Jocundus on November 1, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Comment pages: 1 2