“Walking Dead” grumble thread: Hit the road, jack

posted at 7:21 pm on November 4, 2013 by Allahpundit

And so, as happened once before with Shane, the most interesting character on the show is sent packing so that we can spend more time on Rick’s eternal struggle with the dynamics of leadership. Let me blow your mind here with an alternate ending to last night’s show: What if Carol, upon being told by King Rick that she’s now persona non grata at the castle, pulled her gun and shot him in the face? Or ran him over while she was driving away? She could have gone back to the prison, told the group that Rick had confessed to her that he’d killed Karen and the other guy, and that he’d then been devoured by a pack of zombies while heroically saving her life. Easy peasy.

When I floated this idea on Twitter, a friend tweeted back that that would be out of character for Carol; she didn’t kill Karen and whatsisname for personal gain, she did it for an honorable reason, to protect the rest of the group from the plague. Fair enough — but the whole point of last night’s episode was that the zombocalypse has changed everyone, none more so than Carol. She went from being a battered woman, paralyzed by the helplessness instilled in her by her lout of a husband, to a den mother so proactively protective of her clan that she’d murder the sick to keep them from being infectious. There’s one really obvious step left for her character to take — and the irony is, we all know she’s eventually going to take it, no doubt by joining forces with the Governor and returning to the prison at some point to do battle with the group from which she’s banished. Odds of Rick killing her while some sort of meaningful glance expressing mutual regret passes between them: 100 percent. And yes, needless to say, he’ll kill her, not vice versa. For all the praise the show gets for being willing to off its core cast, the writers apparently have decided that Rick’s just too precious a pony to be sacrificed. Meh.

One thing I really liked in last night’s episode: We never found out what happened to the blonde kid. That rarely happens on the show but it would be a wrenching fact of life in Zombieworld. People would go out to find food or fuel and they’d just … disappear. Maybe they ran away, maybe they killed themselves in despair, maybe they were injured and bleeding out somewhere, maybe they ended up as zombie chow. It would happen a lot and you’d have to get used to it. Carol has. One thing I didn’t like: What’s with the subplot about Bob the semi-recovering alcoholic? He’s barely a character; he exists, it seems, simply to give the writers a few hamhanded opportunities at depicting Tragic Flaws. Last night’s set piece with the liquor bottle was like Kirk and Spock beaming down alongside a redshirt with a coke problem. If you’re going to give a character a Tragic Flaw that nearly gets everyone killed, make sure he/she’s earned a line of credit with the audience first. As it is, I kept waiting for Daryl to push Bob off the walkway and into the crowd of zombies. Nope. Guess we’re not done with the fascinating “random guy’s drinking again” story arc yet.

By the way: If you’re interested in a gripping show about dead people coming back to life, set the DVR for “The Returned” on the Sundance Channel on Thursday night. It’s not scary and it’s very French, but it’ll get you, I promise. A guy who compulsively blogs about a show he doesn’t much like week after week wouldn’t steer you wrong, would he?


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The character “Carol” killed those people out of fear; that, or she’s a remorseless murderer.

I would have center-massed her a**, took her gear, and slept great later.

M240H on November 4, 2013 at 9:15 PM

I agree. I think Carol killed them for selfish reasons, she’s cold, has developed a liking for killing, etc.

She may have partly killed them out of fear – fear that she would be infected, but I don’t think she cares much for the other people.

She may have cared a tiny bit for Daryl and the two girls, but she told the two girls not to call her mom.

As I said above, when she told Rick “I killed them so WE would be safe,” he questioned her, “so that ‘we’ would be safe?” He wasn’t buying that from her at all.

The only exception I see is that when Tyreese said to Carol (not knowing she was the killer), “Hey, I think you’re a great person, I can trust you” she cried after he walked off. Why did she cry? Did she feel guilt? Or only upset her killing them did not halt the virus spreading so she was still afraid she’s get the virus too?

TigerPaw on November 5, 2013 at 7:42 PM

don’t understand why everyone thinks what Rick did was right?
Would he have reacted that way if stupid Lori had done that? And I understand that Carol is perhaps a little overboard, but I don’t think she’s psychotic or anything. Rick was wrong to put her out there on her own. I’m not sure why everyone is okay with it. Was Carol killing them before they could spread the disease or cause another zombie killing spree really that bad of a thing? And shouldn’t he have given the rest of the group a say in it – the core group I mean?
I think it was stupid to cut Carol loose.

americanmama on November 4, 2013 at 9:16 PM

All I can say is go back up and read the few posts I’ve done in this thread. She had become too practical about killing people.

Carol showed no concern for the two “hippie” people they met at the house.

She was more than willing to let them put themselves in danger (despite knowing they’re poor shots with firearms) to go look for apples on their own.

Carol showed no emotion at all seeing the hippie girl getting nibbled on across the street, whereas you could see on Rick’s face that he looked upset that hippie girl was dead.

Rick wanted to give Sam five more minutes before they left to head back to the prison but Carol was all, “screw him, too bad for him, let’s go!”

Rick did have that uncaring, super practical attitude for a few episodes after his wife died, but it seems he’s returning to being more empathetic towards strangers now that he’s coming out of the mourning. But Carol is still in that phase, but going even further than he did.

TigerPaw on November 5, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Rick’s War on Womens

faraway on November 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Rick doesn’t seem to have any problems with Maggie or Michonne or the blonde girl who is like a mother to baby Judith.

TigerPaw on November 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Revenant on November 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

I think you’re far too hard on Rick.

You sound like a Shane Walsh defender when discussing Carol. Back in season 2 a lot of people were on the Hot Air Walking Dead threads were defending Shane for having adapted, being realistic, saying Rick was to soft, etc.

Being in the apocalypse does not mean one should become ruthless, lack empathy, become totally self absorbed, screw over others to protect one’s self/ friends, etc, or else you turn into an evil guy who collects human and zombie heads in jars (Governor).

TigerPaw on November 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

2) Why do so many of the female walkers wear dresses when so few ‘live’ women do?
3) Where do all those walker herds come from, and why do so many congregate at the prison?

Also, I’m pretty sure the walkers are a metaphor for Obama voters.

DRayRaven on November 5, 2013 at 8:08 AM

2, the dresses: the reason the zombies wear dresses and long sleeves is because it takes less time to apply make up to the zombie actors. I saw this discussed either on a “Talking Dead” behind the scenes thing or read it in an article on the internet. It is faster and cheaper to only make up the zombie faces/hands, not to have to do legs and total arms. It’s a money and time thing.

TigerPaw on November 5, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Carol is not a murderer and is a valuable member of the group. He shouldn’t have kicked her out. She is not a lose cannon and not a danger.

Blake on November 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Totally disagree.

TigerPaw on November 5, 2013 at 8:06 PM

So Rick leaving that hitchhiker to die on the road is Ok but Carol killing two sick people with a easily spread disease and it’s out the door.

warren on November 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I was bothered by Rick driving by the hitchhiker who was pleading for help, but the analogy is not the same.

Carol stuck a knife into two sick people’s heads.

Rick did not shoot, stab, or run the car over the hitch hiker guy.

TigerPaw on November 5, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Medical science and legal expert testimony. She has only stabbed dead people or walkers.
Blake on November 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Where on earth are you getting “science” and “legal testimony” from? That has nothing to do with anything.

No Karen and David were still alive or it was never established that they were dead when she stabbed them. Nobody knows for 100% certainty that Karen and David were dead or were walkers, and I would NOT take Carol’s word for it.

She’s a violent loon more interested in her own personal safety than defending anyone else. She’s sort of now the female version of Shane Walsh from a few seasons ago.

TigerPaw on November 5, 2013 at 8:45 PM

I’m done with you. It never pays to engage a mentally unstable person which you clearly are.

Blake on November 6, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Carol is not a murderer and is a valuable member of the group. He shouldn’t have kicked her out. She is not a lose cannon and not a danger.

Blake on November 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Yeah, she kinda was a loose cannon. Just in a more subtle way than maybe you’re used to. She went off-book by taking it upon herself to kill two members of the group and burn their corpses; it was unnecessary, because they were contained and isolated, and turned out to be unproductive because people kept getting sick anyway.

Moreover, she steamrolled over Rick’s indecisiveness and caution in letting those two idiots go out and get themselves killed, knowing that a). she could win that face-off, and b). the idiots wouldn’t have been strong enough to thrive and contribute to the prison group.

Having said that, I don’t believe she would have done anything to Rick like the author suggests; she took action in what she saw as a leadership gap, and if nothing else, Rick’s decision to do something about her actions showed the kind of decisiveness she had been trying to draw out of him.

Carol is a woman who, prior to the show’s timeline, had done little more than existed, drifting through a semblance of life and serving as Ed’s punching bag. The apocalypse took a woman who was figuratively dead and brought her to life, gave her strength and purpose. Her mistake – and its a very common one – is thinking that a cure for her is a panacea for all. You can’t push everybody to find strength they didn’t know they had. Some people have had strength, only to watch it get drained away by events; I think Rick has been in this place for some time. Others, like Daryl, have lasting strength, but needed it to be nurtured under a noble purpose, and that’s what makes him a core member of the current group, respected by the others and even critical of Michonne for running out to hunt The Governor.

Carol found something inside herself that she desperately needed, but she’s taken it over the top. Frankly, if Rick hadn’t tossed her, she might have severely messed up those two little girls.

The Schaef on January 9, 2014 at 12:36 PM

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