Just this once, I’ll start with someone else’s grumble. They’ve lost Lileks for good:

Last night’s episode had the obligatory Big Thing for the mid-season climax, and while it’s nice that everyone’s out of the prison, it’s too bad about the obligatory Major Character Death. Where will they go next? Who’s left? How will they regroup?

I don’t know and I don’t care. There were some scenes from the first season shown during the commercial breaks, and the shot of Rick riding a horse into Atlanta reminded me how stark and gripping the show used to be when the disaster was fresh. Now it’s a slog from fort to fort, with uplifting subplots like “everyone’s dying of the flu” and new characters who exist only to die next season. Forget it. I’m done. At some point last night I noted that one of the characters was using a filing cabinet as a shield, and the bullets didn’t go through. It didn’t even have a drawer.

It’s worse than that: At one point Daryl was using a dead zombie as a shield against close-range machine-gun fire. Don’t be fooled by the fact that they’re falling apart from injury and decomposition; as it turns out, the undead are made out of Kevlar. But let’s not overthink it — that scene was really just the writers’ way of reassuring fans that they don’t have the stones to kill off Daryl. The Governor could have set off a tactical nuclear weapon at the prison and somehow Daryl would have emerged from the mushroom cloud, hair gelled to messy perfection. If Rick is the show’s Odysseus, Daryl is Achilles. Would any mortal man possess a quiver of crossbow arrows that somehow never empties even though every other resource in the zombie apocalypse, especially/including ammo, is scarce? I ask you.

So yeah, Lileks is right. The show is ridiculous, aimlessly lurching from one post-civilizational quagmire to the other. No one tries to make contact with the outside world; no one tries to decipher what caused the zombie outbreak and how it might be stopped. They’re not only post-civilization, they’re essentially post-narrative. It’s “Lord of the Flies” forever. But — that was one nifty free-for-all at the end last night, no? Best zombie-genre shoot ’em up I’ve seen since the raid on the mall at the end of “Dawn of the Dead.” Not even the requisite cliches (climactic fistfight between the hero and villain, Michonne keeping her promise to liquidate ol’ eyepatch, etc) could spoil it. The only disappointment was not getting to see the zombies dig into the Governor. Why did Maggie shoot him rather than leave him to be eaten alive? And why didn’t we get an obligatory scene of pathos involving Maggie weeping over Hershel’s horrible reanimated zombie head? Easy pickings, writing staff.

At least they’re out of the prison now. Exit question: What’s next for colorful, inventive characters like Glenn, Bob the alcoholic, and the blonde girl whose name I can never remember? Just two months until the next grumble thread.

Update: Oops — evidently I mistook the Governor’s girlfriend for Maggie. That explains why she shot him. It was a mercy killing, just like him shooting little Megan to stop her from zombifying was.

Update: Wasn’t little Megan already dead when the Governor shot her? I realize he’s psycho, but there’s no earthly reason for him to have killed her for hateful reasons.