"Walking Dead" season finale: Group of unlikable people still alive, still unlikable

Last chance until October for me to milk this show for easy content so I’m a-takin’ it. Nine million people watched last night, making it the most-watched episode of any show on basic cable among viewers under age 49 — ever.

A few thoughts. One: When the zombie herd started its stampede through the farm, what exactly was the strategic point of driving around randomly and shooting at them? It was obvious pretty quickly that there were too many to kill. Why waste ammo and take needless risks in blasting a few instead of driving off? Two: Reader Flip Pidot asks a good question via e-mail about the killing of Shane, which aired again in the recap last night at the very beginning. Quote:

I thought I’d seen this last week, though I handn’t bothered to review the dvr. But tonight’s recap confirmed – Carl definitely raises the gun before Zombie Shane reanimates. Is this just a sloppy/cheap edit to hammer home the audience fakeout that he’s taking aim at dad, or was that Carl’s real kneejerk intent when he’d seen Rick had killed Shane?

Carl veering off the reservation seems like an interesting dynamic, especially with Shane’s departure, so I kind of sadistically (and artisically) hope it wasn’t just a cheap editing sleight.

He’s right, Carl did raise the gun before Shane reanimated. Watch the scene from last week’s episode. At first I thought maybe Carl simply anticipated Shane reanimating and wanted to be in a position to shoot, but no, that can’t be. Carl didn’t find out until last night that everyone reanimates upon death whether they’ve been bitten or not. And he didn’t know how Shane died, so what reason did he have at the time to think a zombie did it? Or maybe the idea is that he concluded a zombie must have done it because he couldn’t imagine his pop knifing Shane in the gut?

Three: I’m not looking forward to the scenes in the prison next year. The lesson of the series thus far is that when the location gets static, things slow down and get very talky. Maybe you’re excited to hear Rick and Lori have their thousandth Meaningful Conversation about how to raise their son. I’m not. Fourth and finally: Why are these people so willing to accept Rick as group leader? Shane was charismatic and had a survival-of-the-fittest ethos suitable for Zombieworld. You can imagine him as group leader, ruthless though he was. Rick is leader now basically by process of elimination: Herschel’s too old, Glenn’s too young, Darryl’s too sullen, and T-Dog doesn’t get any lines. Why not make Andrea leader? She likes to shoot and has enough of a ruthless streak. And unlike Mr. Rogers, you don’t have to listen to her yap yap yappin’ 24/7 about the group staying together. A few weeks of that and I’d be praying for zombie deliverance.

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David Strom 6:01 AM on June 06, 2023