Am I wrong? Every time I post a grumble thread that’s actually grumbly (and not all of them are), some TWD fan will grouse that I’m being too hard on the writers. They’ve got a bigger cast than most dramas; sometimes they need to spend an hour or two, or ten, on “character development” before something interesting happens. Okay — tell me which characters you feel have “developed” since the show resumed three weeks ago. Carl’s becoming a man. Michonne misses her baby. Glenn misses Maggie. Rick’s ended up in another tight spot from which he’ll surely escape because that’s just how it is. We knew all of this before. The only new wrinkle, which it took two and a half shows to get to, is that Abraham Ford and Doctor Mullet think they have the “cure” to the zompocalypse, and we didn’t get so much as a hint about what that might be. I thought we’d traded the “checking in with different characters for five minutes at a time” format for one that follows individual characters for an episode or more, to build out their particular story. That’s what they did for the Governor in the first half of the season and it worked like a charm. They did it for Rick and Carl three weeks ago too, an episode that failed because of the particular characters involved but which could have worked for different ones. Now we’re back to the long slog of different group members trekking towards the Terminus for the inevitable reunion. How many more episodes is that going to take? Good lord, someone do something.
And incidentally, what would it mean to find a “cure”? A cure for what, exactly? Nothing’s going to reverse zombification in a corpse that’s already been damaged or decayed. Do they mean some sort of chemical agent that’ll kill zombies on contact, or do they mean something that’ll stop people from reanimating once they’re dead? There are already a billion zombies out there. Preventing new ones from forming is useful, but it doesn’t really solve your problem.
I’ll settle for this. Explain to me what the point was of Rick’s near-miss last night with the guys who surprised him while he was sleeping. I don’t even care that he could barely walk the last time we saw him and suddenly he was diving under beds and scampering behind doors like an acrobat. Just tell me why they spent 15 minutes on it. It felt to me like they looked at the script after it was finished, realized “Wait, nothing really happens in this episode either,” and then decided to write in something suspenseful just to fill the hour out. Right? And because it’s Rick, you knew there was no chance the guys would find him and shoot him. Rick will die eventually, I think — he’s no more important to the show than any other character now that the group’s been dispersed — but it’s not going to be from summary execution by a random survivor who stumbles upon his hiding place. The show doesn’t have enough balls for that. He’ll either go down fighting a horde of zombies in some heroic act of self-sacrifice or he’ll be betrayed by someone close to him, likely Carl. If they’re going to tease the viewer with the possibility that a major character might be about to die, let’s make sure it’s semi-plausible, no? Rick ain’t going out like that.