I haven’t seen “True Detective,” actually, and I’m kind of glad because I think the weekly contrast between gripping storytelling and “The Walking Dead” might have driven me away from the latter for good. Then there’d be no grumble thread, which means I’d have to produce an extra post requiring actual thought on Monday nights.
And that’s why I’ll watch “The Walking Dead” forever.
I don’t know what to say about last night’s episode. It wasn’t a total snoozer this time: The scene where Daryl was attacked by zombies in the funeral home was suspenseful for a fraction of a second, until you realized there was no way they were going to take out a character that popular by letting him get chewed up in a basement in the middle of nowhere. That would have been shocking and true to life in the zombie apocalypse, where death would come quickly and ignominiously even to glamorous heroes. Not the way this show operates. The rest of it was paint-by-numbers TWD: A few people you don’t care about are depressed, lonely, and/or missing a dead/missing loved one; they talk a lot about pushing on or staying put or giving up; then they end up in a not-terribly-challenging zombie fight and win. I found myself astonished at one point to realize that Maggie, with whom the show’s done nothing for years except use her as a love interest for Glenn, was actually the most interesting character in the Maggie/Sasha/Bob mini-group. How does that happen? And how did they end up fighting zombies in a thick fog with near-zero visibility? If you can’t see three feet in front of you and therefore can’t tell if you’re facing one zombie or a thousand, it would behoove you to climb a tree and keep quiet until the fog lifts, no? No?
I thought Abraham Ford and Doctor Mullet, who knows something about how to stop the zombie plague, were going to drive the plot for the rest of the season when we first met them a few weeks ago, but no, no luck there either. They’ve disappeared. Better to spend 25 minutes watching Sasha and Bob argue over whether to continue on to Terminus or make camp in an abandoned town than find out something new and interesting about what’s going on globally. But at least Daryl almost kissed Beth, right? And now he’s on a mission to find her and her kidnapper, which should propel the story over the final three weeks. In theory.
Anyway. Rust Cohle is an atheist antihero for our times.