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My In-Depth Analysis of The Walking Dead Season One
(*Note: This article contains mature subject matter, some language, and my twisted sense of humor. Reader discretion is advised.*)
Virtually no one in my family and very few of my friends watched The Walking Dead on AMC. This has left me with no outlet as far as discussing my thoughts on the show. That was fine the first time around, but then recently I watched season one again and it just became too frustrating for me. I’m not really known for keeping my mouth shut and I have some things that I’d like to say about the show’s characters, their actions and motivations, the behavioral traits of the dead, etc. So with season 2 just around the corner I felt compelled to write this: my rant and ramblings of all my previously repressed thoughts, meant to be read and discussed by other fans that have seen season one. If that description doesn’t apply to you then I’m warning you now that this is literally filled with spoilers that will indubitably ruin it for you. So I say go right now and watch it- it’s only six freaking episodes- and then check back with me here when you’re done. That way this article will make a lot more sense and you’ll thank me for introducing you to your new favorite show. First of all let me clarify that I am discussing the TV series The Walking Dead- not the comic book series. That means I’m going with info given only in the show and in real life (physics, biology, etc.) If something is explained a certain way in the comic but not in the show, then I’m ignoring it. I also want to say that while I’m a big fan of both, due to some recently acquired memory problems I am no longer very familiar with the comics. So even if you did have an argument or counter-point to make based on an explanation in the books I have no way of debating my point of view, which makes bringing it up a pretty douchey thing to do. My other warning is that I spend way too much time thinking about all of this. I’m that superannoying fan arguing the improbabilities of the flight technology represented in Star Trek as though it was a Supreme Court case, only about zombies. I’ve come to accept this; you must accept it and move on, too. I figured I’d try and organize my thoughts into sections with titles- that way you can skip the stuff you aren’t interested in. The Lori-Shane Situation: I know a lot of people who think poorly of the actions of Lori: the wife who thought her husband was dead and promptly hooked up with his best friend, only to find out hubby is alive and kicking and now they all three are surviving together with this big, tense secret. How could she love her husband if she started sleeping with someone else- someone who was a friend of hers and her husband’s- right after she finds out he’s dead? Was she into him or maybe already having an affair with him all along and that’s why she was having marital troubles before all Hell broke loose? Or maybe she’s stopped loving Rick but feels obligated to stay with him because he’s her husband,
the father of their child, and fought so hard- not giving up on them- in order to get back to her and Carl? I can’t blame Lori one bit for what happened and I think to understand why you have to think about the situation from the point of view of a woman and even more so, the point of view of a mother. The world has changed and you literally have to fight to stay alive, your husband is dead so you’re grieving and in shock and alone, you have very little as far as means to defend yourself and you have your child to protect. Above all other priorities you must keep your son safe. So here comes this man who’s been a trusted friend- he helped you cope while your husband was in the hospital in a coma, he helped to take care of your son, and he cares about you. He also has a plan and the things that you desperately need: protection and a sense of safety/security. Of course you’re going to go with him and do what he tells you to do- you need him to help you protect & care for your son. Plus what other options do you really have? Even if she didn’t have the kid she would still need his protection- he’s a big guy with weapons who knows how to use them that she knows and trusts. How many lone female survivors do you find? Or female survivors period? If you come across any they always have a husband or are part of a group with a man (and I believe there are specific reasons for that but that will be discussed in another section.) So maybe she had to go with Shane, but that doesn’t mean she had to start sleeping with him! Unless it does… We don’t know exactly when Lori and Shane started being more than “friends” or how that relationship came about. Did holding her all the time to comfort her lead to a kiss which lead to other things? Or one day they just looked at each other things got physical seemingly at random, and so on. But because we don’t know these things we can’t say that it wasn’t more his idea than hers and she didn’t feel like she could say no, either out of fear that he might leave her and Carl, or out of guilt/obligation after everything he’d done for her. If they hadn’t found the other survivors when this part of the relationship started she could’ve been worried that if she didn’t keep him happy she might lose her protector and she needs him. Maybe their affair started out of fear and desperation. But let’s say that it didn’t and instead was just something that started up between the two of them. I still can’t blame her for it! The grief over her husband’s death that she’s experiencing is powerful and present, even though she’s not allowed to fully deal with or express it. They are essentially in a constant crisis situation where she never feels secure enough to process her feelings, and as a mother, she’s making sure she seems strong and “okay” for Carl, who she puts first and who is grieving over losing his dad. Still, she is feeling it and I can tell you from experience that grief like that will make you do some strange things in order to cope, and finding comfort in intimacy with someone who’s a trusted friend that makes you feel safe and cared for is not really all that strange. Sexual promiscuity is sometimes a behavior that pops up (no pun intended) in someone dealing with a great loss. Only it’s not like there are guys everywhere for her to be promiscuous with, so you work with what you got- ya know?
Or it could be simpler than that: Um, the world freaking ended! You’re Lori- you or your lover could die any day, you’re surrounded by death and loss and sadness, plus there’s no TV, internet, music, or books- what reason is there to not have sex?? Sex is life-affirming; it’s literally the mechanism to create life and it reminds you that you are alive. It’s an intimate connection between you and another person that comforts you by making you feel like you aren’t alone in the world, and it strengthens the bond between people, which is comforting as well. Plus sex (or more accurately orgasm) literally makes us feel safe, happy, and loved. The rush of chemicals released by the brain before, during, and immediately after sex include dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, phenylethylamine, and the neurohormones oxytocin and vasopressin- all of these, dopamine in particular, produce feel-good sensations. Serotonin lifts your mood and makes you feel more cheerful and optimistic, while dopamine triggers the release of endorphins (which have a similar structure to Morphine) that make you feel calm & euphoric and boosts confidence. Then the “love hormones” oxytocin and vasopressin promote bonding and generate feelings of affection and attachment- all feelings that, in her situation, are hard to come by (again no pun intended.) So now Lori is with Shane with everything going fine- and then dead husband Rick shows up all not-dead and everything goes to Hell. People In General: I’m not sure if any of you read it but I also wrote about the TV show Falling Skies on TNT based on what I learned about it from the panel of actors/writers at Wonder-con this past April. What I distinctly remember was the description of society after the aliens attacked and killed most of the human population. The idea was that when confronted with this larger threat, people pulled together to fight it and other issues- racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. became things of the past. None of that mattered when black humans were killed as indiscriminately as white, or Latino, or Middle Eastern by these evil invaders and it would take all of us helping and relying on each other in order to stay alive and fight back. My first thought: not effing likely! Hell, that BS was the most unrealistic thing I heard about a TV series with insect-like aliens working with killer robots to steal children after blowing up all of Earth’s major cities. Are these writers part of the same human race that I am?? Is there some other, more advanced humanity, hidden from the rest of the brutal masses where this unity is actually possible and I just don’t know about it? (If so that would be a bit upsetting since it would mean I’m not good enough for the “better” humanity.) I don’t know about everyone else’s but in my experience with people they tend to remain who they really are, no matter what the circumstances. Just because it’s the end of the world doesn’t mean that a racist prick is suddenly going to change his ways and stop being a racist prick. A guy who beats on his wife isn’t suddenly going to stop just because the world is in peril, and truly selfish people will remain selfish even if there are other people in need.
That was something I thought was wonderful in The Walking Dead- the characters Merle and Daryl Dixon (who are portrayed brilliantly by Michael Rooker and Norman Reedus) are excellent examples of the fact that people are whatever it is they truly are inside, and the end of the world isn’t going to change that. Now when I say that Daryl is an excellent example of that it’s because he is truly a good person inside, and now that he’s away from his brother and put in a situation where he’s forced to show his true character, people can look past the superficial “racist red-neck” persona and see that he’s a far better person than I think nearly everyone at camp gives him credit for. While this lawless world let’s Merle feel free to show the selfishness, ignorance, anger, cruelty, and complete lack of consideration for others that he has inside, this situation has Daryl showing aspects of his character like courage, integrity, responsibility, generosity, and loyalty. We know he isn’t really racist, otherwise he wouldn’t have any respect for the various survivors and he would never become friendly with Glenn, let alone risk his life for him. Think about growing up with Merle as your older brother- there’s going to be some negative effects, like sounding racist and dumb and knowing how to stew squirrel before the world came to an end and you were starving. I think it’s a miracle Daryl came out as well as he did! And I can defend/explain all the claims I made about his character, too. The easiest would have to be integrity and courage, proven by standing by Rick in his decision to face down Guillermo and fight for Glenn. He knew it was likely that he would end up dead after this confrontation. He also didn’t have to stay and fight. Why does he care if some Chinaman gets killed? Or Rick and T-Dog when the first cuffed his brother and (as far as we know) only family to a roof and the second dropped the key to those cuffs and then left him there!? Why wouldn’t he just walk away and head back to camp? Because standing with them was the right thing to do. In all the scenes from camp the only people who actually provided any food caught in the wild were Amy and Andrea after their fishing trip, and Daryl. I’m guessing he’s pretty much the only one that can do any hunting at all, and he certainly is the only one with a weapon that won’t bring walkers down on himself and the whole camp. So Daryl goes out into the woods, covers several miles in area, spends at least one night out there, and does all of it completely alone-all in order to bring back food to share with an entire camp full of people who can’t contribute any food themselves. Wouldn’t you find that a little frustrating? I’d consider that fairly generous. *As a side note, whenever you see the hard labor stuff- digging, pick-axeing heads, moving bodies, etc. it’s always the guys doing it! What are the women doing while all this is going on- ironing? In fact for the most part I’d say those people need Daryl a whole lot more than he needs any of them. What exactly does being at camp offer that he couldn’t provide for himself? Safety in numbers? He’d probably be better off alone as far as his odds of surviving go. Yet for some reason he stays with this group of people- fights for them, hunts for them, works for them- even after they caused the loss of his brother (which they were so sensitive about, too) and the majority of them either talk down to him or not at all. He’s loyal to these people who act like they’re better than him, probably because they think that they are better.
Daryl is one of the best people in that group as far as I’m concerned, not to mention one of the most interesting characters in the whole show. I’m really glad they created him and have kept him around so far Yes, I know he has a temper, but in regards to that I’m in agreement with Norman Reedus, the actor who plays Daryl Dixon, who thinks that he “just needs a hug.” As far as what I think about other survivors roaming around- I’d avoid them like the walkers because odds are they are just as monstrous and twice as dangerous. Call me cynical but I think the reason why a lot of people don’t break the law or do terrible things is because of the threat of punishment. Being afraid of getting caught committing a crime or some kind of morally reprehensible act because of the shame it would bring upon you and your loved ones, the “normal” life you built that it would ruin, and the legal ramifications that could result in you possibly going to prison, is what keeps many people in line. The complete loss of any kind of consequence for one’s actions removes the fear and frees people to do anything they want. Trust me when I say that there are far too many people in this world who should not be free to do whatever they want. Think of how many of you know people that you just know don’t experiment with drugs, pay for sex, drive recklessly or while drunk, or beat the crap out of some douche they can’t stand, simply because they can’t afford to get caught and arrested? I’d probably be really tempted to track down a few people and destroy some private property myself. But the point is getting caught is the only thing holding them back from doing these relatively harmless illegal acts. I doubt the people who manage to survive are the kinds who are only interested in harmless stuff. It takes a capacity for physical violence to stop a walker and a kind of mental detachment to endure all the horrors of that brave new world. I imagine many survivors cope by compartmentalizing and relying on the humanizing influence of other survivors. But there are plenty of those that don’t need or want that; people who enjoy violence and hurting others. Maybe before thy found other, legal outlets for their appetites, but now that there’s no one to stop them they’re free to commit whatever horrible acts they please. Think of pedophiles stealing people’s children during the confusion of a walker attack, serial rapists threatening women with blades covered with the blood of an infected, serial killers torturing people by cutting them and slowly lowering them into a sea of frenzied walkers, or just sick psychopaths who catch people and throw them in pits with a walker and something like a sharpened stick to fight it off with like the pit of the freaking Rancor! That’s totally how it would be and you know it. I said there’s a reason why you don’t see many female survivors traveling alone or only with a child or another female- you see them with husbands, friends, men they felt they could trust (like Dale.) I would guess the reason for that would be because second to guns and food, women would be the most highly rare and therefore valuable commodity. Like I said earlier about Lori with Shane when any day could be your last it changes your perspective on the choices you make. Now what man wants to live out the last of his days knowing that he will never have sex again? Or that
the last person he was with, though he didn’t know it at the time, was the last person he will ever be with? If you’re a beautiful woman alone in the world you better have some serious weapons and fighting skills, otherwise you’re just fresh meat for the taking (and I’m not talking about the walkers.) Yeah…ime for a subject change! Activity At Camp: So this is the part where I wonder how people back at camp spend their time, what the Hell they are thinking, and why I have such a problem with it because I think it’s stupid. Problem 1) Do I actually see a woman ironing clothes? Strait up on an ironing board working out wrinkles in peoples clothes? I don’t even iron my clothes now and you can be sure I wouldn’t be worried about ironing if the dead got up and started eating people! How about instead you cut the cord off of it and put that iron in a pillow case or sack so that the next time a walker shows up you can knock is f*%$ing head off! Also, did anyone else find it odd that Carol totally klepto’ed a grenade?? It’s like “Oh here- you had this grenade on you when you got to camp and so I took it and kept it in my purse after I went into your tent and got your clothes. I thought that would be better than giving it back to you.” So random! Problem 2) what’s with all these bitches who just run around screaming and panicking with no weapon at all when walkers show up?? First, all of them should at least learn how to use the different guns. I know they can’t exactly practice shooting but they could be familiar with all of them and how they work, how to re-load them, what the kickback is like, how close they should be before they try to use them, etc. I think it’s a huge dereliction of duty on both Shane and Rick’s part that both are law enforcement officers and neither one bothered to take the time to say to the whole camp “Look- you need to at least be familiar with guns and know some self defense strategies so that you can protect yourselves if you have to. Here’s what you should do…” And you would think both of them would want Lori to be armed and know how to handle herself just in case they aren’t there to save her! The same notion applies to teaching the kids the basics of using the guns. If it gets knocked out of your hand and lands in front of your kid while there’s a walker bearing down on him, wouldn’t you want him to know to pick up the damn thing and save his own life rather than scream and stand there and get eaten?? I’m not saying teach the little ones to be trained killers; I’m just saying that if it were me and my kid I’d want him to know what to do with a weapon so that if it came down to it he could use it if he had to. And I would be damn sure that I knew what to do with one so that I can do everything possible in order to prevent that kind of situation from ever coming up! Second, there is no excuse for anyone at camp walking around unarmed, ever. You should always have a weapon with you, just in case, and everyone should know how to use them. Now I know there aren’t enough guns and that knives would do you little good unless it’s the size of a machete, but when that one walker showed up to munch on Daryl’s deer a whole bunch of men-folk showed up with axes and shovels and pickaxes and other objects for striking and beat the
thing to the ground. Shovels and axes made for decent weapons- so would a bat or club or lance. And what are these things usually made of? That’s right! They’re made of wood. And where are the survivors camped out? Right next to a freaking forest!! With trees!! Trees made of wood!! Did none of them put this together and think that maybe they ought to have something to do when they’re attacked other than scream and die? Problem 3) Cans on strings. That’s their big safety measure; cans on strings to rattle as an early warning system in case of walkers coming at them from the woods. I’m no military expert, I wasn’t even a boy scout, but even I can think of a few things I’d do to try and be a little more secure. Like make sure the ground surrounding the camp & extending outward was covered with crisp, dry leaves and twigs so that walking on it, let alone doing the zombie-shuffle, was good and noisy. How about digging a trench? It won’t stop them but it may slow them down. Or you could fill that with some duff so you’d hear the stomping around. It’s not like you have much else to do but make weapons and try to think of these things since apparently Daryl is the only one hunting. You’d also think someone would be on watch at all times, especially at night, so that you don’t get caught unawares while obliviously talking and drinking beers around the fire. Individual Survival Techniques: There’s plenty I see that could be done in order for someone to be more “survival ready”, by which I mean better prepared to hide, fight, fortify, or flee. Example 1: when everyone was all focused on Jim dying a run had to be made to a nearby gas station because the motor-home thing had broken down. They were somewhat in the middle of nowhere so I would think it’s less likely that gas station was looted like the stores in the cities, and obviously it ended up having the part they needed since they were able to move along. My point is that gas stations usually have a little building with the register and such, which usually has items for sale that travelers need. Why didn’t they take every single thing they could from that gas station?? If you have a vehicle what’s the problem? I’d have taken things like oil, coolant, filters, rope, batteries, jumper cables, tools; anything car-maintenance related. Then I’d go for anything edible/drinkable- hopefully some Powerbars and Gatorade or somethingand gum. (Chewing gum stimulates your salivary glands and keeps your mouth moist which makes you feel less thirsty. Plus I’m sure everyone’s breath could stand to be fresher.) Next would be anything first-aid or hygiene related, check for lighters/lighter fluid, matchbooks, any alcohol or smoking products- particularly cigars since smell is one way they find you, and make sure there isn’t a gun behind the counter. Every chance I had to search places and take things that could possibly be useful I’d be all over. I would be the biggest hoarder of random shit & the freaking MacGyver of The Walking Dead universe. Example 2: Why is it you see nearly all the men in pants and closed-toe shoes and the women in things like shorts and dresses and little strappy sandals? Because men on tv don’t look nearly as sexy in shorts and it’s really hard to take them seriously while they’re strutting around on hairy chicken legs. But if that was a real situation I’d be in pants and boots no matter how hot it was or how smelly and not-sexy it made me. I say the less skin you have just out there with nothing
protecting it, the better. Boots are a must because they come up over your ankle and are tough to bite through but good to stomp with. If you’re going hiking and know there are rattlesnakes in the area do you wear sandals or something because you want your feet to be cool and comfortable? Hell no! You wear something that protects your foot and ankle because that’s what’s most vulnerable to a snake bite. I’d want some nice steel-toe boots that could really do some damage if needed. Plus I don’t want to worry about my shoe’s durability if I’m going to axe-kick some walker through the head (which I’ll totally do.) So this would be some of my own gear/ensemble in TWD world if I had my wayI’d probably carry a backpack- one of those single strap across the chest ones, plus what would be a super-dorky fanny pack if it wasn’t filled with things like a lighters and matches, gloves, a squirt bottle of kerosene, pliers, and firecrackers- that sort of thing. In the backpack would be bigger items like duct tape, crowbar, towel, first aid kit, rope, canteen, machete, etc. I’d also have a bunch of stuff clipped to my belt, like a couple of knives and extra clips of ammo, etc. I’d wear an adjustable horizontal muzzle-up double shoulder holster since those tend to work best for a wearer that actually has boobs. Then probably one of those upside-down holster at the small of my backlike a Gould and Goodrich Gold Line, and another on my left hip, probably a belt holster but the kind with the spring, not the strap. These hold all different kinds and sizes of guns but I’d say ideally I’d want nothing smaller than a .38. I’d also want a 12 gauge shotgun that I’d find a way to saw off for portability reasons, though I’m pretty sure the kick on that sucker would dislocate my freaking arm! I’d also plan to somehow acquire a katana (You know- the Japanese sword. Think Kill Bill.) That would be a highly effective and efficient weapon once you knew how to use it properly. It’s excellent for dismemberment while utterly silent. This would have to be kept at my side, though, since I’d be wearing a pair of steel arrows on my back. I’m thinking they’d be rigged somehow to my bra straps or the holster but with the dull end sticking up slightly so they could be drawn and thrust with in a manner similar to a rapier. These would of course be for emergency stabbings to the head. I feel like one can never have enough things you can use to stab people in the head with. Hidden on me would be a knife in each boot and an asp in one. I’d tie or tape one of those really thin slide-type box cutters to the inside of my leg so that I could get to it from a hole in my pocket, and create some innocuous-looking jewelry with small compartments to put shit in. I don’t know exactly what I’d put in them at this particular moment, but I’d still have them. Maybe to keep an emergency cyanide capsule in so that I could avoid death by blunt human teeth? Or to put in someone’s drink should they piss me off? I’m sure I could think of something. I’d look for things that would be good to have, like eye protection/sunglasses, small vials of perfume or other strong-smelling stuff, those safety keychain things where you pull out the pin and it makes a really loud alarm sound, plastic bags of all sizes and large garbage bags, flares, one of those multi-tool like, 10 tools in one thingys, peroxide, acetone, plus any and all kinds of medicine. I’d make a point to stop and raid every pharmacy I came across; everything in the back as far as prescriptions and everything on the shelves. Grab first and sort it out later, then get rid of the packaging and have everything condensed down to the smallest bottles/containers possible. When
there are no doctors and a simple infection (not a walker-bite infection but just a cut-on-your-armthat-isn’t-taken-care-of kind of infection) could end up killing you, I say the more medical options and items for “just in case” types of scenarios the better! Another place I’d make a point to raid every time I came across one would be sporting goods stores, but more importantly, REI type camping/hiking stores. Not only are they likely to have weapons and all kinds of knives, but also things like dehydrated foods & energy chews/gels/pills/tablets to give you vitamins and nutrients along with canteens and water treatments with large water storage units. Not to mention portable stoves and ovens binoculars/night-vision binoculars, blade sharpeners, polarized sunglasses/goggles, all kinds of portable tools, flashlights/lanterns/glow sticks and led lights, batteries, solar chargers and an array of solar powered items. I’d pick up some camping furniture you can pack and unpack for comfort like hammocks & cots, shelters, chairs, stools, tables, tarps, insect nets, sleeping pads and pillows. Make sure to get some flint, waterproof matches, sunscreen and insect repellants, water-less shampoo/wipes/shaving creams, waterless toothpaste, quick-dry towels, camping showers, clothing specifically designed for travel or activity, thermal blankets and warmers, and they have some really nicely packed survival and first aid kits you can just snatch if you’re in a hurry, and on and on…so yeah, an outdoor activity supply place would basically be a goldmine. Yet here are our survivors, stuck in a Department store they went to in order to get “supplies”, and the only person who took anything was Andrea and it was a stupid fugly mermaid necklace! Even then she was all reluctant to do it because there was a “cop standing right there” and actually asked if it was considered looting. Um, if 99% of the world is dead whose goods exactly are you pillaging? Even if it is looting- who freaking cares?! Like I said, I’d be looking for and grabbing anything and everything that could be useful because who knows when they’ll have another chance to get things like socks, shoes, undershirts, bras, clothing, and underwear? Or clothes for the kids, Carl in particular, who will soon outgrow the stuff they have on now (hopefully since that would mean they live long enough to get bigger.) Maybe the others took some stuff and we just didn’t see it. Maybe that’s what was in everyone’s bags. Still, I’d have a Hell of a lot more stuff than just a few backpack sized bags! I bet that store had a Home and Garden section with some pretty nice tools- not to mention cookware. What about the Sporting Goods section? It’s the South (I live in CA so to me everything in that area is the South, ok?) so there might still be guns & amo left, or things like Daryl’s crossbow and extra arrows. There could be some of the camping/backpacking stuff I listed, and at the very least there should be baseball bats and hockey sticks- and helmets could be good since some have clear plastic face guards. Weren’t they using bats to beat down the walkers outside the door when Glenn rescued Rick? Why didn’t they take those? And those full on body suit things and thick rubber gloves used in the episode “Guts” would certainly have been useful when moving/disposing of bodies. Why didn’t anyone snatch some of those to take? Epic Fail survivors. Walkers- Non-Zombie Zombies: I know that at some point I’m going to forget to say “geek” or “walker” and just say “zombie” so I figure I’ll just call a spade a spade and you all can deal with it. So I have some issues with the abilities of these zombie people and certain specifics that were given as well as demonstrated at the CDC with Test Subject 19 about what happens during their re-
animation. First lets bypass all the make-believe technology and pretend that it actually does show real brain activity and all of that- kamikaze doctor guy illustrates that the area of the brain that holds all of your memories and thoughts and “everything you ever were” goes dark during death and doesn’t reactivate when the virus turns you into a walker. If that’s true then why does the mom in the first episode keep returning to that same house where her husband and son are holed up and trying to get inside? We’re told she died there and later when the boy Dwayne saw her he said “she’s here” but not like he was shocked; more like he was dreading it and then it happened. Obviously from his reaction she’s come back before, and she seems to be the only walker who goes up to the door of a dark, quiet house and tries to stroll in the front door. This seems like the behavior of a creature who recognizes something familiar, which isn’t supposed to be possible. They seem to be more intelligent than they should be with only an active brain stem, possessing problem-solving skills and the ability to mimic human behavior, as well. For instance, when they began climbing up the ladder from the street in order to pursue Rick and Glenn they were using logic and mimicking Rick and Glenn’s actions in order to solve a problem: how to get to the food. An even more impressive example is the one walker who was hitting the glass doors of the department store with a large rock in his hands while the others used only their bare hands and fists. They want inside and to get there the glass has to break and the rock is more effective for that than a bare fist. This not only shows a logical chain of thoughts reaching a conclusion, but also that he understands the benefits of the use of tools. Granted it’s a rock and he’s hitting a door with it, but even so he shouldn’t be able to do any of that at all if he’s just a “mindless shell.” Also; why aren’t the zombies super-strong? A human being can like, lift cars and shit when in fight-or-flight mode so they don’t feel pain and have no restraint. Afterwards their muscles and tendons are all torn up and they have to recover, which is why these types of acts are brief and in intense emergency situations. But you can see that the human body, when using all it’s force, can do some serious damage. Walkers, being dead, don’t feel pain and aren’t concerned with pulling a muscle or destroying their joints. In fact the area of the brain that prevents us from destroying ourselves that way is supposedly no longer active in them. They have no restraint when it comes to gorging themselves; so why wouldn’t they just automatically use their human body’s full strength in everything? They should be literally tearing people limb from limb. A dead teenage girl should be able to take down a linebacker. However, instead of this logical conclusion about what would be regular human abilities, we are given the completely illogical and inexplicable “Zombies Have Super-Smelling Powers” fact that we are supposed to just accept and then not think about too much. Well that doesn’t work for me. As I said, I think about everything too much. You’re telling me that walkers can sniff out a living person over the scent of not just their own decay but also that of hundreds of other dead bodies? One of the most potent and distinctive smells
extant and with scent molecules that attach and cling to freaking everything so that it’s also one of the most difficult smells to remove/over-power, yet walkers can follow their nose and find the 1 or 2 living people in the crowd of corpses?? So this virus also transforms you that when you rise you have super-smelling abilities; even though the part of your brain that understands smells is supposedly not active according to TS-19. This must be why it was so easy the dead-people smell to wash off of Glenn and Rick, who despite having feet and ribcages and intestines hanging off of their chunky, sloppy guts outfits and the fact that one of them was wearing a hat, returned to smelling like regular living folk after being hit with a full blast from a fireman’s hose. No wait; it after the tiniest bit of rain started coming down on them, not a fireman’s hose! So silly of me to get that part all confused! And are there no former-smoker zombies? Smoking will dull your sense of smell over time and we all know the stats on the number of Americans who smoke. So where are the walking dead smokers with their crappy senses of smell, wandering off in the opposite direction of the rest of the zombie hoard?? It doesn’t seem fair to me that the people who took good care of their bodies in life are just as effective as the people who smoked and drank and didn’t do anything to care for themselves, now that both types of people are living-dead monstrosities. Then there’s a whole separate level of questions for those of us who wonder about walker physiology. Like what happens to walkers who don’t eat. Will they starve to “death” at some point? Is that what happened to the ones that are more shriveled and dried out looking? And if so, would they plump back up if they got to eat? Digestion couldn’t even possible with no bodily functions and without an active medulla oblongata. So wouldn’t meat just sit in the stomach- or if they were gorging themselves- just fill the stomach until it literally burst since they don’t have that part of the brain that tells us to stop eating when we are full? Even if they could somehow digest the food they still can’t get any real nutrition from eating, just like they can’t get any real oxygen from breathing, because that requires a beating heart to circulate blood to all the different organs in order to deliver said nutrients and gasses. That would mean the brain would be starving, even with the infection keeping part of it active, and it would rot away- including the brain stem. Is that when the walkers “die”? Doesn’t that mean that all of them have a limited span before their brains turn to mush and they stop walking around? Maybe it takes a really long time but isn’t that what would eventually happen unless the disease was somehow also helping to preserve the remaining active part of the brain? Let’s try another question- Why do the walkers breathe? Personally, I think it’s similar to the explanation given in several books I’ve read about why vampires breathe. Both creatures are animated dead bodies with no heartbeat, yet are ambulatory and crave sustenance. The human body has to draw in breath in order to speak or make sounds, as well as smell the environment. Walkers and vampires do both, though with vampires it’s more of a conscience decision because they have the brain function to understand and control it while the
walkers do it automatically out of habit and because its an autonomic function (like swallowing) controlled by the brain stem, which is supposed to be active in walkers. Though here is where I rain all over everyone’s make-believe parade with my obnoxious education and stupid factsWalkers couldn’t possibly do all that they can do with only an active brain stem. As nice as it was to have an scientific-sounding explanation and a cool looking visual of that black brain with red sparks, Dr. Jenner doesn’t know what he’s talking about. (No wonder he didn’t make any progress towards a cure- the guys a freaking moron!) Certain functions: sight, smell, motion, balance, etc. require other parts of the brain than just the stem. For instance, the fact that noise attracts them, their ability to see and recognize what they’re seeing, their ability to move voluntarily and control those movements, and the all-important walker super-sense of smell all require the use of different and specific parts of the cerebral cortex. So while it is true that the brain stem controls the most basic of functions, walkers would need more than that just to stand up and do the zombie-shuffle. Sorry people. Walking Dead Animals: So are animals just like, immune to the whole walking dead infection thing? Because I’ve seen crows picking at the bodies of the dead and they seem ok. I suppose you could say that 10 minutes after that the crow drops dead but then there wouldn’t be very many birds or rats or other critters left if eating the infected killed them. And if that’s true and it is deadly to them, where is the line drawn? Do flies die after they land on an infected? Because the first thing a fly does when it lands is spew out digestive juices and then start sucking them back up along with everything they managed to melt down, ie: the flesh or blood of the infected. What about things like worms and beetles and other soil-dwellers who will help with the decomposition of the bodies that were infected but then put down or pick-axed in the head? If a walker fell into the water at the quarry would it and everything in that area become toxic? And what about the larger mammals- are they immune or could they rise too? Did the deer Daryl tracked which was killed by a walker suddenly wake up and run off into the woods craving the flesh of other deer while everyone was distracted by all the squirrel-tossing and illegal choke-holding going on after Rick explained what became of the charming Merle Dixon?? Are there zombie dogs like in Resident Evil or cats like in Pet Semetary?? I’m sure most of them just ended up getting eaten, or maybe the virus just kills them dead with no brain re-activation. At least you wouldn’t have to worry about roaming packs of walker dogs or fighting off a zombie Grizzly Bear- though that would be ridiculously awesome to see!! If any animal should come back as a walker it should be that horse from the first episode that Rick rode into town on. He totally lied to that horse; tempting him with stories of salvation and other horses for company in order to lure him away from home where there was a nice field with grass & shade and he could roam around unbridled and free. In reality Rick was just using him and instead of a sanctuary he led that poor trusting animal directly to his horrible and gruesome death!
A death where, if you watch closely, all kinds of flesh ripping and grabbing goes on but there’s no actual biting/eating/chewing! You see one shot of one walker gnawing on a piece of something bloody and the rest is a feeding frenzy without any “actual” eating. What’s with these extras?! I mean, come on! If I was in there I’d be chewing and ripping all over the place with pieces falling out of my mouth and spilling down my jaw until even the camera people started to get nauseated! In the original Night of the Living Dead Romero’s budget was so limited that they had to use cast-off meat from a butcher shop to simulate people’s insides. Those actors ripped and tore into actual warm, smelly, rotting animal flesh for realism and these fools can’t even chew on some fake rubber intestines for a few takes?? Weak-sauce. Random Thoughts: How would you like to be the guy who was too lazy to put a new roll of toilet paper on the handle thingy inside the RV, making Amy’s death all your fault? If you had just replaced it she would’ve been able to do her business; no problem. That way when the walkers attacked camp she would be safely inside the RV. Instead she had to open the door to ask if they were completely out of TP, which was when a walker popped out of nowhere and took a chunk out of her arm. So because some fool didn’t replace the empty TP with a new one, Amy is dead and Andrea is a mental case. There’s a lesson in there for all of you super-annoying people who don’t replace the rolls; your selfishness will kill someone!! Where exactly did Ed get all his cigarettes and why was he the only one you ever saw smoking? You know the statistics so odds are at least one other person is a smoker in that group. And if that’s the case they’d know Ed was hoarding smokes and they’d shank him just to get one. Yet all you ever saw was Ed. Only the “bad-guys” in TV and movies can be seen smoking anyway. Well bad guys and Europeans. But on a related note- even more difficult to find after the world ends than cigarettes I’d imagine, how did Merle manage to be high on (what I’m guessing is Meth since that’s most common for guys that have served time in prison) and to have a stash of more? Did he and Daryl raid the local drug-dealer’s house and take everything they could find? Is Merle a dealer who just kept everything he had and left? He doesn’t seem like he’d be smart enough to run his own Meth lab, but Daryl does. Daryl isn’t on drugs, though, so maybe he just makes them/sells them and is sort of willfully blind to the fact that Merle samples their product more often than he should. When is a giant clock with red numbers counting down ever a sign of imminent safety?? In fact, when is a countdown ever really a good thing outside of New Year’s Eve or a Space Shuttle launch?? Did you think something fun was going to happen when the clock reached zero at the CDC? That’s something I would have noticed and asked about right away. And I don’t mean I’d wait and ask Jenner like Dale did; I’d ask the building computer thing Vi to get a strait answer. And did none of these people take bio-chem in school?? How does no one know what a “building decontamination” is?! If that were me I’da cleaned out the place then grenade-ed through the window way before anyone could lock me down with rocket-resistant doors!
Then Jenner had to be a first-class douche all the way to the end, telling Rick that there will come a time when he won’t be grateful to him for letting them all out of the building, whispering something to him as a final parting gift. I know there has been much speculation about what Rick was told and that everyone has their own theory. Here is mine: He told Rick that Lori is pregnant. I think he told him how many weeks along she is, and possibly who the father is too. All of that is info that you can find out through testing someone’s blood and the good doctor had everyone’s. This could be the kind of info that Jenner might consider something that would make Rick regret not staying and dying not only because it reveals his wife’s infidelity, but also because being pregnant/having a newborn in this world has got to be the worst situation EVER. When your preggers you’re so vulnerable and unable to really run or fight in your last few months. Then having a baby; how are you supposed to hide with a baby?? It’s not like you can explain to it not to cry because it’ll attract walkers! You’d probably end up like that poor woman in The Pianist crying “Why did I do it?! Why did I do it?!” over and over after she accidentally smothered her own baby to keep him quiet while trying to hide from the Nazis. Plus if the worst happened and you ended up seeing and hearing your baby being eaten…there’s no coming back from that shit. No one sees that and survives. Not mentally. So if it’s true and that’s what he whispers to Rick- that Lori is knocked up- I just want to say that I totally called it and I’m awesome. And if it turns out that’s not the case well, then I didn’t call it and I’m just naturally awesome for other reasons. Does becoming a survivor automatically make you an excellent shot with any kind of weapon the way becoming a walker turns you into the equivalent of an un-dead human bloodhound? Because Glenn ran into camp during the attack and began popping off shots into the heads of walkers with one arm and without using the gun’s sight as easily as a teenage boy pops the zits on his chest! Didn’t he say he was a pizza guy before this? Do you people understand how difficult it is to get a head-shot on a moving target - even a slow-moving one- with a pistol at any real distance without any kind of stance or taking the time to seriously aim? That answer would be “pretty damn.” My theory is that Glenn must be a freaking rock star at all FPS games and that’s why he’s able to do what he does. Which just goes to show that playing videogames is a good thing; it could even end up saving lives. That should be an advertisement: “In case of a zombie apocalypse make sure you and your loved ones are prepared- by playing lots, and lots of First Person Shooters on our video game console! The game you play today could save your life tomorrow.” Sadly I could see Xbox doing something like that. Damn it all! I have so much more I want to discuss! Plus now that season 2 premiers this Sunday October 16th at 9pm I’m just going to end up with that much more to pontificate upon. Maybe I should just do this semi-regularly? Or I could start watching that new show that’ll be on afterwards- The Talking Dead. I’m told it’s all about fans and their questions/board posts/discussions/tweets and stuff relating to The Walking Dead. Or I could do both- that way I
could talk about the show and the talk-show and share what I think of that, too! How awesome would that be for all of you, eh?? So I guess for now this will have to do. Sunday is just a few days away and I need to start getting myself psychologically ready. Plus I need to make a zombie costume to wear to the Premier Party at my friends’ Megan and Scott’s house. Fortunately I’m the kind of person who always has spirit gum, latex wounds, face putty, fake blood, and random severed body parts on hand. I’m the biggest hoarder of random shit and the MacGyver of all craft projects. Neither White Meat Nor Dark Meat, -Dianthrax
Photo Sources: http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-dead and http://www.yfrog.com/user/wwwbigbaldhead/photos
**this part not included in the article- added to the photos** Captions and Individual photo link urls for yfrog: http://www.yfrog.com/kh9cybyj “Shhh! We’re hunting wabbits!” http://www.yfrog.com/kkg0uxhj Daryl on horseback taking aim with his invisible crossbow. http://www.yfrog.com/gzjneqvj Trekking through the woods. http://www.yfrog.com/kk8e8dpj Arts-y look at Norman Reedus through the windshield of Dale’s RV. http://www.yfrog.com/kj82963825j The hound is the secret for successfully tracking wild squirrel. http://www.yfrog.com/ke2rfmj Blondes do NOT have more fun while the bleach is being put on. http://www.yfrog.com/kfhhonxj Yummy pizza and an even yummier Steven Yuen. http://www.yfrog.com/khrzxzcj
I’m not even 100% sure this is in character; it just looked kinda red-necky to me. http://www.yfrog.com/hsyw8lxj I seriously think he’s going to eat the deer. http://www.yfrog.com/gyz71xmuj “Thudk! I got you! That was the sound of the arrow going into your head! You’re dead now. I got you.” http://www.yfrog.com/klthdrgj I think he’s going to eat the deer… http://www.yfrog.com/h05fyokj Awesome B&W Cast photo #1 http://www.yfrog.com/h0e2epwyj Awesome B&W Cast photo #2 http://www.yfrog.com/gy968wvj Zombie Head = Sexy http://www.yfrog.com/kjvf1irj Where does Jon Bernthal’s hair go when it’s not on The Walking Dead?!? (photo names match last 5 letters/numbers before j)