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Well, I hope everyone out there in tv land likes Beth! They all really do, I bet. And maintaining that illusion, as well as my bloodpressure, is one of the reasons I continue to avoid any and all TWD chatter whatsoever out there on the internet. (Ahhh, sweet tranquility.) My own insta-reaction to this episode was to send the flailing!Kermit gif to im_ridiculous, which, I find, continues to sum up my enthusiasm perfectly. I shall try to be more coherent (or at least verbal) than that in this review, but honestly there are no real guarantees beyond WABARBLGARBL THEMES! BETH! WHEEE SHOW!

Wider season/series perspective:
If we don't get some version of Sheriff Rick riding back into Atlanta, I'm gonna a) be so sad and b) eat Carl's hat. (I probably won't do either. If they don't do that they'll probably give us something seriously awesome that'll make me just as happy, not sad. And I don't even have Carl's hat.) In the meantime, I'll just splash around happily in S1 echoes. Splash! Splash! Wheee!

I don't know how popular it is generally out there (maybe even as popular as Beth!), but I love getting to spend time with other groups analogous to Rick's, to see all the other ways our group – one loss here, one not-loss there – very easily might have gone. This is the first time we've seen a group in the aftermath of losing its Rick-analogue, how that might develop. (I don't love The Governor quiiite as much as the writers clearly do, but I can understand why they spent so much time with him – it really does seem that he's going to be the closest analogue, and therefore sharpest foil, to Rick that we're likely to get. Y'gotta let that breathe.) The richness of perspective we get on Rick, and his group, is (in my oh-so-humble opinion) balanced exactly right through these little excursions further afield into the varied responses of human nature to the total loss of civilised constraints brought about by the apocalypse. Whether it's as in-passing as Joe Jr's note asking someone to put down Joe Sr for him because he couldn't – and the corresponding note on the car Abraham found asking that the walker of someone's mother inside be let be – or as stark as the "rich bitch" and lynching in the country club (corresponding "doll play" compassion in the funeral home), or the several-episode exploration of a man with strength of purpose, aptitude for leadership, and tenacity of life comparable to Rick's, I find the mini-stories of humanity the show parallels and plays out completely fascinating.

And Grady Memorial might just be my favourite yet. Even apart from the likelihood that it's going to give us the chance to check back in on what Rick, at this stage of his journey, can and cannot bring himself to do – with S1 Merle, Rick told Shane that it didn't matter what kind of person Merle was, Rick couldn't live with leaving him to die like an animal in a trap, and thus rode (okay, drove) back into Atlanta to set him free. Do I honestly think the show isn't going to hook-or-crook the much-needed Officer Friendly back to Atlanta? No. But seeing why, and how, he and the others decide to do the what is the whole reason that I'm here (and that this show fills my heart with bright joy and dark glee).

Review and reassessment:
But first, a bit of more in-depth review and reassessment. There's a reason I'm tagging these as "episode tracking" rather than "episode reviews"; what I'm really interested in, doing these, is working through the evolving process of listening/*reading the signs*, and recalibrating that in light of new input (ahem, Governor), not so much writing a series of "the episode was this-and-so!" So if you're not interested in that process, you can probably skip this section.

Another reason I'm avoiding anything TWD out there is, obviously, spoilers. Normally I don't mind watching stuff spoiled, but this is largely an exercise in what can be read/followed by what the show alone is offering us, and having clues about where the trail is headed ahead of time is majorly cheating. However, it also means I miss out on the wider conversation of how other people "hear" what the show has attempted to say, and that's a major drawback.¹ Not wanting a repeat of the sleep-punning incident, and having quite a lot else going on this last week, I pretty much wrote the previous review and left any re-examination at the door, which is often where DERP will tend to kick in. It was discussion that smacked me in the face with some assumptions I was making about what the show was doing, and made me realise I was beginning to derp myself off track. At the end of 5.03, I assumed Daryl was coming back to get the cavalry to go rescue Beth. I've done a complete 180 on that; I'm about 97% sure Beth is already rescued (although I'm muuuuuch less certain on Carol's status). So let's review what happened there:

— I tend to give barely any weight to cliffhangers. Being a compulsive binger rather than week-by-weeker minimizes cliffhangers anyway – sure, I enjoy finding out what happens next, but it's actually more about momentum, in that the investment of mental and emotional energy in watching something worthwhile can sometimes be hard to work myself up to (I don't always have a lot to spare), so when it's going, I don't like to stop-start and waste it – but even so, being left on a good cliffhanger tends to just make me Fonzie!two-thumbs-up and go back to pulling apart the storytelling substance that came before it. If I feel I'm in good storytelling hands, I trust what they'll do next; if I don't, I don't care what they'll do next. The obsession level for what it actually turns out to be is not, shall we say, high. So, with Daryl showing up at the end (or Carol, in this one), my reaction was oh, cool, Daryl, thing, person probs? NOW BOB, WHERE WERE WE. And I didn't think about it any further. However, that's not how storytellers use cliffhangers in the weight/rhythm of their story; they're supposed to cue people to worry and worry away at where it might be leading, what it means, what's going to happen next?! Even though that's unlikely to ever be my reaction, they are deployed to flag and direct attention to particular things, and I need to remember to check that blindspot, because my first (under-)reactions to them tend to be way off.² *pins cliffhangers somewhere higher up*

— Even without knowing *Atlanta* was back on the table, I'd failed to stop and reassess how the survival/humanity dilemmas had shifted with the split of the group and Abraham and Rick's leadership. I was assuming the choice between the uncertainties of rescuing Beth (Atlanta!) and DC (rescuing the world) would be the concerns Rick needed to wrestle with in his position of what to commit his people to – while Abraham was still trying to *herd* everyone along his *mission* *path* (man do these writers like their wordplay, wow). I also hadn't quite come up to speed with how hard everyone had levelled up; intellectually, yes, but less so on how I emotionally registered the relative enormity of their challenges. I hadn't stopped to think about factors like Carol and Daryl could handle a rescue on their own (or that Carol, revving hot as she is now – unable to not push forward on the path/job – wouldn't wait for cavalry, even in the highly unlikely event that Daryl would), let alone whether anyone in Rick's group would choose the uncertain prospect of DC – and even the whole world – over the certainty of Beth, nor let any consideration of risk keep them away. And, because I was still assuming the locus of rescuing Beth was with Rick, I somehow completely missed the higher relevance of the likelihood of Abraham knowing about the Grady Memorial group and not telling anyone about Beth to Maggie, who's now following him to DC. *DERP-facepalms* *rearranges a bunch of pins*

Digging into the nitty gritty:
Woooo time motif! Kicking things right off with clock close-up! I mean, we as viewers know that Grady Memorial's time is limited, but still – and nice to link back to the clock in the country club, too (making the focus on the watch Hershel gave Glenn along with his blessing for him and Maggie even more pointed, and putting more question marks against Carol returning Rick's watch/refusing hers back, if they're doing things like that), from emotional reconnection with Daryl, to now literal reconnection to him (yes, this is an assumption I am making). Its quiet on-going ticking in her ward was nicely done, plus, when Dr Steve is patching up Beth's cheek stitches in there after Dawn slaps her, we see on the wall behind him is a cheery, bizarre little drawn sign saying GET WELL SOON! picturing a clockface where all the numerals are replaced with "NOW" (what up, Hershel!). Then there's the focus on Dr Steve's watch when he's cheese-cuttering Joan's bit arm off.

The water motif was going strong, too: Noah (oho rly, show) mopping as Beth helps Dr Steve wheel away the warm body of the man that Dawn "called"; Beth mopping after the amputation in Joan's room and their talk; the sink/tub/restroom door in Beth's ward featured in the lollipop scene and Gorman's challenge of Dr Steve's monopoly position as their only doctor; Dr Steve used to be drowning in research but now the oceans are dry, and art has no place in survival but Beth still sings; finally culminating in the water in the intravenous solution with which he kills Dr Trevitt by Beth-proxy. It's easy to make a deal with the devil when you're not the one paying the price.

And whooo nelly, the injuries motif. Noah's leg was messed up (and re-messed up!) but he's still able/determined to go forward on it (all the way to the end of their escape path!). Plus he takes the beating for Beth from Gorman and Dawn, bruising him around his left eye – but, look, it doesn't even hurt and no swelling/obscuring of his vision; likewise, when Beth takes the beating at the end from Dawn after offering up her life to save another's and setting up a rapist to get his throat torn out, bruising but not swelling her right eye (what up, Daryl! – also, if we wanted to get super pedantic and over-connect (if? haha have we met me?), the cut on her left cheek where we might presume Gorman clobbered her when he abducted her (and pretended he'd saved her from the walkers she was surrounded by/fighting), say hi to the cut on Daryl's cheek from when Merle clobbered him in their real-hitting pretend-fight to try to save their lives in the walker ring). Beth gets blood on her hands (knuckles) on the white bandage (cast) of her right hand (what up, Rick!) from having held Joan down and helped keep her alive (and trapped) – and she uses that same right/strong hand to wield a(n officer's!) gun to clear a path to living freedom for weaker-than-her Noah, even at her own expense. (Taken altogether, what up, shouldering responsibility/price for self and own actions!)

And then, oh, and then. I actually had assumed that Beth's (left) wristcutting attempt was along the vein, as any good medical practitioner's daughter would know to do if she was really serious about it – which I think she both was and wasn't (I certainly don't think it was just for attention, Daryl, you ass), but I went back and checked and she's got her hand clamped over it, so we never actually see (and she's worn covering bracelets since). But a horizontal scar makes the parallels with Joan, and taking off a limb to escape a trap (what up, Merle! btw I have not got sick of seeing you pop back up yet), even starker. First Joan tries to escape by having a walker chew on her right arm, and it's taken off to keep her alive/in the trap that she feels death is the only escape from, until she can open up the bandaged veins in Dawn's office and, it seems, hopefully spring her walker "FUCK YOU" corpse trap on her (even better, Joan, your walker munched Gorman's neck right up – what up, Joe! Also, favourite sign motif yet).

Clearly, another reason I love the parallel groups is that the show works the motifs so much harder, to cram more information into the limited time we have with that group. So on to specific parallels and matched pairs then, both of which do the compare-and-contrast dance for us, but in different ways. This was the episode when I had to work through what I think those differences are,³ because (Mother) Mary at Terminus was a parallel for Carol, where Dawn is her matched pair. (Terminus and Grady Memorial look to be matching up pretty well, too; one snare-community, spurred by rape, institutionalizes cannibalism, and comes to the realisation there is nothing to go back to (and ends up feeding on a to-be walker) – the other, spurred by food running out, institutionalizes rape, and blindly hangs on to the idea that rescue is still coming and they'll be the ones to rebuild (and disposes of warm bodies by feeding them to walkers). Carol destroyed one, let's see how the other fares! *chinhands*)

When Hansen, the Rick-analogue of Grady Memorial, was broken by his choices (seen as mistakes) that got people killed, Dawn stepped up to leadership, developing a code of weighing killing against saving, all to serve the "greater good" (and also personally did whatever the easily-euphemized "taking care of" Hansen actually entailed). But where Dawn is making everyone else pay the price for her deal with the devil, Carol has taken on the full weight of guilt for her actions, wanting but clearly unable to accept the fresh start Daryl was urging, refusing to "talk about it", and not interested in letting him help carry her water – and, perhaps, in the end, unwilling to call it worth it and keep holding on in this life. And despite forgiveness and restoration, when Rick submitted himself and the group to her (again, her not interested in receiving her watch back), there wasn't full absolution; nor is there full absolution possible with her and Tyreese as long as they won't fully confront what occurred, what they are each carrying inside.

I am pretty much certain that that was a Trojan Carol at the end of the episode – that Beth will reap what she sowed in helping Noah get free by him running into Carol and Daryl and helping them know how to exploit Grady Memorial's MO to get back in and rescue her – but I don't know if the price of getting Beth out is Carol choosing to sacrifice herself (which would echo Bob and Gabriel). Or if that means, necessarily, that Carol would die by it – a rescue mission into Atlanta (even by cold calculations, she is fully equivalent in survival-worth to a bag of guns and The Hat) for Rick/the group is still on the cards, even though that's a much less difficult (ie, narratively interesting) choice for Rick than going to free people he has no stake in from being trapped like animals just because that's who he is. (Especially because the choice to rescue Carol would also be made, presumably, with at least Daryl and Beth and probably Tyreese and everyone else insisting on that option, unlike when everyone was opposed to Rick going back for Merle.) Carol's come "back from the dead" and from being split off from the group at this stage of the season, each time having partially mis-navigated the season's theme, but I have no idea if that makes it more or less likely for them to do it again now (nine lives, come on, I'm rooting for you!). I'm hoping Bob and Glenn were the too-far-gone theme outliers, and Carol and Tyreese the not-too-far-gone outliers, but that relies on a bunch of assumptions about how the show's operating that I'm really not sure about. (And of course there's always some kind of Option C, where Rick's choice is not a rescue-mission – and Carol somehow possibly ends up sacrificing herself anyway; Option D, they do all need to go rescue Carol AND Beth, and whatever humanity-vs-survival dilemma the show is setting up for Rick there is something else altogether. Both possible, and the latter faaaar preferable.) Essentially, there's a bunch of very interesting factors that I do not know how they're going to play out.

Pretty much all of which serves to highlight the difference between Rick's leadership and that of other groups – Rick is not only the one to get his hands dirtiest among his people in carrying out what he's judged needs to be done, but is also willing to shoulder his blame for it, too (even if it takes him a while to accept it, such as Shane's murder). In short, Rick pays the price he's judged needs to be payed – and he gives his strength to those weaker than himself, even when they have nothing to offer in return, because it's what they need. Which is not just why his group has survived this far, but also why it is full of people who will do the same; those who wouldn't, who use their strength to take from those weaker than themselves either get weeded out or filtered from getting in in the first place. And that collective strength gives the weaker members who still manage to survive just enough protection to grow stronger, in the same mould – giving their strength to those who need it (Lizzie, let's not forget, grew stronger under Carol, whose group leadership was less well-tempered by loss and mistakes).

Thus, we have parallels showing super-clear contrast between a community built on the principles of giving to others, and one built on the principles of demanding from others – the fundamental question of who owes what to who. One thrives on and filters in the strengths of others (and calls the zombies "walkers"), one is threatened by and filters out the strengths of others (and calls the zombies "rotters"; ahh walker-resemblence motif, hello again). Food and its community-fellowship symbolism here gives us Dr Steven using his privilege to help and protect Beth (Dawn doesn't have to know), Dawn ordering Beth into eating, Noah slipping Beth a no-strings lollipop as a pick-me-up, and Gorman violating her space to take it, suck on it, and force it into her mouth. Noah's little joke about the whole jar of lollipops points us to the subtle-but-pervasive MO of Rick's group to only take what you need and leave the rest for any others who might come along later and need it; the jar he "left" in Dawn's office later allows Beth to clobber Gorman in the head and leave him to get finished off by walker!Joan. And Noah gets no-strings freed by Beth. Dr Steven violates his duty-of-care by not letting Joan die and killing Dr Trevitt (in order to preserve his own usefulness as the only doctor and Beth's as not one of the only "useless" vulnerable females to keep Dawn's officers happy) – using/violating/paying with Beth's innocence to take the life, to try to preserve the appearance of his own innocence with Dawn. (Preserving the survival of a girl who still sings in this world – whose freely-given music (not even pilfered like Noah's lollipop) was the only thing that humanly ministered to Joan at all this episode – by risking the humanity in her which allows her to do that.) Clearly, there is more than one way to feed on human beings; and these are the survivors that will build the new world, when (if) rescue comes.

Random final items/tracking threads:
— Ahhhhahahaha with the bible motifs this season. From having virtually no biblical names (I'm not counting Zach, Beth, Lizzie, Joe, Pete, Mike, Miguel, etc, since the show carefully avoided the exact (or English-version) names; The Governor eschewed "Philip" – and the Book of Tobit, in which Judith is featured, is apocryphal, although I'm beginning to think someone on this show has a serious yen for Caravaggio), now we're deluged with them. Mary (not a virgin but gang-raped); Abraham and Gabriel getting all mixed up with their roles; and now Noah. Who, let it be pointed out, rescued a whole lot of animals from the rising oceans.

— OH HEY STEVEN. Did you know that Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian church, refusing to deny or compromise on his beliefs/mission for Christ even as he was getting stoned to death? But don't worry about that, you've got Caravaggio's painting of Peter pussing out on his allegiance to Christ, not wanting to be found guilty by association when the innocent Christ was being "tried" and sentenced, to contemplate and make yourself feel better, that's super awesome for you, well done. Hmm, let's see, what else has Caravaggio painte– oh! That's right! Peter's eventual crucifixion upside down because he counted himself "unworthy" to die in the relative (lololol) comfort of upright crucifixion (from which we get the word excruciating) like his saviour who forgave and restored him after that betrayal (Peter always was a one-upper). Wow trivia is so interesting, right? So, anyway. Oh, by the way – how's that elevator shaft you dump the warm bodies headfirst down to be eaten after you kill them going, just out of curiosity?

— It's nice to see uniforms popping up all over the place again, too (what up, S1! Rick and Jenner! Splash!). We've got Abraham, Gabriel, Dawn and her officers, and Dr Steven very distinctively projecting the pre-apocalypse visual signs of their erstwhile authority – strength invested by civilisation's structures, and who/what they (claim to) answer to – in their job of regulating and serving/protecting of those without that strength, the "weaker" flocks of society. (Dawn's even got herself an Officer Shepherd!) Meanwhile the only remnant of Rick's pre-apocalypse authority is his hat, bequeathed to Carl, and his gun, which seemed pretty individual and idiosyncratic anyway. So let's see how that goes, shall we?

— Note to self: if things next week with Carol go the way I'm afraid of – but simultaneously, if done, expect to be done awesomely – then avoid going anywhere near tumblr for the rest of ... ever? Yeah, *ever* seems about right.

Next up, a 2-for-1 episode deal!

¹ There's a team-building/icebreaker exercise out there (here's one example) where you're given a list of items and a time limit to rank them in order of survival usefulness (topical!) in a stranded/wilderness setting. First everyone ranks them individually, without discussion; then everyone has to discuss it (topical!) and come up with a ranking as a team; the lists are then compared to the ranking by experts. The closer you get to the experts' list is the score of how well you did (how likely you are to have survived: topical!), and the point of the exercise is how it demonstrates that the group's list always scores better overall than any individual's, for obvious reasons. Even if other people's lists scored much worse than yours, the discussion with them reveals blindspots and assumptions in your reasoning that they don't have, experience and perspective that you lack (and vice versa), and together you connect catches and questions and ideas you wouldn't notice on your own (at least without a lot more time and/or costly trial and error). The same goes for stories; even if you don't end up agreeing with someone else's interpretation, what they "heard" and the way they reacted gives you an opportunity to challenge why you don't agree, what led to your own conclusions, to understand the story more fully by understanding yourself and your own reactions to it more fully.

² Just being clear, I'm usually pretty good at tracking with what a show/story/someone is saying; I have a tendency to be rubbish at expectations of where they're going to take it. Educated guessing is one thing, and it can be fun, particularly when I've managed to tune to the storyteller's wavelength, but genuine forecasting is an art I really do not have. My insta-reactions are, for a variety of reasons, terrible, and once I get past that and start considering the options, there's always too many to narrow down helpfully. Which is where discussion/other people's read is outstanding.

³ Near as I can tell – and if I'm not over-thinking/over-connecting, which to be fair is very possible – parallels come by types, and there can be several of them, with all kinds of variations (ie, all the survivor groups; mothers Carol and Mary (other variations include Lilly, even Michonne and Lori), daughters Sophia and Lizzie (Mika, Judith, Beth, Meghan), medical carers Hershel and Dr Steve (Jenner, Eugene, Bob, Dr S...), officers Shane and Gorman, etc); injury motifs also indicate more fleeting parallels in reaction/behaviour type (Glenn and The Governor's messed up right eyes, Beth and Joan's cut wrists). Specific matched pairs come by having the same role, which includes parallels even though the two characters might not even be of the same "type". The actions and choices we see them take thus highlights exactly where one of them has changed in adapting to the new world, where the other one refused to (ie, built-communities Woodbury and the prison, little-girl-survivor sisters Lizzie and Mika, advisors Hershel and Milton, 2ndIC Shane and Martinez, military-trained brothers Mitch and Pete, etc). And both still – sooner or later – die!


( 11 speakses — have a speak )
Nov. 6th, 2014 11:17 am (UTC)
Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things
I was aiming for a coherent reply, but I think this basically turned into incoherent flailing in your general direction... so. Eh, you'll cope. ;D

God bless you and your overconnecting brain, I love it so.

And dude. A-tlanta. Dude. YES. YOU HAVE DEFINITELY WON ME OVER on this whole alphabet ~signs thing. :DDD But seriously and relatedly, I cannot even handle that we've come back to Atlanta. Actually horrified by this development. /o\

But ALL OF THE SEASON 1 parallels are just so delicious - even down to the Beth-and-Noah-emerging-disorientedly-from-defiled-hospital-into-blinding-sun (in scrubs if not hospital gown, but still... Hi S01 Rick!)... except this time the walkers are still walking and Beth doesn't get away. BUT NOAH DOES. WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT NOAH. I BET IT SAYS THINGS. YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO HANG AROUND OUR STORY FOR A WHILE NOAH. ahem. And agreed - Rick is gon' come ridin' into town with his posse. BRING IT SHOW.

Speaking of Beth, though - y'know how I can't help myself, well, I went and checked out The Twitter, and y'know what? People were kinda loving Beth!! Not everyone, of course, but a surprisingly, heartwarmingly, renewing-my-faith-in-fandomly large number of people! Go you, fandom!! \o/ And it was extra lovely because the positivity ran the full gamut from the likes of us (BEEEEEEETHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!) to people whose comments indicated they'd been on the fence about her but were won over! So. As you also know, I stay as far away from tumblr as humanly possible, so god knows what's going down over there, but hey: credit where credit's due. ... And also: BEEEEEEETTTHHHHHHHHH!!!!

RE: group parallels and show spending its time exploring them and letting stuff breathe and etc... Well. Yes, look, I love that too. And I LOVE the Grady hospital crew... by which I mean, I really hate them but I am glued to my screen watching them... And I would gladly spend a couple of episodes with them before getting the rest of our gang back, but I actually don't think we'll have to wait that long (CARROOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLL!!!). Whereas... yeah, I still maintain two whole episodes of The Governor's Mid-Apocalypse Adventures was... look, it was too much for me. Mostly because I didn't find the people around him terribly interesting (sorry Tara... look, you've subsequently kinda won me over though, if it makes you feel better, I just didn't really care about your niece, sister or dad... soz... ahem), but also cos I love Beth more than the Governor I guess. And maybe also because you just KNEW where the whole Governor thing was going to end up, and what that was going to mean, so as a viewer I was more just OMG GET TO THE PRISON SHOWDOWN BIT ALREADY HOLY HELL. (Which, when you think about it, makes that mid-season finale even MORE impressive because it was SO impressive even with all that weight of expectation. ILU SHOW.) Anyway, in any case it's literally the only time in this show's whole run that their pacing or story choices have grated for me, so they totally get a pass.

But dude. Hang on. You think this could be the end of Carol?! Oh man, I seriously hope not. I... don't think it will be? ... But now I'm remembering Melissa McBride getting all emotional at one of the pre-season opener con panels, talking about how she just loves Carol so much, which I'd just put down to '...but look how far she's COME' and now.... ok, I'm going to not go down that angst spiral just at the moment. /o\ But also, I've realised that I've kinda developed this Rick-Daryl-Carl-Carol (and maybe Michonne) little survivor crew of people I think aren't going to get killed off any time soon... even though I know that such a list is stupid and probably tempting fate... but there it is. Please god can this not be the end of Carol tho...
Nov. 6th, 2014 11:18 am (UTC)
Re: Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things
Speaking of Carol, because now's as good a time as any...

Interestingly, while I do think she absolutely carries around the weight of what she did (with the sick people, with Lizzie), at the same time, I never read it having the same kind of weight on her that it does on Tyreese. That is to say, I think it's crushing Tyreese, whereas Carol, in her conviction that what she did was right even if it wasn't easy or pleasant, or like she was happy about doing it, is not being crushed by it. She did terrible things, but for good reason, and so she can and will live with it. At least, that's always been my reading of her.

In fact, when she and Tyreese have that conversation at the river post-Terminus, he is the one who says, 'we don't have to tell them about the girls, I don't want to', and to me, she seemed genuinely surprised at this suggestion. His response to her asking 'why?' is "I just need to forget it." I kinda read that as her not being proud of what happened with the girls, not in the slightest, but also not necessarily being ashamed of it... does that make sense? I'm not sure those are really the right words... But anyway, there's something about the look she gives Tyreese... so then later when Daryl's lookin' at her, kinda trying to will her to talk about it, and she says, "I don't want to talk about it. I can't. I just need to forget it"... I don't know, but at the time, I read that as: I can't talk about it because Tyreese cannot handle people knowing. HE needs to forget it, so that means talking about it isn't an option for me. I have to carry this on my own. So I will. ... Combine that with the lone wolf tendencies she's obviously developed in her time alone, which I think we've only seen the surface of since she let the group join her (welp) again, tbh...

But then, look. Much as I love her, Carol's always been a bit of an enigma to me, so it's every bit as likely that I've just misinterpreted her completely. Either way, I really, really, REALLY hope she's going to leave that hospital alive...

And AAAAAAAALL of that to say, I guess, that... I don't think Carol's too far gone. I've got her in less of a Tyreese mould of 'being crushed by', and more in a Rick mould of 'accepting and growing into because horrible but motivated by the right things' re: what's happened to her/what she's done.

What, if indeed anything, ANY of that means as far as her survival goes... I guess we shall see.....


Edited because someone forgot to close her italics coding...

Edited at 2014-11-06 11:19 am (UTC)
Nov. 9th, 2014 09:07 am (UTC)
Re: Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things
Nargh. As always, I'll get back to diving into all of this (splash! wheee!) when my brain is in working order, but I just wanted to say I'm feeling sliiiightly better about Carol again, at least for this part of the season (I'm still anxious about her chances of making it to season six). Ironically enough, I've kind of come back to my very first instinct – she's staking out (well, staking in) Beth and the hospital, and it's just Daryl with Noah in the bushes going for the cavalry – with all the factors I can actually make out, that just feels like the most likely shape. And – so far at least – I can't think of any times the show has killed off both matched pairs in the same episode/event unless they were specifically introduced together (Lizzie and Mika, Mitch and Pete). I'm really, really hoping Dawn serves as a cautionary object lesson for Carol and helps her course-correct. *crosses fingers*

Also, if the show sticks to the patterns of previous seasons, only the two who go too far with the theme in the season opener die this early in the episode order, ie, before the mid-season finale (Bob down, Glenn to go – IF they're sticking to that pattern). Carol didn't, from what I can tell at this point, go too far off course – she stopped Rick from finishing the job that needed finishing with Terminus, led him to a different path, but there were justifications for it.

But it keeps coming back to IF they're not mixing up their patterns.... HOLD ME. /o\
Nov. 10th, 2014 03:39 am (UTC)
Re: Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things
*holds you* *no seriously, clinging*

First of all, lovely, as always there is neither hurry nor obligation!
Secondly, yeah, I'm feeling good about Carol (and yeeeeessssss to course correction), and yes, Noah in the bushes/Daryl gathering the cavalry/today!Carol.

If for no other reason than I've gone back to MY original thought, that Beth ain't gon' break. And the only reason she'd be hiding in the bushes from her people would be because she was broken. And our girl weren't broke before, despite everything ('I AM strong', *Dawn*!) and now she's got Carol with her. Our girls are gunna be fine. I think. For now. In any case, we've got Glenn and Maggie to /o\ at this wk apparently...... :(

*clings you some more* *wills day to hurry up and be over*
Nov. 10th, 2014 04:44 am (UTC)
Re: Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things
neither hurry nor obligation!

But I waaaaaannna. /petulant child (the icon is for me, btw)

And our girl weren't broke before, despite everything ('I AM strong', *Dawn*!) and now she's got Carol with her. Our girls are gunna be fine.

YES. Look, I can't answer for all the people who find TWD frustrating in theme and/or execution, but damn does it cater to my id. It's just like, oh, was that *awesomeness* you wanted? HERE HAVE ALL THE AWESOMENESS. YOU'RE WELCOME.

I think I speak for both of us when I say: We are welcome, show. We are all the welcome.

In any case, we've got Glenn and Maggie to /o\ at this wk apparently

Ahh, I was wondering if they were going to do that. The double end-of-episode hooks of WHAT'S UP WITH DARYL and WHAT'S UP WITH CAROL are plenty potent enough to last through an episode or two away with the other group. Of Araham heading to DC, while we wait for Dawn to be dealt with in Atlanta. I guess it remains to be seen if DC is Dead on Abraham's Arrival, and if Dawn gets Dead on the others' Arrival in Atlanta. (I want to believe those two names are a coincidence. I ... don't. I'm becoming seriously worried that my ridiculous fangirl sleep-punning was right. WTF.)

ALSO IF GLENN IS FOR IT IT SUPER INCREASES CAROL'S CHANCES, EVEN UP TO FINALE-TIEMZ, I FEEL TERRIBLE FOR CLINGING TO THIS AND YET I AM. Because also also, they were working pretty hard to establish a strong bond between Maggie and Tara. Just sayin'.

ALSO ALSO ALSO, if Rick splits the group again to back into Atlanta like last time he did this, there's that school full of walkers ready to attack the base camp. Like last time he did this. /o\


Nov. 10th, 2014 09:21 am (UTC)
Re: Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things

*bounces up and down* *tries to sit on hands*


Thinking it's very possible you haven't so. Putting a pin in that for one moment...

*bounces some more* OK STOPPING NAO.

Right. Comment thread.
I think I speak for both of us when I say: We are welcome, show. We are all the welcome.
You do. You do indeed speak for both of us, my dear. Oh show, I love you so.

RE: Glenn v Carol.... oh holy god, I couldn't. I just COULDN'T pick... I think Carol's more likely to survive, for now, but ... no I can't even finish that sentence. AS for Atlanta.... still cannot even. /o\

Also? Apropos of absolutely nothing AT ALL, but I was rewatching the 'This ain't a church, this is just four walls and a roof' episode while I was waiting for today's, and. Look. Just because I do a whole lot of bitching about how people get carried away with only liking Rick when he's a total BAMF... so I really feel like in the interests of balance, and also because, well, fangirl... And Andrew Lincoln...

That whole '*deathly quietly* "You're not taking the bus."/"Try and stop me." *crickets* *tumbleweed* *the oceans boil dry* *Rick nods the tiniest nod and then walks with purpose toward Abraham to bash his mothafucken head in before Glenn intervenes*' bit....

I am just saying........ HAWT. Like, seriously craziest-fangirl-omghaaawwwwwwwt feelings of hawtness. Which, like, it was on first watch too but in the deluge of stuff to squee about from that ep I forgot which was unfair to the epic badassery and hotness that is Rick Grimes and now I have rectified that by drawing to it the attention that it was due so y'know we're good. *fans self while breathing into paper bag again*

I just... i just needed to get that off my chest. OK, I can totes talk about serious plotting/character/narrative stuff again now. :D
Nov. 10th, 2014 10:27 am (UTC)
Re: Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things
Noooooooooo I haven't (I'm taking it easy on myself and keeping it until tomorrow *clings to you anyway*)

I am just saying........ HAWT. Like, seriously craziest-fangirl-omghaaawwwwwwwt feelings of hawtness.

DUDE. He is all kinds of hawt. AND BAMF. I am down with all-seasons Rick. I approve of this rectification of our shameful neglect of fangirling his hawtness. We'll have to keep an eye on that, it would be a GREAT INJUSTICE to let that fall behind again ;D
Nov. 10th, 2014 12:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things
INORITE?! I've spent so much time fangirling my girls lately, that he just kinda re-snuck up on me and BAM!! HAWWT!!! I will be more vigilent in my fangirling duties henceforth!

Don't mind me, I'm just having a little moment over here...ahem.

keeping it until tomorrow
I thought that might be the case. You know where to find me when you're good and ready. All of the clinging.
Nov. 24th, 2014 06:18 am (UTC)
Re: Excuse me as I ramble in your direction about similar things
ALL OF THE SEASON 1 parallels are just so delicious - even down to the Beth-and-Noah-emerging-disorientedly-from-defiled-hospital-into-blinding-sun (in scrubs if not hospital gown, but still... Hi S01 Rick!)

RIIIIIIGHT?!?! And ALL THE ATLANTA ROOFTOPS. AND THINGS. See, me, I'm ECSTATIC they're back to Atlanta (sorry babe. I'll hold you while you cover your eyes if you want :D *holds*). Talk about levelling up the challenge for Rick and his posse! I mean, I kind of doubt it, but I'm even kind of wondering if they'll be able to check in with what became of the Vatos crew somehow – it's a long time for a thread to dangle, but this show doesn't mind that in the slightest. I really liked those guys, and seeing how they've been changed would be fascinating. But that's just a sidenote really. BECAUSE ATLANTA. *giggles wickedly with anticipation*

People were kinda loving Beth!!

After this episode, they fuckin' better be *grumblegrumblesourpuss* But yes, I'll \o/ with you and take the positivity, because C'MON PEOPLE, DAMN.

Whereas... yeah, I still maintain two whole episodes of The Governor's Mid-Apocalypse Adventures was... look, it was too much for me.

Yeah, I mean, I sympathise. And it helped me that as long as you give me Martinez on my screen, I won't be complaining a peep – without that (and the underused but always welcome Enver Gjokaj, let's be real) I would have been getting more impatient for sure. But I also do find The Governor slightly more hypnotic to watch than I ever expect myself to, and the mudpie moment he has with Meghan absolutely got me – just like with Shane, in that moment when he's freaking out over what to do with Rick's comatose body in the hospital, this show loves giving us just enough to see how far these people have fallen, to feel the tragedy of what's been lost. While also underlining that so much of how we define ourselves is a product of circumstances – take those circumstances away and see what's left, defined by our choices. – And The Governor is such a pure mini-thesis on that, it always ends up drawing me in. Plus David Morrissey does an amazing job of the bastard, seriously.

You think this could be the end of Carol?!

DUDE. It is ridiculous how much of a relief it was to see her get seriously injured. I mean, it doesn't completely rule out her still dying, but it really does seem to fit the lesser-outlier on the theme where they get penalised but not killed. If something similar happens to Tyreese I think we're in the clear for now. *crosses fingers* PLUS I really feel like those two still have some stuff to work out/be explored (is it wrong that a tiny part of me is kiiiiiind of rooting for them to maaaaaaybe get together? Later, obviously ... what can I say, I've got a thing for relationships that requires people to work through serious baggage with each other).

Do we want to dive in deeper with talking about getting Carol and what's going on with her? BECAUSE I WOULD BE OKAY WITH THAT. Just, you know, saying. If you want to and have the time ;)
Nov. 6th, 2014 11:36 am (UTC)
oh god - THREE comments whut...
Because, also?!? This:

Thus, we have parallels showing super-clear contrast between a community built on the principles of giving to others, and one built on the principles of demanding from others – the fundamental question of who owes what to who. One thrives on and filters in the strengths of others (and calls the zombies "walkers"), one is threatened by and filters out the strengths of others (and calls the zombies "rotters"; ahh walker-resemblence motif, hello again).

IS ALL OF THE THINGS. ALL THESE COMPARISONS, but dude. Way to distill it, seriously. I love your brain. Don't ever change. :D

Oh! And yes all the biblical motif stuff that's cropping up now. OH! And the Peter-denies-Christ thing....... because of course... he DID have a choice, actually, Steven, as it happens... but it was the self-sacrificial one (for which he was forgiven because, y'know, that's kinda A Thing in Christianity, just sayin). But you, dear Steven.... are not much the type for the self-sacrificial, methinks. And therefore... NO FORGIVENESS FOR YOU! *slams soup window* (Kinda can't decide whether I sympathise with or loathe him.... going back and forth... thinking I'll end up erring on the side of loathe, just because he's a male character who's weak, and blah blah insert rant about fandom and weak female characters and omg i REALLY NEED TO STOP NAO.)


Edited at 2014-11-06 11:39 am (UTC)
Nov. 24th, 2014 05:40 am (UTC)
Re: oh god - THREE comments whut...
Okay, trying to catch up before MOAR EPISODES, and because energy, but I'll just quickly start here because OMG I have no problem knowing which side I'm erring on when it comes to Steve. UGH. He made Beth into a murderer. It's not on her, at all, and at the same time, there's now blood on her hands, and especially going by Tyreese and Carol's struggles, I don't think that's something that's going to go lightly on her. (Mind you, she already got blood on her hands by her choice to obey and help hold Joan down to save her life (with the callback to the visual of blood running down her palm while her other hand stemmed the flow from her own suicide attempt), and that is on her – obeying orders doesn't stop you from being wrong in doing so.) He violated her innocence and denied her meaningful choice in order to serve himself – he may talk prettier, and justify it's so he can protect her too, and that might have been the first time he ever crossed that line, instead of just turning a blind eye or protesting ineffectually, and all those things ... but when he did that he became no better than Dawn (etc etc groups and the people within them both taking on the characteristics of their leader, etc). It was vile. By which I mean, awesome storytelling and characterisation and I love it :DDD
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