Telediction: Feel It All Around

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Welcome back! I’m just telling that to myself, I guess. I’ve been gone for a week on vacation, where I watched the season finale of “True Detective” and still have no idea who the Yellow King is. I also watched a ton of Bob’S Burgers and not much else. This week I double-up on the last two episodes of “Girls” and “The Walking Dead” before tonight’s episodes. We’re doing a lot of character buildings, and as we’re nearing the end of respective seasons, you know it’s prime time for pathos.


The Walking Dead

Something amazing thing has been happening – I’m actually starting to enjoy “The Walking Dead.” Don’t hold your breath though, I’m still a grouch who inevitably feels like it will go back to disappointing me soon, but for now, we’re back to the honeymoon period, if there ever even was one to begin with.

These last two episodes have been some of the most enjoyable all season, maybe even all series. Surprisingly, they had nothing to do with our protagonists Rick and his immediate circle, therefore deteriorating the notion that a show needs a protagonist. “The Walking Dead” has groups of good people and bad people, but ultimately anyone living is seen as a protagonist compared to the zombies. Last week in “Still,” the writers gave us a rare bottle episode focusing on Beth and Daryl surviving, getting emotional and scoring some booze. At first, Beth’s apparent NEED for a drink definitely makes her seem like a “dumb college girl,” as Daryl says, but Beth is increasingly becoming a more dynamic character. She represents hope in its most obvious form. Still partaking in some semblance of childhood naïveté but hardened by the death of her father, two boyfriends and various members of her group at any given time, Beth is the future version of Lizzie, the little girl with in Carol and Tyreese’s group.

Finding alcohol isn’t what’s important, it’s living. In a post-apocalyptic holocaust, Beth is obsessed with empathy and wanting to feel. After a first-half of the season where her mantra was “We don’t get to be sad,” Beth now wants to feel it all. So they find a country club with a ton of dead rich people. Daryl stocks up on stacks of money and jewels because he totally needs that now. (I don’t know, even if you’re in the middle of an apocalypse there’s a fantasy-vibe to stumbling upon a ton of cash. I get it, even though it makes no sense.) Beth finds a yellow polo shirt to replace the 50 shades of brown she and everyone else on the show wears. Not to get all sappy with color theory, but I think you can tell where I’m going. At the gift shop, they see a dead corpse propped on the wall, undressed to her bra and with a sign across her chest that reads “Rich Bitch.” The world is still full of class hate, even if class means nothing anymore. People, like Daryl, will still hold on to that grudge and use it against Beth when they leave the country club and find some abandoned house with moonshine. Daryl knows exactly where to look for the booze and knew exactly where to find the house. Inside, Beth takes her first drink and finds a pink bra-shaped ashtray (more like bucket).

“Who would buy this?” she asks.

“My dad, that’s who,” Daryl replies. He says his father had a house just like this, but it’s clear that this is Daryl’s home. Just for the first time in “The Walking Dead,” writers let us figure out a lie for ourselves.

In a game of 20 Questions, Daryl shows that he’s a total Shoshanna mean-drunk. He insults her by saying he’s never had frozen yogurt (low blow) or never tried to commit suicide because he wanted attention (even lower). Beth sees Daryl is hurting and lets hi have his cathartic moment, but makes sure to get out of the house because he’s being a jerk and attracting zombies. After they quiet down up on a tree, Beth does something for Daryl. She tells him to burn down the house and with it, all of his repressed memories of his shitty life before life got even shittier.

The house goes up in flames to a montage of Beth and Daryl pouring alcohol on everything like they’re in “Spring Breakers” and raising a middle finger to the sky.

The only thing that’s missing is the machine gun shots to the air and pink ski masks – come on now.

PHEW. OK now we’re ready to get to this weeks episode. In talking about Beth, I realize how much she compares to Bob. Bob, a former (maybe still-recovering) alcoholic who’s just happy to have found a tribe, wants to live – and more than just survive, he wants to survive with people. Bob’s group, comprised of Maggie, Sasha and himself, is so fragmented by opposing views, the episode’s ultimate goal was to get them all to agree that sticking together is better than going solo. Maggie only cares about finding her husband, Glenn. Sasha thinks this is a huge waste of time, seeing as he’s probably dead, or as good as dead because she believes no one will ever find each other again. Sasha’s main goal is to ditch Maggie and get to safety. She tries to convince Bob that this is the right thing to do, but Bob refuses to leave one member out alone. He’s been there and knows the only way to survive is to survive together. Sasha tries to make herself feel better by rationalizing that it was Maggie’s decision to leave them in the middle of the night, and it was, but this decision came after Maggie overheard Sasha telling Bob that Maggie’s pursuits weren’t worth their risk.

Maggie makes it her mission to head to Terminus, the “All-who-arrive-survive” sanctuary found by following the railroad tracks. She knows that Glenn will find her there. When she comes upon the next Terminus checkpoint, she kills a zombie to write a note to Glenn saying to meet her at Terminus, therefore leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for Bob and Sasha when they wake up and try to catch up with her.

Eventually, Sasha gets fed up with this catching up and decides to stay put at the nearest town. Bob, however, decides he can’t stay with Sasha and needs to find Maggie. He’s seen her reaction this whole time and has come to the conclusion that maybe Sasha is the one who wants to be alone. He kisses her goodbye, as a last attempt at making her feel the warmth of humanity, but her logic tells her to stay. Almost immediately upon settling in, Sasha is overcome with loneliness. She starts to cry and opens a window, which ends up just falling down a couple of stories and shattering, effectively attracting a ton of zombies  when she sees Maggie sleeping outside her window. She rushes down to help Maggie ward off the zombies and predictably, they do. Afterward, the two women bond and admit they need each other. This must seem like a huge waste of time for Bob. “Are you serious, you went on a little bitch fit just to tell me you’ve come to your senses?” He says in my imaginary “The Walking Dead.” But in the reality of the show, it’s good vibes all around. No telling how they caught up to him, but they did and they continue walking.

Somewhere behind, Glenn finds a Terminus map, and not knowing whether it’s the same location where Maggie left her note, it seems like he’s heading there too.

“The Walking Dead” has been doing a lot of soul-searching, character building with these last two episodes, which is something I definitely want to see more of – but don’t get me wrong, the plot still needs to advance because this is a show that gets boring after too much character development.

Beth and Daryl reappear in “Alone,” as they continue their seemingly aimless journey to safety. Beth is learning to use a crossbow. “Pretty soon I won’t need you anymore,” she says to her partner.

She gets injured with a bear trap and Daryl fights off a zombie before it can get to her. Luckily, her foot’s not broken and even luckier, they come across a funeral home/morgue with medical supplies to wrap Beth’s foot.

The place is eerie, not for the obvious reason of it being a morgue, but because it’s pristine. There’s not a speck of dust anywhere and a pantry full of diet cola, pickled pig’s feet and peanut butter. Beth’s convinced there are people still living here and Daryl says they’ll only take some of the food.

“So you DO still think there are good people around!” she tells him. Daryl looks at her, and while I’m still unsure if there’s a blossoming romance between the two, the look he gives her definitely is one of hope and specifically to her, tells her she’s special.

Their plans to stay at the funeral home/morgue go south late at night when a horde of zombies raid the place and Daryl tells Beth to meet him outside. He almost doesn’t make it, but when he does all we see is Beth’s bag on the ground and a car driving off. Who took her?

Daryl runs behind the car till it outruns him and he makes it to the same train tracks that tie these final string of episodes together. In a moment of defeat, he’s ambushed by the same rapists/thugs who ransacked Rick, Carl and Michonne’s place a few episodes earlier.

Could these be the same people who took Beth? I have no idea, but it’s clear: these aren’t good people.


Girls

Two weeks of “Girls” doesn’t seem so bad to catch up on since each episode is only 30 minutes long, but it’d definitely be easier if they show wasn’t so scatterbrained. In watching these two episodes together (Episode 9 “Flo” and Episode 10 “Role Play”), It’s becoming clearer that “Girls,” this season, is focusing on relationships – particularly Adam and Hannah’s. This all becomes clearer if you rewatch the season from the beginning, or at least the first episode.

Hannah is hung-up on Patti LuPone’s words of advice after the should-be wonderful news that Adam got a part on Broadway. While their lives are vastly improving, Hannah seems to want it all to revert back into it’s former state of chaos. I don’t want to say she finds comfort in feeling bad, but there’s a reason why the show attempts to point out every second it can the fact that she likes to write about her misfortune.

In “Flo,” Hannah has to leave town to visit her grandmother, with the titular first name, who is dying. The episode revolves around the women in Hannah’s family: Her mom; Aunt Margot, the always-cursing “cool aunt”; Rebecca, Margot’s daughter and Hannah’s incredibly rude and/or socially inept cousin who’s in med school; and Aunt Sissy, the deeply religious, childless sister who took care of Flo up until hospitalization.

Hannah’s mother urges Hannah to tell Flo that and Adam and her are going to get married. Hannah doesn’t want to lie, but her mom says that it will make her feel better knowing one of her granddaughter’s lives in on-track. It’s really sibling-politics, but Hannah brings this up to Adam who’s a little stunned. She tells him she didn’t mean for things to get weird, but ultimately didn’t expect him to respond that way. Hannah is now more than ever thinking about a future with Adam, rather securing him, since their lives are changing. When Hannah gets into a minor car accident after Margot texts and drives while fighting with Hannah, Adam comes rushing to her. He makes it there in a couple of hours, but gets upset when he sees that Hannah barely has a scratch on her head. “OK don’t only text me CAR CRASH,” he tells her, clearly frustrated.

When he goes to meet Flo, she rejects him telling Hannah that she doesn’t want to talk to strangers. He tells her he’s not a stranger because him and Hannah are going to get married before leaving. While the saying wasn’t serious, you could the comfort over Hannah’s face upon hearing these words. Then her mom tells her to keep the job and ditch Adam. “I don’t want you to spend your whole life socializing him like he’s a stray dog,” she tells her daughter.

“He just did something very nice for you and you’re being very unkind,” Hannah replies.

Grandma Flo wakes up the next day completely fine, to everyone’s joy. Now I guess she’ll really have to get married to Adam. Haha, all part of the plan. Actually, just as Hannah arrives she gets a phone call that Flo had a sudden heart attack and died. I don’t know how I feel at the end of this one.

But the next episode “Role Play” had me feeling a butt load of emotions. I almost couldn’t handle it.

Hannah feels her sex life isn’t what it used to be. If what it used to be included Adam imagining her as “a little street slut, or, like, an orphan with a disease,” than yeah it’s definitely not.

She’s talking to the worst possible person about her problems, Elijah, when she decides she has to spice up her sex life or some sort. She tells Adam to meet her at a bar, where she’s clad in a school-girl ensemble and a blond wig pretending to be the lonely wife of some rich dude. She goes over the top and makes a scene at the bar, going a little too far as to insinuate to a stranger that Adam was trying to sexually assault her. It isn’t until the man punches Adam that she briefly breaks out of character and tells him that she really is his girlfriend. This dude’s like “WTF,” and so am I … so am I.

Hannah takes Adam back to the place where her husband puts her while he’s gone (aka Marnie’s apartment) and they have the kind of sex they used to have, except she switches character to Kim, the cheerleader who only had sex with jocks but now realizes the weirdos in high school had even bigger … Hello, what happened?

“You can’t change roles in the middle of everything. It doesn’t make any fucking narrative sense,” he tells her.

Oh, it’s like that.

What ensues is a terribly awkward and heartbreaking conversation in which you see Hannah’s anxieties eat her up and worsen the situation, escalating until Adam essentially decides to take a break from the relationship and live at Ray’s until the rehearsal process finishes so he can focus on the play.

With only two episodes left until the season finale, Adam has left us as well as the future of the season, so focused on his healthy relationship, terribly confused.

The quick-and-dirty-but-still-important information:

  • Jessa’s story arch is interesting this season. Writers chose to focus on her being a junkie and a bad influence. She’s falling apart with boredom and just lost the one person who made her feel alive, albeit in the worst possible way.
  • Marnie doesn’t seem to be improving. She continues to awkwardly try to get with Adam’s cast member and “One Tree Hill” guy, even though he keeps bringing up that he has a girlfriend. It’s painfully obvious he’s giving her hints to back off. Also, while desperate for a job, she seems insulted that Soo Jin wants to hire her as an assistant. Girl, get off your high horse or actually look for a job.

 

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Author: Claudia Marina View all posts by
Journalism student at the University of Florida. Sally Draper is my spirit animal. I love writing about TV and how it affects culture. Occasionally I watch bad TV, but reviews make it better.

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