The Walking Dead: What Have We Learned from Season 6?

by: LGreen

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

The Walking Dead is nothing if not informational. Thanks to Rick and the gang, we now all know how to mostly survive a zombie apocalypse (What? You weren’t taking notes?). Tonight we say hello to Negan and goodbye to Season 6. Thanks for the memories, Walking Dead, and for a season full of useful pro-tips and life lessons. What exactly has season 6 taught us? Read below and consider yourself enlightened.

This is why we can’t have nice things. We’re looking at you, Alexandrians, with your solar energy and Pottery Barn decor. The nicer your home in the zombie apocalypse, the weaker you are. Law of nature.

The only thing slower than walkers are turtles. Don’t be a turtle. Case in point:

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

If you fail a gazillion times, eventually you’ll do something right. Ahem, Gabriel. Nice to see that you stepped up. Finally. A millionth time’s a charm in the zombie apocalypse.

You probably shouldn’t scare children.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

Oh, Carol, remember when you scared the crap out of poor dumb Sam with your passive aggressive cookies and tales of being eaten alive by zombies and we cheered you on?! We shouldn’t have done that and you really shouldn’t have done it. Turns out kids remember those kinds of stories and blind fear has a tendency to derail even the best laid plans.

Just because you’re awesome, doesn’t mean you’re not also wrong. Have Walking Dead fans become so enamored with Carol’s badassery that we no longer see that she’s sort of not right a lot of the time. Like when she told that poor Alexandrian woman to smoke outside (which resulted in her getting axed to death), or when she thought leaving on her own was a good idea (it really wasn’t), or her misguided notion that she’s good with children. (See above; she’s not) (See also 2 seasons ago).

 Spikewagons are genius.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

This is the kind of apocalyptic innovation I like to see!

You can lead a walker herd to a quarry, but you can’t make them drink.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

Oh, that’s not how that saying goes? Or… You can lead a walker herd to a quarry, but somebody will get killed and fall on their car horn and create a massive distraction and ruin everything. Tomato Tomahto.

This is survivable:

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

You just have to want it enough.

Don’t be that guy. Morgan just can’t hang. Morgan, I love you, but the morality lectures all the time and the cumbersome Gandalf staff (that’s what I call it) just aren’t going with the flow. You’re slowing the group down, dude.

Getting shot in the eye is not a big deal.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

Unless it’s with an arrow and you’re just a guest actor:

 Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Apples are the new cigarettes.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

So healthy!

If you come across a Whistling Men’s Choir in the foggy woods, get out of there immediately! Really, is this not the greatest lesson of all?

and finally…

We should have learned to appreciate Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s charming pizza-eating, robe-wearing, lovable Jason on The Good Wife more while we had the chance. Because now he’s Negan 😦

Photo Credit: CBS

Photo Credit: CBS

Why’d you leave us, friend?

 

See you in the fall for season 7, zombie fans!

Gift Ideas For Your Favorite TV Characters

by: LGreen

image

It’s that time again. Christmas is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about what to give those special people in your life. What about those other special people in your life–your favorite TV characters. Sure, they’re not real, but you’ve spent a whole year with them. Okay, that’s weird. Hypothetically, should they be real people, here’s are some suggestions for your best TV friends:

Don Draper (Mad Men)

how is that shirt comfortable?

how is that shirt comfortable?

Yoga pants. Congrats on finding enlightenment, Don! Or pseudo-enlightenment. Or inspiration. Whatever you found, it’s working for you. Now the whole world would like to share a Coke and you’re a gazillionaire, thanks to some mellow beachside meditation. Keep up the good work! But you’ll need some more comfortable clothes. Don Draper in Lululemon? Sure, why not.

Kimmy Schmidt (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

kimmy phone

Hello? 2015 is calling.

An iPad. Sure, Kimmy already has an iPhone, which is amazing cuz it’s sort of like a computer, and she never had to suffer through a flip phone, or be tricked into thinking a Razr was cool. But she’s still seriously technologically behind the curve. With an iPad, she can catch up on years worth of pop culture, read some non-Babysitters Club books, and study for the GED. Or, then again,  she could use some more light-up sneakers. Either/or.

Jane Doe (Blindspot)

blindspot

How about a nice cozy turtleneck?

A shirt with sleeves. We get it. You have a bunch of tattoos. But where did they come from????? #mystery

Kilgrave (Jessica Jones)

kilgrave

A copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. No, not a new purple scarf. No fun presents for you, Kilgrave. Nobody wants to be with you, around you, or hear of you. Not even your parents. Read this book and take notes.

Annalise (How to Get Away with Murder)

students

Nobody knows what they’re doing.

New students. Alternatingly too murdery and then not murdery at all. They’re terrible students and horrible employees. Why does she keep this crew around, again? Also, unless you’re Annalise, I don’t know anybody’s name on this show. We all deserve better.

Everyone in Alexandria (The Walking Dead)

alexandria

“The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide”. They do know they’re in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, right? Everyone should read this book and brush up on the basics if they want to make it to next Christmas. Rick can only do so much for this crew.

Eli (The Good Wife)

eli

Sad Eli

A vacation to anywhere. Ruth is ruining his professional life, he’s heartbroken, and now his last friend in the world hates him. Eli really needs a break from it all. Time to buy a floppy hat and get yourself to Turks and Caicos, friend.

Noah (The Affair)

noah

Get those feelings out, Noah.

A journal. Maybe instead of writing about everyone else’s life, Noah can take a break to figure out his own feelings. If’s we’ve learned anything from Oprah, it’s that we need to all write down our feelings!

Piper (Orange Is The New Black)

piper

Victoria’s Secret Gift Card. This used prison panty thing is disgusting. Piper, it’s time to buy yourself some dignity.

Red and Lizzie (The Blacklist)

Red and Lizzie

Matching fedoras. That baseball hat is cute and all, but potentially related fugitives who run from that law together, should wear matching fedoras together! Samesies!

Dev (Master of None)

dev

Olive Garden’s Neverending Pasta Pass. What do you get the pasta aficionado in your life? Well, Dev already has a pasta maker and is off to Italy to perfect his pasta-making prowess. But sometimes you just want to eat starchy, low level comfort food and a bland and neutral setting. A neverending amount of it. Eat those feelings, Dev! We’ve got you covered.

And what do I want for Christmas? The Game of Thrones “shame bell” of course!

Happy Holidays, TV fans!

 

Should The Walking Dead Start Wrapping It Up?

by: LGreen

image

image via AMC

This season on The Walking Dead, Rick and the gang will face newer, deadlier threats! Rick’s leadership will come under question and tough decisions will be made as they question what it means to really survive! This is an apt description of season 6 thus far. Or any season, really. Six seasons in, and the the gang is neither better off, nor much wiser about their situation. The zombies are getting cooler, but is that enough? Should they starting wrapping this whole thing up?

I have one rule for writing about TV shows: I don’t write about anything I don’t like. It’s easy to take cheap shots. Even shows I’ve been hard on (ahem, Under the Dome…  looking at you Revolution), I enjoyed something about them. In the era of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, I think our standards have gotten too high for what makes a good show. Good shows don’t have to be great shows. And it’s okay to be occasionally frustrated with a season here or there– or finales, which notoriously disappoint fans, (hi, Lost!). At the end of the day, if you enjoy a show, it’s good to you. Enjoyment doesn’t necessitate genius. As I say to my theater nerd friends “you don’t have to be Sondheim. It’s okay to be Andrew Lloyd Webber too.” (It actually might be better, but that’s a discussion for another time.)

That being said, The Walking Dead continues to soldier on, 6 seasons into the zombie apocalypse, with no end in sight, limited character development, and little sense of what it’s all about. Apocalypse shows are an easy recipe for action-packed, audience-pleasing drama combined with deeper insight into the human condition. With the confines of society stripped away, all that’s left is action, survival, and a deep in-your-core exploration of what it means to be alive, be in a society, be human, etc. etc. (Check out The Leftovers over on HBO for a prime example of characters that are picking up the pieces of society and trying to figure it all out.)

But maybe that’s not what The Walking Dead is supposed to be about? Maybe it’s really nothing more than a serialized horror show that can plod on and on ad finitum with no end in sight and no need for one. Could we be seeing an adult Carl, 20 years from now, ushering in a second generation of viewers, soap-opera-style, as we tell our children “I watched this show from the beginning.”? In a way, I’d be impressed if The Walking Dead was in the middle of reinventing serialized TV and creating season after season of binge watching material that will stand the text of time. But somehow, I doubt that. As a stickler for stories, complete with beginnings, middles, and ends, I’d like to see this particular story and this particular set of characters reach some kind of conclusion, preferably while Carl is still in his teens.

The story of The Walking Dead has to be Rick’s. It began with him and should end with him. Assuming we’re in the middle of his story–all-around nice guy and family man, wakes up to find himself in the middle of the end of the world, forcing him to step up and lead the survivors to safety, he should be well on his way to who he’s meant to be. The Walking Dead has rarely been better than its series premiere that introduced us to Rick and the apocalypse. We should empathize with Rick and be equally horrified. When he tried out his stint as a farming pacifist, I was all for it, because who wouldn’t want a break from the endless violence and try to settle down into a peaceful society? The fact that that peaceful society was encamped in an abandoned prison, was a particularly strong use of irony. The fact that Rick’s best laid (or planted) plans, ended in such utter ruin, was a huge disappointment. But don’t forget that The Walking Dead premiered “Farmer Rick” a full season after they had the group camped out on an actual farm. This should have been the first clue that The Walking Dead likes to repeat itself.

Remember when the group found sanctuary at Terminus Alexandria, that turned out to be nothing more than a horrific trap, a mere illusion of sanctuary? Or when Rick laid down the law and told everyone that it was his way or the highway? Or when they took in a kindly stranger only to be ultimately betrayed? These events are all fine by themselves. I get it, the zombie apacalypse is a hard place. You might think you’ve reached your lowest point, only to find yourself ripping out the throat of an enemy with your bare teeth a season later. Perhaps there’s no real bottom to the horror these characters face and that’s the point. But that’s also no fun and becoming a bit of a drag.

So, let’s talk about the current elephant in the room. Glenn’s dead missing something. That’s a thing that happened weeks ago with still no concrete resolution in sight. It looks as if he likely met his end, but with doubt still circulating around the internet (and among a few characters), the show will have to address this soon. After an entire episode dedicated to Morgen’s back story (a device that could have used back and forths, not a solid 90 minutes), and then another to picking up the pieces in Alexandria, we still don’t know Glenn’s final fate. Surely there’s more to it than what we know. Otherwise why have Maggie and Aaron go out searching for him in last week’s B plot? Maggie was very intent, only to turn around in the end and return back to square one. So that was a less than fulfilling storyline. Also, Maggie’s pregnant; wouldn’t it be interesting to explore a pregnancy in this world and what it really means to carry on with life under the bleakest of circumstances? Oh yeah, the show already did that. Sort of. Hi, Judith.

Viewers that have been with these characters from the beginning, are waiting for a return on their investment. As the seasons go on, it’s harder and harder to shock us. The zombies are indeed much cooler (and grosser) and the show often produces some of the best action sequences on TV–and occasionally some highly artistic moments (this season’s black and white opener was especially effective). But it might be time to start asking what’s next for these characters. The Walking Dead has a good cast–they all deserves lasting moments of change and growth, Carol-style. The gang keeps flirting with the idea of settling down and truly rebuilding the world and maybe it’s time to do away with the false starts and really let that happen. Eugene’s DC plan was a fake out, but maybe there really is a cure out there? Maybe this gang can rebuild for real. Maybe it’s time to bring back Farmer Rick and start planting some real roots in this new world. All I know is if this search for Glenn turns into another painfully obvious Sofia-style fakeout leading up to the midseason finale, there are going to be a lot of unhappy viewers out there.

Maybe George Costanza was right… always leave on a high note.

The Walking Dead Season 6 Premier: Welcome Back to the Ricktatorship

by: L Green

FirstTimeAgain

The Walking Dead, season 6 premier, “First Time Again,” air date: October 11, 2015. Spoilers Below.

Welcome back, zombie aficionados! There’s a chill in the air, postseason baseball is underway, and The Walking Dead is back, which means it must be fall and all is right with the world.

Tonight ushered in the 6th season of The Walking Dead, aptly titled “First Time Again”–because it was an exercise in second first impressions, do-overs and second chances. Also, it recycled the series-old question: Are we living, or just surviving? At this point, we’re all well-aware that this is the eternal struggle of the apocalypse, and can forgive the repetition because just about everything else in “First Time Again” was spectacularly fun, including a Biblically large zombie horde.

“You were wrong.” BOOM. That’s the sound of Deanna shutting down Father Gabriel once and for all. Tonight’s episode picks up immediately after season five’s finale, with Rick having just killed Pete (who had just killed Reg). As far as Deanna’s concerned, Rick has proven his worth and she’s willing to hand him the keys to Alexandria. Most people are happy with that, but there are a few holdouts (aren’t there always?). More on that in a bit.

Hello again. Tonight’s episode featured one of the best action sequences of the series–visually compelling and the set up to a truly surprising plot twist. Interspersed between the action, Rick and the gang checked in on each other and got reacquainted (hence the episode’s title). Glenn and Maggie were reunited, Eugene was happy to see Tara alive and well (Tara was happy to see Eugene’s hair alive and well) and even Carl and Enid shared a quiet moment–unless they talked about something we weren’t privy to (more on that later). And as for do-overs, Maggie revealed to Tara that Nicholas was responsible for Noah’s death and had tried to kill Glenn. She was willing to forgive and forget as long as he could prove himself worthy of a second chance. After all, she argues, it wasn’t so long ago that she and Tara were on different sides. Valid point, and Tara agrees. Meanwhile, Rick and Morgen are getting to know each other, with Rick inviting Morgen to move in with the family and even hold Baby Judith.

Everyone seems like they’re getting back on track, trying to get along under new leadership. But like in any merger and management change, there are always a few people who don’t get it. Specifically, local Alexandrian, Carter (Ethan Embry), resents taking orders from Rick, even though it’s abundantly clear that he can’t survive without him. Eugene hears Carter planning a misguided coup against Rick’s leadership and almost takes a bullet in his beautiful head for the trouble, before Rick intercedes and disarms Carter. “Do you have any idea who you are talking to?” he demands, with a gun on Carter. “You can try to work with us. you can try to survive.” In the end, it seems like he doesn’t kill him because it wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

The Great Walker Migration. And now for the fun part! The first order of business in the new and improved Ricktatorship, is to move a gigantic walker horde nearby. It seems as if a million and one walkers have become trapped in a local quarry and are drawing in more every day with their combined walker moaning. It’s only a matter of time before they break trough a barrier of semis and head right for Alexandria. Reinforcing the community’s fence won’t keep them out (sorry, Carter). The only option is to lure them away and down the highway with Daryl as the Pied Piper of the Zombie Apocalypse. The plan’s in place and everyone’s ready. But there’s a mishap during the dry run and Rick announces that it’s a go and they’re proceeding right now. Despite the sudden change of plans, things are going fairly well until Carter gets half his faced eaten by a walker and begin luring the rest off the road with his hysterical screams. Rick has no choice but to put Carter out of his misery for the sake of the group. Like Rick said, “somebody like that, they’re gonna die no matter what.”

So close… Like any plan on The Walking Dead, something usually goes wrong. The Carter incident was a fake out, cuz the real problem came a few minutes later. With thousands of walkers back on track, shuffling on down the road away from Alexandria, it seemed like all was well. Until the gang heard a horn, blaring steadily in the background, drawing the walkers off the road and foiling their plan. And it was coming from Alexandria!!! All I have to say is Carl better be in that damn house.

Odds and Ends and Questions and More.

  • Ricktatorship 2.0. It’s pretty clear that the gang needs Rick’s leadership, but perhaps it won’t be so all or nothing as before. Already Rick is butting heads with Daryl, who thinks they should still bring in more survivors. And Jessie will let Rick lead the group, but he’s been given a clear set of boundaries when it comes to her and her children. Rick seemed shocked to hear this, no?
  • New people! Welcome Scott and Addie! We hope you last for a while.
  • Mullet Pride. Eugene is downright endearing this season. Good for him!
  • Potential Walking Dead spinoff: Everybody Hates Gabriel.
  • Morgen and Carol’s interaction was great because they’re 2 characters where you never know what the other is thinking. One or both of them is up to something.
  • WHO WAS BLOWING THAT HORN?? Carl and Enid both hate Alexandria and it could have been possible that they hatched a plan off screen to ruin Rick’s plan. (then again, it could have been Ron, who just hates Rick)
  • Or Gabriel… isn’t he famous for a horn?

15 TV Inspired Halloween Costumes

By: L Green

If you deep down dream of being like cool as Hell Jon Snow or think you could rock a wig as better Keri Russell in The Americans, well now’s your chance! Halloween is lurking around the corner and here are 15 TV-inspired costumes to satisfy your inner TV and Halloween nerds.

1. Phil Miller (Last Man on Earth)

For the truly lazy, here’s the costume of your sloth dreams. Wear whatever, add a gnarly beard, and attach food particles at your discretion. Bonus points if you incorporate Rocky’s robe or the margarita pool.

2. The Snow Queen (Once Upon a Time)

Continue reading

What’s missing from ‘Fear The Walking Dead’?

by: L Green

More Daryl!

Fear The Walking Dead is fun and all. But how does it compare to Original Flavor Walking Dead? Without Daryl–everyone’s favorite poncho-wearing-crossbow-wielding badass with a heart of gold, it can’t! Problem solved… click on the images below to see what Fear The Walking Dead would look like, now with Daryl additives!

swoon

 

Fear The Walking Dead‘s season 1 finale air this Sunday, October 4, at 9pm.

The Walking Dead returns for its 6th season Sunday, October 11, at 9pm.

The Most Shocking Moments of The Walking Dead Season 5 Finale

by: L Green

image via AMC

image via AMC

Season 5 of The Walking Dead has come and gone and it looks like Rick and the gang are staying put for now. Sunday’s finale answered a lot of questions and tied up a few loose ends. Everyone mostly made it out unharmed, which isn’t to say there weren’t a ton of shocking moments. Let’s take a closer look at the gross, violent, satisfying and puzzling moments of “Conquer”. Spoilers below.

  • The Wolves are crazy. We could have guessed as much, but when Morgan gets stuck in a chat-at-gunpoint with a “wolf,” he hears a story about how the spirit of wolves are reborn in men’s bodies. So we’re talking that kind of crazy…
  • Morgan leaves the job half done. Hasn’t Morgan ever seen Breaking Bad? No half measures! After taking down two “wolves” with a stick, Morgan leaves the job undone and tucks them safely inside a car before taking off. I know Morgan says “all life is precious,” but obviously they’re going to get out and wreak more havoc.
  • Carol goads Pete into losing it. Carol drops by Pete’s new digs to deliver a casserole and suggest he go check on Tara. But it seems like those are excuses for her real objective–to push Pete’s buttons and pick a fight. She’s had it out for Pete for a while now, but this seemed too reckless for even Carol.
  • Trojan Horse food trucks. Surely no one was surprised to find that walkers lurked inside those food trucks. But the sophistication of the whole setup was crazier than anything we’ve ever seen (including the music/strobe light re-herding technique)! If this is the work of The Wolves, they’re not to be underestimated.
  • Maggie stayed quiet.  Why go to the trouble of showing Maggie overhear Gabriel’s betrayal of the group, only to have her keep it to herself? What were you waiting for, Maggie???
  • Walkers lose their heads. Daryl took out three at once with a chain like something out of Indiana Jones, Aaron smashed one in a car door, and even Gabriel popped one off with a rope. Nothing tops Rick crushing a walker head with his bare hands and getting sprayed with a faceful of brains.
  • Sasha takes a nap. In a pit full of walkers. This is very dark.
  • Gabriel has a death wish. Not that I’d mind, but Gabriel strolls right into a walker attack. He goes out armed with only “the word of God” and whistles his way through the woods right up to an attack. Did he want to die? Did he really think God would spare him? What kind of test was this? Meh, it ended the way it always does–with Gabriel crying.
  • Gabriel leaves the gate open! Dumb, even for him.
  • Prayer circle. That’s a thing that happened.
  • Rick makes an entrance. Nothing proves your point like slamming down a slain walker for emphasis. Do you dummies finally get that you need Rick???
  • Pete makes an entrance. People weren’t exactly sad Pete didn’t show up at the town meeting, but they especially weren’t happy when he arrived wielding Michonne’s sword. Poor Reg, trying to make peace as usual, got in the way and suffered the finale’s only death. And one of the most gruesome of the season.

Stay gross, Walking Dead. Never change.

TV’s Toughest Female Characters

by: L Green

March is Women’s History Month, so to close out a month of celebrating strong, important, and inspirational women everywhere, let’s take a look at some of TV’s toughest female characters. Watch and learn, these women get stuff done!

Kimmy Schmidt (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

kimmy

Haven’t you heard the theme song? Kimmy Schmidt is TV’s poster girl for resilience! Kimmy Schmidt spent 15 years kidnapped underground and is determined to live her new life to the fullest. She wears sneakers that blink, eats candy for dinner, but knows what’s what and stands up for what’s right. She’s tough, inspirational, and well… unbreakable.

Arya and Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones)

arya

The Stark sisters share the honor of being two of the toughest ladies on Game of Thrones, beating out some stiff competition. Both are on their own and figuring out how to make it alone–in very different, but equally badass ways.

Jessica Huang (Fresh off the Boat)

jessica

Jessica is a tough no-nonsense mom who knows how to get things done. She’s up on all the local news and catastrophes to avoid, can run a restaurant, tutor her kids, and sell houses without even trying. Think you can get away with something without Jessica noticing? Think again. She misses and forgets nothing. But she’ll still buy you lunchables because at the end of the day, that’s what great moms do.

Diane Lockhart (The Good Wife)

diane

While Alica is in the process of learning how to be tough-as-nails and juggle her gazillion responsibilities, Diane is over there already doing it. Take notes, Alicia, Diane’s showing you how it’s done. Diane is quietly confident and will do whatever it takes to get the job done, all while rocking impeccable suits and an impressive array of brooches. How confident is Diane in herself and her beliefs? Enough that she married a Republican, pro-hunting, gun advocate because Diane knows when to leave political arguments at work.

Michonne (The Walking Dead)

michonne

If you’ve made it this far on The Walking Dead, you’re pretty tough. But none compare to Michonne, who knows when to pick a fight, literally and figuratively. She’s Rick’s best counterpart, always there to talk him down from spinning out of control. Quietly confident, Michonne is often the group’s voice of reason when everyone else is freaking out. She’s probably Rick’s best friend, has been there for Carl, puts the group first, and doesn’t bother everyone with mindless chatter (I’m looking at you, Eugene.).

Fiona (Shameless)

fiona

Fiona is often her own worst enemy and often can’t get out of her own way. She makes terrible relationship decisions and sort of let the Carl situation get out of hand. But on the flip side, she’s been raising her siblings for years, having to deal with Frank, her insane half-sister, CPS visits, eviction, the foster system, getting fired, and prison–all while holding down a job and only being 25.

Norma Bates (Bates Motel)

norma

To be fair, sometimes Norma doesn’t cope so well with her life. She’s prone to freakouts and acting out. But considering what exactly she’s dealing with (ahem, Norman), she’s doing pretty well. Norma continually reinvents herself and is an eternal optimist, believing that with a little extra love and interest Norman will turn out just fine. That’s resilience you can’t fake.

Annalise Keating (How to Get Away with Murder)

annalise

Annalise juggles a prestigious job and a very complicated personal life. Between her cheating reckless husband, overbearing mother, clingy students, a boyfriend, a criminal investigation, and a few more secrets she’d like to keep to herself, thank you very much, Annalise really does have it all. Not that I’d want that particular list, but she handles it all flawlessly. Nobody messes with Annalise Keating.

Mellie Grant (Scandal)

mellie

All the women on Scandal are particularly tough and go through a fair amount of turmoil, only to come out stronger on the other side. But out of all of them, it’s probably the least easy being Mellie Grant. She has to play second fiddle to her husband and talk about things like china patterns while everyone else gets to make important decisions. She’s been one-upped, out-manuevered, and humiliated by her husband, but that doesn’t stop Mellie. Mellie will have her day and is planning for it.

Joan (Mad Men)

joan

The women of Mad Men have had to put up with a lot over the years. But probably none as much as Joan, who’s often the smartest in the room but has to defend her position as partner from gossip and rumors. Joan’s proven along the way that she’ll do things her way and will always come out on top–looking flawless the whole time, of course. Team Joan!

Cookie (Empire)

cookie

Don’t be fooled by the cutesy first name, Cookie is all Lyon–strong, protective, and unstoppable going after what she wants. Her family will always come first and nothing will get in her way, whether it’s prison …or a certain other Lyon named Lucious.

The Walking Dead Recap: Conquer

by: L Green

image via AMC

image via AMC

The Walking Dead ended its fifth season on Sunday, finally addressing some crucial questions like Does Rick get banished? Where’s Morgan? Is Gabriel still the worst? So gather round, let’s talk about The Walking Dead‘s fifth season finale, “Conquer”. Spoilers below.

Old friends. We finally see what good ol’ Morgan has been up to. He’s making it out there alone due to some good instincts and a lucky rabbit’s foot. He’s approached by a guy with a “W” on his head–one of the wolves. The dude explains that the original settlers in the area put bounties on wolves’ heads and talks about some old-timey folklore about men having the spirits of wolves. He’s crazy, and the dangerous kind. The awkward chit-chat is stopped short when Wolf #2 shows up to rob and kill Morgan. Morgan isn’t having any of that and takes them both down. They’re still alive, though unconscious, when Morgan takes off.

To Lie or not to lie. The town is undecided about what to do with Rick and he’s just as undecided himself. He’s tired of lying about his intentions, but he still wants to take over Alexandria (Carl calling it “home” probably played into that). Carol reminds him that he can’t have it both ways, because Carol is a badass who doesn’t waver ever–even when she’s nice enough to bring you a casserole.

Rick and the gang meet up before the evening’s hearing and they confess to Michonne about stealing the guns. He’s convinced she’s going to side with the Alexandrians, but Michonne assures him that she’s with him and has always been with him. She knocked him out last week for him, “not them”. Still, she doesn’t take the gun they offer her. She knows something will happen at the town meeting, but warns him not to “make it happen”.

Meanwhile, Maggie is still hanging out with Reg and Deanna and puts in a good word for Rick. She insists that he’s seen more and knows more and is only acting in everyone’s best interest. She says that they’ve all lost so much and Deanna counters that she has too. Maggie stands firm; she doesn’t disagree, but states they’ve still lost more. Reg seems like he’s softening a bit and tells Maggie that “civilization starts when we stop running”; he’d like things to work out. Rick’s gang is less interested in compromising. As Carol says: “these people are children”. The hostile takeover is happening.

Bakes with love. Carol shows up at Pete’s new house (he’s been forcibly separated from Jessie) with another casserole (but what kind? I actually wonder). She reminds him that he’s the town surgeon and should check on Tara. He’s really really not happy to see her. She reminds him that should she have to kill him, everyone would believe it’s in self-defense. “You’re a small weak nothing.” Also, she wants her dish back when he’s done. Somebody give Carol a mic so she can drop it.

Prof. Mullet says sorry. Eugene apologizes to Abraham for lying about DC. Abraham apologizes to Eugene for almost killing him. Tara wakes up and Rosita smiles. The end.

Glenn and Nicholas have a fight. Second only to Gabriel, Nicholas is the worst. After Glenn’s stern talking-to last week, Nicholas decides Glenn has to go. Glenn follows him into the woods and is quickly shot (in the shoulder). Of course that’s not enough to take Glenn down. There’s a fist fight and a walker fight before Glenn finally gets the upper hand and pulls Nicholas’s own gun on him. Nicholas cries and for a second we wonder if Glenn will channel his inner Rick Grimes. He doesn’t and let’s Nicholas live. Boo.

Father Gabriel leaves his Eden. But comes right back. The Judas of the group heads out to take a walk–unarmed because “the word of God is the only protection I need”. Also because he doesn’t know how to use any weapons anyway. He lures a walker over, thinking that he won’t be killed? Hoping that he will? Who knows. But he pulls the walker’s head off with its own noose. Then he curls up in a ball in the road to cry it out because he’s awful. Then he leaves the gate to Alexandria open because he’s super awful. Then he blames sad sad Sasha for Bob’s death (because of her “sins”). Sasha has her gun aimed at him (Gabriel practically begs her to shoot him) when Maggie runs in a resolves everything. Gabriel still feels guilty about all the people he killed by locking them out of the church (oh, all your friends and neighbors, you mean?) When we leave off, the group is having a mini-prayer meeting. So I guess Gabriel is staying for now. Lame.

Snack run gone bad. Daryl and Aaron are out looking for new people when Aaron says that he can’t make the same mistake of choosing wrong again (Oh, Aaron, if only you could see what was going on back home). Along the way, they spot a food processing plant and decide to check it out. They’re walking between rows of 18-wheelers and chatting casually, so you know a walker surprise attack is imminent. Daryl opens up the back of one of the trucks and we’re not surprised to see it filled with walkers. We are surprised to see that it’s a trap and they’re all wired to open and once and soon walkers are spilling out everywhere. They make it to a car for shelter, where Daryl finds a note warning them that it’s a trap. Well, that would have come in handy earlier. Daryl insists on heading out to lure the walkers away so Aaron can run for it. But Aaron knows that’s a suicide mission and won’t have it. They agree to both run at the same time and hope for the best when it’s Morgen to the rescue!! They make it out safely and Daryl asks why Morgen bothered helping them. Because “all life is precious now”. Morgen turns down Aaron’s offer of Alexandria, but passes the map with Rick’s name on it to Daryl. “The new world needs Rick Grimes”–sounds like everyone’s coming around to Rick’s way of doing things.

Town Meeting. Night falls and the meeting is on. Only there’s no Rick anywhere. (He spotted the open gate and is busy tracking down the walker that got in.) Everyone sticks to their script and makes nice, doing whatever it takes to get Rick a pardon and not blow their cover. Deanna mentions Gabriel’s accusation and Jessie correctly counters that without Gabriel here to confirm that, why should they trust Deanna’s word alone?

Rick finally makes his grand entrance (it’s so fashionable to arrive late) with a walker slung over his shoulder (less fashionable). Everyone seems horrified because they are truly living in a bubble. Rick informs them about the gate and scolds them for being in denial about what’s really out there. It’s a dangerous world but Rick can help them. “They’ll hunt us, they’ll find us, they’ll try to use us, they’ll try to kill us, but we’ll survive. I’ll show you how.” And right on cue to help him prove this point, Pete shows up wielding Michonne’s sword. Reg, forever the peacemaker, tries to intervene but gets his throat slashed. Deanna finally sees the ways of the world and orders Rick to “do it”. And just like that, Rick shoots Pete.

So after an entire season that drove home the message that people are more dangerous than walkers and that “you’re either the butcher or the cattle”, The Walking Dead agreed that the best way to live is most likely somewhere in the middle. And Rick Grimes is the person to lead that movement. Because in the immortal words of Abraham: “there is a vast ocean of sh*t that you people don’t know sh*t about. Rick knows every fine grain of said sh*t. And then some.” Slow clap for Abraham.

Odds and Ends

  • I don’t understand why The Walking Dead bothered to show Maggie hearing Gabriel’s confession only to have her not use that information.
  • Will Glenn end up regretting letting Nicholas go?
  • Is Michonnne’s Sword the new “Chekhov’s Gun”? I should have known we’d see it again after she hung it on the wall.
  • The Wolves seem unsophisticated and unorganized. Are we supposed to believe they’re the ones that created that elaborate trap in the trucks?
  • Gabriel is still around?! Really?
  • What’s in DC? and how will its “new world” compare with what Deanna’s trying to make?
  • Now that Glenn has that nasty shoulder wound, it’s too bad they don’t have a surgeon anymore.

So what’d you think of “Conquer” and season 5? Comment away! See you next season!