Chris Hardwick

The Walking Dead’s Dawn and Machiavelli’s Prince

(Spoilers for The Walking Dead: Coda)

I majored in political science and history in college.  I sleep with a copy of Machiavelli’s Prince next to my bed.  I’ve learned a lot from that little tome of wisdom from the Renaissance.  And when I heard Dawn telling Beth about how you have to have respect in order to maintain control, I heard Machiavelli in her words.

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince during the Renaissance as a guidebook for the ruling Medici Family in a time when Florence needed strong leadership.  In the book, he describes different types of leaders and how they are either successful or failures, depending on how they choose to rule their realms.  For example, the nice Prince who lets his people do what they want will be perceived as weak,  but a iron-fisted Prince who establishes rules will be seen as strong, and should he bestow occasional rewards to his people, he will be respected and loved.

Dawn was in a precarious situation from the very first moment we met her.  She had assumed control of Grady Hospital after killing her friend and mentor, Hanson.  He cracked under pressure, and people died.  Dawn created a world within the walls of Grady where she was in control, and her control depended upon the relationship between her police and the wards.  After the midseason finale, we learned that she was well aware of the good cops and the bad cops.  She was paying attention.  But as she told Beth, she had to maintain their respect in order to maintain control.  You can’t allow the inmates to run the asylum, as they say.

Dawn’s fatal flaw was her request to Rick for Noah’s return.  She thought she had to make that request in front of her people.  She thought it would be best to show that she was in control of the situation, but making that request is what began the chain of events that led to Beth’s death, and ultimately her own.

I don’t think Dawn was a villain.  She was never as ruthless as The Governor, nor was she as frenetic and volatile as Gareth.  In her mind, she was doing the right thing in the only way she knew how.

The internet has been buzzing with speculation about whether or not Dawn killed Beth on purpose.  I’m of the opinion that she didn’t mean to pull the trigger.  (Unless, of course, she was looking for a way out)  The shocked look on Dawn’s face was enough to make me think that she had no intention of killing Beth.  Dawn respected Beth.  Beth’s death, and Dawn’s subsequent departure, were unintended consequences of an unintentional action. (Which is to say that Beth stabbed Dawn, Dawn’s finger slipped on the trigger, Beth died, and Daryl shot Dawn)  It would have been interesting to see what life in The Walking Dead world would have been like with Beth and Dawn in it.  At least, for a little while longer.

 

In sum, I believe that Machiavelli would approve of Dawn’s system at Grady. Dawn ruled with a heavy hand, but as we saw with Beth, she also knew how to  play nice when the time called for it.  Of course, everything Dawn did was incredibly calculated, so even when she was “nice” (as in giving Beth the key to the medicine cabinet) she had ulterior motives.  However, this is something that Machiavelli would see as a favorable trait in a leader.

 

 

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The Walking Dead Recap S5E7: Crossed

The Walking Dead S5E7: Crossed

Original Airdate: November 23, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

It’s that time of year, fellow Walkers. As we approach the midseason finale, the action is heating up.

Sasha is breaking pews in the church.  Tyreese is dismantling the organ, handing the pipes to Daryl.  Father Gabriel asks Daryl if they’re taking the cross as well.  Only if they need it, he replies.  Rick tells Michonne that Carl wants to go to Atlanta but he can’t.  She says that she’ll go so he can stay, where he belongs.  Rick holds Judith one last time before handing her back to Michonne, and then he hugs Carl.  The group leaves, with Michonne, Judith, Carl and Gabriel in the church.  Judith cries as the door closes.  Once it’s closed, Michonne and Carl board up the doors.  Gabriel stares at the dried blood on the floor from the Gareth Party Massacre.  He scratches at it, then scrubs with his hands. He’s sweaty.  I think he’s having a breakdown.

The truck barrels down the road. Tyreese and Sasha sit in the back talking.  He tells her he understands how she feels about Bob.  When he continues, she tells him to stop.  She doesn’t want to hear it.

In Atlanta, Beth does her chores but she takes a moment to check on Carol.  Dr. Edwards comes in to check on her progress.

We return to the road, where Abraham’s group ponders the sea of Walkers gathered on the farm.  Glen has his gun at the ready.  “Buckle up” the sign behind him advises.  Tara has used the last of the water.  She has dubbed the group “Greatm”, which represents their initials.  Eugene is still out cold. Glen ponders taking him back to the church.  Rosita offers water to Abraham, who refuses it and then slaps it away.  He’s in a daze.  He stands and stares at Rosita, and Maggie aims her gun at him.  She orders him to sit down or be put down.  Eventually he listens.

Rick wants to retain the upper hand in their siege upon the hospital.  Everything has to be quiet and fast.  No guns.  Rick divides the areas up.  He is going to take down Dawn.  Noah assures them that the wards will help them if it means they will be free.  Tyreese wants to know what happens if his plan doesn’t work.  He proposes keeping two of the cops as prisoners.  Daryl agrees that using the cops as leverage will be a good idea.  Everyone goes home.

At the church, Gabriel is still scrubbing. Carl tells him to choose a weapon.  He needs to learn to defend himself.  Gabriel doesn’t think he deserves to be protected. Carl tells him that he’s lucky the church has lasted so long, and they can’t stay in one place anymore.  Gabriel chooses a machete, but he doesn’t hold it properly.  Carl tries to tell him how to do it, but Gabriel doesn’t want to learn. He needs to lie down.

Beth scrubs the floor while Dawn talks to an officer, who is arguing that they’re wasting resources on Carol.  Beth interrupts, telling them that the officer is wasting their electricity charging his DVD player every day.  Dawn tells her to switch off the life support, and the officer leaves, satisfied.  Dawn tells Beth that they have a fragile balance at the hospital, and that she just killed the patient.  However, Dawn gives Beth the key to the drug locker and tells her that she will be able to save her.  She doesn’t trust anyone with the key, not even Edwards.  A call comes in on the radio about a gunshot about a mile from the hospital.  She dispatches some officers.  Beth wants to know why she is doing this.  Dawn says she thought Beth was weak, but Beth proved her wrong.

Glen says they will need more water before moving.  Maggie volunteers to stay behind while Glen, Tara and Rosita go to the creek.  Tara cracks jokes about their situation, but she misses Eugene.  She doesn’t blame him for using his intelligence to save his life.  Back at the truck, Maggie grabs a ladder while Abraham stares in the distance.  She uses it to form a little shade tent for Eugene.  She goes to Abraham and says that he needs to get over himself.  He isn’t the only one who lost something, and things aren’t going to get any better.

Beth knocks on Edwards’ door.  She asks to come inside.  She wants to know what medicine to give Carol.  Edwards says that if Dawn gave her the key then she did it for a reason.  He says he had been trying to save his life before, but he isn’t sure that he was better off staying alive.  He tells Beth to use epinephrine, and that she’ll wake up after a while.  He wishes her luck.

The creek is muddy.  Tara wonders if they should go upstream, but Rosita has a solution.  She built a water filter with a water bottle, and while it’s slow, they can boil it.  Tara asks if Rosita was with Abraham before.  She had been in Dallas, and then Abraham pulled up in his big truck with Eugene.  He saw her skills and asked her to help.  But now she wonders if he was lying too.

The cops drive into a cluster of buildings.  They find Noah limping away, and they catch him.  He goes quietly, which eventually leads one of the officers to wonder what he was shooting at.  Behind them, Rick and his gang are there waiting for them.  Rick takes over, telling them to put their guns down.  Rick says they need to talk.  He offers them water and food.  Officer Lanson wonders if Rick is a cop too.  Noah says he was one of the only good cops.  But before they can talk, the blue car returns and rescues the officers, but not before Sasha shoots out the tire.  The officers scatter in a burned out courtyard filled with badly burned Walkers.  Rick gives chase.  One of the officers tackles Daryl, and Daryl uses the head of one of the Walkers to get the officer off of him.  Rick shows up and aims the gun at the officer’s head, but Daryl reminds him that three hostages are better than one.

The group leads their hostages into the warehouse.  The female officer says that they can help them make the plan work.  They have wanted to get rid of Dawn for a while now and if they are released they can take care of her and free their friends.  Lanson tells her to be quiet, realizing that Sasha, Daryl and Tyreese are listening to them, as in actually listening to them.  And Lanson isn’t interested in anything other than peaceful resolution.  He wants to help them.

The Walking Dead Recap S5E6: Consumed

The Walking Dead S5E6: Consumed

Original Airdate: November 16, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

It’s hard to believe that after tonight we’re only two episodes away from the midseason finale.  Crazy.

And of course it will be another week before we learn whether or not Eugene is still alive….

But for now, we start out tonight with a return to when Rick left Carol in the little neighborhood.  She drives for a while, but then she breaks down in tears down the road as the reality sets in.  Walkers surround the car, but she doesn’t care.  “Go away!” she screams before driving off again.  She arrives in a town and finds a law office that seems to be untouched.  She shakes a pencil holder to see if the noise draws anyone out.  It seems to be empty, so she gets comfortable, though she sleeps with her hand on her gun.  The next day she awakens to see fire rising from the prison.  She drives like mad and arrives to see that the whole place is on fire.

We return to the night that Daryl and Carol drive off after Beth.  Daryl is explaining how he and Beth were together.  (As they drive and converse, they run over a Walker)  Their car is about to run out of gas.  They plan to surprise whoever has taken Beth, with the plan to do whatever is necessary to get Beth back.  They follow the car into Atlanta and it stops.  Daryl stops and sees that there are two people in the car.  One is a cop.  He clears the road so that they can drive through.  Walkers surround their car.  The car carrying Beth drives away.

Daryl can’t start their car so Carol tells him that she knows a place they can hide.  They run off into the night and find themselves in an office building.  Daryl asks if Carol used to “work here or something,” to which Carol replies “or something.”  The building is quiet and they have a set of keys courtesy of the dead guard.  Carol says that it’s temporary housing for abused women and children.  Carol says they didn’t stay long.  There are bunk beds and Carol tells Daryl to take the bottom bunk while she takes first watch, even though they are pretty secure.  She asks him about being able to start over.  He says he’s trying to.  He encourages her to say what’s on her mind.  She doesn’t think they can save people anymore.  I suppose that’s a double entendre.  “Then why are you here?” Daryl asks.  She lies down on the bed with him.  He asks what would have happened if he hadn’t shown up when she was at the car.  She isn’t sure.  There is a banging noise, so they go to investigate.  Inside one of the rooms is a pair of doors made of frosted glass.  There is a woman and her child, both of them Walkers.  He tells her she doesn’t have to do anything, but she feels she must.

The next day, Carol awakens to find that Daryl is outside on the roof.  A fire is burning and he’s carrying the body of the child, draped in a white sheet.  She joins him, and she thanks him after the body is in the fire.  Smoke billows up into the air.

We return to the cabin as Tyreese and Carol bury Lizzie and Mika.  She has the same vacant expression on her face.

Back in the present, they pack up and get ready to scout the city on foot in search of Beth.  Daryl lights a fire to distract the roaming Walkers, and he and Carol make their way to the inside of a parking garage.  They’re an office, and a man is watching.  Inside one of the corridors, there are a dozen Walkers in sleeping bags and tents.  The duo quickly kills the sleeping bag Walkers and sneak inside the hospital proper.  They find a well-appointed office with a view of the burned out city.  Carol wonders how they got there.  She tells Daryl that he still hasn’t asked about when she was with Tyreese and the girls.  He said he knows they aren’t here, and she says it was worse than that.  Daryl spots one of the vans with the crosses on it like the one that took Beth.  Carol fills their water bottles while Daryl admires the expensive art that some asshole probably paid a lot of money for.  They leave, but the man who had been watching them confiscates their weapons.  He cuts open the tents full of Walkers and takes off before Carol and Daryl can stop him.  Now they have no weapons, and Daryl tells her that she has to be in the moment.  She doesn’t want anyone to die, but she’s not sure she believes in God anymore.  She drops her bag, and Daryl sees the book about helping people deal with abuse.

Carol flashes back to when she set Karen and David on fire at the prison.

Now she and Daryl are walking around in Atlanta.  They find the van on a highway bridge, dangling off the edge.  The city is eerie and quiet.  And empty.  Daryl jumps into the van, even though Carol is lighter.  Walkers approach the teetering van.  Inside they find papers and a little statue of Mary.  The gurney says Grady Memorial Hospital.  Before they can do anything with that information, the van is surrounded by Walkers.  They climb in and drive the off the bridge.  (They’re holding hands)  The van lands on its wheels and Walkers soon start plopping and splatting on top of them.  They get out and start walking again.

Later, Daryl asks Carol to prove she’s fine.  She’s in bad shape, but she says she’s “had worse,” referring to a nasty bruise on her collarbone.  They figure they are three blocks from the hospital.  Daryl wants to scout it out to see what they can find.  They go inside a nearby building and they camp out with a perfect view of the hospital.  While they wait, Daryl asks what she meant when she said he isn’t the way he was before.  She says before he was like a little kid, and now he’s a man.  She tells him that she and Sophia were in the shelter for almost two days before they went back to her husband.  Carol thinks that she got to be the person she was meant to be when they were at the prison.  But now everything “consumes you.”  Down the hall, a Walker is pinned to the wall with an arrow.  They hear gunshots and Carol and Daryl race to see what’s happening.  That’s when they see the man with their weapons, but they’re intercepted by Walkers.  Carol is attacked but she can’t fight, so Daryl saves her.  He finds the man who took their weapons and he pins him to the ground with a bookcase while Walkers try to burst in the door.  Now we can see that it’s Noah, the kid that Beth saved from the hospital.  Daryl seems content to leave him there.  He lights a cigarette and tells him that he tried to save him once but he isn’t going to do it again.  Carol begs him to save the boy as the Walker bursts in.  Daryl shoots the Walker with an arrow and gives Carol a long look.

Carol flashes back to the battle at Terminus when she was covered in Walker blood and gore.   Gunshots ring out as the battle rages on and the fires burn.

Carol helps to free Noah from the bookshelf.  He races to the window to see what’s happening.  He says they probably heard the gunshots and will come after them.  Daryl demands to know who he’s talking about.  Noah says it’s the people at the hospital, and Daryl asks if he saw a blonde girl.  “Beth?” Noah asks.  Noah explains that she saved him and he’s trying to save her.  Now that they know they’re on the same side, they move along together.  They go downstairs because Noah says there is a safe building across the street.  He stumbles and falls, so Daryl helps him while Carol steps outside.  As she crosses the street, she’s run down by the medics, who load her up on a stretcher.  Noah holds Daryl back, telling him that they can help her at the hospital but they’re going to need a lot of help getting her out.  They have guns and people.  “So do we,” Daryl says.  They work to escape the throngs of Walkers and take a van so that they can flee the city.  They drive along in silence.

Well, now we know who is with Daryl back at the church.  This was definitely a slower-paced episode, but it gives us some background on what Carol had been doing up until she reunited with Tyreese.  Are the flashbacks a sign of strength, or madness?  Will she be able to move forward after this?

What did you think of the episode?  Leave your comments below!

The Walking Dead Recap S5E5: Self-Help

The Walking Dead S5E5: Self-Help

Original Airdate: November 9, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

We’re back with the rest of the gang this week.  It was nice checking in last week with Sansa Stark, er, I mean Beth….

The bus is rolling along the road.  Abraham is at the wheel and there is some music on the radio.  Rosita is playing with his hair.  She’s teasing that his hair has gotten long.  He says he’ll let her shave him all over, “dolphin smooth,” if she’s good.  Tara teases Eugene about his hair.  He says it doesn’t matter how long his hair is in order for him to save the world.  He’s lost in thought thinking about the church and the preacher.  Glen asks him how long it will take to fix things.  Eugene pulls the “classified” card again but Glen points out that if they save the world, secrets won’t matter.  This gives Eugene pause, and eventually he says that there would be missiles deployed with the cure.  Everything from there would depend on weather patterns, which they would need to recalculate because no one anticipated having the world free of planes, trains and cars for so long.  And lastly he says that no one is messing with his hair.  He likes his hair.  Abraham smiles as he drives, as they pass a herd of Walkers on the road.  Suddenly the bus hits something.  There are cars strewn in the roadway and the bus catches one of them and flies up and over it, spinning onto its side.  The Walkers slowly approach.

We flash back to a time when Abraham is bashing in a man’s face with a tin can.  He stands up and looks at the mess of bodies lying in what appears to be a supermarket aisle.  Back on the bus, the group comes to their senses and Glen says that he and Abraham will get off first, followed by everyone else.  The bus’s engine is on fire and they’re surrounded by Walkers.  Eugene is terrified but Tara tells him that it’s time to be brave.  She gives him a knife and he looks at it like he’s never seen a knife before.  They step outside and he watches as everyone around him fights the Walkers with their bare hands.  He tries to kill a Walker but he misses the brain.  Tara helps him out.  Once they’re safe, Abraham says someone should check Eugene to be sure he isn’t hurt.  He says he isn’t hurt but Abraham insists.  A cut on Abraham’s hand opened up again, but as Maggie turns to grab the first aid kit from the bus, the bus catches on fire. Abraham says they have to keep moving forward, that there is no turning back.  Glen asks if Abraham is okay.  He isn’t questioning his authority, he just wants to be sure Abraham is okay.  Abraham looks utterly lost, but he’s happy to know that Glen is on board.  They all decide to press on, but before they leave, Eugene pauses to spit on the Walker he almost killed on his own.

Back in Abraham’s flashback, he’s walking through a store searching for Ellen.  She rises and turns with a little boy.  They’re both sick.  In the present, the gang finds a book store and make sure it’s a safe place to crash for the night.   They close up the windows and make a fire.  The shelves provide extra protection.  Tara boils water while Maggie rips books apart and gives Rosita the string inside to stitch Abraham’s hand.  He caresses her cheek and then leaves to scout the perimeter.  A Walker bumps into the window and Abraham watches.  Glen walks up and Abraham thanks him for showing up.  He stayed with them, which means a lot.  Glen points out that he made a promise, and there wasn’t much Abraham could do if he broke it.  Abraham says that they’re at a point where they need to stay strong.  Glen can see that he’s battling some demons.  “The world’s gonna change, right?” Glen asks.  Abraham says it is.  Glen suggests that he should turn in for the night, but Abraham says he needs some “ass” first.  Rosita and Abraham get it on behind a shelf, and she looks up to see Eugene watching them have sex.  She tells Abraham he’s looking over the shelf in the self-help section, which makes Abraham laugh harder.  He assures her that Eugene is harmless.  Tara walks up and taps Eugene, who quickly explains that he enjoys the beauty of the female form.  She doesn’t want to hear that (especially considering that they can all hear the grunts) and instead wants to thank him for having her back today.  He saved her life.   (Easter Egg: There are three red books on the shelf behind Eugene in the self-help section.  They’re all the same: We All Fall Down.  I wonder if that means anything…) He says he wanted to help and she gave the context to do so.  That’s when Eugene drops the bomb—he made the bus crash.  He put crushed glass in the fuel line.  He didn’t mean for it to crash, but he needed to stop it.  He said that he did it because if he fails in his mission, he can’t protect himself and he’ll have no value.  Tara tells him that they are all friends and they would certainly take care of each other.  She tells him not to mention what he did to anyone else.  He’s not sure why he told her in the first place, but she says it’s because he’s human.  He walks away, and she takes a quick look over the shelf before leaving.

Glen and Maggie are cuddled together and Glen sees that Maggie is still awake.  She says she feels guilty about Abraham and Rosita, and Glen says that they all deserve little vacations, even if it’s on book store floors.  He points out that they almost died and they’re drinking toilet water.  She says that the night before was about what it’s going to be like.  They kiss and go to sleep.

Abraham continues his watch now that he’s gotten his ass.  Outside, Walkers wander around aimlessly.  He’s deep in thought.

In the flashback, Abraham tells Ellen and the kids that they’re safe now that he stopped the bad people.  He’s covered in blood, so they’re afraid of him, too.

The next day, Rosita tells Abraham that his cut isn’t infected.  She wants to spend the day at the store, but he doesn’t want to stop.  She says that maybe they never get anywhere because they never leave at 100%.  The rest of the gang comes in and Maggie says that this town seems to be in good shape.  No one even touched the book store.  They could restock for the day and then leave.  Rosita looks at Abraham and says that they need to keep moving.  She’s a good little soldier.  Abraham has found them a new vehicle…a fire truck.

They go outside and check out the abandoned rig.  Eugene is humming as Abraham starts up the truck.  It starts up slowly but it gets going.  Then it stops. Abraham is angry and tries to clear the intake, but Rosita points out that it’s actually on the top of the truck.  A tire rolling across the street catches their attention.  The truck had been keeping a door closed, and inside the station is a herd of Walkers.  The group tries to take them out but there are too many.  Suddenly an arc of water shoots out and decapitates the Walkers.  When they’re all gone, the group looks up to see Eugene on the top of the truck with the hose.  Abraham laughs and says that’s the best thing he has seen all day.  Glen and Maggie suggest that they find some dry clothes, but Abraham doesn’t want to stop.  He says they can air dry.  He gets on top of the truck to clear the intake, and he spots a message painted on the ground saying to let the Walkers die inside.  He laughs like it’s the funniest thing ever.  “It’s screwed up!” he laughs.  I think Abraham is cracking a bit.

In the dream, Abraham awakens to see that Ellen and the kids are gone.  “Don’t try to find us” is written on a receipt.

Out on the road, the gang is stopped.  Everyone scouts while Eugene reads H.G. Wells’ “The Shape of Things.”  Maggie walks up and says that she likes his hair.  She says that she thinks he keeps it so people don’t think he’s like them.  He has a mullet to look different.  She says he isn’t like the story of Sampson, and she tells him the story of Sampson in the Bible.  Glen smells something awful, so they set out on foot to see what it is.  In the distance there are thousands of Walkers in a valley, in what looks to be a huge farm.  The group wants to leave, but Abraham says that they keep detouring and they need to keep moving forward.  They can’t turn back and they have to keep going.   He won’t listen to their ideas, but when Rosita says they’re right, he stops.  He suddenly turns and grabs Eugene and walks him back to the truck.  Glen tries to stop him and they all start tussling.  That’s when Eugene drops the other bomb—he’s not really a scientist.  He lied.

At the fire truck, the gang has no words Eugene.  Rosita says that she has seen him do things.  He says that he is smarter than other people.  He says that he figured that Washington D.C. is their best chance for survival, so he lied to ensure that he was protected.  Rosita says that people died to protect him.  Eugene recites their names.  Abraham can’t contain himself any longer.  He punches Eugene over and over, and on the last punch Eugene bounces against the truck and falls face-first into the pavement.  The group isn’t sure if Abraham is alive or dead. Abraham walks off and continues the flashback.  After Ellen left, Abraham was about to kill himself, but that’s when Eugene comes running up.  He’s being chased by Walkers and Abraham helps him.  Eugene doesn’t want to be alone, so he tells Abraham that he has a very important mission.  That was all Abraham needed to hear.

Wow.  I didn’t see that coming.  As I’ve mentioned, I haven’t read the comics so I don’t know that Eugene is full of crap.

What did you think of the episode?  Next week we get to see what happened with Carol and Daryl, so stay tuned!

The Walking Dead Recap S5E4: Slabtown

The Walking Dead S5E4: Slabtown

Original Airdate: November 2, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

I believe the official hashtag for tonight’s episode is #WhereIsBeth?  And tonight we find out the answer to that question.

Beth opens her eyes.  The clock is ticking.  She’s in a hospital gown, in a hospital room.  The view from the grimy window suggests that she’s in Atlanta.  And Atlanta is absolutely desolate.  She bangs on the door and pulls the IV from her wrist.  The door opens, and a doctor and police officer walk in.  The doctor says everything is okay.  He introduces himself as Dr. Stephen Edwards, and the cop is Dawn Learner, and she’s at Grady Memorial in Atlanta.  Learner found Beth on the side of the road surrounded by Walkers.  Beth knows her name but can’t remember being left on the side of the road.  Her wrist was supposedly broken and her face has a big cut on it.  Beth asks if Daryl is with her.  He’s not.  Learner says that she was alone, and that they saved her.  “So you owe us,” she finishes.

Oh, great.  You get hurt in the apocalypse and the insurance companies still come after you.

Edwards takes Beth into another room with a man who is severely injured.  He had been out on a supply run and was hurt.  He pulls the plug and lets him die, since he’s unresponsive.  The doctor puts a knife through his temple.  Beth helps him wheel the body out into the hallway, and while he talks to the police, she wanders down and sees another girl in a room.  The girl closes her door.  Edwards says that only a few people live in the hospital, just enough to sustain them.  Everyone has a job.  He prepares to dump the body.  Since they don’t venture outside much, they dump them in the elevator shafts, so that the Walkers (they call them Runners) who make their way into the basement smell the fresh meat and stay down there instead of venturing upstairs.

Beth goes into the cafeteria.  There are a few other patients, and two police officers.  One of the officers comes up and smiles at Beth, telling her that she’s looking better.  He explains that he and his partner had been on a run trying to find some weapons they’d heard about, and that’s when they found her.  He says his name is Gorman.  She doesn’t remember being on the road.  He says that when someone does you a favor, you should help them in return.  He says she should show some appreciation or else he’ll write down the food she’s taking.  Everything has a price.  She stares at him and walks away.

Down the hall, a woman tells one of the patients that they’ll find John.  Apparently the patients are working for the officers.  Beth takes the food to Edwards, who is lounging at his desk listening to music.  He complains about being bored, and Beth says he’s lucky to be able to feel bored.  Music is something that is a perk since he’s the only doctor in the place.  He asks where her food is, and she says she didn’t take anything because she’ll end up owing more.  He tells her to sit down, that Dawn doesn’t have to know.  They’re going to enjoy guinea pig together.  She sits and he cuts off a piece and offers it to her.  “It’s good enough for Peru,” he laughs.  He points to a Caravaggio painting that he found in the trash.  There’s no place for it anymore.  He wants to think people can rise above being animals.

They are interrupted when Learner and Gorman wheel in a man they found who fell from a building.  Edwards says that he isn’t worth the resources, and it’s clear that this is a bigger conversation.  Learner and Gorman have a whispered conversation, and then she tells Edwards to save the man in spite of whatever she said before.  He figures that there is blood in the man’s lungs and takes care of that, but he explains that he doesn’t have the tools to deal with the internal bleeding.  She turns and slaps Beth, ripping her stitches.  She tells Edwards to think about Beth next time.  He stares at Learner while Beth holds her injured cheek.  Something bad is happening in this place.

Edwards fixes Beth’s cheek and says that Learner is only like that on her bad days.  He says that Beth should change into a new shirt because Learner likes things neat.  It looks like Learner is in charge.  Beth reaches for the new shirt when he leaves the room.  There’s a lollipop inside.  She smiles.

Gorman and Learner bring a struggling patient into a room while Edwards waits for Beth.  Gorman says he’s needed.  The patient apparently allowed a Walker to bite her arm.  Now they need to amputate it.  The patient doesn’t want to live, but Learner insists that she’s not going to die.  Edwards is prepping the anesthesia but the patient doesn’t want it, and Learner says to amputate without it.  They order Beth to hold her down, and Beth panics, thinking of her father.  But they insist, so Beth does it.  It’s agonizing.

Later, Beth enters the laundry room and sees the patient who had been taking care of Learner’s uniforms.  His name is Noah.  He asks if she’s okay.  He’d given her the lollipop because he figured she would need it.  Noah reveals that he has been there for a year.  He says their system doesn’t allow people to come and go, which is why the lady tried to kill herself while escaping.  When they found him, he was pretty torn up.  He had been with his father and they said they could only save one person.  At first he believed them, but now he knows that his father was bigger and stronger looking, so they didn’t want someone who could resist.  But they’re wrong about him.  And about Beth.  They need to wait until the right time to escape.

Beth is mixing cleaner under police supervision when Learner comes in.  Learner gives her a tray of food and explains to her that she’s giving her food and shelter, and when has that ever been free?  Learner sees her position as being a caretaker.  She’s working to keep everyone alive until help arrives.  If Beth wants to leave, she needs to be strong and work until it’s time.  That means she has to eat.

It’s Beth’s job to clean the blood from the floor of Joan’s room.  Joan’s arm is freshly amputated but she’s awake.  She says it’s nice that she’s cleaning the room.  Beth wants to get Dr. Edwards, but Joan says to wait.  Joan says that Learner can’t control everyone, but she’s a coward and it’s easier to act that way then to be nice.  Beth wants to know what they did to her.  Joan doesn’t want to say, but she does say that it’s easier to make a deal with the devil when you’re the one paying the price.

When Beth is back in her room, she goes to the mattress to find her lollipop.  Gorman walks in with her lollipop in hand.  He opens it and puts it in her mouth, then he wants her to put it in her mouth.  Thankfully Edwards comes in and stops him.  Gorman feels that Beth should have been his, as was Joan.  Edwards says that he’d better not get hurt.  Learner walks past and tells Gorman to stop, but he isn’t quite finished.  He tells the doctor that there will be a time when there is someone else in charge, and another doctor to go along with it.  When they’re gone, Beth asks Edwards why he doesn’t leave.

He takes her down to the ground floor.  There’s no way out.  Not really.  There are scores of walkers in the basement.  This is why he stays.  He comes down and looks at them when he’s thinking about leaving.  He wants to tell her a story, so they go to the roof.  When the outbreak began, Learner worked for a guy named Hanson who ordered the hospital to be cleared out to another hospital.  Bombs were going off.  Before they could leave, they realized that they were on their own.  They stayed there until they ran out of food, and then they started going on runs.  One day he was on a run when they found a boy with napalm burns.  Learner said that they couldn’t spare the resources, so they struck a deal.  He’d save who he could, but they had to work off their end of the bargain in return.  One day Hanson cracked and people died, so Learner took over and kept them safe.  Beth doesn’t understand his version of safe.  This isn’t living.  This is like being a prisoner.  Edwards knows that none of them could survive out there on their own.  He tells Beth to check in on the patient they worked together to save, and then she can call it a day and start fresh the next day.  It’s hard to tell what his intentions are with her, and clearly she doesn’t completely trust him, either.

Beth mixes the drugs for the patient and administers them perfectly.  Noah stops in to say hi, but then the man goes into a seizure and dies.  Learner drives a pair of scissors through his temple and then demands to know what happened.  Noah makes up an excuse and so she drags him out while Edwards watches.  Edwards privately asks Beth what happened, but he says she administered the wrong drug.  She hears Noah being beaten in Learner’s office and tries to go to him, but Edwards stops her.

Learner goes into Beth’s room and says that she knows that Noah made up the story to protect her.  He is her best orderly and she’s upset that she had to beat him, but it’s for the greater good.  Beth is not the greater good and so far she isn’t doing anything to help the cause.  Orderlies should keep the officers happy, and she’s not doing that.  Learner is doing the best she can to protect them all until they are rescued, and then they will be part of the rebuilding efforts.  Beth says it’s all bull shit, and that she is strong, but Learner points to the scar on her wrist and says that some people aren’t cut out for all of this.

Noah says his face isn’t as bad as it looks. He’s on painkillers.  He says that they’re all trapped here, even Learner.  Beth wants to go with him.  He says she keeps a key to the elevators in her office, so he will distract her so Beth can find them.  While Learner is occupied with another patient, Beth goes to the office and finds a wallet with a St. Ignatius ID card in it.  Joan is also dead on the floor of the office, but Beth moves swiftly.  She jimmies open the filing cabinet when Gorman walks in.  The man is so damn creepy.  He says he hopes he isn’t interrupting.  Beth says that she was looking for Dawn’s key.  He says he was just with Dawn and that she didn’t need her key, but maybe she doesn’t need to know.  Beth knows that Joan is going to wake up soon, so she plays along, allowing Gorman to almost get to second base with her.  When Joan’s fingers start moving, Beth smashes a jar of lollipops against his head and steals his gun.  Joan takes over and bites his neck open.

Learner and her guards walk down the hall with Noah.  He says he needs to grab a battery. Beth tells Learner that Joan was looking for her and that she and Gorman were heading toward her office.  While the people in the ward scream, she and Noah head to the elevator shaft and tie a rope made of sheets to a pipe.  Beth goes down first, but as Noah descends he is attacked by a Walker on a lower floor and he falls through to the bottom.  They fall into a pit of bodies but they’re ok.  The basement is dark and full of noises, but they’re all right.  When a group of Walkers attacks, Beth takes them out with precision.  They get outside and Beth fights off a herd of Walkers on her own while Noah escapes and she’s taken down by two guards.  Beth is handcuffed while Noah escapes.

Learned demands to know who Beth thinks she is.  Beth says that no one is coming for them, but Learner thinks differently.  She knocks Beth out.

Later, Edwards checks on Beth’s new injuries and says that she is doing better.  He’s about to leave when Beth asks why he told her to kill their patient.  She knows that it’s because he was a doctor as well, and had he lived he would have been competition.  Edwards makes a reference to the Caravaggio painting and says that Judas would have been killed had he not cooperated.  He knew the man was a doctor and that’s why he ordered him killed.  Edwards leaves, but he left the scissors on the table.  She takes them and heads down the hall to where Edwards is awaiting a new patient.  Beth grips the scissors until she sees the patient.  It’s Carol.  Oh, shit.

Does anyone else get a Sansa Stark vibe coming from this episode?  Beth is in a royally screwed up situation.  It was almost painful to watch the horror in Beth’s face as she realizes where she is and what she’s dealing with.  But what will happen now that Carol is at Grady as well?  And if Carol is at Grady, who is with Daryl?

Leave your comments below!

“Look at the Flowers” and Other Poignant Moments from The Walking Dead

With season 5 of AMC’s The Walking Dead off to a thrilling start, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the shocking moments of the series.  This list is by no means exhaustive; there are many such moments and these are just a few.

Lizzie brought us so many gasp! moments. My personal favorites are when she killed her own sister to turn her into a Walker, and when Carol killed Lizzie for killing her sister.  “Look at the flowers,” Carol had said. Goosebumps.  Every time.

I’ll never be able to think of the Fox show Bob’s Burgers now without thinking of the Bob-B-Q with Gareth.  To add insult to Bob’s injury, Gareth even tells Bob that he “tastes better than the expected.”  Of course, Bob gets his revenge by screaming “tainted meat” in the following episode….

Rick’s transformation was complete as soon as he bit into that guy’s neck to save Carl. While he made good on his promise to kill Gareth with the machete, this was not so much a shock so much as confirmation that Rick is back.  It took that moment of complete desperation to trigger the transformation. 

When Lori died it was up to Carl to keep her from turning.  As hard as it was for him, he knew he had to do it.  I believe that this led to the sense of duty he has now.

What are some of your favorite shocking moments from The Walking Dead?

The Walking Dead Recap S5E3: Four Walls and a Roof

The Walking Dead S5E3: Four Walls and a Roof

Original Airdate: October 26, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

“A man’s gotta eat.”  Now infamous words.  Did anyone BBQ over the weekend?

Gareth continues to educate Bob on their ways.  He’s standing in front of a glass wall and beyond the glass there is a tone of Walkers.  He explains that his mom told him you celebrate every day you’re above ground.  They marked their way so they can go back, but now there’s nothing to go back to.  They were going to offer the group a choice between joining them or being their food.  Gareth continues and says that he thinks that women taste better.  His brother Alex almost caught Carol, who killed his mom.  His brother is also dead.  Gareth is looking forward to eating Carol.  Gareth tells Bob that he’s being a human being because he’s talking to him.  Perspective.  As Bob laughs at his predicament, Gareth’s group circles near.  Bob can’t stop laughing.  He pulls back his shirt to reveal that he has been bitten.  The group quickly starts spitting up their food while Gareth tries to convince them that the meat is fine because they cooked it.  “Tainted meat!” Bob screams.  Gareth kicks him so that Bob falls to the ground, unconscious.

Sasha is walking through the woods looking for Bob.  She sees the marks on the trees, and she hears a Walker nearby.  There are two of them, actually, and she takes one down before being overtaken.  Tyreese and Rick come to her aid, and she tells them that she saw someone watching her.  He’s getting away.  Rick tells her Carol and Daryl are gone as well.

Back at the church, Sasha confronts Gabriel.  She says everything is connected, and that he appeared and now three of their people are missing.  He steadfastly maintains that he’s not involved with any of it.  Rick steps in and says that he saw the writing on the walls.  “You’ll burn for this.”  Gabriel breaks down and says he always locked the doors at night.  In the beginning, after Atlanta was bombed, his parish came to the church seeking refuge.  He heard them, but there were so many of them.  Entire families were outside, but he didn’t open the doors and they called his name while they were torn apart by the Walkers.  He says he buried them all.  He thinks the Lord sent Rick’s group to punish him.  “I’m damned,” he sobs.  He falls to the floor and sobs, clearly a broken man.  Suddenly Glen hears a whistle outside the church.  He sees someone lying in the grass.  They run outside and find Bob there, unconscious.  There are Walkers everywhere.  Sasha breaks down at the sight of him.  Glen calls for her to bring him inside while they kill the Walkers.  Rick takes a few shots into the darkness.  He knows they’re in trouble.

Bob wakes up and tells everyone that he was knocked out in the graveyard and when he came to he was in a schoolyard.  Gareth was bragging about eating him alive, “Like they had it all figured out.”  Rick asks about Daryl and Carol but Bob replies that Gareth says they drove away.  He reveals his bitten shoulder.  Gabriel offers up his couch to the dying man.  Sasha smiles at him in gratitude.  Abraham announces that it’s time to go to Washington.  He fixed the truck and says that they need to move because there is a threat out there.  He orders the group to go, now.  Glen tries to reason with him and says they need to wait for Carol, who saved his life.  Abraham says they are leaving.  Eugene doesn’t want to go, but finally agrees under duress.  Glen begs for another day and promises that he and Maggie will go with them if they wait.  They need to work together to make this all work out.  Abraham agrees to 12 hours, then it’s “taillights.”

Bob tells Sasha that the pain from his leg took away the pain from his shoulder.  She asks why he didn’t tell her.  He’s convinced that had he said something, everything would be about the “end” but he liked the beginning with her, and the middle.  He doesn’t want to focus on the end.

Tyreese sits and listens as Rick says that Gareth’s group might be watching, but they know where they are hiding.  They made a big move, and now they need a bigger move.  Rick asks if Tyreese is up for a big move.  Sasha wants to go, too.  She returns to see Bob, and Tyreese goes in and tells her that he wishes he had this time with Karen before she died.  Sasha asks if he remembers how he felt when she died and what he wanted to do.  Tyreese says that his anger made him block the need for forgiveness.  The only thing Bob will want is to see her sitting there.  Sasha hands her knife to Tyreese and says that Bob would want the knife through his temple the moment he stops breathing.

Half of the group leaves while the other half stays locked in the office with Bob.  Meanwhile, the glass at the school is about to break, and that means a herd of Walkers will be unleashed.  Slowly but surely Gareth’s group makes they way to the church.  He signals to the members of his group to move slowly.  They try the door and manage to break it open.  They go inside and it’s pitch black.  Gareth calls out to them, pointing out that they know they’re in there.  They have been watching.  They know who is inside, and he starts naming off the people inside.  Carl stands in the office with the gun pointed at the door.  Gareth names exactly who is inside, down to baby Judith.  He tells them to come out.  They have a choice between two doors.  (Easter Egg: the Bible passages refer to scenes where the dead rise and walk again)  Gareth offers an opportunity for the priest to take Judith and leave.  But Judith starts crying, which alerts Gareth’s group.  Gareth smiles.  He might keep Judith.  She’s helpful.

The gang has their guns pointed at the door.  They’re about to go in when two of Gareth’s men are shot in the head.  Gareth threatens to blow the door, but Rick shoots him in the hand.  Martin (the guy Tyreese beat up) doesn’t want to surrender, but Abraham is beside him with a gun to his head.  Rick tells Gareth they didn’t want to waste the bullets on them.  Gareth tries to reason with him, saying that they used to help people but things went bad.  They were hungry.  He can tell that Rick has never known hunger.  Gareth says Rick doesn’t have to do this.  They can walk away and never see each other again.  Rick knows that they will continue to kill other people.  Besides, he had a promise to uphold.  He took the knife that Gareth almost killed him with and plunges it into Gareth’s head.  The rest of the gang kills the other members of Gareth’s group, but no shots are fired.  They do this job by hand.  When they finish, Rick stands back and reminds everyone that this could have been them.  And Gareth would have killed them.  Michonne retrieves her blade from the body of one of the men.  The four bodies lie on the floor and the altar is covered in blood.  Gabriel walks in and sees it.  In a shaky voice he says that this is the Lord’s house.  “It’s just four walls and a roof,” Maggie replies.

The gang lines up to say goodbye to Bob.  Maggie says he’s always be a part of them.  As they leave, Bob calls for Rick and asks him to keep Judith.  He wants to thank Rick because before the prison he didn’t know if any good people were left, but Rick took him in.  He says that days shouldn’t end who you are.  “And that’s just a dead man’s opinion.”  “We’ll take it.”  He tells Rick to look at Judith and tell him that the world isn’t going to change.

Bob smiles peacefully.  When he wakes up, he’s still smiling.  Sasha is there and he tells her that he’s smiling because she was smiling at him in the dream.  She wants to know what good is coming from the bad.  Before he can reply, he stops breathing.  Sasha starts crying, knowing what she has to do.  She grabs her knife.  Tyreese comes in and asks for the knife.  She hands it over gratefully.  Tyreese turns back to the couch and gently grabs Bob’s head.  He slides the knife into Bob’s temple just as gently.  There is a carving of the Last Supper above.

Abraham gives Rick a copy of their route map.  He says that Eugene will work his magic in DC, and Rick’s group should be there for it.  Abraham starts the bus and away they go, leaving Rick, Carl, Judith, Tyreese, Sasha, Gabriel and Michonne.  Rick looks at the map and there’s a message from Abraham: “Sorry I was an asshole.  Come to Washington DC. The New World’s gonna need Rick Grimes.”

Rick helps Tyreese dig graves for the Terminus folk.  He asks Tyreese about his trip to Terminus.  Tyreese says telling the story will kill him.  “No, it won’t,” Rick assures him.

Michonne is keeping watch outside that night.  Gabriel comes outside and tells her that he can’t sleep.  It’s not because of the night before.  He sees all of it.  She says that will happen, but in time it will fade.  Suddenly there is a noise.  Michonne approaches the woods. Daryl steps out.  Michonne smiles, then asks about Carol.  “Come on out,” he says.

End of the episode.

So.  A lot happened tonight.  Gareth is dead, the gang split up and there are a ton of Walkers in the school nearby.  And Daryl seems to be back.

What did you think?  And it looks like next week we get to see what happened with Beth.

Leave your comments below!