Last night on The Walking Dead, Rick and Shane dukes it over who shall lead the group. It reminded me of nature shows like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom or anything on The Discover Channel. Basically two males of a given group, let’s just call this a pack, fight it out for supremacy and for the Alpha female. Rick and Shane have long simmering feelings about the two ‘Ls’:
After beating themselves bloody, Shane throws a wrench through a window, the shattered glass woke up the walkers as they cascade hungrily from the open window. (As usual I say, “Shane, you idiot!!!”) It’s a post-zombie world, but boys will be boys even if they are men. I bet nobody batted one eye lash over the situation.
Fast forward to the next scene as Lori and Andrea have their conversation. Andrea, as viewers know, discovered her crack-shot skills enabling her to defend the group against any possible walker attacks. Lori angrily tells Andrea she’s slacking off with perhaps the most jaw-dropping two quotes of the night, “You sit up on that RV working on your tan with a shotgun on your lap” and ” The men can handle this on their own.” Even Darren Franich, a writer recapping the series for Entertainment Weekly, noted ‘she flat-out said a line that seemed to come out of Mad Men.’
It’s interesting the women in the series automatically did the cleaning, gathering, and laundry. Andrea taking up a gun seems to sit well with the men. (Alright may be not Dale, but he had his reasons!) Lori’s tart remark suggested a hold over from her life as a sheriff’s wife, possibly looking at women like Andrea as immature women to be pitied. Andrea represents a threat to a perceived stability in the group, at least some stability gender roles provide. I have a funny feeling such a perception, like so many things in their chaotic world, will find itself changed rather quickly. (Seriously, has Lori not learned anything from her misguided adventure out on the road looking for Rick?)
The scene also highlights the one thing I don’t like about the show…the female characters. Andrea does seem slightly annoying, but not half as much as Lori. (To be fair Andrea had a few smart retorts in her defence.) Maggie just seems like Glen’s little woman, Carol shifts in and out of existence, and one particular female character has not shown up yet. (Fans of the comic know who.) I blame Ron Moore for spoiling me with kick-ass broads during Battlestar Galactica. Starbuck and President Roslin would like at these ladies and just shake their heads. (Starbuck would say something with ‘Frak’ in it.) The world has largely ended, creatures now roam the earth wanting a taste of live flesh, and all someone wants to talk about is slacking off laundry. Although a small part of me does understand Lori’s argument about burdening the other women with more work. (Years of division-of-labour lectures in history classes.)
The Walking Dead has really struggled this season, especially during their first half. Hopefully the dysfunction can remain at a minimum, or enough to advance the plot. (Please, please let this episode lead to a slam-bang season finale.)