Sunday. It’s a day of rest. It’s a day of family. It’s part of the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. Sunday also means a 90 minute season première of The Walking Dead. Once again Rick Grimes and his group will navigate a new world with the same old human problems, but now with added flesh eaters.
When we last left our heroes, they found the walled community of Alexandria. The place seemed like para…no we have gone down this road before. The show has done a remarkable job of constructing different communities then showing us the underbelly. Woodbury’s small-town feel masks a leader with a fondness of heads in a tank. Terminus sheltered a population of well-organized cannibals complete with keeping stats. Mercy Hospital truly lived up to its billing as a police state. Meanwhile, the prison, the community built and defended by Rick’s group went up in flames after the Governor’s last confrontation.
Alexandria’s underbelly involves the most dangerous thing in an apocalypse and everyday life-willful ignorance. The residents have barely stepped foot outside their walls, plus have the stubborn belief they can replicate pre-walker society. Viewers know that’s about as wrong as the blue police outfit on Rick Grimes:
A Change of Clothes Does Not Maketh the Man (or the Woman)
This season’s most dramatic character change involves simple soap, water, and optional shaving cream. (Who has time to shave their armpits during the zombie apocalypse?) After enduring the road, the crew cleans up and dons fresh clothes not made for fighting a hoard.
I mentioned the blue constable uniform looking all wrong on Rick. In fact, and I don’t know whether it’s an intentional acting choice, Andrew Lincoln plays the reveal with hunched shoulders, his body looking notably tense despite the outfit fitting him. Remember Rick hung onto his brown sheriff’s uniform for a season and a half as if he hung onto to some semblance of his old life. Deanna, Alexandria’s leader, thinks it’s the best job for him. She doesn’t realize the old way of thinking has died as the dead rose.
The less grimy Grimes crew features on the wild card in K-mart clothing. Carol walks around Alexandria in cardigans and print shirts, baking cookies, yet hiding her badassery under it all. Much like Rick, she returned to a previous role now ill-fitting after life on the road. Carol turned from a ‘mouse’ cowering from her abusive husband to a Terminus-destroying warrior. Ironically, she looks at the Alexandrians as children needing a bedtime story of preserving civilization. In fact, she’s a motif I read a few stories: the woman in disguise ready to reveal herself to teach the main character a lesson.
The Big Bad: Wolves Create An Undead Pack
Much like Dr. Who, The Walking Dead paints an ominous foreshadow with the words Wolves not Far spray painted along walls, with ‘W’ carved into walker’s foreheads. The show had many antagonists, but much like a video game, each unlocked level gives even more headaches.
We have only seen two human members of the pack, but between them amassed a walker army to unleash…somewhere? Aaron provides a little clue about two men and a woman, banished from Alexandria for ‘not fitting in’. This gives new meaning to the phrase ‘a decision biting you in the ass’. In this case, the bad decision will not only bite Alexandrians in the ass, but it will also gnaw their insides after tearing into their bodies, tear out their necks, and more. In other words, this will turn out really, really, really, really, really to the infinite power bad.
Hopefully, the first 8 episodes of the new season can reveal a little more about the wolves to the first of many battles. If Rick and his group don’t alienate any more residents with the road-tested ways.
Tweet Out Your (Walking) Dead
If you need recaps, head over to Entertainment Weekly‘s website for some analysis, and most importantly, observational humour for each episode. I tried recapping, with the drafts zapped a little while ago my attempts at giving my voice. I prefer tweeting my observations. I also enjoy reading other people’s tweets and retweeting for their hilarity or insight. Blog posts about the show usually happen just before the season starts, like last year, or to write a little more about something.
In past years, I wrote about Lori’s stubborn holding to traditional gender roles, and the announcement David Morrissey’s casting as The Governor. The latter already has over one hundred views as curious people wonder another British guy? Where did he come from? Did I think Liverpool just had Beatles? Time will tell if I stick to pre, post, or the show will have an episode begging for a post.
If you’re a fan out and about on Twitter Sunday nights, I go by @stacksandranges. It’s like watching the show in a really big living room. In the meantime, we shamble to the première before Chris Hardwick, the resident therapist for fans, comes on for a new season of Talking Dead afterward.