TWD S4 E3, “Isolation” by Dusty

What I’m drinking: Columbus Festbier Lager.  This time of year, I find myself trying a lot of pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers.  This is one of the latter.  It’s decent.  A little on the lighter side of Oktoberfest, but still very drinkable.  Not great.  Not terrible.  Strictly middle of the road.

Eight things that annoyed me:

1. Rick seemed to have been holding it together pretty well.  And now, only one day after giving up his pig-farming ways, he seems to have reverted back to Crazy Rick.  Yet another in a long-line of examples of the lazy writing that permeates this show.  Characters – even well-established characters – can change from week-to-week, depending on what the writers need to keep up the drama for that week.

2. Hershel dropping the line “We just lost twelve of our own.”  I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Or, like, twelve people we barely knew or whatever.”  I hate to keep harping on this, but criticism of the show demands it.  We didn’t really know any of the people who died.  We kind of knew Karen a little, but not really at all.  I honestly don’t even know who David was.  All of the characters are sad because so many of their compatriots have joined the ranks of the undead, and we’re supposed to feel the same way.  But I don’t.  It’s hard to feel sadness over the death of characters I never knew.  Twelve people died?  Make it one hundred people dying.  Unless it’s someone I know, the number doesn’t affect me in the slightest.

3. Those infected with the zombie flu living in cells with the doors wide open.  That makes no sense.  When they’re not being treated, those cells should be locked.  All it takes is one person to turn to kill the rest of the cell block.  There was one closed cell with a zombie, but there’s no indication of how that happened.  All the other cells were wide open.

4. I like Tyreese.  I really do.  Love the actor.  Love him in the comics.  Hell, I even love the crazy in him.  But I don’t love the drama they’re manufacturing between him and Rick at such an early stage.  And now they have himthrowing around high-and-mighty lines like, “I guess murder is okay in this place now,” and “You keep worrying about making sure the prison is running.  I’ll worry about what’s right.”  This show loses me when the drama gets ramped up and the moral grandstanding starts taking place regularly.  This episode had plenty of both.  Speaking of moral grandstanding…

5. Hershel with his “I can save lives.  That’s reason enough to risk mine.”  We get it.  You’re an amazing guy.  I could hear the writers screaming, “He’s the moral compass!” at me.  To quote Tom Waits, “Come down off the cross, we can use the wood.”

6. The habit these people picked up of driving without looking at the road.  There may not be any other drivers on the road, but zombies are everywhere.  For the love of God, have the person sitting in the passenger seat mess with the radio.  That’s one of the main duties of sitting shotgun.

7. Dr. S coughing up blood in Hershel’s face.  That’s a party foul, even in these apocalyptic times.

8. Leaving holes in the fence to quickly get in and out of, yet not trying to cover their tracks (or clear zombies away from those openings) once they’re through.  Bad, BAD idea.

Three things I liked:

1. Chad Coleman bringing a bit of Z to his role as Tyreese.  Living under a bridge does things to a man.

2. Wise-cracking Michonne.  She’s one of my favorite characters, and she barely has a character.  I like that they’re at least trying to flesh her out a little.  Of course, if the rest of the show is any indication, they will fail miserably at it.  Still, I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

3. The squeaky bicycle wheels to keep zombies occupied at the wall.  They’re doing well with these little details this year.  It’s not quite on par with the zombie-door, but it’s pretty close.

Final thoughts:
Far and away the worst episode so far.  I hope this is just a down episode while they ramp up for some more craziness in the coming weeks, because this was just really boring.  Too many monologues.  Too many concerned faces.  Too many lectures.  I like that they’re trying to cultivate a threat besides the zombies, but they can only carry that storyline for so long, and it feels like it has run its course.  I just can’t get excited about a series of episodes detailing antibiotic runs.  I don’t even mind if they stay in the prison for the immediate future.  I would just like this zombie flu storyline to be done.

I might even be able to get down with a little more detail on the inner-workings of their prison system.  What other inventions do they have?  The phrase “Everybody has their job,” was tossed around liberally, but I don’t know what jobs everyone has.  How do they make it work?  I might be alone in this, but a little more detail on that side of things could be pretty cool.
Begging to see how a prison full of refugees is run.  That’s what this show has become for me.

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