Television never fails to surprise me. (And yes, I used “never.”)
A few recent examples include the outstanding first season of HBO’s True Detective and its unwatchable follow-up second season. FX Network’s Feud, the spiffy anthology series centering around the relationship between Bette Davis & Joan Crawford. CBS’ Survivor featuring last season’s “call out” bombshell.
Nowhere near as dramatic – but equally surprising – is the yin and yang of the last two episodes of The Walking Dead.
Honestly: How can such a terrific offering (“Monsters”) be followed up by such lackluster filler as this week’s “Some Guy” … ??? It boggles the mind. At least it boggles mine.
We got 60 minutes of endless shoot-em-up action (complete with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of ammunition), a Negan stooge who appeared to be on the verge of interesting only to die a dumb, overly-gruesome death and a meh-inducing, emotionless exit of a (beloved by some) CGI character.
And for you folks who like the cheese? Oh, there was plenty of that for your dining and dancing pleasure.
All that ammunition flying back and forth between Carol and The Saviors? Hundreds of bullets ricocheting off vehicles and metal and buildings and steel with nary a consequence. Unrealistic. Many of the scenes with Ezekiel in his injured state fleeing walkers? A bit curious how lots of them didn’t quite reach him, despite the luxurious time expanses in which they had to do so. Again, unrealistic. Rick and Daryl’s chase scene: All that gunfire from The Savior’s getaway vehicle and Rick’s Jeep never caught a single bullet hole to the windshield? Big, fat fail. (Yes, yes … I know: I’m talking about a fantasy show here and commenting on its impractical aspects. The irony isn’t lost on me.)
I’m going to stop right there. Because you saw the episode. You know what I’m talking about.
My point: “Monsters” was the bees knees for me. “Some Guy” was its corollary. The focus on Ezekiel and Carol were cheesecake offerings and didn’t serve any purposes. It was almost as if the entire episode was nothing more than a stretch of flat, boring road simply getting one from Point A to Point B, nothing more. Not even Sheeba’s death was remarkable or touching. The beast didn’t do anything for me in the least, from introduction to demise. Zippo.
But here’s my main point: The writers of The Walking Dead powwow when they’re preparing the scripts, right? I would think so. Characters and events and situations have to be mapped out to make sense, for continuity’s sake, for things to work episode to episode. That kind of goes without saying. I know they can’t all be gems but, if you’re looking at things with a future eye (a requirement on a show like TWD) things tend to fit like a puzzle. Or they’re forced to in some manner. Otherwise they’ll go sideways. That’s not to say each and every hour is going to gel, not by any stretch of the imagination. But when you’re given a script like “Some Guy” it just seems it was done with a “going through the motions” mentality. “Let’s get this one in the books because we have a 16 season commitment to fill.” That, right there, is what surprises me – going from that euphoric high to dregs and nonsensical emptiness.
Color me disappointed.
The Shining Light …
Still, there was one thing in particular about “Some Guy” that tripped my trigger: Rick and Daryl’s comedic, matter-of-fact banter after the former climbed out of the wreckage of the Savior vehicle the two were chasing. Rick: “We got the guns.” Daryl, in response: “You look like shit.”
Yeah … that was a chuckle moment.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday at 9:00 PM on AMC.
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