Let's delve into a few.
This was the highlight of the show for me. When he beats those two kids to death it was so satisfying, not just because those kids deserved it, but because Travis finally acted in a reasonable manner. He showed true emotion. Plus, he finally acted manly. He acted with authority.
Previously, he was so wishy-washy. Always vacillating between overwhelmed and weak. He was lost to me when he wouldn't kill that walker with the gun (I think that was in season 1). Plus, the whole thing about him leaving Chris. No, dude, he left you.
I like the new Travis.
Kuddos to the fight scene directing. I liked it. Not a lot of cuts, looked realistic. Well done.
#2: Alicia killing Oscar
You go, girl.
She's come a long way since the first season when she used to be a moron. Remember when she used to mosey around with her earbuds in? Not anymore. She kills Oscar because he was gonna kill Travis. She understands the new rules. It was a justified killing. Alicia has a good balance between staying moral, which the entire Walking Dead universe seems intent on thinking is crucially important, to surviving in the new world order. Well done. I also like that she didn't harbor any ill-will to Travis. She shouldn't. Now it's just a matter of how to deal with still being Madison's second favorite child.
#3: Chris's death -- more specifically, the way he died
I actually kinda liked this the more I thought about it. Chris was all bravado. All teenage angst. All thinking he knew the way of the world and he was gonna be an alpha.
This is complete teenage thinking. Was he right on a lot of stuff? Sure. But did he have a false sense of security and false sense of self? Absolutely. That's why I loved that he died from overestimating his ability to drive. He felt invincible -- nothing could touch him. Yet, he still hadn't lived enough life yet to realize basic poor judgement.
It cost him.
Interestingly, in my opinion, the frat boys putting Chris down was a way more justified killing than the previous week's shooting. Previous kid absolutely could have lived through an in-and-out bullet wound. Chris? No. In a world filled with the walking dead and loss of structured society, a femur break through the skin would have been a death sentence. No medical care, no ability to reset the femur and pin it, plus risk of infection ... he really was a goner.
Obviously, the bad part of this was a loss for something much bigger for the show. We could have actually watched the companion show to The Walking Dead do something truly complimentary to the main show -- watch someone become evil. The fact that that didn't happen is a real shame. This is a much larger, negative trend for the show -- big concept possibilities completely wasted.
It starts with the premise of the show -- the opportunity to see the downfall of society occur in real time. Nope, that was resolved rather swiftly. In the same vein, the military occupation. That was really cool, but then it just dissipated. Then there was life on a boat, again, barely reckoned with. I mean, what really did happen with the yacht? It just wasn't there when they went back to it. What the hell? Now Chris. The possibility of seeing him turn evil would have been so sweet. Nope. Done.
#1: The entire colonia scene with the gang
This was some of the most cringeworthy writing I have ever witnessed.
A. Alejandro moves the bus and lets in all the walkers.
Why? Why not try and trap the gang there with all the walkers? Why do you completely leave your colonia?
B. Gang gets in without any issue, can't get back out.
So the gang gets in, precisely shooting walkers on the way into the narrow opening of the bus without any issue. Then, once in the colonia, they can't get back out? All those weapons, with perfect strategic location of high ground over narrow stairs -- the gang can't kill all those walkers? The walkers take the entire gang out in a matter of minutes? Where blood is still freshly dripping?
This is a problem in so many ways, but I also need to tangent on just how ludicrous this was in relation to what the show has already shown us in regards to the lethality of the walkers. The walkers have never seemed like much of a threat. I've mentioned it a slew of times before this. They can't navigate bars, Ofelia just wanders away from them through the desert -- all indications before this was that the walkers weren't really that scary and our survivors seem to think of them as an afterthought. Now, all of the sudden, these same walkers take out the gang full of machine guns in minutes. Unfucking real.
C. Colonia walkers slaughter gang, Madison and Travis walk in and out unscathed.
D. Madison and Travis go into colonia and leave Alicia by herself.
Ever heard of strength in numbers? Ever heard of never leave someone behind? Alicia is just there to defend herself. Rick wouldn't just leave Michonne to fend for herself, that's not even a feminist thing, because Michonne wouldn't leave Rick to fend for himself. It's absurd.
Sorry, Alicia. Once again, your family makes you expendable in their efforts to find their favorite kid -- Nick.
#2: Zero post-Travis rampage hotel talk
No discussion? No, these two dudes killed their friend, I witnessed it, and killed my son? Talk about making a rule and sticking to it.
I mean, my God, even the lady who stabbed Strand got to stay in the hotel. Apparently, not Travis.
Also, why all of the sudden are all of those guys immediate friends? Not even a few days ago, Oscar and his mom were trying to kill Elena and Hector. Hector was their fucking captive for God's sake! This show does a horrible, Horrible (!) job at realizing their own timeline.
On a side note, it was reasonable that Oscar wanted to kill Travis in revenge for the killing of his brother. However, it was an accident on Travis's part. A side, side note. Isn't it a bit hypocritical that Oscar wants to kick Travis out for killing his brother while actively trying to kill him? This is why a conversation would have been warranted to hash all of this out.
In a way, Elena is just being smart. Not a ton of supplies, Madison fucked up and turned on the lights allowing their presence to be known. She's probably like, good riddance.
#3: Madison can't get into the room Travis is going all Jason Statham in.
Madison, break down the fucking door already.
I was so annoyed. Also, I used to like Kim Dickens. I thought that the role was not giving her enough material to work with. I was wrong. In that scene, with her husband beating two kids to death, that was all the frenetic energy Ms. Dickens could muster? She looked more like she had locked her office door behind her on a hot summer's day only to have realized she'd left her ice cream sandwich on the desk.
#4: Strand, get in the Goddamn car
#1: Luciana saying Nick is running like he always does
Um, totally different situation.
#2: Nick's eyeball walker death scene
First, he just sits there and watches. Then, he struggles to push his thumbs through the eyeballs and into the brain. Just all around dumb.
Sometimes the show's ability for its viewers to suspend belief comes in conflict with ideas presented in the show. This was one of those cases. I couldn't help but think that biting off the upper part of a finger would be wholly survivable without becoming a walker clashed with Nick not being infected by pushing his thumbs through a walker's eyes. No bone fragments in there? I mean, I get it is all soft tissue, but, still. Nick is one lucky dude.
#3: Strand saying he didn't care about Madison and her family
However, I can honestly say that I'm not hate watching this show, but it's close. I'm not quite there ... yet. I'm for sure only watching to see what stupid thing they are going to do next. Plus, I can't fully commit to hate-watching when Charlie Utter/Police Chief Unser is now on the show.
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**** Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at http://www.madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com