The Walking Dead, Survival Rule Of The Week: Remember your humanity

The Walking Dead

It's just good TV, and last night's episode of The Walking Dead, titled "Monsters" - directed by Greg Nicotero and written by Channing Powell and Matt Negrete - gave us just that. Is it right, or wrong, or somewhere in between? Yes, even after a small dip in the ratings, the NFL's Sunday showcase tops the list.

Once again, we're following the three attack groups. The plot grows flabbier, the speeches go on longer, the zombies less dangerous and the action, such as it is now, involves inordinate amounts of gunfire and dubious amounts of pointless excursions away from the main plot.

Oh, and what did The Crazy Guy say after Glenn freed him?

"I was fortunate enough to receive a very heartfelt and intimate call from [showrunner Scott M. Gimple], and we talked for about 45 minutes". Outside, Eric and Aaron have a touching goodbye before Eric forces him to go re-join the fight; when Aaron returns later, hoping to find him alive, he only sees him shambling off to join the herd in the distance instead.

5/10 - The Walking Dead continues to make war boring, and Jesus and Ezekiel look like idiots, while trivialising their own purpose for easy answers.

The Ezekiel and Carol portion of the episode presents the war with a completely different tone. Since the premiere there's been nary a five-minute stretch in any given episode where there hasn't been some firefight. We've watched Rick Grimes's mental state fluctuate for years now, as the hopelessness of the apocalypse takes its toll on him. Mixing gory masses of the undead with themes of survival and the state of humanity when it has been nearly wiped out, it became the most popular drama in the world.

I complained last week that the show's lack of stakes was really cheapening the all out war storyline.

The requirements for surviving a zombie apocalypse are simple to understand: Stay fed, hydrated, warm; Avoid zombies and grievous injury. As with most important Walking Dead episodes, we open with a slightly weird montage that leaves us a bit confused for the rest of the episode. But I'm not sure he can at this point-who could try and help him do that? Aaron volunteers to take it back to the Hilltop.

Meanwhile, Rick is being confronted with this same struggle in a few ways.

And that's our survival rule of the week! The only difference now is who has the gun. "It's fine, I signed up for this". It could explain what is going on in those confusing 'Old Man Rick' flash-forward scenes. With so much death and, at times, butchery, the show stayed electrically alive, incorrigibly cynical, tense and anchored in deep-seated fear.

Since the show has been known to pull the rug out from under certain deaths, but this one seems to be the real deal when you consider what happened in the comics. He has thrived since, taking advantage of the resources the Saviors have had to offer.

The point here? Just because you're attacked by monsters doesn't mean you should become monsters. He and Jesus get in a fight while everyone else stands around watching, like some schoolyard scrap. If he didn't, they could come back and kill more people!

There are political parables to be found in it, too. Or have them executed?

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