Television

Published on November 25th, 2014 | by Bean

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The Walking Dead Review – Season 5 Episode 7 – Crossed

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The difficulty with serialising the zombie apocalypse is you start to believe in it. I have been fervently preparing (theoretically) for the end of days since watching my mates get mullered by the undead playing Resident Evil. Some of my nearest and dearest have been planning for a darn sight longer. I don’t pretend for a moment that the regular necessity to run for my life would not be my undoing. It most certainly would; I’m too slow and not an avid pedestrian. But I’m not stupid, and that’s where I draw my line in the sand with The Walking Dead; writers – please stop having previously savvy and extremely competent characters act like morons. I just don’t buy it.

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In a convoluted episode of multiple storylines, “Crossed” chooses to end on the unecessarily tedious note of Sasha gormlessly walking into an obvious and barely credible trap. This sort of one-note auto-pilot narrative shoe-horning is beneath a show of this quality, and such shenanigans totally let the side down. Sasha is traumatised about Bob, fair enough. Don’t leave her on her own then; in fact don’t bring her along at all if she’s going to be a liability. That the not-cop hostage is also called Bob, and therefore Sasha loses all her faculties of judgement is not just a stretch of the imagination, but an embarrassing insult to a character that has spent two seasons proving herself to be reliable and sound. There is valuable interplay between Sasha and Tyreese earlier in the epiosde, giving big brother an opportunity to be the stalwart. Too bad the show chose this naff way to demonstrate Sasha’s vulnerability.

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The rest of the episode joins the dots and the disparate threads of the ongoing story lines; Rick, Daryl and the church crew prepare for combat while Michonne and Carl grow (rightfully) more concerned about the Reverend; Glen, Maggie and co. wait for Eugene to wake up or turn, leaving Abraham to go all Kerry Catatonia on us; and in the hospital, unaware that help lies at hand (sort of) Beth has her hands full trying to keep Carol alive. This last strand suffers once again from the nonsensical lack-logic of their whatever-I-say-goes-except-when-I-actually-mean-the-other-thing “leader” Dawn. She can look constipated all she likes, it still won’t make any sense.

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Further galling choices; the rescue group deciding to take Tyreese’s action plan over Rick’s! Siding with the pacifist before entering a firefight is a curious decision, even if you are worried about your leader’s sanity. This is clearly the underlying implication here; given Rick’s crazy-eyeballing of bald hostage cop 2 at gunpoint, it’s not a groundless fear. If the group would just follow Rick’s lead though, things wouldn’t go south and the eyeballing might be kept to a minimum anyway. Yes, that’s asking for cold-assassin-Rick over volcano-explodey-Rick, but the first guy gets it done. Or perhaps I’ve finally been brutalised by it all!

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Still, these points, whilst infuriating, are interesting and at the very heart of The Walking Dead’s premise; the murky waters of humanity post-civilisation. It can keep throwing these questions into the air, and coming up with new angles until the cows come home. Just don’t make cool characters do lame things; fallible – sure. Cretinous – no, thank-you. It makes for problematic viewing, melting corpse fields or not.

Review by Nina Clark. The following rogue observation by her delightfully undead-obsessed fella, Mark Rowden.

MARK’S ZOMBIE CONNOISEUR CORNER

Romero Blue, Fulci Green, Ossario Grey, Gierhart Pink; not quite…

 

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Bean

Director at Nina Clark Music / The Musical Walkabout at Nina Clark Music
Bean is the family nickname of Nina Clark, singer, songwriter and professional musician. Nina's many nerdly passions, aside from music, include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and all things Whedon. (re. GoT, she has NOT read the books, so please be cool - no spoilers!)
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