The Boob Tube Review: The Walking Dead Season Finale by Alex Snider

I get the distinct feeling that this zombie apocalypse is somewhat of a fantasy for Robert Kirkland. It's a small snapshot into a place where the rightful leaders, men, can regain ultimate control over the period-leaden, emotion-having shrill women who, through their oppressive movements like feminism have killed way too many boners in the real world. In Kirkland's universe, women are best supporting the men as they make all the decisions. The women can do some things, like laundry and baby-minding, but please, in a catastrophe it's the men who need to take control because men are strong and rational and stuff. If they do something crazy like try to be taken seriously by the men then it's bullet-in-the-head town for them!

It's hard to pin down exactly why I get whiffs of sexism off of TWD. It could be because the moment female characters try to gain some sort of agency they are killed or it could be because of this quote from Kirkland:
"I don't mean to sound sexist, but as far as women have come over the last 40 years, you don't really see a lot of women hunters. They're still in the minority in the military, and there's not a lot of female construction workers. I hope that's not taken the wrong way. I think women are as smart, resourceful, and capable in most things as any man could be … but they are generally physically weaker. That's science."
Wait, I've heard that somewhere else before?

(Also why is it that the only people who don't know that "I don't mean to sound _______, but" statements are the most accurate way to tell if that statement is actually _______ are the tools who make those statements to begin with. That's science.)

Ok, so Kirkland is a raging bag of woman-hating excrement but we already knew that based on his treatment of female characters. Pro tip: if you want to know how a male writer feels about women, check out how he writes woman characters.

This is all a drawn-out way to say that I'm bummed about Andrea's arc. She was always painted as striving to be badass but couldn't quite succeed. She didn't know how to turn the safety off, she didn't know how to clean her gun, she didn't know how to tell a walker apart from Daryl, she just kept falling for bad-boys, she demanded respect but...didn't get it for some reason?

Andrea spent this season struggling first to regain a sense of normalcy. She felt at home in Woodbury where she had a warm bed and folks who welcomed and trusted her. For the first time since Amy's death in season one, she seemed to have grasped some semblance of happiness. Then came the news that her new boyfriend was less Prince Charming and more not great. The last half of the season has been Andrea trying to maintain a peace, doing what she could to save lives as she reiterated time and time again this episode. She did what she could which is more than anyone else did this season and it irks me that not only did she not succeed but she fucking died locked away from the action. She wasn't appreciated or accepted until she was at death's door. Merl on the other hand was a racist, misogynistic, abusive turd-pile who never had to answer for any of his vile behaviours, and he got to accomplish more than Andrea. Merl the hero and Andrea the tragic lady. That's science.

So long, Laurie Holden. We'll always have The X-Files.

I actually feel a little relieved that they killed Andrea. Like Lori before her, it was exhausting and depressing to read so much misogynistic-tinged vitriol directed at her online. Can't wait for next season when Maggie becomes The Worst, only redeemed moments before her devastating death. There is something so chilling about gruesomely killing women characters after building them up to be (internet) punching bags. What exactly is the expectation here, writers? That audiences will cheer? Or that they'll feel like dicks for wishing horrible deaths upon these women? Are we all voyeurs in Kirkland's "bitches be crazy and useless" world? It is such a bummer to watch a show that has such disdain for women.

Since this is the direction the show has steadfastly taken (hating women) here are some ideas of what to do with the remaining women because the whole shrill-harpy thing is getting old:

Beth – Maybe they need to inject some "light of my life, fire of my loins" and Lolita her up. Granted she's older than 12 year old Delores Haze but we all saw those wet looks she shared with Rick in the mid-season premiere.

Carol – Since season one, Carol has enjoyed somewhat of a rebirth from terrorized abuse victim and hand-wringing mother to wise, sexless crone. That is far too positive though! Maybe now that everyone is sharing meaningful talks with her, Carol could become the Mean Girl of the group and start spreading around gossip. Every grouping containing two or more women needs a Regina George!

Michonne – Michonne already embodies the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman (with a pinch of Magical Black Friend). Just keep up the good work, writers! Maybe sharpen her tongue so she can really emasculate the men.

Maggie – Maggie and Glenn have been together for a while, and things are going so well that Glenn popped the question. Love, true love! Oh wait, what about that mysterious fortune that we didn't know Glenn had?? Turns out Maggie knew. I'm not saying she's a gold-digger but she got needs.

Old Lady 1 – Sex-crazed southern bell.

Old Lady 2 – Acerbic old bat.

Blanche, Sophia: welcome!

Old Lady 3 – Just super judgemental of her daughter-in-law. Makes the best cannelloni around.

Karen – The slutty ditz. Just think of all the men on this show not getting laid : (((

All I know for certain is that they all had better be vigilant about bears – so much menstruation!

Other thoughts:

I'm pretty sure that was the first time Glenn ever acknowledges Carl's existence. I didn't even know that they knew each other! So much of the socializing is happening behind the scenes, I guess, considering how popular T-Dog was.

No wonder Carl was so pissed. Rick was always the good cop, letting Carl do all kinds of gambolling  and shooting while Lori was the bad cop, insisting that Carl retain some bit of childhood innocence.

Tactical scare plan part A: waste ammo

I spent the whole episode shrieking: LORI ANDREA LESS CHATTING MORE PRYING. (Every time I write something about Andrea I type out Lori instead. I wonder why.)

Love that they went through the trouble, while preparing for an epic battle, to track down a highlighter and leave a relevant bible quote slyly on display for the Governor to find. Classic Hershel.

"And He said unto them: he who smellith it, dealtith it"

I know that the responses to the non-battle have been pretty cold but I liked how it went down. I've been saying for a while now that the prison group is not going to be trifled with by a one-eyed leader and his asthmatic army. This season has had more than enough confusing, smoke-filled battle scenes. It left more time to shake out the other plots.


Wow, Carl. At what point can we label him a spree killer? Now granted, I am not a parent and there is only one thing that I hate more than judging parents (backtracking. God I hate backtracking) but it seems like maybe Rick should have had a little sit down with Carl before he shot another person. Considering that we've been subjected to a billion conversations about whether to stay or go or stay or go, couldn't we have gotten just a glimpse of a father-son chat where Rick comforts his traumatized child? I guess we only get the important conversations.

Hey son, how you holdin' up?
Not great, Dad, not great.

Oh man, I love that the Governor is such a sharp-shooter despite losing his eye, like, 10 minutes ago. And that he seems to be able to see out the scope through his patch. My friend needed to wear an eyepatch last weekend and she kept dropping food off her fork and nearly walked into a post.

Interesting choices to basically maintain the status quo going into season 4. Glad I won't have to miss the Governor and his hunting vest or Martinez. Not to mention how much I love the dinginess and gloomy atmosphere at the prison.

Get in loser, we're going shopping!

It's a bold move to bring in a bunch of infirm old people to the prison (and thus the show) but it's a nice call back to that group in season one that took care of all those old folks. I can only hope that this will somehow result in a Cocoon crossover.

The Governor went pretty Bond villain with killing Andrea. Giving just enough leeway for her to survive. When he tried to kill Glenn with a walker, Glenn survived. And Andrea almost did. She was so close if only she hadn't dropped the pliers the first time! I knew that I've been keeping my toes nimble for a reason.

I will miss Milton. He brought a real sweetness to the show. Really glad to see that Tyrese and Sasha survived.

Until next time.

That's science!
Previous The Walking Dead recap: 'The Walking Dead' Tries Out the Penultimate Episode Death

Alex Snider is bad at math : ((( 


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