The Walking Dead's Moonshine Brings All the Walkers to the Yard by Alex Snider

Having spent a number of summers taking golf lessons I can attest to how horrifying country clubs are and while I thought there could be nothing worse than an actual zombie apocalypse, this episode proved me wrong by presenting a future where the only available clean clothes are golf clothes. If there was one thing I hated more than actually golfing (my powder-keg combo of impatience, competitiveness and rage ruined many a game) it was that I couldn't wear normal teenager clothes but instead had to wear boxy polo shirts and baggy, to-the-knee shorts. It was a nightmare. A nightmare only out-nightmared by the time that in a lesson with the cute assistant-pro when I threw my driver twice (damn these sweaty palms!).
I will say that the patrons of TWD country club were considerably more tolerable than the ones with whom I had to deal with as a kid. Way less sneering and judging and booze-soaked! And there wasn't a single racist joke told the entire episode!  Progress!

I've never never considered wearing a top-knot
Aside from the sartorial, this episode really triggered a number of fears I have, zombie apocalypse or not. We got a terrible snake moment (NB: all snake moments are terrible and no amount of Jake the Snake YouTube video submersion therapy will ever help my phobia) and being isolated with annoying drunks. God, if I had a dollar for the number of dates I've had who got real moody after a few then made me watch them pee, I wouldn't have a dollar because unlike Beth I'm into jolly drunks. I have, however, been saddled with boring drunks who's milquetoast-ness have nearly driven me to aggressively pee in the corner so I really felt for Daryl this episode.

And what, Beth is too good for Peach Schnapps? It's been good enough for thousands of teenage girls before you, Beth! You want to feel a normal annoying college girl, drink the damn Schnapps. (My first hangover was brought on by apple-flavoured Growers so I know of what I speak). I took a screen-cap of her face when she had her first sip of moonshine and, if we've ever had any doubts to Beth's credibility as an actor we now have definitive proof that she's not method. I had a single shot of home-brew nine years ago and I still hurt. No way Beth would be able to handle that ish without gagging and bargaining with the deities to never drink more. Ugh Beth.

I've never worn terrible extensions
I know that Daryl's breakdown was designed to be a stealth drone aimed right for the hearts of all the women watching with their boyfriends, a gift from the writers to all the dudes who watch with their girlfriends (girlfriends hiding their eyes from the gore or having panic attacks over snakes or who just don't stop talking) to ensure that sex would definitely be on the table that night, but it didn't do it for this lady. There is something so tiresome about stoic men being badgered into flaying themselves alive with emotions. It panders to that trope that men are bad at feelings and can only really face their feelings when prodded by women. Michonne was like Daryl, she closed herself off and stuck to monosyllabic words but then she sorted it out on her own like a boss. But then maybe I'm wrong and men actually do need women to slice through their swagger and bravado with surgical precision, revealing their vulnerabilities.

I've never wished I was in the open woods with a baby and two little kids, one of whom is prolly a psycho

Other thoughts:

The writers' attempts to delve into some of the tensions between people as the field between the haves and have-nots has been totally leveled is a little clunky. The supposed massacre at the country club that Daryl and Beth stumble upon being as much fueled by desperation to survive and relishing the opportunity to get one over the privileged elite.The class divide theme continued into Daryl and Beth's drinking game with Beth goading Daryl about his unsavory past, and Daryl using it as a teachable moment to learn Beth on the hoi polloi. I love a good take-down on the dangers of classism but Beth seemed to go further into saviour-mode and any growth she could have experienced is overshadowed by the un-charming reality of Beth: rich, sheltered, pretty white girl. It did nothing to expand Beth's character beyond her privilege.

Is there a gang of marauders roaming the woods torturing and murdering people they've deemed bad, leaving signs behind to denote the crime of the victim (I'm as anti-capitalism as the next socialist hipster but being a Rich Bitch hardly seems like an executable offense)? Or is this just how things go now? Hoping it's the former and we'll have our next Big Bad.

I do actually like that Daryl and Beth got drunk (despite the unbelievability of Beth's first drank). The seriousness and near constant brow-furrowing can get a little grim.

Torching the cabin was a nice heavy-handed metaphor but I am curious about the logic of not only destroying your only shelter forcing you to roam zombie-filled woods, guided by moonlight, but also didn't we see Glenn distract a whole bunch of walkers with fire a few episodes ago? Are walkers attracted to fire or not?

I've never used saccharine songs as a cover for personality
Do we want Daryl and Beth to get together? I want more sex on this show but I also am holding out for Daryl and Michonne (who, according to my watching-buddy, "would be a Jay Z and Beyonce power couple and rule the world"). I don't like Beth but I don't like not liking her -- I figure if I can come around on Juliette Barnes on Nashville then I can warm to Beth but only if she stops being such a fucking Scarlet -- so in anticipation of that thaw I want her to get it. Of course after her speech about Daryl missing her it seems like she might not make it out of the woods.

I'm a little disappointed by Daryl's back-story. Seemed too obvious given the information we were given at the beginning of the series.

I've never been bullied into talking about feelings
I didn't get to writing a recap for last week's episode -- partly because I had stiletto nails and it's exhausting trying to type with the pads of my fingers -- but my main points would have been:

The episode felt like it cobbled together two different kinds of zombie movies. There was the 28 Days Later-man-is-the-most-dangerous-hunter trope (one which I'm never allowed to forget as every time I try and play the fun "how would you do in the apocalypse game" my friend never fails to real talk me by reminding of the whole rape/forced-birthing thing) with Rick hiding under the bed, Gage-style, listening to a bunch of scary men talk about who gets to "have" Michonne. There were some ridiculous moments that asked the viewer to overlook logic (like Rick fighting and strangling that bigger dude without his buddies noticing any of the breaking glass and heavy-man breathing -- I can always hear my roommate putting on make-up even through two closed doors) but overall there was the perfect amount of tension driving that story.

I've never had a boring plot line
At the other end of the genre, we had a Resident Evil-like cartoon complete with booty-shawts and a what would surely be a classic Mr Bean hijink with a hapless scientist shooting out the only transportation. I half expected steam to shoot out of Handlebar Moustache's ears. Glenn seemed just as perplexed by the superhero trio and just as eager to get back to the angsty tone of the show.

The Kenny Powers-look-alike scientist doesn't smell right. Aside from the nonsensical reasoning behind not sharing "classified" government information, he's pretty eager to abandon the plan to go to Washington. Having already proven his inadequacies when it comes to aiming a gun, killing zombies and yelling for help, maybe he's just nervous the politician walkers will be more vicious and bloodthirsty than the simple rural Georgian ones. I get it, I watch Scandal and I'd actually rather deal with a flesh-noshing zombie than anyone breathing on that show.

I've never regretted saving anyone
(I don't think his mullet is a indicator that he's not a scientist. I mean, it's funny because if the last 15 years have taught me anything it's that mullets will always be a good punchline but surely a PhD in biochemistry doesn't come with nerd glasses and a bow-tie.)

I am very surprised that Glenn and company were able to drive so far away from the prison and surrounding woods where everyone else is just circling the same ground. Was almost certain that we had a Truman Show situation.

Very glad that even though Hershel is dead, his magical healing skillz have lived on, Rick is looking pretty good considering the day before his kid thought he was a walker.

I've never had to interact with anyone from a different background than me
Looking forward to everyone meeting up again! Not looking forward to the fog-scene from next week's episode. I'm already pretty spooked all the time and that looks real spooky.

Read the previous episode recap here.


Alex Snider watches a lot of TV. Follow her on Twitter where she'll be super active for a week then be quiet for months – she's a social media cicada.


jhon said...

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