*Spoilers* The future of humanity looks pretty grim after this week's episode. Seems it's really hard to keep kids alive during the zombie apocalypse, especially girl-children. Rough stuff. I'm still unsettled.In a way this episode felt like a rehashing of Sophia's death in season two; an attempt by the writers to right the wrongs. The never-ending search for Sophia had diminishing returns, to the point where when she finally staggered out of that barn, the emotional wallop was more like a light slap. The group was devastated and Carol was the perfect picture of maternal grief but the audience had already been put through seven (!!) aimless, tedious episodes during which the phrase "we have to find Sophia" became the surest way to anaesthetize viewers. Did I know she was going to wind up zombie-fied? I had hoped not because I'm a big softie, but as someone who has read a lot of Flannery O'Connor, I always expect the absolute worst to happen.
|Of Mice and Zombies (I'm here all night, folks, tip your waitress!)|
But what a sad thing to watch. I started the episode not caring really about either of the girls but by the end (rather by their ends) I liked them both – especially Mika who's optimism I found infinitely more convincing than Beth's (I'm trying to like Beth, I am! Especially because my dear friend who has in my experience never been wrong about anything ever likes her. But ugh, Beth!). I loved her comment on the smoke and missing science class. Also love how she's cute as a button but has one of those older-lady faces like the "60 Year Old Girl" meme.
|Liked Adventures of Tom Sawyer but prefers Reader's Digest|
There was a lot of recurring imagery this episode, all calling back to the second season and the search for Sophia. Of course there's the bucolic farm, the repeated references to flowers (don't forget the significance of the Cherokee roses), the deer (last time we saw a deer was when Carl was shot). At one point, when chasing after Lizzie, Mika runs past an old barn with the doors wide open (no zombie Sophia lurching out this time). It all further cements the parallels between Sophia and the sisters and shows how much Carol has grown.
Wow, there are a lot of dead girls on TV, huh? On TWD alone there's been five, all white, all blonde: Sophia, Zombie Penny, Megan and now Lizzie and Mika. And possibly Beth. Somebody dye Judith's hair asap.
|What even is my life now?|
|Somewhat Raskolnikov-y <- another shoehorned literary reference. I'm a delight at parties|
For all its faults, TWD is always so beautiful. The cinematography is fantastic and nearly rivals that of Breaking Bad. Every shot of the forest and farm this episode filled me with yearning to be there. The direction this week was also great. Loved loved loved the scenes through the window. First the cold open with the music, kettle and slow pan over to Lizzie playing tag with a walker. Then Tyrese watching Lizzie lose her shit at Carol for killing her playmate and again Tyrese watching as Carol shot Lizzie. And the final shot of Carol and Tyrese walking away from the farm. I already mentioned Flannery O'Connor above but this episode really nailed the Southern Gothic – the awful combination of beauty and of the grotesque with the gorgeous atmosphere laced with death.
There are only two episodes left which bums me out. Nervous about losing any of the characters – at this point I like them all (except the new crews). I do stand by my assertion that Rick's gotta go, though.
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.