Fellow Liberal Dead-heads, this is Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World. I’ve signed on to do a sort of recap/review of each week’s horror hits, so welcome to DEADtime TV. Again, Kevin Lovell helps out with a review of The Following, and Shawn Savage joins in with a review of The Walking Dead!
The Walking Dead: “Inmates” – Sunday, February 16 at 10 PM
Another week, another episode of The Walking Dead is upon us. On the day that this is being written, an even newer episode will be premiering, so please note that I have yet to see anything beyond “Inmates” at the time of this writing. Last week on The Walking Dead, we were clued in, as to the whereabouts of Rick, Carl and Michonne, and just exactly what they’ve been up to since the fall of the prison. A lot of people called it a weak episode, but in my eyes, it was a little more solid than some of the other “filler” episodes in seasons past. This week, we focus on the rest of the group, and a lot of questions that have been looming since the mid-season finale are finally answered. What happened to the bus? Where did Glenn go? Is the baby dead? Where did Tyreese get off to with the girls? Where the hell is Daryl? And an even longer looming question, where the hell is Carol, for that matter? All of these shall be answered within this episode, and more will be posed.
First of all, while I do feel this was a more interesting episode than the episode that came before it, a lot of these questions were answered in a predictable way. Of course the baby is still alive, and it’s starting to become just as annoying as I predicted, dating all the way back to when we first found out Laurie was pregnant in the first place. Apparently Tyreese scooped the baby up, and he’s carrying it around crying in the woods with the other two female children. I realize that their home was just destroyed, but you’d think they’d have searched for some better cover, before stopping out in the middle of nowhere with a screaming child. There they stand, though, no cover, open to both the elements and the walkers, and an annoyingly loud screaming baby who goes through both a feeding, as well as a diaper change. You may think poorly of me for saying this, but I am pretty bummed that they didn’t maintain the balls to kill the baby. I’m not saying that show needs to flow, beat-for-beat in the same direction that they went in the comics, but this is one area in which I wish they would have mimicked the source material. Sorry if this offends you, but I hope, at some point at least, they can find the sack to kill the baby off, because whether or not you love kids, this shit is aggravating.
Meanwhile, Daryl and Beth are in the midst of narrowly escaping a herd of walkers in the middle of the woods. Granted, they utilized a classic horror movie cliche, having the on-screen female back directly into a noisy-assed walker and barely escape becoming lunch, and it seems like it would have been easier for Daryl to have just stabbed the fucking thing in the head, but I guess he’s strengthening his assist points, and maybe for some viewers it made the sequence a little more exciting. I know a lot of the time that this show tries to remind the viewer than nobody in this world is safe, but there are several characters that you know aren’t going to die unless it’s some kind of noteworthy episode, such as a mid-season or season finale. It’s become an observable pattern, so the viewer, well, myself anyway, finds it difficult to find any tension in a situation where I already know that the characters aren’t in any real danger.
Where has Carol been? Doing the direct opposite of what Rick barked at her, apparently, and instead of trying to make it on her own, she was making her way back to the prison, and conveniently made it right in time to see the “end” of the prison siege. Carol meets back up with “her girls” in the wood, after a weirdly forced sequence when the girl they’ve setup to, at the very least, pay homage to the “real life serial killer” that readers of the comics will be familiar with. When uncomfortably questioned by Tyreese as to where she has been all of this time, Carol digs her grave a little deeper, and half-lies to him about where she was and why she was there. This tells the viewer that this confrontation is going to happen soon, most likely in some super dramatic sequence in either the finale, or the episode before.
Maggie is desperately searching for Glen, and apparently Glen is desperately searching for Maggie, so surely they’ll be dramatically reunited at some point in the immediate future. Apparently Glen never even made it out of the prison in the first place. For some reason, even though she told him wait for her, he wandered aimlessly away from the bus, and climbed up on one of the bridges that was destroyed by the explosions. Whether or not it was destroyed before or after he made his way there is up in the air. Glen awakes, Hangover style, dangling from a piece of concrete above a horde of walkers, and is now troubled with the daunting task of making his way out of the overrun prison, and back out into the woods to search for his wife. Along the way, he finds one of the remaining attackers cowering behind a fence, and forces her to help him escape the prison. I realize this was supposed to be a somewhat important character, but the way she has been executed has been so lacking, that the only way I can remember who she is in the grand scheme of things is by referring to her as the random lesbian. So Glen and Random Lesbian make it out of the prison, where she reveals to him that Hershel has just been killed, in which she is instructed that she is now required to help him find Maggie. That about wraps things up for last week’s episode. Tune in next week for another episode of “How The Dead World Turns”. Seriously, though, even though True Detective has stolen every bit of my Sunday night excitement, I do look forward to seeing where things are going to go. We’ll be back next week with the report.
The Following: “Reflection” – Monday, February 17 at 9 PM
This Monday, as opposed to hitting another series low in ratings, The Following managed to simply tie last week’s series low. Let’s hope that once the Olympics wrap up, the numbers might increase a tad next week. Only time will tell though as unfortunately while the Olympics may not be a factor next week, the show will be going up against new episodes of CBS’ comedy lineup and more prime time shows that tend to commonly do far better than The Following. Therefore all of you fellow fans out there please make sure to keep tuning in each week and let’s hope that a third season may still be a possibility.
This week’s new episode of The Following marks the fifth episode in the second season of the series and is titled “Reflection”. This week’s episode starts with what may have been the most tragic loss on the series yet, Joe Carroll’s amazing beard. I know I’m not alone in thinking he looked absolutely fantastic with that exceptional beard and I was extremely disappointed to see it go. Now, for those who aren’t so hurt by the loss of some fantastic facial hair, the episode centers around the introductions between Carroll and this new group that has so openly taken him in. At the same time Emma finds herself questioning the intentions of these individuals more and more and must fight to stay close to Carroll as others make every effort to pull the two apart.
The episode also follows Ryan Hardy and his nephew Max as they pursue an integral member of this new cult while building to an inevitable conclusion between some of this group and Hardy as they head out to pick this member up, all of them unaware that Max and Ryan remain in close pursuit of their suspect.
The sophomore season of The Following continues to improve each episode, and so far I personally love it. I continue to find myself impressed with how well the show has continued to maintain itself and constantly remain on such an intense level. Aside from my disappointment at the lack of properly utilizing Shawn Ashmore’s character of Mike Weston (which I’ve voiced before), I am overall very pleased with where this season seems to be going and how it has built itself thus far. I am quite anxiously anticipating the inevitable confrontation of Hardy and Carroll that is bound to come at some point and hopefully sooner than later.
The second season of The Following is currently airing Monday’s at 9/8c on Fox, following all new episodes of Almost Human so make sure to tune into both! -Kevin
Bitten: “Committed” – Monday, February 17 at 10 PM
One thing I’m not committed to is Bitten. The show continues to test my patience, and it’s become a werewolf show that’s curiously not about werewolves. In fact, “Committed” skirts around the idea of werewolves so much that, if an inexperienced viewer were to tune in without seeing the rest of the episodes, they might think Bitten a crime drama with little suspense or mystery.
Here’s the thing: after last week’s episode about Elena’s backstory and her relationship with Clay, “Committed” is expected to move the story forward. Last week Bitten got away with stalling for time about the mutts-as-werewolves-as-serial-killers plot because it attempted to unlock some of Elena’s secrets, and it revealed how she was bitten. This time, however, there’s no excuse for all of Bitten‘s posturings about who could be behind the murders and what the pack should do about it. If Jeremy is the alpha male who has led the pack for years, he apparently hasn’t faced a formidable foe, because he’s a poor planner and an even worse decision-maker.
Ultimately “Committed” stays away from Stonehaven, at least for Elena’s plot line, in order to explore her relationship with Phil at his sister’s wedding. There’s a lot of annoying, unrelated tedium in this part of the show; Elena wants to get her future mother-in-law’s approval, she gives relationship advice to her future sister-in-law (despite her own fucked love life), and has a tense and terse conversation with the mutt Daniel Santos, which has as much drama as watching a pot blacken above a flame. Strike that, that’s still more interesting.
On the other side of things, Clay and Jeremy deal with a mutt who threatens Jeremy’s alpha male status. Clay takes things quite far, strangling the dude with saran wrap and then apparently killing him, or so the show wants us to believe with his phone call to Elena. “I’ve… done things,” he growls on the phone, about as hilarious as you might expect from that transcription.
The biggest problem with Bitten is that it thinks we actually care about its side characters. We don’t – they’ve had no standing in the show thus far, and continue to mean nothing to the overarching plot despite the show’s attempts to include them. Logan’s wife is pregnant now, but does that really make a difference? We’ve seen her like three times in 6 episodes. And Elena is going to take her relationship with Phil to the next level by moving in with him, but then she leaves to go to Stonehaven anyway. Yawn – all of this episode’s dramatic events are canceled out by the end of the hour.
Bitten needs to get back to its werewolf centrality if it expects viewers to keep tuning in. Its character drama doesn’t work on its own, especially when it has nothing to do with the main plot. Speaking of, what is the point of this show again? It just keeps stalling, pretending it’ll get there soon.
Helix: “Bloodline” – Friday, February 21 at 10 PM
Well, Jeri Ryan’s run seems to have come to an end; although we don’t see her death on-camera, it’s assumed Hatake kills her and regains control of the base after her reign of terror and misinformation. However, Helix is always playing a runaround game with us, so it’s not certain if the show is going to come back and pretend like she never died at all.
“Bloodline” finds Julia back with Alan and Sarah on the regular floor of the base, seemingly cured of the virus that had before made her spit black bile and hallucinate. As the audience, we know she’s not cured at all – she’s got weird silver eyes like Hatake, meaning she has been given something to make her into a strange new type of vector. Constance Sutton, Ilaria’s commander and resident out-of-control nutbag, decides that she’s got to contain Julia and run some tests on her to figure out what exactly made the virus fade away.
So the episode goes, with Alan and Sarah trying to protect Julia from Sutton at all costs because they realize she’s not telling them things they need to know. Sutton’s worse than Hatake, so they rely on him for help and info. It’s a race to get to Julia first, for if she’s captured and taken from the base she will forever be tested by scientists until they find a cure in her blood.
“Bloodline” reveals a few things about Hatake that we could guess but didn’t know for certain. He did steal kids to adopt them, and Julia is his “daughter,” since we see a picture of him with her back when she was a child. But he hasn’t aged, something that we can probably assume came from the virus’ silver eye mutation. Also, he was romantically involved with Constance before she became power-hungry and irrational.
Helix has slightly moved away from it scientific premise into more dramatic, character-centric territory. While I sort of dislike that movement because I found Helix‘s viral outbreak paranoia-inducing, it makes sense for Alan to battle the bigger problem that is Ilaria. Constance is a constant (pun intended) threat for everyone at Arctic Biosystems because it’s hard to tell what she’ll do next and who she’ll align with, which makes Helix a constant battle to figure out who’s working with whom.
With “Bloodline” taking Constance out of the picture, it allows the show to get back to normalcy by returning to the virus itself. While Sutton as a character is interesting to add to the show, her role as aggressor can’t last forever – it’s not effective to have Alan and Sarah hiding in the base for the rest of the season with no work getting done.
But it does feel like Sutton wasn’t given a whole lot of time for her arc. In a matter of two episodes she appears and then disappears again, making the point of her being at the base sort of moot. At least Helix has the good sense to reveal some of its secrets while she’s around.
While I’m not sure “Bloodline” is up to par with other Helix episodes, it’s still important to move the show forward. It’s unlikely that the characters will remain at Arctic Biosystems by season’s end, but it’s also unreasonable to suggest that a war within the base could be manageable with Sutton’s lead. Where Helix heads next is anyone’s guess, but hopefully, it sets its sights on the virus foremost.
Catch us next week with another edition of DEADtime TV, with coverage of The Walking Dead, Helix, Bitten, The Following, and the new season of Hannibal!