mokie: Ghostbusters' Vinz Clortho wears a collander and answers questions (geeky)
The season finale of AMC's zombie drama The Walking Dead airs tonight, and the network is running a marathon of the entire series so far. Since I'm a fan of the show, I figured I'd wax philosophical. And before anyone asks, I've not yet read the comics, so this probably won't be relevant to them at all.

#1. The Internet is absolutely convinced that Rick surviving the hospital is a gaping plot hole. That's because the Internet is absolutely convinced that the longest anyone can survive without water is three days, that stubble takes two weeks to grow, that cut flowers take four weeks to dry out, and that the hospital would have been abandoned at the time of the evacuation order. The Internet is wrong on all these counts.

#2. Some characters only work well or make sense in marathon viewing. For example, Weekly Lori plays her husband and ex off each other while she ignores her kid, but Marathon Lori is trying to salvage her already-damaged marriage, shake loose the guy she turned to for comfort (who turned out to be a bit of a psycho), and keep her kid out of the middle of both the zombie action and the human drama. Weekly Andrea is a tiresome wannabe bad-ass, but Marathon Andrea was hurt so badly by loss that she's trying to avoid all ties and any kind of dependence, be it physical or emotional. Weekly Michonne comes across as just bad acting, but Marathon Michonne is more clearly a traumatized shell of a person who shows us what Andrea would have become without Dale dragging her back into the circle. Even Dale's death goes from being a random death for death's sake to a larger moment of character redemption.

#3. Some points are clearer after marathon viewing, too. Why was Carl always being sent to the house? Because he was still recovering from that gunshot wound and shouldn't have been running around in the first place. Why did Lori freak out when Rick told her he killed Shane? She didn't--she freaked out when he told her that Carl had put down zombie-Shane, as she had been fighting all along to keep Carl a kid (a mission pretty well out the window as of the third season).

The best part of the previous two points? In the third season, Rick's grasp on reality becomes a little shaky. Try watching the series from the start, marathon-style, under the assumption that Rick is already a little frayed in the head, and his wife may be the only one who sees it.

#4. The show needed to spend twice as much time at the original camp, and half as much time at the farm. We needed more time to get to know Amy, so Andrea's season-long depression would seem less whiny. We needed more time with Jim and Jackie so they would be missed characters, not just voices we don't recognize over the phone. We didn't learn anything about T-Dog until after he'd died, and even then it seemed to be a footnote borrowed from the first season's nursing home episode. The only character that benefited from the slow drag of the second season ("Downton Abbey with zombies") was Daryl, because his appearances were a welcome break from the love triangle that just would not die, no matter how tired we were of it.

#5. Speaking of, the show needs to spend half as much time on Daryl as it currently does. Too much of a good thing can kill the appeal (see: Fonzie), and we have other characters we need to get better acquainted with (poor, poor T-Dog).

#6. Horror fans can be damned annoying, and I say that as one. No book/movie/show is ever a perfect fit for everyone, but I've run into a few people who turn their noses up at this show because they like 'real horror'. If I remember right, one of them accused me of reading too much into things when I mentioned the cultural subtext in Night of the Living Dead a few years back, too.

I don't mind folks that prefer their horror as pure slash and mash. I mind when they suggest that slash and mash is the only 'real horror'. It doesn't just shut out anything that isn't guts and gore, it also attempts to shut down intelligent examination of horror stories. The zombie genre, for instance, generally involves the fall of society into chaos, and in that plays with ideas about authority and power and corruption. The horror is rarely just dead things--it's often other people that are the real threat.

#7. Other people may be the real threat, but I'll be glad when they close out the Woodbury plot. It's felt a bit too much saber-rattling at points; they either needed to get on with it, or they needed some side plots so the second half of the season didn't feel like waiting for the Governor to get off his ass and attack.

ETA: And the season ends with a full-out assault that lasts roughly two minutes before the Woodbury militia panics and withdraws, the Governor slaughtering the able-bodied adults of his community, and Rick bringing the old folks and babies of Woodbury back to the prison. Other viewers have summarized it as a good episode but a bad season finale, and while I can see the arc that it ends, it still feels like a letdown after a season spent building up the Governor as a big bad boogeyman.

About dream/reading tags

y-* tags categorize dreams.

For types: beyond the obvious, there are dreamlets (very short dreams), stubs (fragment/outline of a partially-lost dream), gnatter (residual impression of a lost dream).

For characters: there are roles (characters fitting an archetype), symbols (characters as symbols), and sigils (recurring figures with a significance bigger than a single dream's role/symbolism).

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Material is categorized primarily by structure, style and setting. If searching for a particular genre, look for the defining features of that genre, e.g. x-form:nonfic:bio, x-style:horror, x-setting:dystopian.