Review: The Babadook

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Director: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman
Rating: 4 out of 5 bad books for The Babadook. This film wasn’t the scariest I’ve ever seen, as many claimed it was, but it was, indeed, very scary. Even though I went in with high expectations, the film still satisfied me immensely; it was a success regardless of whether it gave me nightmares or not. It is atmospheric, suspenseful, and dreary, and the horror comes from dread, not gore or cheap shocks. However, it takes a keen attention to detail and a particular kind of panache to pull off this kind of nuanced, delicate indie horror: Kent exhibits these qualities and displays them effortlessly here.

The Babadook— which, someone pointed out to me afterwards, can be reconfigured to roughly spell “the bad book”– is not your typical gore-fest or even your common haunting flick, but it’s pretty much unpleasant from the get-go, before anything supernatural even occurs. Amelia (Davis) is a haggard single mother, tortured by grief ever since her husband died (in a car accident, driving her to the hospital to give birth to their son). Her son, Samuel, is equally tortured by his lack of a father; he still sees monsters and even builds weapons to combat them (and to protect his beloved mother). But he is alienated from other kids as a result of these odd and aggressive behaviors, and Amelia is just as isolated from her peers due to her own inability to move forward and adequately handle her son’s erratic tendencies.

Well, before long, the demons they both battle become all too real– or perhaps, those preexisting demons allow for further negativity to enter their lives in the form of Mister Babadook, a storybook which seems to mysteriously materialize on their shelf as if beckoned or attracted by their stress and unhappiness, and which traumatizes Samuel instantly; he sees Mister Babadook everywhere and says typically creepy things to his own mother, such as “I don’t want you to die.” The scariest visceral moments of the film, sparse and expertly crafted as they are, include the guttural way “BABADOOOOK” is uttered, like a demonic whisper that upsets on a deep, physical level (something about the tone of it just made my skin prickle and crawl). Then there’s also the random appearance of roaches in a non-existent (?) hole in her wall. But those tricks never seem cheap here– they seem horrifyingly real, because everything else about the film is so grounded in gritty reality, particularly the mother-son relationship that is teased and tested throughout the film.

Davis is amazing as Amelia, especially when she is, shall we say, not herself, floating effortlessly between weepy, weak mom to crazy-killer mom– and, again, the possession sort of feeling isn’t cheapened here but rather intensified, thanks to just how subtle and seamless the buildup is, and how crucial the film’s central relationship is to the story. Her son’s obsession with monsters and with saving his mother from them comes into play perfectly when the monster is finally very much real, but it kind of makes you think whether it ever really was– one thing the Babadook says is, the more you deny me the stronger I get, and it really does seem to me like Mister Babadook was another test, a more overt manifestation maybe, of the horror that is already present in their lives, though this horror is much more human– again, the horror of losing a husband or a parent, the fear and turmoil of raising a child alone, or of being alone. The film’s ending is awesomely strange and thus all the more disturbing, and if there’s anything to be learned from the film, it’s that we cannot always eliminate that which plagues us, but we can be in control of it, but at what cost? A scary thought indeed.

This is, all in all, a chilling and unsettling horror film that, above all else, is just so expertly crafted– there wasn’t anything in here that was sloppy or lacked stylishness, care or precision. Even if it doesn’t scare you in the same way as some other films might, I’d argue that this brand of scares is a lot more deeply effective– washing over you like a cold sweat brought on by a bad memory or rather by a nightmare only half remembered, always lurking in the shadows, threatening to remind you of the horrors of your every day life.

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Review: The Interview (& Why a “Stupid” Comedy Can Still Be a Satire)

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Director:Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Lizzy Caplan
Rating: 4 out of 5 missiles; a stupid-smart, or perhaps smartly stupid, satire. The film’s script (its broad approach to satirical humor) isn’t always the most intelligent, at least not on the surface (which doesn’t mean it isn’t funny, by the way). But lurking beneath James Franco’s obnoxiousness and between the usual, to-be-expected vulgarities, there is a gleefully offensive ridiculousness to this film that somehow gets its message across better than you’d think it would– if you’re receptive to it, that is. And, might I add, the film skewers not just North Korea, but also America. Its approach to making fun of the former is far more over-the-top than the latter, and so I think the fact that some nuance even exists here at all deserves a whole lot more credit than what the film is going to get.

And that, of course, is because the film is going to get notoriety instead, due to the controversy that has surrounded it for the last couple weeks, from the Sony hack itself to the ensuing fallout: theater chains pulling the film after threats of 9/11-esque attacks surfaced, then Sony pulling it entirely with no plans of distributing it, then Sony deciding to, thankfully, distribute the film after all via various VOD outlets (after much push back and criticism from Hollywood, the indie film world, and even President Obama).

And, as Rotten Tomatoes so eloquently put it in their current consensus for the film, all of that controversy will likely overshadow the film, its strengths and flaws alike. In fact, I’d go so far as to say many people who didn’t have an opinion about, or any interest in seeing the film were enticed to check it out, to see what the hubbub was all about. Then there were others who expressed that this was a whole lot of hubbub over what would probably be a dumb movie. I, for one, was always invested in this film, being a longtime mega-fan of Seth Rogen (and Evan Goldberg). And, like I said, despite the sometimes too low-brow, crude script with jokes that don’t always hit their marks perfectly, the film still works albeit as a smart satire masquerading as a stupid one: over-the-top and silly, yes, but the film is not actually as stupid as it would appear, or at least, it uses its stupidity to its extreme advantage in more cases than not, I’d say. I just fear that, controversy aside, its aura of stupidity will be what clouds the film’s unexpected brilliance for those who refuse to see that aura as a vehicle that enhances its satirical quality.

Of course, there’s not much more I need to say about the film’s plot or its politics, but I really liked this movie so I’ll ramble on anyway. The film follows James Franco’s Dave Skylark– a celebrity gossip reporter– and his trusty producer Aaron Rapaport (played by Seth Rogen, the straight man to Franco’s incompetent, insensitive goofball). They are given the rare opportunity to interview North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, which turns into a mission to kill him, or at least to make him seem human to his own people, who worship him as a god, of course.

The nuances I was referring to earlier with regard satirizing our own country’s policies and pomp come in a few different forms– the celebrity cameos and references surrounding Skylark’s show (Eminem is gay! Rob Lowe is bald! Miley Cyrus has camel-toe! Again– totally low-brow but undeniably humorous) and later, during the titular interview itself, the tables are turned momentarily, but just long enough for discerning viewers to stop and think about our own foreign and domestic policies. Another such fleeting moment is when Skylark, defending the outwardly awesome and misunderstood Kim Jong-un, says something along the lines of, what do we know anyway, we’re always sticking our nose into other countries’ business and messing everything up. I’m not saying the film had a responsibility to flesh these moments out more, heck if the hackers were domestic maybe that would make them just as upset. I just hope those moments are not overlooked totally– they are there, and they do matter.

But of course, Kim Jong-un is also depicted as a hilariously deceitful madman who likes basketball, margaritas, and Katy Perry’s “Firework” and who is burdened by his father’s legacy. I could see why, if North Korea had been the hackers (they’re denying involvement, last I heard), they’d be more than a little sensitive, since the interview itself is, in many ways, more humiliating than the original plan to assassinate him. But that’s why I think those brief moments of satire that point in both directions are so important even if they are more subtle. And maybe there’s something to be said for the film’s shenanigans that seem no different, comedically speaking, from any of Rogen or Franco’s other movies– I think it’s all intentional and, more or less, all effective.

I laughed more than once– sometimes hard– and found myself thinking too, but not for too long before the next gag came along and made me laugh again. I don’t think this kind of back and forth is a bad thing, necessarily. I don’t think the film even takes itself too seriously– all the more reason why the controversy was so fascinating to me in the first place. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from all this, it’s that we need comedy– in many forms, not just those that pride themselves on being cultured– in order to shed light on the state of our world. No matter how juvenile that light seems to be, it’s a light nonetheless, and if we dismiss those lights as such and say they aren’t worthy, or if we instead take them so seriously that we extinguish them out of fear, then the film industry– and our world at large– would be a very dark place indeed.

The Walking Recap: Crossed

Hello, everyone! Tonight is the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, and I’ll try my best to write the recap of that tomorrow night, since I’ll be on a business trip from Wednesday until Saturday, so no procrastinating allowed (because blogging in general will be very difficult and unlikely during that time!)

Last week’s episode deserves a 3 out of 5, I think (practicing being less of a rating-pushover)– it was clearly a build-up episode, which is a common, but logical, tendency the show has to devote an entire episode to building up to, and saving any payoff for, the episode(s) to come. Usually, this is the case preceding big showdown episodes, and tonight’s episode, which centers upon the rescue mission itself, is sure to provide that payoff we so desperately seek– even if it means killing someone off (will it be Beth? Carol? Tyrese? Those are the rumors I’ve been hearing, anyway)

So, let’s review in time for tonight’s episode: Carl offers to teach Father Gabriel how to fight and use weapons, and he chooses the machete but says he feels unwell and must lie down. When Michonne checks on him later, he responds a bit aggressively, asking what she wants from him since he already took the weapon. Michonne says she doesn’t want anything, but it seems like she should have been more forceful in checking in perhaps– a little more prodding may or may not have revealed that he was using the machete to dismantle the floorboards of his office, eventually fleeing the church. Early in the episode, the church had been fortified, which made this route of escape the only option for him, and his halfhearted attempt to kill a walker in the woods later was pitiful to watch (I want to say boohoo so what that she had a cross necklace, but it’s fine, I digress)

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Sasha, meanwhile, is still upset about Bob’s death, and has yet another heart-to-heart with her brother, Tyrese, who gets her to forgive and move forward finally. But this is probably the worst time for this enlightened level of coping to occur, since it causes her to be easily duped by one of Dawn’s cops; our group has taken him hostage, and he appeals to Sasha’s new-found humanity, tricking her into mercy-killing the walker who’d once been his partner. I kind of figured these cops’ cooperation would have been too simple. So, anyway, we leave Sasha knocked out and our runaway cop runs away to who-knows-where. And, who-knows-where is pretty much where the plan probably stands as a result. Hopefully Rick and Daryl can still figure out a way of making the swap work, with as few casualties as possible (although if it were up to Rick, the more casualties the merrier!)

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The series has some of its most successful moments, this season especially, when there are no walkers at all, just really well-executed quiet moments of character development and pondering morality, and I’ve said this before. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that some of them leave something to be desired for me personally, and that was the Glenn/Maggie group’s experiences in this episode. I liked that we got to know Rosita little bit more, but Abraham’s sulking in the sun and Maggie’s looking after both him and Eugene was just a little too redundant; the development to be had from their episode arc could have been reached with slightly less screen time, I think. Like, I’m happy that Tara found a yo-yo on their fishing expedition, but as far as “build-up” goes, this group didn’t need quite as much focus as it got.

I guess the episode felt a bit underwhelming because of the way it tried to weave all our survivors’ stories back together after briskly barreling through each story separately for a while now (something that in itself never worked that well for the show until this season, I’d argue). So maybe this one felt a little more choppy and less tense as a result. But, everything is in place for tonight’s episode and if that was the overall goal, then it succeeded.

No Particular Order: Pop Culture Things I’m Thankful For

Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving! Since I’m not doing a whole lot to celebrate the holiday, I’d like to put forth a few recent (or in some cases, not so recent, perhaps) film and television events and items that I’m very thankful for, as random as some of them may seem. Enjoy!

The Knick 

The Knick (which I’m one episode away from finishing season 1 of, so no spoilers in the comments and no making fun of me for being a very slow and lazy bingewatcher, either!) is one of my favorite new shows. I know it caused some derision, with many questioning whether Steven Soderbergh’s talents were well used or if the show was just an aesthetically pretentious repackaging of familiar tropes and character types. But, I think the show is gripping, disturbing, darkly and drearily beautiful, sophisticated, and fascinating as a look at barbaric, turn of the century medicine, in all its corrupt and cocaine addicted glory.

-go1_-_1080The camera’s movement, the tones and colors, and especially that eerie synth music that seems so ill-fitting and yet somehow works so well, all make the show a cinematic masterpiece of a serial drama, and even if Clive Owen’s Thackery seems to be a cookie cutter male antihero at times, he also plays the part extremely well.

3rd Rock from the Sun on Hulu

I watched this show a lot as a kid but a lot of its double entendres and brilliant observations about humanity’s stupidity were lost on me until now. I’m marathoning it on Hulu and the one thing that is really blowing me away (besides how truly hilarious the show was in general) is the gender critique in much of it– Sally, played by Kristen Johnston, was not a “women” on their home planet, and when she asks why she had to be the woman coming to earth, Dick (John Lithgow) says that she “lost.”

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This is among many keen, critical observations of the social constructs surrounding gender that, logically, don’t fully make sense to these aliens, particularly Sally. She is forced to do “girly” jobs, is ignored by mechanics, and is denied simple soap by a cosmetic seller. She’s trying to understand gender and the differences between women and men by being thrown headfirst into the ridiculous regimes and expectations that (often unnecessarily) come with womanhood.”Why is my body so much higher maintenance than yours?” “The economy relies on it.” Indeed, it does.

The Pitch Perfect 2 and Jurassic World Trailer Premieres

I know I used to do Preview Review posts to talk about trailers, but these two deserve a place in this post while they’re fresh in my mind. I loved both trailers and know these two films will be my most anticipated releases of next summer.

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Pitch Perfect 2‘s trailer made me giddy and ready for more catchy, catty fun– the Bellas are back and competing in the world championships, which means… a German rival team! (And my favorite YouTube star, Flula!) The aca-remix of Cups was a great way of easing into the rest of the trailer, which of course, get’s more epic and fun as it goes on. I really hope this sequel meets all the high expectations out there, because I’m not the only one who is aca-excited for this movie.

Watch here

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Likewise, I think everyone is highly anticipating Jurassic World. Chris Pratt will no doubt be amazing in it, and the special effects look top-notch as to be expected– the shot in this trailer of the dinosaur leaping for his bait– a dangling shark– is just plain awesome. I’m such a fan of these movies and cannot wait for this one.

Watch here

And This Classic Fake Trailer Courtesy of Eli Roth

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Ah, the Thanksgiving trailer from Grindhouse. I love this thing, and watch it every year on Thanksgiving– let’s face it, there are Christmas movies and Christmas HORROR movies. Heck, there are even slasher films that take place on Valentine’s Day and Prom Night. But no movies– not many of any kind– that are set around Thanksgiving. So logically, this hypothetical horror film is amazing. I don’t necessarily wish it were real, but I sure am thankful it exists.

Watch here

Well, thank you all for reading this random hodgepodge of pop culture stuff that I’m into right now and thus thankful for on a day like today! I am, above all else, thankful for you, dear readers and followers! Thanks as always for your patience and interest in my posts!

The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters

A list of 10 iconic female movie characters has been made. That list will be assigned to another blogger who can then change it by removing one character (describing why they think she should not be on the list) and replacing it with another one (also with motivation) and hand over the baton to another blogger. Once assigned, that blogger will have to put his/her post up within a week. If this is not the case the blogger who assigned it has to reassign it to another blogger.

That little intro was all the info needed to understand this awesome blogathon, which was started by Dell on Movies, where you can follow the list’s path. I’m honored to have been nominated by Dev Nic Smith’s awesome blog, Movies n’ Stuff. ADDENDUM (11/27/14): As of when I wrote this a couple days ago, I hadn’t nominated anyone yet but I’m pleased to announce that I’ve nominated Natalie of Writer Loves Movies and she accepted! She’ll have hers up sometime in the second week of December. She’s a fantastic writer who I’m happy to work with over at Audiences Everywhere.

Anyway, the list stands as this:

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8

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First of all, I agree with Dev’s overall line of reasoning, right down to why she eliminated Elsa from Frozen. I love Uma Thurman’s Tarantino characters and, of course, I’m partial to the horror movie heroines and sci-fi supergirls found on this list, as well. I would, however, feel an immense amount of guilt if I took someone like Scarlett O’Hara off the list, merely as a matter of preference. I mean, she’s pretty important. But it was her or Elle Woods (who was Dev’s pick).

Ultimately, I had to eliminate Elle Woods. I think Witherspoon is a great comedienne in Legally Blonde (2001), and Elle is a pretty fantastic character when you think about it– embodying gender stereotypes while also balancing and maintaining her intellect and independence, thus defying those stereotypes and pointing out their limitations, just as Dev said. But, the film never made a huge impact on me personally and so I’ve got to make room for my favorite movie female: Clementine Kruczynski of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).

I am biased only in that this is also my favorite movie of all time, but part of why it’s my favorite movie has always been the character of Clementine, played by Kate Winslet. Clem is, for me, simultaneously the most quirky, eccentric female character but she’s somehow also terribly relatable, both because of and despite those quirks. She is brutish at times– so, you’d think, “strong female character,” but the two are not necessarily synonymous; she is a strong female character in the sense that she is complex, and she’s allowed to be confident and obnoxious one moment and be completely emotionally wrecked in the next. She is moody, insecure, and impulsive– with her brightly colored hair and equally inconsistent personality, she actually fills up and fluctuates within the gray area between “strong” and “weak” female dichotomies.

Clem isn’t the best role model, per se, but she proves that a female character can come along every once in a while whose personality is as fluid as real women’s personalities can be– she has sexual agency and exercises her choice by, well, choosing perhaps too impulsively (as she does to erase Joel from her memory). I always related to Clementine on an emotional level, and maybe that’s embarrassing to admit– but all her brashness paired with her underlying uncertainty about her looks, love and life always struck me as unique as far as film history is concerned, and it always made me feel like complicated women do have a place on screen. And for that, I think Clementine is well deserving of a place on this list.

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Thanks again to Dev for the nomination and good luck to all the future participants! I will announce who I’ve nominated ASAP and will wish them luck in particular!

Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis
Rating: 5 out of 5 jellyfish. I may be a high rater, but I don’t give out perfect scores too often. Now, my biases for Iñárritu (Amores Perros, especially) and for Emma Stone aside, this is, to me, a perfect film. The editing (made to appear as though the film was shot in one take, no cuts) was daring and fascinating and never grew gimmicky but it was also, even more surprisingly, not the film’s only strength. Far from it, actually. The technical panache is met with and matched by amazing, raw performances from the entire, stellar cast, even as they deliver intentionally pretentious and philosophical stretches of dialogue– and this is all in service of achieving a surrealist satire about celebrity culture and the difference in value between art and entertainment. Ironic, considering this film is both art and entertainment in equal, glorious measure.

Birdman is a sometimes absurd, always engrossing tale about a show business has-been– Riggan Thomson (Keaton)– attempting to direct and star in a dramatic Broadway play of his own adaptation from a short story. The actor jargon is meant to be laughable, I think, at least when it’s coming from everyone else (in particular, Norton and Watts give great performances). But for Riggan– even with all his otherworldly abilities (which he uses mostly to throw temper tantrums and escape from his current self into delusions of his former self: the global superhero sensation, Birdman)– the struggle between artist and entertainer seems authentic, poignant almost. We may not love him every second of the film– we find out he was a pretty negligent father and a self-absorbed husband– but he is the only character who seems at least somewhat aware of what he used to be, and who he is trying to be, all with the existential dread of not really know what any of that makes him right now.

Emma Stone (again, bias aside but I couldn’t not mention this) gives a standout performance as his daughter, Sam, a recent rehab alum who’s now acting as his bitter assistant. She has one powerful, perfectly executed monologue all about how Riggan doesn’t matter anymore, how he is washed up and irrelevant, and it is one of the most gripping moments in the film. The movie seems to effortlessly, seamlessly ebb and flow between honesty and intensity, fantasy and dark humor, philosophy and spectacle. The film in itself is kind of striking a convincing balance then, a cohesive and complicated hybrid even, of the very modes it seems to argue are opposites– again, art and entertainment are assigned values that I think we’re meant to question and consider throughout the film’s content, while in the film’s form, they’re beautifully mangled together, both worthy of our attention. Everything from theater critics to Twitter and viral culture, from method acting and petty backstage power plays, is examined in equal measure; what lengths should these actors be going to to be taken seriously, and should being taken seriously be the end goal anyway? And if so, why should that be the end goal? And, as is brought up again and again throughout the film, how does any of this fit into our wired world?

The film is creative and calculated, cynical and cerebral, emotional and exciting. The jazz drumming adds to the absurdity of the film as well as to the artsy nature of it, of course, and it punctuates the film, tying together its disparate tones into one big, jazzy joke. The sound in general is extremely effective. The mixing of sound levels paired with the visual one-take effect give us the eerie feeling like the film is happening in a labyrinth around us, like we are inescapably and inexplicably immersed in this world. I loved the thrill of certain scenes, and embraced the guilt that came with feeling a thrill in those scenes– such as when Riggan is essentially in one of his old Birdman flicks again. With the snap of his fingers, there are explosions and special effects and he even flies… or does he? The messages are intentionally mixed until the film’s awe-inspiring conclusion; we’re left to wonder again and again where he’d feel most happy, most successful, most loved and admired– in his Birdman suit, making billions of dollars or on stage, making “art.” As my convoluted review probably indicates, this is a complex film that sometimes, in certain ways, masquerades as an extremely simple film– it looks like one take, but with every fluid and meaningful movement of the camera, a million questions are being raised, a million things are being considered and made fun of, and we, as media consumers, are complicit in all of it. In the end, I think the film is critiquing the conflict between art and entertainment, rather than necessarily choosing sides within that conflict. And this is what makes it so interesting to me in the first place; the film is an expertly choreographed debate, and a truly important, innovative and enjoyable film that will, above all else, remind you what the medium can do– as both art and as entertainment.

The Walking Recap: Consumed

Last night’s episode was quiet, moody, slow and introspective. Not one of my favorites, despite having it follow my favorite duo– Daryl and Carol. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5 like I gave last week’s, but this time, I’ll applaud its overall unpredictability that really punctuated the overall subdued tone. 3.5 out of 5 machetes, shall we say, after the only really awesome, gory zombie kill of the episode? Or perhaps the unit should be books about dealing with domestic abuse.

At any rate, this episode follows Daryl and Carol through the streets of Atlanta, giving us a feeling of both nostalgia and frustration– is this really how far we’ve come, that we can return to the beginning so easily and quickly? The city is looking pretty rough at this point, and our dynamic duo have a lot of serious conversations in which not much is really said, while camping out partly in what was once a shelter for wives and children living with abusive husbands/fathers. The fact that Carol had stayed here once with Sophia is another eerie revelation about how far our characters have come spiritually, emotionally, mentally, even if not physically getting too far outside Atlanta’s city limits. It was emotional for Carol to see a zombified mother and daughter, and heartwarming in a weird way for Daryl to tell her he’ll take care of it because she shouldn’t have to; the next morning, she wakes up to Daryl respectfully burning the bodies. One great line in the episode comes from Daryl where he says that they’re not ashes, as they talk about who they were and how they’re different. The whole thing seems really intent on examining Carol in particular and retracing her steps, outlining and highlighting the various lows and sacrifices and unspeakable acts she’s had to commit, and we’re definitely meant to see that they’re taking a toll on her at this point, that they’re really informing her survival skills and weighing against her humanity a little.

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One way the episode shows this that I did love was the way pretty much every return from commercial break was a flashback to some other moment in Carol’s timeline– when Rick makes her leave, or when she burns and buries bodies, etc.

The episode wasn’t devoid of action necessarily, and even if it were that would be okay with me normally. I think I was expecting something more from this episode, but I can’t quite articulate what, or why. Maybe it was a pacing issue especially given the fast pace of the season up until this point. But things certainly did get interesting when they’re stuck in a van that is teetering at the edge of an industrial bridge, with walkers swarming all around, forcing them to hold on for dear life and face the fall. Even more interesting, of course, was when they get their weapons stolen from none other than the escaped Noah. But, Daryl and Carol eventually catch up to him and switch places in terms of which one wants to kill versus spare him (at first, Carol is willing to wound him in order to save their weapons, but when Noah later actively endangers Carol’s safety, that’s when Daryl seems all too willing to let him die beneath a bookcase with a walker right over him). When they do ultimately save him though, they find out all about Beth and the hospital, so it’s a good thing– unless we’re not meant to trust him.

Carol, as usual, gets a little too trigger happy but this time, I mean that figuratively: she should have looked both ways before crossing the street, even during a zombie apocalypse– she gets hit by one of the hospital’s vehicles and subsequently saved and taken by that same vehicle (though I use the term “saved” loosely here). The episode ends with Daryl and Noah heading back to the church for reinforcements so they can save Daryl’s two ladies. So I’d presume that it’s Noah who’s in the woods with him after all but we’ll have to wait and see– all I know is, it looks like our group is gearing up for a classic rescue mission. I just hope it plays out in a refreshing and exciting way, because that is something that could very easily be trite and tired at this point. All in all though, this was a pretty good episode in a mostly amazing season so far.