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‘The Walking Dead’ – Strangers

One step forward, two steps back


Last week’s season premiere of Season 5 of “The Walking Dead” absolutely dominated, both in story sense and in the ratings. I gave it the  glowing review it deserved, in no small part for it shaking off the doldrums of a plot gone amok in Season 4. 

Yet as is so often the case with this show, just as it gets super mean and gritty, it does something knuckleheaded. And so it was again in “Strangers,” Episode 2 of this season.

That’s because despite all of them talking among themselves about what the world has become, despite having just survived the twin disasters of the Governor’s attack and being captured by a town of cannibals, they light up a church like it’s the Fourth of July. No guard, no string with cans, no black curtains over the windows — hell, I don’t even know if the door was locked.

Getting drunk and letting off some steam I can see — having no guards while doing the same, I can’t.

And about those cannibals from Terminus; if we figure they’re two years into the end times, just how quick did they go man-hungry? I mean given the huge amount of food that should be available — more on that in a second — those cats went to eating humans awful dang quick …

Under normal conditions, cannibalism happens only in three instances — disaster in which absolutely no other calories are available, serial killers or primitive priests/warriors who seek to both intimidate and gain their victim’s power. In Terminus, too much food was left (the survival of so many who came to Terminus, presumably with their own food proof of that); too many people were there for it to be a serial killer; and they didn’t seem like warriors (essentially wiped out by one woman). Maybe if they were dirtier or there were fewer of them, but they all looked they came out of a J Crew catalog and were fairly well organized.

And there would be food. Assuming something like a 95 percent mortality rate in that first month of the zombies taking over (about the time Rick was in the hospital in Season 1), that means there would be literally millions of cans of food, pretty much everywhere — stores, houses, cars, the street, restaurants, yada. Just one Heinz plant in England produces over a billion cans of food a year and generally speaking it can last indefinitely. Add to this all the naturally occurring food, everything from apples on trees to deer, and survivors wouldn’t be worried about starving to death; they’d be worried about getting too fat to run from zombies. Given that Terminus was a rail depot, and the likelihood that there would be food there only increases …

And aren’t zombies attracted to human flesh and fire and noise? So naturally the cannibals whip up a bon fire and cook them up some human flesh in the middle of the night as soon as they can … ’cause no zombies would be attracted to such a racket. That’s even dumber than what the good guys did at the church. And just because the cannibals are evil doesn’t mean they’d be dumb.

I suppose the cannibal story worked OK as the basis of a one-off episode (and weren’t we all grateful they came and went from Teminus), but the notion that those yuppie-looking hipsters are some sort of “Hills Have Eyes” cannibal-hunter badasses is a lot to buy. 

It is no surprise that “Strangers” was written by comic creator Robert Kirkman, as a great many of the show’s jump-the-shark moments invariably lead back to him. God bless him as no comic equals no show, but for a show whose premise is so far out I’d hope they’d take every opportunity to “keep it real.”

Let’s hope they do so from here on out.

GIVING CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE
“The Walking Dead” is based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel from Image Comics. “Strangers” was written by Kirkman and directed by David Boyd. It stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Michael Cudlitz, Chad L. Coleman.

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Could they be a gh...gh...gh...ghost? Rut-ro! Shaggy
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