Last week we talked transition to desperation. I’m sure the hot topic this week will be Papa Sanchez, but for me, his character was always in survival mode. Distrustful, resourceful, calculating. His was a character always on the brink. One foot in and out of madness. Again we see mama teacher show the world she’s ready for the apocalypse. She’s all in. One bump in the night and she’s grabbing kitchen knives ready to stab zombie heads. I’d like to focus more on the soldiers and, I can’t believe i’m saying this, the kids.
The kids have been characters I’ve been all in on acting wise. The addict and his sister have been fantastic. They work well together. Apart, the sister is less good, but still quality. Camera son I’m less happy with as an actor. I find him unbelievable and emotionally thin. As characters, I find them all painfully annoying and frustrating, but as a teacher, I can’t help but love them. They do being teenagers with issues very well. The step siblings aren’t a pair we’ve gotten to see much of. From the hokey “i’m sheriff of these parts” routine by the sister to the awkward “oh crap I saw my step sister changing” interactions, their scenes together were great.You get to see kids trying to be kids and getting an little out of hand while the adults are away. They got drunk, they broke stuff, they lived while the world around them was dying. Enjoyable.
The other “kids,” as they were described by their commanding officer, were the soldiers. Overworked, exhausted, and increasingly underinvested, these kids got the impossible task of enforcing order in a collapsing society. They were turning to drugs and random acts of violence to keep their spirits high and their eyes open. In our first review, we noticed the parallels between social unrest around police brutality and the zombification of LA. They laid it on thick again in this episode with the soldier comparing himself to a power tripping police officer. Easy showrunners, we get it. We know how you feel. Less monologuing and more development please. I don’t feel like I know the soldiers.I feel like they are walking emotions. You see the “we’ve abandoned our humanity and you haven’t” scene that TWD has become know for when they try to force Travis to shoot that poor donut woman right in her nametag. They go from beaten up but obedient soldiers to raiders looting the little settlement in about 50 minutes. Especially after their increasingly unhinged commanding officer bit the bullet (or was bitten by zombies). I wish I got to see more of the soldiers and their dynamics. Maybe in the next companion series to the companion series.
Papa Salazar does his own “you’re too human” showing when he tells mama teacher to go away and let him do his best Roose Bolton impersonation by coldly flaying that poor lovesick soldier he used his daughter to capture. Interesting, but not surprising.We knew he was in some kind of civil war situation that was less than enjoyable for him and his family causing them to come to the US. He revealed that he was actually a torturer and not the tortured in this episode which I was shocked by, but not super invested in.
Overall a good episode. I’m glad we got some zombie action, but even happier it was balanced out with some quality human interaction as well. One thing I don’t get is the nurse/doctor storyline. I’m not into it. I don’t get the doctor. Is she trying to help people or not? Does she actually care? I’d understand her character more if she was a mad scientist or someone trying to cull the undesireables in the population, but she seems stuck in between. Why did they try to save Mama Salazar? Seems to me the military would have just killed her like they’ve been doing everywhere else. Why does this one doctor have so much say? Anyway, ex-wife is annoying too. Both of them can get out of my show. I’m waiting for a zombie nurse to bite both of them.
Shady fast talking scam artist salesperson guy? Wtf is that guy. Totally unnecessary character. Not sure what his angle is and not interested enough to be excited about it.
Episode 1: B-
Episode 2: B
Episode 3: B+
Episode 4: B
Episode 5: B+
Episode 1-3 Review
Episode 4 Review