SPOILER ALERT FOR 12/2/2012 episode of TWD! Proceed at your own risk.
Robert Kirkman wrote the screenplay for the episode tonight (“Made To Suffer”, which if it isn’t a title of one of those quarterly volumes, sure as hell sounds like one) and it damn well showed. A pretty good interview, though I admit I’m not thrilled with the idea of mid-season finales in general, especially when they end on the BIGGEST CLIFFHANGER they can come up with, that after a point in some instances, it seems more of a “I bet you wanna know what happens next, huh? Well, fuck you! You’re waiting as long as we say you are!” This tonight was just about right, though. It was also Kirkman’s idea–or at least his brainstorming –to figure out a way to bring Jon Bernthal back, which was made more difficult by the fact that he was in the middle of shooting the new Scorsese flick and contractually, couldn’t shave his beard off. I think they worked it in pretty well.
Also cannot BELIEVE the amount of gore this show gets away with. I’m definitely not complaining; it just seems bizarre that they can do ANYTHING gory as long as they do it to a zombie (though T-Dawg’s shoulder bite and subsequent ripping apart were bloody, and the great “Romero shot” last week with the hobo was maybe the goriest death a human has had on the show. Oh, when I say “Romero shot”, I mean those magical sick shots where at least 4 or 5 ravenous zombies all fall upon a human at once, ripping him apart at the same time and hungrily rifling through his internal organs to grab whatever they can stuff in their mouths, and for a REAL Romero tribute, limbs are pulled off by separate zombies to gnaw on with everything they have. The icing on the Romero Tribute cake it when the person screams until you see their head pulled off.
I remember-I was only nine or ten, but I remember– Dawn Of The Dead being rated X for “graphic scenes of cannibalism” and “Made to Suffer” made it look kind of quaint. Oh, it had some great gore, but tonight a zombie got its face graphically hacked into split down the middle, and a little girl zombie got the business end of a Katana sword – not decapitated, but shoved into her mouth exiting the back of her skull to take her down (the argument could be made for a mercy killing).
Earlier in the season Rick discovers that his wife’s corpse (she was killed after she died and before she could turn) is now a gory puddle, then follows the drag marks down the hallway, until they lead to a zombie with a big fat belly as though it were pregnant (it ate her whole body and was stuffed and lethargic, but my brain said the zombie’s either pregnant or just fat, there’s no way they could get away with… shit, is that HAIR sticking out of its mouth?) Rick then really lost his shit and stabbed the very satisfied zombie RIGHT IN THE STOMACH over and over. I still didn’t believe it until I saw Talking Dead and Nicotero confirmed the whole thing. I can’t recall as of this writing whether it was due to him just taking out his rage and grief, or trying to get her wedding ring back. That was his half-digested wife it there! That’s fucked up, down, and sideways. I recall the usually enthusiastic, bloodthirsty studio audience of zombie/TWD fans all making a disgusted groan (first reaction like that I can remember on The Talking Dead) when Nicotero pointed out the tufts of hair.*
Oh, and the shard of glass in the Governor’s eye made me wince it looked so real- large broken off chunks of it sticking out of it – I was hoping she was going to do it, but I winced during the scene where the doctor was taking way too close of a look at it. If that was practical effects, they did a hell of a job, and if it was CGI, I couldn’t tell. I know they get away with much more on the show after the commercial success, and that usually pisses me off, but I’m sure as hell not going to complain about a bunch of gruesome, creative kills Nicotero and his team put together that I get to watch. They want to keep trying to top themselves every week, fine with me!
It would be really nice, though, if the show could have two black male characters alive through an entire episode. Just once, I’d like to see a black male meeting another and kicking ass as a team. SIGH. Oh well, we have Michonne and Cutty from The Wire. Would have been nice if Oscar had been able to stick around, that’s all. That’s my two cents– enjoy the interview, and don’t miss this one with Glen Mazzara, either! EW.com has it together to give you what you want to read RIGHT after the episode.
*I’m kind of wondering, now that I think of it, what happened to her bones-especially her skull. No way it could fit in the zombies mouth, and the zombie didn’t have the motor skills to break it into pieces with a brick, so did it just rip the face and scalp off her corpse, or… I guess Nicotero, who helmed the episode, knew they had to draw the line because they were pushing it already.