The one where I digress, a lot

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I’ve been in rather an angry mood for the last couple of days for reasons best left undiscussed. 
Anger is not productive and I wanted to shake that off. I didn’t want to write anything angry either, angry words are like wasps, they keep stinging over and over.

So I thought I should write something meaningless and inconsequential to rid myself of those feelings somehow, but what?

Well, I happened to look at my WordPress stats…I never look at them but decided I should try to find out a little more about my own blog. I discovered lots of things, but the one that shocked me the most was that this year, my most “looked at” post was something called “Done with The Walking Dead”. It was written in FIVE MINUTES a few weeks back and it is by a mile THE most successful post on my blog for 2016. I wrote a lot of things this year, a few pieces that I’m quite proud of actually, but stats-wise they linger far behind a post in which I used the word “fuck” about 20 times.

That’s when I realised I had my subject matter.

You see, this particular post I just mentioned was all about me giving up on a TV show I used to love, but one that had gone too far with the cheap tricks for me to carry on with the relationship. Even though it had started very promisingly.
I did give up on the show but, I live with someone who is addicted and who refused to accept he had lost his viewing partner. So he bugged me, over and over: “pleeeeease watch with me, please!”

When that didn’t work, he tried a different tack: “you’re so fickle, Nat. I can’t believe you’d give up just like that.”
Yes, the bait was enormous, unmissable, but I swallowed it all the same, I’m Pisces after all.
“Just like that? I gave it chances after chances like I’ve done with many things and people in the past, because I’m not a quitter! But sometimes you’ve gotta admit you’ve tried everything and things just aren’t working.”

So, every week, the sounds of The Walking Dead would reach me from the TV screen but I held fast. I refused to watch. Occasionally I saw 5 minutes of an episode because it was a “Negan bit” and “come on, Nat, you love Negan”
Well, actually, no, I don’t. He was one of the reasons I gave up watching. The guy had charisma but was far too cartoonish for my liking.

Anyway, I was coerced into watching the mid-season finale.
So I did. And what can I say but, bloody hell!

Negan is as bad as I remember him: putting an emphasis on every. single. word.
I was telling someone not long ago (a brilliant writer actually, who rocks my world on a regular basis, you can find him here: A Journal For Damned Lovers) that I do a great Negan impression (even though I’m French and it makes no sense that I should be able to) and my friends always clamour for it. Well, it’s true. I’ve got it down to a T. Even the weird way he has of leaning back while emphasising every word. So, I’m not a performing seal, but I do indulge my friends when they ask.

Negan drives me nuts! I just cannot, cannot buy him.

The actor is totally my type though, rugged looking and everything, but he’s just shit at playing the part.
So, the episode started with Negan shaving. Omfg. No, no and no. I hadn’t been so perturbed since Rick shaved back in…can’t remember when, but ages ago. Rick without the beard is like French cheese without a baguette. No way. An abomination.

You probably don’t want to know this, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. I have a huge crush on Rick, have had since season 2. Rick, not the actor. I once saw an interview with Andrew Lincoln and I recoiled with horror: the voice, the accent, it was ALL WRONG! The same goes for Jon Snow from Game of Thrones: huge crush on the character but when I first heard Kit Harington speak, I wanted to throttle him for ruining the fantasy. I don’t want to hear my heir to the throne (brought up in the north) talk with a plummy accent. Maybe I should just stop watching interviews with actors, or even better, they could stay in character all the time (no, I’m not demanding at all.) This is why I adore Sean Bean: whether it’s Boromir or Ned Stark or Sean Bean himself, it’s the same devilish charm. But, I digress.

So, Negan. He shaved and I lost the little interest I had in him.
What can I say, I like my men with at least some stubble. I don’t go for looks anyway but it’s very rare for me to be attracted to a man who hasn’t got facial hair. Robert Downey Jr. is my ideal man should I ever have to name one under the threat of torture. As an aside, somebody gave me a “I’m fucking Robert Downey Jr.” t-shirt once but being a rebel with a sense of propriety, I’ve never worn it anywhere but to bed.

Anyway, Negan shaved. He cooked spaghetti and sampled the sauce wearing a white t-shirt because he likes to live dangerously. He wanted a place set at the table for Lucille because he really is badass and quirky like that, should we ever forget.

I noticed, once again, that people in Alexandria have houses that are far tidier than mine. And they are living in apocalyptic times.
Then we saw Carol on a couch in front of a cosy fire reading a book. By this point I want to join the apocalypse setting because these people have it too good (apart from the zombies and stuff) To top it all off, Carol has more fresh fruit in her kitchen than most families do in England in present day. What the hell is going on?

I won’t even go into the whole thing where everyone hatches half-baked plans to kill Negan, all separately, instead of being clever and realising that joining forces would probably be a better idea. No, I said I wouldn’t.

Rick and Aaron…had to ask the addict I live with what Aaron’s name was because I’d forgotten. I could have used “Rick and the gay guy” but how un-PC of me and that would have resulted in more trolls on this blog, I don’t have the patience for that right now.
But, Rick and Aaron in the little boat, with their “sign paddles”…obviously Aaron drops in the water and somehow, after a little suspense, manages to make it out unscathed. I mean, how? People have been bitten just walking outside their front door or while peacefully having a chat in their garden. But Aaron falls in that cesspool… and not even a scratch. But okay, I like him anyway so I’m actually glad he somehow survived, defying all logic.

Daryl escaped, yay, but did he have to be quite so brutal with the poor sap pleading for his life? I know he was really venting his frustration after all the shit they’d put him through, but still.

Even Jesus was kinda shocked, even though he looked like he was straight out of a photo shoot for some glossy mag. HOW is everyone managing to look SO good in apocalyptic times? Men and women, the t-shirts and exquisitely faded shirts and jeans, it’s all so perfect, they all look far too yummy. It reminds me of when Ralph Fiennes came out of the fucking desert after walking for days in “The English Patient”, and he looked like a Ralph Lauren model. “Water” he croaked. Dehydration, exhaustion, not to mention his misery at having left Katharine behind should have been etched on his face and reflected in his general appearance…but, no. A little more realism sometime wouldn’t go amiss on TV and in films. Just saying.

I keep digressing, sorry. Now, Spencer, the little rat. I knew he was doomed the moment Rosita agreed to have dinner with him. And he deserved everything he got too. Hooray for Negan who did the one thing I can applaud him for — he gutted the backstabber with words of wisdom in the process.

Then of course Rosita does something completely stupid, just as Daryl did when he punched Negan in the season opening. When are these people going TO LEARN?
Get together and communicate! Use your brains, don’t all go flying solo trying stupid shit like this that’s going to get other people killed. Jesus. (No, not him!)

But, now I’ve destroyed pretty much the entire episode, let me get to the last 5 minutes. Michonne and Rick having their emotional little moment, blah blah blah whatever…but then…the gang arrives at Hilltop and…they are the original kickass gang again! They’ve got their groove back! (Needed to use that expression badly)

Daryl and Rick are reunited and I defy anyone not to feel a little choked up at the sight of them hugging. Rick even gets his gun back, another symbol that we are back in fighting moods, people!

The episode ended on the gang walking up together, united, strong and fearless like in the old days… and I got a shiver down my back because I’m a sucker for this kind of shit.
The message was clear: they will not swallow any more crap and are going to kick some arses (or asses if you’re in the US which is where most of my readership is, another fact gleaned from the stats on here.)

May the gods of slim-fit leather jackets help Negan. Though of course it’s probably going to take another 3 seasons to see some actual results, but his days of emphasising EVERYTHING are now officially numbered. Thank fuck for that.

Done with The Walking Dead

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If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, stop reading instantly.

Right, now I can vent – this is my 5 minutes write-up about the first episode of Season 7.
I have been ambivalent about this show since the whole “fake” death with Glenn on that dumpster. It was such an emotional scene and it turned out it hadn’t actually happened. Hmm, okay.
Then the season ended with somebody dying, but they couldn’t show us who that was, choosing to let us wait months for the answer. Cheap tricks again. I was SO annoyed at the Season 7 Finale that I said I might be done with the show.

I gave it another chance, watched last night’s episode and all I can say is…no. No, no and fucking no.
Unnecessary cheap tricks again: it took them more than 15 minutes to show us who it was Negan settled on in that season finale – it was sooooo drawn out because obviously the last 7 months were not enough of a cliffhanger (*wants to shoot whoever is responsible for this) Turns out Negan’s “random” choice is Abraham and we’re all like: “yawn” – not a “main” main character. To be fair, he has a typical parting shot and it works. Then Glenn gets it after all – thanks to Daryl’s incredibly stupid move. After what we’ve been through with Glenn last season, this?! Come on, guys. 

There was a weird scene about Rick needing to “get the axe” which really didn’t serve any purpose as far as I could see *cough, filler, cough* There was a demand to cut Carl’s arm just to break Rick who was still not looking at Negan “the right way” *rolling my eyes*

I’m sorry but this show has turned into a joke. Negan is just such an attention seeker with his villainy. “Oh look, I’m hard me, and I’m going to take 15 fucking minutes to explain why and how.”
Like, shut the fuck up and bash somebody’s head already!

Negan’s long monologue pissed me off when he was introduced last season so you can imagine my joy that last night, there was an ENTIRE episode devoted to him TALKING – he sure as hell likes the sound of his own voice and I’m not even mentioning the prancing, walking back and forth – in short, the ACTING! I’m sorry but I just don’t buy him with his charisma and his slim fit leather jacket, perfectly arranged scarf and coiffed hair. 

Then, and this is a BIG thing for me: the deaths were far, FAR too gruesome. I mean, this is a show about zombies and of course you expect gore and that’s fine. But the way the camera “lovingly” lingered on Abraham and Glenn’s heads being pulverised was DISGUSTING.

It was like gore porn! Maybe some people get off on that shit, but I’m not one of them.

I’m sorry AMC but you’ve lost the plot. You’ve lost me as well. I really think I’m done with the show now. I don’t fall for unnecessary cheap tricks and I really resent it when people insult my intelligence “trying it” on so blatantly. Glenn was one of my favourite characters, I should have been distraught by his death…except I went through the crying and being distraught LAST season when we all thought he had died THEN…so in last night’s episode, I felt clinically detached even when his eye popped out of its socket, because…the tricks. The strings which should be pulled out of sight are dangling so obviously in the middle of the screen that it makes it impossible to take any of what happens seriously.

hate giving up on a show I’ve been watching for years, one that has given me so many amazing moments…but I just can’t do this any longer — I’m very selective with EVERYTHING and The Walking Dead just doesn’t make the cut anymore.

Unnecessary cheap tricks

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This is my 5 minutes write up about last night’s The Walking Dead Season Finale – for the other Walking Dead addicts on here.

Okay, this is how I see it: Carol went from absolute badass to a pussycat who cannot handle killing anymore, in about 5 minutes. Does that make sense? No. Not one little bit, I can buy the change of heart but you have to build it up, it just wouldn’t happen overnight, no way. Then the Saviours somehow managed to block every single road AND somehow knew where the gang was going to stop to hatch their little plan? (btw, never has whistling in a dark forest seem SO creepy) I know Negan is powerful, but is he THAT powerful? And how did they know that Rick was going to be leaving Alexandria with the others? They couldn’t possibly know that Maggie was going to have a medical emergency… were they hoping they were going to come in search of Glenn and co? Or were they waiting JUST IN CASE?

The group would never have had to take Maggie away if they didn’t let their ONLY doctor go on a run, totally stupidly, only for her to predictably get shot through the eye. And Daryl and the others leaving last week was also incredibly stupid. Not to mention the awful habit everyone has developed of stopping in the middle of forests, rail tracks, etc…to have deep, intense or life-affirming (loud) chats when they should know better by now: you’ve gotta keep moving, SILENTLY, or bad things are going to happen!! In fact, this half season has been one spectacularly bad decision after another.

Anyway, all in all, we KNEW what was going to happen, we knew we were going to meet Negan (whom I found waaay too cool and likeable actually because, er, I’m supposed to hate him!), at the end of the episode of course, we knew somebody was going to get killed, and we knew there was going to be a cliffhanger…and I’m fine with all that… but WHY not let us see who got killed? It seems like SUCH a cheap trick. Isn’t the fact that somebody gets killed and Rick and co are in such a dire situation ENOUGH of a cliffhanger and enough to whet our appetites for next season? Come on!! I was SO upset after watching the finale last night that I left my house and went to McDonalds, I NEEDED junk food real actual bad. I broke my diet because of you AMC!
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The Art of Peace

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So, after 3 weeks of a relentless pace, The Walking Dead treated us to a ‘nice’, calm episode. It was interesting, really well done but…it could have waited! I wanted to find out what happened to Glenn, or at least Rick, before I was taken down memory lane by Morgan. Right, that said, I’m not really complaining because it was a fascinating episode, I just wasn’t expecting it at this point!

This was a really deep one: pacifism, the sanctity of life…etc…Now we know why Morgan is so intent on “not killing”: because he was saved from his post-traumatic stress nightmare by Eastman, who basically helped him recover (how darn lucky was it that Eastman just happened to be a forensic psychiatrist?) AND taught him how to fight like a ninja (Aikido actually, but you know what I mean).

I admit to being torn when watching Eastman: was he some sort of saint or an annoying fool? A mix of both? When we found out he buried the walkers and made sure their names were on the graves, I kinda got the “idea” behind it, but I couldn’t help but think he had appointed himself with a ridiculously pointless task. There are better things to do with your time, like, helping real live people!

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Also, for such a good fighter, that bite from the walker he was trying to protect Morgan from was pretty avoidable really. I mean, it was obvious from the beginning we were going to witness his demise at some point so it wasn’t surprising…and to be fair, he didn’t even seem surprised himself by his impeding death…or bothered… so maybe that explains why I wasn’t really either. When he got bitten, all I could think was: “you fool, that’s where your silly ideas got you, are you happy now?” (sometimes the voice in my head sounds like a petulant child) I didn’t find the whole “sacrificing myself for Morgan” moving, and I’m quite sure it was meant to be.

And yet, I’m someone who’s quite emotional, who cries easily, sometimes at cute kittens who haven’t even been abandoned or anything but are, just, cute, and small and defenceless, you know? (Okay, yes, I’m exaggerating for effect)
So, yeah, I found it hard to warm up to Eastman but I did get choked when that poor little goat ended up as a walker’s meal. What does that say about me?

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In any case, this episode was profound, it made its point about “respecting life” with gusto…except, it is all very good in theory to refuse to kill anything or anyone, but in practice?

Maybe Eastman could survive all alone without ever again taking another human life, but Morgan is in a community of people, it’s a different ball game here. Morgan could live with his principles while he was out in the wild and on his own, but he’s got other people to think about now. That episode was so good because, after taking us on ‘Morgan’s journey’, it ended with the wolf asking him if he could be saved also. Morgan says yes. And then the wolf gives us that evil snarl and states very calmly that, given the chance, he will murder everyone in the community. Did anybody else wish very hard for a gun then so they could shoot the little s**t square in the head? Or next best thing, shoot at the TV? It can’t have just been me. But I digress again.
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Morgan was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder when he was found by Eastman, he wasn’t an evil man – he was a traumatised man doing evil things. That wolf on the other hand is clearly an evil guy, full stop. BIG difference. For me, that was the point of the episode: to painstakingly explain to us why Morgan will not seriously harm people, seemingly making a good case for “all life is sacred” — but then ending on the wolf, proving that sanctity of life is great and everything, but in certain cases it just doesn’t work.

This is a post-apocalyptic world, there are no prisons, no law enforcements officers, no psychiatrists, no hospitals, no asylums. If another human being comes up and tries to stick a pickaxe in your brain, you can’t just restrain them and call 911. So, what else can you do?

Eastman said that after letting the psychopath who had killed his wife and children starve to death, he didn’t find peace, that he only found peace when he made the decision “never to kill again”. That, I can believe. But, again it was a different situation in a different world: a world with jails where psychopaths could rot for the rest of their miserable lives, a world where you didn’t have to take the law in your own hands because, there was a Law.

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How would Morgan feel if the wolf he refused to kill somehow escapes (it’s not exactly a high-security jail Morgan left him in) and makes good on his promise: killing everyone and even the children? Even if he just managed to kill 5, 3 or even 1 single person, wouldn’t Morgan’s sanctity of life principle become a total joke then?

Isn’t holding on to your principles at all costs incredibly selfish if you think about it? When the cost can be countless other lives? I’m all for integrity, in fact there’s not much I prize higher than that…but there comes a point when you have to ask yourself: should I relent for the sake of others, or keep true to who I am, what I believe in… and fuck everyone else?

If you’re going to choose the latter rather than the former, then I’m sorry to say that you’re not a very nice person even if you are a highly-principled one.
Only a very narrow-minded person refuses to bend the rules, to adapt to different situations, to change and grow. I do get that in Morgan’s mind, his mental recovery is tied to the “sanctity of life” principle he espoused at the time, so it’s got to be hard to shift his views even just a bit on this. Hard, but not impossible. After this latest episode, I understand Morgan a lot better, I still don’t agree with his choices though, even if I now know where they’re coming from.

The art of Peace

Morgan’s principles are admirable but they are also foolish, putting the whole of Alexandria in danger. I’m predicting something truly shocking and horrific will happen to make him realise that. And so we go back to Glenn: Rick is now too devoid of empathy, Morgan is caught up in his own personal crusade…Glenn was somewhere between the two, humane but able to pull the trigger on another being if needs be…I want him back just for that. But with Steven Yeun’s name now removed from the credits, his return doesn’t look as likely as I thought it might be – I’m still clinging on to hope though…as stubbornly and pathetically as Morgan is holding on to his damn principles.

Worst Thank You Ever

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The last couple of episodes of The Walking Dead are easily the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV in terms of pure “on the edge of your seat” tension. After the last episode, I was emotionally drained… I screamed, whimpered, I watched through my fingers at times, I cried and cried some more and frantically clutched the TV remote control almost hard enough to leave finger grooves into it.
I’ve always said that this show is not really about zombies but basic human psychology…now, I get that in this post apocalyptic world, the rules are gone and you’ve got to do what you need to survive. I get that, I really do and I love how we’ve been shown the struggle of trying to hold on to your humanity while trying to stay alive – an almost impossible challenge at times.

It was fascinating watching the differences between the Alexandrians who have been protected and, let’s face it, incredibly lucky so far, and Rick’s group who have been to hell and back…the inevitable frictions between the ones who had been ‘out there’ and knew how tough it was, and the people of Alexandria – who didn’t have a clue and therefore held on to their ‘principles’ – were riveting because you could identify with them all. Even in Rick’s group, everybody has evolved in different ways, with Glenn staying true to himself and Carol becoming a total badass. And still, you could identify with both of them, Glenn gave Nicholas another chance which is something Carol would never have done…I cheered when Glenn gave Nicholas the opportunity to redeem himself but I also became even more of a Carol fan (I didn’t think it was possible) when she took charge last week as Alexandria was attacked by the wolves…I love Glenn and Carol both, I understand them both and I realise that they are vital assets to Alexandria, the both of them.
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So, the complexity of human nature is fascinating and the many shades of grey rather than simplistic black and white feels real. Only lately, the shows seems to make a rather too obvious point that kindness and empathy have to be punished, every single time. Rick was all for “getting rid” of the Alexandria doctor because he was a wife beater and dangerous, people in Alexandria objected, obviously…and the result? One half of their founders killed by said doctor. Okay, point made.
But the writers keep making that point over and over. Morgan will not kill anyone, he’s all about the sanctity of life “especially now” as he puts it…and I’m down with that, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wanted to throttle him when he let some of the wolves escape last week…the very same wolves who then attacked Rick in the last episode. So Morgan and his principles may just have condemned Rick and therefore the whole of Alexandria. Again, point made loud and clear. Michonne refused to leave anyone behind despite what Rick advised her to do. Result? Hardly any of them make it back – point rammed down our throats. And now Glenn? He gave Nicholas a second chance which (apparently) is something he has now paid for with his life. Give us a break now, will you?? POINT F*****G MADE!
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That scene with Nicholas and Glenn on top of that dumpster was fantastically well done, I am not sure I breathed at all for 30 seconds or so, until I heard a heartbreaking “nooooo!” and realised it was coming from me. Then the tears came. By the end of the episode, the sight of Rick actually looking panicked (a very rare occurrence) hardly made an impact because I was emotionally exhausted.

Discussion with friends followed the episode and one of them advanced the theory that Glenn isn’t dead, that Nicholas fell on top of him and Nicholas is the one being torn apart by the walkers…I somehow found the courage to watch that scene again and it looks like that could indeed be true…Glenn’s face does seem to show horror rather than pain. Still, even if that’s the case, how can he get out of this alive in a plausible manner? And wouldn’t that be a cheap dirty trick from the show? To put us through emotional turmoil for nothing? In any case, I do hope Glenn is still alive, he’s one of the few characters I’m really attached to. Plus, I’ve had enough of the show punishing the characters who have held on to their humanity. As much as I love Rick and Carol, as much as I realise how necessary they are to the survival of Alexandria, they have gone slightly nuclear. We need individuals who balance each other out and Glenn, like Daryl, is vital to keep Rick and Carol under some kind of control. We need some kindness and humanity TWD writers, otherwise, what’s the point of survival if all that’s left is coldness and selfishness?

Last time I wrote about The Walking Dead was back in March: Psychology and the various layers of human behaviour
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Psychology and the various layers of human behaviour

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Last time I wrote about The Walking Dead was 2 years ago, during my Journalism course. I got a B for that piece, as my Course Leader thought I had focused too much on the psychology of the show rather than the show itself.
Fair enough, but I’m about to do the same thing all over again.
This time it’s not marked and doesn’t have to go in the Portfolio though, so I don’t have to worry and can write whatever the hell I want – bliss.

So, The Walking Dead is really not about Walkers or gore. It really isn’t, it’s about human nature, pure and simple.
What happens when the rules of society have broken down? What happens is that people lose that superficial veneer and their true nature is exposed.
How far would you go to survive? Are you ready to forget your principles and lose your integrity to save yourself, or your loved ones?

I’ve always been interested in psychology and that’s why I’m fascinated by the show. I think it’s really well done and well written. Sure, there’s been the occasional episode where things drag for a while, and they are a bit too fond of the crazy cliff-hangers but overall, it’s totally worth hanging in there.

I watched the latest episode last night and I absolutely loved it because it was all about the psychology.

Rick and the group have got to Alexandria and they are pretty weary. And who can blame them? Last time they thought they had found a sanctuary it turned out to be a place filled with a bunch of cannibals who wasted no time in storing them for later consumption.

So, yeah, Rick and the others are unsure, but as they slowly start to realise that maybe Alexandria is safe after all – they are faced with other problems. Alexandria residents are “soft”, they haven’t been out there, they don’t know what it’s like to fight every day for your life. The showdown between the  new recruits and the old-standing Alexandria residents after they went “on a run” was riveting. Those “Alexandrians” made Glenn look like the toughest badass ever, even though he’s hardly the strongest of the group.

The group has been in the wild for so long that returning to a semblance of civilisation is an understandable shock. They get to shower, shave and get a haircut (Rick’s face emerged!), use electricity and, even (gasp) have access to books!

The return to civilisation was hardest on Daryl. Now, I have to say that Daryl is my favourite character by a mile. If I had to pick anyone to be on my team, then Daryl would be my first choice because he’s a tough mother*****r and because I know he’d have my back, no matter what. Yeah, I wouldn’t get to have scintillating conversations with him because, let’s face it, the guy ain’t a talker but that’s fine – he doesn’t need to be.

Daryl and a safe haven, a place with rules, a place that looks a hell of a lot like “before” shit went down and the world went to hell – Daryl was never going to like that.

From past episodes, we had a glimpse of what life was like for Daryl before the apocalypse. Daryl is a hick, a toughie who grew up in a house where he (probably) had to listen to how life was shit, and it was so because of all the faggots and the blacks. Daryl had a crap older brother who pushed him around, Daryl got on the wrong side of the law. In the world before the apocalypse, Daryl was a pretty insignificant worm.

Except we know he wasn’t really because Daryl is a good guy, but that good guy was only revealed because the world went to hell. That’s why I believe in meritocracy, because Daryl is fundamentally good, despite his shit start in life.
He has become a valuable and respected member of the group and that would never have happened in the “real” world.

Hence why Daryl must have been so conflicted getting to Alexandria. Here he finds himself in a kind of “normal society” again, it must bring back all the crap memories from before. How is he going to fit in now? Poor guy, I wanted to give him a hug every time the camera showed him on the porch still in his (presumably) stinking clothes.

Then there’s Rick. He has changed so much since the show started: this is the law enforcement officer with all the principles and the integrity – a lot of it which had to go out the window as the show progressed because Rick is determined for him and his kids to survive. It has been fascinating to watch him, torn and conflicted so many times and gradually coming to the realisation that: “sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.”

Rick now is a very different Rick than the one we started out with, and this was perfectly illustrated by the brilliant ending to Sunday’s episode. Rick said in his “film” when he entered Alexandria that “they should keep their gates closed” because “people are always looking for an angle to exploit”.
Was he talking generally, or about himself? Most probably both, as the episode ended with Rick telling Carol and Daryl that: “if these people can’t make it, then we’ll just take the town for ourselves”.

Fuck almighty, that was a statement that blew me away because of the implications. The Rick we first met would never ever have considered such a possibility, no bloody way. But this is the new Rick, the one that’s been through hell and back and has changed a hell of a lot, shedding principles and integrity along the way. I mean, he is still a good guy, just more realistic and ready to do what it takes for his “family” to survive. Rick now knows that between white and black there are many shades of grey – life isn’t easy and survival is fucking tough – it also demands sacrifices, some of them to do with your soul.

I haven’t even touched on Carol and I LOVE Carol – the woman who went from the abused meek wife to a kick-ass broad – that wouldn’t have happened without the Apocalyptic new world either. Like Daryl, Carol has become “someone” since the Walkers took over – or rather she has become the person she was always meant to be. That’s what an apocalypse will do for you: either bring out the worst OR the best in you – and most often, both at the same time.

The Walking Dead: psychology and the various layers of human behaviour – the Walkers and the gore are just an added bonus. Fact.