Monday, November 5, 2012

Don’t Walk, RUN!

*SPOILER ALERT*

If you aren’t caught up on The Walking Dead, the second half of this post is NOT for you, although if you like The Walking Dead, the first part may interest you.

*don't worry, I'll tell you when to run*

I will keep this short, I have seen a lot of zombie movies. A. Lot. I'm sure there are forums and experts and this topic has been dissected a million ways, but you're not there, you're here, and here is what I think:

Masses of people moving "unconsciously" as a group is freaky, and that happens at Disneyland and Costco every single day. The phrase "she is so cute I could EAT her!" is said about children because secretly we all want to consume/absorb/own/never-part-with the things that make us feel alive. 

(in this case I don’t think it’s about the child, I think it’s “youth” because I’ve never heard anyone talk about how they love their grandmother so much they could eat her)

The zombie nightmare also accompanies the “End Of World” scenario that fascinates us because we all imagine ourselves as one of the rag tag survivors, and not one of the masses who bit it in the first ten minutes... plus we LOVE our "Now What's!?" You know: rules out the window, religion up for grabs, resourceful deviants now become the go to guys, and hero's might become the villains on purpose or accident. That's how those movies often go, because none of us went into the theatre as our own hero, good story tellers know we identify with the complicated "human" character as long as he redeems himself in the end (and we all want to nod wisely because we always knew that smug good guy was mostly an act since no one is THAT great all the time)

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As a devoted zombie fan I got so freaking scared during the first season of The Walking Dead that I had to pause it once to tell Jon "I am SO scared that I can't help being SO happy for the writers and creators of this show." The show is so good, watching it feels like a conversation I am having instead of just cataloging information into my nightmare files. 

But today?

*Now you can run, Innocents, the spoiling has arrived*

...

...

I can't stop crying. 

It's just a TV show, right? Except humans are EXTRAORDINARY, and whether it’s a TV show that makes you remember that, or the stone pillars beside historic sights where enormous courage once emerged for a brilliant flashing moment, some things are worthy of great heaving sobs.  

What happened with T-Dog, after all the things he had done and seen, the way goodness continued to trickle unobtrusively from him for the last two seasons, I felt in step with him into the moment of his reckoning and was startled when his last thoughts were courage and faith in his loving God. His first bite broke my heart and his last scene made my blood run cold (on a side note, I'm always happy for an actor when they get a glorious death scene. If you were in a zombie movie and your character died in their sleep, wouldn't you just be pissed?) 

But Laurie's death has left me reeling:

1. Duh, I'm a mom 

2. Duh, I have a son 

3. Duh, I had a c-section (OMG, right) 

But more. Back to Disneyland, to Costco, to no problem exclaiming our desire to eat "widdle adorable puppies"... When zombie movies and real possibilities collide. Today women are out there, walking for miles in labor, only to be turned away from tent hospitals that have no room until someone is actually dying. Not far from where I grew up, a monument stands where a band of Indians surrounded a small pioneer family, scalping them all and leaving them for dead. A young mother dragged her wounded body and unharmed newborn ten miles to the nearest homestead where she died on the porch. And her child lived. 

I can not change the world. I can barely get dinner on the table and attend 2/3rds of my religious services every couple of weeks, but I can watch a silly little TV show with my husband one night, and I can choose not to look away when a beloved character fights to live, to die well, for their family, for what life CAN BE. And I can cry, and I can wake up the next day and write this post. And I can know that one female character on a tv show grabbing her child for the last time and forcing her love into him, onto him, around him, to feed him, to carry him, to gift to him... I will honor that. I will honor what it looks like because I've never had to do it, but it is done All. The. Time. 

And today I will remember that. 

Plus, I like being right! I always knew Zombie movies where just a bloodied up commentary on real life, and now it seems like everyone else knows that too. Now… on to Election Day! That IS scary! No wonder zombies are always looking for brains, they must have lived through election season in Ohio.

5 comments:

Rachel said...

OMG. I should have stopped when you mentioned spoilers. T-dog and Laurie? NOOOOOOO!!!! I haven't watched the last two episodes yet. I may die (is it normal to be this upset over a TV show about zombies? I think yes.)

Kateastrophe said...

RIGHT?!?!?!? I sat there and cried for like ten minutes after the show ended. And I died when Rick saw the baby and figured out what happened. DIED

Alissa Rae King said...

Oh man, Rachel, I wish the spoiler could even prepare you! I think there is a risk for any true zombie movie that you are going to get more invested then you meant to when you decided "let's watch something scary for fun". You sign the waiver when you push play! Kate... when Rick looked at Carl, I mean the acting there is insane because I don't think anyone even talks for the last 6 minutes, but as reality dawns over his face while looking at Carl, at the loss, at what it means Carl did, and Carl doesn't look back just confirming everything he's thinking... I did full blown grief crying which is in the "do not try to comfort me right now or I will stab you" type crying.

Erin said...

I can't even process this right now. That. baby. That baby who is going to grow up in that world without a mother. And Carl who won't ever get a childhood. Oh, and Rick when he realized what had happened. I'm with Kate on this: I DIED.

Lorraine said...

Oh man. I am surrounded in real life by people who watch this show mechanically and who don't have emotional responses like this (Read: DUDES). It is SO FREAKING REFRESHING to have a bunch of girls talking about what the last episode of Walking Dead did to them!!!

I did the full on sob through the episode, and for a solid 10 minutes after. Daniel was at a loss, bless his heart.

This perfectly encapsulates all the things that I was thinking about those two characters. Bravo.

Also, if you didn't watch Talking Dead after (which all of us should do, it's so cathartic for me, and helps me remember they are actors, which is good) you would have missed this fact tidbit: The actress who plays Laurie says that she played the role from the moment she found out she was pregnant as though it were a death sentence. She did not expect to survive childbirth. I think that makes her character and her choices so much more interesting, and I was so glad she had that closure with Carl. For something so horrible, and personally scarring (IAMNEVERHAVINGBABIESEVER), that was a pretty beautifully constructed moment.

cried and cried and cried and cried.