Dippy Eggs

The sky cracked with terrible thunder as Joe snapped to consciousness, shaking in his bed. He lay sweaty, still in shock from what he had hoped had been a dream. What seemed like moments earlier, the titular event, catastrophic enough to rapture the world as it was known had begun. It had seemed so small, so unimportant, none could have known its ability to open up and swallow existence, destroying the balance that held the universe in place.

He wiped the sweat from his brow and pushed himself to his feet. As he did so he lost his balance, falling forward onto his face. Vibrations took hold of the room, knocking fixtures from their homes on the walls and smashing them to the ground, though none of this mattered in the moment, there were more pressing matters at hand, and if things were as Joe suspected, soon nothing would matter at all. Gritting his teeth, he struggled to pull himself to his feet as the floorboards began to break apart beneath him. The room itself seemed to be imploding, and he would be damned if he let himself drown with the nothing’s expanse. Clawing at the wooden doorway, he fought gravity to find an escape. One by one the hinges popped off of the door and it flew from the doorway and tumbled behind him, collapsing on itself and crumbling into nonexistence. Damned if he would follow in its footsteps, he grunted, managing to break free into the hallway.

Loosening himself from the pull, he rolled forward, collapsing in an uncomfortable position and slamming the back of his head against the wall. Rubbing the back of his neck, he moaned, awestruck at the destruction he viewed behind him. What had seemed such a harmless concept had come to claim him, and everything he had ever known. The insistent force tugged at him, begging him to cave, though he refused its advance, twisting over and rolling uncomfortably down the stairwell. As he reached the bottom the floor above came crashing down to meet him, the steps he had taken moments ago splintering into dust.

“Argh!” he screamed, placing his palms flat on the ground and pushing forward, leaping back to his feet. The downstairs was already unnoticeable, an indescribable darkness like he’d never known pressing in on all sides of him, begging to swallow him and leave him to die amongst the negatives. He would escape this fate, he told himself, determined to get to the one being he knew that could outdo this force, the only thing strong enough to undo the impossible currently escaping onto Earth.

The windows all around him shattered, spraying glass in all directions as the walls buckled under the weight of the destruction wanting to claim him for its own. Joe climbed through one of the fresh openings to the outside, burying a shard of glass deep into his flesh, opening his right arm. Out on the porch, he wasted little time, pressing forward and rolling over the railing. He knew this would break him, but he was short of options. The sands of time had dried, and he needed to escape by any means possible. Falling in the air, he hadn’t expected what came next, as the picnic table he imagined his bones shattering upon came rushing up to meet him. His forehead slammed hard, and he reached up to feel the warmth of blood escaping him.

Trembling, Joe flipped over and realized he was floating in the air on the top of the table. High above him, the sky burnt wild with vivacious color and winds blew with a ferocity to rip the palm trees in his vicinity from their roots. He struggled to hold his position on the back of the wooden planks whilst it soared high in the sky, shaking as he viewed the eclipse of the sun above him. Little light remained, and he was traveling table-back at speeds that threatened jet planes. If any hair remained on his head, this would be the time for it to blow in the unrelenting winds that whipped all around him.

The sky began to swirl with an unyielding force, claiming everything in his surroundings up into it, regardless of size. People screamed as they were ripped from the ground and sent into the same vortex as all of the vehicles, beings, even the streets themselves rose from the ground. Joe soon realized that not even the Earth remained safe in this catastrophe, as the dirt broke apart and the planet traveled into the sky, bit by bit, its sandy composition disappearing as it reached the insatiable black hole. He waited for himself to be swallowed as well, but nothing came for him, instead, he watched helplessly as the world around him disappeared until finally, light was extinguished.

It wasn’t to say that he was surrounded by darkness, for even that had gone away now, leaving him surrounded by nothing, but still alive, though it truly depended on your take on the relative term. Nothing happened after this, time didn’t even pass, as it no longer existed. Trapped in what seemed like Purgatory, Joe hung, all the while knowing the cause of the cataclysm.

Eventually, Joe felt a presence, and he was no longer alone. He heard the being, the one he had expected to be waiting for him, though there was no voice. It simply existed within his mind, almost as though the two were now linked psychically.

“Travis…” Joe thought to the being approaching him. “I know that’s you.”

“This could have been avoided,” Travis responded. If Joe could see, he would view the saddened visage on his old friend’s face. “Why did you have to be so damned stubborn?”

“All of this?” Joe thought. “All of this for Dippy Eggs? That’s not even what they’re called. You’ve let yourself become so poisoned that this carnage has spread worldwide, bringing the rapture to us all.”

“You were the cause of this,” Travis responded. “This is not Dippy Eggs, it is so much more.” A non-existant tear fell from the absence of Travis’s eye. “This, all of this, is the absence of our love. This is the void that exists for letting something come between us. Our bond was the strongest thing remaining in this dark world, and in the absence of that, we were left with only destruction. Everything rested on the bond between our hearts, and now it has all fallen to nothing. If you had kept faith in our love over all, this would have just been another day.”

“It’s all…my fault?” Joe thought, realizing how petty it had all been. Had he only accepted his good friend’s ways, things would have been the complete opposite. Humbled, his heart sank, realizing the devastating effect he had had. Now it was too late, for there was nothing more to do.

“It could be worse,” Travis thought, “you could have thought they were called Doubled Eggs.”

“What?” Joe thought, confused by the change in pace, but he was met with no response. As he was about to think again, his eyes opened, and light flooded his world once more. He sat up in bed, covered in sweat and blanketed with worry. The nightmare had left him gasping for air, heaving in fear.

Pulling himself to his feet, nothing shook around him, and there was no thunder to be heard. Sighing deeply, he was thankful for this second chance. He grabbed his phone and decided he would call Travis to let him know how he felt.

Happy Thanksgiving, and don’t take your friends for granted.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inspiration

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, (the time being around the year 1998, and the setting being Franklin Elementary School, on the east side of Toledo, Ohio,) I was given an assignment by my 4th grade teacher. It was a simple writing assignment, we had to do little more than tell a story. We were 9, it needn’t be compelling, and considering the aptitude of my peers, I’m certain it didn’t even necessarily need to be entirely comprehensible. At this time I was on a reading kick, stringing book to book, going to the Library multiple times a week, never accumulating any fines for I was always finished with the material and needed new stories in a matter of days. I was the type of boy who preferred books that hadn’t been assigned to me, and I wasn’t too picky about the selection, picking up anything from Huckleberry Finn to The Babysitter’s Club (I know, embarrassing;) as long as it the words littered those stale pages bound between two covers, it didn’t matter who spun the tales. As you’re probably wondering what all of this matters in the case of the writing assignment I started this post about, we’ll circle back to that. I never cheated, I was too smart to ever be placed in the position to need to, and besides, never gaining medals or merits for anything athletic related, schoolwork was one of the few things I was actually good at. When we were given this assignment, however, I felt unchallenged by it. I didn’t care for it, and I imagined my time would be rather spent reading than writing something dull. So for the first time in my life, I cheated. I stole a section of one of the books I was reading at the time, (I have no idea what the book was, so I couldn’t tell you,) and all I remember was that the passage I plaigerized involved a tale about a spider. The book was lesser known, and I was certain I’d get away with it, so I didn’t give it a second thought. I turned in the copied work, and went about my life. When my teacher reviewed the work, she was astonished by what I had done. She told me that she knew I was smart, but that I had captured a truly interesting story on paper in such a short time. Oh, the suspense, the glory I had personified on paper. All in a silly tale of a spider. She was certain that greatness was available to me, should I pursue such a goal, and embellished tales of my writing prowess. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t come clean, but most of all, I was upset. I was better than that, and worst of all, I felt that I was smart enough that I could bring that true reaction to someone one day. I promised myself that I would become an adept writer, and that one day I would pen a tale that would astonish those across the globe. Sometimes I fall away from that dream, but when I think back to this story, it always fuels an inspirational flame within me.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spontaneous Post

Growing up, we are raised given a definitive sense of right and wrong. We know what is inherently good and what is evil, and we apply those ideals to our lives as adults. Yet here we are, and drug kingpins (Walter White), cheaters and liars (Don Draper), and criminal bikers (Jackson Teller) dominate television. How easy it is that we find ourselves sympathizing and rooting for these characters when they stand for everything we have been warned our entire lives to avoid. This is an obvious indication that with truly fine writing, our beliefs can shatter in an instant and wind up clinging to ideals we would never let lead us otherwise.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Walking Dead S03 E06: Hounded Review

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS. DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN “HOUNDED”

The following is my review of Season 3: Episode 6 of The Walking Dead, entitled “Hounded”. I decided to skip episode five, because it’s out of date and not quite worth me going back and writing about, not like episode four was, so I picked up on the most recent episode, which happened to be, in my personal opinion, quite exciting.

The episode is called “Hounded,” for reasons that become obvious to the watcher by the time they reach the opening credits. The villainous Merle is leading a group of men into the woods, searching for all of our favorite warrior, Michonne. His search party includes a man named Tim, a man named Crowley, and a new face named Gardulio, the latter of whom seems to be a new recruit. It becomes immediately clear to the audience that the Governor never planned on letting Michonne and Andrea escape to safety, and while Andrea has no way of knowing that, it’s obvious to Michonne because she left a warning for the men. On the ground lies a mutilated walker in the form of a message. The arms are twisted into a G, the legs are bent into an O, and then there’s a torso flipped over onto it’s stomach, revealing it’s back. “G O BACK” It’s such a fantastic idea, I would have loved to share a photograph, but I was unable to find a good one on the internet. This was never used in the comics, and it’s a great innovative addition. Merle refers to it as a “biter gram” and laughs about it, but it scares Gardulio. It should. Michonne doesn’t mess around, and they soon see that as she jumps out of the tree from above them where she had been hiding the entire time. After dealing with so many walkers, they had grown careless to what could have been above them, and they paid for it.

Jumping down, she sliced off Crowley’s head before he realized what was what, and then she quickly stabbed Tim. If this wasn’t enough to kill him, she then used him as a meat shield to protect herself from several shots that Merle fired in her direction. Running away to safety, Michonne did take one bullet to the leg, however, and I’m sure viewers everywhere gritted their teeth just as I did, worried about our heroine. This is a welcome change in pace from the usual survivor vs. walker battles that we see in every episode. We love to see our heroes take down the filthy flesh eaters, but it needs to be shown how separate groups of humans clash in times such as these. It was depicted in “Nebraska” towards the end of season two, and it’s obviously being led up to with Woodbury vs. The Prison, and we know how that plays out in the comics, but this was great to see. Michonne and her sword versus Merle and his gauntlet. Now that’s something I want to see!

Image

I mean, Jesus Christ, right? This is a fight I’ll gladly watch. While the idea of the arena is cool, I’d much rather see this pirate-esque battle between two warriors over a half assed scripted fight between Merle and Martinez where we know no one will die. This is this type of thing that gets me to the edge of my seat and keeps me there. I’ll watch human vs. human with a background zombie threat looming in the back of their minds all day.

In their second meeting, Merle saves Gardulio’s life, only barely pushing him out of the way of Michonne’s blade. Gardulio then returns the favor and saves him from a walker. Michonne manages to get away, but not before something important happens. She slashes open a walker, spilling it’s guts out all over herself, apparently something that she had never done before, because not long later, she realizes that she now has her very own cloak of invisibility when it comes to zombie senses. We thought she was a strong, un-killable survivor before? Now she’s practically immortal.

Merle ends up shooting Gardulio in the head, and this shows us something very important. Merle hasn’t changed. While this entire season may have led us to believe he had become more civilized, only giving us small glimpses into the man he used to be, he overall seemed to have made an enormous improvement over the Merle we knew and hated from season one. The same Merle that visited Daryl in his hallucination, proving that even his own brother viewed him as an evil bastard. There was a small glimmer of hope for some of us that Merle had changed for good, and was possibly going to be brought to the good side by his little brother, but it’s very obvious now that it’s hard to teach on old bigot new tricks. He not only shot Gardulio, but he also kidnapped Glenn and Maggie, taking them back to Woodbury. Thankfully, Glenn was strong enough to hold from giving Merle the location to the prison, but now he and his lovebird are in deep trouble. In this comics, the governor has Glenn, Rick, and Michonne held captive, and he shows his true colors by not only cutting off Rick’s arm, but also raping and torturing Michonne. We’ve had several glimpses into the sick bastard that he really is, but will Maggie now take Michonne’s place in his torture room? What will that mean for these young lovers, who everyone holds out hope for? Fortunately, Michonne witnessed the kidnapping, and can convey the terrible news to Rick and the others. So we have our fingers crossed that there is a chance they will escape unscathed, but it is very, very unlikely. Robert Kirkman himself said in a recent interview that the two wouldn’t escape unscathed but he didn’t provide any details more than that.

I will spend very little time discussing Andrea and her current story arc with the Governor. The only reason I’m even touching on it at all is because she’s one of my favorite characters in the comics, and I’m still holding out hope that it’s not impossible for her to become that person. In the comics she was fairly useless, just as she is on AMC, but that changes when she gets traumatized. She gets attacked in the prison and ends up with a scar on her face, and she goes through a transformation to become a badass sniper who Rick can thoroughly rely on. Since she’s not in the prison, but rather, she’s spending all of her time in Woodbury, I can only speculate and hope as to what will happen. I HOPE she will get too close to the governor and discover something she shouldn’t. The zombie daughter or the fish tank filled with heads would be a nice place to start. Or maybe she won’t like what happens to Glenn and Maggie. I HOPE he catches her and ends up torturing or hurting her because of it. I HOPE she barely gets rescued by Rick and Michonne and I HOPE she becomes the person we know and love from the comics. That’s a lot to hope for, but my fingers are crossed.

While we’re talking about Woodbury, I want to mention the addition of the new girl. Andrea was on the wall talking to a girl who was giving some of her own backstory, talking about killing her father and her brother, which helped Andrea relate to her due to the situation with Amy. The reason I want to bring attention to this girl is because although they didn’t say her name, she bears a STRIKING resemblance to Rosita from the comics. That is, of course, if you can manage to get past the fact that she’s not Mexican. If this does indeed prove to be her, then they may have to change her name, just like they did her story. I didn’t expect her to be introduced so soon, especially before and without Abraham, but thinking about it, she may use her “I sleep with people for safety” thing on Tyreese, since Tyreese won’t be with Carol. So, we’ll see. Anyways, I searched and found someone who thought the same thing as me, so I’m going to share their pictures.

Image

Above is the girl in the episode. Below is the girl from the comics.

Image

These girls are wearing the same exact outfits. Considering they said there would be new female cast additions coming up, this could be one of the people they were talking about. Sure, Doctor Stevens in the comics was a man, and Doctor Stephens in the comics is a woman, but she has barely said two words so far, if she has even spoken at all. Alice is a nurse at Woodbury in the books, but she still hasn’t been introduced, so they may be avoiding her altogether. My thoughts? Rick and Michonne are going to Woodbury, and they’ll be coming back with Tyreese, Rosita, Martinez, Milton, Andrea, Glenn, and Maggie. That would be ideal anyways, I’d love to hope for zero casualties. I do say Milton because he’s done nothing but disapprove of the Governor and Merle and I think he would be more than happy to alienate himself from the savages and work in the prison with their generator.

Getting back to the Dixons, I want to mention Daryl. His relationships have been growing with several of the characters. He’s Rick’s best man, and he had a heart to heart with Carl in this very episode. Not to mention he found Carol and carried her to safety. He is continuously making ties to this group, which is good for us, because his brotherly love storyline is just around the corner. When Daryl and Merle finally collide, he will have to choose between his old life and his new one. I personally think he will eventually have to overcome and kill Merle for the good of the group, but we can only wait and see.

Finally, I have to at least touch on Rick’s descent into madness. His phone calls with the dead was something anyone who read the comics saw coming. In the books, this story arc happens after the prison, but it only makes sense for it to take place directly after Lori’s death, when Rick is still feeling the most guilt, because he of course feels directly responsible for her fate. The way the phone calls progress, it shows us that he also feels guilt for every other member of the group that was lost, even the ones he hardly knew. At first, I couldn’t tell who the voices were on the other end, even though I had just rewatched the first two seasons. After I did learn the identity’s to the first three callers, Amy, Jim, and Jaqui, I was slightly confused. I thought of all of the people that could have been on the other end of that line. T-Dog, Shane, Dale, hell even Patricia and Jimmy had more of a relationship with Rick than Amy did. I’m honestly now even sure Rick spent more than a day or two in the company of her, and I don’t know that he ever really talked to Jaqui at all. I eventually realized that it was necessary to show him talk to them, because now you know that Rick has never forgotten even the least important of the people he’s lost along the way. He knows what his decisions lead to. It’s important that we understand that even in the thick of his madness, he’s completely conscious. I was glad that they contained the crazy phone call story arc to one episode, because we needed Rick back, and now we have him.

Image

The end of the episode left me with a gigantic smile on my face. It was love at first sight and Rick and Michonne are finally breathing the same air. Sure, it’s going to take a minute for him to trust her, but she is something he desparately needs right now. And with her injury, she needs him and his fortress. Witnessing the beginning of a beautiful friendship was great to watch, as I’ve been waiting for it all season. Once he’s got Tyreese at his other side, we’ll have a team we can really root for.

So, I’ve already made most of my predictions for the next episode throughout this post, Here’s an image from Episode 7, “When The Dead Come Knocking”, premiering this Sunday.

Image

It looks to me as if Rick is taking the strongest members of his group down the road to Woodbury to bring back the members of his team that have been kidnapped. Daryl and Michonne are his strongest warriors, and Oscar is a pretty big guy as well. They’re strapped and ready to take names, which makes me excited for what could happen. First of all, this means Daryl will meet Merle, and very soon. What will happen then? One will have to join the other. I already shared what I thought. There is one thing that has me worried, though. Who is left to protect the prison? Herschel, who is an old man with one leg, can barely hobble around on crutches. Carl is a tough kid, but he’s still a kid, and his transformation isn’t complete. There’s the unnamed baby… Axel, who seems like a good guy, but who might be a creep. He was okay in the comics, but anything could happen in the show. Either way, he’s not the toughest looking man. Beth is a young girl, and I don’t recall her ever carrying a weapon. Carol is in a whole other state of mind, unable to speak or walk last time we saw her. I feel as though I’m forgetting someone, but that may just be because the group has dwindled to such a small number. Regardless, it’s a bold move, and it could mean bad things for the people who stayed behind. We all want to see the group reach the prison in the next episode. and for Glenn and Maggie’s sake, I surely hope they do.

I would give “Hounded” a rating of 8.5 out of 10. Everything with Michonne and Merle was fantastic, but no one wants to waste as much time as we did on Andrea’s love life, and Rick’s descent into madness was sort of slow and dragged out throughout the episode. I’m being critical because I must, but I did really like the episode. It was one of the best this season, but it couldn’t touch episode four. “Killer Within.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Walking Dead S03 E04: Killer Within Review

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS. DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN “KILLER WITHIN”

This is my first time taking a crack at writing reviews, so bear with me. I’m very knowledgeable on all things The Walking Dead, being an avid reader of the graphic novels as well as a dedicated watcher of the television adaptation. I watch far too much television by anyone’s standards, and I’m comfortable behind a keyboard, so I figured I’d combine my favorite things and give this a shot. If I don’t write about it, I would just be talking about it non stop between Sundays anyways. So, here we go. If you like it, follow my blog and you can keep getting my reviews, and if you don’t, keep it moving. Either way, thanks for stopping by and giving it a chance.

Often during these reviews I will be referencing the comics, both to make predictions of what could come in future episodes, using my knowledge of the graphic novels to shine a little light on the foreshadowing we’ve been given, and also to compare the likes and differences of the books to the television series. If you haven’t read, this will give you a little insight of what you would have in store for you should you decide to. If you have, then I’m sure you will hold your own opinions, and I’d be glad to see and respond to any comments you may have.

Some of you might be wondering why now, on November 21st, several days after the premiere of S03.E06, why I’m writing a review for an episode that everyone saw weeks earlier. Well, while I know nobody wants to go back and read reviews for the entire season so far, I think that “Killer Within” was far too monumental an episode to skip, so I thought I’d start with this one. If nothing else, it’s a way of showing my appreciation to Glen Mazarra, Robert Kirkman, and the gang for bringing us such fantastic television. “Killer Within” is a suspense driven episode packed with the action worthy of a season finale, (Or, at least a mid-season finale, considering TWD has to give us a twist midway through the season to leave us holding on until February.) and it’s all delivered to us in episode four, which is practically the beginning of the season.

For those of us who watched the entirety of season two, (which, honestly is probably anyone and everyone who is taking the time to read this,) we all know how easy it is for TWD to slow down it’s pace and lose interest from the viewers who are thirsty for action and gore. Sure, nobody wanted to see Sophia emerge from the barn a zombie, and nobody suspected it either, but it’s easily argued that she wasn’t worth the massive amount of time spent searching for her. While we did get some much needed character development for the fan-favorite Daryl Dixon, season three has shown how easy it is to balance character development while still keeping up the pace. Given the split group situation of Woodbury and The Prison, it has become easy for dialogue to be happening one place while zombie hordes are attacking another, (and in most cases the latter has been happening to our heroes in The Prison,) but this is what we like to see! We live for the suspense that lasts in between arrows and knives and bullets being driven into the skulls of the ghoulish beasts, and we all much prefer this over watching Andrea relax on top of the RV or seeing Lori bounce back and forth in her game of best friend ping pong. Let’s face it, if we turn on a show about zombies and gore, what we’re expecting and what we’re hoping for, is exactly what we’ve been handed so far with season three, and episode four, “The Killer Within” is the bloody cherry that sits atop the gory, action filled sundae. We couldn’t have asked for anything better, and while I’m an enormous fan of Dexter, I doubt you could have found anything else on television that Sunday night that could drop your jaw in the way this episode did.

Enough babbling about the season this far, it’s time to dive in head first into the meat and potatoes of season three (at least from what we’ve seen this far,) The Killer Within.

Image

Ladies and gentleman, take a good hard look at those faces, because unless you’ve grown accustomed to the acting of IronE Singleton or Sarah Wayne Callies, this is most likely the last time you’ll be seeing T-Dog or Lori. Unless, of course, there’s a flashback episode, but nobody’s holding their breath for that. We’ve had enough looking over our shoulders, and we want the road ahead. (They do, of course, make a good use of the flashback in this very episode, but only for a split second towards the end, and we’ll get to that later.)

Now, if any of you guys are like me, then you expected these things to transpire. Anyone who watched season two couldn’t wait for Lori to die, and anyone who read the comics, knew that it was coming. Most of us expected it to happen much, much later, however, and as a likely season finale. It’s good to see that TWD can still take me completely and throw me for a loop. Even though all signs pointed towards a complicated pregnancy, and Lori herself was voicing her concerns, and we watched it play out the way it did, up until the last moment I was expecting her to pull through. I thought she would end up back on her feet. After all, that baby needs her. I expected her to survive, at least long enough to see the fate I imagined she would be delivered in the finale, depicted below.

Image

This section contains major spoilers from the comics, so you may want to skip ahead to the next paragraph. As you can see in the photo above, Lori was shot in the comics, and it was a result of the governor’s final assault on the prison. She almost made it out too, and was shot down attempting to flee. If you look closer, you can see by what she’s holding that she wasn’t the only one gunned down at the time. Will that character be expecting a similar fate in AMC’s rendition of The Walking Dead? Might make for a big heart stopper in the second half of season three, assuming, of course, that the prison’s storyline will be limited to season three only, and not stretched out to season four.

I may be getting a little off topic, and a little ahead of myself, at this point, so let’s head back to the beginning of the episode, and we’ll take this through as the timeline intended it. The episode begins with the dragging of a deer carcass which is used to bring the attention of the walkers into the prison. A lock is broken and walkers are led inside of our heroes’ sanctuary, and to make matters even worse, they have absolutely no idea.

Now, we all saw the preview and we all saw this coming, so no one was surprised when this happened. The question might have been though, that “who could be doing this?” It can be clearly seen, however, that the culprit has a black hand. So, while the opening credits roll that leaves us time to ponder who the black people are within the prison, and the only answers are T-Dog and Oscar, the prisoner. It’s pretty easy to see that the man is smaller than Oscar, though. And if anyone read the comics and remembered Tyreese surviving being locked inside the gym alone with the walkers, then you were thinking, just as I was, that Andrew probably survived being locked in the courtyard. And when it comes to motive, Andrew would be at the top of the list. Possibly the only person on the list. So this wasn’t really a question as anyone who could put two and two together probably figured out what was going on fairly early.

Of course, though, the only people who don’t consider that possibility are Rick and the others, but, to be fair to them, they didn’t see how it went down and they definitely didn’t read the comics, so they don’t have all the facts. If Rick had even considered Andrew, things could have gone down very differently, but as it stands, he didn’t, and they didn’t.
So when it comes time to point fingers, the obvious choice would be the only two people they didn’t spend the last eight months with, that being Axel and Oscar.

That’s unfortunate for them, because they seem to have fairly good intentions, and they, or at least Axel, has been kissing as much ass as possible to try to get in good with Rick and the others. Oscar has “never pleaded in his life,” and he’s “not going to start now,” but he still seems like he’s an alright guy.

When the prisoners ask to be brought into the cell block with the others, the writers found this a fantastic time to give T-Dog a purpose. They need to, anyways, he’ll be bitten in a scene or two. It’s time to make people sympathize with him.

Let’s take a moment to discuss T-Dog’s progression, because I want my opinion on him to be understood, or at least explained. In season one, I liked T-Dog. I think most people did. When he dropped the keys to Merle’s handcuffs, and everyone wondered whether or not he did it on purpose, it made you feel for the man. He had good intentions, and even though Merle had beaten him to a pulp and was a gigantic racist waste of space, T-Dog took the time and risked his own ass to stay back and make sure to lock the door to the roof, ensuring Merle’s safety at least for a little while more. Though the others didn’t see this, the audience did, and we all felt for him a little. This was a good man. We liked T-Dog. I liked T-Dog.

Around camp when things went down, T-Dog would step up to get involved. If nothing else, the man had lines! He spoke! He had a purpose! And we still liked him. When Daryl, Rick, and Glenn went on what could have been a suicide mission to try and save the unstable Merle, T-Dog once again risked his neck and went along with them, Still a good guy. He was an integral part of everything that happened in “Vatos” between the group and the new people they encountered. He had a purpose, but honestly, we were all afraid he could die at any moment. Not just because he was the black guy, and that is the “rule” for scary movies, but because it was an apocalyptic scenario, and he was just barely unimportant enough to be killed off at any moment. It would be someone who was missed, and we hoped he could survive, but we all expected it.

You know who else expected it? The writers. T-Dog was only supposed to be in a couple episodes of season one, so maybe that’s why no one expected him to make it all the way to season three. He was never supposed to live. They chose to expand his role and turn him into a regular, and that was great, but it would have been better if he had continued to be the guy he was in season one. Instead, he didn’t.

In the beginning of Season 2, T-Dog got cut, and we all thought this could have been his time, but yet again, it wasn’t. He survived, and his character actually flip flopped. The hero and the good guy that he was should have been adamant on finding Sophia, but he was more concerned with the way the group looked at him. He actually suggested that he and Dale leave the others and go off on their own, because they were looked at as “the weakest”. In season one he never had any of these issues, or at least he never voiced them. It could be argued that T-Dog was both facing an injury and running a fever, so maybe this should be overlooked, but it shouldn’t be forgotten. Mainly because this was his biggest role in the entirety of season two.

As season two progressed T-Dog was often in the background, but he rarely spoke. When he did, it was only to support someone else’s conversation, and he had no shining moments. He was no hero. He was no longer the good guy we felt for in the first season. He became estranged from us, and we all latched on to Daryl, the bad guy turned good guy. T-Dog hid in the shadows and did nothing of importance. Season two held little to no development for him, and instead it was a phenomenally gigantic back step from everything that he had done in season one. The picture below captures this perfectly.

ImageAt the end of season two, the farm gets attacked, but he picks up Lori and Beth, no doubt saving their lives. That’s heroic enough, but he wastes no time to see if Andrea is alright, (and yes, we all know that’s Lori’s fault for screaming out that she got bit,) but when he gets to safety,T-Dog actually tries to drive off, and it takes Lori threatening to get out of the car for him to turn back. He was that close to leaving everyone else behind. And then he gets back to them, only to become a face in the background once again. Flip. Flop. We shake our heads at you, T-Dog. We deserved better.

And then came season three. Easily argued to be the best season by far, there is little to complain about. I say that loosely, because there will always be a lot to complain about. Compared to other shows and earlier seasons, fans gladly accepted season three, and wanted more. Everything that happened from the time it began to episode four “Killer Within”. gave T-Dog a better place than what he had before. Still, he didn’t talk much, but he got in the action. He grabbed riot gear! He’s in the thick of things, and he’s actually getting screen time. This should have been a warning for anyone who’s ever seen anything that bad things were coming for the character. Oscar being introduced as another black character cut his survival rate in half as well. I hate to say that about a show I love, but it was proven to be oh so bitterly true.

So when “Killer Within” rolled around and T-Dog had an opinion, that worried me. Not only did he have an opinion, but everyone listened to him. Rick actually listened to what he had to say, and Daryl acknowledged his existence. It may not be a democracy, but Rick definitely gave the man with no voice a chance to voice his opinion.

Suddenly, T-Dog is no longer looking out for number one. It seems he’s back to his old ways. He actually gives a shit about somebody he doesn’t know. This is the good guy from season one coming back. We don’t know where he went last year, but he’s coming back. It’s just a little hard for me to swallow his forced heroicism and feel bad for him dying, when it’s so out of character. I can’t say it’s out of character though, since he has more than one. He’s practically schizophrenic. Flip. Flop.

Don’t get me wrong, the writers did a great job of leading up to his death and writing the character this episode. It was all of the baggage that he held from before, much of it may have been under Frank Darabont, of course, but it was still there nonetheless, that made it hard for me to feel bad. I was actually surprised at the amount of people who were angry when T-Dog died. If you look at him as a hero, it’s sad. If you look at him as someone who’s potentially going to stay in his cell for six episodes, it’s good to see someone die. This is the apocalypse. People must die. Thank God for T-Dog. Speaking of God, though, it kind of irked me that T-Dog started talking about the almighty right after he was bitten. Making peace is one thing, but he acted as if he had always been a man of faith, and I don’t remember that ever being brought up before. Herschel’s farm would have been a fine place to start.

I can’t argue that he didn’t go out like a bad ass. He knew that he was bitten, and he knew that his time was up. He refused to let himself be forgotten as a nobody, so he thrust himself against the walkers and made a name for himself by allowing Carol to live and being eaten alive. It was good to see that in his final moments, that T-Dog we knew from the first season was back, the one who gave a shit. Now, the group will actually remember him. The group will actually mourn him.

ImageR.I.P. T-Dog

A lot of things happen in this episode, but the deaths are obviously the most important part, so I’m going to place the most focus there, because in case you can’t tell I have far too much to say and if I pick apart every piece of this episode, I’ll be typing forever. So, back to where we were.

If you know anything about the Walking Dead, you should know never to let your guard down. When you see a happy or a peaceful moment, that’s when you should be on the edge of your seat. Because something is about to happen. If there’s a deer, Carl’s about to get shot. If Herschel’s up and moving around and everything seems like it’s going well, shit’s about to hit the fan. the moment that Rick and Lori made eye contact, and everyone smiled, that’s when I know. Something is about to happen.

Carl does a great job of handling himself. He wastes no time in handing out head shots, with a little backup from Maggie, Lori, and T-Dog. Let’s not forget that Herschel took one out with his crutch. He’s not giving up another leg.

Rick and the others rush to the aid of their friends and family, and just as they arrive, we can see T-Dog’s fate approaching. He gets bit, causing Carol to scream. Then he shoots his attacker in the head twice, followed by throwing his gun for some reason. I guess  if all you have left is to count down the seconds until you turn into a walker, reason doesn’t matter.

T-Dog’s fate is sealed. We all know he’s not coming back from this. The bite was high enough that there’s no way he could be amputated, so we all sit in shock. They switch things over to the calm that is Woodbury so we can take a moment to cope with, (and most likely tweet about) what just happened. The breather is small, though, so we’re immediately back to the Prison, and now the alarm is going off, alerting any nearby zombies that dinner is ready. If anything good has come from this, it’s that Rick can see now that it’s highly unlikely that either Oscar or Axel are responsible. And, for the first time since the death of Tomas. they’re working together. When they finally find Andrew, and Rick is at the disadvantage, Oscar takes the chance to prove his worth, killing the menace and saving Rick’s life. This shows us that there’s yet another member being added to the group, which is much needed at this point due to the new deaths. Does it bother me that one black guy leaves and another enters? Slightly. Race shouldn’t play a part in writing. But, that’s another thing altogether.

Lori, Carl, and Maggie get cut off and trapped in a room, and just in time for Lori to go into labor! The baby is coming and it’s obvious that, just like Carl, it’s going to need to be cut out of her. There’s no time to wait for Herschel, and Lori acts like a good mother for the first time in a long time, putting her children before her, and sacrificing herself for the good of her family. Before we explore her death, let’s take a moment to discuss her as well. I’ll do my best to make this one short and sweet.

To summarize, Lori sucks. Comic Lori sucks, but somehow AMC Lori managed to outdo her, and sucks so much worse. I really like Sarah Wayne Callies, and she did a good job of making me hate a character I was supposed to hate, but man, the writers really took her to another level. She sucked as a wife, she sucked as a mother, and much like T-Dog she flip flopped. She went back and forth between Shane and Rick. She whispered to Rick that he should kill Shane and she led the already psychopathic Shane on. After Rick did kill Shane, cleaning up her mess, she treated him like a monster. Rick has enough to deal with, he doesn’t need Lori making things worse on top of that. Throughout season two I couldn’t wait for the prison, because I couldn’t wait for Lori to die. I was ready for Carl to be a bad ass, and I was ready for Rick to cut that tie and become the strong leader he needed to be.

When season three came along, it was as if the TWD gods heard my prayers and decided to answer. Rick was the leader I wanted him to be. Rick became everything I had grown to love in the comics, and he took charge. Andrew Lincoln portrayed that change wonderfully. And to make things better, it was almost as if Lori didn’t even exist to Rick. He kept her safe because she was a container that held his baby, but it was obvious that he hated her, possibly almost as much as I did.

I have to say though, that she completely changed for season three. She saved Herschel’s life, and  she supported Rick’s decisions, even if he did shrug her off. For three episodes, she grew on me, and it was just enough to make me, and all of you, feel guilty for everything we ever said about her as we watched her get cut open. I wanted her dead. We all did. But not like this.

ImageR.I.P. Lori

Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. It was phenomenal television. It was just rough to watch. The best part, of course, was that Carl’s transformation into a bad ass is furthered by shooting his own mother in the head. As he stares down at the cut open corpse of his dead mother who he hated in her final days, he remembers the speech his dad gave him in the barn. Thankfully, the camera doesn’t show the shot, although we all hear it. It may have been too much to take. It may have driven you to tears, but that right is reserved for Rick. 

They find T-Dog’s body and Carol’s head dress thing, and they assume the worst for her. Although I’m ready for Carol’s death, I knew it wasn’t her time. Rick doesn’t have enough people to lose three veterans in one day. 

This phenomenal episode ends with an incredible performance by Andrew Lincoln. This was arguably the most moving scene in the most moving episode of the series. When he killed Shane, I truly felt for him, and he poured a ton of emotion into it, but he managed to top it in “Killer Within”.

Rick worries for the others, and suddenly he hears the cry of his newborn. Normally this would be a symbol of hope in this barren wasteland, but the look on Maggie’s face and the absence of Lori portrays that the worst has happened. A tear drops down from Carl’s face and Maggie blubbers in Glenn’s face, while even Daryl Dixon, the hard ass red neck looks completely and utterly defeated.

Rick, this man who has grown since season one. Our hero who we’ve seen through some of the worst things possible, from killing his best friend, to shooting a little girl who he felt responsible for in the head. He put himself out there for the good of the group, to protect his people. We saw him evolve into the leader, the man that he was in season three. And then we saw that man break. He turned around to the sound of the baby and dropped his weapon, approaching them. He couldn’t even walk straight, and he stumbled over his words. Viewers everywhere felt their eyes get misty and their chests tighten as we heard “no, no no…” and Rick fell to the ground. Our hero had fallen.

Image

It was bad. It was terrible. But it was extremely iconic television. I, for one, will remember this as what might be the best part of one of the best shows I have ever seen.

There a couple of other things I’d like to discuss. First of all, it’s good to see that Rick now has Oscar and Axel on his roster, because he needs anyone he can get at this point. Initially, this worried me because as a fan of the comics, I want nothing more than to see Tyreese on screen. I was worried that this man might become a replacement for him, but fortunately, Chad Coleman was cast as Tyreese, and he will be introduced in episode eight. You may know him as Cutty from The Wire, or as the voice of Coach from the video game, Left 4 Dead 2. I think he was a great casting choice and I’m counting down the days until I can see him swing his hammer in action.

Image

What do you think?

Also, I’d like to discuss how fast things have been progressing. I expected Lori to die at the end of the season, but that might be reserved for someone else now. Also, there’s the midseason finale which also must hold something in store for us. Personally, I’m excited by the pace this season has held, and I can’t wait to see how it continues.

Michonne trusts the governor less and less as Andrea trusts him more and more. There’s only one way for that to end up.

Who will take care of the baby? Rick is in no shape to, and how long can it really last in an apocalyptic setting. I find it unlikely that she will survive the entire season, but we’ll see. She’s a little ray of hope. Will she be snuffed out?

Tyreese. Michonne. If Rick gets these people together, his team change up may be for the better, but so far his group is dwindling. Herschel’s an old man with one leg, Beth and Carl are kids, there’s a baby, Carol is off who knows where, and can he really trust the prisoners?

It’s just a matter of time before the Dixon’s collide. What will this mean for Rick’s best man?

Overall, I give this episode a 9.5 out of 10. While I wasn’t proud of some of the things circling the T-Dog situation, the rest of it was simply fantastic. Anything on cable television that can leave you breathless is worth a hell of a score.

How do you feel? This was my first attempt at a review, so hopefully I get better in the future.Tell me I’m wrong, tell me I’m right. Either way, follow my blog and leave a comment!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Delusions of Grandeur

Alright, ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a bit since I’ve posted here, and I’m trying not to completely ignore this blog. I’d much rather be writing rather than be writing about writing, but, you know, I don’t want this thing to get stagnant or anything. So, I figure I’ll share a little information about my second novel, Delusions of Grandeur.

I finished my second novel. I actually pounded it out in a little over a week, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. This book is unrelated to the Ring Crisis series, and it’s actually a stand-alone novel, which was a nice and refreshing change from my norm. Being able to write from beginning to ending and have a story with some closure felt fantastic. I obviously need to do a few revisions and a lot of editing on it still, but the story is down and I’m more than happy with what I have. I honestly surprised myself with the amount of emotion I poured into it, and I think it stands a chance of doing well.

I’m taking a different approach with Delusions of Grandeur. I could finish it up and go ahead self publish it and have it ready to go within a month, but I really think that the idea and the story are good enough to be picked up by a publisher. I sent my manuscript and query to approximately fifteen publishers already, and I’m awaiting responses. I’m expecting a lot of rejection letters, but even rejection with constructive criticism would be happily welcomed.

So far I’ve gotten responses from a couple different companies. One of them offered to publish it for me, and they sent me a sample contract to go over and let them know if I wanted to accept. It seems…okay, but I think I could do better. They do publish it for free and everything, but from what I’ve read they don’t put a lot of time or resources into marketing or anything. It’s a nice back up plan, but I’d rather run out all my other options first, so I’m keeping them on the back burner. I’d rather get a publishing deal with someone who’s going to help me become successful. I got a second response from a company that says they admire the idea of my novel and that they would love to publish it but they’re full until 2014, and they wished me luck. I don’t mind waiting…but that’s a little long. I’m glad to get a response from them though. Gives me hope. I got a few other responses from people telling me they were assigned to my manuscripts and that I would be hearing from them in the near future. I have my fingers crossed, and I’ll be waiting patiently. If I keep striking out, I’ll just find fifteen more to send the manuscript off to.

I suppose I should give a little bit of insight as to what the book is about. I’ll try to make it short and sweet. This novel is quite different than my usual work in the light that I wrote it for a potential Young Adult audience. That’s a pretty successful category right now, so I’m hoping that I can get some readers, even if my book has nothing to do with vampires or sex. Well, I guess I can’t say it’s ENTIRELY without vampires, but that’s a whole other story.

Delusions of Grandeur is about a young boy who lives a terrible life. He has to deal with terrible things ranging from bullies to addictions to abuse. He deals with his demons by burying himself in his books. His imagination is so wild that he creates an alter ego in his mind, one that lives in fantasy lands based on the places in his books, but this hero that he pretends to be deals with comparative problems that helps the boy figure out how to deal with his own. The alter ego takes on different forms all based on the boy’s role models from his favorite books. Cowboys, knights, detectives, monster hunters, and super powers, every time the boy’s problem changes, so does his alter ego. He learns, however, that solving his problems isn’t quite so easy as he spirals deeper and deeper into the thick of things, falling headfirst into more trouble than what he started with.

I think it’s a fantastic story, and the dynamics of which are exciting and it never slows down. It’s a wild ride from beginning to end, and it packs a punch filled with raw emotion. If anyone is interested in checking it out before it’s released, let me know, and I’ll share with you.

I’m not idle while I sit in wait. Now that this book is finished, I’m back to Ring Crisis: Counterstrike. I should be able to finish within a couple of weeks, if I stay on task. I will continue to self-publish this series as I have, and if I finish it in time, I’d like to release it on 12-21-12. I’ll keep in touch with more news as I get it. Thanks for reading this far, if you have, and feel free to comment!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NaNoWriMo

It just so happens that as I started writing my new novel, on November 1st, National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, also started. So I’ve been keeping track of my word count and what not like everybody else.The goal is 50,000 words and so far I’ve managed to pound out 16,000 in four days so I think I’m off to a pretty good start. I’m really happy with what I’ve written so far, and I’m hoping I can get picked up by a publisher in the Young Adult market with this novel. I’ll let you know more as I go along.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment