Monday, November 26, 2012

When THE WALKING DEAD Come Knocking, Don't Bother Rocking

Way back in the first season of THE WALKING DEAD, it was established that zombies can differentiate the living from the dead by their scent. A stupid "rule," to be sure,[1] and one the series writers have since acknowledged or ignored depending entirely on the momentary needs of their "plot." This week's episode began where last week's left off. Michonne, with a gunshot wound to the leg, has managed to make her way to the prison. Having been covered with a gout of zombie gore last week, she can travel among the dead until the writers arbitrarily decide this no longer works, which, it so happens, is just at the moment she reaches the prison and is discovered, and just at the moment the wound is about to overcome her. There's no rain or anything to wash off the smell, as in the first time this trick was used--it just suddenly doesn't mask her anymore,[2] providing the episode's first moments of gratuitous zombie action.

Rick and co. rescue her, but are, of course, distrustful of a stranger. She tells them about the capture of Glenn and Maggie, about Woodbury, and about GINO, but, this being TWD, she fails to offer a word about Andrea, though she knows this is Andrea's group, and describes Merle, whose brother she knows is present, as merely the son of a bitch who shot her.

The gang decides to mount a rescue mission,[3] and that's pretty much the end of their story for this week. Not that it's the last we see of them, mind you. It's just the last thing they do that matters. The rest of their time, which is substantial, is spent trying to sneak up on Woodbury. They encounter a crazy old hermit, lots of zombies (more gratuitous action), and basically just act out a lot of filler scenes that had no other purpose than eating up as much screen-time as possible in order to delay, until the end, their arrival at the walls of Woodbury.

Speaking of filler, the Woodbury material this week features a pointless sub-plot wherein Andrea is asked to assist in an experiment studying how much of one's human consciousness survives when one zombifies. It's another one of those moments that inadvertently feature a dead-on metatextual commentary--in this case, it's on the translation of TWD from page to screen. Andrea isn't the subject of this experiment--she's just there to kill the creature when, it turns out, nothing worthwhile survives the transition.[4]

The rest of the Woodbury material is devoted to interrogating Glenn and Maggie. Andrea is now literally in bed with GINO, but, this, again, being TWD, the idea of using her to get info from them is never even broached. Instead, it's right to Merle. He isn't feeling very subtle this day, either. He roughs up Glenn, who takes the beating admirably, then, with Glenn's arms duct-taped to a chair, unleashes a zombie on him! Taped-down Glenn vs. the zombie in a junk-filled room makes for a really good sequence. Given that Merle is trying to find his brother and get info on the larger group for his boss, his actions don't make a lick of sense (one of his underlings even points this out to him later), but when Merle is pissed off, he isn't the sharpest tack in the box, and TWD can sort of get away with this one. GINO does, however, decides to handle the interrogation of Maggie personally. She's entirely unhelpful. GINO has her partially strip, and stands poised to rape her. In the comic, the Governor was a monstrous sexual sadist who would do this sort of thing at great length just for the fun of it, but this is GINO the Liam Lesser, tv's kinder, gentler "Governor," and he decides to spare Maggie (and the viewers) such an ugly scene. Instead, he puts Maggie and Glenn in a room together, puts a gun to Glenn's head, and Maggie spills the beans about the prison, giving up her father, sister, and friends to GINO and his thugs when a lie would have worked just as well.

As the episode is about to wrap, we get some interesting cinematography, the camera gliding along the group outside the walls of Woodbury, into the town, and on to Andrea, who was, at the time, walking by that same section of wall (apparently, the only section of wall the budget allows). The ending provides what, for my money, is the absolute worst moment, to date, of TWD's character assassination of Andrea--after we've witnessed GINO's very bad behavior, Andrea luxuriates in his arms, with a warm smile at his soothingly reassuring words.

And that was it. Mostly just another delaying-action to get to the last ep before the mid-season break.[5]



[1] Drawn, to be fair, from the comic.

[2] The episode suggests the zombies suddenly realize Michonne is alive because of the blood from her gunshot wound, but by the time she'd gotten to the prison, she'd already lost so much blood she collapsed, and the zombies had taken no note until, again, it was (melo)dramatically convenient. The vampiric zombie angle, wherein zombies pursue blood, was, in any case, added to the series very late--only toward the end of last season--and it's another ill-advised "rule" the writers follow or ignore on momentary whims. Zombies, when feeding, never attack one another, even though they're generally covered in fresh gore. This very episode offered an example of that when the crazy hermit was eaten. Actually, TWD's creators apparently couldn't afford to do the effect of a body being eaten (likely a consequence of Mazzara's throw-zombies-at-the-problems approach stretching the budget too thin), so they just threw in footage of their "zombie horde" scraping what looked like spilled Glidden off a bare porch floor and called it a feeding frenzy. All the zombies with a hand in it are covered with gore, yet no zombies bit pieces off any other zombies. Nor have we ever seen them do such a thing. Rewinding, the second-season opener had shown T-Dog slashing his arm open on a car door. The astonishingly copious arterial blood-spray that followed nearly made him black out, and probably should have killed him (an overdone effect). Instead, Daryl was able to put a dead body on top of him, and an entire herd of zombies--hundreds of them--marched right over him and the gore he's sprayed everywhere and never noticed a thing. And so on.

[3] Michonne had lost so much blood, she'd lost consciousness moments earlier, but after Hershel apparently applies some of his magic healing potion, she's rarin' to go, and accompanies the gang on their rescue mission.

[4] Two eps back, Rick had, for no real reason other than eating up running-time, instantaneously gone Stark Raving Mad. Last week, he was so insane, he spent the entire episode taking imaginary phone calls from dead people. This week, all of that is gone, and he's back to being Rick again--not even a trace of the extreme mental illness he'd previously exhibited. Perhaps Hershel's, off screen, administered some of his patent magical healing potion. Hey, it works on everything else--why not madness?

[5] And inspiring, by my estimation, one of my subbier sub-standard articles.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Old-School Horror Posse, part 1

Something I whipped up this morning, yet another variation on a much-copied model. Imperfect, but I like it.

Present left to right: Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains, Boris Karloff.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Viewers Hounded By THE WALKING DEAD

Another episode of tv's highest-rated zombie soap has just meandered by, and I must confess "Hounded," this week's mangy melodrama, has me somewhat up a tree. What manner of creature is this? Certainly not the lovable, lop-eared flea-bag suggested by the title. The episode isn't good, yet it seems wrong to call it a turkey, because TWD has set such an appalling standard for full-blown turkey-ism. I suppose I could just cut-and-paste my review of "Walk With Me," from a few week's ago:

"Insofar as viewer expectations are concerned, the breathtaking idiocy and awfulness that, in season 2, became its standard succeeded in setting the bar so low that anything that isn't just as breathtakingly awful and idiotic can't help but seem a significant improvement."

To an extent, "Hounded" has changed my mind about how to properly evaluate this particular species, though. Being an improvement over the absolute rubbish that constitutes TWD's regular output doesn't seem enough to earn it any praise anymore. I certainly have none for it. I don't have much of anything for it. Up a tree. It's that kind of episode.

It's mostly filler, but pointing this out doesn't really seem to say anything. Most of what happens on TWD these days is filler.

Absolutely nothing interesting happens. Last week, the writers showed some of TWD's patented Character Development by having Rick instantly go from being Rick to the way-over-the-top bad tv/movie version of Stark Raving Mad. He spent this week's ep taking imaginary phone calls from dead people,[1] while the writers rolled out another example of their skills in this area; a thug from Woodbury, part of Merle's merry band out to murder Michonne, goes from pissing-his-pants scared and practically having to be dragged around to, in a span of mere minutes, gung-ho stone killer, who wants to pursue Michonne into a zombie-infested area, and openly defies Merle. At this last, Merle, in what I'd like to see as a bit of metatextual commentary by actor Michael Rooker,[2] draws his gun and blows the guy's head off.

Some of the characters from the prison meet some of the characters from Woodbury. Nothing very interesting, there, either. In the comic, the Governor had gleefully descended into abject barbarism, the living embodiment of everything bad the Brave New World of the undead could do to someone. The prison, on the other hand, was a community where the characters tried to maintain some semblance of the prior civilization. All of this has been removed from the television version, replaced with empty melodrama and a standard-issue b-movie villain. A conflict is coming, and this week brought it a step closer, but it's without substance, and it's hard to give a damn about it.

"Hounded" is aggressively mediocre, an episode that, like several this year, gives off a vibe that even the awful writers behind TWD have lost interest in it.[3] It's a challenge to write something interesting about such an episode. To consistently do so about repeated eps of this caliber is really tough. It could be argued I chose poorly when I made TWD the subject of my first foray into weekly blogging about a series,[4] but looking back over my output, it hasn't been so bad. Even when I was feeling quite burned out, I still managed to say something. This week, a proper metaphor may elude me, as "Hounded" is neither fish nor fowl, but it is rather foul, and perhaps the fact that I've made it this far through such a generally subpar series but find myself so entirely uninspired by this week's offering says enough.



[1] UPDATE (19 Nov., 2012) - The writers are bringing the same skills and thoughtfulness to Rick's "character arc" this season as last. In season 2, the gutsy, smart, take-charge leader-of-men Rick from S1 was arbitrarily devolved, suddenly written as weak-willed, indecisive, overly emotional, and dumb, just so he could "evolve" (revolve?) back to some semblance of a leader. This season, he was written as instantaneously transforming from Rick to this cartoon version of madness presently playing itself out--so entirely insane that he's already taking imaginary phone-calls and hearing the voices in his head. Rick eventually got to a point of near-madness in the comic, but he went through a lot worse for a lot longer before he started having imaginary conversations. The stress of leadership--which was much worse in the comic--had taken him frighteningly close to the breaking-point several times. Unlike the television version, Rick and Lori had a good marriage. He and his wife loved one another, and losing her, after everything else, was just more than he could bear. The television version stripped away all of that development, in favor of Just Add Water Instant Lunatic. Paradoxically, it stripped away most of his reasons for becoming crazy in the first place--his "marriage" was a poisonous thing he'd basically abandoned--while at the same time making him much crazier than he was in the comic.

[2] And I'd like to see it that way because Rooker really is great at what he does, and far better than the material he's being given, here.

[3] Speaking of disinterest, the characters couldn't be bothered to search for Carol last week. After she disappeared, they simply declared her dead, without a trace of evidence for this, and even dug a grave, which they then filled in with dirt and marked with her name. She turned up alive this ep.

[4] I'd argue it!


Something else:  During last week's baby formula fiasco, we were told the group had failed to find any formula during any of their scavenging throughout the entire 9 months of Lori's pregnancy, and discussed having to drive a long distance to even look for any. Then, they manage to find some almost immediately after they start looking for it. In "Hounded," they find a huge supply of it at the store just down the road from the prison.

Monday, November 12, 2012


This week's installment of TWD is called "Say The Word." The series invokes a few words. Awful. Stupid. Tedious. Embarrassing. In my reviews, I've used most of them, some until I'm as sick to death of them as I am of the series itself. "Melodrama" particularly wears on me now, the thing and the word. If, as it's said, a picture is worth a thousand words, any given minute of TWD--24 frames per second, at its present level of writing--would exhaust the best-stocked thesaurus in any human language.

Some words on "Say The Word":

Continuity. This week's ep begins right where last's left off. Lori is dead, T-Dog is dead, Carol is believed to be dead and there's a new baby now that needs to be fed. In an hilariously unconvincing effort to portray Rick as having fallen into a veritable abyss of grief over the death of his awful wife, Andrew Lincoln is insanely overacting. Wholly unconcerned with the fate of his newborn daughter, Rick grabs an axe and charges into the prison, intent on working out his misery on the dead still shuffling about within.[1]

Intelligence. With the prison overrun by zombies, all the gates and doors opened by the villainous Andrew presumably still standing wide open for every new creature that shuffles along, their leader out of his mind and Carol missing, Daryl, Glenn and Maggie immediately decide their most pressing priority is to make a run into the outside world to try to find baby formula, leaving their now zombie-infested home in the hands of a child, a baby, a gimp, a lunatic and two unarmed former prisoners they don't even trust. Glenn ultimately stays behind only because Daryl can't fit three people on his motorcycle.[2] Why is it so important to immediately go out and find formula for baby? Well, in nine months of pregnancy, neither Lori nor anyone else has bothered to acquire any.

Grief. Rick is so troubled by the loss of his pernicious paramour--the one he, toward, the end, didn't seem to like any more than did the viewers--that he seems to be hearing voices in his head. They tell him "Play the bad, b-movie ham actor's version of Going Completely Insane" and he simply must obey. Daryl, on the other hand, is so totally unconcerned with the disappearance of his lover that he immediately and enthusiastically elects to undertake the baby-food mission. He and Maggie find a supply, return and he has cutesy moments as he feeds the wee tyke and plies it with baby-talk. He shows no sign of being upset by Carol's possible death. He doesn't even show the slightest interest in her fate until the very last scene of the ep and then only to put a flower on her grave.

Holes. Before that, Glenn was sweating away in the hot sun, digging graves for his fallen comrades. The prisoners elect to give him a break and pitch in and between them, they scratch out the three Glenn says they need. Basic math, it would seem, is a problem for the writers, as our heroes actually only have two bodies to bury. Or do they?

Carol. Beside T-Dog's well-eaten corpse, our heroes found some cloth that was hers. It was bloody and, being the morons that pass for "characters" on TWD, they assumed this meant she was dead. There was no body. No one, not even Daryl, bothers searching for her. They just dig a grave for her then fill it back in with dirt. Or did they find her body and bury it, and the writers just didn't bother to tell the audience?

Baffling. That last wasn't the only example of strikingly incompetent storytelling. During his rampage through the prison, Rick comes upon the room in which Lori died. Her corpse, however, isn't there. Did the others already recover and bury the body? Did Carl fail to effectively brain-blast Lori and she now walks with the living dead? Is the fattened zombie Rick finds in the same room and kills supposed to have eaten Lori's corpse? Who knows? Certainly not TWD's viewers.[3]

Rubbish. I think even those who mistake TWD's storytelling for compelling can figure out this one.



[1] Showrunner Glenn Mazzara continues to throw zombies at the problems, instead of doing anything to address them, banking on concealing them behind a faster pace. Rick goes on this random kill-fest and in the same ep, Michonne, over in Woodbury, finds GINO's stable of zombies and for no real reason at all turns them loose so she can slaughter them. Just as she finishes them off, she's discovered by the fellow coming to feed them. He's carrying a bucket of gore. Zombies only eat the living or the just-dead. Is it fresh human gore in that bucket? We aren't told but when Michonne insists to Andrea they have to leave Woodbury, she once again omits the detail, as she has every piece of evidence she's collected regarding Woodbury, and Andrea stays behind.

ADDENDUM (12 Nov., 2012) - Reading Lebeau, who also reviews TWD each week, reminded me that, on this ep, Andrea specifically says, to Michonne, "you need to give me more to go on." As Lebeau puts it, even at that prompting, "Michonne doesn’t mention any of the mounting evidence." I should probably start making notes during the eps!

ADDENDUM (14 Nov., 2012) - The series has been leaning more and more heavily on CGI gore, which looks awful on its best day, and has been looking really awful on TWD. The practical effects have suffered this season as well. Mazzara's pour-on-the-zombies approach is actually making things worse this season, because the effects crews are trying to do far too much with an inadequate budget and inadequate time. It makes the technical work--one of the only things TWD was still doing mostly right--into just as much a mess as everything else. Rick's rampage could be somewhat justified but Michonne's was entirely gratuitous and was obviously included for no other purpose than to add some zombie action to the episode. Cut out one (or both) and there would have been more time and money to do everything else right but because they're thrown in the mask the inadequacy of everything else, the show without them becomes dull and people would start to notice how awful it is.

[2] In the aftermath of Sophia's death back in season 2, Glenn was given the unenviable task of trying to convince the viewers, after the fact, that Sophia's death hit the group particularly hard. This was the writers' substitute for doing anything to make the viewers feel any attachment to Sophia before or during the time she was missing. This week, Glenn got the duty with T-Dog, revealing that, when the zombie apocalypse first broke, T drove his church's bus around helping out old people. He also tells us that T saved his ass a million times. Perhaps if the creators had shown one or two of those million times or if they had at any point treated T-Dog as more than a token redshirt, this wouldn't be necessary and wouldn't look so pathetic.

[3] UPDATE (12 Nov., 2012) - Actually, TWD's viewers noticed something I apparently didn't--a blood-trail leading from the site of Lori's body to that zombie. There isn't even a trace of Lori, so we're apparently to assume the others dug a grave then made absolutely no effort to recover the body (it was after dark by the time Rick entered the room where Lori died) and that porky zombie ate the whole of her, bones, clothes and all. ADDENDUM (13 Nov., 2012) - The episode's director, Greg Nicotero, has apparently confirmed that the zombie is supposed to have eaten Lori.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why My Zombie Massacre?

I massacred a pack of zombies this morning. They were shuffling through the "comments" section of my latest WALKING DEAD review with an endless barrage of empty insults aimed at me.

It happens. I've offered an ongoing, substantive critique of THE WALKING DEAD, and some people simply will not tolerate any criticism of their cherished series. This, unfortunately, isn't just true of TWD, but of practically anything these days, and if TWD seems to attract a much larger contingent of this particular species (and it does), I'll be charitable and chalk it up to the fact that it draws a large audience in general.

The existence of such creatures isn't new, nor are their activities. My reaction to them, in this case, however, is. I've always maintained a strict policy, here, of letting people say what they want. The only comments I've ever deleted are a few stray spam posts--I want this to be an open forum, but folks who only want to peddle hair-gel and dick stiffeners can take it elsewhere. Faced with my latest critique, fans of TWD lumbered into my comments section with these sorts of insightful rejoinders:

"You're a pathetic dumb trolling cunt Stalk the imdb message boards some more you fucking puke."

"Yawn. Stop watching the show if all you want to do is bitch about it. Tl;Dr."

"Seriously, can I take a shit in your mom's basement you cum guzzling cretin?"

"Hey, what do you expect from a fat virgin? This puke must be the saddest little mope on the Internet..."

And so on. Ten or eleven of them (though from far fewer sources, trying to appear to be many), out of only 13 or 14 comments on the article. Last night, I got an email from one of my regular readers expressing concern that these were cluttering up the "comments" section, making it look "trashy," and maybe even running off those who may have something to actually say. I thought about this a bit, but I probably would have left all that rubbish in place anyway if I hadn't called up the blog this morning and seen that one of these creatures had aimed, at one of my more substantive regulars, an effort at a racial slur. An hilariously inept effort, but the brain-dead cretin who authored it didn't know that. The target of this abuse is a good fellow and a friend of this blog, so that comment, along with the others that had nothing to say, are now gone.

I don't like doing this sort of thing. Abused, it can chill conversation, and I've seen it abused far too many times. It's not going to be abused, here, and I don't want it to have that sort of effect, here, either. Far too often, those behind various internet venues put the zap on people merely for disagreeing with them, particularly if the disagreeable poster is somewhat articulate. Some are openly hostile to open discussion. That's never going to be the case here. Those whose comments I deleted earlier today weren't offering any sort of discussion or disagreement, just insults, and, to be clear, I'm not even hostile to insults, in and of themselves, or to people who only want to insult (sometimes, that's an entirely appropriate response). It's just that I want this to be a place where discussion is welcome and invited, and I'm unwilling to sacrifice that in order to allow a few clowns with nothing to say to run amuck.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The Killer Within THE WALKING DEAD Is The Writing

After last week's relatively leisurely installment, the creators of THE WALKING DEAD picked up the pace tonight, with "Killer Inside," another action-packed episode. Two episodes ago, a pair of inmates caused some trouble for Rick and the gang--Rick split the head of one with a machete, then chased the other into a zombie-filled prison yard. Through the door Rick slammed in his face, we heard the fellow's agonized screams as he was torn to pieces by the hungry dead, but this week, he apparently got better. Having reassembled himself and left the prison grounds, he finds a dead deer, and though zombies only eat the living or the flesh of the recently dead, he's able to use the meat to bait a bate of zombies back into the facility with the goal of having them overrun it and kill everyone so that he and some of his previously fellow inmates (who are also inside and would also be targeted by the flesh-eaters) can retake it for themselves.

No, it didn't make a damn bit of sense when watching it, either.[1]

What can you say? It's THE WALKING DEAD. Another ep that follows showrunner Glenn Mazzara's now-familiar prescription for the series' many problems: throw zombies at them, instead of doing anything to address them.

TWD is set in a world in which, theoretically, anyone should be able to die at any time, but it's played out on a mainstream tv show where, to quote myself, audiences "typically demand a stable cast of familiar characters." Utterly lacking the metaphorical equivalent of the viscera it sometimes displays, TWD employs a number of methods of getting around the need to leave the impression that anyone can die without actually killing any of the popular regulars. One is by setting up redshirts, who, though among the regulars, are given no real attention, aren't given much to do or say, and, consequently, have no real fan base to object if they are destroyed. Early in tonight's ep, the two remaining inmates, who, in "Sick," had been exiled to a separate cell-block, appear with a plea that they be allowed to join Rick's group. Rick's utterly unyielding--which is to say utterly un-Rick-like--resistance to this idea provides an opening for T-Dog to disagree, and to argue for letting the ex-cons join up. T-Dog has been TWD's longest-running redshirt, and those familiar with the series will have immediately recognized the telegraphed-by-a-mile death-sentence inherent in the fact that Rick suddenly wasn't Rick for the purpose of ham-handedly contriving a situation in which T-Dog was given something of significance to say tonight. And, indeed, in the conflagration that follows, T-Dog bites the dust.

Another way in which TWD kills regulars is to render them so odious to the viewing audience that they can be destroyed without causing much of an uproar. TWD may not be no comedy club, but most viewers probably applauded back in season 1 when the dead dined on Carol's abusive husband Ed.[2] Later, Shane was turned into a cartoon villain. After having Pscycho-Shane brutishly "solve" all of season 2's manufactured "moral dilemmas" while keeping the other regulars' hands clean, he could then be killed without anyone missing him very much. Lori is easily the most hated character on the series--the writers devoted nearly everything they did with her last season toward making her such, as a means of setting her up to be killed, and tonight, they dropped the hammer on her. Hypocritically, they tried, at the last minute, to give her some little hint of sympathy, having her suddenly pause, in the midst of a bloody, failing effort to give birth, to have a little Lifetime For Women melodrama with her son, before Maggie gutted her. This last is allegedly an effort to "save" the baby, but the procedure is carried out with the finesse of an angry Freddy Krueger--that baby is just fine afterwards is, to put it as kindly as possible, contrived.

Not, however, as contrived as Lori's instantaneous death upon being cut. Perhaps less than a full day after having his leg chopped off with an axe,[3] Hershel has apparently applied some of that patent TWD magic healing powder--he's up and hobbling around on a crutch, little apparent pain, and seems to be just fine--all fired up to "take a stroll."[4] That Lori received no magic powder for her far less serious wound suggests the other characters may have thought as little of her as do the viewers.

Over in Woodbury,Michonne took a closer look at one of the Guard trucks GINO and his men brought back to town after killing those manning it. She finds bullet-holes in it and fresh blood, contradicting GINO's account of what happened to the Guardsmen. Being on TWD, though, she immediately confronts GINO with this (!!!), but doesn't tell Andrea about either what she found or about the absolutely ludicrous explanations GINO offered her when confronted. No, when it comes to talking with Andrea, it's merely her "gut" that is telling her "something is off" about Woodbury and GINO. Every bit of forward momentum on TWD is made dependent upon everyone consistently being a complete idiot, and, the writers, being terminally untalented, constantly rehash everything. We're seeing played out, here, the scenario from last season wherein Andrea was in thrall to Shane, and Dale, while trying to warn against this, declined to share any of the significant evidence he'd amassed regarding Shane's growing madness, leaving his warning at bad feelings of his own. In the current rehash, Andrea is falling further under GINO's spell, continues to resist Michonne's efforts to leave, and Michonne, who has collected some evidence, declines to share it.
All together, another fast-paced but utterly stupid and tedious episode.



[1] When zombies invade the prison (let in by the fellow Rick allowed to be eaten two weeks ago), Rick immediately moves to blame the other inmates, the ones who had spent all day groveling in an effort to let him join their group, and who he'd locked out of the prison (though they'd stood at the front gate in plain sight since he'd done so).

[2] Though not everyone was pleased. Ed reportedly wasn't very happy about it, either.

[3] The ep doesn't say exactly how long it has been, but our heroes haven't even yet cleaned up the dead people they killed in "Sick," Lori, who was said to be already past her due-date, is still pregnant, and back in Woodbury, the blood of the Guardsmen killed by GINO in the previous episode is still fresh when Michonne finds it. If more than a day has passed, our heroes have basically sat around doing nothing after "Sick," and those Guardsman must have been chugging some serious anti-coagulants before they died.

[4] Last season, the magic powder healed Carl's gunshot wound to the abdomen in a little over 2 days, and, in merely a week, had so effectively healed Randall's hideous leg wound--a hole six or more inches wide through the leg, his calf severed--that he could hobble around on it and even break a zombie's arm with it.