I Demand A Recount!

How The Governor is Bringing The Walking Dead Back to Life

“Live Bait” is by far one of the best episodes in The Walking Dead’s history. Many fans complain because the episode does not contain a Rick/Daryl prison plot. But this episode returns to what made The Walking Dead so good when it began: it focused on drama and character development.

The Walking Dead has had tumultuous existence going through three show runners in four seasons. Sadly none of the following seasons have lived up the status quo set up from Season 1. Season 2 had pace issues. For as slow as the first half of the season was, the second half was just as fast and there was never a middle ground. Season 3 flipped flopped between stories and alienated many members of the cast from each other. As the viewer watches with omnipresence, not all the character knew what was going on. Season 4 attempts to go back to the character development of Season 1, but the writing has been subpar. Season 1 was the best because it focused on the drive and emotions on the people in it. It focused less on the zombies and more n how the zombie apocalypse changed them and those around them.

Season 4 finally found the right path with “Live Bait.” The episode centers on The Governor after his disappearance in Season 3. The plot follows him as he reacts to his own deeds. You’d think The Governor would be laughing and boasting. Instead, he’s a shell; he’s not the man he once was. We see him interact with someone new showing that he could care about people showing a more timid and meek governor that even before he became a villain deranged by grief. The juiciest part? The excitement of finding out if he will succumb to his evil side or if he can truly change?

In fact, it’s very the same kind of tale found in the pilot episode. Lone, bearded man meets a stranger and becomes emotional close to them. He moves on without them, killing poor suffering zombies on his way. Like Rick, this substitute family gives The Governor (now known as Brian) hope.  But unlike Rick, the family sees hope is in this broken man and follows him. The viewers feel that hope as well and ponder if the man can change. The episodes end the same as the pilot with the man facing certain death. Viewers eagerly await what happens next. What worked for Rick clearly works again for The Governor.

More attention to character development and less focus on zombie carnage (don’t worry there is some good, gross stuff) makes “Live Bait” one of the strongest episode by far. The Governor’s arc is setting this Season up as something that creator Frank Darabont would appreciate.


Wire in the Blood: Carrie Rebooted

Shy teenage girl. They are the butt of every joke. Until Stephen King wrote a book that made you look twice at the girl everyone mocks. In the ‘70s, it started its movie legacy. It continues this year, give that girl some fight back

Chloe-Grace-Moretz-and-Julianne-Moore-in-Carrie-2013-Movie-Image-3Carrie is the coming of age story of a late bloomer with a psychotic mother. What gives this story an edge is the fact that as she becomes of age, she learns that she has supernatural power. Carrie has the power of telekinesis; she can move things and people with her mind. When a locker room prank goes wrong, Carrie is befriended by a teacher at a student who actually feels bad for tormenting Carrie. But no matter how many good people come in Carries life, they are no match for her zealot mother and the school’s mean girl.

Carrie is insanely creepy but, for once, viewers cheer for the murderer. The cast really pulls this together. Chloë Grace Moretz captures the painfully shy world of a blooming teenager but easily morphs as Carrie learns that she can use her powers. The innocent girl goes to powerful vengeance and then to sorrow and despair. The scariest aspect of the movie is probably Julianne Moore. Her version of Margaret is terrifying. She is clearly unhinged and Moore shows this in voice, body movement, even her gaze. Whenever she is on the screen, you shudder with Carrie.

When compared to the original, there are three big differences. One, the movie is not overtly sexual with full frontal nudity of teenagers. The new version takes the allegory on a less graphic and pornographic route. The second is that the second movie is more ethnically diverse. This is one of the biggest places that the original shows its age; everyone is Chloe-Moretz-in-Carrie-2013-Movie-Image1white. The third difference is one of the biggest things that make this movie pop. Carrie’s powers are not limited to passive looks but instead they are forceful and clearly intended.

Moretz’s Carrie reaches out with her hand guiding her telepathic force to capture her opponents by the neck, scaring the mess out of her mother and moving her teacher to safety (another needed difference). As she curls her fingers and pipes burst, she is truly terrifying. Director Kimberly Pierce does no weird editing tricks (red screen, kaleidoscope images) and really focuses on the actress and the pain she clearly wants to inflict on her victims.

The movie clearly stands on its own. The filming is unnerving and the characters are truly scary.  The story is still thought provoking to this day exploring the ideas of bullying. Viewers can see a lot of me in Carrie and this is what makes it such a timeless piece.