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Halloween Open Thread

democrat-halloween

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Blue Oyster Cult. Deep in the heart of Germany…

Thursday Open Thread

dracula-movie-poster

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Michael Jackson.

From the Trailer Park — Avengers: Age of Ultron


new fuller look… oh yeah.

Wednesday Open Thread

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922)

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Ozzy Osbourne.

In Class with Floyd --

Today in my Criminology class (a bit outside my bailiwick, but we had a faculty shortage) we will discuss a genre of criminological theories called “Critical Criminology” — read “Marxist/socialist” theories… in other words… the system is a sham to protect the 1% and criminal laws don’t serve the common good, but merely to oppress. So I’ll bookmark the discussion with a bit of Occupy Wall Street… and Selina Kyle:

and then a dose of Truth from Milton Friedman:

Tuesday Open Thread

frankenstein-1931-horror-movie-review-21293350

The Walking Thread: Four Walls and a Roof (S5, E3)

“Four Walls and a Roof” immediately picks up where the last episode left off, with poor Bob having unspeakable things done to him by the “Termites”, aka the survivors of Terminus. Their leader, Gareth, continues to be a smug bastard to his victim, until Bob turns the tables on his captors in a delightfully gruesome way. (It takes a lot to make cannibals retch, but Bob pulls it off, God bless him). This scene plays out in such a satisfying way that it will no doubt become a classic among the show’s many rabid fans.

From there, things move inexorably toward a confrontation between Rick’s group and the Termites, who return Bob to the church and use him as bait. In the meantime, though, we discover Father Gabriel’s dark secret: that he has survived the zombie apocalypse by keeping his church locked to anyone who came there looking for sanctuary. In a sense, this was understandable, as he was simply doing what he had to do to survive, and virtually everyone on this show has been in a situation where they’ve had to let someone else die so that they could live. In this world, it kind of goes with the territory. But for a man of God like Father Gabriel, choosing to save his own life at the expense of others is an unforgiveable sin. Coincidentally, while attending mass yesterday, I listened to a lovely sermon about how one of the fundamental ideals of the Catholic faith is living an others-centered life rather than a self-centered one, and the guilt Father Gabriel feels about betraying this principle (he heard his own parishioners being torn apart by Walkers while he hid behind a locked door) overwhelms him to no end. He feels that he has turned his back on God, and the episode’s title refers to what his church has become, now that it is no longer a house of the Lord.

So Gareth and the rest of the Termites launch an attack on the church, and aided by stealth and the dark of night they seemingly get the upper hand. They offer Father Gabriel a chance to once again save himself and give up everyone else to be slaughtered, but he earns his redemption by refusing to do so. Rick and his group manage to strategically outwit the Termites, and now at Rick’s mercy, Gareth begs for his life. But having spared them before in “No Sanctuary” and been rewarded with more bloodshed, Rick knows better, and in a truly brutal and bloody scene he and his group hack and beat the Termites to death, right there in the church while Father Gabriel watches in shock.

Their enemies dispensed with, Rick and his group say their goodbyes to Bob, a tragic character that nevertheless retained his trademark optimism up to the very end. (There’s a touching but incredibly tense scene where his girlfriend Sasha sits by his body weeping, and we’re unsure if he’s going to turn into a Walker and attack her as other characters have done in previous seasons.) This scene is also significant because on his deathbed, he takes the time to thank Rick for taking him in and saving him back at the prison, pointing out that no one else would have done that. Rick is often criticized by fans for serving as the group’s de facto leader, when they have no real reason to follow him (he used to be a Sheriff, but his badge is just a piece of tin now). However, he’s actually a great leader, the only one who’s willing to step up and take responsibility for everyone’s lives, and his attempts in previous seasons to step back and defer leadership to others have ended in disaster. Quite simply, he leads the group because he’s the only one who can, and everyone else knows it. He does his best to keep his friends and children alive, while still trying to help people wherever he can. What else can one ask for in a leader during the zombie apocalypse?

Overall, this was a great episode that keeps the momentum of Season 5 moving forward, while retaining the high quality of storytelling and thrills, despite there being almost no actual Walkers in this one. No doubt they’ll be back in a big way in the next episode. The only wrong step is a scene in the middle of the episode when Abraham, a soldier who is supposedly trying to get an anti-zombie cure to Washington D.C., suddenly decides he’s done with the group and is going to leave, with him and Rick nearly coming to blows over it. He even convinces a few of Rick’s group to come with him. This is completely unconvincing (particularly given that the group had just reunited after Terminus), and made no sense other than that the screenwriter needed an excuse to split the group up for the rest of the season. It’s the first time so far this season that such a contrivance has occurred, but hopefully it’s a fluke and not a trend for the rest of the season. Only time will tell. The episode ends with fan favorite Daryl returning to the group, claiming to have found missing group member Beth, but with an unsettling look on his face that doesn’t bode well. The next episode promises to fill us in on where Beth has been all this time; knowing this show, I’m guessing it wasn’t Club Med.