Move over Chopin. This is a whole new awakening!

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Ok folks – let’s be honest, do we even have words for last Sunday’s TWD6b premiere? Because, truthfully, it has taken me this long to have the wherewithal to process through it and even write anything! THERE IS JUST SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!

In the end, what really stands out (aside from the merciful death of a kid way too terrified to ever survive the zombie apocalypse to begin with) is the awakening that sweeps images-2through the characters over the course of the episode.

Sam, RIP, realizes that he just can’t escape the monsters.  When Gabriel leaves the group with Judith and Sam stays behind there is a small trace of hope that a new strength will emerge in him. But the truth is that Sam isn’t meant to go on.  He will never survive the monsters. In the end, he is swallowed by them…quite literally.

Whether it is when she is being held captive or has finally arrived at the clinic, Denise awakens to her bravery. In the first days of Rick’s group arriving in Alexandria, and into the invasion of the herd, Denise is fearful and unsure. In these moments of desperation and need she chooses what she is going to do with her fear and allows her bravery to breakthrough.

Morgan’s awakening is one we all saw coming. Sadly. He wants to live peacefully without killing, but his wolf captive forces him to revisit his Zen conversion. When Eastman finds Morgan, the man has been broken down seemingly beyond repair. But Eastman sees life in the bereaved man and pulls him back from the brink of utter destruction. Now that Morgan has found life in desolation, he is desperate to cling to it. So when he has the opportunity to save someone that others may see as beyond saving, he grasps it. The wolf could be a way for Morgan to prove that there is good in everyone and that everyone is worth saving. Unfortunately, it seems that all the captive does is reawaken the lost man Morgan and Eastman had tried to bury.

Gabriel and the original citizens of Alexandria realize that they cannot hide in the dark of uselessly beautiful homes – poor facades blocking the nastiness of the world – or they can step out into the light and fight. They realize that they can die weak and afraid, or they can brandish their weapons and strike out against the danger closing in on them. As the wave of walkers threatens to drown them all, the citizens decide they will not go quietly. Screaming and clawing their way through the melee – hatchets, machetes, Michonne’s katana, axes, and shovels push back the invading masses.

And Rick. Grown so cynical and hopeless. A shadow of the man who put on his sheriff’s uniform and rode a horse to Atlanta with the hope of finding his family. He has lost all images-1faith in anyone he could meet outside his group.  He definitely has none in the people of Alexandria.

In the finale to the first half of the season, Deanna chips away at some of Rick’s hardened shell. Her fortitude and desire to fight but to also believe that the world CAN be rebuilt, seem to give Rick a suggestion of something bright. As the people of Alexandria pour into the streets beside him, hacking down walkers left and right, he is strengthened. His arms fly with renewed vigor. Bolstered by new hope, Rick fights with his comrades until the final burning walker falls.

Beaten, bruised, bloodied, but far from defeated, Rick sits at Carl’s bedside – a familiar picture to fans. The Rick of Alexandria seems to mirror the man who sat in Hershel’s spare bedroom waiting for Carl to awaken from his first gunshot wound. He talks to Carl about his hope of a new world. How he sees what Deanna envisioned and what she desired for humanity. As he speaks, he is not unlike an earlier Rick, pleading for his son to awaken and promising that the world does not lie in complete ruin. While Morgan’s awakening is a tragic realization of the presence of darkness, Rick awakens and begins to step back into the light.

Did you notice any other “awakenings”? I would really like to know what you thought! The rest of this season is going to be incredible. Please connect with me here and let me know all your TWD thoughts!

 

(images: Carl and Rick: enstarz.com    cast fighting stance: huffingtonpost.com                 Sam: amc.com)

The Walking Dead 2 Week Count Down: Let’s Talk Weapons

In honor of our two week count down to the best written drama and my all-time favorite show on television, The Walking Dead, I thought I would open up some discussion on symbolism in this artfully crafted series. One thing that stands out is the choices of weapons for each character. When a warrior chooses a weapon it is almost certainly an extension of himself (or herself). Whether it is Batman and his batarang, Captain America and his shield or Thor and his hammer (although that one may have been more of a family thing) the weapons chosen are an extension of the warrior and his purpose. Should the occasion ever arise in which I myself should need to choose a weapon, I would most definitely choose twin broad swords…although when this should actually be needed, I remain uncertain.

The extension of warrior by weapon is no less obvious in The Walking Dead. There are so many options to cover even down to Merle Dixon’s bladed prosthetic – so appropriate for his weapon to be melded to his body. And his brother Daryl could have chosen nothing other than the “bad-ass” cross bow to go with his Harley and ripped leather coat.

Michonne and her Katana

Michonne for example – and her Katana. A sword is an intimate weapon.  Perhaps not quite as much so as a dagger or knife, but far more intimate than a gun or crossbow. The sword is a weapon that moves as the body moves and has no other propulsion than that of human momentum. The sword forces the warrior closer to the target – often within the enemies striking range. The sword cannot be used at a distance. The warrior must be close enough to hear the enemy breathe, feel the heat radiating from the other body, and in this case, smell the gore of the walking dead. What an incredibly perfect weapon choice for Michonne who has always seemed more intimately entwined with the zombie apocalypse than most other characters. She is the character who lives among the walkers  by disguising herself with her zombie pets. When the group scatters from the prison, it is from deep inside the throngs of a horde that Michonne has her rebirth. It is from within this horde she awakens and comes forth out of the dead with new found hope. But we can even see that in Alexandria, her Katana cannot stay mounted on a wall for long – warrior and weapon are connected.

Then there is Rick Grimes. Rick and his trusty revolver. At first Rick tries to keep up appearances of order and humanity by continuing to wear his sheriff uniform. As his new reality begins to take shape, he first lets go of his hat. A gift and symbol of manhood and

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A reminder that the past is gone. The world has a new reality and that humanity has a whole new face.

hope for his son. Then the shirt and pants are replaced. The one thing that remains a constant is his revolver.  Even in the moments when others in the group are taking up arms with automatic weapons and rifles, Rick keeps his holster belted firmly around his waist, a reminder of who he is and that humanity will survive.

When the group arrives at the prison, Rick buries the revolver and with it, Sheriff Rick Grimes. We see Rick struggle internally with the loss of himself.  He debates with Hershel the idea that they can never come back from the reality of their current situation or the things they have done to survive. Rick is eventually convinced that “the world needs Rick Grimes” the sheriff and he retrieves the weapon. Hershel’s hope is that Rick would find that hope that humanity will prevail. Instead, I think that the revolver becomes a new symbol for Rick. A reminder that the past is gone. The world has a new reality and that humanity has a whole new face.

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And Carol and her tench knife. Talk about intimate weapons! Carol will never awaken from the apocalypse because she is born in the apocalypse. She has found her strength and her identity in this new reality. She cannot leave it outside the walls of Alexandria – it is part of her. The intimate choice of weapon brings her in direct contact with her foe. The strength she has drawn from the new world around her propels her forward in a way in which Carol herself seems to be the weapon and the trench knife an unnecessary redundancy.

But there are more! What character’s weapon choice stands out to you? When the zombie apocalypse befalls us, what will be your choice of weapon?

(The Walking Dead images – amc.com)