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The Walking Dead: The Distance

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Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and  Michael Cudlitz as Abraham

I usually like to read the book first. Or comics, in this case. That obnoxious friend who read all of A Song of Ice and Fire before HBO picked it up and filmed her friends’ reactions to major plot twists? That’s me. The person in line for Mockingjay who asks if you’d read The Hunger Games and then gives you a sympathetic look when you hadn’t? Also me. The girl in your Lit class who loudly says “Well in the books you really see more of Sookie Stackhouse’s personality depth…” Guilty as charged. I’m the first to admit that this makes me, at best, irritating and, at worst, a complete jerk. I can own that as a character flaw. But if it’s any consolation to you, I’m getting a certain comeuppance when it comes to The Walking Dead.

I’m crazy about the comics, don’t get me wrong. I fell madly in love with the brutally graphic, chunky, sketchy art style and I’ll never turn down a good zombie story. When the show came out I was on it like a walker on a minor character.

too soon

Too soon?

Normally, when I start a series, I’m suspicious. I get nervous that they’ll divert too much from my beloved source material. And when The Walking Dead started to make their minor split-offs I was suspicious. But in a twist of fate the show completely won me over to the point where I have no problem with the differences.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon

And honestly, who couldn’t love that mug?

So whenever a new episode comes up, I tend to get a little antsy. I have some vague gist of what may happen… and no way of knowing if what I think I know will have any bearing on the show whatsoever. And when the creator warns comic readers to expect “Curve balls” – well, who wouldn’t be a little on edge?

“The Distance” did not disappoint. I like a show that starts off with a punch. Literally. [Reader beware: Here Thar Be Spoilers.]

In all fairness, Aaron looked sketchy as all get out (It’s the end of the world, why are you clean? And he’s kind of awkward – who’s awkward in the zombie apocalypse?) and was clearly peeping on them, and I can’t say I blame Rick for getting jumpy. How many times has somebody assured the gang that they’d have a “safe place” only for it to be… well, literally everything except that? A lot, that’s how many. If I were Rick, I’d probably have socked him and tied him up, too. No matter how many pictures and promises of high walls he’s got. And honestly, could he have found a sketchier way to phrase the invitation than “auditioning” for it?

Then again, Michonne doesn’t get bad vibes from him, and whenever Rick and Michonne disagree, I’m on Team Katana. But Carl searches Aaron’s stuff and finds a flare gun, and that’s not really a good sign. When pressed, Aaron admits to having been watching them, leaving gifts of water for them like the world’s most unsettling Secret Santa.

So they go to check out the surrounding area, in case Aaron is another bad guy with backup. Glenn and Michonne have some differing opinions about shooting people they might run into. Glen is all for shooting them no matter what, including anyone “just like them”. Self loathing, much? Back at base, Judith gets emotional. Though I am going to say that Rick might be a bit too jumpy regarding the apple sauce – I for one would have worried more if Aaron had offered Kool Aid.

When everyone gets back, Michonne convinces everyone to go out on a limb and give following Aaron a shot. Then again he did provide the wheels, so that’s nice. But they split up again to take the two cars. Whenever they split up, I get nervous and of course I was right!


They run into an undead traffic jam (makes Atlanta traffic really not so bad in comparison…) and – you guessed it! – lose one another. Team Car gets out and goes looking for Team RV, finding them in the form of a flare which Aaron assures them is his buddy. (Cue “I read the comics” excitement – oh no I’m doing the thing again, aren’t I?)

As is the way of things, when they go to find them, they find walkers first. But then they find Daryl and the rest of the gang, who are much more interesting! Aaron’s boyfriend, Eric, is with them, as are a lot of my giddy feelings about representation in media.

Cut though some dialogue to the next morning. They’re on their way to Alexandria. Nice “familiar landmarks in the end times” of Washington view through the windshield. Rick, being the savvy and “fool-me-once” sort of fellow he is stashes a gun outside of town. Ya’ know, just in case. They pull up to the wall… we hear sounds of human life… the gates open… and I start counting down until the next episode.

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Posted by on Monday, February 23rd, 2015. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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