Okay, here is one topic can not shut up about!
I am an ART FANATIC! Aside from writing, I trained in music composition for ten years because I wanted to be a Hollywood composer like James Horner. I gave it up when I stopped hearing the music (that point in an art career where you only see tech and theory and can no longer see the art and beauty). I spent days in the Met and MOMA. I adore ballet and studied for years. I died laughing when Daryl Dixon stopped mid-Walker apocalypse to say, “Looks like a dog sat in paint… and wipped it’s AAAASS all over the place.”
When I watched X-Men, the artists stole my heart from me when they played “Time In a Bottle.” If you haven’t seen it. OMG! Watch it! They combined music, with CGI, choreography, and filmography to create one of the most artistically beautiful scenes ever seen in film. That’s what I’m calling it Film Art.
When I saw this scene in X-Men, I replayed it ten times… over and over… it didn’t matter that I had never seen the movie. The art was that breathtaking. It plays in my head over several times a day and fills me with shivers.
Only one other scene compares to this moment in X-Men. The last five minutes of TWD last Sunday.
*** SPOILER ALERT***
I’m not holding back.
Have you ever read Victor Hugo? That man has mastered the “Soap opera” jump. When you have ten stories all happening at once and you jump around to each story in turn to keep the reader informed. The problem with Hugo is, he jumped so little that you forgot the other stories and stopped caring by the time you returned to each story line. You had to re-invest all over again. I’m not even going to talk about Tolkien.
Walking Dead has how many story arcs happening? I have all the patience in the world for story jumps. Hugo and Tolkien taught me well. They taught me how to endure it… and as a writer, they taught me never to do it. Walking Dead arc jumps. I’m good with it… so long as they show me Daryl. But… last week (Season 6, episode 8) they nailed the arc jump. Every story was balanced. Every character, perfect. They timed their jumps perfectly, keeping me informed, invested, and interested, without making me impatience or frustrating me. I can not begin to explain how satisfied I was with this.
Second. Let’s talk Glenn. I remember, back in the day, how Glenn was “Walker Bate.” Then Glenn became cool. We all knew Daryl was better. Steven knew Daryl was better. Steven boasted to the cameras with Norman, “He’s the only one I know who, the dirtier he gets, the more women want him.” And I have a theory for this.
THERE IS NO SHAMPOO, SOAP, AND CONDITIONER DURING A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE PEOPLE! Daryl—and bearded Rick—are the only persons to properly live… and embrace… the zombie apocalypse! Excuse me. Walker apocalypse.
So of the Atlanta Five, we all know Daryl and Rick are “the man.” But Glenn. Oh my god Glenn! As of Season 6 Episode 7 HE IS THE MAN! He just surpassed Rick on awesomeness and is now on par with Daryl! *beats chest and grunts* SALUTE GLENN!
But Episode 8 didn’t stop there. Oh no! And this… wow… this is where I just…
Let’s talk Carol.
Carol falls. I scream at the TV, “CAROL! NO!!” She gets up and runs with Morgan. She immediately turns on him and makes it clear where she stands.
“I trust some people more than others. I trust you least of all.”
I hear the word “concussion” then watch Carol doze off.
Here I am screaming again. “CAROL! Wake up, Carol!”
Morgan stays on guard and WHAM! Carol is up, she used her “concussion” to fool Morgan, and she battles Morgan.
So they get into the “cell” with the W-Man. And it’s down to the stand off.
“I will kill you,” Carol says. She’s strong. She’s confident. She’s steady.
“No,” Morgan says. “I won’t let you.”
*BEATS CHEST AND GRUNTS* RESPECT!
What develops then is a show down between two of the strongest wills of all time. I haven’t been this moved since Ben Hur stood against Messala. Morgan talks and he GETS to Carol. No one gets to Carol! NO ONE. GETS. TO CAROL. And Morgan did.
Carol shakes. “I will kill you, to kill him.”
“You don’t have to kill. All life is precious.”
And there it is. There is the driving force behind Carol. Her motive, her goal, her defining voice.
“I will kill to stop anyone else from dying.”
And all I could think of was Sophia.
I didn’t breathe as I watched Carol cry. (Did she cry? I have to re-watch it again).
They attack. They fight. Morgan slams Carol to the ground and knocks her out (I was speechless when he knocks her out). W-Man jumps in and puts Morgan down. He takes Denise hostage and Eugene, Tara, and Rosita arrive. Now here… Here is where the art begins.
The bass begins. The piano comes in on the fourth measure.
“You won’t survive,” Tara warns the W-Man.
“We’ll see,” he says smiling (Now there is a man who also embraces the fact that there is no soap or shampoo).
And out the door he goes.
Up to the second floor. Deanna puts a gun to her throat.
“From start to finish. My life is my life and I choose when and how I go.”
Those words run through my head as she stops and listens to the walkers. She stands and opens the door. Raises the gun and fights. This is how she chooses. From start to finish. I expect her to unleash five rounds, then put the gun to her temple. No, she empties the gun. She chooses to go down all the way. She stands and screams. But all you hear is the piano carry you on a sweeping melody.
A room over, Rick carries Judith to Carl who fits the bloody sheet over her head then under his sheet as they prepare to walk among the dead.
The music crescendos as they step into the crowd and move like water through the walkers to the porch. And here… Oh my god… here…
They stand on the porch. They camera slows as you see Carl look to his father. His father looks back. Then Jessie takes her son’s hand. The music has climaxed as the group joins hands. They smell like the dead. They look like the dead. But their joined hands is what keeps them apart. They’re in this together and that is what keeps them separated and united among the dead. They are the living among the dead. And together they step into crowd.
So beautiful. So… I watched the scene four times. I’ll be watching it again today. And again. And again. I searched for the music. It haunts me. It rips right through me and I ache. The last time I felt this moved over this show was back when Sophia emerged from the barn… Back when Daryl reunited with Carol and he kissed the top of her head (lucky bitch). Back when Daryl cried.
The Walking Dead works because the show touches on our most basic core. Like Carol announcing “I will kill to stop anyone else from dying.” We connect, on a very human level with The Walking Dead. That is why it is in it’s sixth season running and going strong. That is why we watch over and over. Because as the show goes on, yes we watch the same thing. Walkers come. Rick and Daryl kick their asses. People die. New faces come in. They find shelter. Assholes take it away. But one thing changes. And this is why we watch. This is why we have tuned in for six years. Their humanity grows. The more the world goes to shit, the more their humanity comes out. Humanity—brotherhood. And this is what its about.
- I think they will take back Alexandria.
- I think they will be using the “Kill Circle”
- I think (as do we all) Rick will attempt to save Denise
- I think Jessie’s youngest and/or Denise will die because “People like you should be dead.” – Glenn
- I don’t think Rick, Carl, Glenn, Carol, Michonne, or Daryl will die.