The Good Man: or, Travis Learns to Stop Being Good
You know what really sucks? When you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you’re just trying to keep things together for at least your family and immediate loved ones, and you try to do one decent thing and that stupid prick from The Faculty shows up and shoots one of them. That’s the thanks you get.
Well Travis, I hope you have finally learned your lesson. This is the lesson – are you ready? The problem isn’t the zombies, it’s the other human beings. Let’s run down the worst threats to your crew in this episode:
- The human beings in the evac helicopter at the “detention center” who flew away rather than rescuing the patients stuck there or Liza.
- The soldiers in the garage who accosted Chris and threatened to rape Alicia just for fun. Because that’s what you need to do in the middle of running for your life. Don’t get me started. There’s a reason I actually sometimes feel like every woman on the earth should be armed with a gun at all times. If I were Alicia and I had one all of those soldiers would be dead without a second thought.
- Ofelia’s tortured boyfriend (Andrews I think?) who is so dehumanized by having some skin removed from his arm (hey I get it, it’s terrible but you know, you still have all your parts, he didn’t put screws through your fingers or remove your eyeballs or anything – I mean, talk to Reek), that he has to seek out the whole crew for revenge.
I know, Travis, that you want to believe in the good in things, but I hope your serious beatdown of Andrews is you finally getting it that that’s not how things work anymore. Everyone is out for themselves. So watch your back, choose your team, and eff everybody else, seriously.
This episode was pretty much spot on from the start, I thought, with the setup that they need to get out of Dodge now that they’ve been abandoned by the army and they need to get their people before they are exterminated at 9:00 am the next morning. It pretty much jumped right in. Some of the key moments that I thought were really well written were:
Them leaving without warning their neighbors. Because it will be worse for them if they cause a panic. So they just sneak away quietly. Maddie clearly feels guilty because she doesn’t tell her neighbors, but they all get it, apparently, even stupid Travis, and they do what they need to.
Daniel Salazar strolling nonchalantly up to the checkpoint with a cigar (I think, or did I imagine that?), and calmly telling the soldiers they should save their ammunition before the horde of thousands of undead shows up a few seconds later. I like your style, sir.
When Nick and Strand were locked in with zombies and at first it looked like they wouldn’t get out, Maddie desperately trying everything and Nick just smiling gently and saying, “It’s OK, Mom. Go.” (And man, could Liza suck any worse at swiping her key card? #technologies)
Liza standing paralyzed watching everything come undone. I actually hated this at first and yelled at the TV but I recently read that there aren’t just two responses to fear – fight or flight – there is also “freeze”. It’s the ‘deer in the headlights’ effect and it’s an actual survival response your brain sometimes sets in motion. People literally can’t move when it happens. I can buy into Liza having that kind of moment there.
Liza asking Maddie to kill her. As it’s pointed out by Liza, and as I’m sure everyone watching was remembering with no trouble, Maddie asked Liza to do the same thing if she ever became infected, and Liza promised her. Maddie took the gun and was going to do it, which is the right thing. I thought it was really well written and played by the two actors.
Chris and Alicia happily eating popsicles on the deck just before hearing the gunshot that ended Liza’s life. Man that was kind of heartbreaking, even if you don’t care about Chris because so far he’s mostly been a whiny snot (I started to like him more when he tried to defend Alicia from the three hulking soldiers threatening them in the garage), he just lost his mom.
It’s smart that Strand tells Nick not to worry about the walker eating the soldier they come across because “they’re slow”. So now Nick knows, and we know that Strand has some experience with these things. Nick telling his mom he almost feels happy because now everyone else is forced to catch up with the chaos he’s been living in because of his drug use is a good moment too. I even have to give credit to Travis in the end for having the wherewithall to shoot Liza, even though it was clearly so hard for him. I have high hopes for you Travis, don’t let me down.
I think it’s a very interesting twist that the place Strand is taking them is a yacht. It’s a frequent theme in The Walking Dead and at least one other zombie movie (Dawn of the Dead) to take a boat away from this, hoping you can escape the plague. I’m going to go ahead and assume it won’t be the answer, they won’t all end up sailing to Hawaii or some well-stocked tropical island and living out their days basking in the sun and drinking coconut milk. I think it will make for an interesting plot device next season.
Here are some great recaps from other sites that you might want to check out:
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