Mini caps of The Walking Dead and Sarah Palin’s Alaska
Sarah Palin’s Alaska: Ice Queen
Last night on Sarah Palin’s Alaska… The Palins celebrated the 4th of July by doing some commercial fishing. Did you know that – among all of his other first dude duties – Todd Palin is an amazing salmon fisherman?? I know, me neither. And good news, girls and boy-lovers, oldest son Track is featured in this episode. Now that he’s back from Iraq, he’s ready to take over Todd’s fishing grounds. Two problems with this plan: Todd doesn’t seem to want to give up fishing and become President Palin’s personal assistant; and the fish ain’t bitin’ whatever Track’s using for bait.
In this episode we also get to meet Todd’s extended Eskimo family. You know your reality show needs some help when you have to trot out your weird, country cousins who you haven’t spoken to in years. Be more interesting, Palins! In an actually somewhat emotional moment, the Palins meet one of their little cousins who has Down Syndrome and Sarah gets teary as she talks about her hopes for her youngest child, Trig.
Later, she destroys the minute amount of goodwill she built up by trying to prove that she’s not a “diva.” The Palins also throw poor middle child Willow a less-than super sweet 16. They bake her a cake, make her gut some fish, and then sell her to one of Todd’s fishing buddies who takes her out to the salmon run and tells her how much she looks like her mother when he first met her. Learn more about this creeper in the recap… plus, why Sarah Palin is Alaska’s Cliff Clavin. And find out what made nine-year-old Piper LOL when she walked down to the basement where Track and one of his crewmen were spending the night.
The Walking Dead: St. Claire of Assisi
Well, we’re down to our penultimate episode of the first season of The Walking Dead. Episode five of six is an odd one, though…after last week’s zombie bloodbath, the characters pause and mainly focus on what they should do next. Here we go…
The story opens on Rick trying to radio Morgan and Duane, like he promised he would. He’s sending out his first sunrise message broadcast to them, but they don’t respond, so all he can do is warn them not to go to Atlanta. It’s an extended sequence of him talking to himself, and he seems to be doing it for his benefit more than Morgan and Duane’s. Lots of personal warnings, like “Make sure you protect your boy!” Meanwhile, the others are dealing with their sudden surplus of dead bodies. Daryl is leading the efforts to dispose of the infested zombie corpses–they’re going to burn them all in a huge pile. He would prefer to just shoot all the corpses in the head and then burn them to be safe, zombie or otherwise, but Glen and the others think that cremation should be used for zombies only, and humans should be buried. Andrea, meanwhile, has been kneeling over her Amy’s soon-to-be zombie corpse all night, unwilling to let her go. Rick tries to talk her down from the crazy, and she pulls her gun on him.
And then we get what’s going to be the major plot of this episode: Jacqui notices that Jim was bitten during last night’s fracas. Everyone debates what to do with him…Daryl thinks they should just shoot him, while Rick, being Rick, thinks the best option is to venture back to zombie-infested Atlanta to see if the CDC has developed a cure yet–or, alternately, to drive 100 miles away to Fort Benning to see if a cure is available THERE. As if to underscore the urgency of matters, Amy returns to life, zombiefied, and Andrea has to shoot her. Oh, and Carol has to hack apart Ed’s head with a pickaxe, to prevent this from happening to him. And they show it. Gross.
The debate continues. Shane points out how the plan to go to the CDC basically boils down to enduring zombie hell for something that probably doesn’t even exist. And worse, that Rick suggests it is a sign of bad leadership. (Shane’s alternative is literally, “We can just stay here and hang up more cans.”) Rick runs the idea by Lori, and rather than play the supportive/submissive wife, she calls it like she sees it: going to the CDC might be suicide, and Rick also might have fucked up by going after the guns, thereby reducing the camp’s manpower and leaving them more vulnerable to the zombie attacks. Everyone is starting to go nuts under all this strain by now. Rick and Shane later go on a perimeter sweep and Shane actually contemplates shooting Rick in the back–but Dale catches him lining up his shotgun sights, and Shane snaps out of it. Probably over-compensating, Shane changes his mind and supports the CDC plan.
The next morning Rick is on the radio again, telling Morgan and Duane to head to the CDC if they can. Rick has given all of the survivors the night to decide whether individually to stay or go, and as they all make their preparations, Morales announces he and his family will go to Birmingham instead, where they have relatives. It’s a bit discouraging, but it looks like the rest of the group will follow Rick. Overnight Jim’s condition has worsened, so it’s time to go. The survivors pile into all their vehicles and head out, Dale’s Winnebago at the head of the convoy.
And sure enough, the Winnebago craps out–remember how Dale planned to strip down the moving van for parts once Rick and co. returned with it? Yeah, that whole thing has consequences. While Shane and T-Dog scrounge up supplies at a nearby gas station, Jim decides it’s best if the others leave him behind. After much deliberation, they agree: Jim’s lucid enough to make the choice himself. As much as it hurts, they let him.
They get back on the road. (You don’t see Shane and T-Dog’s gas station excursion). The plan’s still to head for the CDC…presumably because it’s the closest, likeliest safe spot? I’m not sure. The show actually cuts over to the CDC to this point, and we meet a beleaguered scientist named Jenner. He’s been left to find a cure by himself and is slowly going crazy. Worse, the strain and isolation causes him to spill a toxic, corrosive substance in the lab, kicking in safety counter-measures that also destroy all of his research. About all that’s left for Jenner to do now is commit suicide, and then Rick and the survivors show up. Watching them through a security camera, he observes them try to pound their way past the heavy steel doors. Jenner doesn’t want to let them inside. It looks like a dead end for the survivors, but finally Rick makes a desperate appeal directly to the camera: leaving them outside would be killing them. And on that, the doors to the CDC open.
Next’s your season finale, probably with more zombie combat than this week. But before that, check back Wednesday for my recap.