10.20: The Walking Dead - Splinter

ctg

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Eugene, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Princess are captured and separated. Princess struggles with memories of her traumatic past and tries to escape one way or another with the help of Ezekiel.

This fourth special episode filmed during the Covid19 Pandemic to finish off the season 10
 

ctg

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I have to admit I still haven't read the Princess material or the end of the story, even though I own all of the comics. But I also have to admit that Princess is one of my favourite characters, just from her first appearance. She's totally bonker and yet, she perfectly fits in the Kirkman's world.

Speaking of which, Princess is unlike many other characters that Kirkman created. In fact, she and Eugene presents the other end of the spectrum, even if AMC has managed to turn Eugene to Dr Evil type of character. In the comics, Eugene and Aaron are my favourites. In the series I started hating him, but I haven't felt anything like that towards Princess. In fact, quite the opposite.

It is almost as if I'm in love with her. She's sassy, smart, and totally bonkers, with some restrains on what she's actually doing. So let's see if my opinion is going to change about her during this episode that is mostly going to reveal her past activities, if I'm reading the extended season right.

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Bayonet? Seriously? We haven't used one of them since the Falkland war and even in the Kirkman's world it is still kind of strange thing to see. I'm also glad that we get to see the stormies kit and tactics pretty closely, which reminds me about the existential threat that Alexandria is facing in terms of these new adversaries.

Thing is, they speak in terms of "seperate them" as if they're in the process of doing the action according to the book. Everything that they do has been trained and rehearsed. Yet, the actors are young. In fact, they are so young that they must have been teens and kids, when the whole zombie apocalypse became real.

Think about it. Ten years has passed and the operators look no older then twenty something. But you look at the helicopter people and those ones are much older. In the fear they pretty much match the actors ages and were certainly there when it all started.

It's just they could be same people, just two different groups working for the same goal.

The fact that the train yard and the cars were all clear of the dead speaks volumes about the organisational abilities. And I believe that Eugene was set in a trap. They most probably were spotted way before they reached the terminal, where everything was waiting for their their separation and interrogation. Which again speaks volumes about the intelligence gathering.

It is something that Ricknation has tried to do, but never really did in the level that the stormies are conducting. I know that it is a big issue because it takes away from your freedom and it install a seed of doubt towards the captors.

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That's right girl, I doubt you could sit on your hands and do nothing. It's not in your blood. But I do get why Yumiko asked her to stay put, because I think she recognised what the stormies are capable of, and she got scared of them capping all of them, if Princess does something stupid.

It didn't surprise me that Princess were rebellious in her teen years. Yet, she loves company and the people. Almost like my Viv. So it makes me sad that people were bad at her and she ended being so lonely. It is as if her hell is the social distance that the apocalypse created around her.

Just think about it, being bubbly and loving the company, but having no people. Nobody but the Dead as your company. No wonder why they got dressed up and set up as displays.

She's so artistic and like many of us, she cannot stop it from coming out as it's part of her makeup.

And just like my girl would have done, she found a way out from the train car to try to free Eugene, which made me laugh so much. The reason is Dr Evil is the last person you want to free, because there's always a chance he will ef it up somehow.

Ezekiel however was right when he uttered, "We don't know these people, and we cannot trust what we don't know." The stormies never gave them any reason to trust them. No reason to tell their homebase location or to reveal any information. That is all cooked up in Dr Evil's head. And that is what is messing the whole thing with Princess.

She does not want to lose anyone. Not a single soul.

Thing is, and I have said it before, prisoners first and only job is to escape. We were made to be free. not be living in cages. But what I didn't get that the loneliness had done a number in the brainbox. So seeing her beating the life out of the grunt was shocking.

What a twist.

Then the end blew me away. Was it all deliberate?
 

nixie

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I like Princess, she has been on her own for a long time finally meets people who could be her friends to then be captured and separated.

I really believed Ezekiel was with her and had taken out the grunt, that was some twist.

I really hope we get a conclusion to this story before the season ends. Not sure I can wait till next season.
Most be a first, no one died not even a walker.
 

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And just like my girl would have done, she found a way out from the train car to try to free Eugene...
Ezekiel however was right when he uttered, "We don't know these people, and we cannot trust what we don't know."
Except that wasn't Ezekiel, it was in her mind, and so, was there really a hole in the train carriage covered by a piece of loose plywood? Was that not also just in her mind? I don;t think that she ever got out of the carriage at all, and never walked to that fence to come back again. They were all standing outside on the tracks all of the time she was beating up the "operator". She may even have gone so far into her own world inside her head that she isn't ever coming back again!
Think about it. Ten years has passed and the operators look no older then twenty something.
There are children in Alexandria. If there was another larger settlement somewhere, with more people, and more resources, then maybe they could have withstood the attacks that the people we have followed had to endure. They could have successfully grown food, and fixed up power supplies and infrastructure. They would then be able to support people so that everyone didn't need to work in agricultural related jobs. They could have trained and fitted out an army. The young could be trained to join that army. The young "operator" mentioned that he was a bit green, so one of his first real missions.

I'm currently reading Stephen King's The Stand and finding it much more realistic that TWD. (Yes, I know it's probably not the best book to read during a real global pandemic!!!) Anyhow, it has no zombies for a start, but it is very similar in that the infrastructure has not been damaged (as it would have been in a war or nuclear strike). So, all that a community requires to restart civilisation would be someone with the knowledge to turn the power back on, maybe someone like Eugene with enough knowledge to fix a burnt out part. There is also an ex-Sociology professor who says that the way that the society in such a community turns out is just a product of it's size and success. Small and unable to feed it's members, then that results in a few people taking control by force, but larger and able to feed, water, clothe and protect everyone, then you can also have democracy. I would agree with that, but it isn't something seen in TWD. There is no rhyme or reason to anything in TWD.
 

Glaysher

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I really believed Ezekiel was with her and had taken out the grunt, that was some twist.

In our household it led to an disagreement between my wife and me. It seemed to me that Ezekiel had disappeared to nowhere before attacking and so thought he was imaginary. She insisted that he had just moved to the other side of the door. My conclusion was right but she could have been right about how he moved.
 

ctg

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I really believed Ezekiel was with her and had taken out the grunt, that was some twist.

In our household it led to an disagreement between my wife and me. It seemed to me that Ezekiel had disappeared to nowhere before attacking and so thought he was imaginary. She insisted that he had just moved to the other side of the door.

Except that wasn't Ezekiel, it was in her mind, and so, was there really a hole in the train carriage covered by a piece of loose plywood? Was that not also just in her mind? I don;t think that she ever got out of the carriage at all, and never walked to that fence to come back again. They were all standing outside on the tracks all of the time she was beating up the "operator". She may even have gone so far into her own world inside her head that she isn't ever coming back again!

Well, the thing is that it was all so convincing. Eugene talked like Eugene and Ezekiel acted as a king and an adventurer. If it not had been revealed, it could have all gone down as canon, not as Princess going mental.

It's just what Dave is saying that the troopers were standing outside with the other prisoners that is not so convincing. Why? Well, unless you are really hated, I doubt any fellow soldier would have stayed there and tried not to interrupt what was happening. All we know and we have seen it time and again that when someone loses their marbles in the Kirkman's world, and they end going psycho, they're not easy to stop.

Princess snapped out. That's what happened. She broke the spell and realised that she was going nuts. So some of the episode was real, and some totally acted in her head.

There are children in Alexandria. If there was another larger settlement somewhere, with more people, and more resources, then maybe they could have withstood the attacks that the people we have followed had to endure. They could have successfully grown food, and fixed up power supplies and infrastructure. They would then be able to support people so that everyone didn't need to work in agricultural related jobs. They could have trained and fitted out an army. The young could be trained to join that army. The young "operator" mentioned that he was a bit green, so one of his first real missions.

The new cast that has joined in the latter part of the TWD has been generally very young and not from the old world. It makes sense, because they would have more energy to fight the Dead. In over all terms setting up the whole show in the train yard, you need a bit more matured mind with experience behind it. Or then the officer has to be super strategic to be able to organise his band like professionals.

Thing is, the YA's tend to be rebellious and I remember still been like that even after I got out from the service. In fact, I went to a ship trip straight after I got out from the gate and I was mooning (showing my bottom) on the upper deck of the passenger ship, when we passed the island where I served my time. I was intoxicated and didn't think how stupid it was to climb over the railings to do such thing.

Then again, just like all the other boys I did also do naughty things during the service, and never was the goodie good soldier.

What the young operator pulled at the end, by taking a beating and then delivering Princess straight into a trap requires some cunning and a very disciplined mind, for it not cock up at the end. Selected special operators like the ones that goes to serve in the SAS or SBS etc they are not exactly YA's when they come out from the other end of the line.

Do you think they'd have received that sort of training?
 

ctg

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Another observation about the eye picture I put in my review. It's parallel to Jack's own one in the Shining and I was thinking about it, but didn't voice while I was writing the post.
 

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What the young operator pulled at the end, by taking a beating and then delivering Princess straight into a trap requires some cunning and a very disciplined mind, for it not cock up at the end. Selected special operators like the ones that goes to serve in the SAS or SBS etc they are not exactly YA's when they come out from the other end of the line.

Do you think they'd have received that sort of training?
I see your point there. No, it isn't a job that would be given to someone young and inexperienced, and it is highly unlikely that he would have been given special training of that sort.
 

ctg

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CB: Ezekiel in this episode turns out to be a figment of Princess's imagination. I want to hear, when you read the script, how was that delivered to you and what was your reaction?

KP:
They just gave it to me cold and just had me read the script. So halfway through the script, I was angry. I was pissed. I was like, "What the hell are they doing? Why would Ezekiel say this? Why would he just pop off on somebody like this? That's not the way that he would react." I was so mad. I was like, "They've totally forgotten how to write this character. I got to write an email to Angela. I'm going to put my foot down." And then I get to the end of the script and realize that it's not as Ezekiel at all. And at that point I was just in love. I just was absolutely in love with the script.

CB: I was like, "Man, Ezekiel really stopped giving a damn!"

KP:
Exactly. I was like, "What is going on? What weird alternate universe am I living in?" And then it was like, oh, it's the alternate universe of Princess's brain. That's where he's living.

CB: If Ezekiel did know that Princess had a Fight Club moment with him, what would he think of Princess after something like that?

KP:
I don't know. I think Ezekiel has a lovely way of understanding the weirdness of people. He brought a freaking Renaissance festival to the apocalypse. He knows that he's cut from a different cloth. And I feel like Princess, he kind of understands where Princess is coming from, that we all have to navigate this crazy dark world in the best way that we can and the truth is, is that all the contrivances and the rules that we make to live by, they're all just games that we're playing in our mind. It's all just stuff that we've all decided that these are the rules. It's just sh-t we all made up.

A long time ago somebody said that this paper money is worth something. If we all decided that, you know what, that's not the rule anymore, and we're going to change it, all we have to do is change our minds and then everything changes. So the way that we cope is literally, always just a game. And I think Ezekiel knows that and recognizes the games that people play in their own mind. And I think he kind of appreciates Princess because of the way that her mind works.

CB: You've played this character in so many different ways now. A version who is a leader, a version who broken down, the heartbroken version, and a version where he's accepted death to some extent. What's been your favorite part of this whole ride with Ezekiel so far and tapping into so many different facets of Ezekiel?

KP:
I think the fun part and the most challenging part is always trying to find a way to fight your way back towards the light. I think in a show like this we can easily fall into trap of getting more and more kind of morose about our situation and the darker that it gets. And I think the fight for me is always to try and find some little crack of light, some crack in the wall, some light at the end of the tunnel. And this was another way of doing that. Even when the manifestation of Ezekiel gets really dark in that train car, once Princess jumps out of the train car and is running down the road, then you see the light of this Ezekiel character. He's hanging out with the walkers and being like, you know what? You're out, you're out. Live your life. Run for it.
 

Judderman

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Not a bad one. Princess was entertaining. Though sometimes when I find out long stretches of an episode are in someone's head I find it a bit wasted. It did make sense that the versions of Ezekiel and Eugene were Princess's. Glad to see the convenient hole in the train carriage was imaginary.
I'm not sure the captors would have realized she was crazy before the last guard came in. But perhaps they saw she was a fighter and might be prodded in to giving out a little info if he let her overpower him. Can't be easy to allow someone to punch you in the face several times! Never know if she will manage a knockout blow either..

Not the first time there have been people locked in train carriages in TWD. Though I don't think any of these characters were there the first time. I think Eugene was met a little later.

Likely this story will be a big part of the final season. With two episodes left of this one who are we going to see? Presumably characters who have not been in the last four.
 

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Princess was entertaining. Though sometimes when I find out long stretches of an episode are in someone's head I find it a bit wasted.
Unless they have big plans for Princess in the rest of the series, I spent 40 plus minutes trapped in the mind of a woman with mental health issues. This was the first, and I hope only, clunker of the six.
 
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Unless they have big plans for Princess in the rest of the series, I spent 40 plus minutes trapped in the mind of a woman with mental health issues. This was the first, and I hope only, clunker of the six.
I don't like this kind of story either, not because it illuminates her mental health issues, but purely from the 'Bobby in the Shower' aspect of it.
 

ctg

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Unless they have big plans for Princess in the rest of the series, I spent 40 plus minutes trapped in the mind of a woman with mental health issues.

Well, she's been in many original covers. I'd say, without checking, that's she part of the main cast from now on till the end. But I doubt she will have room to be in the spin-offs, as she's a late entry.

'Bobby in the Shower'

Is this a Dallas reference? About his alleged death and appearance in the shower or something else entirely?
 

ctg

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Glad to see the convenient hole in the train carriage was imaginary.

How do we know she ended in the same car when they returned her from the interrogation? To me it's a mindf*ck when they switched the cars and she's suddenly in a different car with no roof access or a patch at other end. I bet it's the confusing issue with a lot of audience and it was all done with a cut and a script.
 

Dave

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Is this a Dallas reference? About his alleged death and appearance in the shower or something else entirely?
Yes, I never watched much Dallas; well, very little, but they had a "dream revelation" at the start of the 1986–1987 season, in which they wrote off Bobby's accident, his death and all but the final scene of the 1985–1986 season when he went into a shower. Everything that happened after that became simply a dream of Bobby's fiancée and ex-wife.
 
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Judderman

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How do we know she ended in the same car when they returned her from the interrogation? To me it's a mindf*ck when they switched the cars and she's suddenly in a different car with no roof access or a patch at other end. I bet it's the confusing issue with a lot of audience and it was all done with a cut and a script.
I think she had the same kind of crack to the next carriage compartment, so most likely the same. Not impossible though.
 
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