This week’s episode, “Forget” was ironically rather forgettable. It was another transitional episode, and with a couple of exceptions, it wasn’t particularly engaging. While there is a sort of fascinating story-within-a-story to be told about the idea of, as Dustin called it, “suburban malaise in an apocalypse,” it was never really executed to its full potential. And while there is something disturbingly — and somewhat humorously — incongruous about a cocktail party in the midst of a zombie nightmare, the show never really made it work for me.
Basically, my main problem? It was kind of boring. And while I’m cognizant of the fact that part of that boredom was deliberate, as a way of conveying the aforementioned malaise, there just wasn’t enough actual development to keep the story working.
Things We Loved
- The level of caution and deadly calm of Rick, Daryl and Carol as they continue to plan for the worst. It’s cynical, sad, dark, and absolutely necessary to save them from their own complacency. Their backwoods scheming is sinister and fascinating to watch as it plays out. Whether or not this will evolve into Rick and company becoming less of a new ally and more of a hostile takeover remains to be seen (though admittedly, the latter would be interesting).
- Daryl and Aaron’s entire trip. I enjoyed their awkward, quiet, but also very clever and sharp interactions. There was a level of mutual respect that was quickly achieved, and showed once again what makes Daryl so interesting. It would have been easy and lazy to set him up as the homophobe in the group, but instead, they went the other way — Daryl respects ability and skill, and that’s all he cares about. That was well portrayed and I appreciated a more nuanced approach.
- The “W” carved into the zombie’s head. I don’t know what this means, but I know it’s bad.
- Carol. Everything about Carol, particularly her terrifying threat towards the boy in the armory. I’ll be honest, for a moment, I really did think she would just kill him. Carol’s gotten so stone cold (particularly with how she sells her housewife alter ego) that I wouldn’t have been shocked.
- Abraham. Abraham continues to only get a couple lines, but they’re GREAT.
“I don’t know about this.”
“They have beer.”
Things We Didn’t Love:
- Rick’s already messing with married women? Seriously? That whole moment was just rushed and clunky and distasteful. And weird, especially for two people who’ve spent roughly 45 minutes together.
- Sasha’s whole manic, paranoid, self-destructive storyline. She deserves better than that.
- Michonne, hanging up the sword. A hamfisted metaphorical gesture I could have lived without.
- The pacing of the entire episode. Slow, dragging, and just never quite found its stride.
There’s only a few episodes left in this series, and I suspect we’re building up to something huge that will likely leave us with a terrible (in a hopefully good way) cliffhanger in the finale. We’re inevitably going to end up with an episode like “Forget” as it slow-burns its way into setting the scene, and so I’m willing to forgive a bit of clunkiness in anticipation of the eventual payoff. I’m just hoping that payoff is worth it. And if nothing else, at least this new setting is just that — new. This is brand new territory, both literally and figuratively, and it continues to be intriguing as it develops. That, in and of itself, makes it worth our time.