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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Plot holes are scary, too

More about AMC's The Walking Dead:

Blastr: 12 Walking Dead Plot Holes That Bug Us

Some of their plot holes have hardly registered for me. For example, the car/gas thing. I know I wouldn't want to take a car that had a dead body in it, even AFTER removing the dead body. Ever seen CSI? Bodies really do "goo" like that, and the stink gets into everything and you can't get it out. Think mothballs get into fabric and the smell just won't come out? Try a rotting body. Add in the problem of traffic jams, accidents, etc., and I can see where just grabbing another car might not be feasible. But back and forth to camp, it should be doable. The young guy made it back to the camp with the sports car, so the road from Atlanta to the camp must be passable. And they definitely should have grabbed a car when they rushed back to camp after the rescue mission. You don't walk back to your camp when you think the camp is in imminent danger.

As for the "where are the guns" plot hole, that is a big one for me. I'm not sure how things are in Georgia and Atlanta specifically, but around here you'd be hard pressed to find a house without a gun. I bet at least one third of households have at least one gun here. Guns should be laying around everywhere! And don't they have a Cabela's/Gander Mountain, etc., anywhere around there, where they can stock up on ammo?

Running out of food doesn't make sense either. Sure, maybe they rushed out of Atlanta and just camped on the hill, so they haven't went out looking for other small towns to raid. But there should be plenty of houses, even outside of Atlanta, where they can get their hands on canned goods and a can opener. Though for full disclosure: I had to open a can of beans a few months ago using a (gasp!) MANUAL can opener, and I couldn't do it. I'd definitely be in trouble if their was a zombie apocalypse. Maybe their group is the same way and nobody knows how to use a manual can opener.

But the one plot point I have the hardest time with is the "Why doesn't Rick ask any questions?" One of the rules I've heard most often is writing is that your hero has to be a hero. He doesn't have to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but he has to act, not spend time pondering the meaning of life. He doesn't ask questions, he takes action. I wonder if the Walking Dead folks took that a little too much to heart. Rick is such a hero, he doesn't have time to worry about the "why's" of the situation or anything namby-pamby like that. He's just going to accept things as they are and worry about taking action. All about the "What we're going to do" and no time for the "Why."

As for the "Joining the holdouts in Atlanta," it isn't a plot hole to me. If those crazy people wanted to stay hunkered down in a city full of the undead, more power to them. But I'd want to be as far away as possible. I wouldn't care if they had a freakin' garrison . . . I'm not going to want to be that neighborly with the undead. So I can see why the main group wouldn't want to join the holdouts.

And the "All day to the CDC" plot hole isn't actually a plot hole--it's a bit of bad writing, lol. On their way to the CDC, they broke down and needed more duct tape. One of the characters said something about walking ahead to a gas station (or town, or something) and getting more. So they lost time there, but the scene was never played out for us. They skipped shooting those scenes. Then they dropped the bitten guy by the tree (Jim? I think) and everyone said their goodbyes. The scene played out briefly in real time, but it would have taken quite a bit of time in their "world." So they wasted most of the day before they even got to the CDC. The problem here is that the writer(s) didn't mark the passage of time definitively enough, so it was too subtle.

And then there's the issue of the hat and uniform. I like the hat, too. Captain Jack Sparrow has a thing about his hat, so Rick is in good company. I also like the fact that he insists on wearing his uniform; it differentiates him from his partner (who somehow also managed to survive--another plot hole? Where is the rest of the police force? The only two who survived just happened to have been partners pre-apocalypse?) It also says a lot about the type of guy he is (he's clinging to the remnants of his former life and trying to latch onto whatever "normal-ness" he can find; he's attempting to bring normalcy back through the icons of authority from their previous life).

The biggest problem I've had with the series so far has been none of the above: my biggest problem was the switch to the point of view of the guy in the CDC. I had come to feel we were seeing the story through Rick's eyes. Yes, I know that we've "seen" stuff he can't, like when we got to see what was going on at camp before Rick joined them, and we sometimes get to see what's going on at camp when he's not there. But somehow, those situations didn't interrupt the continuity of the story. But when they jumped to the scene of the guy working in the CDC and we followed him around for a little while, it jolted me out of the story. I think they would have been better off if they had skipped all that and introduced us to him when Rick met him. All I got from following the CDC guy around was, "Oh. Look. I bet the government's behind this, too" and "Look. He's crazy as a bedbug." Not worth jolting me out of the story.

So far, none of these have been enough to sour me on the series. I'll be watching the final episode and anxiously awaiting next season.

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