In which a bad cantaloupe does some irreparable damage.
Shawn: As low as the show has gotten the past couple episodes, this was a tick up. A tick because there still was no Negan, Daryl, or Jesus again. I was left feeling a little better about where this episode pointed us. A little. A few random thoughts to try to tie together my feelings as we roll towards the finale.
One bad cantaloupe can spoil your day. I've had nights ruined by bad peanuts but I have always had a fear of bad cantaloupe. I wondered why everyone else wasn't seeing all the close-ups of Richard. That man is so easily read that anyone who had hung out around him for more than a minute should have figured out that he was guilty. The dude has been sketchy since the get-go and he really can't hold a secret. Morgan just looks at him sideways and out flows the confession. Also what the hell season is it anyways in Virginia. It can't be a great area for large fruits.
One of the things that's holding this show back right now is predictability. The writers must have received a note on their scripts that people are tired of being surprised. So let's telegraph all the major plot twists at least a couple weeks ahead of time. It didn't take a very nuanced viewing of the show to quickly realize Benjamin was going to die. Him handing Morgan the painting was pretty much like putting on the "See I'm like Morgan's kid and now I'm going to die to be a catalyst" t-shirt.
I'm just tired of spending so much time on really obvious stories. The getting of guns, the Garbage women, turning of The Kingdom, etc. This show is built around characters. I want more Maggie, more Jesus, and more Daryl. I'm happy to see Carol back. But if this whole episode is about getting Morgan and Carol back onboard the killing train, then it really could have been 20 minutes long. We knew that was going to happen. So tell us that a kid dies and Morgan and Carol are pissed. Carol doesn't seemed pissed at Daryl for his lie about who died so there goes one of my fears from that episode. I want a better balance of storytelling. Give the viewer credit to be able to balance seeing more than one group of characters per episode. Dumbing down the show just makes it dumb.
Did they edit the scenes out of order? Like when all of the Kingdom just sat there watching while Morgan murdered Richard and they didn't even give so much as a "Whoa, Dude." Did Morgan think maybe he should tell Ezekiel what had happened or slip him a note that said, "I'm going to kill Richard. I have a good reason. I'll tell you later." Or at least yell out, "Richard was responsible for the Cantaloupe Caper!" while he put him down. There are things that make for good pacing on TV shows and then there are things that make common sense. This is a show severely lacking in common sense in general but that really seemed out of place.
"Ok. I think I just pissed myself. I'm going to go." I feel like maybe we've seen that character before. But add her to the growing collection of some really funny Kingdom characters. That's the funniest line of the episode but also the line I've been waiting for just one person at least to utter it about the damn Tiger. In addition to funny, she's the resident philosopher (as are all gardeners) and tells Ezekiel he can tear it all down and it will grow back.
"We will fight, but not today." It's something Ezekiel said to Carol but it should have been the title to the episode. Hell, it should have been the title to this half season so far. We'll have cool things happen with zombies but not today. We'll show you more Maggie but not today. Morgan has broken his vow and Carol is ready to do what has to be done. We're gathering the forces. Ezekiel is busy replanting his garden, then he's going to need to figure out what to do without guns (in a weird twist - why had the Saviors let them have the guns that long anyway?). The path to the end of the season seems clear now. We've cleared out all the obstacles in our path. We are ready for battle but with three episodes left, clearly not today or tomorrow but maybe the day after that.
When is Preacher starting again?
Kim: Let’s see. How do I begin to share with you my feelings about this episode? This was a writer’s workshop about how to stretch 15 minutes into an entire episode. We had a lot of shit that we didn’t need:
1.) The opening montage of the lonely cantaloupe in a box hooked up to a contraption to keep it from sliding around in the back of the truck. I’m not going to lie. When I saw this, I was hopeful that they were making an awesome cantaloupe sling shot and would take out that long-haired dude at the drop. I wanted that so hard, you don’t even know.
2.) While I would also piss in my pants if that tiger made a noise in my presence and it wasn’t in a cage, I’m really not sure we needed much more than that. Yes, her philosophy is solid and it refers not just to her melons, but to society as a whole. I get it. I really do. This is also a good time to tell you that…
3,) I hate when everyone there is all “your Majesty”. I mean come on. That’s just weird. It might be just as weird as the Garbage Pail People who managed to forget how to speak English in the few years we’ve been at this. It wasn’t just our pissy-pantsed (or is it pissy-panted? I just don’t know) gardener friend. It was Richard and all of the people at the drop. I actually cheered when the creeper leader of that particular gang of Saviors called them out on it.
4.) All of the foreshadowing was just too much. Benjamin had to die. To be honest, I knew he’d be killed the moment Morgan took him under his wing. Plus, he got a ton of screen time in this episode. Remember way back at the prison when ole what’s-his-name with the amazingly creepy mustache finally got screen time? And he was talking to Carol and got popped right in the head? Yeah, talking to Carol is, apparently, a sign of death for anyone who isn’t part of our core gang.
Now, it wasn’t all bad. We had some surprises along the way that had me sitting on the edge of my couch for all of 30 seconds. None more than when Morgan was having his psychotic break, and I thought he was going to off himself right there in front of the grave that Richard dug for himself.
I was surprised that Morgan choked Richard out. Now, don’t get me wrong - that douche had it coming. He had it coming the moment he told Daryl he was going to lead the Saviors to Carol. I just wasn’t expecting that he would go unchecked for long enough to choke him to death.
I was stunned when Morgan told Carol about Glenn and Abraham. I didn’t think he would. I mean, obviously Morgan has had a huge departure from his cheesemaker-inspired peace-and-love stance, but that was kind of cold. Didn’t Carol deserve to hear that in a kinder way? I don’t know. It bothered me though.
We knew that we’d see the Kingdom get involved. We knew something would draw Carol back into the world of violence. We knew that even Morgan had to come around. None of this was a surprise. If I’m being honest, it felt forced. Then again most of the past two seasons have felt the same way.
Had you told me that the introduction of Negan would signal a change in the way this entire show would be presented, I wouldn’t have so eagerly awaited his arrival. Remember back when I said I was rooting for Negan at one point? Because Rick and the gang were irritating me? Yeah, well I’m not rooting for anyone anymore. Truth be told, I’m rooting for the end of the season so I can crawl back under my blankets and contemplate whether or not I really want to invest my time in this show anymore.
In happier news, Preacher starts up at the end of June, Iron Fist releases on Netflix this weekend, and I am going to go see Logan on Sunday. Yes, I’m taking my 13-year-old. Know why? Because unlike this show, I’m unpredictable and like a bit of excitement in my life.