What I’m Dreading Most About Season 3 of The Walking Dead

The Magic Woods Ninja.

Sunday, October 14th. That’s when it’s back. The show I love to hate, full of the most dysfunctional group of addle-brained survivors of all time, comes back after an entire season spent on a farm agonizing over morning-after pills, religion, suicide, a woman’s proper role in life, love triangles, and where the fuck Carl has disappeared to and who’s gonna die because of it. Every now and again they put a zombie in it. It was not a good season. Most people agreed that it was slow and awful and dull, until the last episode seemed to make everyone forget about the horrible pacing and stupid arguments and ridiculous thought processes. Zombies! Guns! Impossible headshots and shotguns that never need to be reloaded! And then the big part, the last scene, where everyone seemed to have a collective fangasm and couldn’t stop gushing about what next season would bring. ZOMG the prison! And Michionne! Michionne! MICHIONNE!!!!!!!

The last bit came mostly from the people who’d read the comic. I never did. Apparently the prison arc and Michionne are among the most popular parts of the comic series. My own excitement wasn’t there, because as I said I never read the comic. I don’t want to, not until after I watch the show. Why? Because I don’t want to color what’s on the screen by the canon of the books. I want to just watch the show and judge it on its own merits. So I took the Big Reveal a little differently than most people did. When zombie heads go flying and, uhh, crap, the blonde mopey chick, I knew her name for a while, it’s been off the air for a bit, sorry, whatever her name was, anyway she’s all about to die but someone killed the zombie after her and she looks up to see this mysterious shrouded figure leading two zombies with no arms or lower jaws on chains and she’s holding a katana and the entire fanboy base splooged in their undies, I had an immediate similar visceral reaction as well. However, mine is best summed up by making a wanking motion.

I know, I know, I’m a hater who hates everything wonderful and awesome and Michionne is a badass and all that. I get it. I understand that fans like her. It’s cool. But all I have to go on so far are 1) she leads two docile zombies around on chains and 2) she uses a katana. So forgive me if my judgments are based solely on those two facts, but as a judge of the show, it’s all I’ve got to go on. And I happen to think those two things are lame as shit.

OK, to be fair, I did do some reading about Michionne to figure out where the ninja lady with the zombie slaves came from. I read her background on the Walking Dead Wiki. If you want to be surprised by who the mystery woman is, STOP READING THIS NOW AND GO BACK TO CREATING BIG BIRD MEMES.

The wiki describes the origin of the katana and slaves as this:

Michonne… practiced fencing when she was a child, and briefly picked the hobby up again when she was in college to study law. After graduating and getting her degree, she became a successful attorney and married a man with whom she had two daughters. They lived an average middle-class life in a suburban neighborhood, and often dealt with a troublesome teenager next door who she swore had once killed their cat and destroyed their fence with his Katana. She spent much of her free time weightlifting and avidly following televised football. She eventually divorced her husband and at some point started dating another man named Mike. When the apocalypse began, she lost both of her daughters, presumably at the hands of her zombified boyfriend and his best friend (who ended up attacking her but were able to be fended off and controlled with her neighbor’s sword).

So, to paraphrase, she picks up a teenager’s katana and uses it and her fencing skills to cut the arms and jaws off her boyfriend and best friend and then carts them around with her.

Sorry, gimme a minute, I need to quit laughing my ass off.

OK, anyway, here’s my two problems. The first is the zombies. She walks around with two zombies, who don’t seem to have any fear or cognitive ability of any kind, on chains. They can’t attack her because they have no arms and can’t bite because they have no lower jaw. What I fail to understand is why that would prevent the zombies from attacking her anyway. I would think these mindless ravenous creatures would still come after her, even if all they could do is step on her and bump her with their chests and scrape their upper teeth on her. I don’t think they’d give a fuck about not having the parts anymore. At least, I’ve seen no evidence on the show that any of the dead guys would stop trying to fuck with and eat everyone, whether they have mouths or not. Does it look cool? Sure. But it doesn’t make any sense to me and fails the suspension of disbelief thing. Again, maybe it’s just me.

The second is the katana. Holy fuck am I sick of the Katana Trope. Somehow, just picking up a katana is supposed to make everyone a skilled master swordswoman. It’s the Magical Blade of Awesomeness that cuts through bone instantly. It’s better in every way than any other hand weapon ever made. All of that is complete and utter bullshit, but if you watch TV or movies then you know it’s completely true in the Land of Make-Believe.

Now, let’s go ahead and make a couple of assumptions about this katana. I will make the logical leap that this is not a Hattori Hanzo sword, handcrafted in the ancient mystical ways and all uber-balanced and wickedly sharp and incredibly rare and awesome. Instead, I will assume that it’s like 99% of the katanas on sale at flea markets around the country. It probably cost 20 bucks and is a cheap piece of shit. Why? Because a teenager owns it. Unless his dad was a samurai or some shit, he’s got a piece of shit sword. I’m also going to assume it’s not in good shape, and the additional background info that the teenager used it on a fence implies that he knew fuck-all about how to take care of one. So not only is it a cheap piece of shit, but it’s in awful shape. But apparently it has the ability to imbue its wielder with the knowledge of how to sharpen and care for it along with the innate ability to transform them into a kensai.

I won’t even go into the fencer background. Fencing is to katana use as slingshots are to compound bows. They are similar in some ways, but the skills in one wouldn’t exactly translate to the other. But whatever.

I’m not into full cursing snark-mode, but I’m trying to slowly ease back into shape. Here’s to an exciting new season! /wanking motion

About Alan Edwards

An indie writer who does accounting full-time on the side.

Posted on October 11, 2012, in Rantin' and Bitchin' and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Um yeah, my hubs does epee fencing, and I like watching it and the sabre fencing bouts. Sabre has tons of shouting and running. Epee is a bunch of waiting, stillness, punctuated by a flurry of activity. None of this looks anything like what I saw in Kill Bill. The techniques simply don’t compare.

    Anyway…let’s see if anyone gives a flying crap about Carl yet, shall we? 😉

    • I do have to admit I’m kind of tingly with anticipation for my first strident “Where’s Carl?!?!” I’m like a junkie who knows better but can’t stop.

      And you’re dead on about fencing. I keep wondering if she can only swing for the torso and refuses to attack if a zombie establishes right-of-way.

    • Oh, and I love epee fencing. Not good at it, but love doing it.

  2. Definitely. Why is always someone with a katana!?!!? Why can’t it ever be an ARMA guy who has armor, a battle ready sword, and knows how to swing a great sword?

  3. Sheesh. She’s not even Asian. Like she’d know how to use a katana.

  4. While in general the Katana Trope pisses me off, I have to pick at the gripes about differing techniques. For a start ‘fencing’ covers a lot of martial arts, not just foil, epee and sabre… and for second there is only a finite number of ways one can swing a blade and have that blade cause damage. The basic guards in Kendo are virtually identical to those in 15th Century European Longsword (to use the two examples I’m personally familiar with)

    It’s not the difference between slingshot and compound bow, it’s the difference between julienne and sashimi; very different on the surface but really based around the same basic skills.

    • I won’t disagree with what you’re saying. I think in general most people use “fencing” to refer to those 3 types of weapons and the sport, instead of kendo and other martial forms, and there isn’t a lot of emphasis on beheading strikes in the sport of fencing. But I’ll agree with you on what you said here. For other types of weapons training, there is a lot more similarities than differences. Thanks for posting and the (gentle) criticism.

  5. You see a lot of this nowadays people who hate tv shows and movies so much, but still continue to watch them. Or kids that say “OMG Skyrim is so retarded and boring, I’m 112 hours in right now and it’s so stupid”.

    To each his own though, contrarians or cynics whatever it doesn’t matter. But i wanted to ask what keeps you watching? Is it just the fact that it’s zombie related? Do you have nothing better to do? (this isn’t an insult but a serious question)

    And I don’t understand the rant with the Katana, even a shitty $20 blade would have proper weight and momentum to sever (albeit it’s gonna take a few hacks). But just look at the 99% headshot marksmanship every Susie Homemaker has on the show, and how easily they seem to stab through skull and bone with dinner knives. The bone and flesh seem to have lost a lot of structural integrity. This is just the newest hurdle towards suspension of disbelief, and I feel by now you should be used to it :\

  1. Pingback: It’s Baaaaack: Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 1 Recap and Review « Me and My Shovel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: