Now there′s a toss-up for ya! Which is more exciting? This past Sunday′s ″The Walking Dead″ episode, ″JSS″, or the new ″Star Wars: The Force Awakens″ trailer video? I′ve seen both and still have chills with goosebumps! Ah, these are great days for entertainment! Bring on the ′Bread and Circuses′! This is probably an unfair question to ask, because if you are a ′true nerd′, then you obviously have to love both, equally. On the other hand, we have a 2-minute video versus about 45 minutes of gut-flinging action. Since most of you have probably seen both by now, I won′t issue an ′spoiler alert′. If you still haven′t seen one or both, then too bad for you! Get with the program already!
First, I′ll opine on the new Star Wars trailer. Episode 7, The Force Awakens, will come out on December 18. Tickets are already on sale! To say it looks spectacular is the understatement of the year, perhaps the decade or even the century. There is no doubt that the new series of films will be wildly successful. You may deny climate change or Donald Trump, but there is NO WAY to deny Star Wars! It has passed the test of time as becoming part of our folklore. A mythic epic for all humankind. If Homer were alive today he would be waiting in line for days at a theater dressed as a Wookie. I don′t care what the plot is yet, the trailer is awesome. Stirring, even!
Speaking of stirring, there was plenty of stirring going on in the sanctuary of Alexandria in this Sunday′s episode of ″The Walking Dead″. Entitled, ″JSS″, which stands for ″Just Survive Somehow″, the new home for our band of heroes was attacked by the evil marauders known as ′The Wolves′. It was a blood-soaked affair as most of the community′s best fighters were out on a mission to lead a huge herd of zombies away from their compound. Carol, Maggie and a few others had to hold down the fort until Morgan arrived. The way Carol was going, she probably could have taken on the whole pack of Wolves by herself! You gotta love her!
The show begins with a brief interlude into the past revealing how the young, teenage girl, Edin, came to wind up in Alexandria. Her parents were both killed by zombies, leaving her to fend for herself for a while. Armed only with a knife, she manages to stay alive. Her mantra is ″JSS″, which she writes on every dirty window she comes across. Edin even spells it out with bones from a tortoise she eats. Most likely, it was drilled into her psyche by one or both of her parents. After being on her own, she arrives at the gates of Alexandria, but even the steel walls there little security, as we soon see.
While Rick and most of the adults were out on their dangerous mission of leading the zombie parade away from Alexandria, Carol is busy baking another casserole. She sets the timer for 45 minutes after placing the deep-dish into her oven. Baby Judith is resting in her crib after Carl took her for a stroll. Carol hears something and looks out the front window to see Mrs. Neudermeyer enjoying a cigarette across the street. Then suddenly, a nasty looking thug attacks her, planting a machete into her skull. Looks like we no longer need to find a pasta maker for Mrs. Neudermeyer!
Carol and Carl react quickly to the attack. She orders Carl to stay in the house and protect Judith while Carol decides to go on the offensive. Her first mission is to reach the town′s armory and get more guns. She still has one snub-nose revolver she stole from before. Carol dashes in and out using what cover she can to make her way around. She manages to kill a few Wolves along the way using either her pistol or her lovely trench knife.
Meanwhile, Maggie was discussing starting a farm with Deanna as they watch one of their guards get fire bombed off the wall. We see that it was Deanna′s son who shot up the tractor-semi, causing it to smash into the town′s wall and set off the air horn. We heard the air horn at the end of the season premiere episode, which caused part of the massive zombie herd to stray from the parade. Morgan arrives in time to finish off the Wolf-turned-zombie and switch off the air horn. Deanna stays with her son as Maggie and Morgan rush to save the town.
Carol is already on that! She makes her way to the armory wearing clothes from one of the Wolves she killed. She finds Morgan after he saved Father Gabrielle and hands them both a Beretta M-9 pistol. Morgan declines, he has his Staff of Justice. Carl invites Edin to stay with him and later saves Ron, who also has eyes for Edin and hates Carl after Rick killed his dad, Pete. Pete′s widow, Ron′s mom, Jessie, has a close encounter with one of the Wolves, and winds up stabbing the marauder with some hair clippers. Ron arrives to find his mom covered in blood as she continues stabbing away, venting her built-up frustrations. Unlike Carl, Ron has no stomach fr the realities of this new world.
Morgan is not far behind, though he can take care of things. He manages to scare off a group of Wolves with reason and a few harmless whacks from his staff. Morgan does not want to kill any living humans, but has little choice when he confronts the Wolves he met before arriving at Alexandria. He killed another earlier who warned Morgan that the towns people didn′t belong there. The hapless Alexandrians should all be dead already. They haven′t really earned their survival yet.
All good things come to an end and so too does the attack. Carol considers lighting up a menthol cigarette from the now deceased Mrs. Neudermeyer, but instead shed a single tear. Carl puts his AR-15 down to take the casserole out of the oven after the timer rings. But he discovers that Edin has fled, no longer feeling safe in Alexandria. She leaves behind the haunting message for Carl, ″just survive somehow″. There are much fewer mouths to feed now and those who remain have a better understanding of what Rick and the others have been warning about. There is no real sanctuary. None that is free, anyway. You have to either fight or die. Rick warned them that eventually, their luck would run out. It certainly has now, setting the stage for the ′Rick-tatorship′.