SPOILER ALERT: I am writing about all of season one and there will be spoilers.
Trigger warning: murder, graphic content, sexual assault
I have been a big fan of the zombie genre my whole life. Something about the primitive survivalist nature of humans when society breaks down is so interesting; I think it draws out a lot of truths about self preservation, what people’s true nature is, and who they can become when under pressure. I haven’t been this drawn in to a zombie show since the first three seasons of The Walking Dead. I don’t want to dive into every episode, but there were a few that really stood out to me and left me in a puddle of tears.
Episode 3: Ahhh the iconic episode three could be a stand alone feature film on its own. If you are to watch any episode in the series, I recommend this one. The episode opens with survivalist, Bill (Nick Offerman), finding Frank (Murray Bartlett) in one of his traps on his large secluded property. A scene that could have been detrimental, turns romantic as the two fall on love and create a home of Frank’s homestead. I won’t spoil the ending of this episode, but what I will say is that it rivals the most popular romance movies out there in the depth of love that these two men share.
Episode 7: In this episode, we dig more into Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) back story. A new generation of person, a post-apocalyptic child who knows nothing of the world before. We follow Ellie and her best friend Riley (Storm Reid) into their lives within the confines of a new society. Riley is a follower of the resistance while Ellie wants to stay in line and work her way up within the walls of this society. The two sneak off to an abandoned shopping mall, drinking, and building tension in where their relationship stands. We follow them as they marvel at the wonders of things that we take for granted today: arcades, stores, and yes even escalators. This episode brings a lot of depth into Ellie’s story and shows just how traumatic her short life has been. She has lost everyone she has ever cared for and we get to see how important it is for her to make sure Joel (Pedro Pescal) (who is in a near death situation in the foreground) is brought back to life.
Episode 8: This episode shows that the most terrifying monsters of all might not be zombies, but a certain breed of psychotic human who is fueled by forcing others into submission through any means necessary. We follow the story of a draconian style preacher who is leading a group of people who are near starving. It turns out that they are the same group who injured Joel in the previous episode. Ellie, trying to lead the group away from bedridden Joel ends up getting captured by the group and asked by the preacher to be his right hand girl. After refusing this disgusting offer, Ellie ends up being attacked and attempted raped by the demented preacher. The tension of the scene builds into a climax as Ellie reaches a nearby knife and repeatedly stabs her attacker. As someone how has been sexually assaulted, this scene had a huge impact on me. Ellie was not only desperately fighting for her life, but ensuring that her attacker could never hurt anyone again. The release of tension as she solidifies her safety with every stab was cathartic because not everyone gets to defeat their attacker. Instead, some people are harmed and left with a feeling of powerlessness that follows them for a very long time. I found this scene so powerful because up until this point, Joel was the one who always saved Ellie. This was a real shifting point in her story because when faced with her most horrifying adversary yet, she protected herself and defeated him.
What did you think of the season?
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I loved the show myself. I liked the ending. Asked a hard question. The actors and the actresses are so good.
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