Please note that this a comedic take on the decaying sanity of fictional characters on a fictional TV show with a completely fictional premise of people surviving a zombie apocalypse. The commentary is not aimed to make light or belittle the issues of mental health in anyway, but is limited to the scope of the characters on this show. Who don’t really exist.
It has been a LONG road on The Walking Dead thus far. Five seasons and sixty-seven episodes actually and that’s a long ass time to be roaming around Georgia with no cell phone service and your local Costco staff staggering around with tattered vests while they try to eat your insides. I know how I get when the 4G ain’t acting right when I’m driving through the hills of Pennsylvania for 3 hours, so you really ain’t trying to fuck with me when the zombie outbreak hits the Google technical staff first. While we’ve seen plenty of signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder delivering the fade to our favorite survivors throughout the show, this season was really centered on the decay of rational and nuanced thought.
Feeling Good, Feeling Great, How are you?
Let’s assume that Judith is fine, only because she can’t speak yet and can’t really tell us otherwise. Besides, she’s still in the “eating, sleeping and defecating are still my priorities in life” phase, so she may not care about walkers or how her pops is on some Dead Presidents shit right now.
Yo, I don’t think we can count him collecting Elliot’s dishonorable discharge via left jab and right cross as a psychotic break. Your boy was lied to. His trauma happened pre Elliot (as in right before meeting him) and we’re sure it’s still there, but your boy is mission driven right now. And he’s like one of the four people on the show who has any semblance of a sex life. Rolling around in the zombie trampled hay has been the best stress reliever since we got kicked out the garden, we gonna act like the lack of (consensual) sex got nothing to do with these folks fallin’ to pieces? Aiight then.
So guess who’s doing remarkably well since her pops was given the Ninja Gaiden treatment just a season ago and her sister caught the bullet train in the first half of this season? That’s one hell of a bounce back. Or maybe it’s just because they’ve basically muted her character since they arrived in Alexandria. Either way, Maggie must have been the rock at all the funerals, back when these people still had those.
Losses: Nobody we know of unless you count his somewhat in-laws and that red Mustang from Season One
Glenn ain’t crazy. He’s just tired of people’s shit. He can’t understand why Rick can’t at least try to get along with these Mayberry bastards. He can’t understand the cowardice of said Mayberry bastards. And dude spends like NO quality time with his bae. Though maybe his lack of crazy goes further to prove the “more sex less crazy” theory. Glenn has yet to let the situation get the best of his humanity: push back against Rick’s brand of governing, his reluctance to hand deliver the fade to that punk ass Nicholas in the woods when he had every right to. Glenn still kick, pushin’ and he might be the voice of reason in the days ahead.
Like, Barely Holding On…
Losses: Her boyfriend and infant child
Michonne wants this Alexandria thing to work so bad, she’s suppressed all her survival instincts to keep the peace, which in itself, might be it’s own kind of madness. But she’s one of the more clearheaded of the crew, surprisingly and probably because she had her own Sasha moment when she was needlessly chopping down walkers in the woods like the blind n!$%@ samurai that Huey Freeman warned us about.
Jesus be a muted Carl storyline. But in the moments we did see, Carl ain’t playing with a full set of teenage angst either. Maybe he was always going to be an awkward kid, but he was standing in the room with the other kids like he was assessing which one of them was the slowest and which one of them he was cool sacrificing to ensure an escape. Not to mention when him and pops teamed up for good old fashioned melee action in the woods where dude was like the happiest he’s been in a while. But no judgement from me. Every kid I know that had to put down their own mother immediately after they gave birth to their sibling because they died of blood loss and therefore was about to turn into a mindless biter, had a rough time growing up too.
Daryl doesn’t seem crazy to me. He seems fatigued and depressed. It’s easy to overlook because we have all these examples of characters descending into madness, that Daryl’s barely staying a float but never seeming all there might be the best example of depression on this show. The cumulative effect of losing his brother, getting him back, losing him and then losing him permanently coupled with his inability to protect Beth has seemed to bottom Daryl out. He’s not in the Sasha category yet, but he doesn’t seem to be coming back either. Which is ok, because we don’t need another self-healer on this show.
One Flew Over…
Last time we got some extended dialogue from Morgan, he was writing “Clear” on every wall, building elaborate zombie traps and talking like he was in a continuous LSD trip. Now Morgan is back (FINALLY), working the Bo Staff like Tim Drake and rescuing strangers from a group of walkers just so he can ask them directions. But here’s the thing, Morgan (played so great by Lennie James) is still batshit crazy. The clockwork behind his eyes is TOO precise. Grins a little too easily for a dude that lost his wife before the show even started and his son at some point along the way. But like Abraham, he’s definitely mission driven and doesn’t have time to fall to pieces.
Losses: Daughter and the abusive husband nobody cried over when he became meal in a tent.
You know why Carol is the scariest person on The Walking Dead? Because there’s very little human left in her. Her brand of crazy has become self aware like Skynet and it just answers questions for her at this point. I’m not entirely sure that Carol didn’t die back in that hospital and that this version stole her identity and was sent from her home planet to collect data on the human condition in crisis. If you thought that her telling a pre-teen girl to look at the flowers before turning those daisies to red roses, then you may not have stuck around to watch her threaten another little kid who just wanted some more fresh baked cookies. Or when she showed up at the good doctor’s non-house. Beware the Greeks or a middle aged woman with frosted tips that comes bearing casserole and a big fucking knife.
3) Father Gabriel
Losses: His whole goddamn congregation
First off, fuck Father Gabriel. I imagine David Simon from The Wire watching the actor Seth Gilliam, who played a likable, yet flawed Detective Carver on his show, and reacting like Twitch when she was betrayed in The Matrix.
Yeah, we’re in the winners bracket now and Gabriel is Gone Baby Gone. This cat, who is supposed to Shepard his flock, let his congregation die when he closed the church doors to them when the walkers did that walk by on the fam. And then, he tried to sacrifice the town of Alexandria by leaving the gate open so that some walkers could stagger up in the spot for Happy Hour. When he tried to go the suicide by cop route with Sasha, you know the best thing to give him was NOT what he was asking for. They really need to put him on the outside of the wall on some Prometheus type shit and let walkers eat at his liver every day.
The thing about Rick is that this is at least his second visit to crazy town. It’s like when you take your kids to Disney World, and then take them back to Epcot when they get older. I know you cats haven’t forgotten when Rick spent half a season talking to a transistor radio and seeing Laurie every-gotdamn-where like she was Cylon #6 or some shit.
I love me some Sasha. But Sasha is number one with a Valium coated bullet here. Remember that scene in Fight Club when Edward Norton’s character tells Marla “Tyler isn’t here. Tyler went away. Tyler’s gone.” Sasha ain’t comin’ back, y’all. Even in a TV world where people repair their own psychosis so that they can continue to be functional in the plot, once you lay down with walkers, you can’t be sitting around reading Neruda love poems and discussing what kind of wine you want to serve with dinner. Sasha passed that when she started hunting walkers in the woods like she was Predator with natural hair and a silenced AR-15.