‘The Walking Dead’: In a pickle

The Walking Dead
“Hostiles and Calamities”
February 26, 2017


Dwight and the other Saviors return to the Sanctuary to find one dead Fat Tony (R.I.P. Fat Tony), one missing motorcycle and one very missing Daryl. All that is left in Daryl’s cell is the “GO NOW” note someone slipped under his cell door, and Dwight is preeeeety sure he recognizes the handwriting. HEY, DARYL, WOULD IT HAVE KILLED YOU TO NOT LEAVE BEHIND INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE, DUDE?

Meanwhile, Negan and the Saviors have returned from Alexandria with their newest prize: Dr. Mullet. Dr. Mullet is shown to his new home by one of the Saviors — but it’s not a dark cell with complimentary repeat performances of “Easy Street.”

Instead, Dr. Mullet is given a nice room with a fridge and a TV and books and fanciness. The Savior who leads him to his room mentions that Dr. Mullet’s friend escaped, and wonders if he knows anything about it, but Dr. Mullet is like, “May I remind you that moments ago I was hooded in the back of one of your trucks?” Except of course he didn’t say that because that’s logic and that is in short supply on this show. He just says that he doesn’t know anything but he would tell her if he did. Dr. Mullet then asks for lobster for dinner and is offered Spaghetti-Os instead, before turning on his new radio to listen to a little “Easy Street.”

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As for Dwight, Negan and the Saviors burst into his room, beat the shit out of him, and throw Dwight into Daryl’s old cell. After a little timeout, Negan releases him on the condition that Dwight go find his (their) missing wife Sherry.

But first, Dwight swings by Dr. Carson’s office to get stitched up and discuss how Sherry probably was the one who released Daryl because she has a “soft heart,” the kind of conversation that is utterly meaningless and is only included to explain what happens later.

Dwight then grabs an old cigarette pack and heads straight to his and Sherry’s old house where she is not. But she did leave a letter for him reminding him that they agreed that if they were ever separated she should go here and wait for him to arrive with pretzels and beer, but that she doesn’t expect him to show up on account of his crappy memory. Oh and also that he’s changed and not for the better.

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Dwight has a sad, pulling out the beer and pretzels that he did indeed remember, collects the wedding ring that she left with the letter and adds it to his own which he kept in the old cigarette pack.

Meanwhile, back at the Sanctuary, Dr. Mullet is given a tour of the joint, learns about the point system, and also learns that it doesn’t apply to him. He can have whatever he wants, like this giant jar of pickles, hooray.

Dr. Mullet is then lead outside to Negan who asks his name. “Dr. Mullet, duh,” Dr. Mullet answers. Negan then shows Dr. Mullet his little trick with the Saviors, asking them who they are, all of them answering in unison: “I AM NEGAN.”

Negan moves on to more pressing matters: he has walkers tied to the fence to serve as protection, but they have this irritating habit of deteriorating. Dr. Mullet recommends that Negan cover the walkers in molten metal, creating a protective shell.

Negan is impressed.


As a reward, Negan announces that he will be sending some of his wives to Dr. Mullet’s room, but just to hang, no mulleting will be happening.

And so three of Negan’s wives, the redhead, the brunette and the blonde, hang out in Dr. Mullet’s room while he plays Yar’s Revenge, boring them to tears. Eventually, the women convince Dr. Mullet that making a bomb out of drain cleaners and surgical gloves would be more fun, and they go outside and do exactly that. For no good reason at all, other than one curious Savior who goes right back inside when the wives tell him to, no one inside is bothered or alarmed by the explosives going off on the property.

Later, Redhead and Brunette return to Dr. Mullet’s room to ask him for a teensy tiny favor: would he make a suicide pill for their friend Blonde? She’s miserable and wants to end it all and he’s the only person who can help her make that happen. Dr. Mullet is like, “Sure, what’s the worst that could happen if I help kill one of Negan’s wives?”

Dr. Mullet heads to the warehouse and cuts in line to collect some cold pills, only to be snapped at by the lady in charge. Dr. Mullet begins to go to the back of the line when he changes his mind, heads back to the front and tells Lady what’s what: I AM IMPORTANT AND YOU ARE NOT AND GIVE ME ALL OF YOUR COLD PILLS AND A BEDPAN AND A FLY SWATTER AND THAT STUFFED SLOTH

Back in his room, Dr. Mullet mixes up the suicide pills, because, really, what is the worst that could happen?

Meanwhile, Dwight returns to the Sanctuary where he tells Dr. Carson that he found and killed Sherry. Dr. Carson advises Dwight to try to forget her: none of them can afford to have big hearts anymore.

Later, Dr. Mullet is summoned to the factory floor to watch Negan conduct one of his interrogations: this time against Dr. Carson. Seems Dr. Carson was the one to release Daryl, and Negan can prove it: he found a note in his office with handwriting that matched the “GO NOW” note. Dr Carson is like, “The fuck is happening?” and insists that Dwight, the one who “found” the note in Dr. Carson’s office, is lying. But Negan rejects this: if Dwight is lying, Negan will find Sherry and kill Dwight. So what motivation does he have? Dr. Carson realizing that he is good and screwed and that the iron that Dwight is busily heating up is intended for his face begins confessing to anything, everything, and Negan is like, “Was that so hard?” before picking him up by his belt and throwing him headfirst into the fire. Yikes!

And that, Dr. Mullet, to answer your question is the worst that could happen. Which is why he refuses to hand over the pills to Redhead and Brunette, after he guesses that the pills are actually for Negan and not Blonde at all. “YOU’RE A COWARD,” the women huff, but Dr. Mullet’s like, “I have literally been called that every day for years now so you’re going to have to try harder.”

Later Negan visits Dr. Mullet where he tells him that the wives have nothing but awesome things to say about him, before explaining that he does not extend this kind of invitation lightly, and that Dr. Mullet doesn’t have to be scared anymore. He just has one question … but before he can ask it, Dr. Mullet is all “I AM NEGAN! I AM UTTERLY COMPLETELY STONE COLD NEGAN! I WAS NEGAN BEFORE I MET YOU! TEAM NEGAN 4EVA!”

The next day Dr. Mullet oversees Project Pour Molten Metal Over the Walkers, where Dwight joins him. Dr. Mullet reintroduces himself to the man whose junk he tried to bite off not all that long ago, and adds, “We are Negan,” to which Dwight mutters an unconvincing “…yeah.”

Alright, so this episode ran against the Oscars for a reason: mostly if you missed it, you didn’t miss much. Is Dr. Mullet really “Negan” or is he just conning Negan or is he simply trying to survive and not mess up the good thing he’s got going? I don’t know and I genuinely don’t care much one way or the other. I suspect this episode was framed to contrast Dr. Mullet with Dwight: that Sherry leaving was Dwight’s turning point, the moment he no longer became “Negan”; and that the brutal killing of Dr. Carson was Dr. Mullet’s turning point, the moment he became “Negan.” Which, ok, sure, whatever.

But let’s talk about the real issues with this episode: namely how practically none of it made any sense. First of all, there’s the Dwight story, in which Negan thinks that there’s a chance Dwight helped Sherry escape, enough so that he throws him into the hole and threatens his life. But then Negan just lets Dwight go out on his own to look for his (their) wife on his own? He trusts him that much? Since when? I get that Negan believes that he’s broeken Dwight, and that Dwight is too cowed to betray him … but not so much that he didn’t harbor the suspicion that Dwight might have had something to do with Sherry leaving and Daryl’s escape in the first place … so which is it?

And then there is Dr. Mullet. The Saviors bring this newcomer — a prisoner — into the compound, give him run of the joint, don’t blink when he starts spending a lot of one-on-one, and so far as I can tell, unsanctioned time with Negan’s harem, and don’t seem to care that he is LITERALLY BUILDING BOMBS AND SETTING THEM OFF IN THEIR BACKYARD?

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Nope. Not buying it. Try harder, Show.

The Walking Dead airs at 8/9 p.m. on Sundays on AMC and loves a good pickle.

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