Why 'Walking Dead' Plot Holes Are Saving Season 3

TV Addict 9

The Walking DeadThere are some shows and movies where the plot holes are so enormous you can't stay engaged in the story because you just keep falling into these unexplainable pits, wondering what in hell the writers were thinking. That's how Prometheus was for me: so pretty, so much potential, but studded with Grand Canyon-sized leaps of logic that ultimately just pissed me off. Some might say season 3 of The Walking Dead is suffering from similar flaws -- but I'm hugely in favor of the eyebrow-raising story changes they made since last season.

I think there's a big reason The Walking Dead's creative team essentially hit the fast-forward button on Rick and the gang, altering personalities left and right while sweeping one big implausibility under the rug: they wanted to fix the things that sucked big zombie balls in season 2.

I'm all for it, and here's why. (Oh, also: SPOILER ALERT!)

If they picked up right where last season left off, they'd have had to tackle the difficult job of transitioning Rick's character in a way that didn't feel rushed or shortchanged. This could have been done, of course, had they not spent, say, at least half of season 2 stuck in that seemingly endless Sophia narrative, sending the characters around in metaphorical circles, butting heads with Shane, and struggling to find some sort of balance between the walker mayhem and the survivors' emotional evolution.

Breaking Bad is a fine example of a show that created a character arc that resulted in an utterly changed protagonist, one who underwent a moral transformation that wasn't always understandable -- but was always believable. Walking Dead didn't pull this off, so they chose to allow time to pass that wasn't accounted for.

(Oh, and I won't bother comparing the TV storyline to the comic, because I think it's obvious by now we shouldn't expect things to always match up.)

Yeah, it seems a little unlikely that our intrepid group of survivors didn't find the prison for, what, several months? We saw it at the end of season 2, after all, in a sweeping shot that rose above the trees and revealed it looming there, seemingly just a short distance away. In the season 3 premiere we got a short explanation that they'd been traveling in loops, but ... well, come on. They would have found it.

But who cares? The jump in time was a bit of a cheat, but I'm giving it to them because I'd rather we get to where we are now. Rick is far more interesting as a man who's willing to make brutal/immoral decisions to keep everyone safe; Carl's more watchable as a kid who's no longer comically, maddeningly inept; Lori's no longer the hideously inconsistent shrew who first demanded that Rick kill Shane then freaked out on him when he did so.

An astoundingly good, award-winning show might have effected change on our characters in a way that made us feel as though we knew them, understood their motives, and maybe most importantly, brought their essence to life on the screen. The Walking Dead is not that show, at least not yet. That's why I'm glad they made the choice they did: better to skip ahead if it makes for a more enjoyable season.

I'm sure it's a hell of a job, trying to balance nuance with flesh-eating corpses. But so far, I'm liking what I'm seeing in season 3 -- regardless of how we got there.

What do you think about the jump in time between Walking Dead seasons? Do you think it was a good move?


Image via AMC

zombies, television

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Vegeta Vegeta

I liked the jump, they can do more desperate things now that they're not all strung up on hope and crap. ...except all the women don't seem changed at all. Loris still a pointless rule-making shrew, younger daughters still a whiny baby, older daughters still a dramatic baby badness wannabe, and carols still a lost puppy.. except she's kinda getting better. All the men seem tired, haggard and fed up. They're probably sick of the women's antics. This show makes me go 'that was it?!' At the end of every episode, yet I count the minutes till next Sunday. So glad this weekends episode seems to be about michonne (the only cool, capable, useful, living-in-reality female yet!)

Jana-Marie Wells

I love it as well. Definitely a good jump.

Kristianna Hamann

I think they needed to deal with Carl growing up. That was a huge problem with Walt and LOST... havign a show where a year on the calendar is 2 weeks or so in the show's time is tricky with growing kids. But I am so glad to get past all that wandering and watching the preggo wife be moodier than she already is. ;)

lovin... lovinallofthem

i was totally fine with it, other shows jump in time all of the time :) so no big deal.. i agree.  :)

nonmember avatar Mel

I have to admit I haven't started watching this season yet, mainly because I'm at a point where there are only 2 characters left I care at all about anymore - Daryl and Glenn. Hubby's still watching and I'm intrigued by Michonne, but otherwise, I don't know if I can ever see Carl as anything other than a weekly joke of "oh my gosh, everything is your fault, just get eaten already!" and it sounds to me like Rick is just Shane now, which pisses me off because I liked and felt bad for Shane (Lori is second after Carl in ruining everything). Does it seem like they'll do anything interesting with Daryl this season?

amber... amberdotsmom

It's right - I don't event think finding the prison when they did was a problem, I felt like the last scene of S2 showed it to be miles away at least and it's not like they knew it was there and did a straight shot through the woods to it.  By the opening they've been trying to move in a certain direction and getting shifted away until they found it so if the original idea was to go in the opposite direction of the prison plus assuming they found some safe shelters that lasted a few weeks to a month then finding it now isn't so odd.


The jump in time I liked for the reasons in the article; we don't have to waste time watching Rick change we're just right in it.  It's actually more exciting to see them now and how they've had to harden in order to adapt.  The writers left the potential there for flashbacks to the time in between and I think that's a better way to tell how they got from there to here as long as it's not over used.

Emily Mountain Heithaus

My question (I may have missed something obvious, but...): If everyone's already infected, why did they have to cut off Herschel's leg to save him instead of just bandaging him up? 

KeithJ KeithJ

In regards to Herschel, it's pretty standard Zombie Lore (tm): if you die, you turn into a zombie (because they're all infected); if you're bitten, the bite will become infected, you'll die of the infection and then turn into a zombie.

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