* Prophetic dream, tough guys with hearts of gold, character doesn’t live to receive birthday gift from other character, least sympathetic and most sympathetic characters bite it first, racists are always vocally racist even in extreme danger when they’re relying on someone of another race, et cetera. No one’s reinventing the wheel here, is what I’m saying.
* That said, fun episode. The CGI blood remains really lackluster, given what Tom Savini did with a wing and a prayer three and a half decades ago, but it’s still always fun to see people get eaten and blown to smithereens in an emotionally resonant fashion. I actually think Jim’s stint as a captive was well-written, well-acted, and well-shot, maybe the first time since the pilot that the show hit the hat trick. And to the show’s credit I didn’t see Amy’s death coming, despite all the birthday rigamarole (and despite having read the comic!).
* I guess what I’m going to do is watch the show like I would a much more self-serious, less sexy Vampire Diaries. It hits some genre buttons I like having hit, and maybe once in a while I’ll get lucky and it’ll do more than that, but that’ll just have to be a pleasant surprise. The Walking Dead: good enough!
* I wonder what the Vegas oddsmakers are laying on “Merle is the Governor” now, god help us all.