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(Spoilers, obviously)

Only three dumb decisions made in this episode, all given a pass because of extenuating circumstances:

1. Carl goes to the infirmary to get supplies by himself, which goes against all common sense. Given a pass because Carl is a dumb kid.

2. Rick fails to immediately kill the prisoners’ psychotic leader, which was obviously going to have to happen sooner or later. Given a pass because, y’know, even after a year and a half of zombies and two previous homicides, killing a man is still something most people would want to put off.

3. Lori gives mouth-to-mouth to somebody who has stopped breathing, knowing full well that every dead body reanimates as a cannibalistic walking corpse. Given a pass because it’s effectively just risking your own life to save a buddy.

Episode 2: 3 dumb decisions, all given a pass, for 0 dumb decisions
Season total: 6 dumb decisions

(Spoilers, obviously)

I think The Walking Dead is a pretty neat TV show, despite a weak second season, and I enjoy watching it. And I’m certainly not one of those people who sits through every TV show and movie loudly snorting in derision at unrealistic scenarios or characters making foolish decisions. But as somebody who has spent endless hours writing an epic zombie survival saga of my own, I can’t help but watch a show like this and note down every dumb decision the characters make. It’s still a good show, I still enjoy it, and I’m well aware that if it was me in Rick’s shoes I wouldn’t have made out of the hospital in episode one of season one without bursting into tears and committing suicide. With that said, I’m going to tally up every dumb decision made throughout the course of season three.

1. As the group discusses their next move over the roadmap, we learn that they’re apparently trying to head south. Ah, the Floridian peninsula – a landform swarming with the elderly and surrounded on three sides by water. Head west! Less population = less zombies.

2. Wasting bullets shooting zombies in the prison yard when you could just lure them to the fence and stab them.

3. Herschel complains that Rick is on his third loop of the prison fence at night-time. This is technically not a dumb decision, but rather a character tutting about a smart decision. Apparently having regular patrols in a world where zombies want to eat your face off is a sign of obsessive paranoia. Especially when you have much better ways to spend your time, like campfire sing-songs.

4. Failure to wear any kind of facial protection when getting up close and personal with undead – hacking heads off, stabbing skulls, and just generally spraying rotting, infected bodily fluids everywhere. Carpenter’s masks, surgical masks, welding masks, diving masks, swimming goggles, laboratory goggles. Failing that, at least wear sunglasses and wrap a towel around your face. And gloves – dish-washing gloves, motorcycle gloves…

5. Fighting the zombies in the dark in close quarters, rather than leaving the doors open and drawing them outside into the open.

6. Putting the only person with medical training in your flush-and-kill team.

Episode 1: 6 dumb decisions. I’m including the campfire scene because everyone sits there worrying that Rick is too highly-strung instead of RELIEVING HIM AS SENTRY so he can get some sleep.
Season total: 6

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June 2023