Zombie Cliche Lookout: Threat-Based Unilateral Action
Are things not going your way in the zombie apocalypse? Well, depending on the circumstances, there might be something you can do about that. No, you can’t stop the dead from reanimating and trying to eat everyone. You’ll just have to deal with that, I’m afraid. But, if your most acute problems are interpersonal, and you happen to have a firearm, well, you might just be able to effect a bit of change in your life. All you have to do is point that gun at people and force them to do things your way. Easy, right? Of course a lot of people don’t really care for that sort of thing, so you might be creating problems for yourself down the line a bit. But don’t worry about that. That’s Future You’s problem.
Naturally, this cliche isn’t unique to the zombie subgenre. It shows up all over the place, but most especially in action stories. That said, it is very, very present in zombie stories. Look no further than The Walking Dead, where this seems to be Rick’s (and honestly, several other characters’) number one negotiating technique.
About this Episode:
In the last episode, Clark started to pivot a bit. He pushed back, both literally and figuratively, against Barb. We are getting into a bit of a battle of wills. So what’s Barb to do, considering she has very little time to try to do anything about Vicky and the kids? She escalates.
Discussion Question: Pointing Guns
I’ve got to be honest: it drives me nuts when a “hero” character points a firearm at another person to win an argument. Generally speaking, it’s supposed to be this moment where the character shows just what a badass he/she is, but I find it gross. I think a hero loses a good deal of the high ground by using thuggish tactics like this. After all, pointing a gun at someone is assault with a deadly weapon.
But I suspect other people have very different feelings about this. So let’s hear them.
Typo alerts: “you might just be able to affect a bit of change in your life” affect–>effect 😀
“All you have to do if point that gun at people” if–>is 😉
“it drive me nuts when a “hero” character points a firearm” drive–>drives 😀
Fixed all, thanks.
Okay, when I saw this episode my first reaction was that Barb immediately fell from hero status all the way down to just one slimy rung up from “thug with attitude”. 😀
Now, the question becomes whether she’s having a breakdown and will shoot Clark or do something entirely unexpected, like shoot a zombie behind him that he doesn’t know about just yet. The most effective thing to do with a gun is pretend to use it on someone and then suddenly shoot someone or something behind the accused instead. A lot of action movies use this quite frequently. This gives the gun holder not only an element of surprise, it gives their intended target notice that the next bullet might be intended for them.
Of course, the one thing we don’t know for sure right now, is that gun loaded or not? 😀
Okay, when I saw this episode my first reaction was that Barb immediately fell from hero status all the way down to just one slimy rung up from “thug with attitude”. – Interesting, very interesting.
I completely agree Dave. Even worse is when the person having a weapon drawn on them shrug it off like this is normal :v
That’s a damn good point. I mean, can you imagine how utterly terrifying it would be to have a gun pointed at you?
“Like hell we ar-” Barb pulls her gun
“Or we can go! Yeah. Lets go. That’ll be good!”
Sounds foolproof to Me! 😀
Yes. I can’t even begin to count all the times Rick has done that! 🙂
About this Episode:
Bad-Ass Barb! 😀
I don’t think they’re losing the high ground if they’re dealing with someone who might be dangerous. As long as they’re doing it to protect, and not to bully.
In the ZA, the high ground might just be…not raping and slaughtering others for fun. Everything else is just fine.
And why do our heroes have to be “heroes” anyway?
End of Comment!
Word of the Day!
“We should go back.”
“Get in the van, or I blow your fucking brains out.”
“And why do our heroes have to be “heroes” anyway?”
Man, this is damn insightful right here. Love this.
I wonder how long Clark will resist.
How stubborn is he?
This gets me thinking…
In the Z-Apocalypse, how will we deal with this. Whether its with a fellow group-member, or someone holding a gun to your head. You HAVE to get along with others to survive. But some of us, are just too damn stubborn.
How long would it take to get over our stupid selves, and start compromising to survive?
I really like where you’re heading with this.
When it comes to surviving the apocalypse, people generally think of hording food and weapons. That might work in the short term, but I think what we’ll ultimately need to get anywhere is cooperation.
“You can get more with a kind word, and a gun, than you can get with just a kind word.” -Al Capone
Hah, Al Capone, noted good guy.
Barb may have backed herself into a corner. Now that she has pointed her gun she has to be willing to use it or it’s an empty threat.
I suspect that Clark knows this, the question is will he try his luck?
I don’t see either of them backing down.
Here’s the thing, what happens if it’s one of those guns prone to misfiring? Also, let’s get serious here: it’s a small firearm, the worst it could do is make Clark very dead very fast very soon! 😀 You try to put yourself in his shoes for a moment are you willing to have some loopy nurse who is probably a nut job just waiting to happen blow your brains out? 😀
Sure, there’s many ways this could end, and most of them involve someone getting shot. It could be on purpose or accidentally, but the result is the same.
It seems to me the situation has escalated faster than either Barb or Clark was ready for and now they’re both out of options.
Dave should have a couple misfires here and there. Just to be realistic. And to mix things up a little!
Someone’s about to clear out one last zed.
“I’ve got it”.
He didn’t got it. 🙁
1) Heroes don’t last long.
2) People with the “bigger force” whether money, status (rank or idol-hood), or muscles are always right…until made to face their decisions. Usually separated from the bigger force.
3) cowards find the opportunity of openings, if Barb lets Clark back into the truck (which the truck; if all theses scenes are in the timing of a quick conversation; is still making some sort of big truck styled cool down noises) it is game over for one of them.
4) there was a list of missing weapons a little while back that none of us addressed.
Also this is to BrickVoid: misfires are super seriously SCARY, from my first hand Navy experience:
Being trained to shoot a regular 9mm pistol on the first and last shot at the training range the gun on the ejection phase launched the empty shell up. The 9mm shell spun quickly and landed backwards back inside the chamber. The 9mm slide went back and wedged the casing snugly. I wasn’t allowed to fire for the rest of the day. I know even in a “baby” gun the odds are stacked against that type of thing happening, but that misfire happened to me and leaves me with the only thing I can honestly say about guns: !GET TRAINED, hand down your experience!
So are you saying that the casing landed back in the chamber because it was a model of gun that ejected vertically instead of ejecting off to one side?
Also, did they let you shoot any more guns on the next training session at the gun range? Did they give any explanation as to why it happened the way it did? Have they changed firearms training to be using models that are a safer foolproof side-eject model of gun?
Also, did they teach you anything about how to unjam a gun with a casing wedged in it like that?
Lol! How unlucky.
Yes, you are correct on the way it ejected.
No, the days after was laser tagging with short range shot guns that simulated small buck shot.
No they haven’t changed types, the whole idea behind those used are so no bullets go through the bulkheads and decks (walls and floors) and cause another emergency outside of the one you need a gun for.
Has for teaching unjamming, they couldn’t even figure out how it happened either and most gun control and post are handled by master at arms types.
The MA left for a smoke break when I was up.
“If you have a problem, point your gun at the deck, remove your tigger finger, safety on, raise your hand…if we can fix you, then you’ll go back in line to shoot again.” <–to quote the second class petty officer teacher.
Needless to say…I didn't get back in line.
I agree it ISN’T something a hero would do. But the sad truth is that it IS something a pragmatist might. I’ve been in situations where someone wouldn’t listen to reason, and I’m not talking about a difference of opinion. They literally would just repeat what they said moments ago and not comprehend anything brought before them.
A gun goes far to far in most situations. But if you need to motivate someone in potentially saving another human being’s life–without risking that person’s own–I can’t say I wouldn’t do it.
You have to put in a baseline amount of effort.
I tend to agree with you, Dave, I find it stupid to wave a gun at people so they’ll listen to you.
What if they don’t and you don’t shoot? You’re done.
What if they don’t and you shoot? You’re a scary psycho nobody will want as their leader…
Guess what, you just lost. Sometimes nobody needs to win an argument…