Episode 838: Flashpoint

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Cocked and Ready to Rock

Today’s cliche isn’t really something you see too often in zombie stories, because it doesn’t work on zombies. That said, you still do see people cock their guns to make a point, intimidate others, or to just generally look cool and threatening. You see this on The Walking Dead quite a bit, as Rick seems especially enamored with this trope.

I’m going to look at a different piece of fiction to examine this cliche: Caliban’s War. This is the second book in The Expanse, a hard sci-fi series that has also been adapted into a show (that you should totally watch, because it’s great). In the second book, one character who isn’t familiar with guns tries to cock his pistol to intimidate. Unfortunately, this causes the other side to perceive him as escalating, and a violent firefight ensues. Good times.

About this Episode:

Okay, so here we are. You guys have been waiting for this to turn to violence for a few episodes now, but I held off because I wanted to do a couple things. First, I wanted to give Ned and his group an opportunity to explain their motives. Second, and more importantly, I wanted the Murphy’s friends to attack only after things had devolved to the point where they could not be salvaged peacefully. This is classic good guy stuff here. They’re not going to be the first ones to escalate to violence, especially early on before they see where the others are. They have to be pushed to that point.

Discussion Question: Cool, but Stupid and Dangerous

Cocking your gun to look badass is only one example of a fictional cliche that is incredibly stupid in real life. Give me a few more examples, your personal favorites, if you will.

17 thoughts on “Episode 838: Flashpoint”

  1. Typo alerts: “series that also been adapted” change ‘that’ to either “that’s” or add has after it. Dave’s choice.

    “you personal favorites” you–<your 😀

    • Fixed both.

  2. The first thing that is immediately obvious is that Bill’s been shot in the chest. It will be interesting to see if any of Ned’s other guards can react fast enough to finish off the resulting zombie before total chaos ensues! 😀

    • Indeed. Henry isn’t holding a weapon in a way to allow him to react very quickly.

  3. The second thing that is immediately obvious is that Henry has either become some kind of statue or has become frozen on the spot. He hasn’t so much as flinched yet! 😀

    • Hah. Let’s just say this is how he reacts to surprise and fear. He freezes up.

  4. last, but not last, those red bushes make excellent blood spatter, if not seeming a trifle much for a gunshot wound! They look cool though! 😀

    • I suppose it depends on what type of gun one was wounded with. Say, both barrels of a twelve gauge shotgun.

  5. I’m not sure if it’s more prevalent in real life than in movies but I hate it when someone just crosses the road in the middle of heavy traffic as if they don’t even care about the traffic or their own safety. More recent movies also have the unsafe person chatting on their mobile phone, oblivious to any and all resulting carnage that ensues around them! 😀

    • Maybe Dave missed replying to this or I missed putting in that it’s about the Discussion Question, which is obvious to me but might not seem obvious to some. 😀

  6. As for who actually got shot, and my predictions, well I guess I’m okay with it being Bill. he is, after all, expendable! 😀

    • And kind of a dick.

  7. Interesting that even though things have escalated quite a bit. And this group has made it very clear that they will kill murphys group if they don’t comply. Henry is still holding the gun by the barrel, and in a non-threatening way. I’m thinking he isn’t just playing the good cop to manipulate our group, and that he is actually a pretty level-headed guy. And would rather handle things peacefully.

    • Interesting read. Does he think this is a situation where he can weasel his way out/through?

  8. There are so many but the circle of guns is a fun one. Often the protagonist is surrounded by armed thugs all pointing guns at each other. If those thugs actually open fire they will hit each other even if they hit the protagonist since bullets frequently go through human flesh.

  9. Well the episode’s not up yet, so I guess Dave will get his typo alerts for the commentary once he publishes it! 😀

    • I messed up the scheduler. It should be up now.