Every week for the fifth season of AMC's post-apocalyptic drama The Walking Dead, Lenika Cruz and David Sims will discuss the latest threat—human, zombie, or otherwise—to the show's increasingly hardened band of survivors.
Cruz: The latest installment of the Atlantic video series “If Our Bodies Could Talk” focused on how allowing oneself to truly experience boredom—rather than mindlessly looking at a phone more than 100 times a day—can actually be a good thing and encourage creativity. If this is true, then I can perhaps forgive “Them,” Sunday’s dreary episode of The Walking Dead for being one of the dullest episodes in the entire history of the series—a gross misstep made even more salient by the fact that season five had thus far been arguably the best-written and most compelling.
With “Them,” the show once again exposed the audience to the immense banality of life in the zombie apocalypse. Certainly, dehydration can make even the hardiest of survivors sluggish, and the group can’t possibly spend every conscious moment literally sprinting from walkers or battling other crazy bands of living folks. But sometimes The Walking Dead’s fans scold others who criticize the show’s slower moments, for basically only wanting to see gore and gunfire and for being too impatient to endure the quieter, in-between moments of actual living. But it’s disingenuous to suggest that these quiet, in-between moments need to be all whispery, stale dialogue, and lengthy camera shots attempting to convey the dead-inside-ness of those who've lost loved ones.