Just shoot him

I’m screaming inside right now. I just finished watching the season premier of The Walking Dead. If you’re a fan, and haven’t seen the episode, you don’t have to read any further. If you’re a writer, you may want to read on.

See, I write speculative fiction. The aftermath of a zombie apocalypse is right in my wheelhouse, even though I haven’t gone there yet.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about speculative fiction. It involves at lease one impossible element, (Zombie apocalypse). I try to make the rest of my story pretty realistic. I know I’m going to ask for a leap of faith, so I try to make everything else fairly well researched and realistic.

This is where my problem lies, and I admit, it’s my problem. Maybe other authors and readers don’t think this is a hard and fast rule. Maybe it’s more of a guideline. I’ve used the Pirate quote before myself when it comes to writing rules.

It doesn’t mean I’m not going to bitch about something. To set this up, you have to understand The Walking Dead to a degree; otherwise, you might still get my point but you won’t get the context.

See TWD has put the survivors through hell. They’ve dealt with the Governor, the cannibals, and now Neagan. Tonight was all about Neagan –– as it should be. Neagan has done terrible things. He killed Glen, a main character, in front of all the other survivors – in front of his pregnant wife – by beating his brains out with a baseball bat and forcing the others to watch. He killed Abraham on the same stage, in front of his pseudo girlfriend. Abraham was one of the best soldiers the survivors had.

Okay, you’ve got the dirt on Neagan. At this point, various gyrations happened to give the survivors a chance to get even. Tonight, they had their chance and took it.

Here is the scene: Rick led the survivors to Neagan’s camp, and brought some serious firepower. They armored their cars with corrugated tin, which won’t do a damned thing when it comes to offering cover. Don’t believe me, fire an anemic round like a .38 Special at a piece of it. You wouldn’t want to use it for cover.

They (Rick) call out Neagan. Neagan walks out and answers the call. This is in character for Neagan, because he is an alpha male and a psycho. He steps onto a loading dock along with five of his henchmen. Rick calls them Lieutenants, fine by me.

Here is the thing, Neagan and friends were right out-in-the-open.

Rick and the survivors were fifty feet away. Let that sink in for a second, fifty-feet.

Remember, Neagan killed one of Rick’s best friends and forced Rick and the others to watch.

Beyond that, Neagan has proven that he has zero respect for human life.

Just shoot him.

There must be thirty to fifty of the survivors with Rick, and they’re all armed. They all have a reason to kill Neagan, but they all hold their fire.

Just shoot him.

Rick engages in a dialog; whereby , he offers to allow Neagan’s lieutenants the chance to surrender. They’ve all proven themselves to be dangerous and one of them I would like to shoot myself.

Of course they don’t surrender.

Neagan makes a small penis comment to Rick.

Just shoot him.

I’m here to tell you that if I were in Rick’s position, you could give me an ordinary deer rifle and Neagan would be no more.  A deer rifle holds between three and five rounds depending upon calibre. I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty reliable out to about 400 yards. Admittedly, this would take some quality time, but Rick was fifty feet away.

But Rick didn’t have a deer rifle, he had a sub-machine gun. I promise you, that with a slow, bolt-action, deer rifle, Neagan and at least two lieutenants would have never made it off the platform. But Rick had a sub-machine gun.

For plot reasons, I know Neagan can’t die yet. In that case, I think the whole confrontation should not have made it into the show. Here is why.

Rick gives the lieutenants time to surrender, and starts a countdown. Props to Rick for opening fire at seven instead of zero. It was a great character moment. Except for the fact that Rick missed. At fifty feet, with a sub machine gun, Rick missed. Not only that, but all of the muscle Rick brought with him missed too.

Rick with a sub-machine gun, plus around thirty friends opened fire, and all the bad guys walked away without a scratch.

Meanwhile; Daryl was cruising around on a moving motorcycle shooting explosives with a snub-nosed revolver and never missed a shot. I’ve fired a lot of handguns, and this isn’t realistic either. Neither is setting off explosives by shooting them.

Come on! I could have done more damage by throwing a rock. A little bit of reality really helps sell the rest of the story. Send your writers out to actually fire a weapon. Make them fire an SMG at some water barrels or something. At least cripple some people. Thirty survivors firing a single round each at a platform that’s about twelve feet wide are going to hit something. Note: the survivors fired many more than one round each. Oh, and Rick had an SMG.

There was a great character moment where Rick had the drop on Neagan later, and he decided it wasn’t all about Rick. Of course, I had no faith that Rick could actually hit the SOB anyway if given a second chance.

How do you guys feel about this kind of thing? Do I worry too much about this kind of thing? Rick would have shot the SOB. The Rick character would have shot him. He wouldn’t have missed, and neither would the other survivors.


Filed under Writing

40 responses to “Just shoot him

  1. Hell, I would have just shot the SOB. This scenario would have driven me crazy if I had been watching it. I can see me screaming “just shoot the bastard” at the television! I do that when something really jerks my chain like this would have. I consider your comments more than Valid, Craig.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am on the exact same page with you. This was a total deceit from a writing perspective, even more so given that the story-structure and the buildup to this point in the episode had been quite admirable. (Although I’m not quite sure what they were saying with the “dream” sequences…)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t watch the show, but I’m totally with you on this. There needs to be some realism, and some of those shots should have hit. Even if the wounds weren’t fatal, there should have been wounds (even if those wounds were from something else getting shot and splinters of it hitting some part of someone). Heck, even I could have hit something with those odds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe I’ve just seen the scenario so often that it doesn’t bother me anymore. Just an eye roll these days. Seems modern heroes are always giving up these chances like they’re abruptly Captain America instead of a less noble character. Guessing the purpose is to show off the villain’s evil speech skills or something.

    Thinking about it, don’t most stories have one point that could have ended the whole thing early for one side?

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are always missed chances, and it isn’t unrealistic. It takes time to wrap a mind around the circumstances before the tipping point. When the event comes, you know what the bad guy is capable of. He could come out firing too. It was unrealistic to spend weeks modifying cars for this event and not go through with it.


      • The preparation definitely makes it seem rather stupid. If they only had pistols then I guess I could see it. Where are they getting the heavy artillery? Also, would they have been able to kill Negan and get away alive themselves? The ‘no way to do it and survive’ is a reason I’ve seen used, but it has to be made clear.


  5. I don’t watch that series yet, wrapping up Elementary, but I hear you. After a zombie apocalypse, spending that long trying to survive, seeing and experiencing what they have, someone should have… in a *realistic* world… cracked and shot him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have not yet seen the episode, half because I like to binge, and other half, I didn’t love the last season. I’m like, sick, sick, sick of Negan. Even sicker than I was of Governor. Bleh.
    I’m not surprised by this spoiler report, or the poor writing, or the strange use of weapons or haha, tin can cover. I live with a weapon-oriented person, and over time, even I have gotten to the point where I’m like, “Magical six-shooter has nine bullets.”
    All the buzz last season was about dragging out plot and losing audience, and it’s not hard to nod in agreement with those accounts and your blog today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a series, and I get that everything won’t be perfect. Hollywood trained us that you shoot something and it blows up. Myth busters showed us all otherwise. I’ll swallow some of this, but come on… shoot the bastard already.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never missed an episode of TWD – and totally agree with you, Craig. I don’t know anything about guns, but asked many of the same questions as you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I know zilch about guns, but I know you don’t have to be a sharp-shooter to do a ton of damage with an SMG… Not a Zombie fan really, but realise the appeal of TWD is the plausible and bloody storylines – this much have been a huge let-down for mega-fans! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lurkingintheshadowshonestreviews

    Don’t watch the show, but it sounds like the writers may not know what to do with the show, so they throw in a confrontation with the main bad guy for ratings. Not a big fan of that option.
    Maybe they need better writers. Too much success can spoil a good series.


  10. D.L Finn, Author

    This kind of thing drives me nuts. I am sure neighbors hear me yelling at my TV in these moments. I admit to having stopped watching the show when Glen was killed… Last season still sits waiting to be watched…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My husband and I are probably the only couple who doesn’t watch The Walking Dead. Several members of the cast follow me on Twitter, and I’ve still never seen the show. The reason why is exactly what you posted about. I NEED reality in my fiction, TV shows, movies, etc. Otherwise, I can’t get into it. Sure, I’m able to take ONE leap of faith, but continuously asking me to check my disbelief at the door doesn’t work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This drives me crazy too. Just watched a show last night where two people ran and hid behind a wooden table while someone fired an automatic weapon at them. So many gunshots and not a single hit. I’m not weapons expert, but this seems highly unlikely!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ali Isaac

    I think I would have been very disappointed and less inclined to watch future episodes after that. Maybe they’ll make up for it. I used to be pretty good with an SMG. I’m still pretty good at any shooting games, although I haven’t handled a gun in a really long time. I like guns as a sport when it involves a target which isn’t a live one. So what are you going to do? Give up on it, or too much of a fan? Life’s too short to waste on tv you don’t Love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to stick with it. Beyond a few fouls like this, there have been some interesting plot twists and occasional bits of brilliant. I suppose I’m watching from the perspective of an author. What should I be doing, and what should I avoid at all costs. That kind of thing.


  14. Looks unanimous, Craig! SHOOT the SOB!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is absolutely not my kind of show, but it sounds like the writers did a lousy job. There really was nothing to talk about, and then they didn’t even settle anything. Ughhh.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I don’t watch this kind of show for precisely these reasons. The production relies for its effect on pure sensationalism. That doesn’t work for me, either, but I know if I travelled that way most of my reasoning and justification would be decorating the cutting room floor. All these guys want is leering villains and loud bangs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is plenty of sensationalism here, no doubt. Occasionally there is a flash of brilliance and that’s why I stick with them. I’m studying them as an author. It’s good to see what works, but it’s also good to see what doesn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Erica Mary Eleanor

    I don’t watch this show but I have read a lot of the comics. I think I have read up to the point where Neegan kills Glen. I don’t know if I read much after that. I was borrowing my brothers. I know there can be a lot of things that aren’t realistic but the show could just be following along with how the comic goes. Again, I’ve never seen the show so I don’t know how far it strays from the comic. But yeah, it would piss me off too. A lot of stuff on tv or movies is like, what the hell! But then they wouldn’t have a tv show or movie if they did things the better way!

    Liked by 1 person

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