[Note: I refer to the episode of The Walking Dead that aired this past Sunday. Other than indications of the general impact of the episode, there are no spoilers below.]
My husband is in Switzerland right now, visiting with one of his collaborators after a conference in Germany. He’s missed the last two episodes of The Walking Dead, and he’ll doubtless want to watch them once he gets home. And he totally should: the last two episodes were great. I’ll gladly watch the first with him.
But there’s no way in hell I’m rewatching the second.
There are a number of movies in this category of “glad I saw it, never watching it again.” Schindler’s List is a big one. Requiem For A Dream and Trainspotting are in the category for basically the same reasons. (I won’t even rewatch Trainspotting to pay attention to the performance of a young Jonny Lee Miller. Sorry, Jonny.) There are some movies that are right on the cusp of rewatchability. E.T. for instance. Great movie, but good god, does it tear your heart out and stomp all over it!
Before last night’s Walking Dead, I don’t think there’s ever been an episode of television in that category. The closest was, interestingly enough, probably the season two episode of the show where they open the barn door (No spoilers: if you’ve seen the show, you know exactly what I mean). It had a similar punch to the gut, and left me literally gasping for air.
But last night? Last night had me crying. And not the silent, tears rolling down my face kind of crying. I mean actual noisy sobbing. I’m glad the kids were asleep, because they probably would have been upset by seeing mommy cry like that. Of course, they would never, ever be in the living room while The Walking Dead was on, but that’s beside the point.
I’m glad I saw it. It’s a very powerful, very raw and honest, very well done episode.
But I am never watching it again.