The Walking Dead: A Lesson in Brain Stabbing

Comic-Con 2010 - Walking Dead Image booth

Comic-Con 2010 – Walking Dead Image booth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My sister is infamous for her television obsessions. There was the summer of “Jon and Kate Plus Eight.” No one could forget the year of “Cupcake Wars.” No matter what the show is, she will go in at full speed, ready to become completely obsessed with the ensuing flurry of episodes that were soon to fill her DVR.

That is why I was not entirely surprised when I found her watching “The Walking Dead.” This show seemed perfect for this type of obsession. I was soon hushed with the warning that this was the midseason finale, a warning which is the equivalent of saying “Hey! You have to be quiet because this episode is right in the middle of the current season. It is literally as much in the middle as it can be, so you better keep your stupid mouth shut!”

For those who have somehow survived without ever hearing of “The Walking Dead,” the premise is simple. Somehow, there are a bunch of zombies. The live people are not big fans of these zombies as they tend to do things like try to eat their brains, an activity that usually leaves a person dead. Since this is bad for the living people, these people try to combat this by stabbing the zombies in the brain. They stab them with sticks and glass and swords. If they can find a sharp object, they will stab a zombie in the brain with it. They also shoot them in the brain with guns. Essentially, everyone wants to kill everyone else’s brain.

It was news to me that she had adopted this show as her latest obsession. Normally her shows tend to involve food or adorable children. Very rarely do they involve dead people, let alone undead people. This was quite a departure from the person who had at one point recorded “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

“I have a question,” she said, having paused the violence of stabbing. “Why do they always stab the zombies in the brain?”

While the viewing of this show had only caught me slightly off guard, this threw me off entirely. My sister had always been very knowledgeable about her obsessions. She knew exactly who would win in “Cupcake Wars” and could name every judge. Somehow, though, she had watched multiple episodes of a single show without figuring out the point of what seems to be the entirety of the plot.

She continued. “It just doesn’t make sense. These zombies are already dead, but somehow they die AGAIN when they are stabbed in the brain.”

“Well,” I said, “you have to stab a zombie in the brain. Zombies need to think, so stabbing them in the brain keeps that from happening. Otherwise, the zombie can still come after you to kill you.”

“Oh, I guess that makes sense,” she said, thinking. It, of course did not make sense. Nothing zombie related ever did, but this was not the time or place for that debate. “I had never really thought about it.”

She sat there, then after thinking for a minute asked another question. “If it is set in modern times, why do people have swords to stab zombies with?”

It is not hard to find a lack of logic in a show based on the undead, but this seemed to be a very good question. Swords seem to come in handy for zombie-related situations, but very few people have them just hanging around their house. I wondered if the sword industry had seen a rise in profits since the premier of “The Walking Dead.”

If I am going to start stock piling weapons, I think it will be swords. I also think that I liked my sister watching “Cupcake Wars” more. There were far fewer confusing questions about killing dead people and way more baked goods.

I really like baked goods.

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