Issue 10 Review

Midnight Nation 10 Synopsis

"Drifting Away"

David Grey crouches on the floor before Laurel. David has nearly converted into a Walker. The tattoos cover his body, his eyes are orange, and his lips are pulled back in a feral grin. He grunts the "shah" language of the Walkers. Laurel is dressed in the thin nightgown given to her by her captors. She asks David to listen to her.

Laurel says she understands the rage and freedom that David is feeling. She explains that the Other Guy brought out these feelings in him to make him forget that he is a man. She says that David's only hope is to fight the Other Guy's influence by staying in this room with her. She says that she will not stop David or fight him, and he can kill her, but she begs him again not to leave the room. However, she does ask him for the third and final time if he wants her to kill him.

The deluded David sees Laurel as a viscous adversary throughout her speech. He howls in anger at her final offer and begins to lunge at her. At that point, he flashes back to his earlier conversation with his older self. His older self told him that he will kill Laurel. David remembers his promise that he would not allow it. He hurls his rage instead at the stone wall, and runs out of the room heedless to Laurels pleas for him to stay.

David rushes outside and finds the Other Guy and several Walkers standing by the open gates of the compound. The Other Guy encourages David to explore his freedom. David and the Walkers run through the streets of the demonic New York in madness while the Other Guy returns to visit Laurel.

The Other Guy sympathizes with Laurel because she must lose the same way every time. She is put through the ordeal repetitively without hope. He says that all she has to do is say "no" like he did. Laurel asks him to leave her alone. The Other Guy says that the thing he misses the most is all of the voices of the heavenly hosts raised in unison in perfect song. He does not want Laurel to suffer. He invites her again to leave whenever she wants. Laurel stares stubbornly ahead.

The Other Guy walks to another room and tells three Walkers that Laurel refuses as she always does, but he still had to ask. The Walkers prepare a large wooden wheel and a collection of sharp stakes.

David runs through the street, terrorizing people and rejoicing for his freedom. The Other Guy observes from the top of his building. His goal is to free David from his inhibitions so that he can understand and serve willingly without the burdens of the past. Everyone who understands the world should long to start life over and be free.

Laurel returns to her cell where two Walkers have prepared a bath for her. As she sits in the tub and contemplates starting over with freedom, the Walkers add rose petals to the water.

The Other Guy continues to preach his philosophy. David must move beyond responsibility and hope. Hope is the bait that encourages people to follow the rules. If David denies hope, he will be free from expectations and guilt. "The death of hope is the birth of freedom," he says.

The Other Guy orders the Walkers to bring Laurel. He reminds them that she will not resist. She never does because it is against the rules. He seems sad for what is about to happen. Laurel sits at a small table ignoring her last meal and says goodbye to her drawing of the mother and child. A large group of Walkers grab her and carry her away on their shoulders.

David stops running with the Walkers when he sees a mannequin that resembles Laurel. He begins to say that he loves her, and then he remembers his past life. He remembers that he became a cop to help people. He remembers his ex-wife and the Walker who turned against the Other Guy. He remembers discussing hope with Laurel. He remembers that he loves Laurel. David screams her name and begins running back.

The Walkers carry Laurel to the wheel. She sheds a tear and says that she forgives David. As the Other Guy looks away, the Walkers brutally crucify Laurel on the wheel. David rushes in, but the Walkers stand between him and Laurel.

The Other Guy says that this is the way things must end, and David can't change it. He explains that Laurel is here for David, and she won't die until David gives her permission. He reminds David that he does not lie. David can not stop Laurel's death. He can only affect how and why she dies, and what happens after that.

The Other Guy lifts his hand to reveal the glowing blue flame of David's soul and invites him to discuss it.