First thing first. Once again, I ask that if you have knowledge of the comic book, you keep it to yourself. In this particular discussion we are talking about a Television series. Knowing about the future based on the comic does nothing four our discussion here. Plus, they are two very different medium. I have made the point a few times before, but to be short, we are responding to THIS story. Not the one told in comic book form. Frankly, I don't discuss movies with guys who have read "the book first". You simply cannot compare! I have never heard an account of some one who "likes the movie more". So please don't comment about what is going to happen based on the comic book, or how the book explains what is going on in peoples heads.
I can't be much more clear than that!
Now on with the show.
It opens up with ominous words from Scowl. Dale approaches him with the news that Glen has spilled about walkers being in the barn. Of course Scowl plays the "that is my wife" point of view. This leaves little room to play with. It presents two points of view. Scowl's, upon which he wants to preserve walkers in an attempt to save them, or Rick's, who knows that walkers are simply shells of their previous selves and need to be put down. This reinforces the duality of human nature. We are the most creative and most destructive species on the planet. At some point, that conflict is going to come to a head.
Overall, I loved the episode. After abandoning any sort of expectations of what I wanted the show to be, I can sit back and enjoy it for what it is. Great writing and great drama.
Very little happened in this show plot or action wise, but several little plots did start to bubble up.
Dale is a Jedi:
The guy has been around since the start, and as I mentioned before, always seems to be the one that every body goes to when they need to get something off their chest. But he seems to be very manipulative in how he uses his knowledge. First of all, he squeezed out of Glen the two big secrets. But instead of confronting them directly and sharing them with the leadership of the group, he goes behind the scenes and pulls strings. Kind of like how Obi Wan manipulated Luke into going with him telling him the story of his farther "from a certain point of view." So instead of talking to Rick about the zombies he goes to Scowl! Nothing good could come from that. Plus, who is Dale in the dynamics of the farm? He is the guy who stands around the camper and cooks Spam. Now he thinks he is the guy who has to go confront weird farmer dude concerning the gaggle of zombies in the barn?
Oh and talk about freaky scenes by the way, how about the chick breaking the chicken's leg then feeding it to the zombies! I got shivers when she callously snapped it's bones and it started shrieking. Great stuff.
Then Dale needs to approach Lori about the baby. This is ok though. It is in his character to be concerned about the women in the party. It makes sense that once he hears about her pregnancy, he would open up discussion about it.
But then he confronts Shane in a weird jealousy thing. What was he thinking? Sure, he saw Shane level his gun at Rick and that definitely caused some trepidation. But I don't think that Shane's story left any thing for Dale to be suspicious about. If Shane was a little vague, could it not simply be because it was a horrible experience and Shane feels bad that the guy gave his life for him? It is definitely not something that should have raised Dale's hackles. I think the writers are giving him some sort of meta gaming spidey sense.
At any rate, the dude is setting himself up for a fall, as Shane points out in no uncertain terms.
Shane is Cool:
Aside from Daryl, who spent the episode poking holes in his tent with an arrow, Shane is my next most favorite character. I like his pragmatic outlook on reality. Times are a changing and Shane is ready for the change! He is not holding onto any old world moralistic view like Rick. He is taking action and getting things done.
Speaking of Shane allow me to side track for a minute. Have any of you really sprained an ankle like Shane did? That was pretty bad! I know when I sustained a sprain like that I was limping for days. Most times when you roll an ankle, you can still function well for a while because of adrenaline and lack of immediate swelling. Only after do you really start to limp. It takes a pretty serious sprain to render you almost unable to walk. An injury like that can be worse than a break and take weeks to go away. Shane seems to be totally recovered! My point is that the show seems to disregard continuity. As far as I know, the entire season so far has only spanned a few days. In that time, Carl was shot in the gut and has recovered. (It took his father months to recover from a similar injury.) Daryl got an arrow through the gut, and was shot in the head but only seems to be laid up because he was forced to stay put. Shane suffered an ankle sprain which should have had him limping for a week. These guys have some serious regenerative abilities! They are like Wolverine.
Back to Shane, I like the point of view that he introduces to the group. I also like how he does things. Going to the housing development had nothing to do with looking for Sophia. It was about putting the blonde in a situation that would force her hand. He knows that sometimes potential is not realized until it is forced out. And he knew that he would likely find walkers in that town. So he convinced her to go so he could see how she performs. Of course, it was convenient that a horde of walkers would attack when there were none only minutes before. The Walking Plot points did their job. I mean seriously, they drove in and didn't see a single walker. Before they entered the house, they scanned the area, still no walkers. They were inside for at most a minute. They entered the house, cleared the rooms, stopped to ponder the sealed up door and pile of dead, then went down to the garage and gawked at the burned bodies. In that time a dozen walkers came from out of nowhere, sprinted up to the house, and started clawing their way into the precise spot that they were standing. It is like the walkers were hiding behind the house across the street, and waited for them to go inside, knowing they were going to be in the garage where they could corner them. Sigh.
I loved the scene that played out in the house. We got to catch a glimpse of a battle that happened in that home as the occupants tried to mount a home defense. They had a good zombie plan. They walled off the hallway that lead to the stairs to the basement/garage. I would love to see that scene played out! Maybe in webisode form. There was a pile of dead walkers in the kitchen. It must have been a nasty gun fight! And how did the garage get burned out? How did they bash through the sealed up wall? So many opportunities to tell a great story!
I chuckled when Shane left the blonde to fend for herself on the street. And predictably, she found her way and became a marksman. I know I'm breaking my own rules, but apparently in the comic she is some sort of sniper. Honestly I wish I didn't know that because it takes away from any sort of speculation I could make about this scene. Please stop commenting about the comic!
So, Shane berates the blonde, puts her in harms way, then gets some action. Cool.
When in doubt, sex it up. Probably one the best examples of writers sexing up a show, I refer to Star Trek: Voyager. It was not a great show, but I sorta liked it. The first couple seasons were ho hum. All they had for sexual tension was the weird relationship between Nelix and the young, sprite looking Kes. It was awkward at best. Ratings were lumping. What do they do? Hire a hot blonde, put her in a skin tight body suit, slap on a couple of borg implants, and have her kick all sorts of ass, and they got rid of pixie girl. Blammo! Ratings shot up. Then they started having the rest of the crew get some. Bellana and Tom, even Chakotay and the Captain. Sex added the unavoidable drama that comes along with sex.
Is it any surprise that in season two of TWD the writers upped the ante? In the first season, there were two scenes where Shane and Lori got busy. But both were sorta secondary and reactive. They were more about setting the stage than pushing the plot. You almost didnt even think about it. This year? Glen scores with the cute farmers daughter. Every nerds dream! It is the zombie apocalypse, and the nerdy kid is in a survival situation with a hot chick way out of his league. Probably one of the smartest decisions the writers have made. You have got to root for the little guy! Go get that babe!
In contrast to that nerd dream cutie though, we get Shane and the Blonde. You had to know they were gona screw for a while now. There was just too much sexual tension for them not to. I knew the minute he was coaching her on shooting and she got all emotional that they were gona do it. After she started shooting zombie head shots, you could almost see the lust in her eyes. I want to say Thank You to the writers for Shane's line "Well come on then!". TV Glory. But I have to say I was a little weirded out. Honestly though, she got what she needed. Maybe now she will shut her trap and start toeing the line. Or big papa Shane is gona give her the daddy treatment.
Hopefully we will see what the comic readers have promised and she will start kicking ass and taking names. Any thing will be a nice change from the annoying, distracting, bumbling character that she was before. The question is, who is
And hopefully Glen will get much more action from Becky. I am enjoying the way she is in total control over him. He is just a goofy kid, and she is a woman that knows what she wants. It is good to watch the poor kid squirm, trying to figure out what is going on in her head.
The Walking Drama:
The show ended with a confrontation between Rick and Lori. True to character, and despite what we expected, Rick remained calm and cool. I enjoyed their conversation and how it got some major issues out in the air. I also enjoy how they resolved some of these things in this episode. This will set the stage for a pretty good cliff hanger episode this weekend before going into the mid season break. There are really no loose ends to tie up, except for two. Find the girl, and burn the barn. They wanted to get the Andrea thing the baby thing, the shane/lori thing all out of the way for now, so they can focus on one thing... how will Rick respond when he finds a barn full of Walkers. Undoubtedly, there will be a breakout. I suspect that it won't happen until the end of the episode which will leave every one in peril in classic cliff hanger fashion.
The question is, who is gona buy it?
Time for a poll! Fill it out to the right.
At any rate, the show is fantastic. Especially once I set aside what I hoped the show to be, and accept what it is. Great drama. The writers are doing every thing right. Create interesting and compelling plot lines, on a shoe string budget. That is how a show survives. Well done AMC.