The Walking Dead Season Two, Part Two, Episode 3

Holy cost cutting batman!  I'm starting to notice that the more zombies that show up in TWD, the less cast members we see.  This week we had some great action involving Rick and Shayne, and we had some boring dialogue between Lori, Becky and Blondie.  And thats about it!  The kid with Rick and Shane and the blonde with the ladies serve as plot devices more than characters.  They both are the reasons for why the main characters are in conflict.  Every one else was busy off camera.

What irked me was that they tried to work in explanations for their absences. I get it that the series has to save money. By not having Glen, Hershel, Tdog, Dale, Daryl, Wife of Otis, Billy, Carol and Carl appear in the episode they must have saved hundreds of thousands.  Plus none of them were really needed for the little conflict stories that played out. There is no need to then throw in little bits of dialogue to explain where they are.

"Where's Glenn?"

"I saw him walking with Becky."

"Well find him."

Blah blah.

But there are questions that have to be asked!  Why was Hershel not sitting with his freaking daughter? How did Hershel not know she attempted suicide, and how did he not hear the argument? The man spent the first half of the season whining about his loved ones, to be MIA while his daughter is committing suicide? Oh wait... the girls explained away his absence with some expository.  My bad.

I get it that Glenn was upset from last episode, but he is a kid, and kids are horny. He would have gotten over his issues by now and the itch would have returned and he would have been right up Beckies ass again.  But when she needed him most, he was letting her deal with her sister's suicide watch alone.

Minor issues yes, but if you are going to have three quarters of your cast disappear for an episode, make some effort to provide a LOGICAL explanation.

Now on with the GREAT episode!

As I said before, we had two character conflicts playing out.  The Rick and Shane conflict, and Lori and Blondie. Both groups were fighting over something immediate, the dude who shot at Rick I think his name was Randy, and Hershel's daughter... we will call her Dud.  But the fights were much deeper than what to do about Randy and Dud.  All four of them were putting dirty laundry out to dry.

Rick and Shane:

I have been talking about the coming conflict between the two for months. And this was round one.  But it is not over yet as evidenced by Shane's brooding in the car at the end.

Rick confronted Shane about Lori and laid it on the line.  Hands off, get in line, or get lost.  But then they get down to the dirty.  Their confrontation was only partly about Lori and the group. It was about the two of them and their inner battles. First, Rick was battling against his hold on reality slipping away.  Shane speaks the truth and Rick knows it. It is Rick's fight to stop himself from believing it.  Shane is fighting against his loss of control.  Rick symbolizes every thing that held him down before the ZA.  He happily enjoyed a period of release from the restraints of society where he was free to set the rules, and be the hero.  Rick's return changed that.

So while Lori and the baby and the kid priosoner may have been the spark, the flames of this fight were smoldering deep below the surface.

When it came down to it, neither of them were willing to take the necessary steps to finish the fight. Shane through the wrench through the window, and Rick came back while Shane was as good as dead.  So in effect, nothing changed. They are both right where they were when it started.  Shane is brooding, Rick is questioning his decisions.

Then we have Blondie and Lori.  This conflict started up at the beginning of season 2.  You could sorta see it in season one, but at the point the characters were not defined enough to give them any thing good to fight about.  Their argument started over the girl attempting suicide, but turned into a more practical issue.  And frankly, I think Lori is flat wrong.  Lori is attacking her for not doing dishes.  Blondie is defending herself for allowing the girl to kill herself.  But really, she is defending herself for simply being the person that she has become post ZA.  And Lori, like Rick, is holding onto who she was before.

This is what makes Lori and Rick weaker than Shane and Blondie and creates the dramatic power struggle that the show is marching towards.

The rest of the episode was just plot twist filler. With no other characters appearing to actually do any thing, there was little else going on!

So on with Episode 4.  The previews promise some juicy drama created by the dilema with the prisoner.  Knowing TWD, it is too hard to guess what may happen.  I think that in typical AMC style, something different will happen, like the kid walking in and executing him, or Hershel.

Any way, enjoy!



Will Wright said...

I'll tell you what I think happens.
The coming attactraction for next week you have the gimp in the barn with Darryl.
Who wants to bet during that conversation the Gimp says to Darryl you have no idea how tough our leader is.
Some asshole cop cuffed him on a roof and he cut his own hand off and still killed his way out of Atlanta.
One plot point that really bugs me,His brother is out there with no hand,alive and he is like oh well,let me hang out on a farm.

chuck said...

I thought the same thing Will. I thoguth for sure they wre going to reveal Merl as the bad guy leader.

What does T-Dog bring to the show? I was watching last nights show, and until they showed T-Dog standing in on the vote, I completely forgot that he was even in the show anymore. If I was the actor playing T-Dog Id be pissed.


Itchy said...

Are we one week behind on our discussion here? Everything discussed today was from a week ago, right? Last night's episode was EPIC but I'll not say any more than that.

Jawaballs said...

Yah ive been late getting these up. I will try to get this weeks up today.

TheRhino said...

Daryl isn't worried about Merl because, IMO, he knows he's dead or long gone. There's no way Merl is the other group's leader. Firstly because of his personality...he's no leader. Secondly because of his handicap. Would you follow a guy withone hand at the end of thr world, when you're fighting for survival every day of your life?
Merl likely died from massive infection in his amputation, or was eaten after succumbing from shock (or crashed the van from the same reason, and then was eaten).

As for the ancillary characters being ancillary...that's what they're for! Not every character is deserving of screen time. The bits of dialogue that refer to them actuallt ARE good writingm, because it follows what normal humans do and say. If the characters focused only on the situations they were currently in, the show ouldn't be immersive and real. It'd be liek a sitcom, where every episode is about one thing, and one thing only. The camera can't be everywhere at once, following everyone, but you can give the impression that other things are occuring and that other characters are active through dialogue and description.

John's Blog-O-Plenty said...

You knew it was coming with old dude getting iced...He was too much of a pacifist. Otis's wife is gonna find out about Shane's 'cover' move, and put a bullet in him,

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