Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale: Pretty Much Dead Already

Jumpin' Jehosaphat! This episode left me and the Hubby crammed into one corner of the couch holding each other and hiding behind every couch cushion we could find. I kind of don't even want to do the re-cap and I'm left wondering if I may not be hard-core enough to watch this show. The episode was almost perfectly split down the middle: 22 minutes of 2 person discussions and 22 minutes of nail-biting action. Here goes:
      Everyone is happily sharing a meal when Glen breaks the news that there are walkers in the barn. Ruh-ro. Shane of course takes the news in his usual, easy-going style. They go down and investigate and sure enough, it's stank-city down there. About the barn: 2 episodes ago Daryl and Andrea saw a walker who had hung himself from a tree and other walkers had eaten it's legs. So we DO know that walkers will actually eat one another. We also knows that they go into feeding frenzies over food. So what keeps all the walkers in the barn from just turning and eating each other or the smallest one in the pack? Not sure.
      The group has a massive fight right in front of the barn, once again taunting volitile zombies with their nice, tasty selves. Will they ever learn? So of course the Zombies in the barn go nuts. Like you coudln't retreat onto the porch or take the debate down to the creek? Shane especially seems to get a lot of pleasure out of just riling them up. The biggest difference between Rick and Shane is that Shane wants to go into action mode over everything and Rick wants time to "handle" everything. Both approaches are going to get them into trouble in the future for different reasons. I think Rick tries to reason and play by the old rules a little too much but Shane makes everything worse with his trigger reactions.
      I'm not sure I like Maggie anymore. She's just too high maintenence and ornery. I guess being orbery can keep you alive though eh? She does however once again give Glen the opportunity for best line of the episode:
"Why would you waste an egg like that?"
     Daryl is still on a mission to find Sophia and shows that he is pretty closed off to affection from anyone when he gets in a fight with Carol. This kind of leads us into a bunch of little interactions. Dale and Andrea are still stuck, Hershel and Rick are still spinning the same debate (Rick still doesn't come up with getting his OWN farm). Rick tells Hershel about Lori. Then Maggie and Hershel get into it and it's nice to see someone FINALLY call Hershel out on his hypocrisy. Then it gets interesting. Shane and Rick have it out over Rick's need to negotiate everything. Shane has a point. No guns + walkers in the barn = unacceptable. That barn is not that sturdy and the last thing the group needs is another midnight ambush. Rick tells Shane about Lori and Shane immediately does the math and realizes that it might be his. That makes things more interesting.... and so much more unstable. And if we've learned anything this season it's that unstable Shane = must-see TV. Shane actually confronts Lori about the pregnancy and the fact that the baby might be his. I actually feel pretty bad for Lori about this. We all have that cringe-inducing relationship that we look back on and go "what was I thinking?" and as Shane gets crazier she's gotta be feeling worse about hooking up with him. Next Shane and Carl have it out and I'm thinking "Man, this episode is going to be nothing but conflict resolution. I thought we'd find Sophia in this episode, I thought the walkers would escape from the barn!"
       Here's where the action starts. Shane freaks out and goes to find Dale for some reason. Hershel grabs Rick and asks for help. Turns out that there are 2 walkers stuck in the mud and whenever this happens they grab them by the neck and stick them in the barn. Daryl and Carol have a moment by the pond and I'm SURE at this point that Daryl's resolve is going to be vindicated and Sophia will be found in this episode. Back by the mud-whole the Zombie capture isn't going so well. Geez man no wonder there are so many Zombies in the damn barn. Half of them must be farm hands that got bit trying to wrestle other Zombies INTO the barn. Glen and Maggie make up. I'm happy for Glen.
      At another part of the creek Dale is trying to hide all of their guns which makes NO SENSE AT ALL!!! And Dale is usually so reasonable! If anyone out there can think of a good reason to hide all of the guns when there are walkers in the barn you need to speak up. As if you'll have time to go fetch the guns if the Zombies break out.
     So they fight and Shane gets all the guns back.
     Then it all starts to hit the fan. Everyone convenes on the front lawn and that's when they see Rick helping Hershel wrangle Zombies across the field like he's his darn farm-hand. Shane completely loses it at this point. It's a classic case of Rick and Shane both doing what they do best and both being completely wrong. Shane's right, but he goes about it all wrong. Rick's wrong but he's wrong so diplomatically that you have to just feel for him. So Shane takes out the first walker right in front of the whole group and then busts open the barn. At this point everyone has to be all-in right? So they  line up and start taking out the walkers as they come out of the barn. These walkers are the friends and family of the people on the farm and it's so obviously the wrong way to go about it. But there's a massive slaughter and it's so horrible for the farm crew that it's painful. Hershel is so clearly destroyed and I feel so bad for him that I totally take back my Christmas Wish and feel horrible for ever wishing it in the first place. We can only begin to understand what they must feel seeing their Ex-loved ones taken out. Until Sophia steps out of the barn.
     Horror, despair, agony, helplessness. I was right there with them. In that moment it's like Shane and Rick have this role reversal. All the wind is out of Shane's sails and Rick is the one that has to be the man of action and step up to the plate. I have no idea what this means for both of them long term but it's clear that the moment is so totally pivotal that everyone is going to be changed. Carl has just seen the only other child he knows on Earth get shot in the head in Zombie form. Daryl's search for redemption by finding Sophia is destroyed. Carol. Lori has all the fuel she needs to imagine fresh horrors for her unborn child. Everything keeping them at the farm has been destroyed in one 5 minute sequence and it's mind-boggling. I can't even begin to imagine what's next and since it won't happen until February I won't even get to make any more Christmas wishes about it. Bah-Humbug!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Walking Dead Episode 6: Secrets

Secrets, Secrets. You're feeding CHICKENS to the Zombies in your barn? Unprecedented. I have so many questions. How many chickens do you have to feed them? Is it only protein or can you chuck some oatmeal in there too on occasion? I mean feeding protein to a herd of anything gets expensive right? I'm ALL ABOUT trapping a few zombies and keeping them for experiments but not to keep 'em alive. I'd have one in an indoor pen to see if it would eventually starve and "die". I'd freeze one and thaw it to see if it comes back unscathed. I'd subject one of 'em to the elements to see if it would eventually decompose. Knowledge is power my friends and somebody needs to figure out the shelf life of these suckers. Then we can all start picking out our estates. I'm not gonna lie... I might go see if I can re-open Disney World and in the meantime I might live in the castle. They have a lot of greenhouses down there. I bet I could grow a bunch of food.
    Glenn is freaking out about all his secrets and he's not very subtle. Love the scene where he's with the guys and Lori sees him and wields this stick like "you tell and I'm gonna lay into you...." hysterical. Then we all have to decide if Carl gets to join the gun class. I say normal life = no small children in gun class, Zombie apocalypse life = sign the kid up! Just my humble opinion. Shoot, my 5 year old would be packin' if you ask me.
    Then we have Glen and Dale. Best lines of the episode:
"Stop being dramatic - spit it out."
"There's walkers in the barn and Lori's pregnant."
Dale's face - priceless!! Glen would make a horrible spy by the way.
     On to Dale and Hershel in the barn. Does Hershel REALLY think that anyone could be brought back once they become a walker? With a body full of maggots and pieces hanging off?? It's almost December so It's time for Christmas Wish #1, 2011. Santa the FIRST thing I want this Christmas is for Hershel to get taken out by his very own herd of penned-up Zombies. It would be poetic and it would spare us all from having to listen to any more of his speeches.
      I was blindsided by the whole Shane/Andrea thing the first time but in re-watching the episode there's ALL kinds of sexual tension building between the 2 of them. How did I miss that the first time? First we're at the shooting range and then we're having some kind of private lesson with a swinging log. Geez. It gets kinda intense out there. But when is Shane ever not intense?
     The whole Andrea/Shane thing is soooo much better than Lori and Rick's drama though. We're still wringing our hands about having to leave the Zombie farm. At no point is it even suggested that we go get our OWN farm. I'm having a problem not rolling my eyes. Then we're on to Lori and Dale. Lori sheesh. Is the cup EVER half full?? First we want Carl to die and now new baby has no chance for happy memories. In 7 months they all could be living it up in a Zombie-free world for all we know. She's a ray of sunshine every time we see her.
      Back to the pharmacy. Now Hershel's an idiot but Maggie saw the bloated well Zombie split in two so she should KNOW that walkers are beyond redemtion. She needed to get up close and personal with one and Glen needed to save her. Ooooh and don't you just love it when they pop out of nowhere and you yelp and leap about a foot off the couch? Perfect Zombie for her to see too. I mean it's head is off like the John Cleese ghost in Harry Potter and the things still comin'. How much more evidence do you NEED that they're goners once they turn? She has a total hissy fit back at camp too because she knows they're everyone else is right now and she has to deal with it.
      Shane and Andrea then hit this neighborhood and Andrea finally gets her sharpshootin' mojo on under Jedi master Shane's tutelage. So then she jumps him in the car on the way home. BLINDSIDE! Wow - 2 hookups in 2 weeks! Who's next?? This will create so much drama in the coming weeks. I don't see Andrea and Shane working out long term and when that ends Shane's gonna LOSE IT big time.
     That's it for the action but there's still 8 minutes of episode left. Dale knows that something's up and invites Shane to leave. Rick and Lori finally have it out and he finds out about the baby and Shane all at once and handles it as only Rick would.
    So the bottom line is that we're on the launch pad for a whoooooole bunch of things to blow up in the next few episodes. The walkers in the barn are going to escape and there will be casualties. Oh yes.... (Santa - wish #1 Pleeeease!). That's going to force the issue with the whole group leaving the farm and if Sophia's not found before then she's gone forever so hopefully we'll see her soon. Going back on the road is totally going to increase the mortality rate in our little band as it always does. Of course there are now expendable ancillary characters that we've seen on screen for a few seconds at a time so that always let's you know that something big may be on the horizon. Ohhh the suspense!

Walking Dead Episode 5: Chupacabra

BEST EPISODE EVER!!! Daryl! Merle! Flashbacks! Zombies! My faith in the walking dead is restored and my fingernails are all bitten off again (they were gettin' kinda long since last week's episode didn't even warrant a nibble).
     We started off with a flashback where we see that Shane and Lori think that leaving your wee child with total spouse abusing strangers in the middle of a global crisis is perfectly OK. How on EARTH did these knuckleheads even make it to the hobo-camp in the first place? They're lucky they ever saw Carl again. Napalm in the streets of Atlanta was epic and shocking. ooooooohhhh!!
        Post credits we're back in the present where we're STILL organizing another search for Sophia. Except for Lori who's moping about her stick and Glenn who's hoping for another shag. Then Rick and Shane take a walk down memory lane and revisit all their high school conquests (or maybe just Shane's). They have a big fight about continuing to search for Sophia. Shane wants to stop risking everyone's lives and when we see what happens to Daryl I think he may have a point. In a VERY un-Daryl like moment he manages to get thrown from his horse, plummet down an embankment and impale himself on his own arrow. Wow. At this point I'm praying to the Walking Dead Gods to spare my favorite character. Anyone else would have laid down and died, but he rips off his own shirt and ties the thing off and then has the sense to go after his cross bow. Stud. He tries to climb up the embankment with his arrow and Sophia's doll (and probably his squirrel - waste not want not right?) like a Zombie Apocalypse all-star.
    Quick switch over to Rick and Lori: "NOO!! Take us back to Daryl and his arrow!" and they're all yada yada and then we're back to Daryl falling back down to the creek.... for about 20 seconds and then we had to listen to another Rick vs. Hershel episode. ARRRRGH!
      And then, in an incredibly inspired turn, Merle shows up. The interaction between Merle and Daryl is so insightful and tells us so much about each of them in turn. Merle is obviously just a survival tool that Daryl's mind has created to get himself to dig deep when he feels like he's at rock bottom but it reveals so much history and even though he's doing all of it to himself with his projection of Merle I felt so incredibly sorry for him throughout the whole thing that I wanted to just help him up the hill and give the poor guy a hug. Jeepers. What shocked me the most was Daryl working through his insecurities about where he fits in with the rest of the group and how the rest of them perceive him. Then he wakes from his stupor to find a Zombie munching on his boot. He kills it with a stick and then takes out a second Zombie by ripping the arrow out of his flesh and shooting it through the brain. What a rock-star. He refuels with some squirrel (knew you still had it D-man) slices off ears and then tries again to get up the embankment. Merle has to talk him the rest of the way up at the end of it. Again - awesomeness. Merle has beautiful teeth for a red-neck. No seriously, check them out.
     We cut back to the farm. Glen and Dale have a talk about women in the RV. I love Dale. He so reacts to things the way my mom would. THEN a "walker" comes out of the woods and everyone goes into battle stations. Right away we know it's Daryl and he's gotta really be out of it because he MUST know how he's going to look to the rest of them and then Andrea shoots him. Dammit Daryl! If only you had washed your face!
Best lines of the Episode:
" But look at him! What the hell happened? He's wearing EARS."
"Let's keep that to ourselves."
    A bunch of soul-searching then happens between Rick and Shane, Andrea the sniper and herself and Lori and fetus. We cut to dinner. Glen still has that post-coital glow about him and then he gets a note under the table from Maggie. SHA-WING!!!
   Carol goes into Daryl and tells him everything he needs to hear about being worthy of being in the group. I wish she had stayed longer and told him more and given him a hug. Then we find out that Glen's headed to the barn and from Maggie's reaction we're pretty sure that our suspicions are about the be confirmed. Thank-God he goes straight for the hay loft and doesn't try to actually go into the barn on the first level. Aaaaaannnd...... the barn is full of Zombies. Damn you HERSHEL!!!!

Walking Dead Episode 4: Cherokee Rose

Zzzzzz...... What? no, I'm awake. Sorry, it's just that this episode started out so darn slow. Rest of the crew shows up at the farm, find out that Carl's gonna pull through and they start formally organizing the search for Sophia. Andrea and Shane have words. Hershel tells Rick they're gonna have to move on down the road in a bit. Dale and T-Dog get all sentimental out by the well until they find a waterlogged Zombie (OK, I'll admit that part was kinda cool.) Rick and Hershel have a discussion about God up on the ridge. Hershel is getting super-annoying. One second he's this enlightened God-lecturing do-gooder and the next he's telling everyone that they're going to have to clear off his farm soon. And then we have this ridiculous get the Zombie out of the well scenario. Who else liked the canned ham fishing? Please you guys. Ever hear that old joke? How many apocalypse survivors does it take to get a Zombie out of a well....
      Clearly more than we have. Yikes. When they lowered Glen down Hubby goes "that'll work until the well-head gives way.." then SNAP! Down goes Glen. My man's prophetic!
    If Daryl had been helping they would have come up with a better plan but he's still on a quest to find Sophia because he is secretly the SWEETEST MAN ALIVE. Looks like he may have found her little hideout too. The longer we go without finding her the more I think that we'll see her again. What do you all think?
     The Zombie splitting open on the edge of the well was gnarly. I'm finding out that the longer you go with nothing happening on the show the bigger the payoff when something DOES happen. Gotta love the build up. Best line of the episode: "Good thing we didn't do anything stupid like shoot it." I'm starting to like T-Dog again.
      So that's it. One bloated, water-logged Zombie. I was just about to go quietly back to sleep and then.... NOOKIE ALERT!  Glen and Maggie hit the pharmacy. Go Glen!! I am so psyched for him. He deserves at LEAST this much after the well episode.
    Aww but it was all over a bit too quickly. Back to Rick and Hershel. Rick is now begging to be allowed to stay on the farm. Hershel's telling stories about his Dad and he's still annoying. So let's break it down. Can this REALLY be the only farm in the area? Is there even such a thing as ONE SOLITARY FARM anywhere in the US? I'm thinking not. So they need to find a map of the area. (No map? send Glen and Maggie after one in town - they'd be THRILLED to go!!) and then they can have Hershel show them the nearest farm probably with a common border to his (not that they may want that... we still don't know what's in Hershel's barn) and they can take possession of that farm and form a multi- farm alliance. They they can carry their guns on their own property and help each other and Glen and Maggie can continue to shag each other and Hershel doesn't have to annoy anyone. Perfect.
    Look what I wrote about Daryl just a few short paragraphs ago. He is now bringing people FLOWERS!! He's gone from cussing out everyone in earshot to searching for little girls and bringing flowers to crying women. His face hasn't been washed since last week so we're backsliding in some areas but I mean c'mon, no one can turn into a romantic hero overnight....
    That's about all of it. Carl and Rick talk and Rick and Lori talk some more and then Lori pees on a stick in the moonlight. So Zombie count = 1 and the episode might actually win the award for slowest week ever on the Walking Dead but it may just have been saved by the mid-episode pharmacy shag. Let's hope we see some better Zombie action next week eh?

Reader Comments: FoilPlay, thanks for hanging in there and checking in mid-week after a long hiatus!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Walking Dead Episode 3: Save the Last One

I'm BACK!!! Sorry to be away, I was in Disney World. Now before you get all judgemental on me about my lack of loyalty to you all let me add that I was with my 2 kids ages 5 & 7 and my parents (69 &74) all of whom would probably be scarred for life if they saw on-screen Zombies so I couldn't exactly drag them all home from a Disney park to watch our favorite show. I'll do better on my next vacation I promise. Hubby and I did manage to watch this episode on the plane as we were leaving so that's pretty dedicated to go from magical castles to The Walking Dead in the same morning right?
    Love the way the episode started. I was hard pressed to tell if the shower scene was a flashback or part of the storyline. Then we had the whole scene at the school with Rick's narrative about Shane's High School escapades on top of it which was artfully done.
    It's been a while since we had a TON of Zombies in an episode all in full-tilt attack mode and it was EPIC!! Every time they cut away from the high school to show us what was going on back at the ranch I was like "Nooo! Go Back!" and the scenes at the farmhouse just seemed to draaaaagggg on this week. Sometimes character development is like having to eat your veggies when there's cupcakes on the table. You know it's good in the long run but it's agonizing am I right?
      Then we had the "maybe it would be better for Carl if he dies" discussion. Lori REALLY?!? I mean it's tough for the time being but how long is the shelf-life of these Zombies anyway? Given a year to 2 years won't they decompose and just fall to pieces? And after that all the survivors can start picking out mansions in one of those over the top master-planned southern communities. I mean at least give it a chance right? The seizure was intense! How did they film that anyway? Does anyone else think that the kid actor pulled it off? Was it a special effect? If it wasn't then that kid should be up for an emmy.
    Our next situation features Daryl and Andrea in the woods. AND Daryl washed his face this week. Rock-on sweetie. Andrea: NEVER try to catch vomit in your hands. Especially if you're outside and it doesn't matter! You just end up with stinky hands - Rookie.
    Back at the ranch T-dog gets patched up, Glen and Maggie start to bond (yay Glen!) and Carl's situation becomes critical UNTIL Shane shows up with all the goods. There's more character development and then we're back where we started - in the shower with Shane. Except this time we get to see how it all went down back at the school. Remember what I said about the redemption of Shane? Wrong, Wrong WRONG! Or.... was it the right thing to do to save Carl? Am I applying the rules of civilization to a ridiculously uncivilized situation? Maybe Shane has just adapted to the new world faster and better than the other survivors and the rest of us. What do you all think?

Reader Comments:
Clare - I couldn't agree more on the choice of vehicles. SURELY they passed a few RV dealerships on their way into/out of Atlanta. And Jedi I'm with you on the window's down thing. Super-creepy. And whenever they stop I'm convinced that Zombies have crawled into one of the vehicles and are waiting to ambush them. But then again the Zombies don't seem that smart do they? There have been several instances on the show though of people walking past a bus or car with a Zombie sitting inside just hanging out so SOMETHING must motivate them to go into vehicles....
Flashbacks are fab and as for the cliffhangers, I'm with you! So good in theory yet at the end of every episode I'm shaking my fist at the screen screaming "Curse you Walking Dead show, Curse you!!!"
Jedi - Why do you think that CDC guy told Rick something about Lori? I'm intrigued.....