Monday, February 27, 2012

Walking Dead S2 Episode 10: 18 Miles Out

Shane fights dirty. You threw a motorcycle onto him, Really?!? Masterful Storytelling!! The episode started out with a heart-pounding flash forward that left me squirming. And then I spent the better part of the episode freaking out as I waited for it to happen. Nice one.
  I'm subtitling this one "The Vacation Episode" because it seems like most of the cast was on vacay. Not sure why they need one only 3 episodes into the 2nd half of season 2 but whatever. Glen, Carl, Carol, Daryl, Hershel, Dale and Jimmy were all M.I.A and the focus was all on Rick and Shane and then some girl drama back at the farm. BTW how fast can you say "Dale, Glen, Carl, Carol, Daryl and Hershcl???" They all have an 'l' in them which is kinda weird when you think about it.
    This episode also gets an award for putting major characters at risk with absolutely nothing to show for it. NOTHING. In fact they burned more than 40 miles of gas and bashed each others faces in so they're actually net loss. They at LEAST should have come out of this with some canned goods. And remember dear reader - the purpose of this blog is not just to re-cap this excellent show but to critique decisions so we can do better if it happens to us. So lets make a pact that if you and I ever get sent to drop off an interloper so he can't find his way back but then he talks his way out of it and we have to drag his sorry hide all the way back with us that we'll at least try to hit a 7-11 on the way home and bring back some stale Doritos OK?
     I'm not gonna give you a blow by blow this week. I watched it and so did you so we both know what happened. But there are some major things that we need to discuss and I want your opinion. What's up with the 2 security guards that have no marks on them? One thing that has been conspicuously missing from our characters conversations is discussions about Zombie Theories. If you and I were immersed in the Z.A., I'm pretty sure we'd have a bi-weekly session around the campfire when our chores were done to discuss the finer points of Zombie take-downs, how to avoid being infected, and why the sketchy things rose up in the first place. Mass Zombie transmission couldn't possibly have occurred with bite to bite transmission right? I mean most people that get bitten would probably have been consumed so there wouldn't have been that many of the things left. So scratches, splatter and other flying bits could definitely be a gateway to infection. I know I've talked about this before but few episodes have left me rocking on the couch chanting "Wash your face, wash your face..." like this one did. Plus what about "Zombie Zero" - the first walker to rise up? THAT Zombie didn't get bit, so there must be SOMETHING out there that can infect without biting. They were both government employees. Do you think they got some kind of preventative "Vaccine" that was bogus? That would create multiple seed points for starting the Z.A. and pretty much ensure that it would be impossible to contain. How can our main characters not talk about this stuff?? Is any of this what CDC guy whispered to Rick at the end of season 1? I want theories people and I want them now....
     Back at the farm. Coma girl's awake and wants to end it. All of this is really a vehicle for Lori and Andrea to have the BEST CATFIGHT EVER!! And Andrea totally won it. "A husband, a son, a baby AND a boyfriend ..."?!? Oh SNAP sista - lay it on! 'Bout time too if you ask me. That's what Lori gets for being all persnickity about the workload. And in the end Coma girl makes a feeble attempt to end it and everyone relaxes because they think she now wants to live. That's the exact conclusion I always come to when someone I know shatters a bathroom mirror and slits their wrists with the shards. "Great news! They didn't really want to do kill themselves after all! Moving on..." They should probably give her a handgun to keep under her pillow just in case fence-leg gets out of the barn. That's some rock-solid decision making people.
   So the episode didn't really move the plot forward too much. We're left in the same situation we were in at the end of last week. But I do know that when men beat the snot out of each other they're usually best friends again afterwards and when women have strong words in the kitchen they can hate each other for YEARS so in terms of character development we learned a whole bunch. What do you think happened to the 2 guards at the public works department? And what are they going to do with their hostage? What would YOU do?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Walking Dead Episode 9: Triggerfinger

Is it me or is this the shortest 42 minute show that's EVER been televised? Seriously folks, 10 minutes into the episode the credits roll and I'm all "What?? Noooooo!!!" Someone shut off the time warp so I can enjoy a full episode. Or is that impossible because the show's just so darn GOOD???
    A lot happened last week. Rick got hard-core, Hershel got a dose of reality (he got a triple dose this week but more on that later..) and the theme of the second half of season 2 is emerging: we have much more to fear from the living still among us than we do from the dead.
Love that each episode so far is starting right where the last one left off. Rick, Glen and Hershel were still standing in shock looking at the 2 dead guys and letting the reality of what had just happened sink in. And then the dead guy's friends showed up. I was impressed with just how quickly Hershel got with the program. There were no sermons, no platitudes, and no judgements. It's about time H. And we even find out at the end of the episode that he has decided to let the group stay at the farm. So what happened in the bar may have been more of a watershed moment for him than what happened at the barn.
    The 3 guys have a stand-off with these newcomers and then a minor gun fight. They shoot one guy and Hershel gets to see Walkers in action for the first time when they start munching on the fallen. Cudos to him for not going catatonic like other members of his family that will go unmentioned. Then a young man gets abandoned when his leg is impaled on a metal fence. So our trio of heros try to amputate his leg while walkers close in on them from both sides. And I have No. Fingernails. Left by the time this scene is over.
  Finally in an utterly brutal move Rick just rips the leg clean and they take off. In the Zombie apocalypse, sometimes there just isn't time for civilized solutions friends, am I right?
     Then we cut to Lori. Good Ol' Lori. The most frustrating thing about this show is that any character may actually die at anytime (and they have!!) with the exception (for now) of Rick and Lori. Rick because it's HIS story and Lori because (for now but not for always God Pleeeeeease) Lori is way too pivotal to what's happening between Rick and Shane. So we're stuck with her. But as a walker peeled it's own face off trying to eat her through her car windshield I had fantasies of her going. She's just way too annoying. So she gets out and Shane has to get her and lie to bring her back and she freaks out on him yada, yada.
     We had a nice scene in the house where Carl finds out that he'll be a big brother. The TV show is delightfully setting it's own path so unlike in the comic Carl might even get to be a big brother for more than a week, you never know. Then we had a scene with Shane and Lori where we find out just how intensely off the deep end Shane has gotten. Poor poor Shane. There is really only one hard and fast rule for dating and shagging during the Zombie Apocalypse:
Shake yourself off and move on.
Because people come and go fast in the Z.A. right? So you can't go all "New Moon Bella" staring out a window for 3 months" every time you lose someone cuz you'll get EATEN! Shane.... Andrea is happy to shag you AND swoon over you every time you give gun advice. A bird in the hand bro.... just sayin'.
     Then we have Daryl. I'm so, so disappointed in my boy Daryl. Yes he tried to find Sophia and she ended up a Zombie, and Yes he's utterly disillusioned and hopeless, and Yes he feels like he no longer fits in with the only family he's ever had. D-man, I GET it, but you have to pull yourself together. Pick yourself up, shoot a few squirrels, add some ears to your collection, you'll feel a whole lot better and you can stop abusing Carol. He'll be back. I have total faith that Daryl Dixon will be redeemed. Then again, it IS the walking dead. I better follow my own rule of attachment just in case.
    So at the end we're left wondering what to do about fence-leg and what to do about Shane. I keep wondering if a plot line is going to veer us back to the main plot thread of the comic and at this point I really, really hope that it doesn't. I love that it's following it's own path and I love that I'm always guessing. I mean people who should be dead are still with us and people that should be alive are dead or Zombies so there's no telling what will happen next. I guess I'll just have to wait until next week's 10 minute episode....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Episode 8: "Nebraska"

Holy Smokes gang, it's gettin' feral. Rick has gone over to some other place and I'm not sure I like it. So glad the episode started off right exactly where the last one left off. It was much too monumental of a moment not to and we really needed to see how everyone reacted - I mean beside being horror-stricken and having to rock in a dark corner for a bit which one character actually DOES.
   The group is pretty much divided into 2 camps:
Camp 1: It had to be done.
Camp 2: Dude that was NOT cool....
   And who falls into which camp is pretty predictable. The saddest reactions to the whole thing are Carol, Carl and Daryl (say THAT 5 times fast....). Carol now has no strings of attachment left from her old life at all and we wonder how she'll even continue living. Daryl put all his chips on black and red came up and I'm not sure he'll be able to work through his disillusionment. And Carl is just waaaay too hard-core for a kid. Still though, if the choices are hard-core or lying on the bed catatonic, I'd rather have the hard-core people on my team.
   For me the most interesting thing about the episode was watching Rick and Shane's paths cross over and flip over the course of one 45 minute segment. Shane starts out crazy, impulsive, violent, screamin' Shane and by the end of it he's washing Carol's hands for her and gently comforting her with his words and actions. Rick starts out as the more conservative "think before you act" leader of the group and by the end of the episode he's shooting living people. We've crossed over to a different place my friends.
   I don't have too much to criticize as far as decisions go this week. Although I DID let out a groan when Andrea jumped in the back of the truck with the dead Walkers. Really dude? You're gonna ride in the back with them? What if there's leaky fluids back there that all start running off the end of the truck as soon as it starts moving? What if one of them is only PLAYING dead like good ol' Mom and bites you when your back is turned. I'm not one for red-tape and procedures but these people need to write some kind of Zombie handling protocol and they all need to stick to it.
  Then there's Lori. You know how at an 8th grade dance there's always that one girl that thrives on drama and goes insanely out of her way to rile everyone up and stir the pot? Yep. Everyone pause dramatically - back of the hand to forehead. "Oh no! she's catatonic! We NEED Hershel! Whatever will we do? Whoever will we send? Oh my oh goodness..." insert hand wringing here "Will no one HELP me and fetch them? I suppose I'll just have to go alone."
    Because a vet will be able to do SO MUCH for a psychiatric patient right? Put her to bed with some butter on it and call it good says I. If she's dead by morning then she wasn't able to hang in the post apocalyptic world. Better find that out now than later when you life is on the line and you tell her to have your back in some scary situation and then she caves. Maybe Carl can give loan her his Man-Pants for a little bit until she gets the hang of it.
    So now Lori has helped the situation by crashing a car and probably ending up quite hurt. As if Rick doesn't already have enough to deal with today. Yikes. Speaking of Rick, did we talk about the fact that he shot those 2 guys? Not unprovoked mind you... the guy behind the bar was definitely goin' for his gun but still. What a reaction from Glen and Hershel. Those 2 didn't know what to think but Hershel's a total doofus if that whole experience didn't give him a good ol' dose of "Hmm maybe I want these guys on my side after all..." Here's hoping he turns over a new leaf and lets the gang stick around for a bit. I mean after all, Maggie's in Looooove.....