The Very Special “Oscar Edition” Review of The Walking Dead!

The Walking Dead:

Season 2 Episode 10 Review

*Warning: like all the others, this review comes with the same advisory against impending spoilers, mature content, etc. and so on. Please enjoy immensely and at your own discretion.*

For those of you who care about that kind of thing, this past Sunday was also Oscar Night and the NBA All-Star Game. It makes me wonder if they wrote this episode of TWD with those facts in mind and purposely made it less interesting.

Was it just me or did anyone else feel like this episode was short and teetering on the boring side, despite the heavy walker presence? Maybe it was because there were none of the characters I find most interesting- Daryl, Glenn, and Dale- and so no further exploration of their various complicated relationships. Maybe it was because I expected more from Rick and Shane’s confrontation, or from Beth’s situation. I thought she was going to be infected, not fake-suicidal! The extent that I care about that character and her drama begins and ends with how she will affect the people I actually do give a shit about, and being infected will stir up trouble for everyone. Yes, I understand her significance to the story and the setting, but did that series of events really need to be like, 1/3 of the whole episode?? They could’ve fit in another story arc- like more with Carol and Daryl or where the Hell is T-Dog and what is he off doing? It seemed lazy. Anyway…

 Welcome to my special “Oscar Edition” review of The Walking Dead, episode 10!

Unlike the real thing there’s no paparazzi, no Red Carpet- except for any female readers who happen to be natural red-heads, no talk about designer dresses, no celebrity presenters, and you have me for a host instead of what’s-his-face. But there will be intense emotions, competition, people who can’t stand each other acting as though they’re friends, and hoards of the soulless shells of what was once a person now left emotionless and dead inside ( just without the Botox and Xanax.) Enjoy the themed review of the show!

 This week has the two main storylines: the major one is Rick and Shane finally having it out while dropping off their “guest-age” (part guest, part hostage) Randall. The second is about Beth and her collapse/fever-coma which seemed like infection and made fetching Hershel so urgent, which is now just her moping in a bed and stealing cutlery for attention.  It’s also about Andrea being the dumb ho that she is, only this time it’s really obvious because she both acts like and mouths-off like one.

We start with Rick and Shane driving out an agreed upon 18 miles to drop off their human cargo and coming to a crossroads….I mean they literally stop at a real crossroads and Rick gets out to finally talk to his increasingly crazy buddy. No symbolism there-no sir! He tells Shane that he knew about him and Lori long before Lori had to tell him and that it took everything he had not to kick Shane’s face in. He basically says “ The only way this works is if you accept right here and now that  that’s my wife, my kid, my baby and you will back the Hell up off of them and recognize that I will be staying alive and keeping them safe because that’s my job. You’re done being scary and following your own agenda. You are no longer a threat to me.

Shane can barely look at him and it’s like seeing an obnoxious spoiled 2-yr-old finally getting caught and punished by Mom and Dad. He tries to make excuses like he does with everyone, claiming that back at the hospital there were soldiers shooting people and then walkers were coming through and there was just no way the two of them could make it out- he knew it. But leaving Rick was something he couldn’t have lived with if he didn’t have Lori and Carl there to keep him from falling apart. He swears he never looked at Lori before that and “Brother I’d take it all back if I could!”

And the Oscar for Best Improvised Bullshitting goes to…Shane Walsh in: I’m Really Not A Bad Guy! No, Seriously!

Wait a sec…didn’t he tell Lori back in season 1 that he truly thought Rick was dead? That he put his ear to Rick’s chest and swore he couldn’t hear a heartbeat and that was the only reason he left him and told her that her husband was dead? In fact in episode 9 while arguing over his lie about Rick being back at the Farm she says he can’t seem to stop lying and brings it up again, to which he responds with “When are you going to stop throwing that in my face? I thought he was…” and stops, but essentially he tells her again that he really believed Rick was dead.

 Now he’s changing his story and telling Rick that he had no choice but to leave him and just assume he would end up dead? He also told Lori during that argument that “what they had” wasn’t the mistake she claims it to be; but that “it was real and right and a long time coming.” A long time coming you say? Yet to Rick you swear you never looked at Lori before you thought he was out of the picture.

And the Oscar for Most Convoluted Web of Lies goes to…Shane again! This time for his role in: I’ve Wanted My Best Friend’s Life & Now I’m Going to Steal It from Him

Another interesting thing that Shane decided to share with Rick during their crossroads confrontation is his confession of killing Otis in order to survive, claiming one of them wasn’t going to make it out and it had to be Otis. He says “One shot to the leg, Carl lives” and tells Rick that he wouldn’t have been able to do it. “Rick you can’t just be the Good Guy and expect to live.” Really? Then what’s the point of living if you’re only going to be raising children to become “bad” people and live in a world populated with only “bad” people? What are you living for? (That’s the question that Beth needs an answer to, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)

Shane also provided his personal commentary on Otis’ death, stating that “Reality is he had no business being here…”

The Oscar for Best Interpretation of Being A Total Dick goes to…Shane once again for his innovative portrayal of the character “God”!

Why exactly did Otis not belong here if he had survived this long? The guy obviously had some useful medical knowledge, was a good shot (totally nailed Carl right in the torso through a deer for Christ’s sake!) was a hunter/provider, had a girlfriend who loved him, a sense of honor and morals, plus I’m told he played the guitar like an Angel.

My guess is it was because Shane was jealous. He was all used to being the hottest, manliest, beef-cake survivor on the block but when he saw Otis he knew there was just no way he could compete with all that sexy, so he got rid of him.

It’s so sad how jealousy can drive people to do terrible things.

Back to the actual happenings of the episode: they get back in the car and keep driving. Rick is chattering about winter and actually making some good points. He understands what things will be like and that they need to stockpile food, fuel, warm clothing, and other necessities now even though winter seems far off. This tells me how Rick really does “get it” and demonstrates why he’s the best choice the group has for a leader. Shane is barely listening, staring out the window at a lone walker striding across the middle of a field.

There’s been a lot of talk about the meaning of that walker and here is part of how I saw it:

I took this as an indication that the area must be filled with fucking things. Considering they aren’t supposed to be very active during the day and yet there’s one strolling in the sunshine like he’s headed to Burning Man, how many of them must there be meandering around in the woods or just lying in cars and buildings, chilling until nightfall? I would estimate more than just a few and if Shane is thinking like I am he probably figures poor Randall won’t stand much of a chance after they drop him off. Since he wanted the guy dead from the get-go, I’d say this was Shane seeing a good sign- one that he neglects to point out to Rick. But there’s actually much more to it than that, only we won’t realize it until the end (which is where I’ll finish my interpretation.)

Once they get to the decided left-to-die location and take out a pair of Security Walkers, Shane points something out that hasn’t come up yet and I think this is how it’s introduced to us and all the explanation we’re going to get: he says the walkers didn’t have any bites on them. That means they must be “scratchers”- infected via nail scratches on skin, thus infectious themselves in the same way. Now we have a whole new way for people to become infected and it’s a lot more difficult to avoid than a bite. Yay!

Seriously though, what did I tell you about not knowing anything about this illness and how it spreads?! (see my review of episode 8) One more thing I totally called! And I still think Beth is infected, too- not bitten but scratched during the tussle with her dead mum- we just haven’t seen the more obvious stages yet. Or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking.

So now there’s scratcher-walkers and they’ve already found two- this is clearly an AWESOME place to leave Randall tied up with only a knife a few feet away. It also seems like the totally perfect place for the two guys to fight! Burned corpses, random sharp and/or rusty debris, possible infectious materials, disease-riddled dead bodies that have been all over touching on everything…let’s give each other open wounds and smell like dinner!

Poor Randall is virtually hog-tied and begging Rick and Shane not to leave him- trying to find anything that will make them change their minds and take him back to the farm with them. He argued that he wasn’t like the other guys but that he had to be with them because one man alone doesn’t stand a chance. He really did sound and look pathetic, laying on his side on the cement while yelling that he’s just a kid- he went to Church on Sundays and went to the same High School as Maggie and had been to her house and was on the football team…and then they stop and turn.

I thought it was because he’d finally said something that could be taken as a reliable character reference, but I should have been thinking more pragmatically. If he’s been to Maggie’s house before then it won’t matter where they take him to drop him off; he’ll be able to lead others to the farm regardless.  This, of course, seals the kid’s fate in Shane’s eyes who’s ready to execute him then and there, but Rick wants to take him back and think about the situation for another day. Shouldn’t it mean something- shouldn’t you have no other choice if you’re going to take a man’s life?

Of course this irritates Shane. That’s when he says those magic words that make Rick’s rage pimple freaking explode and unleashes the wrath of a man who has been patiently waiting but just dying to strait beat the shit out of the asshole who fucked his wife:

“And you think you can keep them safe?.”

Ka-fucking-boom!!

I wish I could say that Shane got his ass stomped by Rick, who was so full of righteous fury that the fact Shane’s upper-body looks like it belongs on a G.I. Joe didn’t matter…but it kind of did. I think Rick would’ve been dead if Shane hadn’t been preoccupied with taking out Randall, who was inch-worming his way to the knife they left him. Shane even took some shots at the kid, which was super-smart because if there weren’t any walkers around before there most definitely is going to be some heading there now! Then everything became completely insane, starting with Shane’s attempt to flat-out murder Rick “Clue” style: It was the douche-bag in the parking lot with the lead pipe!

Yes, he threw a rusty metal pipe at Rick with enough force that if it had hit him it would’ve been lights out for good. There was that moment where they stared at each other, both aware of what just happened, and I wish we could’ve found out what would have happened next between them but a second later they were busy trying not to get scratched or eaten by the outpouring of walkers coming through the window Shane’s murder weapon smashed open.

Here’s the mayhem and carnage and everyone’s close call, etc. etc. etc. I’d just like to say that I think Randall’s little overkill killing of the female walker and calling her “bitch” does not indicate to me someone who’s just a sweet, innocent kid who fell in with bad people. Rick should’ve really left Shane there on that bus, too. Maybe called out the window “At least I didn’t shoot you in the leg!” as he drove off. Shane would’ve done that to him- you could tell by his devastated “my-puppy-has-cancer” look on his face when they left and the look of utter shock when they came back. Randall was the rescue driver and the kid was acting like this made them a team and they were all going to get friendship bracelets or something now. They pulled over to tie him up and stuff his ass back in the trunk deprived of all his senses.

Here Rick takes a minute and has another brief heart-to-heart with Shane, saying something about how it’ll take more than a wrench to kill him.

Yes; lets deal with your psycho former best friend’s attempt to kill you by making light of it! It’s not like that’s a sign of how seriously dangerous the guy is or anything. If he hadn’t missed and Rick had been killed by that pipe what do you think Shane would do? Rush over to Rick’s limp body and bleeding head, shake his corpse yelling “Wake up, brother! You’re not dead! You can’t be! I’m so sorry Rick- I didn’t mean it! Nooo!! Whyyy?!?” with his face upturned towards the Heavens and big man-tears streaming from his eyes?

Yeah- and Daryl likes to sing show-tunes in the shower.

Shane would make sure Rick was dead, go kill the kid, then drive back to the farm and probably make up some story about how Randall attacked both of them and he was the only one who lived through the fight. The Empire would win; Vader would be in charge and the galaxy would be screwed.

Instead we’re back to where we started only now Rick is in even more danger because he thinks he’s fixed things and that Shane isn’t a threat anymore, so he’s let his guard down.

And the Oscar for Most Painfully Oblivious goes to…Rick Grimes for his truly committed performance as the “Too Trusting Friend/Leader” in the Action/Thriller: Imminent Betrayal!

Another recipient of that award as well as the winner for Best Supporting Stupid-Ass Ho is Andrea! Her easy acceptance of the manipulations of Shane and talent for just being a stupid, selfish bitch made her the clear choice! Let’s take a look at those roles in her recent production: I Think I’m So Smart and I’m So Much Better Than Lori!

First of all, she picked that fight with Lori by telling her she mishandled the situation and shouldn’t have taken the knife away from Beth. (Yes, because when I want advice about preventing a loved one from committing suicide the first person I’d go to is Andrea. ) Then she says it’s just like what Dale did to her when he took her choice away and that it’s wrong for someone, like say a person’s sister, to force her to stay and take away her options.

An older sister who refuses to let go of her beloved younger sister? A sister who would do anything to protect her and would be devastated if she killed herself? That doesn’t sound a even a little bit familiar to you Andrea? You aren’t being just a wee bit hypocritical?

See what I mean? Self-centered and freaking retarded.

Then Andrea and Lori got into how the household stuff- laundry and dishes and other things that us women like to do- & how it was more of a burden on other people because Andrea, as Lori put it, “you sit up there with your rifle and work on your tan”- referring to her acting as lookout. Somehow this turned into Andrea throwing a fit and telling Lori how she hasn’t had to deal with loss like everyone else has- how she’s had everything go her way and now she’s got it made. She has her husband, her son, baby on the way, and she tacks “boyfriend” on the list.

And that right there is what it’s really about: jealousy. Andrea wants Shane and knows he wants Lori, and since she’s too stupid to see past what she wants she ignores/forgets about all the shit Lori has been through. She wants to see Lori’s life as easy and perfect so that she can be the one who’s had to struggle.

Andrea thinks Lori has it easy??

A woman who was lied to and made to believe that she was a widow who’s now terrified of the man she thought she could trust, pregnant in this Hell the world has become with another child to protect and a husband who may have returned to her, but also feels responsible for saving everyone and so is constantly leaving and putting his life at risk??

Oh yeah; her life is all candy and rainbows.

Any survivor with children has it far, far worse than those who don’t. Imagine the relentless stress and terror constantly trying to protect not just yourself; but also a dependent that needs you. If you die you know that almost certainly your child will die too. Someone you love more than anything- the center of your whole world- is in endless mortal danger and there’s only so much you can do to protect them.

At least Carl is older (though even then he still nearly died in a freak accident) and somewhat independent; a newborn, baby, toddler- every kid too young to understand death and dying- is not just in danger but also dangerous themselves for everyone around them. They can’t stop crying because a walker is near or not throw a tantrum because everyone needs to be quiet and hide at night. They need inoculations, special nutrition, diapers, toys, someone or some way to hold/carry them…

Being pregnant isn’t really a blessing, either. It’s not exactly comfortable even if you don’t have morning sickness. Your body is swollen and your stomach enlarged so movement/running or maneuvering to hide is difficult. You need more food and water, tire easily, and can have complications. Then there’s the actual birth- I don’t think I even need to get into that.

Then to bring up Shane and say Lori has a husband and a boyfriend just shows how totally retarded and clueless she really is. Plus that’s just a tacky, low-class thing to say.

But clearly Lori has the best life ever! She’s as carefree as Charlie Sheen.

As far as Lori’s point- Do I think that Andrea should help out more with the household work? Yes. Do I think that being the lookout and guarding the farm is a job for just the men? Fuck no! I think everyone should be helping out more with the household work- including the men. What’s the ratio of men to women in that place? They have four chicks doing the cooking, cleaning, and laundry for themselves plus the eight men, which = 3x the work a single person would be doing if everyone just took care of their own shit.

I can tell you right now there is no freaking way I’d be washing “the men’s” clothes, ever. But then I wouldn’t expect anyone to wash mine for me, either. I also wouldn’t be cooking all the meals for everyone then doing all the dishes, all the time. I’d pitch in and do my share- but I’m not interested in “taking care” of a bunch of guys.

What are they doing all day, anyway? Hershel tends fields and animals- but Lori and Patricia do, too. Why shouldn’t the men have to do their share of the other work? It just automatically falls to the women to do this shit?? I don’t think so. Everyone should be pulling their own weight in every way.

After her little rant at Lori, Andrea really over-steps some boundaries and butts into something that should never have been her business. She thinks she’s some kind of expert now about people who are grieving and considering suicide and decides to screw what Beth’s loved ones want or think, she’s going to help the girl her way-which is obviously the best answer. She’s going to give Beth the helping hand she needs in figuring out if she really does want to die, or if she’s just in pain and wants it to stop.

First she lies to and manipulates Maggie into letting her watch Beth, acting like she’s looking out for Maggie and wants to help. She agrees to “stay” with her so Maggie can get some food and rest, then she just goes in and tells the girl that the pain will never go away but you learn to deal with it, and leaves. This gives Beth the opportunity to do it, being out from under someone’s watchful eye- which was Andrea’s intention. Beth cuts her wrist but not seriously and Maggie is able to get to her, meaning to Andrea that she doesn’t really want to die. She tells a pissed off Maggie this and is all smiles, clearly very pleased with herself for being right. Maggie tells her never to set foot in the house again-which wipes her smug smile right off her face. I hope she sticks to that & never lets her inside again!

Lori tries to defend her a little, saying sometimes you have to cross lines, blah blah blah. Bullshit. That was NOT Andrea’s place to arrange something like that and she should’ve minded her own dumb-ho business. What if she had really wanted to die and killed herself in that bathroom while Maggie thought she was being watched? Andrea would say “It was her choice to make” or some other stupid shit but do you really think Maggie- or anyone in the family for that matter-will be ok with it? Andrea lied to give her a chance to die and she did- do you think she’d be forgiven for that? She killed Beth and thinks what she did is the right thing; that whole family would want to murder the bitch. Plus suicide is a mortal sin; so really she also sent Beth to Hell (according to the people who believe that stuff.)

But even though she wants to live and didn’t die from bleeding out, the wound she gave herself could still end up killing her. She now has a fresh injury in a location that’s not exactly easy to keep sterile while deadly and infectious creatures drawn by the smell of blood who have a tendency to go for arms and wrists could show up at any time. Hell, she could get just a regular infection that ends up being so bad she gets blood poisoning if whatever antibiotics they have left don’t work. I doubt she swabbed her wrist with alcohol before slicing it open and it’s not like they’re in an ER getting stitched up with sealed, sterile needles and threading by a doctor in gloves who just used some Purell! Did any of this shit occur to Andrea when she decided to go all Mrs. Kevorkian? I doubt it- she’s a stupid ho!

The episode wraps on that heart-to-heart I mentioned earlier between Rick and Shane, followed by their drive back to the farm.

 My “Oscar Edition” review of episode 10 wraps with one last award, and it’s a the most awesome one of the night in my opinion:

The Best Use of Extremely Subtle Foreshadowing which goes to….the walker in the field!

This one is well-deserved for the walker’s starring roles in both Driving Away From the Farm and Driving Back Towards the Farm and his identically spot-on performance in each!  Parts one and two of a three-part series, these have made for the perfect setup for the walkers role as well as the general theme in the final installment: A Whole Bunch of Bad Shit Is Coming- Impending Chaos at The Farm! Bravo symbolic walker!

(Pretty damn clever of those writers, don’t you think? Love this freaking show!)

Walking In the Field on The Driver’s Side,

-Dianthrax

Image Gallery:

Info and Image Sources:  The AMC Press Resource Center, AMC Network
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