The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 11 Review

The Walking Dead:

Season 2 Episode 11 Review

*Warning: The same old stuff- episode spoilers, mature language, graphic content, etc. etc.- so  proceed at your own risk.*

There’s something about episode #11 in a 13 episode season that feels different from 9 or 12. I think it’s that the countdown to something going off is usually from 3. (Except for countdowns from 10; like NASA launches and New Year’s Eve.) When you were a kid you counted to three before you jumped in the pool from the high diving-board or raced your best friend just to know who was faster. In Mario Kart it’s always 3-2-1-Go, and when you were in trouble your parents said things like “If you aren’t over here cleaning this up by the time I count to three I’m throwing away all of your Legos!!”  For whatever reason three is the magic number that seems to perfectly fit the interval of time required to prepare for that green light- that jump into the pool.

It’s also this big symbolic deal thing in numerology and mysticism and like, virtually every religion there is.

And it has its own “School House Rock” song all about it.

But coming back and bringing my original point with me; episode 11 feels like the first step in the countdown to dropping the nuke and obliterating everything we’ve come to know about these characters and their world. I know this is episode 3 in the 3, 2, 1- season over, so it should feel that way. I never got that feeling at any point while watching the first season; obviously not when only three episodes remained out of 6 episodes total, but just in general it never felt like this to me at any point. I didn’t have this increasing anxiety that each of the last three episodes is a step closer to devastation.

With that I give you my take on Step #1:

We learn a great deal about all of the main characters in this episode as far as who they really are as people and what they’re capable of. It starts with a bit of the old, squirrel-tossing Daryl coming out to play for a while in order to get information out of Randall, who is chained up in what must be the smelliest barn in history. He bloodies up his knuckles and takes out that giant freaking knife of his to threaten to re-open Randy’s nasty leg boo-boo, but eventually the kid gave up the info. It is not good news. A giant group of heavily armed men who go out “scavenging” for supplies and should the opportunity present itself, occasionally force fathers to watch while they gang-rape his teenage daughters. Oh but Randall would never do such a thing! He never laid a hand on those girls- he just watched.

I think Daryl should’ve saved everyone a whole lot of trouble and just killed the little fucker right there. He’s as much of a rapist as whoever he was with since he let it happen when he could’ve done something to stop it. And I can hear the argument now: “How do you know he could’ve done anything? He was out-numbered and I’m sure they were armed- if he tried to stop them he probably would have been killed!”

Well then he should have died.

If he couldn’t stop them without managing to get killed by them then he isn’t smart enough to survive. If they would kill him or shoot it out rather than stop raping a girl if he stood his ground and threatened to kill some or all of them then he can’t trust them and isn’t really safe with that group anyway. And if they would threaten to hurt/kill the girls or the father or call him a traitor with no loyalty to his own group then he only has two possible futures anyway: become a monster like the rest of them and assimilate or eventually be killed over something awful enough that he can’t ignore it.

I don’t buy that he couldn’t do anything- I don’t think he wanted to do anything. I think he’s sadistic and manipulative and all this talk over being innocent and just trying to survive is bullshit. For those of you who believe in that sort of thing, the Bible claims “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

But my summation of choice for how I see this situation comes in the form of a quote from one of my favorite movies:

“Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.” (Btw- 100 Super-Awesome Points to those of you who can tell me the name of the film in the “comments” section! 😉

This notion is important and brought up later in the episode, too.

After telling the rest of the group what he learned (except for the teenage rape story), Daryl, Rick, and all the others were pretty set on executing the guy rather than risking his release. Dale is the lone voice of dissent and convinces Rick to give him until sundown to talk to the other people in the group and look at other options before they kill a person who, for all they know, could be innocent. He has several very impassioned conversations with Shane, Daryl, Hershel, and Andrea before everyone gathers together in the farmhouse living room to have a group discussion and vote.

I particularly enjoyed Dale’s talk with Daryl; it made me happy that someone other than Carol showed they care about him. Saying that he’d have to do more than just move his tent away from the rest of camp if he wanted to “get away” from them was a surprise to me coming from Dale- up until that point I hadn’t realized anyone else actually noticed Daryl as a person, let alone as one they weren’t willing to lose. He still doesn’t think his opinion counts for anything and that no one looks to him, claiming he’s better off on his own. When Dale disagrees and says that he and Rick are decent men while Shane isn’t, I don’t think he was prepared to hear that Daryl figured out what happened with Otis a long time ago and, more importantly, that Rick did too- he just didn’t want to admit it to himself. Daryl says the group is broken. Dale looks a bit broken himself after that little exchange.

I think he counted on Hershel backing him up since he was such a religious man, but Hershel surprised both Dale and me by saying he didn’t want Randall anywhere near his daughters and that he was leaving the whole thing up to Rick. (Since the guy is a creep and a rapist I’d say Hershel has good reason for feeling the way he does.) Though where he is now compared to where he was when we first met him in the season, Hershel has such vastly different morals and convictions! It’s like all of his confidence has been squashed out and he doesn’t trust himself not to let everyone down again by making the wrong choice, so he doesn’t make any choices and leaves everything up to Rick. This isn’t something he can just shake off, either- meaning Dale couldn’t count on his support to stop an execution of a possibly innocent man on his own land.

Satan was snowboarding in Hell because Dale even approaches Shane to plead his case and *gasp* Shane was actually pretty reasonable about the whole thing. There’s a particularly important bit where in arguing the numbers: 12 of them and 1 of him but 30 of his gang, Dale tells Shane “killing him doesn’t change that; but it changes us.” Killing this one man won’t really make them any safer- it wont make a difference when it comes to the threat of attack by an armed gang- but it will make them less than what they were. It will diminish the humanity of the group in an irreparable way.

However Shane is certain that this is the right choice to make. If they spare Randall- let him join the group, see if he’s useful and maybe even a nice guy- one day he will kill someone, and that will be blood on Dale’s hands. It isn’t a matter of convenience or just being ruthless- Shane truly thinks that Dale is wrong. Yet he agrees to back him up if he can get the whole group to share his opinion on the matter. That’s a whole lot more than I ever would’ve expected from Shane. Honestly that whole conversation was more than I expected from him.

I think maybe Shane’s going to kick it at the end of the season and this is the start of a campaign to make him into less of a psycho and more of a good guy so that he doesn’t die a creep and a villain. I’d even go so far as to say that I think he might die in order to save someone else- like Carl or Lori or my favorite, Rick. That would be cheese-tastic!

I think Hershel is going to bite it as well- though I’ve said that before. Giving the watch to Glenn felt a bit like his character was having his affairs put in order- wrapping up his loose ends in the sense of making sure Maggie has a good man to “take care of her.” One who also cares about and will help her look after her little sister once he’s gone and there’s no one else to do it. At the same time he’s also letting Glenn (and therefore Maggie) know that they have his blessing/approval as a couple, in case he never gets the chance to tell her so outright. It may have seemed a bit lame and contrived to some of you but I thought it was a nice way to cover an important moment in the progression of those three characters.

It felt real, too, because of Steven Yeun’s portrayal Glenn’s surprise and awkwardness and not really knowing what to say or do in that situation. I mean the guy is given a very precious and meaningful family heirloom and he says “thanks” like he was just given a bag of Doritos! I’d have gone with something like “thank you, sir” at the very least! There’s totally no breaking up with her now, either! For all intents and purposes Glenn just got married to the farmer’s daughter, and in this world you have to fight tooth and nail for a divorce- literally- because the only way out of a marriage is if one of you fails to fend off the teeth and nails of the walkers!

Another important character we get a good look into the nature of is Carl Grimes, who’s always somehow in the story and important to it, yet still manages to be peripheral. We see what this world and all this loss and death and violence has been doing to him because you just know it’s gotta be turning him into a little psycho! Virtually all serial killers have violent, abusive childhoods and I’d say that’s not a poor description of Carl’s life lately. He’s been showing little signs of coldness and detachment and this episode we saw some real creep-factor behavior on his part.

First I’d have to mention how he was sitting in the barn, looking down at Randall in chains like he wasn’t a person. Randall starts talking; appealing to Carl’s concern for safety for him and his family, his sense of mercy, and trying to seem like a nice guy. Carl looks at him without a response, as though he couldn’t hear a word the guy was saying. He stared at him the way people who don’t like animals stare at some exotic creature in a zoo- curious and interested but without any emotional involvement or sympathy. He’s so empty in those moments that it seems almost fake for him to be afraid of getting in trouble with his parents when Shane catches him. It’s a great way to show that while he has this morbid, developing darker side he’s still just a kid.

I can understand him lashing out at Carol; anger is a stage of grief. I can even understand playing around at Daryl’s campsite while he’s away. There probably isn’t much for him to do and for a young boy Daryl would have some really cool stuff. He’s like the older step-brother whose room you’re never allowed to go into or you’ll get your ass kicked, which means, of course, that you have to see what’s in there so you sneak in while he’s not home & just try not to move/break anything so that he never knows you were there. Only Carl doesn’t seem to get that last part- the not wanting him to know you were ever there part- because while playing with the super-sweet motorcycle that would give Daryl a stroke if he caught him touching, he just pockets a gun that was stashed in there.

First of all, if there’s anyone at camp that you do not want to steal from or piss off, it’s Daryl. Second, you might get away with maybe taking a knife or one of the animal skins, but a gun is something that is going to be missed. Third, that gun was there for a reason- what if Daryl is on his motorcycle and counting on having it to save his ass, then reaches in and finds that someone has stolen it?! Fourth- it’s stealing! What the Hell is wrong with you?! You steal a gun from someone when guns are “worth more than gold” then like a retard, you lose it!

So is carrying a stolen gun to go for a stroll in the woods the substitute for stealing your dad’s cigarettes to smoke with your friends? You know- the stupid shit kids do to feel like grown-ups? Because it didn’t seem like he had any plan in particular in mind while on his little hike. It was more like he wanted to do what the grown men do and not be afraid to go into a dangerous area because he can protect himself with his stolen gun. Or at least that was the idea when he found the walker stuck in the mud.

As soon as he stopped the more appropriate running away in order to do the far more disturbing staring and throwing of rocks I knew that walker was going to get out of the mud and go for him. My other thought was that Carl must really, really, really want to shoot someone/thing. Think about it: if he puts down the walker with a gunshot the whole camp is going to hear it. Not to mention other walkers in the area; aren’t they supposed to be drawn by loud noises?? Everyone is worried about a gang of armed men coming to the farm and attacking them, so if all the adults are accounted for and Daryl gets back from hunting and says it wasn’t him, who do you suppose they’ll think is shooting in the woods? That would surely speed up Randall’s “trial”! Plus for all we know that gang actually could have scouts or something nearby who hear the shot and because of it, find the camp!

But as soon as that shot goes off Lori and Rick will want to know where Carl is and when they can’t find him right away they’ll have everyone searching around camp for him. It’s not going to be possible for him to just sneak back out of the woods without someone seeing him and telling Rick and Lori, who will want to know what he was doing out there. He’ll probably be so excited about shooting his first walker that he’ll tell them everything; including the little detail about how he used the gun he stole from Daryl after he found it while going through his things. But no matter what his parents are going to find out about all of it and then his ass is toast- and none of this occurred to him because he’s a kid and wants to be an adult and he really wanted to shoot something.

He also wants to hear the group debate over the fate of Randall, but he isn’t allowed. That’s a bit of a shame because Dale was simply amazing. Jeffrey DeMunn was captivating, arguing with so much passion and feeling and eloquence. It was like watching the play “12 Angry Men” (or when I was in it “12 Angry Jurors” since there were chicks involved) and Dale is Juror #8- the single “not-guilty” vote trying to convince a room full of people who were so set in their “guilty” verdict that they thought there wasn’t even any need to discuss the matter. Dale pleads so effectively and with such sound arguments that you almost find yourself changing from “guilty” to “undecided” in Randall’s case. Then Carol speaks up, proclaiming that she just wants the arguing to stop and for someone to decide, but either way to leave her out because she wants no part of it.

Dale tells her “Not speaking out, or killing him yourself; there’s no difference.”

Really Dale? Then by your own logic you’re arguing to save the life of a violent sex offender- a man who is, by your definition, a rapist, ephebophile, and a sadist. (Here is where that whole doing-nothing-to-stop-someone-from-committing-an-atrocity-makes-you-just-as-guilty-as-them thing comes in.)

But the only person who heard that story and knows what a piece of trash this guy is won’t say anything and claims not to care: Daryl. Maybe that wouldn’t make a difference to Dale.

No one is in agreement with Dale- not even Glenn who is usually on his side in everything. I thought it was interesting when Glenn says “he’s not one of us.” What defines “us” versus “them” to the group now? It used to be just the living and the dead, but Rick said things changed when the living started trying to kill them too. Obviously Hershel and his people are among the “us” even though Otis was expendable. I’d be curious to hear how Glenn defines the two and when exactly Hershel’s people became a part of the “us” group.

Another surprise comes when Andrea speaks up in agreement with Dale, though it doesn’t matter since everyone else is still all for offing Randy. Dale is disgusted and asks if they’re going to watch too; then saying “no, you’ll hide in your tents and pretend we aren’t slaughtering a human being.” I thought that would be an interesting concept; saying that everyone who votes to execute Randall also has to watch that execution be carried out. No one can cast a vote to end someone’s life then pretend they had nothing to do with it while Rick, Shane, and Daryl do the real dirty work. In one of my favorite sci-fi book series the main character becomes a politician and makes some really radical social changes. One of them deals with the death penalty and forces the sentence to be carried out by a family member of the victim. So if a guy rapes and kills a girl & is found guilty, that girl’s mother or father or husband etc. has to be the one to shoot the guy in the head in a public execution. That way the family gets their own brand of justice & the government isn’t responsible. That’s because if the person can’t carry out the execution- if they just can’t do it- then it doesn’t happen.

I think they should’ve done something like that for Randall. Everyone who votes for his death has to watch and has their name put in a hat to randomly decide who has to be the one to do it. I think it may be more difficult for people to vote if they knew it meant they had to watch the kid beg and cry for his life, and even more so if they knew it could possibly mean they had to be the one to pull the trigger. If they can’t stand to see it or can’t make themselves do it, maybe it’s because they know it’s wrong? Personally I wouldn’t have a problem with it- mostly because I would’ve killed him a long freaking time ago- like back when he was Shish Kabob-ed on a fence- without him seeing it coming or asking for a group vote.

He’s taken out to the barn and about to be blown away when probably the only thing that could possibly make Rick stop actually happened- Carl went all uber-creepy and snuck away to watch them kill the guy and urging his dad to do it. I knew there was no chance Rick was doing it then and he tells Daryl to take him away.

Just like I knew something bad was going to happen when I saw Dale out by himself in a field at night.

Sure enough there was a still-living but completely eviscerated cow lying in the grass, which is seldom a sign of imminent safety. Dale turns and is pounced on by the nasty shirtless walker with no eyelids who doesn’t manage to bite him but does tear open his abdomen and create a hubcap sized hole in him before Daryl gets there and stabs the thing in the head.

A few notes/questions on this situation- what made the walker stop eating the cow to creep up on Dale? Shouldn’t he have been in a feeding frenzy and thus distracted? The walkers eating that horse Rick rode into the city on in season one didn’t stop eating in order to chase him, even though you would think human is preferable to animal. In fact that was how he was able to get away; so why did this walker leave his tasty living cow meal when he should’ve been distracted and all up in that shit?

Also, for those who wonder about how the walker was able to rip Dale open like he was a birthday piñata I have a theory that explains that in great detail in my article “Talking The Dead to Death.” Check it out if you’re curious about zombie super-human strength.

And finally; what the fuck was up with Daryl sharpening his knife while he has Randall all tied up and gagged and hanging by his wrists from the ceiling with no shirt on in some secluded part of the barn?? I mean, obviously I know what that’s about but what I don’t get is why that scene is put in there at all? Implying that Daryl is going to torture Randall to death after laying all this groundwork to show that he’s a good man makes no sense to me! I thought the whole thing was stupid, especially since they had him be the one to find him, kill the walker, call for help, and be the one to “put Dale out of his misery” immediately afterwards!

You knew there was no saving him but they needed Hershel there to tell say it and make it true, otherwise he wouldn’t have been there. None of the other people from the farm were present, but every single member of “our” group of survivors was there for Dale’s final moments; even Carl who was told to go into the house. Of course Carl also had to be there in order to see that it was the walker he failed to kill and pissed off enough for him to free himself from the mud- the walker he knew was out roaming the woods and didn’t tell anyone about in order to avoid getting in trouble- that killed Dale, making it his fault. But it was also worth noting that the entire group was gathered together and present when they lost another one of their own. Rick couldn’t bring himself to end his friend’s suffering, so Daryl has a very emotional moment with Dale, who puts his forehead up against the barrel of his gun and urging Daryl to do it, so he says “sorry brother” and pulls the trigger.

Dale was the voice of reason and morality in the group. He kept them from veering too far off course and forgetting the kind of people that they are and want to be- and now his voice is gone.

Their Yoda is dead and strong the temptation of The Dark Side is…

Second step- episode #12- this Sunday at 9.

 

Not Spending My Life Trying to Conquer Time,

-Dianthrax

Info/Image Sources: the AMC Press Resource Center, AMC networks

*Sorry for the lack of an image gallery. I hope to upload more episode 11 images very soon, after I finish editing them.*

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

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

The Walking Dead Season 2.5 Premiere Review

**Attn: Please see notice at end of article*

The Walking Dead:

The Episode 8 Season 2.5 Premier Review

*Be Advised: In case you aren’t familiar with my usual review protocol, this article is for people who have already seen episode 8 and so will contain spoilers. It will also have mature language/content, as well as graphic imagery and interpretations/examinations that possess the obvious and unapologetic personal bias of yours truly. You have been warned.*

The Walking Dead is back, everyone! The world is in its rightful place, the universe has re-aligned, and Sunday nights are once again something to look forward to rather than merely the  remaining bit of freedom before the start of a new week.

Yes, the so-called season 2.5 premier episode #8 “Nebraska” kicked off the show’s second half and the beginning of what looks like an intense downward spiral for everyone. The cast has said in all of their interviews that as slow-burning as the first 7 episodes were, that’s as fast-paced and insane as the second half will be, and if what went down in episode 8 is just the beginning then I’d say we’re in for one Hell of a wild, fucked up ride.

After Rick takes out walker-Sophia you have what you would pretty much expect from most of the camp. Those living on Hershel’s farm took the “cleansing” of the barn walkers the hardest, particularly the woman who got half her face blown off by Daryl’s shotgun- yeah, that was the step-mom. So of course one kid has to go rushing over to try and restore some dignity to her, struggling to uncover and separate her corpse among the heap of bodies. This made for a perfect moment to have her turn and attack the kid so that everyone has to rush over and try to stop step-mommy dearest from taking a bite out of Kid on Farm #3. The end result is an awesome pick-axe through the face maneuver courtesy of Andrea, which is exactly the image one would want stuck in their head of the last time you see your beloved mother. My thoughts during all this?

Um, what happened to all the freaking guns everyone had like, 2 seconds ago?? Did they all just forget they had them? I actually saw Glenn drop his shotgun and T-Dog has his pistol in his hand while he’s trying to put momma-walker down with completely ineffective but vicious-looking kicks to the head! At least Andrea knew what to do instead of panicking and screaming like a ninny or turning to shoot Daryl like she would’ve not too long ago.

We knew Hershel would be devastated by this and probably not very happy with our group- particularly Shane. So of course Shane has to mouth off like a total retard and accuse Hershel and his family of knowing Sophia was in the barn this whole time, even though it makes zero sense for him to deliberately keep something like that from them. What does he gain from that? Hershel wanted them off his land asap, and after Carl was healed the only excuse the group had to stick around was searching for the kid. Hershel had help and those wild animal wrangler things he was using to lead the walkers to the barn- if he knew he had Sophia he could’ve grabbed her and lead her to the that mud the walkers get stuck in, then left her there for Rick and the others to find. After that he could say they had to get lost like he’d told Rick was the deal from the start so that he could go on with his delusion that the dead wife he keeps locked up and feeds live chickens was going to be moving back into her side of the bed sometime in the future.

I think Shane’s just pissy because he didn’t have the balls to shoot Sophia and Rick did.

He might also have realized by then that if he hadn’t killed Otis and they’d had a chance to talk to Hershel and his family about the girl they were looking for the mystery might’ve been solved back in episode 3 or 4, making it partially his fault they found out so much later and in such a terrible way.

That was what his little explosion at Dale was really all about- anger and insecurity and wanting to be better than Rick. Dale didn’t even need to say anything and Shane was in his face going off about how he (Dale) does pretty much nothing to keep the camp safe even when he claims to know a threat is looming, referring to himself. He even went so far as to point out that Dale had a chance to stop him since he thinks he’s such a danger but then couldn’t pull the trigger. Then during his tirade to try and convince himself of his own value, along with all the things he’s done to help the camp he throws in saving Carl’s life and how “that ain’t you, that ain’t Rick; that’s me!” How did Rick get into this conversation? Suddenly it’s not just about how Shane is awesome and Dale is useless but also how Shane is better than Rick and how frustrating it is that everyone can’t see that. That one sentence says more about his state of mind and the deep-rooted hostility he’s got brewing for his former best friend than anything else he says to Dale in that confrontation.

Let’s jump to another important interaction Shane has that speaks to his character: when he’s doing that weird hand-washing thing with Carol after she tears up all the Cherokee Roses.

It seems like he’s actually doing this nice thing; being caring and nurturing towards the emotionally and (mildly) physically damaged Carol by talking to her and cleaning up her scratches and wounds. But if you listen to the things he’s really saying you notice it’s a completely self-centered conversation and an empty gesture that’s meant to manipulate, not help Carol.

How long was it before Shane was ready to walk away and leave Carol with no closure- no definitive answer as to whether her daughter is alive or dead but always wondering and never truly giving up hope? How many times did he say that Sophia was dead and that they were wasting their time searching for a body? How many times did he yell this or point this out right in front of Carol? It was among the things he listed as having “enough of” before he busted open the barn: “Enough wasting our time looking for a little girl who’s gone!” and he looked right at her while he said it.

Now all of the sudden he’s full of sympathy for her; implying that he might have done something different if he had known her little girl was in there when we all know that’s bull. Then at the same time he’s justifying what he did and throwing a pity-party for himself, going on about how he was just trying to keep people safe and now everyone thinks he’s so mean and awful because of it He was just trying to help because he’s such an unselfish and giving person, wah, wah, wah; I’m drowning in my tears for how unappreciated Shane is when everything he does is what he thinks is best for the group.

Shane does not give a single fuck for anyone in that group other than himself, Lori, and Carl.

He said himself that he’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe- that means everyone else is expendable. Right now it benefits him/them to be in a large group but the second that’s no longer the case- the second they become a hindrance rather than a help or a risk rather than safety in numbers- Shane would be snatching up Lori and Carl and leaving their “family” faster than Wally West on crank.

Another thing Shane frequently does (besides sneak in and use the electric shaver in Hershel’s bathroom) that I find pretty damn ballsy of him considering he’s the one who killed the guy, is bring up Otis’ death when he’s arguing in order to give more weight to his point. He’ll talk about how Daryl almost died looking for Sophia when everyone knows he couldn’t care less about Daryl or if he died out in the woods. But he knows that Rick cares, so he uses that the same way he uses Otis’ death. When he wanted Andrea to fall in line with him during the barn shooting he brings up that walkers killed her sister and she’s pissed and ready to go. Then he has the nerve to blame Amy’s death and the death of all the other members of their camp that night on the fact that Rick went “to go rescue a drug dealer” and wasn’t there.

Um, remember all the guns everyone- including yourself- used to kill the walkers in the barn like you insisted had to be done?

Well you wouldn’t fucking have them if Rick hadn’t thought to get them from the station and bring them! Then he went into the Hell he just managed to escape from again in order to bring those guns back with him to camp while he happened to be out trying to rescue someone’s brother…who yes, also happens to be a dick and a drug dealer.

But seriously- how dare Shane pull this shit and try to say what happened that night was Rick’s fault! Who was standing guard/keeping watch at camp when this happened? Why didn’t people have weapons close at hand at all times? Shane was the one supposedly in charge- he should’ve seen to these details instead of sitting around the walker-attracting fire drinking beer and relaxing after a good meal with everyone else.

That’s what happens to people who let their guard down: they get themselves eaten! That’s it! You can’t say it’s Rick’s fault for not being there “in time” because you got caught looking like the crappy leader you really are.

Then just like Rick needed to go get those guns, he also needed to go into town and haul Hershel’s whiney, drunken ass back to the Farm because the man is the closest thing to a real doctor they have and also like the guns, he will be needed in the future. But I’m getting ahead of myself now. So going back to after the barn and mom attacking and getting axed-

Carol fled from the scene after Daryl stopped her from running to her dead daughter & getting killed. We find her in the camper just sitting and staring out a window when Daryl comes in. He doesn’t say anything; he just sort of leans against the wall across from her so she knows he’s there. He doesn’t try to talk to her or touch her, he doesn’t say he’s sorry or ask if she’s ok; maybe it’s because Daryl isn’t exactly a naturally loquacious person but if you ask me, it’s because he knows there’s nothing anyone can say or do right now and that the best, most helpful thing is just being with her so that she knows she’s not alone.

The have a funeral of sorts for Sophia, step-mom, and step-brother, which Carol decides not to attend, claiming that what they were burying-or “that thing” as she puts it- is not Sophia. She gives a great monologue about how her little girl never slept alone and afraid in the woods at night, or went hungry, or tried to find her way back to them, and it sounds almost as though she’s grateful for that. Except what she’s really saying is that she never did these things because her child has been dead this whole time while she’s been at camp, foolishly worrying and holding out for hope, and you can see that she’s in shock and hovering on the edge of this huge chasm of grief she just hasn’t fallen into yet.

(There’s some nicely obvious camera work during that scene, too with a cup filled with markers and some kid’s flashcards on the table in your line of vision while Carol stares out the window and talks. It’s blatant but still effective.) It’s a wonderful performance on the part of Melissa McBride, who’s been simply brilliant from the start of the season. Norman Reedus has been more and more impressive as well, giving us a subtly developing humanity and vulnerability in Daryl that’s believable and not over-done.

It’s like Carol’s refusal to go to the funeral and her seeming distance from Daryl while she’s in this shocked state is personally hurtful to him and he seems angry and disgusted with her as he leaves the RV. She let him down in a major way right then and I don’t think we’ll be seeing any flowers in beer bottles anytime soon.

After the grave digging and burying there’s the piling up of the rest of the walkers into a truck to take out & away from the farm to pile and burn, which is where Andrea, Shane, and T-Dog go. You see Andrea hauling and hefting right there with the men, tossing bodies into the back and then riding on the edge of the bed while they’re taken to be burned. She’s seriously come a long way from puking at the sight of them in trees!

I seem to remember last season where there were gloves and bodysuits and face protectors and great care all used when handling the bodies of people with this deadly disease. Suddenly no one seems all that concerned with blood and fluids getting on their skin or worried about handling the bodies at all. T-Dog has an open wound on one arm from what was probably a cut down to an artery that’s covered with nothing but a Band-Aid looking thing, and I doubt the wiped down the truck bed with some bleach after emptying it of bodies. Did they even change clothes??

I find that to be a little on the stupid side considering they don’t really know anything about the infected other than one sure way they can transmit the sickness to another person- a bite. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be spread other ways! I mean, HIV can be transmitted through sexual contact, needle sharing/blood, and breastmilk; that’s three very different ways to become infected with the same virus. How can anyone be sure that a bite is the only type of exposure that can lead to infection? Dr. Crazy-Pants Jenner at the CDC even told them that they don’t know anything about what it is and that it could be viral, bacterial, microbial or a bunch of other things. Those three alone- viruses, bacterium, and microbes- work and spread in such completely different ways that basically he really was saying that he knows jack about the infection

This is why I think Farmer Kid #3 isn’t in some catatonic shock from all the horror and grief- I think she’s infected and got that way through some kind of contact with mom when she was attacked, other than a bite. Or it’s entirely possible she just caught some really nasty disease from being so up-close and personal with a corpse, which is among the nastiest freaking things on the planet! Either way, shit is about to get all kinds of messed up for everyone.

Speaking of messed up:

“Hi Dary! I know I never talk to you & basically act like you aren’t there, and I totally don’t appreciate anything you do for everyone at camp or give a shit about how you might be feeling about Sophia being dead after you nearly died yourself while out looking for her- but now I want something from you! So instead of asking you for help, I’m going to tell you what I need you to go and do for me. What?! No?! What do you mean no?! What is WRONG with you?? How could you be so SELFISH?!”

I’m surprised all he did was call her “Olive Oil” considering he’s grieving and in pain. Then when she decides to go herself, she crashes. Of course she crashes.

Honestly; how retarded do you have to be to get into a car accident when there is literally not a single other driver/car on the road!? How the Hell did she manage when there were still people around?! So why is she out driving around like Halle Berry in the first place? Because the only person who’s more self-centered than Shane, is Hershel.

Oh boo-hoo I was wrong! I looked like the ass that I am! My kids deserve better than me! No one likes me because I’m a pompous, condescending, racist blow-hard! I’m going to run away into town to get drunk and cry about it and how sad everything is for me! Enter Rick and Glenn who’ve come to fetch Dr. Lush and bring him home so that he can help his other kid; the less-interesting one who isn’t banging the Asian boy.

Of course this doesn’t happen without Shane chipping in about how Rick is making another bad call in deciding to go get Hershel. That’s pretty much all Shane says to Rick these days- how all his choices are wrong, how everything is his fault, how he’s delusional and doesn’t know what he’s doing…and yet for some reason Rick hasn’t pistol-whipped Shane into a sticky paste. I mean it’s got to be building up in the guy! Here’s his supposed “best friend” who told his wife he was dead, started nailing her, then didn’t have the balls to do the right thing and come forward to fess up about it. He continues to pursue her and try to take choices and control of situations regarding Rick’s son away from him, openly contradicts and defies him, and now argues against/insults all of his decisions, undermines him as a leader, and is just a dick to him every time they speak. At some point Rick has to stop buying into Shane’s bullshit campaign to make him doubt himself and then all the crap that he’s been holding on to is going to pop and come spilling out like some giant rage-pimple.

I say “Go Team Rick.” He’s made some mistakes and I think he needs to do less wussy catering to people like Hershel, but he’s smarter and far more rational than Shane. Plus I’d follow a wannabe-White Knight over an attempted rapist any day, no contest. (Yeah, you forget about that shit? Because apparently Lori has since she says that she agreed that Shane did something that had to be done when he went all “we need to fight” and broke open the barn, then has trouble believing what Dale tells her about Shane killing Otis. Really? You really find that hard to believe about your psycho former sex-buddy?)

Lori acts like she’s all about supporting Rick when really she’s agreeing with Shane and defending him to the other group members. She’s also telling Rick not to go get Hershel and that he’s needed at the farm, not “running off solving everyone else’s problems” just like Shane was.

Um, why is Rick so needed on the farm? What is he needed for exactly? I mean, other than the possibility of a shit-ton of walkers showing up that night attracted by all the gunshots and the giant fire/pillar of smoke all out at a farm in the middle of nowhere that’s filled with yummy people and cows and horses and chickens and lit up like a big neon “Hershel’s Diner” sign?? Besides that, what duties does Rick have that are so important they warrant letting the only doctor go kill himself in a moment of grief-driven stupidity? Doctor Delusional may not seem so important to you now, preggers, but with the rate your people get hurt someone’s going to need a broken bone set & a cast or stitches or your lame-ass will go into labor you’re all going to be wishing someone had fetched Hershel instead of letting him drink till he passed out and woke up being eaten (and not in that good kind of way.)

So they’re in town at an empty, but apparently stocked, local bar so that Rick can say to Drunk Hershel after his long, whiney, slurry “I give up” speech: Hey bitch! Life’s hard all over- suck it up! That’s essentially what happened when two new (living) friends enter the bar. Yay!

First of all its two men- exactly as I said would be most likely in every case. Enter Dave and Tony. I was already familiar with the actor Michael Raymond-James from his role on HBO’s True Blood but I’d never seen Aaron Munoz before. Now Munoz will probably always be “Tony” whereas Mr. Raymond-James is “Rene” rather than “Dave” because, well, True Blood came first. Both men looked dirtier and worse for wear than ours and Tony was very openly carrying a very big shotgun he “took off a cop.” It was immediately tense and even Hershel straightened up and gave the men his full attention as they came in and made themselves at home.

At first they chatted a bit, the strangers giving some of their story, which included some pretty upsetting news. Tony claimed to have met a soldier that had been stationed at Fort Bennet, the original goal after the CDC and before the group was side-tracked with runaway kids and bullet wounds, who told him the Fort was gone- completely overrun with walkers. I believe him, too. The way he said it was like he was telling someone a road was closed for construction or something.

The wheels in Dave’s head are clearly turning and while he’s looking the three men up and down he explains that he has people to look after that aren’t doing very well, but the three of them seem to be doing fine. He’s being as polite and charming as he can and asking less and less subtle questions about where the three of them have been staying: There’s a truck parked outside so it can’t be in town but they look well-fed, clean, rested; they must have a nice place somewhere with food and water and shelter, safe from the walkers. Glenn is just smiling and chatting away with him, blithely giving away all kinds of information without the slightest hint of any reservations about it. You can practically hear Rick and Hershel mentally telling him “shut up, shut up, shut up fucking SHUT THE HELL UP!!” but he keeps going until finally Rick puts a stop to it.

Why are they making Glenn look like such an idiot?? Last season he was sharp, gutsy, brave, an excellent strategist- now he’s some clueless kid who can’t tell when someone’s fishing for information? Do you think that his experience with the Vatos-how they were actually good people just trying to take care of their relatives has him thinking that everyone is going to be like that? Maybe sex just makes guys stupid. Glenn was smart until he hooked up with Maggie- now he’s practically inviting these two to come take over the farm.

This is about when Tony decides to walk 5 steps away and take a piss right on the floor while asking if they had any “cooze” because he hasn’t had any in weeks. (Weeks? Riiiight.)

You can see the disgust on Rick’s face before the first drop hits the floor and Dave is trying to recover from his cohort’s super-sexy behavior, but even if there had been a chance in Hell anyone else was going to be allowed on the farm that chance was long gone now. No one wants these guys near their women and when Rick says they aren’t interested in a group merge and that he’s not going to take the two of them to the farm, Tony’s enraged outburst sealed their fate.

That’s when Rick went from being squeaky-clean & reliable Mr. Rogers to super-hot yet ice-cold James Bond (the Daniel Craig version) and blew away Dave in one shot while he was trying to draw a gun from behind the bar, then before he could even aim his shotgun Rick put two holes through Tony’s torso then went over to put a third in his forehead, leaving him slumped over on the floor in the puddle of his own piss. He didn’t bat an eye or hesitate or go for a wounding/disarming shot- just right for the kill. It was fucking awesome!

Now Hershel’s looking at him like he’s never really seen him before and Glenn can’t look at him at all. Remember what I said about his rage and repression with the popping and the pimple comparison? Maybe we just saw how pus is going to start to ooze out in different ways. There’s going to be consequences for this- there always is. Glenn and Hershel will never be the same with him again, more gunfire could draw walkers to them or to the farm, and if Tony and Dave really were part of a group like Rick and Glenn are…well what would we expect the others to do if some strangers had killed them and not the other way around?

We also have Lori in an unknown state in her flipped car and the approaching dark. I know she won’t be dead but my thought is that she might’ve lost the baby in the crash, especially since she was wearing her seatbelt. Though I’m sure it saved her life she can’t be past the 12 week mark yet and something like that could cause severe enough trauma to her lower abdomen for her to miscarry. This would mean that she’s going to be bleeding- A LOT –and it’s not an injury you can just put a tourniquet on, you know? I’m thinking of the walkers and the attraction of fresh blood. If she’s too injured to haul ass out of there before nightfall she’s going to be in need of a manly rescue. I hope it’s Daryl.

On the plus side should my prediction be true, this bit of writing very neatly frees the group up to leave the farm for a more exciting location, while also creating drama in the sense that Glenn will have to choose between going with the group or staying behind with Maggie, who loves him now. My prediction: Maggie and Glenn will both go with the group because everyone else- Hershel, Jimmy, Patricia, the one who’s already sick- dies over the next series of episodes.

I can’t wait to see what I’m right about this time!

I don’t think it’s possible to be a fan of this show or the comic and never ask yourself what you would do & if you would make it in a Zombie Apocalypse. Personally, I’ve always believed that I would probably do okay- and if that turned out not to be the case I’d simply “opt out.”  But after watching episode 8 I am quite certain of my ability to get by in that situation. Why? Because this episode clarified for me exactly how completely and totally fucked up I am.

I’ll explain.

I’ve never really thought of Rick or Shane as sexually attractive. I could see the appeal and know that they’re both good-looking guys, they just never did anything for me. So what does any of this have to do with anything?

When Rick shot those two guys so fast and efficiently without showing an ounce of remorse, my exact thoughts were:

“Holy shit! Oh that was just AWESOME!! …And also really hot.”

Suddenly Rick is sexy as Hell and when I have a moment to really think about the implications of that change in opinion and the catalyst behind it- cold-blooded killing without any doubt or guilt- I realize how twisted that is, that this isn’t the first time something along these lines has happened, that I didn’t find Sam Winchester attractive until he was the vessel for Lucifer, and that I am so much more fucked up than I had originally estimated myself to be…

I’d do great in a zombie apocalypse!

But of course none of you would ever know that.

Slightly Sociopathic,

-Dianthrax

Image Gallery of Stills from Episode #8- “Nebraska”

**Note To my readers-

I know this is late. It’s so late that my review for episode 9 will be going up soon, and for that I apologize. You know I go in-depth with my examinations of the show and have frequent random tangents and that I always try to make sure any/all facts in my writing are accurate. Plus I have a ton of photos, many of which I acquire and edit myself, to sort through and prep for posting. On a good day I lean towards the slow end of the spectrum- add in other stuff and “slow” becomes…something that means even slower. As a general warning about this and all work for a while, expect delays. Why?

Hunter J. Conti: Born Feb. 9th 2012

My family always comes first and I have the most adorable newborn nephew ever, his 5 yr old brilliant and currently a bit needy brother, my exhausted and still recovering sister, and her equally exhausted and super-awesome husband, all in need of my services as The World’s Best Auntie.

I thought you should know exactly what it is that I’m doing instead of getting my shit done so that you will hopefully understand and be more inclined to forgive me 🙂 **


Sources: the AMC Press Resource Center, www.urbandictionary.com, http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-de