The Walking Dead:
Season 2 Episode 9 Review
*Warning: As per usual this review will contain episode 9 spoilers as well as mature content, including but not limited to adult language, graphic imagery, and mature subject matter. Choose to read at your own discretion- you have been warned.*
I was at a torrent site the other day and came upon a file to download The Walking Dead episode 9 that had something like 29 or 30 comments on it when usually there are only a handful. So I checked out what so many people had to say and the commotion started with one guy who posted a comment that read “Oh man, I can’t believe they let Shane die!” What proceeded this declaration was a string of outraged fans who hadn’t seen the episode and who believed him, using both colorful and creative expletives to describe this person and their irritation at having something like that ruined for them.
What I took away from all this was not that some people are stupid, selfish assholes who like doing douchey things just for the Hell of it- I already knew that. What surprised me was the number of people that believed his claim! No one said “There’s no way that would happen- this guy is just trying to eff with us.” No one even said that he was probably lying; they all just believed that Shane dies in episode 9. If this were True Blood and someone said “I can’t believe they killed off Vampire Bill” I’m confident some fan would say that’s BS, even though characters get killed (the permanent kind of killed) in TB almost as often as TWD. Someone would realize that they aren’t going to let a major character die essentially mid-season with no build-up and no big Entertainment News explosion immediately after the episode aired.
Yet people totally believed the death of Shane.
The writers/producers for Walking Dead wanted the viewers to feel like no one is safe; that just like in the comic books, anyone can go at any time. I think they succeeded.
Even if I hadn’t seen the episode already I wouldn’t have bought that Shane died in episode 9. They’ve invested too much into developing his craziness and working on the tension between him, Lori, and Rick that ending it in episode 9 doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t mean I don’t think he could die- he could totally bite it at the end of the season. I find that less likely, though, than someone like Dale, T-Dog, or Hershel and his family. I still think comatose little sister is infected; it just hasn’t been long enough for the fever to kill her. I think that’s going to play a major role in how things go all to Hell at the farm over the next few episodes, too.
Like I predicted, Lori survived the car crash with minimal damage and apparently no damage to the baby (I was so sure of that one!) She even did a good job defending herself against two walkers- one of which tried to get at her through the windshield and did this awesomely horrible face-shredding thing on the glass! Loved it. Though no one even realized she was gone until she was missing from the dinner table.
All those people roaming around, all those windows, the long winding driveway, and the now out-of-place sound of a car starting/on the road and no one saw or heard her leave?? Carol has to find out from Daryl about it over at Camp Pouts-A-Lot where he’s now living, along with his animal pelts and the ear necklace he somehow got back from Rick.
(How did that conversation go? “Hey Rick-I was wearing this necklace of ears I cut off of walkers strung on a shoelace when that dumb ho shot me in the head and now I can’t find it. Any idea where it is? I’d really like it back- for sentimental reasons.”)
Now Carl is upset because mommy and daddy are both gone and it’s up to Shane to go rescue Lori- which, of course, he does. He also lies and says Rick is back at camp in order to make her get in the car and be compliant, which he says she never would’ve done if he hadn’t told her that. Then he spills the big pregnancy semi-secret like a total tool, which is how Carl finds out about it.
Carl says the sweetest, saddest thing after they go inside while he’s asking Lori questions about the pregnancy; he wants to know if they can name her Sophia if the baby ends up being a girl. Which makes me wonder how hard the loss of the real Sophia has been on him; how much he was counting on her being found, and what the realization that your parents can’t always keep you safe- that kids aren’t always found when they get lost in the woods- has done to his view of life and what’s really important.
I know a lot of people don’t find Carl or his interactions with the others and with life in this world to be of very much interest. When it comes to action and forwarding the plot he isn’t terribly thrilling, but for character analysis and as a window into the future of this harsher, more violent, new world and the kind of people who will be living in it, Carl is one of the most informative and fascinating of all the survivors.
Of course Shane has to bust in and ask Carl to leave so he and Lori can have a private discussion. I thought that was pretty messed up since they were obviously still talking about the pregnancy Shane just blurted out that Carl should’ve heard about from his mom and dad together, and also since it was very clear Lori didn’t want to speak with him. Even Andrea tried to tell him to back off but no- Shane’s a selfish dick who has to have what he wants the way he wants and when he wants them.
This conversation is a turning point for Lori. When she tells Shane she confessed everything that went on between them to Rick and that he understood she was grieving and scared and it was a mistake, Shane refuses to accept it. He insists that what they had was real- the two of them and Carl together was real and right and she knew it. He even claims that she loved him since before Rick was shot and basically the three of them (now four) were meant to be together. So now she knows how serious his delusion is and she’s been warned about how far he’ll go for survival or to protect what’s his- she has to be seriously scared.
If it were me, I’d tell everyone-just come totally clean about everything (except maybe not to Carl yet) and have everyone as a group stay safe, keep Rick safe, and vote Shane off the island.
Speaking of Rick, when we last saw him he was all sexy and badass, having just taken out two creeps. Now it’s time to be smart and get the Hell out of there- stopping to check their bodies for weapons and ammo, though. I was pleased and impressed to see them being so pragmatic about the situation. Then other people show up looking for Tony and Dave and this is when shit starts getting less impressive and more “Are you freaking kidding me??”
It turns out that drunk Hershel is still an excellent shot, which makes you think he might’ve been cool at some point before he became a Bible-thumping jackass
I also feel I should point out that I was right- sex really is making Glenn stupid. Or rather Maggie is making him stupid because loving her is sapping his courage. Suddenly he has something to lose and someone who will hurt if he doesn’t make it back and that idea paralyzes him when it’s time for him to face the bad-guys and do his part. I didn’t really notice him doing anything particularly cowardly or selfish- it’s not like he shot Hershel in the leg so he could get away or something- but apparently it’s a big enough deal for him to cause him to pull away from Maggie upon their return.
Shots between the three of them and the unknown number of guys outside draw walkers right to them. One guy takes a shot at Glenn so Hershel, who’s covering him, fires back and hits the guy who drops like a stone, moaning in pain. Then walkers descend on the poor bastard and Hershel gets a good look at what could’ve happened to him or Jimmy or anyone in his family if the barn walkers had ever gotten out. It’s a slow death, allowing for his screams to go on and on as one walker tears off part of the guy’s face while others work on his extremities. For Hershel it’s a big, horrible dose of reality, but one he adapts to with impressive ease.
Another shooter on the roof of a building tries to jump down to his buddy so the two of them can bounce, and one would think the guy would’ve aimed for somewhere else- anywhere else- than the spiked gate thingy when he took his hop off the roof. Instead he brutally impales his leg and clearly wont be bouncing anywhere, prompting his friend to take off without him, yelling “sorry” out the window as he speeds off. Now there’s nothing stopping Rick, Glenn, and Hershel from getting out of Walkerville…except for the kid screaming for help and begging them not to leave him there with his leg impaled on a fence. Rick wouldn’t be Rick if he didn’t go over and see if he could save the guy. Here’s where Hershel shows how much his views have adapted to allow survival in this world: he tells Rick there’s too much damage to the muscles and he’s bleeding out too fast so there’s little chance he would make it- maybe the kindest thing to do would be to put him down!
Maybe it’s because he’s a vet and not a doctor. Veterinarians are taught that putting an animal out of its misery when there’s no hope left is the right thing to do, while doctors are taught to preserve any form of life possible for as long as possible with any/all means available. He even said “put him down” like the guy was a horse or a dog or something! But I choose to think that it’s because Hershel is starting to get the nature of life outside his sheltered little farm and believes it’s a kindness to shoot the guy rather than let the walkers just have at him since they don’t have the time or means to help him.
That’s what I would do; shoot the guy I mean. I’d just walk up kind of behind him where he couldn’t see me, maybe stroke his hair like I was coming over there to comfort or talk to him. Then I’d just pop off a round in the back of his head without him ever knowing it was coming- problem solved. So while Rick and Hershel are arguing over whether or not cutting the leg off below the knee would work and walkers are coming in from every direction, I’d take care of the situation so we could leave.
They didn’t take care of the situation like I would have. They didn’t cut his leg off either. But they did rip him off the fence then blindfold him during the drive back to the farm where Hershel fixed up his leg as much as possible. The plan is for him to get patched up until he’s ok on his own, then give him a few provisions, drive him away from the farm and let him go his limpy way. For some reason this pissed Shane off. Now I guess he thinks the guy will lead his friends and the rest of Dave and Tony’s group back to the farm to start a war of some kind? Who the Hell knows. He’s probably mad Rick is still alive and feels like he has to contradict every decision that he makes.
He has an interesting little tete-a-tete with Andrea after making his opinions known to the group as a whole who tells him that his choices- stopping the search for Sophia, the barn massacre, lying to Lori the other night- were all the right choices, he just didn’t approach them the right way. Okay….
Just like I’ve always thought: Andrea is a complete and total idiot who’s as selfish as Shane and too busy being flattered and admiring him to realize that her idol is manipulating and lying to her.
Now that’s a weird soap opera-esque story: Shane loves Lori and believes she really loves him and not her husband Rick who is supposed to be Shane’s best friend who wasn’t really dead like Shane told Lori he was, which made her start sleeping with Shane until her not-dead husband shows up so she starts sleeping with him again while Shane starts creating an ally in Andrea & sleeps with her even though he really wants Lori and since Andrea doesn’t know about the situation with Lori and Rick & how she’s being used, she ends up falling for Shane and siding with him no matter what!
Meanwhile, Daryl is off riding horses, killing things with a crossbow, fighting hallucination-Merle, and walking around sweaty/dirty/angry and obscenely sexy.
Speaking of, he’s been in his own isolated little camp far away from the group since Sophia and in tonight’s episode Carol shows she’s not going to let him distance himself again. She tells him to “go ahead” as he viciously rips into her, bringing up anything and everything that would hurt her or make her angry or upset enough to drive her away. He blames Sophia’s death on her being a bad mother who doesn’t watch her kid, says she’s only bothering him because she’s alone and afraid now, with no husband and no daughter, he tells her he flat out does not want her around- and when he gets close enough to where he’s practically yelling in her face, his arm moves in a certain way that makes her flinch a bit. It’s obvious the reaction comes from the habit of expecting to be hit by a man when he’s angry and taking it out on her. Then she just turns her face kind of up to him. It’s her saying “go ahead” again- she’s not afraid and she can take whatever he does to her, but it’s still not going to make her leave or give up on him.
People in forums keep asking about the possibility of the two of them as a couple.
I gotta say I am not down with that idea.
The way Carol treats him is so nurturing and caring, which is so alien to him and so difficult for him to accept, that I get a very motherly feeling from her. He needs that more than he needs a romantic relationship, which is far less stable and much more turbulent. A warm, steadfast and unwavering friendship/love to help him see that he’s valued and worth caring about is what I think he should have.
Norman Reedus described their relationship as “damaged people being drawn to other damaged people.” But who among the people in that group isn’t damaged in some way?
The episode ended with what people have called Lori’s manipulation of Rick or how she’s playing mind-games with him, but I don’t see it that way at all. I see her finally realizing how scary Shane really is- how far into his delusion that she loves him he really is- and telling her husband because she’s afraid; both for him and for herself. He doesn’t even know about most of the things Shane has said and done right under his nose- he isn’t aware of how dangerous he can really be and Lori wants him to take treat this like the serious threat that it is. She’s not manipulating him- she’s admitting that she’s scared of losing him. I think she should tell him what happened at the CDC, too. That’s should’ve been a sign of worse things to come, not something you sweep under the rug and forget or write off as one bad night. .
Things are in motion- big, heavy, bone-crunching, landscape-changing things. It’s like I’ve been holding my breath and keeping very still, waiting with my eyes wide open for the other shoe to drop. I know something bad is coming; the big, heavy things are about to start gaining momentum and the vibrations of it make 7 days feel unbearably long. I’ve had 9 episodes and nearly 5 months to prepare for this: bring on the mayhem!
The One Who’d Put The Fence-Guy Down,
Stills Gallery From Episode #9 and…
Three Sneak-Peak Stills From Episode #10!
A Little Something Extra:
( Just as an aside and something to check out while your flipping through the photo gallery- Rick may be quite pretty to look at pretty to look at…but he also has freakishly huge nipples! Like, weird-looking, distractingly big! They look like they could engulf and eat Daryl’s nipples and feed a baby at the same time! Look::
See? Freakishly huge in comparison! Also: You’re welcome 😉