It’s Back, and Fast-Paced As Ever: Walking Dead S2 Ep 8
Posted by Alan Edwards
America’s favorite, and only, zombie series on TV returned this past Sunday. The last episode had ended with a climactic massacre of a barnful of “walkers”, culminating in the reveal of Sophia’s walking corpse and Rick’s dispatch of it. It was an exciting part in Season 2, which was a rarity in this bloated, shambling mess of episodes. Would Episode 8 pick up where the last one ended, full of action and suspense and gun-fightin’?
Well, yes and no. It picked up from the exact end of the last episode. Fifty-eight minutes later, there was action. Sigh.
You didn’t need to see the episode to guess what would happen. Shane and Rick arguing about their disparate approaches? Yes! Sophia’s mom being sad that her kid was a zombie and shot in the head right in front of her? Yes! Lori being a moron? You know it! Shane and Dale butting heads? How did you guess?! Glenn screwing up his chances at getting laid again? We have a winner! Seriously, the first fifteen minutes of the episode were so rote and dull that even the actors seemed to be bored with it. “You shouldn’ta oughta done that, Shane!” “What should I have done, Rick?” Blank stare. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
So after the shootout, the blond girl from the farm that I am not sure has ever been introduced (I’m sure she has, but it doesn’t ever seem to reach my minimum threshold of give-a-rat’s-ass) goes to her mother’s now dead zombie body. She kneels down. OH MY GOD A ZOMBIE ATTACKS HER! So this mindless thing, that feels no pain, will never stop coming, is the WALKING DEAD for chrissakes, is just laying there not moving for several minutes. At least ten, probably. Then all of a sudden, it’s back on the attack. Why? Was it playing possum? Napping? Why would it stop moving? This makes zero sense to me. It annoys me. It’s a stupid trick for a cheap and stupid “scare”, which would possibly be scary if the character so endangered was someone that anyone gave a shit about.
Anyway, afterwards, Herschel goes missing, the blond girl from the farm goes catatonic with shock, the main group bickers about everything. Shane and Rick confront each other and walk away. Rick and Lori go into the house and find the blond girl in bed staring at the ceiling with Maggie looking worried. No one knows where Herschel is. Shane and Rick go into Herschel’s room and discover a flask. We get exposition about Herschel being a former drinker. Rick demands to know which bar he liked to go to. He gets told and recruits Glenn. Maggie tells Glenn no. Glenn’s like, “It’s no prob.” She looks unhappy. Lori bitches at Rick for wanting to go, Rick says they need Herschel for the baby and the blond girl in the catatonic state. They leave.
Shane and Dale have words. I swear to god, if I have to see another close-up of Dale’s stupid slack-jawed face with that idiotic fucking hat and his bitchy fucking expression, I am going to drive to the store, buy a gun, and shoot my TV. I am begging at this point for Shane to just shoot the guy in the face. Please. Someone. Anyone. Get rid of that nosy, holier-than-thou asshat who insists on manipulating everyone he meets so that it fits in his goddamn Moral Code. He is awful in every way. I may be giving you the impression that I dislike Dale. That’s not true. I fucking hate him. I hate him more than any TV character that has ever existed. No, more than any fictional character in anything ever. If Dale was replaced next week with Jar Jar Binks I would do a fucking dance of unfettered joy.
The main group on the farm decides to bury the people they personally liked and burn the rest of the bodies. They spend the rest of the episode dragging corpses onto the bed of a truck and driving them somewhere. Blond Chick from the main group that I have now forgotten her actual name rides in the bed with the zombies. Uh, yeah, no. I wouldn’t do that. She does. Suddenly she’s very comfortable with dead zombie bodies. That’s fine.
Glenn and Rick talk as they drive. Glenn talks to him about Maggie and how he doesn’t know what to do. Apparently, Maggie told Glenn that she loved him, and Glenn didn’t say it back. Rick says, “Well, you’ll get a chance to talk with her when we get back” or something along those lines. Immediately, I now know that either Maggie won’t be there, or Glenn gets separated and doesn’t go back right away. I hope I’m wrong, but I seriously doubt I will be.
Now for the Dumbest Plot Hole of the Week. Lori becomes worried about the blond farm girl. She realizes they need Herschel. WHICH, YOU KNOW, HAD BEEN DISCUSSED HALF-AN-HOUR AGO. She asks Daryl to go to town to get Herschel. OK, there are already two people going to get Herschel. Did she think that Rick and Glenn would grab the fucking guy and go on a buddy-road-trip? Daryl tells her to get bent, she calls him selfish, he rightfully points out that he’s been shot and stabbed and basically fucked up while trying to help this group of ignorant fucking morons. He, as it should be, gets the best line of the episode when he calls Lori “Olive Oyl”, which is just absolutely pure 100% awesome. Lori realizes that she is the only one who can go into town to get Herschel, except for, you know, THE TWO FUCKING PEOPLE WHO ALREADY LEFT TO GO GET HIM. Seriously, what the fuck. WHAT THE FUCK. Am I missing something here? Did she get brain trauma that I missed between those two scenes? She bitches at Rick for wanting to go get Herschel, THEN DECIDES SHE HAS TO GO. This makes me so angry. It’s so fucking dumb.
Anyway, she gets in a fucking car with a fucking map and starts driving down the road. She needs a map, but she’s going to do it anyway. Apparently, the route is so convoluted that she has to stare at the map while she drives. I mean, how fucking hard can it be? After apparently looking at an atlas of the entire fucking state of Georgia to find this dirt fucking track she’s on, she actually looks at the road she’s driving down. ZOMG ZOMBIE! She hits the brakes hard, slams into it, then the scene shifts and her car is doing ninety fucking miles an hour as it goes off the road. It flips over and wrecks and dear god I hope she is dead, dead as shit, crushed under the weight of her own fucking stupidity and passive aggressive antics and bizarrely accelerating vehicle of choice. I mean, she was clearly hitting the brakes, then suddenly the car is accelerating. If they showed her try for the brakes and hit the accelerator instead, I’d buy it. But she doesn’t. She hit the brakes. No one generally slams on the brakes, lifts their foot, then chooses a different pedal in the heat of the moment. But it’s Lori, so at this point I’d believe any dumbass thing she would do.
Meanwhile, Glenn and Rick and Herschel are having a few drinks and talking about regret and “I’m so dumb, I thought my rottin’ corpse of a wife would be cured with the miracle topical cream the guv’ment is surely workin’ on”. Blah blah blah, stuff. Then two guys come in, and shit gets interesting. They claim to be from Philly, which, given my proximity to that city and the crass way the men behave, seems to be 100% true. They start prying in to where Rick and the rest are saying, and of course Glenn can’t keep his fucking trap shut even though it’s 100% clear that the other two are being completely vague about it. The two guys say that their group is tired of being on the run and could use a haven. Maybe the two groups could pool their resources. Rick tells them to essentially fuck off and shoots them both dead. The one dude looked like he might’ve been going for his gun, but Rick totally 100% Han Solo’s the dude’s punk Greedo ass. Bam bam bam bam. He fucking puts those dudes down, about 2 hours after he bitched at Shane for killing zombies. Glenn and Herschel looked shocked as fuck. And the episode ends.
OK, let’s look at this from the other guys’ perspectives. They’ve ended up in some podunk town. They have no idea what to do or where to go. They allegedly have a group with them. It would make perfect sense to have a desire to connect with another group of survivors. I mean, Rick wanted to do the very same thing with Herschel’s group. If Herschel had told him to fuck off, I completely could see Rick drawing his gun and saying, “Look, I don’t want to do this, but you’re gonna help my shot son or I will seriously fuck up your day”. Here, though, he ain’t havin’ it. I guess his Cop Instincts took over. After all, the one guy peed right on the floor and also made lewd comments about wanting to find a woman. Look, he’s from Philly. That’s pretty much what happens every time a Philly guy goes to a bar: he pees on the floor and talks about getting laid. For Rick, though, it’s enough. He’s gonna plug these rat bastards. Public urination is actually a crime, so maybe he feels justified. I just think it was a pretty fucked-up thing to do. Society is crumbling, survivors are few, and they let fucking Dale hang around. Suddenly, though, it’s time to be choosy? No option to say something like, hey, our group’s pretty skittish, how about you two come with us, give me your guns just so no one does anything stupid, and we can figure shit out? Fuck that. I honestly expected Rick to put three more in the dude’s head when he was down, like he was a Mafia goon sending a message and ruining the guy’s chance for an open casket.
And now we know what the last half of the season’s going to be: The Philly Farm Invasion, sprinkled with Lori Medical Drama, Shane and Dale Pissing Matches, and Glenn Blowing It with Maggie. Hooray?
Although, I do have to admit, Rick shooting those dudes was surprising and kinda cool. I’ll watch next week.