Monday, November 28, 2011

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 7: Pretty Much Dead Already

Well, it's the mid-season finale, and the last show until next February. I hate when shows split their seasons in half like this with MONTHS in between. Hate it! Do you hear me, Hollywood? I hate it!

I was expecting a little more action or excitement in this episode, but any disappointment I may have had with the pacing was more than compensated for by that ending.

Spoilers! 

• Herschel talks Rick into helping him "rescue" two walkers trapped in the swamp. Could this swamp be an explanation as to why the farm is relatively zombie free? Is the farm surrounded by swampland that acts as zombie flypaper? If so, kudos to the writers for recognizing the problem and coming up with a solution.

• Daryl definitely needs to work on his terms of endearment. Calling someone who clearly likes you "stupid bitch" is generally frowned upon in polite society.

• Carol definitely has some issues with the men she chooses. First she was with Ed, who was a physically abusive alcoholic. Now she's making eyes at Daryl, who, though he has become my favorite character, isn't exactly prime husband material. I guess maybe in this world her choices are slim.

Although if Daryl and Carol do become an item, it'll be easy to come up with a "celebrity couple" name for them, like "Bennifer" or "Brangelina." Just call them "Darol."

• Lori managed to not annoy me this week, which is a pretty good feat. A few weeks ago she said her baby absolutely was Rick's. This week she's not so sure. Now neither am I.

• So Lori is home schooling Carl. A nice touch, and something you'd definitely need to think about in that situation. By the way, Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl, is a way better actor than any 12 year old has a right to be.

• Shane says Rick's insistence on going back to Atlanta for Merle (last season) caused the deaths of Amy and Jim. Um... how's that? Weren't they all sitting around a campfire eating fish instead of posting sentries when the zombies attacked the camp? How was Rick responsible for that? I guess I need to re-watch Season 1.

• Dale is a major character in the comic, so I didn't think the show would kill him off just yet, but when he was confronting Shane in the swamp I wasn't so sure. For a minute there I was afraid this would be his last show.

• In the comic, Herschel paid a bigger price for his beliefs. When the zombies got out of the barn, several of his people were killed, which jolted him into the realization that he was wrong about the walkers and they're not just "sick people." Not so on in this episode. Maybe that's to come in February?

• One of the barn zombies that Daryl shot was Herschel's wife. You can tell by the reaction shot of Herschel immediately after she was shot.

• OK, about that ending. Wow. I've been whining for two months now about the boat anchor that is the Search For Sophia sublot. It just went on and on and on with no end in sight. It stopped the storyline dead in its tracks and seemed to be going absolutely nowhere.

But I take it all back. Oh, all that is still true of course, but they redeemed themselves with that ending. I did NOT see that one coming. It took forever to get there, but the payoff was totally worth it. Seeing Zombie Sophia stagger out of the barn was heartbreaking and horrifying at the same time. It was a gutsy move and I'm glad they did it. I'm still thinking about it, and I know I'll be haunted by Zombie Sophia for days to come.

• Now, about Sophia and Herschel's barn... did he know she was in there? Let's examine the time line here. In Episode 1, everyone hides under cars on the highway as the zombie herd shuffles by. A couple of stragglers try to grab Sophia, who runs off into the woods. Rick follows her, tells her to hide under a fallen log, then runs off to dispatch the pursuing zombies. When he's done, Sophia is gone. Apparently she was attacked and bitten minutes later. They search for her in vain for a few days, before finding Herschel's farm in Episode 2.

So when exactly did Herschel put Sophia in the barn? Was it before Team Rick arrived? Or after? Either way, Herschel had to know who he had in the barn. At some point he found a "sick" little girl and stashed her in his barn. Then a group of people who just happen to be searching for a little girl shows up at his place. He had to make the connection.

Even if Herschel himself didn't put Sophia in the barn, one or more of his people did so. I guess it couldn't have been Jimmy, since he volunteered to help with the search. He wouldn't have done that if he knew she was in the barn. That leaves Otis, which would make sense. He died before Dale and the rest of the group arrived and resumed the search. So I suppose it's possible that Otis stashed Sophia in the barn and Herschel simply didn't know about it. But I'm not 100% convinced.

It's going to be a long wait until February!

15 comments:

  1. Herschel did say a couple of times that it was mostly Otis that put the walkers in the barn, so I assume that they'll be pushing the story in that direction.

    I'm more concerned about what Herschel meant when he told Rick that they couldn't survive together during the kitchen scene. Is he talking about a lack of food/supplies or is there still some other looming secret waiting to unfold?

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  2. p.s. I wanted to see Carol pull the trigger at the end. Is that wrong?

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  3. I think Carol was leaning more toward giving Sophia a big hug and an aspiring to make her better, rather than shoot her. I assume Rick did the deed because he's the one who left her alone in the woods in the first place, and felt guilty about that. Also it showed us that Rick was definitely not on Herschel's side.

    I guess I missed the line about Otis putting most of the zombies in the barn. Good catch. That makes sense then. Herschel probably didn't go out there and take inventory much.

    As for Herschel telling Rick they couldn't survive together-- I took his meaning to be philosophical. He sees them as sick people who can be cured, Rick sees them as dead monsters, so they can't survive together while they both feel that way.

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  4. on "the talking dead" last night the writers confirmed that otis put zombie sophia in the barn and that he died before the others had even mentioned that they were looking for a little gir.

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  5. @Anonymous: Well, there you go then. So it's Shane's fault that this storyline dragged out for so long!

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  6. "Dale is a major character in the comic, so I didn't think the show would kill him off just yet, but when he was confronting Shane in the swamp I wasn't so sure. For a minute there I was afraid this would be his last show."

    In comic, Shane is dead by issue 6? I've made my issues with this show abundantly clear here, so I'm not going to beat a dead horse. but this show is a vague pathetic shadow of the comic, i wouldn't be surprised that anyone dies.

    In fact, they've already gone around a lot of characters.

    Where's major character Tyreese? Because the stuff with him and CAROL (in comics survived well past Hershel's farm) and forthcoming you-know-who was great story stuff. Allen and the twins?

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  7. They don’t hold anything back with the blood, guts, and gore. Season two started out a little slow but it was needed for the character development. As a customer and employee of DISH Network, I can say that I enjoy The Walking Dead on AMC in HD. The way this episode ended was not expected at all and I can’t wait until February to see what happens next.

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  8. @Kyle Starks: I doubt that all the characters from the comic will ever show up in the series. The TV show already has more characters than it can handle now-- T-Dog generally gets one line per episode, and has pretty much been standing in the background the last 4 episodes. Carol hasn't had anything to do other than look worried about Sophia all season. There just isn't time in a 45 minute episode to devote to more than 5 or 6 characters. If they added Allen, Tyrese and the others from the comic they'd never get any lines.

    @Anonymous: I don't mind the slower episodes, as long as they build up to a good finale (like this one). Come February I hope they wrap up the farm plot quickly and move on. We've spent enough time on Herschel's farm.

    Maybe it's going to be like LOST, and each season has a specific theme & location: Season 1 = beach, Season 2 = the Hatch, Season 3 = the Others, etc.

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  9. It was a great episode....bummer we have to wait til Feb. to see new episodes. If I got a vote I would say just play them all now and show reruns later.....I tend to get rusty on what already happened when they do this. Excellent wrap up and really enjoyed reading all the comments too :)

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  10. @Dawn: I don't like the 3 month break either, but it could be worse. Back when the new Battlestar Galactica was on, their mid-season break lasted and entire YEAR. By the time the show came back I'd completely forgotten what was going on.

    It seems dangerous for a show to take such long breaks. There's the very real possibility that the audience will find something else to do and not come back.

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  11. Once again, I'm a week behind you, but what a great episode, the ending just made this one for me. Shane is getting more and more evil every episode by the end of this series I expect him to be pointing to the corner of his mouth with his little finger and running around with a dwarf version of himself. I must be the only person on the planet that is glad for the break until Feb, as I'm spending a month with family over christmas and they only have four TV channels. On the bright side its only 21 days until the big day - THE DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!!!!!!!!!!! have a good one folks :)

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  12. @RobS:
    Haw! I like your Shane/Dr. Evil comparison!

    My TV sounds similar to your family's. I don't have cable anymore, so I only get 9 or 10 over the air channels. Half of them are animal shows, the other half religious hooey. So I don't watch much live TV.

    Looking forward to the Doctor Who Christmas Special! Really liked last year's, so I hope this year's is as good. My parents have a satellite dish and they get BBC America, which I would kill for. However, I am 100% positive their TV tuner has never rested on that channel for even a second. There's just no justice in the world...

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  14. When you get to see the DWCS keep a look out for Alexander Armstrong who is staring in it, he is also the voice of Mr Smith from Sarah Jane. I totally agree with you on the subject of 13 episode per season, and the last Doctor Who series featured a mid season break for the first time. What really pisses me off is over here we HAVE to pay around 150 dollars every year for a TV license which goes to the BBC - which in the past I never minded as its advert free and by far the best producer of shows here. BUT the shows were an hour or half hour, not any more to make them more commercial to the states for one, we only get 45 minutes now so advert breaks can be added. Also another rant! why oh why does the TV networks over there take great UK shows and remake them! The Office, Being Human etc I turned over to find that the fantastic show Life On Mars had been given the USA treatment, I can't describe just how bad it was compared to the original. Don't get me wrong you produce some fantastic shows, but the TV executives must think the average American can't deal with life outside of the country - Don't even get me started on the original film version of "la femme nikita" - Rant over thanks for reading :)

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  15. I knew you guys had to boy a TV license, but I didn't know they were shortening your shows in order to make them more appealing to American networks. That's just wrong. You know how it is though-- We're America, and the rest of the world needs to cater to us! ;^(

    I don't understand why American TV has to remake BBC shows either. Or why Hollywood remakes perfectly good foreign films that already exist. I guess it's so they can shoehorn big stars into the remakes and make them more marketable. I've got news for Hollywood-- I go to movies because of the plot. I have NEVER in my life gone to see a movie just because a certain actor was in it.

    As for cable vs. TV license-- I grew up in a rural area where you couldn't get cable TV. When I finally moved to a place where I could get it, I was shocked to discover there were commercials on cable TV. Probably naive on my part, but I figured if I was paying for content, then it should be free of ads.

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